Nova Scotia is a chosen land. It is not a home of convenience or habit. It is a place that people deliberately choose, and a place that often demands a sacrifice to stay. Those elements of choice and sacrifice bring a shared commitment to community that is rare in this world, and that will or should guide our future more than any consideration of what riches like hidden under land and sea, what construct of politics will enhance our bottom line, or how we can use our unique geography to best advantage.
It is true both for those who were born here, and for those who came from away.
I began to see my friends and neighbours with new eyes, began to realize how many of them had deliberately turned down more money, more power and more fame to stay in Nova Scotia. No one who is focused solely on expanding his or her own personal wealth is going to stay here. No one who seeks public office for the sheer pleasure of the power itself is going to build an empire from this province. That is all good for those of us who choose to remain.
We spend a great deal of time and energy looking at the need to increase opportunity here, but we should remember that the meagreness of possibility has also shaped the culture in a positive way, and made Nova Scotia what is today. The limited opportunity of this place has left a residue of community values.
– Kelly Toughill, “The Chosen Land”, Nova Scotia: Visions of the Future