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.
Once again the residents of Tatamagouche and area get a Gold Star for Community Spirit.
On the late afternoon of Monday August 29th, an unfortunate accident occurred on the construction site of the new P-12 school. This was an industrial accident, with no injuries to workers or others, but its effects were soon felt as the break in the water main sent thousands of gallons of water rushing over ground and through the sewer system to the buildings on the lower side of the village.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia have reached an Agreement under the new Infrastructure Funding Program that will benefit residents in Colchester North. I am pleased that the Province of Nova Scotia is contributing to Clean Water and Wastewater Infrastructure projects. This is an excellent example of co-operation, and that co-operation will benefit hundreds of constituents right here at home.
As a result of our recent weeks of dry weather, hot sun and no rain, forests in our province became tinder dry and conditions were perfect for forest fires. Unfortunately, those fires did erupt and over the past few weeks, volunteers, local fire department members, trained firefighters with Natural Resources and support from other provinces have worked long and hard to contain several fires in our province. Since many of us live in rural Nova Scotia, we know the risk of forest fires as we are completely surrounded by trees. We value and appreciate our forests and we also know how quickly they can be destroyed by fires.
Outdoor recreational facilities like trails, playgrounds and sports fields provide opportunities for Nova Scotians of all ages to be active and to have fun in their own communities. The Liberal Government in Nova Scotia supports a healthy, active lifestyle, and continues to invest in communities across the province.
Most recently, $1.8 million has been provided to upgrade facilities in 65 communities, and many of those are in rural Nova Scotia. In fact, $250 000 of that investment comes to the Fundy Region, which includes Colchester County. These grants help community groups, Municipalities and other not-for-profit organizations develop facilities to increase public participation in sport and physical recreation. Some examples include renovations to buildings, developing and/or maintaining walking trails and building and upgrading fields for sport and recreation.