Nova Scotian success stories were highlighted today, Sept. 6, as the second session of the 63rd General Assembly of the Nova Scotia legislature got underway.
Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc read the speech from the throne, which outlined government’s commitment to inclusive economic growth and the opportunity to seize the moment to sustain Nova Scotia’s momentum.
“Thanks to the hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and optimism of Nova Scotians, our province’s future has never looked brighter,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.
“Our people are getting noticed on the national and international stage. We are at a pivotal moment and we will continue building on this progress to make sure the momentum carries into the future.”
Government’s solid, sustainable fiscal plan has allowed investments in foundational programs like pre-primary, the largest income tax cut in the province’s recent history, and once-in-a-generation health infrastructure projects in Cape Breton and Halifax.
Work continues to provide Nova Scotians with timely access to primary health care as the system adapts to the changing needs of patients and health-care professionals. Government action includes investing in collaborative family practices across the province, funding training seats for family doctors, specialists and nurse practitioners, and supporting improved mental health and addictions services.
“Solutions to challenges in health care are not simple, and many of these difficult issues are not unique to Nova Scotia,” said Premier McNeil.
“We are working hard with our partners to address those challenges, while also improving major pieces of health infrastructure.”
As the legislature session begins, students across the province are back at school, where they will see more inclusive education supports. Government is following through on its commitment to the objectives of the Commission on Inclusive Education, which issued its report in the spring.
Government’s legislative agenda this session, which is subject to change, includes:
— reducing barriers for entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses
— reducing inter-provincial trade barriers
— formalizing Develop Nova Scotia’s role to drive inclusive economic growth and strategic economic infrastructure
— a new Traffic Safety Act to replace the outdated Motor Vehicle Act
— legislation to ensure more stringent regulations and oversight of funeral homes and crematoriums and changes to increase consumer protection
— legislation to address the delivery of conversion therapies in Nova Scotia
During the session, government will also release its strategy to make Nova Scotia an accessible province by 2030. It follows the proclamation of Nova Scotia’s first Accessibility Act last year.