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).
With spring turning into summer, the focus on agriculture in Colchester North is obvious. Newly cultivated fields, crops planted and growing, and first cuts of silage remind us that one of the primary resources and industries in our province is making a comeback. It is so encouraging and positive to see farm lands that have been lying fallow for many years are now in active production. I commend those young farmers who see a future in the agriculture sector.
Although blueberry producers have had a recent difficult season, I am also encouraged by those growers who are staying with the product through difficult times. Hundreds of acres are yielding thousands of tons of blueberries. The challenge is to find new markets and our Minister of Agriculture continues to promote the product, both markets locally and in foreign markets, including China. With the uncertainty facing trade with the United States, it is important that we diversify our export markets.
The month of June is graduation time for students all across the province. It is the time for students, parents and teachers to celebrate the accomplishments as another school year draws to a close. It is also the time for the academic and athletic achievements of students in all grades to be acknowledged and celebrated.
For the students in Tatamagouche Elementary and North Colchester High, it marks another significant milestone. In September 2018, Tatamagouche Regional Academy will open for students grade primary – 12. This community has waited many years for this building to become a reality. Students and teachers alike will be filled with both apprehension and excitement when they come together under the administrative leadership of Brian Holmes.
Protecting personal and public property is one of the great services provided by volunteer fire brigades throughout the province. Communities feel safe knowing that these volunteers are only a phone call away. Sometimes that service is provided as first responders to attend to motor vehicle accidents, to rescue people and animals in distress, to provide emergency medical aid, and of course for fire related incidents. Whatever the call, we are comforted to know there are men and women in our brigades who respond.
It was recently brought to my attention by Eric Moore from the Economy Fire Brigade that access to both motive and diesel fuel was a challenge, not only for Economy, but also for brigades in Five Islands and Bass River. None of these communities have a local service station or gas bar and travelling to their nearest service centre includes time and distance to Parrsboro or Great Village. Time is of the essence no matter what the call to the brigade.
As the conversation continues regarding gold exploration rights in the province of Nova Scotia and in particular the Warwick Mountain area in Colchester and Cumberland County areas, I wish to provide the following update.
On March 12th, the Municipality of the County of Colchester copied me on a letter to the Honourable Margaret Miller, the Minister of Natural Resources for the province. That correspondence focused on the development of best management practices for exploration, in particular, the French River Watershed.
The County’s primary concern was that an RFP (Request for Proposal) for such exploration rights must include the specific standards and practices needed to regulate such exploration activity. That correspondence also welcomed the assurance that the RFP will emphasize community engagement including community influence. Municipal Council also requested a delay in the issuance of the RFP.
I was pleased to be copied on that correspondence and to support the request from the Municipality. I am also pleased to learn that the issuing of the RFP has been delayed and that input from both the Municipal Government and the public will be considered as the RFP document is finalized.
It is always important to have and to keep jobs in Nova Scotia. Recent trends in jobs and unemployment statistics are reasons to be optimistic. However, it is equally important for the voices of business owners to be heard. As employers, they are the economic drivers in our communities. Their success is our success.
As the One Nova Scotia Report states very clearly, “we need business and community leadership in the pursuit of economic growth: these sectors need to pull the economy forward rather than it being pushed by government policies and investments”.
I recently met with business leaders in Colchester County to hear their concerns and their opinions. Two recent Tax Reforms were well received by the industry, and Government was encouraged to move forward gradually with other measures.
Province Supporting Business by Reducing Red Tape
A vibrant and growing economy is a critical part of a strong province. It’s the foundation for safe and connected communities, our health and well-being, and educating and training our youth for the future.
While we see the private sector taking the lead in spurring economic activity, government can help create a business climate that supports economic success.
That includes developing and maintaining an efficient regulatory system that protects consumers, citizens, workers and the environment without creating unnecessary complexity or cost to business. And, it includes working with our Atlantic neighbours to harmonize and co-ordinate business rules where it makes sense.
In January, we recognize Red Tape Awareness Week – a week the Canadian Federation of Independent Business created 10 years ago to shine a light on the burden of red tape and highlight the opportunity regulatory reform can have as part of a broader economic strategy.
We can all be comfortable in our home…..Winter and Summer!