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Organ and Tissue Donation Legislation, Balanced Budget Highlight Spring Sitting

Government passed legislation that will save lives by increasing organ and tissue donation in Nova Scotia and tabled its fourth consecutive balanced budget during the spring 2019 sitting of the 63rd general assembly.

The sitting wrapped up today, April 12.

“I’m proud of the work Nova Scotians have done with us around the budget and legislation we brought forward during this sitting,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.

“Our strong fiscal foundation, including our fourth consecutive balanced budget, allows us to invest in Nova Scotians’ priorities in areas like health, education and creating opportunities for young people.”

Under the new Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act, every Nova Scotian will be presumed to be a potential donor, unless they opt out. This will give patients waiting for transplants a better chance of getting one sooner, no matter where they live in the province, by increasing the availability of organs and tissue. This legislation is the first of its kind in North America.

“I am grateful for the support our government has received from Nova Scotians as together, we become leaders in North America on the issue of presumed consent for organ and tissue donation,” said Premier McNeil. “We are committed to doing better for our fellow citizens awaiting life-saving transplants, and I look forward to collaborating with Nova Scotians as we work toward proclaiming the legislation next year.”

Budget 2019 builds on government’s strong record of fiscal management, with continued investments in health care, education, people, communities and infrastructure.

During the sitting, 22 bills were passed, including legislation to protect Nova Scotia’s coastlines, address short-term rentals in the shared economy, encourage investment in small- and medium-sized businesses, and strengthen student safety and protection.

All parties voted unanimously to adopt the House of Assembly Tartan Act, which designates an official tartan for the house and recognizes April 6 as Tartan Day.

There were a number of significant announcements and milestones during the spring sitting:
— the pre-primary program was expanded to 56 more schools across the province, in year three of a four-year rollout that will see every four-year-old in Nova Scotia have access to pre-primary by 2020
— details of the Cape Breton Health Care Redevelopment Project were announced, radically changing the way health care is delivered for generations to come. They include a new 190,000-square-foot building on the Cape Breton Regional Hospital site that will house a new emergency department, critical care department and cancer centre
— Nova Scotia’s population reached an all-time high, at 965,382 at the beginning of 2019
— the province’s seafood exports reached another milestone with more than $2 billion in 2018 – leading the country with more than 29 per cent of Canada’s seafood exports

For a complete list of bills passed during the spring sitting, visit https://nslegislature.ca/legislative-business/bills-statutes/bills/assembly-63-session-2 .

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Source : Media Release

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