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NS Holds Second Responsible Gaming Awareness Week

first_imgN.S. GAMING CORP.–N.S. Holds Second Responsible Gaming AwarenessWeek Nova Scotians are being reminded to be responsible when playinggames of chance. Nova Scotia’s Responsible Gaming Awareness Week,Oct. 19-25, has the theme Know Your Limits, Play Responsibly, andits focus is to educate people and heighten awareness about theimportance of playing games of chance responsibly. The main message of this year’s Responsible Gaming Awareness Weekis, “Part of playing responsibly is knowing you can’t control thegame.” The concept of randomness and odds are very important forplayers to understand and remember when playing games of chance. Throughout the week, workshops will be held so gaming employeescan learn about initiatives in other jurisdictions. They willalso learn about common myths held by some players and creativeways to dispel them. There will also be general awareness activities for the publicsuch as mall displays, newspaper and cable TV guideadvertisements. Ticket and video lottery retailers will alsodistribute responsible gaming information to their customers. Responsible Gaming Awareness Week is a collaborative effort ofthe Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, the Office of HealthPromotion, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Casino Nova Scotia,ticket and video lottery retailers. Its purpose is to highlightthe importance of playing games of chance responsibly through acombination of awareness and educational activities.last_img read more

Fees Adjusted To Preserve Services

first_imgMany provincial fees are going up in Nova Scotia to reflectchanges in operating and service delivery costs. Most changestake effect on Thursday, April 1; a few changes will come intoeffect on May 1. In all, there will be about 500 fee changes, adding more than $12million to provincial revenues. “We’re increasing fees because it’s costing us more to deliverservices,” said Minister of Finance Peter Christie. “Increasingfees reduces the pressure to reduce services.” Most increases will be limited to 6.5 per cent, reflectingchanges in the cost of delivering services since the lastadjustments in 2002. “A few fees are increasing more than 6.5 per cent to moreaccurately reflect the true cost of the service,” said Mr.Christie. Overall program expenses rose 7.4 per cent between 2001 and 2003.During those two years, health expenditures alone are up morethan 14 per cent. “After delivering balanced budgets in 2002 and 2003, and thenlowering taxes this year, Ottawa cut our transfer payments by$180 million,” said Mr. Christie. “It’s impossible to take thatbig a hit without adjusting our fees and services. “We had hoped to see more health-care money in the federalbudget, but it was not there,” added Mr. Christie. “Clearly,Ottawa has a different priority list than most Nova Scotians.” Some extraordinary pressures strained the province’s financesduring the past year. These include the spring floods, HurricaneJuan and the winter blizzards. Out-of-province calamities such asthe BSE crisis affected the province, too. Some increases will be delayed until May 1 because ofdepartmental notification policies. For example, renewal noticesfor vehicle registrations that expire on April 30 were alreadymailed. A list of all the announced fee changes is available on thewebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/finance/fees/ .last_img read more

Province Supports Apple Valley Foods Expansion

first_imgThe Nova Scotia government is helping a Kentville manufacturer of pie products to expand and create up to 35 new jobs. The Office of Economic Development will provide an innovation incentive of $1.5 million to Apple Valley Foods Incorporated to support a five-year expansion planned by the agri-food company between 2005 and 2010, Economic Development Minister Ernest Fage announced today, Aug. 11. “The expansion will upgrade the facility to improve efficiency so Apple Valley increases export sales and creates new jobs,” said Mr. Fage. “Building up export capacity creates strong jobs and strong communities in rural Nova Scotia,” he added. Since opening in 2000, Apple Valley has created 115 jobs. The company produces more than 60,000 pies a day for Canadian and American markets. With the planned expansion, sales are expected to increase by 50 per cent and the number of jobs to increase to 150 by 2010. “The province’s financial support allows our company to purchase new equipment and expand our facilities to increase our manufacturing capability, creating new opportunities in the Annapolis Valley,” said company president Jeff Sarsfield. “It increases our ability to export product and create new jobs for Nova Scotians.” The innovation incentive will amount to $750,000 in 2005-06 and $750,000 in 2006-07. “We are delighted the province is helping to build Nova Scotia’s potential as a manufacturer and exporter of value-added food products,” said Waldo Walsh, president of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. “This investment not only helps Apple Valley and its workforce, it also supports the producers who supply the plant from the agri-food sector, which is such an important generator of direct and indirect jobs in rural communities.” The Sarsfield family has majority ownership of Apple Valley Foods Incorporated. The remainder of the firm is held by American partner Harlan Bakeries Inc. of Indianapolis, Ind.last_img read more

Creatures of the Night at the Museum of Natural History

first_imgYoungsters from across the province are being invited to go on the prowl this weekend to find out what creatures come out after dark at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax. Friday, Oct. 28, is a school in-service day and the beginning of a three-day weekend for children. “We’ve planned lots of fun things for kids to do on their days off,” says museum manager Janet Maltby. “We truly enjoy opportunities to share fascinating aspects of nature and display unique museum specimens which are often not on public display.” Youngsters will have to follow riddle clues to safely navigate their way through the museum and will discover creepy facts about animals and plant life that only come out or are enhanced at night. Some explorers may encounter, and have to escape from, a large creature during their prowl. Nocturnal sounds — including the hooting of owls, howling of wolves, creaking of trees and other noises of unseen things at night — will also follow visitors as they make their way through the galleries. As part of this program, museum staff will dissect owl pellets, the non-digested and regurgitated food parts of what an owl has eaten during its nocturnal hunt. Other creepy activities include Cabinets of Curiosities in which visitors can see unique museum specimens such as a mummified rat, swordfish eyeball, green snakes with stomach contents and various skulls. Young visitors will also have an opportunity to make their own masks of a creature of the night. Creatures of the Night takes place on Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission will be charged. Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite creature of the night. The Museum of Natural History is located at 1747 Summer St., in Halifax. For information call 902-424-3563 or visit the website at nature.museum.gov.ns.ca read more

Celebrating 22 Years of Export Achievement Call For Nominations

first_imgIt’s time to name names and recognize Nova Scotia’s outstanding exporters. Nova Scotians are being invited to nominate innovative, creative and resourceful export-related businesses for the 22nd annual Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards. Seven Nova Scotia companies will be recognized for their skill and dedication through outstanding exporting achievements at the annual exporter-recognition event, being held at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax on Thursday, May 18. The awards are designed to honour exporters’ growth, innovation, partnerships and business volume and to recognize the contributions that exporters make to Nova Scotia’s economy. All award winners will be featured in promotional brochures, newspaper advertising and video presentations, as well as on cable television and several websites. Winning companies will receive the 2006 Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards logo to use for promotional purposes. A unique, handcrafted award is presented to each winner at the award ceremony. Past winners say they have gained lasting and significant recognition as a result of winning an Export Achievement Award, making it an important marketing tool that helps raise the company’s profile at home, attracts new foreign customers and boosts employee morale. “The fact that we’re exporting around the world and that we’re getting attention in magazines and newspapers creates a tremendous sense of pride for our customers here,” said Marlon Lewis, CEO of Satlantic, winner of the Export Growth through Partnership Award, 2005. “Our export strategy is a key element of our business success,” said Tony LaPierre, president of Geoprojects Canada Limited, recipient of the Export Growth through New Markets Award in 2005. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, Feb. 28. For more information on the awards and for nomination applications see the website at www.exportachievementawards.com . Applications are also available by calling Nova Scotia Business Inc. at 902-424-6814. The Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards are presented by Nova Scotia Business Inc., the province’s business development agency. The private sector-led agency works to attract new businesses to the province and help those already in Nova Scotia expand through services such as export development and financing.last_img read more

Heritage Month Honours Leading Ladies

first_imgLeading ladies is the perfect description for the six women being honoured this year for African Heritage Month. Edith Cromwell, Annaopolis Co.; Ada Fells, Yarmouth, Co.; Geraldine White, Amherst; Beryl Braithwaite, Sydney; May Sheppard, Halifax; and Willena Jones, Truro; have made great contributions to the success of their communities and its members. Mrs. Cromwell, Mrs. Fells and Mrs. White were honoured posthumously. Lasting legacies are opportunities that exist because of their hard work and dedication. Teachers, activists, youth group leaders, volunteers and choir members; these Leading Ladies have made inroads in numerous aspects of community living. One honouree, Edith Cromwell, last year described her experience as a young teacher in Annapolis County. “Being a teacher back then, in Inglewood, it wasn’t easy,” she said. “I had only the bare minimum in the classroom – desks, chalk and a chalkboard. The students would pass around books and had to share their texts. We didn’t even have a library.” After decades of teaching with the most basic of necessities, Mrs. Cromwell successfully lobbied to have her students bused to Bridgetown where they could reap the advantages the town school had to offer, and no longer had to share meagre supplies. “The kids travelled into the city in a bus that was converted from an old hearse. These kids from Inglewood have become scientists, nurses and meteorologists, and live and work all over the world,” she said. “It’s my biggest accomplishment and I’m very proud of it. After that, I didn’t need to teach anymore.” Mrs. Cromwell, and the other five women, are featured on the colourful 2010 African Heritage Month commemorative poster, complete with a photo and brief biography. Their photos are also prominently displayed on event brochures, giving all Nova Scotians an opportunity to learn the stories of these unsung matriarchs. The women were also honoured during the provincial launch of African Heritage Month at Province House’s red chamber on Wednesday, Jan. 27. “Leading Ladies, Lasting Legacies tells the story of six women from across Nova Scotia who were, or are, outstanding figures in their communities,” says African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Percy Paris. “Each have, in their own unique way, made great contributions to all African Nova Scotians.” Head of the African Nova Scotian North-Central Network, Crystal States, agrees. “These women don’t toot their own horns, but have done a lot of little things that have made a difference to the bigger picture,” Ms. States says. “They are just a small example of the many great and deserving community women.” Another special feature at the launch, was a performance by talented spoken word artist and Halifax Regional Municipality poet laureate Shauntay Grant, who wrote a piece especially for the occasion. Ms. Grant explains that the profiled matriarchs represent all African Nova Scotian women who have provided their children with constant love, support and encouragement, often sacrificing themselves for the betterment of their community. “When we recognize our mothers, we’re really saying thank you. I’m not sure if I can fully express my overwhelming gratitude in one poem.” The contributions of this year’s six honourees make up only a small fraction of the largely untold stories of the province’s African Nova Scotian matriarchs. Although some might shrug off the title of heroine and dismiss the importance of their achievements, Ms. States champions their accomplishments. “There is a legacy of success because of the efforts of these women,” she says. For more on African Heritage Month including information, photos and biographies of the Leading Ladies, visit www.gov.ns.ca/ansa/specialevents.asp . -30-last_img read more

Canada Games Reveals Medal Design

first_imgIn February 2011, more than 1,000 young athletes will take home a memorable and unique souvenir of their accomplishment at the Canada Games in Nova Scotia: a gold, silver or bronze medal. The winning design, by Halifax university students Marlon Solis and Amber Whyley, was revealed today, Aug. 16. The unveiling took place at Saint Mary’s University, where the designers studied marketing together and where 122 medals will be awarded to Games athletes competing in judo and squash. Games medalists can take pride in knowing that the medals were designed by two of their peers who, like them, competed to be the best. More than 90 design submissions were received in an open design competition. Entrants were asked to reflect the unique nature, theme, culture and spirit of the 2011 Canada Games and Nova Scotia. The distinctive shape of the medal represents the beauty of the province, which has been shaped by the sea. Other prominent design features include a ribbon loop inspired by the gates of the Halifax Public Gardens, and an etched theme depicting interlocking athletic figures in motion to convey athletic spirit, unity and diversity. Games medals will be produced by Charm Diamond Centres who also fabricated the medals for the 2003 Games in Bathurst, New Brunswick and the 2001 Games in London, Ontario. More information on the medal design and designers, including high-res images, a video and a French transcript of the video can be found at http://canadagames2011.ca/medals . The 2011 Canada Winter Games will be the largest multi-sport event held in Nova Scotia and Halifax’s first Canada Winter Games. From Feb. 11 to 27, 2011, more than 2,700 athletes will compete in more than 20 sports, attracting thousands of visitors, VIPs, officials and media. Held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the Canada Games are a key event in the development of Canada’s young athletes, producing the next generation of national, international and Olympic champions.last_img read more

Creative Nova Scotia Gala Tickets Available Online

first_img FOR BROADCAST: For the first time tickets for the Creative Nova Scotia Awards gala are available for online purchase. The annual event celebrates the achievements of Nova Scotia’s artists and is being presented by the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council on October 28th in Halifax. Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson says Nova Scotia’s artists are making life better for families across the province by pursuing their creative dreams and the gala is a chance to recognize their contributions. Tickets are available at w-w-w dot creative nova scotia dot com. -30- Nova Scotians can celebrate the achievements of the province’s artists and their contributions to growing the economy by attending the sixth annual Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala. For the first time, tickets to this year’s gala are available for purchase online at www.creativenovascotia.com. The gala takes place Oct. 28 at the Cunard Centre in Halifax and is presented by the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council. “Everyday Nova Scotia’s artists add to the quality of life in our communities by pursuing their creative dreams,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson. “The gala is a chance to experience the energy of our arts and culture community and recognize their contributions to making life better for families across the province.” Entertainment for the event will be announced in the near future and will showcase the talents of a range of young and established Nova Scotia artists. Nova Scotia’s most important arts and culture prizes will be handed out at the gala, including the Portia White Prize, the Prix Grand-Pré and the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, which recognizes individual artistic achievement. The contributions of long-time artists will be celebrated with the Established Artists Recognition Awards. Community commitment to the value of arts and culture will be celebrated with the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award. Information about the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award is available at www.nsmasterworks.ca. Details about provincial arts prizes can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/tch/culture_prizes.asp.last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Pictou County

first_imgPICTOU COUNTY: Route 245, Shore Road Route 245 will be closed east of Civic No. 1076 Shore Rd., Merigomish, for cross-culvert replacement from Thursday, Sept. 15 until Wednesday, Sept. 21. Traffic traveling east of Civic No. 1076 will have to follow the detour route at Exit 27 of the Trans-Canada Highway 104, via, Trunk 4, via Piedmont Valley Road, via Brown’s Mill Road to Route 245. Motorists are advised to use caution through the construction zone. Local Area Office: 902-752-6224 -30-last_img read more

First Session of 62nd General Assembly Speech from the Throne

first_img On October 8th, Nova Scotians voted for change and that change is underway. It means a new beginning for our province: a new beginning for all Nova Scotians. Change begins with respecting Nova Scotians. Change begins with putting Nova Scotians first, from one end of the province to the other. Change begins with trust — our government’s trust in its citizens and their trust in government. My government will be diligent in its desire to bring governance back to the people. Elected representatives are the citizens’ trustees, but that does not mean Nova Scotians should be excluded from the decision-making processes. Democracy can only thrive when citizens are included in governing our great province. This begins with an open and accountable government. This begins with respecting Nova Scotians’ tax dollars. This begins with creating a province where education and health care are recognized as requirements for societal well-being. But none of this begins by leaving any Nova Scotian behind. Our government has started to implement the mandate for change that Nova Scotians asked for in October. Our government — with the help of all Nova Scotians — will continue that change. God bless Nova Scotia. God bless Canada. God save the Queen. An Act to Amend Chapter 155 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Executive Council Act and Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Service Act An Act to Ensure Accountability in Providing Economic Development Assistance in Nova Scotia An Act to Amend Chapter 1 (1992 Supplement) of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the House of Assembly Act An Act to Amend Chapter 7 of the Acts of 1996, the Occupational Health and Safety Act An Act to Amend Chapter 475 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Trade Union Act An Act to Establish a Holiday in February An Act to Amend Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2004, the Electricity Act, Respecting the Sale of Renewable Electricity An Act to Amend Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Service Act, Respecting the Office of Communications Nova Scotia An Act to Ban the Importation of Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater An Act to Amend Chapter 244 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Justices of the Peace Act, and Chapter 238 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Provincial Court Act The following is the speech from the throne read today, November 28, 2013, by Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant at the resumption of the first session of the 62st General Assembly of Nova Scotia: PUTTING NOVA SCOTIANS FIRST It is my great honour and privilege to welcome you to the First Session of the 62nd General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature. For some of you, it’s a “Welcome back.” For others, this is one of the first opportunities you’ve had to take your place in this chamber. For all, it is an occasion to be proud of, an occasion to be enjoyed by you, your families, and those who worked so diligently in your name. Congratulations and best wishes. THE 2013 PROVINCIAL ELECTION In October of 2013, Nova Scotians voted for change. Government is deeply aware of the confidence that has been placed in its program for change, and will work with unwavering purpose to achieve and implement its plan on behalf of all Nova Scotians. Elections are a fundamental element of a proud and mature democracy, and the willingness of so many citizens to engage in the public affairs of our province is a source of confidence and optimism in Nova Scotia’s future. However, the reluctance of many others to participate in the electoral process is a source of real concern. During the course of my government’s mandate, steps will be taken to address this erosion in voter participation. These steps will be based on engaging with Nova Scotians in a discussion about our electoral process. In keeping with that goal, government understands the need to strive for a collegial and co-operative tone in the Legislative Assembly. It is important for all members to remember that initiatives should not be rejected solely on the basis of source. Of course, vigorous and informed debate is both expected and desired. In essence, my government believes that open and decorous debate will contribute to enhanced public trust in the Legislative Assembly. In turn, my government is confident that such constructive debates will be an important contributing factor for increasing the participation of Nova Scotians in the electoral process. GOVERNMENT’S STRATEGIC PRIORITIES My government believes in the determination and optimism of Nova Scotians. Therefore, my government will provide strong, clear leadership and a path forward that will be built upon the idea of harnessing the potential of our province and its people. Nova Scotians are working hard — to create jobs, to find solutions, to make life better in their own communities. But for too long, the day-to-day priorities of Nova Scotians have been neglected in many areas of our province’s affairs. My government will seek to redefine its role and relationship with Nova Scotians, and it will do so by always placing the needs and aspirations of citizens at the foundation of its decision-making. The following priorities will guide my government: Within government’s statutory authority over the provision of electricity, specific steps will be taken to ensure true consumer choice and fairness. The needs of Nova Scotia’s entrepreneurs will be met through appropriate forms of assistance, and there will be enhanced support for employee training and skills development. A re-investment in our school system will ensure that every student and educator has access to the classroom supports and modern educational curriculum required to excel in a rapidly changing world. Health care will be realigned to place the needs of patients, families, and individuals first. Investments will be made in our communities so that seniors, people with disabilities, and those in need get the services and care they require. This realignment of government’s underlying strategic priorities will require a great deal of thought, effort, and deliberate action. In pursuit of these strategic objectives, my government will rely on the lessons of the past and the hard-won successes that have guided us through our long and distinguished history as a province. MATTERS OF RECOGNITION In keeping with that sentiment, I want to recognize the valued contributions of a number of Nova Scotians who have passed since I last had the opportunity to address this chamber. Builders and entrepreneurs Ben McCrea and James Philip Dumaresq — their impacts on the skylines, streetscapes, and economy of our province continue to this day. Artists Dr. Alex Colville and Rita MacNeil, two of Nova Scotia’s most distinguished and celebrated cultural icons — while their canvases were distinct, their individual works tugged at our very identity and shaped how the world saw us and how we saw the world. Public servants Rose Marie Abraham, Dr. J. Clair Callaghan, Bertha Mantley, Dr. Vincent Audain, and The Hon. Malachi Jones — their lives and careers were dedicated to improving the well-being of our institutions, our communities, and our people. Civil rights champion and social activist Dr. Burnley (Rocky) Jones — like no other, he lent his voice to those who could not be heard, and sought justice for those long deprived. Legislator and journalist The Hon. Jane Purves — a candid and passionate member of this House, she courageously and publicly fought her own personal battles and those of her constituents. Jane always spoke honestly and openly with the public interest at heart, even when she knew it wouldn’t be popular. This was a group of remarkable Nova Scotians. Their passing is a matter of great sadness; yet simultaneously, the memory of their contributions — the legacies they have left to our province — will be a source of enduring pride for all of us. Each understood the capacity and promise of change, and that is the perspective we must embrace and maintain as we navigate this province’s fundamental shift in direction. RESPECT FOR NOVA SCOTIANS Our country was founded as a strong and vibrant liberal democracy. It is a history that makes us all proud, especially here in Nova Scotia — one of the first four provinces to join Confederation. However, we must keep pace with the expectations of citizens, and institutions must evolve in tandem with legitimate expectations. Transparency and accountability are pillars of our democracy; both must be continually protected and improved. This is why my government will: immediately begin a full and independent review of MLA salaries and benefits, pensions, living allowances, and other expenses enact legislation to increase transparency with regard to economic development assistance ensure through legislative change that taxpayers’ dollars are protected from partisan advertising and politically motivated signage FAIRNESS IN POWER RATES AND ENERGY POLICY Over the last 10 years, electricity rates in our province have climbed by nearly 30 per cent — households and businesses have been hurt by this trend, while the power monopoly has profited. My government has already taken steps to address some of the fundamental flaws in the Maritime Link agreement and shifted responsibility and risk to where they justifiably belong. Additionally, my government’s first piece of legislation will be the Electricity Reform Act — a bill that will permit consumer choice and competition while laying the groundwork for consultation with Nova Scotians on our energy future. Upon the passage of this legislation, Nova Scotians will be offered greater choice among power providers. This will allow local providers of renewable electricity to compete with Nova Scotia Power and sell directly to customers. Compelling regulated power companies to compete for your business is a solution that puts Nova Scotians first. My government’s plans for reforming the electricity market were borne out of discussions and consultations that took place in communities across Nova Scotia. As we move toward implementing those plans, we will once again be seeking input from the people of the province. My government will involve the public and experts on what our energy future will look like — and how we can best organize ourselves to take advantage of it. As our province continues its commitment to move toward cleaner and innovative energy sources, we know it is imperative that Nova Scotians are able to voice their concerns and have them addressed frankly and honestly. For instance, the practice of hydraulic fracturing is a huge concern for Nova Scotians. That’s why there is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province while the independent review is underway. This review, led by Dr. David Wheeler and a panel of experts, will help determine whether the practice can be done safely given Nova Scotia’s geology. During this legislative session, my government will also introduce legislation banning the importation of fracked wastewater into our province. Another important element of our energy and economic future is the activity taking place in our offshore. Our government will continue to invest in geoscience research. We will also ensure that this information is made available to companies so they have the information needed to assess the opportunities available in our offshore. AN ECONOMY BUILT ON PUTTING NOVA SCOTIANS FIRST There is no doubt that the last recession took its toll on jurisdictions throughout Canada and the world. Of course, Nova Scotia was not exempt from these global pressures and, like many other areas of Canada and the world, our province has been slow to recover from the recession’s impacts. In fact, recent economic data has clearly outlined the challenge that now faces government: Our province has shed 3,000 full-time jobs in the last year, while trailing every other province in the country in terms of economic growth for two decades. Federal transfers are not keeping pace with changing demands and demographic shifts. Our population is facing further decline which, in turn, is placing further pressure on programs and services. These realities underline the need for change. A fundamental change will require my government to direct more of its economic attention toward small- and medium-sized Nova Scotia business. In the past, too much emphasis was placed in too few areas, and our collective economic strength diminished in the process. Instead, my government will refocus its attention on small businesses — offering supports and incentives to help them grow their operations. For example, term loan guarantees under the Credit Union Small Business Loan Program will increase from 75 per cent to 90 per cent. My government fully understands that businesses must be able to prosper in Nova Scotia, but not at the expense of Nova Scotians. Therefore, while working with businesses my government will attach job guarantees to repayable loans and keep processes transparent through public reporting. Legislation will be introduced by our government in the coming days that will greatly improve the transparency and accountability of Nova Scotia’s economic assistance programs. Beyond transparency, our government is working to create a competitive economic environment focused on growing good, sustainable jobs. My government realizes it cannot solve this alone, but it can lead the way forward with a new vision of economic innovation — harnessing research, maximizing comparative advantages, eliminating barriers to competitiveness, expanding apprenticeship opportunities that will keep our skilled workers in Nova Scotia and, finally, getting government out of the way of business. There are areas, however, where government must and will play a key role. My government will continue to take steps to ensure that Nova Scotians return home to their families safely at the end of the work day. We will hire more workplace safety inspectors and, because safety is a shared responsibility, we will work with industry to ensure officers are visiting more high-risk workplaces and enforcing safety regulations. Business operators should be able to focus on growing their business, employing Nova Scotians, and giving back to their communities. With this in mind, changes to bring balance and responsibility to First Contract Arbitration will be brought forward in this session. My government will create a fair and competitive environment for business by engaging in a responsible and comprehensive review of taxes, regulations, and fees, guided by the principles of simplicity and fairness. All regulations will be tested for their efficiency and effectiveness. Regulations that protect Nova Scotians will be strengthened; wasteful and redundant regulations will be eliminated. The development of that broad review has commenced, and we will formulate a plan to simplify our regulatory regime — and leave as much money with Nova Scotians as possible. FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY Within itself, government is fully cognizant of the need to restore fiscal balance to its own affairs. Across government, a one per cent target for expenditure reduction has been set and a great deal of work is currently underway to identify appropriate areas for increased efficiency. Government remains mindful of its duty and obligation to support Nova Scotians in need. Therefore, government will maintain fiscal discipline without further burdening our most vulnerable citizens or a new generation of Nova Scotians engaged in study. To that end, the provision of health care and education has been exempted from this process. A true and accurate update on where our province stands financially will be delivered to Nova Scotians in mid-December. My government will then implement a fiscally responsible plan to deliver a balanced budget prudently. Our province is witnessing a population loss like we have never before experienced. We must reverse this trend. Our province needs talented and capable individuals if we are to have a healthy economy and improve the provincial finances. In our province newcomers have played an important role in developing our economy, and our government wants to continue to welcome newcomers to communities from one end of the province to the other. That is why my government will create the Premier’s Immigration Advisory Council, which will be made up of immigrants to Nova Scotia who have experienced the strengths and weaknesses of our immigration system. The council will bring forward concerns on immigration issues, and propose solutions to improve Nova Scotia’s attraction and retention of immigrants. The council will also help lead my government’s efforts in seeking the changes required to carve out our own future when it comes to immigration. Nova Scotia must be an active partner in national discussions and our government will engage on two fronts — building strong relationships with provinces and enhancing our collaboration with the federal government. OUR FUTURE IS EDUCATED If Nova Scotians are to be put first, my government needs a bold vision for education. There has not been a comprehensive curriculum review in this province for 25 years. My government will undertake a full review with a Blue Ribbon panel of experts to find out what is working and what isn’t. The world has changed significantly in the past 25 years, and our education system must adapt. Students need to earn achievements, see the value of their efforts, and be taught by teachers who can focus on teaching. In addition, my government is reaffirming its commitment to restore the funding removed from public education over the last four years. It will take time and deliberate action to undo the damage done by decisions of the past, but we know that educational dollars achieve some of the best return on investment of any expenditure government can make. That commitment goes beyond Grade Primary — this is why my government is investing in Early Intervention Programs. Ensuring that every child begins their public school career with the foundation for learning already in place is critical to their progress through the school system. IMPROVING HEALTH CARE THROUGH IMPROVING THE SYSTEM For too many years, our health-care system has been neglected. My government will begin to develop solutions so all Nova Scotians get the care they need, when they need it. My government will do what it takes so that our health-care system puts patients first. My government will improve community-based decision-making by streamlining administration so Nova Scotians can access treatment faster. My government will address wait times by reinvesting in front-line health care, by reducing the number of CEOs and vice-presidents, and by reducing the District Health Authorities from 10 to two. This transformative process will not happen overnight, nor will it occur without the valuable input of all those involved in our health-care system — administrators, frontline workers, patients, volunteers, advocates and communities will have their voices heard. Nova Scotians need better access to programs, services, and a variety of health-care professionals to prevent and manage chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes. Hospital admissions can thus be reduced, and when patients do end up in hospitals, we need to make sure they return home as quickly as possible. Far too many Nova Scotians don’t have access to a family physician, or primary care provider such as a nurse practitioner, leaving many without care and putting added strain on our emergency rooms. My government will provide up to $120,000 in tuition relief to 25 new doctors per year for four years, in exchange for a five-year commitment to practice in under-serviced communities in Nova Scotia. In addition, my government will immediately appoint an expert Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team so that Nova Scotia is able to competitively recruit new doctors and keep the ones we have. SUPPORTING OUR SENIORS, CARING FOR OUR CITIZENS As our population ages, there will be additional pressures on our health-care system. My government will work with health-care providers and Nova Scotians to turn our challenges into solutions. My government has begun work on evaluating, updating, and implementing the Continuing Care Strategy to ensure that it meets our long-term needs, both at home and in facilities where our senior population is cared for. The increase in sexual assault and sexual violence in our province is a grave concern. Too often the organizations that work to address these issues have been asked to do far too much with too little. My government will develop a multi-year strategy that will provide services directly to victims but will also focus on prevention. OUR COMMUNITIES This government recognizes the importance of local communities in building a strong, viable province. We are committed to partnering with municipalities and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to advance the interests of Nova Scotians through the establishment and development of effective and sustainable municipal government. To that end we will engage in open and frank discussion regarding local governance issues, support continuation of existing provincial-municipal partnerships, and seek opportunities to work collaboratively on important municipal initiatives. The relationship between the provincial government and our municipalities is one that must be repaired and strengthened if we are to meet our challenges head-on. My government is also committed to the long-term health of our valuable, traditional natural resources, as we look forward to a future in which industries can be innovative and sustainable. Our fisheries and agriculture industries are the backbone of rural economies and communities across the province. My government will work with partners in these important sectors to focus on their expansion and modernization through research and innovation, and to encourage Nova Scotians to buy local. Transportation is a critical part of strengthening communities from one end of Nova Scotia to the other. My government is committed to continuing discussions with the federal government to extend twinning on Highway 103 and to complete Highway 101. We will also improve access to Burnside Industrial Park through the completion of the Burnside connector and remove the MV Miner, an environmental liability, from the Cape Breton coastline. My government is expanding tourism opportunities by renewing our major trade and convention facilities, and restoring and enhancing our ferry connection to the United States. Another vessel — the iconic Bluenose II — has been lovingly refurbished by Nova Scotia craftspeople to the highest standards of safety and quality. My government will join them in celebrating Bluenose II’s return as Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador next spring as she helps to welcome the world to our shores. Nova Scotians know how important culture is in our provincial identity. It is the heart and soul of a sustainable future. In partnership with the cultural community, my government will develop this province’s first Culture Strategy, which will establish a new vision for culture in Nova Scotia. Together with the sector, we will identify ways that government, communities, and citizens can work together to preserve and enhance culture for the benefit of all Nova Scotians. Strong, diverse, and vibrant communities are key to creating more opportunities for Nova Scotians to live, work, and raise their families here. My government is committed to a productive and respectful relationship with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia. We look forward to working with Mi’kmaq leaders and communities to foster training and employment opportunities that will drive sustainable economic development in rural Nova Scotia. My government will continue to champion diversity and social inclusion in the province by, for example, working with the government of Canada on a new funding agreement to support the planning and delivery of French-language services. This will ensure that Acadian and francophone Nova Scotians have access to important public services that enhance the quality of life for their communities. We must make time to savour that quality of life and honour our cultural identity. That’s why my government is respecting and acknowledging hard-working Nova Scotians by providing a statutory holiday in February to enjoy our beautiful province and spend time with loved ones. LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR FALL 2013During this First Session of the 62nd General Assembly, my government will bring forward a legislative agenda designed to put Nova Scotians first. In the coming days, the following pieces of legislation will be introduced:last_img read more

Supporting Locally Sourced Food in September

first_img FOR BROADCAST September is the height of the harvest season and a unique opportunity to support local farmers and businesses. This was the message Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell shared with customers at Local Source Market today (September 15th). Mr. Colwell encouraged Nova Scotians to join the second annual 50% Local Food Club and buy at least half of their food from local producers for the month of September. On Sunday (September 20th), Open Farm Day will give people a chance to visit farms in Nova Scotia to learn more about local food and farmers, and see the impact of spending money locally. -30- September is the height of the harvest season and a unique opportunity to support local farmers and businesses. Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell shared the buy local message with customers at Local Source Market in Halifax today, Sept. 15. Armed with a shopping list, he praised the local food movement in Nova Scotia and bought items for a few recipes from the Select Nova Scotia cookbook. “Nova Scotians recognize the importance of supporting Nova Scotia farmers and businesses,” said Mr. Colwell. “When Nova Scotians buy local they are helping to grow our vibrant, diverse and dynamic food culture and promote a healthy lifestyle.” Nicole Marchand, Local Source in-house dietitian, joined Mr. Colwell and emphasized the importance of buying local. “Eating seasonally allows for a diet that is nutritious, diverse and full of flavor,” said Ms. Marchand. “September is a perfect month for a local food challenge as produce is fresh and bountiful, and includes everything from berries and tomatoes to squash and corn.” Earlier this month Mr. Colwell encouraged Nova Scotians to join the second annual 50% Local Food Club and buy at least half of their food from local producers for the month of September. The club is organized by Farmer’s Markets of Nova Scotia and supported by Select Nova Scotia. To support this fall’s local food movement, Select Nova Scotia is rewarding all 50% Local Food Club members with a coupon for 20 Air Miles bonus reward miles when making purchases of local products at Sobeys and Foodland stores during October. On Sunday, Sept. 20, Open Farm Day will give people a chance to visit farms in Nova Scotia to learn more about local food and farmers, and see the impact of spending money locally. For more information on the benefits of buying local, and where to find locally grown and made products, visit Select Nova Scotia on Facebook or at http://selectnovascotia.ca . To join the club, individuals, families and groups can sign up online at http://nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com . For a list of farms for Open Farm Day visit www.meetyourfarmer.ca/openfarmday/participating-farms/ .last_img read more

Crown Attorney Appointed in Dartmouth

first_imgBrandon Trask has been appointed a Crown attorney in Dartmouth. Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions, announced the appointment today, Aug. 11. “With his prosecutorial experience and extensive legal education Mr. Trask is a valuable addition to the Public Prosecution Service,” said Mr. Herschorn. A native of Winnipeg, Mr. Trask graduated from the University of Manitoba law school in 2012 and from the University of Toronto law school in 2013 with a master of laws. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in law at the University of Toronto. Mr. Trask articled with the Public Prosecutions Division of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and was later appointed a Crown attorney in St. John’s. He has been published in the Manitoba Law Journal (The Economics of Life and Death: Morals and Ethics in an Environment of Medical-Resource Scarcity) and is a distance education course instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Mr. Trask was a dean’s list student and the recipient of the faculty of law’s Outstanding Student Award at the University of Manitoba. He was also awarded the John Stransman Graduate Fellowship in Law and Economics at the University of Toronto. While at the University of Toronto last year Mr. Trask served as a representative with the Graduate Law Students’ Association. He was previously the Eastern Region representative of the Newfoundland and Labrador Crown Attorneys’ Association and is a past president of St. John’s-Ravenscourt Alumni Association.last_img read more

Commission on Inclusive Education Named

first_img Dr. Sarah Shea, independent chair, co-appointed by government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union Monica Williams, appointed by government Adela Njie, appointed by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union Ms. Williams and Ms. Njie will begin their work immediately. Dr. Shea will join the commission by June 1. “The work of this commission, along with the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, is the direct result of what we have heard from teachers and parents – that changes are needed,” said Ms. Casey. “This is another example of our commitment to work with teachers and other experts to improve classrooms. We must ensure the right supports are in place for all students in our classrooms. This expert panel will examine our current approach and compare it to best practices elsewhere.” The commission will examine the model of inclusion for students. It will review current practice and policy and develop a plan that will include recommendations on improvements and goals. The recommendations will address funding, resources, professional development, and improving teaching and learning conditions. It will engage front-line teachers, parents, students, and associations, and review best practices across Canada. The commission will issue an interim report by June 30 with a final report within one year of its appointment. Three experts who will examine the model of inclusive education in Nova Scotia have been chosen for the Commission on Inclusive Education. Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey announced the commission members today, March 24. They are:last_img read more

Flavoured ecigarettes trigger heart disease risk

first_imgThe flavours used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette), especially cinnamon and menthol, can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) when inhaled, says a study. The research team investigated the effect of the e-liquids on endothelial cells that line the interior of blood vessels. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that endothelial cells exposed to the e-liquids or to blood collected from e-cigarette users shortly after vaping, exhibit significantly increased levels of molecules implicated in DNA damage and cell death. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressiveThe severity of the damage, aspects of which occur even in the absence of nicotine, varies among popular flavours, said the researchers, adding that cinnamon and menthol were found to be particularly harmful. “This study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes,” said Joseph Wu, Professor at Stanford University. For the study, the researchers investigated the effect of six different popular e-liquid flavours – fruit, tobacco, sweet tobacco with caramel and vanilla, sweet butterscotch, cinnamon and menthol – with varied nicotine levels on endothelial cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells. Also Read – Physical therapy better for low back pain”When we exposed the cells to six different flavours of e-liquid with varying levels of nicotine, we saw significant damage. The cells were less viable in culture, and they began to exhibit multiple symptoms of dysfunction,” Wu said. The researchers found that while several of the liquids were moderately toxic to the endothelial cells, the cinnamon- and menthol-flavoured e-liquids significantly decreased the viability of the cells in culture even in the absence of nicotine. “It’s important for e-cigarette users to realise that these chemicals are circulating within their bodies and affecting their vascular health,” Wu said.last_img read more

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal march on at French Open

first_imgParis: Roger Federer made short work of Argentinian Leonardo Mayer to become the oldest man in 28 years to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final at the French Open on Sunday, while Rafael Nadal claimed his 90th Roland Garros win. The 37-year-old Federer, playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, claimed a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over world number 68 Mayer in a sweltering 32 degrees and will face either Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas or close friend and fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the last eight. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunFederer, the 2009 champion in Paris, is the oldest man to make the quarter-finals of a Slam since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open. “It’s fabulous that I can spend this time in Paris,” said Federer who last played the tournament in 2015 when he lost in the quarter-finals to Wawrinka. Tsitsipas defeated Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open in January. “I was prepared for the worst scenario, losing in the first round in three sets. But I am super happy with my performance. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up”I will need to play like this again against either Stan or Tsitsipas.” Federer will be playing in his 54th quarter-final at a Slam, cementing his place on top of the all-time men’s list. Despite leading Wawrinka 23-3 in career head-to-head meetings, Federer said he still remembers his quarter-final loss to his friend in Paris four years ago. “I have a bad memory of it. Stan beat me in three sets with his terrible shorts!” Federer didn’t face a break point in the fourth-round match against an outclassed Mayer on Court Philippe Chatrier. Reigning champion Nadal continued his bid for a record-extending 12th Roland Garros title by beating Grand Slam debutant Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. World number 78 Londero had his moments, breaking Nadal when 4-1 down in the third set, but the 17-time major champion always looked too strong, powering 40 winners past the Argentinian. Nadal will face either Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori or home favourite Benoit Paire in his 38th Grand Slam quarter-final. “I am very happy. Juan is a very good player so I congratulate him and his team,” said Nadal. “It’s an incredible feeling to be in another quarter-final at this tournament which has been the most special of my career.” The 32-year-old Spaniard has only been defeated twice in his French Open career and has a 10-2 record over Nishikori while he has yet to lose to Paire in four matches. In a wide-open women’s draw after the shock exits of top seed Naomi Osaka and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams on Saturday, 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova reached her maiden major quarter-final by thrashing Anastasija Sevastova. The unseeded Czech, ranked 38th, overcame a tame effort from Latvian 12th seed Sevastova, winning 6-2, 6-0 in only 59 minutes. “You can’t expect you’re going to play quarter-finals in a Grand Slam, but I played some tough matches,” said Vondrousova. “I’m just happy with my game.” She will face 31st seed Petra Martic for a semi-final spot, after the Croatian followed up her third-round upset of second seed Karolina Pliskova by coming from a set down to beat Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi. The 28-year-old booked her place in the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory. British number one Johanna Konta continued her comfortable progress through the draw by seeing off Croatia’s Donna Vekic to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final since Wimbledon in 2017. The 26th seed overpowered Vekic 6-2, 6-4 to set up a last-eight tie with either last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens or 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza. “I feel fortunate to have played in the why I did against a player like Donna,” she said. On Saturday, Japanese star Osaka’s bid for a third successive Grand Slam title found an underwhelming conclusion with an erratic display in defeat by Katerina Siniakova, before Williams crashed out in similarly poor fashion to fellow American Sofia Kenin.last_img read more

A peculiar amendment

first_imgThe Ministry of Home Affairs has taken a prime step in combatting the illegal stay of foreign nationals in the country. The new Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019, not only lays down the roadmap for those not included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) but allows states and UTs to set up their own foreigner tribunals and validate the authenticity of citizenship of any person in question. And, the amendment also provides these foreigners tribunals, which were earlier specific to Assam, the power to regulate their own procedure. Though the MHA amendment will act as a guide for those not included in the NRC to approach foreigners tribunals with their case, for which the government will aid Assam in setting up 1,000 foreigners tribunals as well as e-foreigners tribunals, it seems to have empowered these quasi-judicial bodies beyond expectations. Empowering the district magistrates to set up foreigners tribunals and handle the citizenship conundrum of detected illegal immigrants is a step in line to the introduction of NRC across the country, which BJP had promised in its manifesto. MHA amendment comes at a time when Assam is reeling under the intense chaos of NRC final draft preparations wherein recently a 52-year-old retired army officer was declared an illegal immigrant by a foreigners tribunal. Though Sanaullah was granted conditional interim bail by Gauhati High Court on June 7, there are many who were not as lucky and have been surviving in the detention centres for as high as ten years now. Sanaullah is a classic example of a welfare government machinery acting otherwise. In the interest of its citizens, India’s NRC exercise in Assam has been everything but citizen-sensitive. The tribunal’s working theory brings up inconsistency per se. Usually, India’s judicial system presumes a person innocent until proven guilty, and the onus is on the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused. However, in a hearing of foreigners tribunal, the burden of proof lies on the person whose citizenship is under question and it is the person who has to prove the authenticity of their citizenship along with the authenticity of the documents corroborating the person’s case. A clause under a new paragraph 3A added in the amendment of the Order states that the “subject to the provision of this Order, the Tribunal shall have the power to regulate its own procedure for disposal of the cases expeditiously in a time bound manner.” The clause accounts for an alarming development raising caution since foreigners tribunals in Assam have recorded ex-parte proceedings – announcing verdict in the absence of the person in question – in order to expedite judgements. The same paragraph 3A has another contentious clause which states that “upon production of the records, if the Tribunal finds ‘merit’ in the Appeal, it shall issue notice to the Appellant and the District Magistrate for hearing specifying the date of hearing”. The fact that a tribunal gets to decide if an individual’s case is meritious, with no counter-validity mechanism in place, remains an ambiguous power standing entirely on the wisdom of the members of the tribunal. So not only do tribunals get unchecked powers to carry proceedings of potentially illegal immigrants at will, they have been conferred the status of final authority in this regard with the power to decide an appeal’s validity. No authority should have such nebulous and supreme powers which bring appellants at the mercy of the appellate regarding the admissibility of their case. This only makes matters worse for appellants who will soon find themselves in large numbers following the publication of the final draft of NRC in Assam. Also Read – Securing nutritionCuriosity pokes whether the amendment by MHA is a strict attempt to tackle the issue of illegal immigrants that has plagued the state of Assam owing to the porous border it shares with Bangladesh. And, if that is the case then why the empowerment to all DMs across India? Maybe, MHA anticipates that this illegal diaspora has mixed with citizens and spread across the country. But if that is so, why provide foreigners tribunals with overwhelming powers that may wreak havoc on the entire exercise that MHA envisages in their earnest ambition to liberate India from illegal immigrants? Questions pertain to aspects which are contentious and only discussions around those will make the water clearer for currently, it appears that major confusion amidst gross injustice of human rights may occur should the empowered tribunals resort to erroneous verdicts. As it is the NRC exercise has resulted in major upheaval in Assam. Ramifications due to the implementation of the amendment evoke apprehensions regarding injustice and unfair treatment which the state must cater to before the entire situation takes an uglier turn.last_img read more