The government will continue its work to be transparent and accountable to Nova Scotians during the second session of the 62nd general assembly, which resumed today, March 26.
Key priorities will include simplifying regulations, fostering business growth in Nova Scotia, and getting the province’s finances back on track.
“We listened to Nova Scotians and we will be making the changes necessary to get our fiscal house in order and protect the programs and services that are most important to our citizens,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “The days and weeks ahead will be challenging, but we are committed to working towards a better future for everyone in our province.”
The provincial budget for 2015-16 will be tabled Thursday, April 9. Finance and Treasury Board Minister Diana Whalen consulted with Nova Scotians across the province as she was preparing the budget and it will give a clear picture of government’s efforts to control spending.
During the spring sitting, government will introduce amendments to allow four councils of unions to negotiate on behalf of health-care workers. This will ensure a clear process for negotiating essential services agreements and will clear the way for the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK to find new and better ways of delivering health care.
Government will also introduce an amendment to allow victims of sexual assault to sue in civil court, regardless of when the assault occurred.
The government’s legislative agenda, subject to change, for the sitting is as follows:
— Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility Closure Act, which will establish date to cease flow of effluent into Boat Harbour
— Children and Family Services Act, which will address a gap in protection framework for people age 16 to 19
— Maintenance and Custody Act, which will make many amendments, most notably providing enforcement remedies for failure to comply with court orders
— Elections Act and House of Assembly Act amendments, to extend voting opportunities
— Vital Statistics Act amendments to eliminate the requirement for proof and notification of a surgery to change gender classification
— Tobacco Access Act and Smoke Free Places Act
— University Act amendments for greater accountability