October 18-24, is Small Business Week. Small businesses are an important stitch in the fabric of our communities, and they are the backbone of Nova Scotia’s economy. This week, we celebrate the Canadian entrepreneurial spirit, and the resilience of small business owners in our province – and across the country.
2020 has brought some of the most significant global health and economic challenges in modern history. Small businesses have stepped up to the plate, not only to persevere – but also to serve and support their communities. Local entrepreneurs have sacrificed so much in an effort to keep us all safe by responding with creativity, innovation, and community spirit.
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).
Improving the lives of Nova Scotians, building on economic success, modernizing much-needed infrastructure and fostering confidence in a brighter future are the focus of government's fifth consecutive balanced budget.
"As a new decade begins, I am hopeful and optimistic about the future of our province. All Nova Scotians deserve to see benefits from the province's stronger economy and our positive fiscal position," said Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Karen Casey. "Budget 2020-21 supports Nova Scotians who may not have been feeling the success of the province. For our province to thrive now and in the future, we need to ensure our citizens receive the programs and services they need."
Budget 2020-21 estimates a surplus of $55 million with revenue of $11.60 billion and expenses, after consolidation adjustments, of $11.54 billion. It also projects balanced budgets in each of the following three years.
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.
We can all be comfortable in our home…..Winter and Summer!