New Skateboard Park Gets Central Region Recreation FundingYoung people will soon be doing flips and tricks, staying fit and having fun at a new skateboard park in Hubbards.
A grant of $48,000 for the park was announced today, June 18, through the Recreation Facility Development Program. The park is one of 21 projects in the Central Region receiving grants totalling $582,000.
"Community organizations and recreation facilities like this skateboard park offer Nova Scotians a wide variety of ways to get active and lead healthier lives," said Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Minister of Community Services, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson. "The province is providing nearly $2 million for 59 projects provincewide so children, youth and families can stay fit and have fun."
The Hubbards Area Recreation Association and Halifax Regional Municipality are building the skateboard park at the Hubbards Recreation Centre.
"Our main focus has been to bring recreation back to our community and this skate park is a hugh step in making this a reality," said Justyne Higgins, chair of the association. "This has been a vision of ours since 2008 and will be an excellent addition to our diverse recreation centre."
The grants help community groups, municipalities and other not-for-profit organizations develop facilities to increase public participation in sport and physical recreation. Examples include renovations to buildings, developing and maintaining walking trails, and building and upgrading fields used for sport and recreation.
The grants support Thrive!, the province's plan for a healthier Nova Scotia. The plan has 34 actions to create supportive environments for healthy eating and physical activity. Learn more at http://thrive.novascotia.ca .
For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/just/prevention.
Lighthouses Community GrantsThe Lighthouses Program is a community crime prevention and reduction investment initiative intended to support community crime prevention programs. Twenty organizations that provide recreational, educational, cultural, life-skills, or after-school programming for youth throughout Nova Scotia receive a $12,000 grant from the Department of Justice.
As of today, January 22, 2013, the call for proposals is now open. Eligible groups may apply for this grant by visiting the Crime prevention website https://www.gov.ns.ca/just/prevention/ and downloading/completing the Lighthouses application form. For your convenience, we have also attached these forms to this email (attached). The deadline for submitting proposals is February 28, 2013.
Should you encounter any difficulties using this form, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit via email at email@example.com or call us at 902 424 0123.
For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/just/prevention .
Lighthouses Program Application Form (En)
Lighthouses Program Application Form (Fr)
Transgender Rights to be Protected in Human Rights ActTransgender Nova Scotians' right to equality and fairness will be made clear with proposed amendments to the Human Rights Act.
The amendments to be tabled today, Nov. 20, by Justice Minister Ross Landry will add gender identity and gender expression as protected grounds in the Human Rights Act.
Nova Scotians denied an apartment or job because they are transgender will be able to file a human rights complaint on that basis. Before, they would have had to file a complaint based on sex or disability.
"For too long, transgender Nova Scotians have faced discrimination, threats, insults and physical violence. This is not acceptable, and we will not tolerate it," Mr. Landry said.
"Making this change is the right thing to do. Transgender Nova Scotians deserve the same legal protection that the rest of us take for granted."
Ontario, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories have specific references to gender identity in their human rights legislation.
"We know that trans people face harassment and discrimination, and also that fear of such discrimination holds people back from leading full and healthy lives," said Kevin Kindred, chair of the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project. "Affirming that trans discrimination is illegal will go a long way to alleviating that fear."
Kate Shewan said people's attitudes toward transgender Nova Scotians are improving, and these amendments will help.
"Transgender people are often worried that a gender transition could lead to rejection by friends or family, or the loss of their job," said Shewan, a transgender woman who has transitioned over the last three years. "My hope is that this will lead to changes in public attitudes and greater acceptance in society."
The amendments will be introduced today because Nov. 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international day to remember people killed as a result of transphobia.
Applications Available for 2012-13 Heating Rebate ProgramOctober 24, 2012
Nova Scotians who need help with home heating costs will continue to benefit from the province's heating rebate program.
Last winter, more than 51,000 Nova Scotians received the rebate. They will receive a filled-in application form to encourage them to re-apply, but must continue to meet program requirements to receive the rebate.
"We've heard from Nova Scotians who say that they appreciate the program and that every little bit helps," said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell. "I would encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to apply for the rebate."
Applications for the Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP), which offers eligible applicants a rebate of up to $200, are now available for the 2012-13 winter season.
Households with net annual incomes of less than $42,000, and people who make less than $27,000, who purchase oil, natural gas, wood, wood pellets, propane, electricity, or coal qualify.
"Many Nova Scotians, including seniors on fixed incomes, struggle to heat their homes during the colder months," said Bill VanGorder, board member and past president of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. "We appreciate government's ongoing help with home heating costs."
Applications are available at all Access Nova Scotia centres, MLA offices, Community Services' offices, online at www.homeheatinghelp.ca, or by calling 1-800-670-4357.
It may take up to six weeks for completed applications to be processed and eligible Nova Scotians to receive the rebate.
In addition to HARP, the province helps all Nova Scotians with the high costs of home heating by automatically removing the provincial portion of the HST from home heating bills and by helping low-income homeowners with energy saving upgrades. The Good Neighbour Energy Fund helps low-income Nova Scotians heat their homes in emergency situations.
This fall, the province will take further steps to ensure fairer power rates for all Nova Scotians. Tweet
Province Negotiates New, Better Deal to Reopen Mill, Support the StraitSeptember 22, 2012
Premier Darrell Dexter today, Sept. 22, announced that the province has negotiated a new, better agreement for Nova Scotia taxpayers to reopen the former NewPage mill and keep hundreds of people working in the Strait region.
"I want to thank the people of the Strait. Their hard work, sacrifice and determination over the past year has paid off," said Premier Dexter. "Even after it appeared there was no hope, both parties worked through the night and I'm very pleased to say we now have a new agreement that is a better deal for Nova Scotians.
"The bottom line is that under this new agreement, the total amount the province will contribute to support the workers, families and businesses throughout the Strait should be repaid in as early as 12 years and the province will have earned about $150 million in tax revenue."
In August the premier announced a number of investments to support the reopening of the mill and protect the 1,400 jobs that rely on its operation. The province has also invested $36.8 million to date to keep the mill in hot idle and set up the Forestry Infrastructure Fund to keep people working in the forestry industry and produce product, a necessary part of keeping our forests healthy and sustainable.
Under this new agreement, all of those investments will be recovered in full.
"This government has worked for a year now to restart that mill," said Premier Dexter. "We didn't do this because it was popular – we did it because it was the right thing to do."
The new arrangement will significantly increase the annual share of profits paid to the province and it will ensure a significant amount of the tax savings generated by Pacific West Commercial Corporation(PWCC)in other provinces will be shared with Nova Scotia.
In addition to that, as a result of the Canada Revenue Agency ruling earlier this month the province will receive millions in additional revenue.
Much of the original agreement hinged on PWCC receiving a positive ruling from the Canada Revenue Agency on its taxes. When that did not happen, the province continued negotiating with the company to find a way forward within the financial framework already announced.
At the same time, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board had provided until 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 21, for a revised rate application filing by PWCC. The board made clear that, provided an application was received by this deadline and that ratepayers would be no worse off under the revised filing, it would be in a position to provide a revised order on or before the court-imposed closing deadline of Sept. 28.
Despite the parties' best efforts, that deadline could not be met and both sides walked away from the table last night.
"Every option identified at that point exposed Nova Scotia taxpayers to too much risk and the province was not prepared to accept that," Premier Dexter said. "However, later in the night there were further discussions. We worked hard and were able to come up with something that further benefits taxpayers and will make the mill more competitive."
Pacific West and the province have agreed that all elements of the province's previously announced support remain the same, with the following exceptions:
--the previously repayable loan of $40 million will now be earnable by the company, subject to verification of an equivalent amount of taxes being paid by Nova Scotia Power as a result of energy purchases under the proposed new tariff. The province will forgive no more than what is paid to the province in taxes, to a cap of $40 million, over a maximum of 12 years
--profit-sharing increases from a cap of $9 million, to a cap of $24 million
--Pacific West will incorporate other mills and related assets into the mill (Port Hawkesbury Paper). This will improve its competitive position through disposition of the accumulated tax losses
--in recognition of the above provincial investments, the province will share in the benefits of the use of the accumulated tax losses available through Port Hawkesbury Paper in connection with the other assets. For every dollar of accumulated tax losses used by the company, the province will be paid 32 cents, and 18 cents will be directly reinvested in the mill to improve its competitive position, subject to review of the proposed investments by the province.
"This is the outcome people have been working towards for months," said Premier Dexter. "Employees will be able to continue working to support their families, businesses will benefit from those families staying in the community, the province gets a better deal for taxpayers and the company is able to achieve the competitive position it needs to operate the mill profitably in the long run. It's a win-win for everyone involved."
For more information go to NovaScotia.ca/NewOage/NewPage-Backgrounder-September-2012.pdf. Tweet
Applications Open for Senior Safety GrantSeptember 5, 2012
A provincial grant program that aims to improve seniors' health and safety is accepting applications for 2013.
The Senior Safety Grant provides up to $20,000 to non-profit, community-based safety programs that inform, guide and support seniors.
"We are committed to the safety and well-being of seniors," said Marilyn More, acting Minister of Seniors. "This grant program has a history of making life better for seniors and their families. We are pleased to be able to offer support again this year."
The provincial funding address safety concerns of seniors and provides awareness and education in areas such as senior abuse, crime prevention, safety and health issues, and strengthened relations between seniors and police.
"These grants enhance existing programs and expansion to areas of Nova Scotia where programs do not exist," said Ross Landry, Minister of Justice. "Crime prevention happens at the community level and we all have a role to play in keeping our citizens, communities, streets and homes safe. The organizations these grants support are helping to do just that."
The grant promotes the Nova Scotia Elder Abuse and Positive Aging strategies, and helps prevent and reduce crime. For more information and applications, visit www.gov.ns.ca/seniors or call, toll-free, 1-800-670-0065 or 424-0065, in metro. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 15.
Bowater Tansition Advisory Team:: Opportunity for Public Input in September ::
September 5, 2012
Communities impacted by the permanent closure of Resolute-Bowater forest operations will have an opportunity to provide input into their economic future.
The advisory committee appointed to engage Nova Scotians in a discussion on potential economic opportunities for the region will be hosting two public, round-table discussions in September.
"These meetings are about engaging people in a dialogue around the opportunities in the region to create new jobs and grow the economy," said Ron Smith, chair of the transition advisory team.
Residents, businesses and other interested groups will be asked for their ideas on how to focus economic development in the region, and what steps can be taken to move toward a more diverse economy.
The public meetings will be held:
-- Monday, Sept. 24, Best Western Hotel, 63 Queens Place Dr., Liverpool, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
-- Thursday, Sept. 27, Days Inn, 50 North St., Bridgewater, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
In addition to the initial meetings, the transition advisory committee plans to hold a number of focused public discussions across the region. These meetings will build on ideas raised in the initial public sessions and through written submissions, as well as on potential opportunities in specific sectors. Dates for those meetings will be announced later this fall.
A background document has been created to help residents and businesses understand the region's economic and demographic realities, and to highlight some of the opportunities already being explored by organizations and individuals to diversify the economy. The document is available online and at the Transition Advisory Team Office, 7 Henry Hensey Dr., Liverpool.
"People in this community are already doing some excellent work identifying some very interesting ideas and initiatives and potential areas to build on," said Mr. Smith.
Nova Scotians can share their ideas at any time through an online survey at www.NovaScotia.ca/BowaterTransition. Survey submissions will be accepted until Oct. 15. Ideas and comments can also be shared via e-mail at BowaterTransition@gov.ns.ca, by calling 1-855-354-2612, or by writing the Transition Advisory Team Office at 7 Henry Hensey Dr., Liverpool, N.S., BOT 1K0.
The team expects to report back to the community in early December.
The transition advisory team, appointed by Premier Darrell Dexter in June, has also met with business, industry and community leaders, as well as workers and other stakeholders during the summer.
Low-income Seniors Receive Tax Refund ChequesAugust 25, 2012
The province is returning provincial income tax to more than 16,000 seniors this week as part of its commitment to help make life more affordable.
For the second year, Nova Scotia seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement will be refunded their provincial income tax for the 2011 taxation year.
The cheques will provide eligible seniors an average of $457, and at least $50.
"We're putting this money back into the hands of seniors who need it, because we know that every dollar counts," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "Some of Nova Scotia's seniors need a little extra help to make ends meet. Initiatives like this one help make life more affordable for thousands of low-income seniors."
Seniors do not have to apply for this refund, but they must file a tax return each year. The Department of Finance uses information from tax returns to assess eligibility and to process the refunds.
"We are committed to helping provide seniors with the means to age positively," said Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Minister of Seniors. "Through this tax refund, and other initiatives, we are working hard to give our seniors the support they need."
As additional tax-return information is received from the Canada Revenue Agency, more refund cheques will be processed and mailed. Those who did not file a return for the 2011 taxation year, but who are eligible, can still receive the refund when they file a tax return.
In addition to the 2011 tax year refunds being mailed this week, the department will also be sending cheques to more than 400 seniors for the 2010 tax year after receiving additional data from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Province invests in South Shore, Southwest Nova ScotiaAugust 24, 2012
Roads, beaches, parks and trails along the South Shore and southwest Nova Scotia will receive more than $15 million in upgrades, boosting the local economy and creating good jobs in the region.
The province has accelerated already-planned projects to spur economic activity in light of recent setbacks in the region.
"This is one immediate step the province could take to support the people on the South Shore and in southwestern Nova Scotia," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "This funding will generate economic activity that will be visible in communities throughout the region. I believe there are better days ahead for Queens County."
-- $1.8 million to repave Highway 103 in Queens, from Exit 18 to exit 17, 8 km
-- $780,000 to repave Trunk 8 from Liverpool town line to Bridge Street in Milton, Queens Co., 2.6 km
-- $1.8 million to repave Woodstock Road in Lunenburg, from Clearland Road to end of pavement, 5 km
-- $1.6 million to repave Camperdown School Road in Lunenburg, from highway 103 to Camperdown Road, 5.6 km
-- $2.9 million to repave Trunk 3, from about two kilometres east of Rte. 329 in East River toward Chester, 8.2 km
-- $2.7 million to repave Route 203 in Shelburne, from Welshtown Road to Colin Bower Road, 9 km
-- $1.5 million to upgrade the Natural Resources Office in Milton, Queens Co.
-- $1.5 million for upgrades to Graves Island Provincial Park
-- $600,000 for upgrades at Rissers Beach Provincial Park in Lunenburg County, T.H. Raddall Provincial Park in Queens County, The Islands Provincial Park in Shelburne County, Summerville Beach Provincial Park in Queens County, Sand Hills Provincial Park in Shelburne County, and Granite Village Pocket Wilderness in Queens County
-- $150,000 to complete trails from Summerville to Shelburne.
This funding will be spent over the next year. The investments announced today and earlier this summer are part of government's response to the needs of communities in the region. A transition advisory team, headed by Ron Smith, is also at work engaging communities to think about economic opportunities that will create jobs and economic growth for the future.
New Renewable Projects Provide Jobs and InvestmentAugust 2, 2012
Nova Scotia is moving ahead with three commercial-scale wind-energy projects that will create good jobs and $200 million of new investment.
Energy Minister Charlie Parker said the projects, in Lunenburg and Guysborough counties, will help stabilize electricity prices in Nova Scotia and benefit the environment.
"These large wind projects will result in $200 million in private sector investments that will, in turn, help us meet our cleaner energy agenda," said Mr. Parker.
The projects announced today, Aug. 2, by the province's renewable electricity administrator, Power Advisory, are:
-- a 78 megawatt South Canoe Wind Project between Chester and Windsor, led by Oxford Frozen Foods
-- a 24 megawatt South Canoe Wind Project in Lunenburg County, led by Minas Paper Pulp and Power
-- a 13.8 megawatt Sable Wind Project near Canso, led by the Municipality of the District of Guysborough
"Nova Scotia has one of the best wind regimes in North America," said Mr. Parker. "The wind itself is free, and the cost of building wind farms can be spread over many years. The result is a stabilizing effect on electricity rates."
The selected projects represented the most cost-effective offers. Their average purchase price was in the mid-$70s per MWh, lower than those in the 2007 call for bids. Nova Scotia Power is a minority investor in each of the projects.
Collectively, these projects are expected to bring total wind energy close to the 500 MW wind threshold by 2015. This is near the technical limit of the amount that can be integrated into the province's electricity grid, according to the 2008 Nova Scotia Wind Integration Study by Hatch Energy. Consequently, the province does not expect to issue more request for proposals for large-scale wind projects in the near future.
The renewable electricity administrator was appointed by the province to call for bids, evaluate bid submissions and select winning projects based on which projects provide the best value for ratepayers.
The process also completes an objective of the province's renewable electricity plan to determine if the utility or independent power producers could build the lowest-cost renewables for the province. The competition indicates a partnership model produces the best results.
The three large-wind projects will help the province reach its renewable energy plan target of 25 per cent of the province's electricity needs met by renewable sources by 2015. The province also committed to achieving a 40 per cent renewable electricity target by 2020.
Wind energy development is one aspect of the renewable electricity plan, which focuses on diversifying the province's energy mix and meeting federal and provincial environmental targets. Other elements include tidal energy, natural gas and hydroelectricity from Lower Churchill.
St. Margaret's Bay Community TransportationJuly 20, 2012
A brand new non-profit organization has come together to determine the need for a local transportation service in the St. Margaret's Bay area. The newly formed St. Margaret's Bay Community Transportation Society has recently applied for a grant to do a needs assessment for the area, with the expectation of applying for further funding programs which are available to help with the setup and operation of such a service.
Currently, there are twelve such local transportation projects operating in other areas of the province – organizers and participants in those projects are ready and willing to lend their expertise. Experience shows that broad community representation in leadership, riders and sponsors delivers the most viable projects.
Some possible features of a St. Margaret’s Bay community transportation project could include:
- Operating an on call service as a not-for-profit society with the involvement of community volunteers.
- A general coverage area of Queensland Beach, to Timberlea and West Dover north toward Hammonds Plains.
- Services open to all members of the community, accessible to wheel chairs, strollers, bicycles, etc.
Many people could benefit from a this service, such as those travelling to and from work, to medical appointments, the pharmacy, library, or grocery store, those attending community events, first time job seekers, seniors, youth, shut-ins, persons with disabilities and more.
This service would:
- Connect rural residents with Metro Bus routes at Exit 5.
- Help seniors continue to live in their own homes in the Bay area.
- Help employers by expanding the potential labour pool; help employees access available opportunities.
- Help people attend public and social events.
- Be a transportation service in our community that would look to partner or share with adjacent community services to maximize options and save money.
- Supplement funding received from grants through sponsorships and fundraising.
The St. Margaret’s Bay Community Transportation Society has working with a number of community service and church organizations as well as elected representatives to provide a local transportation solution. Information and updates may be found by visiting www.bayrides.ca
For further information or to help move this project forward please contact:
Rod Shaw 826-7060, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Dolbel 823-1144, email@example.com
or go to: www.CommunityTransitNS.ca
Province Opens New Affordable Housing in ChesterJuly 4, 2012 11:47 AM
Seniors in Chester will soon have a new place to call home with the opening of four new affordable housing units.
Premier Darrell Dexter, along with Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse and Senator Gerald Comeau, on behalf of Diane Finley, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, officially opened the new units today, July 4, on Highway No. 3.
The $685,000 project was jointly funded by the province and federal government, through the Economic Stimulus Program.
"Families, seniors and persons with disabilities deserve affordable, accessible homes, like the units opening today," said Premier Dexter. "For the residents who are about to move in, these units will allow them to stay in their communities and live independently, longer. Affordable housing isn't a one-size-fits-all solution and the province will continue to work with its partners to ensure affordable housing is available to those who need it most."
The barrier-free units are designed to accommodate seniors and persons with disabilities and include energy-efficient features, easier maintenance and outdoor storage space. The units are also designed to meet or exceed the LEED Silver standard for energy and water.
"On top of significant investment in affordable housing across the province, the province has taken a number of steps to make life better for Nova Scotians," said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. "The province has introduced and increased the Poverty Reduction Credit and Affordable Living Tax Credit, removed the provincial portion of the HST from home heating and other family necessities, increased and the Nova Scotia Child Benefit for the second year in a row, and returned provincial income tax to 17,000 seniors."
More than $145 million has been invested in affordable housing in Nova Scotia since 2009.
"The government of Canada is proud to contribute more than $340,000 in funding for this project," said Senator Comeau. "These new units will provide quality, affordable housing and benefit the economic and social well-being of the entire community."
The federal and provincial governments contribute equally to an overall investment of $96 million under the amended Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
More than 1,900 affordable housing units have been created or preserved in Nova Scotia under the program. For more information on these projects, visit www.gov.ns.ca/coms/AffordableHousing .
Improved Supports Coming July 1June 28, 2012
Starting July 1, more than 240,000 Nova Scotians will get more help making ends meet thanks to an increase in government support to a variety of programs.
"We know many low-income Nova Scotians are having a difficult time making ends meet. This is the second year in a row that we have increased supports to help put more money in the pockets of Nova Scotians in need," said Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse.
The province is investing $6 million this year to help low-income Nova Scotians better provide for themselves and their families. This is on top of last year's commitment of $18 million, one of the most significant investments in a decade.
The new supports include:
-- investing an additional $2.5 million to increase the Nova Scotia Child Benefit, helping 24,000 families, and almost twice as many children
-- a $9-per-month increase in the Income Assistance personal allowance to help more than 31,000 adults. This comes on top of last year's $15-per-month increase, the largest boost in a decade
-- increasing the annual Poverty Reduction Credit by over 20 per cent to $250, helping some 14,000 Nova Scotian who are among the most vulnerable
-- increasing the Affordable Living Tax Credit to $255 for an individual adult and to $60 for a dependent child, helping about 240,000 Nova Scotians
For a single parent with two children receiving income assistance, these changes could add up to more than $1,000 extra per year for those not working, and almost $2,300 more a year for those on income assistance with a job.
In addition, the government recently invested $863,000 in enhanced employment support services to help more people on income assistance get training so they can find and keep a job.
Since 2009, government has made other, significant efforts to help families, including increasing minimum wage, adding 250 child care subsidies, building more affordable housing and removing the provincial portion of the HST from home heating, children's shoes, clothing and diapers.
For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/coms
Spring Session Advances Province's PlanMay 17, 2012
The province continued to build on its accomplishments in the spring session of the House of Assembly through further investments in the JobsHere plan to grow the economy, opening more Collaborative Emergency Centres, introducing new ways to make life more affordable and by sticking to its plan to get back to balance by 2013-14.
The fourth session of the 61st General Assembly wrapped up today, May 17. The government introduced 33 bills and the members sat for 34 days.
"We are continuing to build on our plans to make life better for families," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "Government created plans to create good jobs and grow the economy, get back to balance, keep emergency rooms open and help make life more affordable. This session we delivered significant progress in every one of those areas."
-- The province passed legislation to ensure the provincial portion of the HST will be reduced by one point in 2014 and another in 2015.
"Nova Scotians shared the challenge of getting the province back to balance, and they will also share in the benefits of achieving that goal," said Premier Dexter. "This government created a plan to correct the financial situation it inherited, stuck to that plan, and now that discipline is paying off."
-- The province is relocating nearly 100 civil service jobs into New Waterford, Cape Breton, Shelburne, Digby and Truro.
"The province wants to provide good jobs in communities across the province," said Premier Dexter.
-- The province announced that it had committed up to $304 million in loans to Irving as part of the successful $25 billion shipbuilding bid.
"Nova Scotia bid to win. The provincial investment, which represents six per cent of the tax revenue the province expects to receive in return, was crafted to help put the Irving bid in front," said Premier Dexter. "It will mean an additional 11,500 jobs for Nova Scotians and will increase the province's GDP by almost $900 million during peak production years."
-- The province continued to fulfill its commitment to keep emergency rooms open by announcing another Collaborative Emergency Centre in Springhill. Four more will be announced this year.
-- The minister of Health and Wellness announced the province would achieve millions in additional administrative savings by working with district health authorities to merge services and eliminate up to 20 vice president and director positions.
"This government said it would keep emergency rooms open. We're doing that. This government said it would reduce administrative costs. We're doing that," said Premier Dexter.
-- The Department of Health and Wellness released its physician resource plan that will ensure more Nova Scotians have access to doctors and other care providers.
-- The minister of Health and Wellness released a new mental health strategy with 33 actions and a $5.2 million investment this year.
-- The province lowered ambulance fees for those most in need.
Beginning July 1, Nova Scotians living in licensed long-term care facilities or with reduced mobility will benefit from a reduction in ambulance fees. People with low incomes will also be eligible for lower ambulance fees, beginning Sept. 1.
-- The premier announced a new high school for Eastern Passage and a new $10 million state-of-the-art Skilled Trades Centre for Cole Harbour District High School.
-- The province passed new legislation to begin the fight against cyberbullying.
-- The minister of Education announced the doubling of virtual school courses and the expansion of SchoolsPlus into 48 more schools across the province by 2014, giving more students and families access to parenting sessions, employment supports, physical activities and homework clubs.
-- The province invested a further $5.5 million in student assistance to enrich the grant portion of student loans and help fill the gap between available assistance and the actual cost of education.
"Education remains a priority for this government," said Premier Dexter. "Investments this spring in our Kids and Learning First plan ensures that even as enrollment declines rapidly, the province is increasing per student funding in a way that produces even better results."
-- The province doubled the HST rebate for first-time home buyers purchasing new homes, and also announced personal income tax reductions for about 78,000 Nova Scotians.
-- The Affordable Living Tax Credit and the Poverty Reduction Credit will be increased to help reduce the impact of rising prices on everyday needs.
-- For the second year in a row, the Income Assistance Personal Allowance will go up by $9 per month, effective July 1.
"A key part of our plan is helping make life a little better for families," said Premier Dexter. "Changes announced this spring will help to do just that."
-- Early in the session, government announced that for the third year in a row, the province's spending came in below what was estimated at the beginning of the year, an accomplishment not seen since at least 1967.
"Our progress is clear – we are on track to restore sense to the province’s finances and get Nova Scotia back to balance, and this government will continue to move that plan forward to secure a better life for Nova Scotia families."
Some of the other bills introduced and passed during the session will:
-- help Nova Scotians be more informed and better protected when they enter into cellphone contracts
-- modernize how the province's largest public pension plan is governed, setting the framework for a superannuation plan that will operate more independently
-- provide NewPage employees and pensioners options that could lead to better pension benefits
-- strengthen, protect and organize the commercial fishery in Nova Scotia
-- modernize and improve Nova Scotia's family laws to ensure the justice system meets the needs of today's families
-- define support for the arts and culture sector and recognize the role of the artist
-- help community groups, municipalities and the Mi'kmaq preserve traditional use of private lands for communities
-- ensure a clear and transparent review process of the Maritime Link project
-- give property owners access to sales information and improve the property assessment system
-- ensure Nova Scotians are better protected when they purchase a mortgage
-- make it easier and faster to families to deal with estates valued at $25,000 or less
-- officially recognize Tartan Day and incorporate the description of the Nova Scotia tartan in legislation
-- formalize the planned merger of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Dalhousie University, bringing significant new opportunities in agriculture and for the Truro-Bible Hill area
For a complete list of bills passed this session, visit www.NSLegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/status-of-bills.
Province Releases Physician Resource PlanMay 9, 2012
The province is acting to ensure more Nova Scotians have access to doctors and other care providers.
Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald today, May 9, released the Physician Resource Plan, which identifies several ways to improve planning and management of the province's physician workforce to better meet the needs of Nova Scotians.
The plan is part of the government's commitment to provide better care sooner by improving access to doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals, especially in smaller communities.
"Every Nova Scotian should have timely access to a family doctor and primary care," said Ms. MacDonald. "Providing better care sooner means taking action so Nova Scotians have choices beyond visiting an emergency room because they cannot see a doctor. These changes make sense, and will help ensure Nova Scotians have access to the care they need, when and where they need it."
The province released its action plan, Shaping Our Physician Workforce, after reviewing the Physician Resource Plan, prepared by Social Sector Metrics and Health Intelligence Inc.
The report recommends changing the mix and distribution of doctors over time by making more strategic decisions when recruiting and replacing them , and taking action to influence and manage the future supply of physicians to better meet the needs of Nova Scotians. The report also presents a tool to help make better decisions on physician planning.
The province will work to increase access to primary care, improve physician recruitment and retention, provide more accurate and reliable information to patients and influence the number and type of doctors trained.
"It is clear that change is needed," said Ms. MacDonald. "Government now has a tool to help reshape the province's physician workforce over the next several years to better meet the needs of Nova Scotians across the province."
The province's initial actions include commitments to:
-- invest in four new collaborative primary care teams this year in communities of need and provide additional support to existing teams
-- provide additional incentives for doctors practicing in communities of need
-- work with Dalhousie University's medical school to increase the number of family doctors trained in Nova Scotia
-- strengthen efforts to recruit and retain physicians where they are needed most
As part of its efforts to provide better care sooner, government asked for a detailed profile of the province's physician workforce and a forecast of the number, mix and distribution of physicians needed to meet the needs of Nova Scotians over the next 10 years.
Social Sector Metrics worked with an advisory committee that included representatives from the Department of Health and Wellness, Doctors Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University's medical school, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, district health authorities and the IWK. It submitted its report in January.
"As a doctor working in a rural area, I have seen the challenges my patients and their families face accessing care in their communities," said Dr. John Chiasson, president of Doctors Nova Scotia. "Because of the data and information we now have, we're better able to understand the needs of communities. Today marks an important step towards ensuring that Nova Scotians receive the care they need, where they need it."
The province committed to working with physicians and other interested groups, including Doctors Nova Scotia, district health authorities, the IWK and Dalhousie University's medical school to develop other initiatives in response to the report.
"This is the first step in a 10-year plan," said Dr. Preston Smith, Dalhousie medical school's senior associate dean. "This information is important because it will allow us -- the medical school, our teaching hospitals and the province -- to better match physician training and supply with the health care needs of Nova Scotians."
For more information about physician resource planning, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/ShapingPhysicianWorkforce.
Educators, Partners Honoured During Provincial Education Week
April 27, 2012
Teachers, students and education partners from across the province gathered today, April 11, to kick off Education Week in Nova Scotia.
Twenty-three educators and five partners will receive awards for using innovative teaching methods to provide students with the tools to be successful in their studies and beyond graduation. The awards support this year's Education Week theme, Innovative Teaching in the 21st Century.
"Nova Scotia's educators provide students with opportunities to develop a wide range of skills and attitudes to become lifelong learners," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex.
"Thanks to our teachers and education partners, Nova Scotian students are engaged in our changing world in a way that is not only keeping pace but raising the bar."
Celebrated since 1935, Education Week honours teachers and education partners' commitment to their students and subjects. Education Week activities will take place in schools across the province, April 10-16.
"Education Week is a great way to honour teachers and partners who are using innovative teaching practices for the benefit of students," said Natalie Aucoin, Chair of the Provincial Education Week 2011 Committee. "It is imperative that Nova Scotia students continue to develop the skills they need to be successful. Nova Scotia teachers and partners are doing great work to help students reach their goals."
Education Week is a co-operative effort of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations, la Fédération des parents acadiens de la Nouvelle-Écosse, the Association of Nova Scotia Educational Administrators and the Department of Education.
A Message from Denise
March 06, 2012
As your MLA it is important to me that you are aware of the positive things happening in our constituency. As you read this newsletter you will learn that the government’s five year road plan is providing results. Roads that haven’t been paved in over 25 years are now being paved or chip sealed. Catching up on years of road neglect cannot be accomplished overnight, but there is a plan that assess and prioritizes our roads. Remember, our province has 23, 032 kilometers of dirt, sand-sealed and paved roads to maintain and improve!
Government is also making investments to stimulate the economy and create good jobs in the heart of our communities. Within Chester - St. Margaret’s some good examples are the Ross Farm Learning Centre in New Ross and the Cedar Bay Grilling Company in Blandford. The Ross Farm Learning Centre was a ten-year long dream for the Board of Directors and the community. I was delighted that my persistence for funding was realized in November of 2011 with a one-million dollar announcement from our province. The Cedar Bay Grilling Company is a family owned business that produces frozen cedar-planked salmon. This company has been honoured with awards such as the Canadian Grand Prix Award for Healthy Innovation and Originality. Supporting local businesses is the best way for us to do business.
Business sustainability and growth is being supported by government through the lowest business taxes in Nova Scotia in 20 years,
The vibrancy and pride of our local communities shines through at local events and celebrations and I was proud to support the Peggy’s Cove 200th Anniversary celebrations through event funding.
Another exciting event in 2011 was the designation of Five Bridges wilderness lands as part of government’s 12% protected lands program. Congratulations to all those who came together from different communities to work with the government to make this a reality. It is very rewarding to see a vision that started over 10 years ago become successful.
At this time, I want to recognize the extraordinary value of our volunteer firefighters and their families. Throughout the year I attend many fire department events and I am always so proud to personally thank the firefighters for their dedication and to acknowledge their family’s support.
I wish to congratulate the residents of Tancook Island for establishing a fire department. I was pleased to assist the community with the acquisition of a DNR truck to be used as their first fire truck. There are many requests that the constituency office responds to each day, from individual issues to larger community concerns. I encourage you to contact my office with your questions. My assistant, Vicki Perry, is available to help. Due to my schedule, I am in Halifax three days per week; however, Vicki and I review all inquiries daily. Therefore, I am aware that you have contacted us and both Vicki and I work together to best address your inquiry.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Making a difference in our community:
Halifax Regional Municipality
• $15,000 to the Peggy’s Cove 200th Anniversary Committee
• $7,000 to the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association
• $6,600 to the Royal Canadian Legion, Seabright, to upgrade washrooms
• $10,000 to the Queensland Hooked Rug Museum of North America
• $7,000 to the Shatford Home and School Association– Hubbards for trailer connector
• $31,500 to Fernwood Publishing Co. for eligible book titles
• $2,600 to Laura Merrimen for her second album
• $40,000 to the Hubbards Waterfront Development Corporation
• $21 million in capital road projects in Chester–St. Margaret’s
• $124,000 investment in the upcoming DeGarth home restoration in Peggy’s Cove
• $ Priceless: the addition of the Five Bridges Lake wilderness area towards the goal of 12% wilderness preservation
Making a difference in our community:
Municipality of the District of Chester
• $1,000,000 in funding for the Ross Farm Learning Centre
• Acquired a Department of Natural Resources truck for the Tancook Island fire department
• $140,000 to the Royal Canadian Legion, New Ross, towards construction of a new legion / community centre
• $5,840 to the Chester Theatre Council for cultural activities and an after-school acting program
• $5,000 Age-Friendly Community Grant to the Municipality of Chester to develop an action plan to meet seniors’ community needs
• $16,301 to the Chester Basin Fire Department
• $13,500 to the New Ross Fire Commission for personal protective equipment
• $2,000 to the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department
• $17,750 to Ross Farm Museum and the Chester Heritage Society
• $4,850 to the Chester Muncipal Heritage Society
• $5,000 to the Cookville–Chester Municipal Crime Prevention Association
• $1,130 to the Chester Kiddie Academy for repair and renovations
• $2,000 to the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department
• $3,200 to the Blandford Seasiders Senior Citizen Club
• $9,680 to the Royal Canadian Legion, Chester, for roof repair
• $3,490 to Chester and Area Family Resource Centre
• $3,880 to Chester Theatre Council
• $600 to Chester Arts Centre Association
• $500 to New Ross Regional Development Society
• $7,000 to the Blandford & Area Fire Department
• $10,000 to the Municipality of Chester Transportation Society/Community Wheels
• $8,070 to support the Forties Community Centre
Hunter Education Course Goes Online
February 27, 2012
Nova Scotians who want to take up hunting can now go online to take the required hunter education course. The interactive course provides improved training, greater convenience, and is easier to follow.
"Government is helping new hunters by modernizing the way safe hunting practices are taught," said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. "This online course delivers a better education product in a more accessible way."
Until now, new hunters were required to study a course manual posted online and travel to a Department of Natural Resources regional office to write course tests in person, or take the course and tests in a classroom setting. The process is made simpler by the web-based, interactive course and tests that are completed and submitted online. A new hunter taking the online course must appear in person at a government office only when writing the final exam.
The online course and a description of other changes affecting new hunters are available at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/hunt .
The online course is for ages 14 and up. It has interactive exercises with animated graphics, audio, and program memory that tracks student progress, allowing for stops and starts so students can study at their own speed. Classroom courses will be required for 12- and 13 year-old students and will continue to be an option for hunters who prefer that method of learning.
Hunters can now also pay for and obtain their Nova Scotia wildlife resources card online or through phone options. The card certifies that the hunter successfully completed the hunter education course and allows them to apply for a hunting licence. The hunter must also have a federally-regulated licence to acquire and use a firearm. The fee for the wildlife resources card is $7.14.
A fee of $25 for the online hunter education course will go to huntercourse.com, the company contracted by the Department of Natural Resources to provide the course.
The improvements in hunter education complement a course for crossbow users launched in 2009.
$135 Thousand for Trailhead Shelter
January 30, 2012
Last year, Cobequid Trail Consulting (CTC) was granted $136,200 by the provincial and federal Governments, through the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program (CNSIP), for a tender to build a walking trail in Graves Island Provincial Park. Since then, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has constructed a new trailhead shelter tucked into a clear-ing, under the trees, on the west side of the island, at the base of the hill.
The trailhead shelter is an "anchor point" for a multitude of recreational opportunities including year round coastal walking opportunities and complementary winter opportunities (pending snow cover) like cross country skiing, snow shoeing and sledding.
The structure is large enough for group use and houses picnic tables and a wood-stove, making it usable year round. We would like to see this new facility used by the community, the municipality, schools, senior and community groups.
We encourage anyone who would like to use it to call Alan White at the DNR Lunenburg office, at 634-7514.
Back to Balance: Sir John A MacDonald High School
January 23, 2012
As a part of the Back to Balance plan, our government has created three tools to work with:
1. Reduce the amount of money spent on programs and service.
2. Increase the amount of money taken in through taxes, fees, and other sources.
3. Invest money to grow the economy over the long term.
The problem can't be fixed by one approach alone. A sustainable solution will require a combination of measures in all three areas.
This is why public engagement has been such an essential part of our financial plan. Over the past two years, your Finance Minister, Graham Steele, has undertaken the most extensive financial consultation in the province's history. Minister Steele believes deeply in the collective wisdom of Nova Scotians and listening to the largest audience possible in order to find where the consensus lay. The "Back to Balance" tours have been very rewarding and the results have formed the backbone of our last two budgets and the four year Back to Balance plan. One of the difficulties with these tours is that not everyone is able to attend when a public consultation is happening in their area. Therefore not everyone’s opinions are being taken into consideration. So the Department of Finance has created an online budget tool that allows all Nova Scotians, regardless of where they live, to work with the provincial budget in groups, as families or as individuals, and tell their government about their ideas what will get us back to balance.
As an MLA I am always finding ways to get into the community and talk to my constituents, answer their questions and listen to their concerns. I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to take Back to Balance into a class room of Grade 12 Political Science students at Sir John A MacDonald, to hear their thoughts about our provincial budget plan.
I ask you to join me, as those students did, in participating in this collaborative approach to getting our province’s finances Back to Balance.
Go to www.BackToBalance.ca
Sit in the driver’s seat. Balance the budget for yourself. Let us know what your ideas are for continuing the hard work of getting us back on track. We need those ideas – because they are your ideas. Let us all work together to build the province of our dreams.
Funding Will Help Purchase Lands for Protection
November 21, 2011
The province is investing $6.5 million to purchase land so it can be protected in the future.
Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse made the announcement on behalf of Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau, today, Nov. 21, as part of the province's new capital plan to make life better for families.
"This investment will help us to protect outstanding natural lands and the plants and animals that rely on them for survival," said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. "It's important to preserve Nova Scotia's natural spaces for our children and grandchildren to use and enjoy well into the future."
This is the second time in Nova Scotia's history that government is releasing some details of its capital plan in advance of the spring budget. This sends a clear signal of what the province intends to do in the coming year.
The $6.5 million will be available in the 2012-13 fiscal year to go toward purchasing land for legal protection in the future. The land will be chosen based on its ecological and environmental importance.
Nova Scotia has a legislated goal to legally protect 12 per cent of its land by 2015. Consultation on potential protected areas is currently underway, and the public is invited to comment by February 10, 2012.
For more information on the 12 per cent goal and protected areas in Nova Scotia, visit http://gov.ns.ca/nse/12percent/.
The province's new capital plan will invest millions of dollars to make life better for families. It will create good jobs, grow the economy, and provide better health care for all Nova Scotians. The capital plan invests in projects that are most important to Nova Scotians like emergency rooms, schools, roads, hospital equipment and the environment.
Ross Farm Museum to Benefit from New Learning Centre
October 29, 2011
Residents and visitors to New Ross will benefit from the enhanced programs and experiences of a new learning centre, announced today, Oct. 29.
The province, through the Tangible Capital Asset Program, will provide $1 million to help build the centre at Ross Farm Museum. The province is matching $1 million in funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency which was announced in March 2010 as part of the Innovative Communities Fund.
The community, through the New Ross District Museum Society, will contribute $235,000 to the project. The Municipality of the District of Chester will contribute $100,000 of that amount. The total cost to build the learning centre will be $2.35 million.
"Supporting the learning centre project means that Ross Farm Museum will be able to offer enhanced interpretive programs and educational experiences for visitors and members of the community," said Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Minister of Community Services on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson.
"This new facility will help to make life better for families by promoting life-long learning opportunities and maintaining Ross Farm Museum as an integral part of the provincial museum system."
"In March of 2010, our government announced $1-million in support of the Ross Farm Museum," said Gerald Keddy, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "It is great to see this project moving forward as the new learning centre will ensure that the museum has the tools and space needed to continue building a historic-rural adventure right here in New Ross."
The first phase will be a topographic survey. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will manage the construction work.
"With the support of all levels of government and the community, we will be able to offer our visitors a unique experience through what will become a new centre of excellence for heritage," said Valerie White, president of the board of trustees for the New Ross District Museum Society. "This will be a wonderful showcase for New Ross and Nova Scotia."
Construction is expected to begin in the spring.
More Valuable Land Protected
October 25th, 2011
The province is designating Five Bridge Lakes as a wilderness area so that generations of Nova Scotians can enjoy nature just minutes away from the city.
Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau and Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker made the announcement today, Oct. 25, at a community celebration in Tantallon.
"Wilderness areas protect our natural spaces, and the wildlife within them," said Mr. Belliveau. "With the designation of this wilderness area, families can continue to participate in outdoor activities like hiking, running, canoeing and fishing, close to the city."
Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area is located between Highway 103 and 333, near Halifax. It includes more than 8,000 hectares of forest barrens and lakes, and a small population of endangered mainland moose.
"Protecting biodiversity and expanding the recovery of species at risk are important to Nova Scotians and are key objectives of our natural resources strategy," said Mr. Parker.
"This wilderness area designation is the result of many years of collaboration by more than 30 community groups," said Tom Musial, on behalf of the Chebucto Wilderness Coalition. "Today is not just a celebration of protecting this important part of the province, it's a celebration of what communities can accomplish when we have a shared vision."
Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area will contribute to the province's goal to legally protect 12 per cent of its land by 2015. For more information visit gov.ns.ca/nse/12percent .
Grand Opening of the Bonny Lee Farm Bark Mulch Manufacturing Facility
September 24, 2011
Staff and participants of Bonny Lee Farm will benefit from a recent investment and expansion to the Bulk Mulch Manufacturing Facility.
The province has invested more than $75,000 in the expansion of the facility, allowing them to grow and to continue making a difference in the community.
This project supports a 5,000 square foot addition o the facility, which will allow client to increase production output and engage additional workers with disabilities.
Bonny Lee Farm helps make the lives of people with disabilities rich and full. The staff there recognize the potential in everyone and help participants to reach that potential.
“Ultimately, that's the goal of Community Services,” said Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Minister of Community Services, during the opening of the new facility. “Everything we do aims to help Nova Scotians become the best they can be. We are working hard to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to live more meaning lives and give them the chance to participate in programs that will help them become more independent and contribute to their communities.”
Congratulations to Bonny Lee Farm, staff and participants.
Campaign School Helps Women Enter Politics
September 9, 2011
The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women is holding its sixth Campaign School for Women from Oct. 14 to 16.
It will offer a series of workshops to help women interested in running for political office get a realistic look at what it takes to participate in a campaign.
"Women often face unique challenges when running for political office," said Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. "If we're to increase the number of women in leadership positions, we need to provide all women the support and information they need to successfully engage in the political process."
More than half of Nova Scotia's population is female, yet women make up only 24 per cent of town and city councillors, 23 per cent of MLAs, and nine per cent of MPs.
"We really encourage women to take on the challenge of political leadership," said Stephanie MacInnis-Langley, executive director of the advisory council. "The campaign school is one way we can motivate more women to participate in politics by providing them with good information from women who have gone through the campaign process themselves."
The non-partisan Campaign School for Women will be held at Mount Saint Vincent University and is open to any Nova Scotia women interested in running for political office. Registration runs until Oct. 4. For more details and to register go to women.gov.ns.ca .
The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women is committed to increasing the participation of women in decisions that affect their lives, families and communities. One way women can realize equality, inclusion and empowerment is through direct political involvement.
Yarmouth Life Skills Benefits from Provincial Investment
August 10, 2011
Yarmouth Life Skills for Disabled Adults will continue working to improve the lives of people with disabilities by helping them live and work with dignity.
Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse announced today, Aug. 10, that the province will provide $200,000 annually to Yarmouth Life Skills to deliver programming that promotes inclusion, independence and choice.
"Yarmouth Life Skills offers participants a mix of programs and services that recognize their strengths and interests," said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. "This funding ensures participants can continue to be involved in this wonderful program that makes such a difference in their lives and the lives of their families."
Yarmouth Life Skills provides a variety of activities for persons with disabilities, including supportive employment, skills training and vocational programming.
"We're thrilled with this investment that will give our participants more opportunity to grow," said Sherry Robertson, Yarmouth Life Skills' executive director. "We've been working hard to give participants every possible opportunity and we're grateful to everyone who has supported us over the years."
This investment is one of several in a series of recent improvements to expand services for Nova Scotians with disabilities. Government has increased investments in such programs by $19 million since 2009, bringing the annual budget to nearly $255 million.
Route Chosen for St. Margaret's Bay Interchange and Connector
August 4, 2011
A route that will provide the safest intersection has been chosen for the new St. Margaret's Bay Interchange and Connector between exits 5 and 6 on Highway 103 in Halifax Regional Municipality. The route will also save the most time for motorists and provide the quickest route for emergency response organizations.
The announcement was made today, Aug. 4, by Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks.
The new road and connector was chosen from six possible options that were shared with residents and interested parties through an open house this past winter.
The route chosen is Option 3B, which is east of Kieley Lake to Ingramport, with a roundabout close to St. Margaret's Bay Road.
"This option was the one that is in the best interests of the community," said Mr. Estabrooks. "Developing this route will have the least impact on the environment, while improving existing road safety conditions and serving the most people from St. Margaret's Bay Road."
The location will affect one house. Staff from the department have begun discussions with the landowner to move the house to another location.
"We are very pleased that a connector and interchange will be constructed between exits 5 and 6 on the 103, said Jeff Fraser, director of operations, Emergency Health Services. "This will make a positive impact on emergency health service's response for the communities in the area."
The interchange and connector road are part of a multi-year Highway 103 twinning project and are included in the government's Five Year Highway Improvement Plan.
Planning and engineering work will continue, with construction slated to begin in 2014. The estimated cost of this project is $10-12 million.
The report on the route is available online at gov.ns.ca/tran/highways/hwy103.asp .
Review Ordered for South Shore Regional School Board
August 4, 2011
Education Minister Ramona Jennex today, Aug. 4, ordered a performance review of the South Shore Regional School Board.
This review comes as a response to serious concerns that have come to light about events and actions of some board members before the March 30 meeting on school reviews.
Some board members have been accused of trying to derail an open discussion on 12 schools identified for review before the public meeting.
This has raised broader questions about the board's ability to function effectively and to adhere to sound decision-making practices.
"I consider this to be an extremely serious situation," said Ms. Jennex. "I am concerned that the events and the conduct of some members may have damaged the integrity of the school board and the public's confidence in the board."
The board passed motions in July publicly apologizing for its lack of process, and invited the minister to conduct a review or audit of the board.
"It is critically important that I, and the public, have confidence that their board is being open, transparent and making decisions in the best interests of students," Ms. Jennex said.
The terms of reference will be finalized over the next couple of weeks and an independent reviewer will conduct the comprehensive performance review.
Premier Congratulates Irving, Endorses Shipbuilding Bid
July 21, 2011
Nova Scotia is built to build and Irving Shipbuilding is ready to build Canada’s fleet.
Premier Darrell Dexter congratulated Irving Shipbuilding, July 21, as the company submitted its official bid for the $30 billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
“Irving Shipbuilding has demonstrated throughout the bid process that it has the experience and ability to build Canada’s ships. Our bid is Canada’s bid,” said Premier Dexter. “The federal government needs a dependable, capable partner in this project, and Irving is it. This bid submission has my complete support, on behalf of all Nova Scotians.”
The bid received unanimous support from all three parties in the legislature. More than 5,000 people across Canada have already shown their support for Nova Scotia’s bid online, from Vancouver B.C., to Iqaluit, Fort McMurray, to Corner Brook.
“I want to thank the leaders and organizations within the Ships Start Here partnership for their united support in demonstrating to the entire country that there simply is no better place in Canada to build ships than in Nova Scotia.”
Irving has submitted a clear plan to build the fleet, one that includes a commitment from the Nova Scotia Community College to ensure there is a trained, qualified workforce. The province has also committed to invest in infrastructure and training, details of which will be announced should Irving win one of the two available contracts.
“Our bid would not have been possible without the incredible support and collaboration with the Province of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Auto Workers-Marine Workers Federation Local 1, the numerous provincial and regional business community organizations and members, as well as many of our suppliers and strategic partners,” said Jim Irving, CEO, Irving Shipbuilding.
“Irving Shipbuilding looks forward to the continuation and completion of the competitive process. The men and women of Irving Shipbuilding stand ready for Canada today.”
A successful bid to build the combat vessels could mean an additional 11,500 jobs for Nova Scotians. Shipbuilding in Nova Scotia would drive benefits to all parts of Canada – an advantage unique to Nova Scotia’s bid. If Nova Scotia is selected, the Canadian economy is expected to grow by $1.5 billion, and 4,500 jobs will be created outside of Nova Scotia.
“A win would mean an entirely new generation of shipbuilders in Nova Scotia, a revitalized economy for the province, and important spin-offs across the country,” said Premier Dexter.
Halifax Shipyard has been in operation since 1889. Irving Shipbuilding has built tugboats and offshore supply vessels for clients at home and around the world, as well as 80 per cent of Canada’s current surface combatant fleet.