The I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition and other Innovacorp achievements earn profile as examples of Nova Scotia’s progress towards a stronger business climate.

Nova Scotians have a cleaner, greener and more economically sustainable province because of commitments the government has made to become one of the most environmentally and economically sustainable places in the world by 2020.

Environment Minister Mark Parent and Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac released reports today, May 14, detailing the province's progress in meeting commitments in the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act and Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity.

"Today, I am proud to report to all Nova Scotians that we are making progress in meeting our aggressive targets," said Mr. Parent. "Our continued environmental and economic success is making Nova Scotia an even better place to live, work and raise a family."

The act sets out 21 far-reaching goals for the province. They range from reduced air emissions and waste, to new energy standards for buildings and increased protection of land and water.

The report shows progress is being made, including electronic waste regulations to help reduce disposal rates, more land being legally protected, and an action plan to help respond to climate change.

"To ensure the future prosperity of Nova Scotia, we must all work together -- all levels of government, business, community groups, and each and every Nova Scotian," said Mr. Parent.

The act supports Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity, an economic growth strategy for Nova Scotia. It will help the province achieve economic performance at or above the national average by the year 2020 and build a foundation for continued growth.

"This government is creating winning conditions to meet today's opportunities without compromising tomorrow," said Mr. MacIsaac. "Our economic growth strategy integrates environmental, social and economic systems to help strengthen Nova Scotia's financial, built, natural, human and social capital."

The second annual report on the strategy highlights areas of growth and progress towards fostering a strong business climate. For instance, government programs such as Opportunities Nova Scotia are helping ensure a talented and strong workforce to support business expansion.

Nova Scotia Business Inc.'s enhanced payroll rebate tool provides more flexibility and helps companies improve competitiveness. It is helping Parrsboro Metal Fabricators Ltd. maintain at least 68 full-time jobs over the next five years as the company focuses on expanding its line of energy-efficient heating products.

Another example is Innovacorp's I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition. Innovacorp will work with up to 50 of the 121 entrepreneurs who participated in the competition, helping them take steps towards forming knowledge-based companies.

More information on the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act and its progress report visit the Department of Environment's website at WWW.GOV.NS.CA/NSE. Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity and its progress report are available on the Department of Economic Development's website at WWW.GOV.NS.CA/ECON/OFSP.

For more information, please contact:

Janet Lynn McNeil
Department of Environment

Heather Deighan
Economic Development

Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 15, 2008