I’VE HAD PEOPLE TELL ME, point blank, to stop investing in Atlantic Canada… and I basically tell them to go f&*$ themselves!
I’m a proud Maritimer from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Four years ago I came home, drove through my hometown and was devastated. You could feel the shame, the heartbreak in the town. Yarmouth has an amazingly rich history that’s slipping away. The old jail, in the middle of town was for sale, so I bought it. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but it was such an iconic building in the middle of everything, I thought if I could bring hope and inspiration it could spur change. Then I bought a row of buildings in the poorest part of town. These buildings are now home to RennDuPrat, a custom design fabrication firm led by master craftsman Dustin DuPrat. RennDuPrat is using the latest technology and local talent to make legacy pieces right here in Nova Scotia. And we’ve started a revitalization in the area. People are now starting to brag about where they live! There is more work to do, but a little hope can spark the energy of a revolution. Atlantic Canada IS a place to brag about! A place that deserves attention and is due for major growth.
We need to support areas outside of major city centers. If we take care of the edges the middle will take care of itself.
We need to support areas outside of major city centers. If we take care of the edges the middle will take care of itself. We all have a part to play in the growth of Atlantic Canada. Our people, our innate personalities, and our caring hearts, are what make us a commodity. This is our common thread and this is what sets us apart.
So, with all this going for us, why isn’t Atlantic Canada growing and thriving? Attitude! We suck at marketing ourselves. I was driving in Toronto and saw a billboard advertising Atlantic Canada with a whale on it! Do you know how much these billboards cost? Why would we promote just whales? We need to inspire people to come visit, live here, show them they can have an amazingly rich life. We have not wet their whistle like other places have. This is a wake-up call! I’m out there peddling the East Coast every damn day! I tell people, just jump on a quick flight, meet the amazing people, breathe the air, see the beauty, eat the delicious seafood, drink your face off….and you know what? Everyone who goes loves it!
The problem is people are not looking at us as a serious economic powerhouse. We are playing micro business, not major business. This way of thinking is not going to generate prosperity. We need infrastructure and amenities to support our growth. This is your responsibility, my responsibility—our job. Let’s stop complaining and waiting for someone else to make it happen.
Hey, has anyone built the business plan for Atlantic Canada yet?
I know that together we can formulate the marketing of this amazing region, but it starts with you. Hold yourself accountable and hold our leaders accountable, demand more. We need more people who understand business, economics, innovation, and entrepreneurship in leadership positions. If you know these people encourage them to step up. If you are this person, step up! Atlantic Canada needs you NOW.
We have all the amazing elements right here, we just need to harness them. I’ve made millions from embracing my East Coast roots. People couldn’t believe I was nice, productive and accountable—I made myself a commodity in both Canada and the U.S.! If I can do this, what we can do together is unbelievable!