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
Today is a historic day for Nova Scotia – and for Canada. Nova Scotia has officially become the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt transformative deemed consent legislation for organ and tissue donation.
This change will affect thousands of Nova Scotians and their families for years to come. The new legislation was passed unanimously – an important achievement for our government and Premier Stephen McNeil. Learn more: https://bit.ly/2Xn6kWn
With cases of COVID-19 rising, our government has implemented new self-isolation requirements for people hosting travellers from outside the Atlantic bubble. Effective today, if a person travelling for non-essential reasons enters Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada, everyone in the home where they are self-isolating will have to self-isolate as well. Nobody in that home can leave the property for 14 days and they cannot have visitors.
There will be no change for rotational workers, specialized workers or those who have been granted exemptions under the health order, such as military, police, first responders, truckers, flight crews and others. Nova Scotians are also advised to avoid non-essential travel into and out of Atlantic Canada. The public is reminded again to continue following public health protocols – including washing your hands, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and limiting social contacts.
Nova Scotia Health is offering a variety of online wellness programs this fall for adults of all ages on healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellness, parenting, and reducing one’s health risks.
The wellness sessions are offered in a friendly group setting using Zoom for Healthcare, and are facilitated by health care professionals, including dietitians, physiotherapists, social workers, and occupational therapists. Most sessions are an hour in length, and generally consist of a presentation, followed by a moderated group discussion. All of the online wellness sessions are free for anyone who lives within the province; a valid Nova Scotia health card is required to register.
The fall wellness schedule is now available online. Nova Scotians can register for sessions through www.HealthyNovaScotia.ca or call 1-844-460-4555 for more information. As well, this website contains a wealth of information about staying well (e.g. tips on mental wellness, physician activity, healthy eating, and parenting), as well as living a healthy life with chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart and lung conditions, or chronic pain).
Op-Ed by Health Minister Randy Delory
The Chronicle Herald – June 4
Re: the May 21 opinion piece from Elmsdale family doctor George Burden, asking why government is investing in a provincial art gallery.
First, I want all Nova Scotians to know that I appreciate our health professionals who are willing to share their experiences and ideas in hopes of improving our health-care system. Healthy dialogue is important and can go a long way toward addressing challenges together.
It is important to note that there is a very distinct difference between capital and operational spending. The funding announced in April for a new art gallery is a single one-time provincial/federal capital investment. At the same time, we are spending more than $2 billion on health-care infrastructure with the redevelopment of the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax and the redevelopment of health-care and long-term-care facilities in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Other capital investments are being made in community health centres across the province as well.
Having an opportunity to serve your community is available to all Nova Scotia residents and I invite you to apply. There are over 100 Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs) that require members to serve and provide government with advice. These ABCs include Health, Policing, Agriculture, Education, Culture, Environment, Transportation and more.
Some of these ABCs are advisory committees, councils, corporate boards and adjudicative bodies. Detailed information about ABCs including what they do, how often they meet, selection criteria and other information is available online at https://novascotia.ca/apps/abc/DeptABCList.aspx.
Serving on one of these ABCs provides an opportunity for residents to bring their personal and professional strengths together with others to help make a real impact on our communities.
One important part of the Nova Scotia Provincial Budget is the Capital Plan. This Plan supports infrastructure projects in communities across the province. The Capital Plan for 2019-20 is $691.3 million. The infrastructure projects include roads, schools, health care facilities and other Capital grants.
Each year the Department of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) prepares and publishes a 5 Year Capital Plan. This portion of the Plan is announced in November/December of each year and outlines the major Capital projects that will be completed over that 5 year period. Included in those projects are major construction for 100 series highways, improvements and asphalt projects for 100 series highways, routes and trunks and bridge replacements. This Capital Plan is announced early so that construction companies and the Nova Scotia Road Builders Association can prepare their business plans and their responses to tenders called by TIR. The Capital Plan for TIR for 2019/20 is $300 million.
The second major part of our Capital Plan is related to school construction. For the first time this year the Department of Education has also prepared and presented a 5 Year Capital Plan. This also allows for the next 5 years. That plan includes new school construction, school additions and alterations. The Capital for Education for 2019/20 is $63.1 million.
Communities in northern Nova Scotia will benefit from investments in health care, education, the economy and communities as part of Budget 2019-20.
Budget 2019-20, the government’s fourth consecutive balanced budget, estimates a surplus of $33.6 million with revenue of $11.01 billion and expenses, after consolidation adjustments, of $10.98 billion. It also projects balanced budgets in each of the following three years.
“This budget builds on our strong fiscal foundation,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. “Managing our finances well and balancing budgets has given us the ability to invest in new and existing programs and services for Nova Scotians, in areas most important to them.”
As Finance Minister, the focus is to finalize the Nova Scotia provincial budget for 2019-20. The budget will be presented during the Spring Session of the Legislative Assembly. This budget will continue to deliver on the plan to strengthen the fiscal health of the province.
The budget building process began several months ago, and includes starting with a set of basic economic assumptions which, once approved, form the foundation upon which to build the budget. As with all construction projects, that foundation must be solid and the assumptions must reflect the economic conditions of the province, the country and the major trading partners around the world. Those assumptions are prepared by the Department of Finance, but must be reviewed by many outside the department before they are accepted. That includes an external panel of experts made up of economists from the 5 major banks in Canada, universities within Nova Scotia, the Office of the Auditor General and business leaders of major corporations. This high level of scrutiny and independent assessment provides me, as Minister, with a level of confidence that our budget is a solid plan for Nova Scotians. On December 4, we presented before the expert panel, and they determined that our assumptions were “wise and prudent”…so the building process began.
With Christmas 2018 now in our past, we can take time to reflect on time spent with family and friends during the holiday season.
I recently had the honour and privilege to represent the Province of Nova Scotia at the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Boston. Over 30,000 men, women and children attended the event at Boston Commons. I was so proud to represent you and our Province as Deputy Premier. One of the best ways to share that great experience with my constituents is through the pictures that tell a thousand words.
The Christmas tree which was cut on private lands in Oxford was magnificent, with its many lights and grandeur in Boston Commons. I had the opportunity to attend the tree cutting at the private owners’ woodlot where we were joined by students from Oxford Regional Education Centre. It was a bitter cold day, but warm toques provided by the Province of Nova Scotia and lots of hot chocolate and cookies helped keep the spirits bright. Students sang Christmas carols and watched safely as the 46 foot white spruce was cut and loaded onto a tractor trailer where it began its journey to Boston.
We can all be comfortable in our home…..Winter and Summer!