As Nova Scotians await Premier Stephen McNeil’s spring budget, a member of the Ivany commission has made a bold suggestion that the government must look at: cutting the size of the civil service.

John Bragg, president and co-CEO of Oxford Frozen Foods Ltd., suggested the cuts Wednesday at an address to an Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) event in Halifax.

On the heels of the Ivany report — aptly titled Now or Never — we need bold action to reduce government costs.

With a projected budget deficit of $220.6 million for 2014-15, a net debt of $14.8 billion, a stagnant economy, an aging population and rising costs, the province needs to figure out how to control spending.

Governments commonly look to attrition to trim the public sector, but given the urgency of the challenges facing Nova Scotia, it may not be enough.

Last year, AIMS released a report that said Nova Scotians have more civil servants, 99 per 1,000 residents, compared to the national average of 84 per 1,000 residents. The institute included municipal, education and health-care workers in its figures, which indicate we have more government than we need.

This editorial appeared in the Chronicle Herald