It has been one year today since the official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, on Canada’s National Day of Observance, we remember and honour every life lost to this disease. We also stand with every parent, child, and friend who has lost a loved one as they cope with their unimaginable loss.
Today is also a chance to recognize every front line worker in Nova Scotia and across the world for doing their utmost to keep our communities safe. With their help, and with the help of people across our province, we are moving forward to a better chapter, together.
The COVID-19 outbreak in Newfoundland and Labrador is another example of how quickly the virus can take hold. That’s why our government moved quickly with the new self-isolation requirement to slow the spread.
Effective today, people entering Nova Scotia from Newfoundland and Labrador must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form before arriving and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Learn more here: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210209005
Nova Scotians are leaders in the fight against climate change – and our government is committed to continuing that important work. That’s why our government will invest $18 million into youth internships and energy efficiency programs. This funding will help Nova Scotians improve energy efficiency, while providing youth job opportunities and skill development in this growing sector. Learn More: https://bit.ly/2NR2SSm
Our government values the many contributions and sacrifices made by small business owners across the province. Restaurants, retail shops and service providers, have all taken measures to help protect us – and many have made significant investments into making their spaces safer.
That’s why today, Premier Iain Rankin announced a $7 million property tax relief program, to put money in the pockets of small business owners. Over 3,300 small businesses will be able to take advantage of this program for any aspect of their business, including wages, paying bills or debt, ordering supplies, equipment, and more.
For additional information: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210302007
Investments in Long-Term Care
Today, our government made a transformative investment in new long-term care beds and facilities to better serve residents, their families and staff. Our government’s Long-Term Care Infrastructure Plan also increased the annual budget for capital repairs and equipment upgrades available to all facilities by $8 million.
In addition to creating 236 new beds, seven nursing homes across the province will also be replaced or significantly renovated. Immediate work will take place in Halifax, Musquodoboit Harbour, Chester, Bridgetown, Berwick, Sydney and Chéticamp. For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/3iYpnAg
Reliable high-speed internet is critically important – both in the face of COVID-19, and in a world becoming increasingly reliant on digital connection. That’s why our government has announced more expansions to existing contracts for internet access across Nova Scotia.
These expansions provide access to an additional 5,600 homes and businesses – extending coverage to 99 per cent of Nova Scotia. This will increase options for those choosing where to live and work, while also helping to attract those who can work remotely to our province.
Nova Scotia’s vaccine rollout continues to expand this week. There are now vaccinations taking place across the province, and facilities are rapidly being brought online to store, distribute, and administer immunizations. Within the next thirty days, there will also be nine cold storage sites – and seven health care worker vaccination clinics established.
This is the largest public health project in our province’s history, and our government is ensuring that health care workers and those who are at highest risk get immunized as soon as possible. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to work with medical experts in ensuring a safe and successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more: https://bit.ly/2LDtohB
Over the last two weeks, I have been highlighting the resilience of our collective community. Focusing on kindness, hope, purpose, strength, and opportunity, we have reflected on the spirit of our people, the many challenges overcome in the last year – and the future promise of our province.
The resilience and ingenuity of our people, paired with decisive government action, have allowed our economy to remain stable through these challenging times. While we continually work to improve the wellbeing of all in our province, we can each be grateful for the quality of life and safety enjoyed right here in Nova Scotia.
Our colleagues at CNS have worked to produce an incredibly powerful video, titled We Bloom Amid the Snow – an expanded version of a series we released in October. It can be watched by clicking here.
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, for his receipt of the 2020 Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Administration.
During Dr. Strang’s time as chief medical officer of health for the province, he has shown excellence through his leadership and accountability during the province's public health response to both the COVID-19 and H1N1 pandemics.
We thank Dr. Strang for his tireless work in guiding Nova Scotia through challenging times while maintaining clear and open lines of communication with Nova Scotians. Congratulations, Dr. Strang!
In times of turmoil, people often find a new sense of purpose to help one another. For the volunteers throughout our province, giving back is what fuels them. These individuals have stepped up to ensure those in need get the support they deserve. In some cases, it has meant helping an older neighbour get their errands done safely or ensuring a friend in isolation has groceries waiting for them.
There are also many Nova Scotians who have given their time and energy to local food banks, to running pop-up testing sites and many other worthwhile initiatives. These people are change-makers and community heroes.. they have been there to build us up, and they have doubled their efforts to keep us safe.
Today, our government announced new public health measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe during the holiday season. Restrictions currently in place in HRM and Hants County are extended until December 21, while all restaurants and establishments in these areas will remain closed until January 10. Take-out and delivery services can continue.
New provincewide measures will also be in place effective December 21, including changes to gathering limits, business operations, and public facilities. The holidays will look different this year—we can still be with friends and family, but we need to continue to work together to make sure we don’t allow the virus to spread. For more details and a full list of updated restrictions, visit: https://bit.ly/3nurDkj
2020 has been a year of trial and tribulation. Nova Scotia has long been a place where we come together to tackle any challenges we encounter. Our cooperation and reliance on one another are deeply embedded in our culture. This year has not changed that. During the early weeks of COVID-19, and over the following months, many of us have been asked to stay apart from one another. As a result, Nova Scotians have resolved to find new ways to stay connected.
Friends and loved ones across the province have found their own ways to keep in touch – often with the help of a pane of glass, whether that means catching up through an iPad or
a window. Although nothing could replace the warm embrace of those we hold dear, Nova Scotians know that the more we work with one another to keep each other safe, the sooner we will all be back together.
Many Nova Scotians experience homelessness- and COVID-19 has brought even more challenges to some of our society’s most vulnerable individuals. Public health directives like social distancing have reduced the number of beds available in temporary housing. That’s why our government is investing up to $1.7 million to provide for 40 additional beds in the Halifax area. For more details: https://bit.ly/3mkiObh
We can all be comfortable in our home…..Winter and Summer!