If you look at the numbers below and compare it to the provincial populations, New Brunswick is just as much of a manufacturing powerhouse as Ontario and Quebec. Nova Scotia needs to investigate how New Brunswick has accomplished this so that Nova Scotia can create more manufacturing jobs.
Nova Scotia was a prosperous part of Canada back in the 1800's, so it can achieve that prosperity again. Having a major port in Halifax is a big advantage since there are goods coming into the province from places such as India, Vietnam and China that can be assembled into value-added products in Nova Scotia and then be shipped throughout North America. (just as long as the province doesn't sink to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean
). Over the next 50 years or so, fossil fuels, such as gas and oil, are going to increasingly go out of favour, just like coal did (although it is still a big energy source, how many people talk about exploiting the coal in Cape Breton?). However, having said this, with all the gas and coal around Nova Scotia where is the oil?
As oil becomes more scarce and expensive there will be an incentive to switch to other power sources. Nova Scotia has the Bay of Fundy that can be harnessed for electricity, and is close to the energy graving, highly populated, eastern seaboard. If the Bay of Fundy can be cheaply harnessed then the electricity generated could be used to produce hydrogen fuel from water by electrolysis - http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen
(Nova Scotia also has lots of water that could be separated into hydrogen and oxygen - forget natural gas, water is everywhere).
Nova Scotia just needs more of the "can do" spirit that Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick have.