This Week in the Legislature

November 22: New restrictions due to COVID-19

 

There are new restrictions coming into effect due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Some of the rules are only for the Central Zone and some are for the whole province. Please click here to read the latest in COVID-19 Public Health news.

 
What else happened this week:

  • On Thursday, seven PC MLAs attended an information session on understanding commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth in Nova Scotia. I’m very proud of our colleague, MLA Karla MacFarlane, who has worked with stakeholders across the province and developed thoughtful, comprehensive legislation to combat this heinous crime. Nova Scotia has the highest rate of human trafficking in the country. This is not an urban issue. It is happening in communities right across our province. Nova Scotia is a corridor to transport victims of human trafficking to larger cities. It has to stop. There is lots of work ahead of us, but our commitment is clear and we know this must be addressed as a non-partisan issue. We were pleased to see the Liberals adopt some of MLA MacFarlane’s bills. If we work together, we can improve the situation. 
  • On Thursday, the PC Caucus delivered their closing remarks in the Yarmouth to Maine ferry trial. The Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge reserved his decision in this very important case about whether the provincial government should disclose a fee paid to a heavily-subsidized private ferry operator. This has always been about getting transparency and answers for taxpayers. 
  • With the number of COVID cases increasing, we should be using every tool available to its maximum capacity. This means embracing technology, and more data is a good thing. The COVID Alert App is the best contact tracing tool at the disposal of Nova Scotians, so let’s make sure that we use it. That’s the message Colton LeBlanc, MLA for Argyle-Barrington and PC Critic for Pre-Hospital and Preventative Health Care, delivered Friday when he encouraged more uptake to keep Nova Scotians safe. 

 

Tip of the hat
 
This year’s Tree for Boston is from Richmond County! Thank you to Heather and Tony Sampson from West Bay, Richmond Co., for their big, beautiful donation. Their 45-foot white spruce has arrived at Boston Common.
 
Nova Scotia is dedicating this tree to health-care workers to honour both Boston's response after the Halifax Explosion and those who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Frontline workers have worked tirelessly during this pandemic to keep us safe. They show up day in and day out.
 
We salute you!

 
Failing grade
 
More than half of the staff at News 95.7 in Halifax are being laid off.
 
This is a huge loss for the media landscape.
 
Two radio shows—the Sheldon MacLeod Show and the Todd Veinotte Show—are no longer going to air after November 27, 2020. Local talk radio is important, and the team at 95.7—a team that I have gotten to know very well over the years—has done a great job at fostering discussions and bringing important issues to the attention of Nova Scotians.
 
We haven’t discussed this enough, but reporters have played an integral role during the pandemic. They have become essential workers, too often overlooked. Trusted voices have become staples in family living rooms during these unprecedented times.

 
Committees
 
On Tuesday, the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development will meet to discuss Innovacorp and the work of Nova Scotia start-ups. The witnesses include:
 
Malcolm Fraser, President and CEO of  Innovacorp; and Bernie Miller, Deputy Minister, Department of Business.
 
On Thursday,  Human Resources will meet to discuss Recruiting Continuing Care Assistants, as well as to make appointments to Agencies, Boards and Commissions. Witnesses for the meeting will include Kelliann Dean, Chief Executive Officer, Nova Scotia Office of Immigration; and Dr. Kevin Orrell, Deputy Minister from the Department of Health and Wellness.

 

Until next week,
Tim