Canadians across the country will mark the 150th Anniversary of Confederation during 2017. As a way to celebrate this special year, the Government of Nova Scotia has created the 150 Forward Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to give Nova Scotians in communities across the province an opportunity to create, promote and participate in local and regional events.
For projects to be considered for funding, the applicants must show how their proposal can highlight their communities and their organization. They should focus on such things as honoring a significant achievement or person(s) over the last 150 years; pay tribute to our diverse cultures, highlight our history, our heritage, our music or our youth. The activities must be held in Nova Scotia and completed by December 31, 2017.
Nova Scotia has its own agency focused on developing the province’s food industry, Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc. Perennia is a not-for-profit agency owned by the province that helps farmers, fishers and food processors develop new crops, enhance their livestock operations, reach new markets with food safety certifications and develop new products. There are many things that make Perennia unique, but a key one is that it has specialists that provide comprehensive solutions from the farm or boat to the marketplace. Its team of close to 40 staff work on special industry development projects.
It was my great pleasure to help ring in the new year than in the Village of Tatamagouche. I was happy to join community members and others at the New Year’s Levee on January 1, 2017. Something unique and special about this year’s Levee was that the Tatamagouche Fire Brigade and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 64 joined forces in the spirit of cooperation and hosted the Levee together. Lots of good food, drinks, friendship and positive attitude filled the room at the Legion. What a great way to wrap up 2016 and welcome 2017.
As conversation in the public continues around the potential of a teachers strike it is important to speak to all Nova Scotians, especially students, parents and teachers and all who will be impacted by such a strike. As a retired teacher I continue to be committed to students in the classroom. It is what motivated me to join the profession and become a classroom teacher. It is what continues to influence the decisions I make as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
What better way to kick off the festive season than to join with firefighters, their families and friends at their annual Christmas party. In the last ten years as your MLA, I have enjoyed the Christmas party at the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade. This year was no different. There are great cooks in the community and the meal is always delicious. There is lots of fun and laughter and a few jokes as Santa distributes gifts to all those attending. Musical entertainment provided by local musicians is also a highlight. But it is the friendship and support between and among all of us there that is truly in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
It is that time of year when many of us are thinking ahead to the winter season and that means among other things, prepare our homes for the cold weather that we can expect. One of the steps homeowners take at this time is to look at ways to reduce heat loss in our homes. In a typical house, 80% of that heat loss is caused by drafts around doors and windows and as a result of poor insulation. Upgrades like improving insulation, installing new windows and doors and general draft proofing can help keep our homes warmer in the winter.