Nova Scotians will go to the polls on Oct. 8.
By John DeCoste
If elected, a Liberal government will create new research and development opportunities for graduate students studying at Nova Scotia universities.
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil announced the proposed new investment at a press conference and media scrum Sept. 12 at Acadia University.
Specifically, annual graduate scholarships valued at between $10,000 and $15,000 will be awarded to approximately 300 graduate-level students who would in turn be identified and selected by their respective institutions.
“Research and development and commercializing innovation is a vital component to growing a modern and sustainable economy,” McNeil suggested.
“To help encourage exploration, discovery and innovation, we will launch a new Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Scholarship to invest in new opportunities for Nova Scotia graduates and increase research capacity within our universities.”
McNeil believes that by investing in our most important resource – our young leaders – Nova Scotia will be able to equip the next generation with unique solutions to help grow the economy and improve quality of life.
“In many ways,” he said, “our post-secondary education and research institutions are one of our province’s greatest competitive advantages in the global economy.
“Investing in graduate training is critical if we are to increase Nova Scotia’s competitiveness.”
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He wondered, “what will be the new product that will define the next generation like the BlackBerry and iPhone have defined ours? What will be the new advancement in digital social interaction that will help small businesses reach new markets?
“What new agricultural product can be developed to better protect our home-grown products during planting and harvesting seasons thathelp improve food security and create growth opportunities for farmers?
“These are all questions that can be answered right here in Nova Scotia.”
McNeil suggested that for Nova Scotia to grow to its full potential, it is important that the provincial government enhance its investment in economic engines such as post-secondary institutions.
Here in Nova Scotia, “we have thousands of bright young leaders waiting to create new growth opportunities for our province. A new Liberal government will foster that growth by providing resources to help capitalize on their hard work, ingenuity and creativity.”
McNeil pointed out that the scholarship program would be unveiled in the first year of a new Liberal mandate. The approximately $2.7 million cost would be “covered in our budget,” and would be realized in part through savings in other areas.