Panuke Lake Harvest Review Panel Members Named

Today, Oct. 31, government asked the Mersey Woodlands Advisory Committee to review a recent forest harvest near Lake Panuke, Hants Co.

The advisory committee represents interest groups such as forest contractors, fish and game associations, municipalities, paddlers, conservationists, off-highway vehicle operators and other outdoor enthusiasts.

In late August, a mill was working near Lake Panuke with a licence from the Natural Resources Department. Special forestry practices were required because the land is a travel corridor for wildlife, including the mainland moose. Since then, some environmental groups contend the land was improperly harvested.

"It's important to ensure that best practices are being followed so I've asked for this review," said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. "We want to ensure that Nova Scotians have a high level of trust and understanding of how the government manages its lands."

Mersey Woodlands Advisory Committee chair Gordon Beanlands, member David Dagley and an independent professional forestry auditor will advise whether harvest practices used comply with provincial legislation, regulation and policies.

Mr. Beanlands has a doctorate in Ecology and was director of Environment Canada and Dalhousie University's school for resource and environmental studies. He was senior vice-president, international, for Jacques Whitford Environment Ltd. and has authored several academic papers and industry guidelines used around the world.

David Dagley is the secretary of the Queens County Fish and Game Association and an affiliate director with the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters. He was a member of the Tobeatic Advisory Group, which helped develop a management plan for that wilderness area. He is also a director of the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association.

The committee is expected to report to government by the end of November.

Source: Release

Executive Structure Announced for New Provincial Health Authority

NOTE TO EDITORS: Janet Knox, CEO-designate of the new health authority, will be available for interviews until noon, today, Oct. 31. Please call Tony Kiritsis at 902-424-0585 to arrange.
A streamlined executive team to lead Nova Scotia's new health authority, beginning April 1, was announced today, Oct. 31.

The new structure consists of a small number of vice-presidents supported by executive directors who operate in four regional zones.

"This new structure allows our health leaders to deliver the best possible care and service across Nova Scotia," said Leo Glavine, Health and Wellness Minister. "A streamlined executive will focus on better health outcomes for Nova Scotians and enhanced patient care and client support."

The new executive structure reduces the number of senior leaders by more than 50 per cent, with a reduction of 24 positions and broadens the scope and authority of senior leaders. There will be 8.5 vice-presidents in the new health authority, with one position shared with the IWK Health Centre.

There will be two executive directors in each zone, one for medical leadership and one for operational leadership.

Janet Knox, the CEO designate of the new health authority, said health leaders will be able to allocate resources where needed, when needed in a consolidated health system.

"By coming together as one system, we have a unique opportunity to shape our health system for generations," said Ms. Knox. "This new structure will allow us to share our expertise, experience and resources in a new, more connected way."

Recruitment for vice-presidents will begin within weeks. Once vice-presidents are hired, a recruitment process will begin for executive directors. Compensation levels have not been finalized. Details on hiring will be released through the recruitment process.

Mr. Glavine said the executive directors will be based out of four zone offices in Sydney, Truro, Halifax and Kentville. The executive directors and their assistants will use existing health offices.

Existing hospitals will continue to have medical and administrative leadership in place.

The province's existing CEOs will continue to lead the health system until March 31.

The new structure is available at

Source: Release

Temporary Street Closure - Rolling Hills Drive

Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents that Rolling Hills Drive, from Silversides Drive to Civic 276, will be closed to traffic on Monday, Nov. 3, to accommodate asphalt paving.

The street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Motorists are asked to use alternative routes, if possible.

The municipality apologizes in advance for any inconvenience this work may cause.

Source: Release

Amendments to Railways Act Protect Businesses, Economic Opportunities

Government is amending the Railways Act to protect the rail link and future economic opportunities in Cape Breton and the province.

In October, Genesee and Wyoming (G and W) applied to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) to discontinue and abandon the rail line between Sydney and St. Peter's. Abandoning the rail line means pulling up the tracks, a move that would virtually end any hope of re-establishing the rail line in future.

The amendments, which are retroactive to Oct. 1, will allow G and W to have the UARB hear its request to discontinue rail service. However, the company will have to apply to government to abandon the rail.

The railway cannot apply to government until at least six months after the UARB process is complete.

"These amendments mean that G and W, and any short-line operator, would have to follow a more rigorous process before abandoning a rail line," said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan. "This will ensure the full implications of pulling up rail lines are well understood before drastic action is taken."

Since 2003, Nova Scotians have invested $23 million in subsidies to help keep the Cape Breton rail line running.

Mr. MacLellan and Economic and Rural Development Minister Michel Samson formed an advisory committee of Cape Breton community leaders to build a business case to keep the line running.

Government asked G and W to delay its application to abandon the rail for a year to let the committee do its work.

Regulations to guide the new process will be developed in consultation with towns and municipalities where the rail lines are located, the companies who depend on the rail, the railway and others.

The regulations will address safety, access, ownership, and the environment, including plans for remediation if the rails are removed.

"This legislation is not just about the number of rail cars on the line today," said Mr. MacLellan. "If we let the tracks go, Nova Scotia's $23-million investment is gone, and some future opportunities go with it.

"It would be irresponsible to let this vital transportation link go without a fight."

The Minister's Advisory Committee is expected to provide a preliminary report in December.

Source: Release

Halloween Mysteries

The spooky Halloween season is a great time to enjoy a good mystery book.

October is the time when I cozy up on the sofa with a cup of coffee, listen to the rain and wind, and enjoy a great holiday-themed mystery book.

Sexual Assault Allegation Not Valid – HFX Police. #Sackville

Remember several days ago when everyone freaked out and was gonna move? Good times.

Check this out:


Update: Police conclude Lower Sackville sexual assault investigation, Lower Sackville, N.S.


Police have concluded the investigation into a reported incident in Lower Sackville.


Nova Scotia Plants eBook Launched

The Nova Scotia Museum launched a new eBook about Nova Scotia plants today, Oct. 30.

Nova Scotia Plants, by authors Marian C. Munro, Ruth E. Newell and Nicholas M. Hill, provides a comprehensive catalogue of the province's flora.

"We are very proud of our collaboration, which began more than 20 years ago at Acadia University," said Ms. Munro. "We are grateful to the scores of museum and online visitors, academics, naturalists and other Nova Scotians who contributed sightings, collections, maps and photographs to build upon. I am thrilled it can be delivered as a digital product, and free of charge."

Illustrated with computer-generated distribution maps and full-colour photographs, the eBook includes a glossary, discussion of plant communities and a background to botanical study in the province.

"This e-flora fills the need for an updated wild plant identification guide for the province which will serve as a digital tool for professional botanists, naturalists, teachers and students, both in the laboratory and in the field," said Ms. Newell. "The eBook represents a compilation of field observations by many botanists through the years on Nova Scotia's wild flora, combined with updated botanical/Latin names and distribution maps, colour photos and identification keys all in a format that allows accessibility both in the field and in the lab."

The project took seven years to complete and involved academics, resource managers, technicians and students. Nearly 30 photographers provided images of more than 1,500 species of ferns and relatives, conifers and flowering plants.

"Our plants are our natural riches in their various offerings, the strength, lustre and workability of a wood, the culture and efficacy of a medicinal herb, the beauty of a bog rose, the nourishment of skunk cabbage for a bear in springtime," said Mr. Hill. "We hold this legacy dear and we trust that it will further the wise use and conservation of Nova Scotia's plant resources."

To view Nova Scotia Plants, visit

Source: Release

Deputy Minister Appointed

Kim MacNeil has been appointed deputy minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Agriculture.

Mr. MacNeil has been associate deputy minister of the two departments since January.

He has worked in the aquaculture and mining sectors, and has more than 25 years of experience in the environmental field, including regulatory compliance and environmental health, with an emphasis on economic development.

The appointment is effective immediately.

Source: Release

LeFrense v. IBM Canada Ltd. Board of Inquiry Continues

An independent Nova Scotia human rights board of inquiry in the case of Roger LeFrense v. IBM Canada Ltd. will reconvene Monday, Nov. 3.

Mr. LeFrense alleges his employer IBM discriminated against him because of his physical disability. IBM denies any discrimination, and claims efforts were made to accommodate Mr. LeFrense.

The board of inquiry will be heard Monday, Nov. 3 to Friday, Nov. 7, beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day, in the Valardo Room, Dartmouth Sportsplex, 110 Wyse Rd., Dartmouth. The board chair, Walter Thompson, is independent of the commission, which is representing the public interest at the inquiry.

Source: Release

Proposed Invest Nova Scotia Board Announced

A group of Nova Scotians representing a blend of new ideas and business experience has been asked to lead the board of directors for the province's new economic development fund.

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson shared more information about the nine people nominated to oversee Invest Nova Scotia, today, Oct. 30.

"We were very deliberate in our selections, and this is a very different kind of board that will do economic development in new and different ways," said Mr. Samson. "Not only do we want these individuals to represent Nova Scotians from all areas and walks of life, we're also looking for a mix of experience and fresh perspectives that traditionally have not had a place at the table.

"This is a significant step in the government's commitment to take a new direction for economic development that allows the private sector and community leaders to grow the economy," said Mr. Samson.

One of the proposed board members is Colette O'Hara, business owner and co-founder of Halifax's Awesome Foundation, which provides funding to make awesome ideas happen.

"The best solutions come from when you have a variety of opinions and perspectives," said Ms. O'Hara. "Rethinking the way we do things feels really positive and I'm excited to challenge what is presented to us and define solutions that will lead to different results than we've had in the past."

Tom Traves is proposed chair of the inaugural board and recently authored a review of government's economic development assistance tools.

"From our review, we know that most jurisdictions use incentives to help attract businesses and encourage expansion," said Mr. Traves. "I'm pleased that this board will have the opportunity to shape the way we make these important decisions so that Nova Scotia's money will be invested effectively and efficiently, and for the benefit of long-term objectives."

The board will independently support projects that advance the economy and have broad-based benefits. Transactions will be posted to the accountability website, and reported in an annual report to Nova Scotians.

Regulations will be developed over the coming months to provide more details about the fund.

Board appointments will not become final until they are passed at the Standing Committee on Human Resources and receive Governor in Council approval.

More information on Invest Nova Scotia and its board members can be found at .

Source: Release

NSBI Announces 2013-14 Annual Results

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) released its 12th annual report today, Oct. 30, covering the fiscal period from April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014.

The 2013-14 annual report measures NSBI against goals from its 2012-13 business plan.

Highlights of the report include:
-- NSBI charted 11 payroll rebate transactions to attract new investment to the province and to help companies grow
-- the average salary of projected jobs among payroll rebate clients is $56,014, exceeding the NSBI target of $45,000. This figure is 41 per cent higher than the average salary in Nova Scotia
-- the fiscal year also saw clients report a 28 per cent increase over the previous year in the total actual and forecasted export sales, from $418 million to $534 million
-- business financing clients saw a 7.5 per cent increase in export sales over the previous year
-- NSBI charted five venture capital transactions. It also sold its shares in one of its venture capital portfolio companies, which more than doubled the investment.

For more information on NSBI's 2013-14 annual report, visit .

Source: Release

Temporary Street Closure - Commission Street

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents that Commission Street, between Lady Hammond Road and Kempt Road, will be closed on Friday, Oct. 31, to accommodate asphalt paving.

The street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Motorists should find alternate routes during this time.

The municipality apologizes in advance for any inconvenience this work may cause.

Source: Release
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