(From Globe and Mail.. Saturday, April 17, 2021)
The governments of Canada's four easternmost provinces have spent the past year enrolled in the COVID-19 gifted program. Their early, aggressive action to suppress the virus and keep it down, allowing their economies to largely reopen, puts them on a par with the world's most successful curve crushers, from Austrialia and New Zealand to Japan and South Korea.
Karen Casey quote.. "Our thanks for the leadership of former Premier Stephen McNeil and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Strang. This leadership began 12 months ago, and has protected us from COVID-19, and has allowed us to become the envy of the country. Congratulations to both."
The Nova Scotia COVID Relief (NSCR) Fund was established by the Government of Nova Scotia from the Federal Safe Restart Agreement in April 2021. The $3.5 million fund supports low-income Nova Scotians who are struggling to pay their home heating or electric bill as a result of income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is administered by The Salvation Army.
The Fund provides one-time assistance to help Nova Scotians with their home heating costs or electricity bills. Each household may be eligible for up to $400 in support.
For more information CLICK HERE
For the NSCR Fund Application CLICK HERE
Our government is on track to give every person who wants a COVID-19 vaccine in Nova Scotia their first dose by the end of June. Health-care workers, staff and residents of licensed long-term care facilities will be fully vaccinated by the end of April.
We are implementing a flexible model of vaccine delivery, using community clinics, pharmacy clinics, primary care clinics, outreach clinics and mobile clinics. By May, we will be able to administer about 86,000 doses per week. Most Nova Scotians will continue to receive their vaccine when they become eligible by age and based on anticipated vaccine supply.
In 2018 the Government established the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust with a commitment of $193 million to help improve internet access to underserviced and unserved areas of the province. We recognized that reliable internet service is important and allows Nova Scotians to live where they choose and stay connected.
Develop Nova Scotia was given the responsibility to oversee this project and called for proposals to be submitted for review and approval. Connectivity in the province helps to support business startup and growth. It is critical for Tourism and most importantly it improves the quality of life in our rural communities. A better connected Nova Scotia is criteria to our expanding economy.
On February 7th the first round of Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative projects was announced and I was delighted to see that one of those five contracts included the Municipalities of Cumberland and Colchester. They will partner with Xplornet as the service provider. This is great progress. Multiple communities and individuals will be captured in this project and the solution in our County will include a mix of wired and fixed wireless services. I understand the limitations for small business owners in rural Colchester County and this improved access to reliable high speed internet service can be a game changer for them. It is anticipated that work will start in some communities early this year.
By this fall, every four-year-old in Nova Scotia will have access to pre-primary. This is, and has been, an incredibly important investment in the future of our youth.
Find the schools near you.. https://www.ednet.ns.ca/pre-primary
September 7, 2019 will be remembered by many as the weather event known as Hurricane Dorian struck our province. The results of the hurricane were felt in both rural and urban communities and varied in strength across the province. Damage resulting from the hurricane also varied across the province. For example: in Halifax the collapse of a crane from one of the construction projects attracted a lot of attention and caused significant damage and loss of property value in the city.
In 2016, a weather event that included extensive flooding, also caused damage in certain parts of the province. As we did then, Government introduced the Disaster Financial Assistance Program to help those who were impacted. This program is designed to help individual property owners, as well as small businesses for uninsured losses.
More services will soon be provided for Nova Scotians who have experienced sexual assault or abuse. I am pleased to report that those expanded services will be available here in Colchester County. The SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program supports survivors of sexual assault, and a contract to provide those services has been awarded to VON (Victorian Order of Nurses). VON will work with the NSHA (Nova Scotia Health Authority) to train nurses to deliver the program. These are registered nurses who will have advanced training and expertise so they can provide specialized medical and forensic response.
There is something special about the Colchester Community Workshop on Arthur Street in Truro. It is true, they have a great Board of Directors who have guided decision making over the years, and who continue to move the Workshop into the future. Those decisions support and enhance the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities.
The Workshop also has a great network of business leaders and caring individuals throughout Colchester County who provide financial support through charitable donations. These contributions help maintain, enhance and expand the services and opportunities for clients. There is a great network of staff and volunteers who give tirelessly of themselves each and every day to ensure the clients are cared for and supported while at the Workshop or out in the community.
As we continue our investments in Health Care, and in particular in doctor recruitment, there are some facts and some information that it is important for my constituents and all Shoreline readers to know.
Nova Scotia, like all other provinces in Canada, is faced with a shortage of doctors, in particular, in Family Medicine practices. Looking at our province in comparison to all other Canadian provinces, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that Nova Scotia has the highest number of doctors per capita in Canada. We are fortunate to be in this position. However, many of those doctors are in specialist areas, in research or in teaching at the Dalhousie Medical School. We need those doctors to be practicing in Family Medicine in our own communities. Our focus continues to be finding a family practice doctor to take over the patient roster when an older doctor retires.
We can all be comfortable in our home…..Winter and Summer!