Investing in youth

PORT HOOD: Based on ideas put forward in the ONE Nova Scotia 10 Year Collaborative Action Plan, Inverness Council is looking to become a leader in early childhood development.

The action plan details seven areas that could be improved in order to help the province attain greater prosperity. Economic development was one of the areas, said councillor Jim Mustard, and one of the suggestions for buoying development deals with how young people are treated.

“Much to our surprise for economic development, one of the number one investments was early years – getting a good start,” he said. “The first five years is a really good place to invest as a society for better health outcomes, certainly better job opportunities, and generally living better lives. I believe this is our time to discover what that means.

“We haven’t looked at that yet, but I think this is an opportune time to do so,” Mustard said. “Someone has to get the ball rolling at times, and that’s where we’re at.”

Based on Mustard’s observations, Inverness County passed a motion to partner with neighbouring communities — Victoria County, the Town of Port Hawkesbury, We’komaq and Wagmatcook First Nations – to create a coalition for early childhood development.

The motion stated that:

“The Municipality of the County of Inverness will take the lead in forming a coalition that includes all sectors to ensure that our region has the leadership and partnership needed to create a welcoming environment in each community that supports the optimum development for every one of our citizens born across our region each and every year.”