We are now into the holiday season with Christmas shopping and folks are busy with Christmas baking, craft sales, church services, Christmas concerts and homes and businesses well decorated. All of these activities provide opportunities for us to celebrate with family and friends.
Christmas is also a time for giving. Children are excited and wait in anticipation for the gifts that they will receive on Christmas morning. The happiness and excitement shows in their faces. It is important however, to remember that not all children are fortunate enough to experience this happiness and excitement and many of those children are here in our own communities.
Many of you do take this opportunity to “make” Christmas for the less fortunate. There is nothing more exciting than shopping for a family who you know is in need. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the appreciation on the faces of those who answer the door when you drop off their gifts.
We often forget that those in need may be our neighbours. One of the strengths of our province and its rural communities, is that people do care for one another. Pause for a moment, think about the folks in your community and make a commitment to make some child’s Christmas morning something positive to remember. The gift may be small, but it may be the only gift that child receives and even though the gift is small, the reward is huge. The sense of satisfaction that you feel in your heart is one not easily forgotten. Your own Christmas morning will be better knowing that you have helped put a smile on the face of some child.
Karen Casey, MLA Colchester North
It is the season when provincial parks across Nova Scotia celebrate their opening dates. As seasonal parks, most are open to the public from early June until early October. During that time families have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities in our parks. We also welcome hundreds of tourists who come to our province and to also enjoy what our parks have to offer.
In particular, we celebrate the opening of the Five Islands Provincial Park. The Park offers over 80 open and wooded campsites, 300’ cliffs overlooking the Minas Basin and great opportunities for hiking, beachcombing, rock collecting, clam digging and other outdoor activities. A view from many points within the Park has been described as “a million dollar view”.
Coding has been gaining a lot of attention over the past year. As reported in the Globe and Mail in January, Nova Scotia is leading the country in introducing coding into schools. Coding has been identified as a priority for all classrooms under Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education, and students in grades Primary to 3 were introduced to coding in September 2015. I was pleased to announce that as part of Budget 2016-2017, the province has invested $1 million to expand support for this initiative.
The importance of physical activity in youth 12 -15 years of age has been recognized by the Liberal Government and we are investing $282 000 in projects throughout the province. After the Bell Programs that are supported through this investment, focus on youth who are participating in hockey, swimming, rock climbing, skating, outdoor trails and other recreational sport activities.