Today, we stand in solidarity with those who live with HIV/AIDS here in Nova Scotia, across Canada, and around the world. We remember all those who have lost their lives, and reaffirm as a society, our commitment to ending HIV/AIDS – and to supporting all those affected.
The health and safety of residents and staff in long-term care are of critical importance. That’s why our government is introducing ongoing voluntary testing to monitor, reduce, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.
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).
One of the priorities for the province is to promote a more inclusive and accessible province. This is a vital part of the Nova Scotia Culture Action Plan and in order to improve that accessibility the province is providing funding to support small businesses throughout the province.
One in five Nova Scotians identify as a person with a disability. We know that small businesses need support as they improve accessibility in their own facility. The province will fund up to 66% of project costs to small businesses through the Small Business ACCESS-Ability Program.
The 2017/18 Budget is the first Budget of the province’s second mandate. This is the first back to back majority for a government in Nova Scotia in close to 30 years. As we begin 2018, it is important that all Nova Scotians understand the success of Premier McNeil and the government in restoring the fiscal health of the province. As the Minister of Finance and your MLA in Colchester North, I was pleased to recently present our second consecutive balanced Budget.
In my earlier MLA Report (link here), I wrote about the opening of provincial parks across the province. Of course, the one of great interest “along the shore” is the Five Islands Provincial Park. I wrote about the hundreds of tourists who visit Nova Scotia each summer, and many of those tourists enjoy camping in our parks. With the tourist season officially over, our province can boast having the best tourist season on record with over 1.9 million folks choosing Nova Scotia as their destination. That increase in tourists resulted in a significant increase in the number of campers to Five Islands Park, 4 371 visitors enjoyed the overnight camping experience in our Park in 2017. That is an increase of over 1000 visitors since last year. In fact, the number of visitors has increased consistently since 2014, when the number of camper sites was 2003.
Let me begin by extending a welcome to Dr. Lisa MacKinnon, who has recently joined the staff of physicians providing health care to residents along the north shore. Lisa will bring the complement of physicians back up to four including Dr. Rob Bush, Dr. Dan MacDonald and Dr. Michael Glasgow.
Residents have been patient and sometimes frustrated with the speed of the recruitment process, however, I do want to congratulate all those who continue their efforts and who were successful in bringing Lisa to the community.
Birthdays are always special occasions to share with family and friends. Each year Maurice (Editor, Shoreline Journal) helps those along the shore who have reached the age of 90 come together to celebrate. For many of those who are 90+, it is a great opportunity to socialize.
As the MLA, I have participated in those celebrations and it is always a pleasure to join other elected officials at the Economy Rec Centre.
Your Liberal government is committed to improving Nova Scotia’s education system. That’s why we created the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions. We are striving to ensure the recommendations that the council provided be completed and addressed, the most recent being a new attendance policy.
Starting October 1st, this new policy will address the growing concern of student absenteeism in schools across Nova Scotia. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
We can all be comfortable in our home…..Winter and Summer!