Settlement Agreement Approved for Unique CEDC Ltd.

The Nova Scotia Securities Commission has approved a settlement agreement with Unique CEDC Ltd.

The community economic development corporation violated Nova Scotia securities laws by failing to file certain annual and semi-annual financial statements by the prescribed filing deadlines.

"The routine act of filing financial statements provides vital information to shareholders," said Stephanie Atkinson, commission enforcement counsel. "Continuous and timely disclosure protects investors and encourages others to invest money in Nova Scotia companies."

Unique CEDC Ltd. accepted responsibility for its conduct. The commission approved the settlement agreement and ordered Unique CEDC Ltd. to:
-- comply with Nova Scotia securities laws
-- pay an administrative penalty of $2,500
-- pay $750 in costs for the commission's investigation and conduct of the proceeding.

The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is the provincial government agency that regulates securities trading in the province. To view the order, visit

Source: Release

Government Commits to Enhancements to Treaty Education

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will launch an online treaty education resource for all educators this month, and will strengthen the curriculum and create new resources on Mi'kmaw language and culture.

"In Nova Scotia, and throughout Canada, the value and importance of treaties that exist between First Nations and the rest of Canada are not well understood," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. "Whether the focus is on historical treaties or modern-day, contemporary agreements, we must ensure that all students have a better understanding of their importance."

The digital portal will provide information on a wide variety of topics related to treaty education, including digital videos and teacher resource materials. Information will continue to be added.

Other initiatives to help enhance treaty education include:
-- creating new social studies elementary curricula with an emphasis on First Nations culture and heritage
-- elevating courses, such as Mi'kmaw Studies, from Grade 10 to Grade 11
-- partnering with Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey to update the Mi'kmaw Language Foundation resource

The Council on Mi'kmaq Education provides advice and recommendations to the minister relating to Mi'kmaw students. Expanding treaty education has been a significant area of interest for the council.

"Treaty education, in its various forms, is an important aspect of curriculum for all students at all levels," said council chair Basil Johnson. "The Council on Mi'kmaq Education is pleased that the minister is listening to its concerns about the lack of treaty education in the school system and taking positive step to address this gap."

"Nova Scotia was home to Atlantic Canada's only Indian Residential School, located in Shubenacadie, and the profoundly negative effects it had are still strongly felt in the aboriginal community," said Ms. Casey. "The department will work to ensure that all students develop a better understanding of the appalling, inter-generational impact this institution, along with many others in Canada, had on thousands of aboriginal students."

Source: Release

Downey v. Halifax Regional Water Commission Hearing to Begin Oct. 29

An independent Nova Scotia human rights board of inquiry in the case of Graham Downey v. Halifax Regional Water Commission is scheduled to begin Oct. 29, with preliminary matters.

Mr. Downey alleges his employers, HRM and then Halifax Regional Water Commission, retaliated against him because of a previous complaint he filed with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, as well as any ongoing allegations. The water commission denies any allegations of discrimination and alleges Mr. Downey's complaint should be dismissed for being filed after the required one-year period.

The board of inquiry is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Seminar Room, Nova Scotia Art Gallery, 1723 Hollis St., Halifax, to deal with preliminary matters raised by counsel for the water commission. The board chair, Walter Thompson, is independent of the commission, which is representing the public interest at the board of inquiry.

Source: Release

Funding Supports Efficient Passenger Vehicle Research

Government is supporting a research project that will help East Hants Community Learning Association and its transit service, East Hants Community Rider, deliver a more sustainable service to its clients.

East Hants MLA Margaret Miller, on behalf of Energy Minister Andrew Younger, announced today, Oct. 24, that government will provide $11,000 to help the organization research options for an efficient, wheelchair-accessible, eight-passenger vehicle.

"The minister and I commend the organization for thinking ahead about energy efficiency and providing accessible service in the community," said Ms. Miller. "It's clear they see the benefit in sourcing the right vehicle to meet their rural clients' needs. We're pleased to contribute to their sustainable transportation efforts."

The funding supports a full-time contract position to gather and analyze research, and work with industry experts to determine if a customized electric, hybrid, or high-efficiency vehicle is best suited for the organization's transit service. The East Hants Community Learning Association and East Hants Community Rider plan to purchase a vehicle when the research is complete in March.

"Purchasing an efficient passenger vehicle, based on research that takes into account our region's needs, is important to us," said Tanya Burke, executive director of the East Hants Community Learning Association. "We're fulfilling our mandate in increasingly sustainable, cost-effective ways."

Among its other services, the association and East Hants Community Rider help people who do not drive or have access to transportation, travel to work, medical appointments and grocery stores.

The new vehicle will complement the organization's fuel-efficient
car and two wheelchair-accessible minivans.

Funding for sustainable transportation projects is part of government's Sustainable Transportation Strategy. Visit for more information.


     Government is supporting a research project that will help

East Hants Community Learning Association and East Hants

Community Rider deliver a more sustainable transit service to

their clients.

     Government announced today (October 24th) it will provide

11-thousand dollars for research into an efficient, wheelchair

accessible passenger vehicle.

     The organization plans to purchase a vehicle when its

research is complete in March.

Source: Release

Street Closure - Newbery Street

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents that Newbery Street, off of Kencrest Avenue in Halifax, will be closed to vehicular traffic tomorrow, Oct. 25.

The street will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., to accommodate asphalt paving.

Motorists should expect delays and are asked to use alternative routes, if possible.

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

Source: Release

Helping Apprentices Complete Training Sooner, Easier

Proposed amendments to the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act introduced today, Oct. 24, will help more apprentices complete their training sooner and easier.

Nova Scotia apprentices who pursue on-the-job-training in another province will no longer have to register in that province. Instead, they can remain registered in Nova Scotia. This lets them start training more quickly, and saves paying extra fees and writing more exams.

The legislation also ensures out-of-province on-the-job and trades training is recognized, meeting a government commitment.

"I think Nova Scotia is taking the right steps," said Jared Grover, a second-year pipe-trade student at Nova Scotia Community College. "I would absolutely love to stay in Nova Scotia. It's where my friends and family are. This is always home. Now, if I have to go away, I can come back, start a life, start a family and eventually retire."

Currently, only about half of apprentices registered in Nova Scotia complete their certification.

"We know that Nova Scotians want to build a life here," said Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. "This legislation helps apprentices get the training they need more quickly and at less cost so they can qualify for the good jobs in Nova Scotia."

Once registered in Nova Scotia, the Apprenticeship Agency will work with the province where the apprentice is, and ensure they are getting the proper training and experience to complete the program. Nova Scotia Community College training will also be recognized elsewhere.

"The role of the new agency is to work with industry to open up more opportunities for Nova Scotia apprentices," said Marjorie Davison, CEO of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. "To accomplish this, we need to make it easier for our apprentices to get the training they need to complete their journey."

Amendments will also allow the agency to make agreements with other provinces to ensure apprentice experience and training is recognized, and the training meets a quality standard.
These amendments complement work already underway to enhance consistency in apprenticeship programs across the country.

Source: Release

Amendments to Tobacco Legislation Introduced

Government introduced amendments today, Oct. 24, to regulate e-cigarettes, waterpipes and flavoured tobacco under the province's tobacco legislation.

"The health and safety of Nova Scotians, especially our youth, is this government's number one priority," said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. "We've worked hard to shift from a smoking culture toward a smoke-free culture in Nova Scotia. We do not want to lose ground."

There is emerging evidence of health risks from using e-cigarettes, especially for young people. Research shows the health risks from using waterpipes are similar to using other types of tobacco. E-cigarettes, waterpipes and flavoured tobacco are all increasing in popularity among young Canadians, and encouraging them to try other tobacco products.

"The Nova Scotia government deserves praise for strong legislation to address e-cigarettes, waterpipe and flavoured tobacco," said Kelly Cull, manager of government relations with the Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division. "These measures will position Nova Scotia as having some of the most progressive tobacco legislation in Canada."

The amendments will change the definition of smoke in the Smoke-free Places Act to address second-hand smoke from waterpipes and vapour from e-cigarettes, prohibiting their use in indoor public places.

The definition of tobacco will be changed in the Tobacco Access Act to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco cigarettes. This change will restrict vendors from selling e-cigarettes to those younger than 19, and from displaying, advertising or promoting e-cigarettes.

The sale of flavoured tobacco will be banned under the Tobacco Access Act, including the flavoured juice often used in e-cigarettes. A regulation under the act will exempt menthol tobacco.

Regulatory officers will be able to issue summary offence tickets to those selling e-cigarettes or tobacco to a minor.

Source: Release

McNabs Island Improvements

Visitors to McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour will see some improvements next spring.

Waterfront Development Corp. is working with the Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of McNabs Island Society to enhance the island. This includes additional marine infrastructure, compostable toilets, and signs. The Waterfront Development Corp. is investing $150,000 to support the work and will manage the project.

It is the largest island at the entrance of the harbour and includes Fort McNab National Historic Site. The 372-hectare island is only a short boat ride from Halifax or Eastern Passage, and is part of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park.

"We are helping to enhance visitors' experience of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park by continuing to collaborate with the Friends of McNabs Island Society and the Waterfront Development Corporation," said Minister of Natural Resources Zach Churchill. "These infrastructure improvements will benefit the community by improving access to this unique provincial park in Halifax Harbour."

Colin MacLean, president and CEO, Waterfront Development Corp. noted that many residents have not had an opportunity to visit the island.

"It's truly an undiscovered gem here in Halifax Harbour," said Mr. MacLean. "This partnership is one way to create more opportunity, more discussion around public access and navigating the island more easily, while still protecting the vision that guides its future."

Promoting the island as a nature park and outdoor classroom is key for the Friends of McNabs Island Society.

"Waterfront Development's investment in McNabs Island complements the trail and park improvements that the Friends of McNabs have been doing in recent years," said Catherine McCarthy, society president. "These welcome improvements will be greatly appreciated by island visitors."

The society is a non-profit, registered charity dedicated to the preservation of McNabs, Lawlor and Devils Islands as parkland. It raises funds to support projects such as annual beach cleanups, trail and park improvements, and outdoor education. One of its most popular events is the fall foliage tour which sold out Oct. 19, with 250 visitors going to the island. More information is available at .

Waterfront Development is a provincial Crown corporation developing the strategic potential of waterfronts in Bedford, Dartmouth, Halifax and Lunenburg. For more information go to .

Source: Release

Drainage Improvements - Lacewood Drive

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents that starting Monday, Oct. 27, until Friday, Oct. 31, crews will be installing catch basins and storm drains on the south side of Lacewood Drive in Halifax, between Bayview Road and Gateway Road.

There will be lane reductions in effect from 9 a.m. until about 4 p.m. daily. Motorists should expect delays and are asked to use alternative routes whenever possible.

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

Source: Release

Changes Allow Halifax to Negotiate Property Tax Agreements

Halifax Regional Municipality will now be able to enter into a property tax agreement with owners of heavy industrial properties as a result of amendments introduced today, Oct. 24, to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

"This charter amendment is an important tool for the municipality in managing its financial affairs to ensure certainty and predictability of tax revenues from unique industrial properties that pose an assessment challenge," said Mayor Mike Savage.

The municipality will be able to determine which property owners are eligible and what they will pay in taxes. Property tax relief for some industries is common across the country, as it can be difficult to value the property based on criteria under assessment acts.

"I recognize there can be situations where it may be difficult to fairly assess the value for a heavy industrial property, which can lead to time-consuming and expensive appeals," said Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey. "This change allows HRM council to provide stable taxes for eligible properties."

The definition of heavy industrial properties will be identified in regulations.

Source: Release

Road Construction - Queen Street

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 (Halifax, NS) – Asphalt milling will take place tomorrow (Friday) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., on Queen Street between Morris and South streets.

There will be stop-and-go traffic while this work is underway.

Motorists should expect delays in the area and are encouraged to use alternative routes whenever possible.

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

Wastewater Pilot Results Posted

Results of a pilot project with hydraulic fracturing wastewater from Atlantic Industrial Services in Debert have been posted by the Department of Environment.

The results are available at

The pilot project, approved last April, permitted the transport of two million litres of treated wastewater from the Atlantic Industrial Services holding ponds for use as a coolant in the kiln at the Lafarge cement plant in Brookfield, where it was evaporated at 700 C.

Before being evaporated in the kiln, the wastewater had been treated for naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMS) and put through reverse-osmosis.

The water was analyzed and it meets the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers and Health Canada guidelines for release into a freshwater source. As part of the project, Lafarge did water testing before, during and after evaporation.

The tests showed comparable results for cooling water drawn from Shortts Lake, near Truro, and the wastewater from the holding ponds at Atlantic Industrial Services.

"When I met with the community last April, I said that we would update people on the results of the pilot and making the results available online is a good way to keep everyone informed," said Environment Minister Randy Delorey. "I'm pleased with the findings from the pilot.

"The results confirm that evaporation provides Nova Scotians with a viable disposal solution."

The department has received a request for authorization from Atlantic Industrial Services to remove and treat another five million litres at the Lafarge plant. A decision will be announced soon. If approved, any terms and conditions would be the same as the pilot project, requiring dual treatment of the wastewater before evaporation. There are 10 million litres remaining in two ponds at the company's Debert site.

Triangle Petroleum also has 20 million litres of wastewater in two holdings ponds in Kennetcook, Hants Co.

The wastewater in both areas is from high-pressure hydraulic fracturing that took place in 2007 and 2008.

Source: Release

Changes Proposed for Graduated Driver's Licence Program

Proposed changes to Nova Scotia's Graduated Driver's Licence program will help reduce crashes and injury risk for new drivers.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan tabled the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act today, Oct. 23.

"The majority of collisions on the road are predictable and preventable," said Mr. MacLellan. "The legislative changes we're introducing today will strengthen the Graduated Driver's Licence program and help reduce the number of serious and fatal injury crashes in our province."

The three proposed changes to the program, and effective dates, are:
-- Drivers must maintain zero blood alcohol content for two years after they complete the learner/beginner and newly licenced phases of the program. This new requirement is effective April 1, 2015.
-- Supervisory drivers must be fully licenced for at least two years after they complete the learner/beginner and newly licensed phases of the program. Currently a new driver can be a supervisory driver immediately after getting a full licence. This will be effective April 1, 2015.
-- The learner/beginner phase of the program will be 12 months. Currently the learner/beginner phase is six months. It will still be possible to have three months taken off the phase if an approved driver training program is completed. This will be effective April 1, 2016.

An amendment was also introduced for people who have permanently lost their driver's licence after a fourth Criminal Code conviction on charges of impairment by drugs or alcohol while driving, stunting, or driving while disqualified.

Effective April 1, 2015, the mandatory requirement to permanently revoke a driver's licence will be removed and people can apply to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to be reinstated. People who have committed serious Criminal Code offences will not be considered.

"We're proposing this change in response to MADD Canada's recommendations, and to recognize that many drivers who have lost their licence for impaired driving continue to drive uninsured, unregistered and unlicenced, putting themselves and others at risk on the road," said Mr. MacLellan. "It will allow the province to monitor drivers deemed high risk."

The Graduated Driver's Licence program gradually moves new drivers from low-risk situations to higher-risk ones after gaining driving experience. This includes night curfews, knowledge testing and driving courses.

Source: Release

Amendments to Cellphone Legislation

Cellphone users in Nova Scotia will have broader protection when a new federal Wireless Code applies to all cellphone contracts on June 3, 2015.

Currently, the federal Wireless Code only applies to contracts that start on or after Dec. 1, 2013. In June, it will apply to all cellphone contracts, no matter when they began. Because of this, provincial provisions, which only apply to contracts made on or after May 1, 2013, will no longer be needed, and will be repealed when the federal code covers all cellphone contracts.

Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey introduced amendments to the Consumer Protection Act today, Oct. 23, which will allow the cellphone legislation to be repealed and amend the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act to preserve protections against cyberbullying.

The federal Wireless Code covers areas addressed in the provincial legislation with a few updates, which include:
-- allowing customers to have a 15-day trial period to ensure the service meets their needs
-- providing caps on monthly charges: $100 for roaming and $50 for overage charges
-- rules governing prepaid service contracts
-- requiring companies to allow customers to unlock their phones at a specified price

The cyberbullying provision will move to the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, helping the Department of Justice's cyber safety initiatives.

Cellphone service providers will continue to provide educational materials to customers that support responsible cellphone use.

Nova Scotians will be protected under provincial cellphone rules until June, when the federal Wireless Code applies to all contracts.

Source: Release
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