Hearts are heavy this week in Nova Scotia. Another tragedy has hit our province - we are all mourning the devastating news about the scallop dragger, Chief William Saulis.
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the six crew members. Please know that we are keeping you close in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
What else happened this week:
- Your PC MLAs continue to give back and support wonderful organizations this holiday season. MLA Brian Comer’s tireless work for Newborns in Need helps to ensure the most innocent among us are cared for and comfortable. A huge thanks to Brian and everyone involved.
- In Dartmouth, Prince Andrew High School teacher Kurt Chadwick launched a pantry program out of his classroom to ease the burden on students and families who find themselves short on supplies. PC MLA Tim Halman is acting as the go-between for the school and the community to help raise awareness for the initiative and is working with businesses to jump on board as well.
- Businesses can't have certainty for what 2021 will bring, but they don't need to be unnecessarily left in the dark about the government's plans and expectations either. This week I suggested that the government work with our businesses on a multi-phased restriction system like in New Brunswick and PEI, with predictable triggers so that business owners can understand how case numbers will affect their operations. Businesses are not asking for much. They want to keep Nova Scotians safe and have been pillars in our community through the pandemic. In October, the government indicated that they were working on a phased approach that involved meetings with the Chambers of Commerce, but two months later, there appears to be no progress. Hopefully businesses hear something soon.
Tip of the hat
The first COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Nova Scotia! What a beautiful sight it was seeing pictures of it arriving.
Danielle Sheaves, a registered nurse in the designated COVID unit at the Halifax Infirmary, was the first person to receive the vaccine here in Nova Scotia.
Thanks to the scientists, researchers, physicians, trial candidates, logistics professionals, and everyone else who made this first delivery possible.
On Friday, the Premier and his Liberal colleagues sat in the Legislature for less than 13 minutes so they could block the legislative process. They were determined to ensure that Nova Scotia remains the only province in the country that has not held a safe and representative legislative session since the start of the pandemic.
Not something to brag about.
Not only that, but they ignored Dr. Strang’s Public Health advice in the process—advice that only a day earlier, the Premier used as an excuse to prevent the opposition parties from attending the legislature.
The whole thing was mind boggling.
Thank you to my PC colleagues who followed the guidance of Dr. Strang; did not travel into the city; and worked from their constituencies.
I attempted to bring forward a Point of Privilege to ensure the Legislature could sit safely, and virtually over the holidays into January and that the business of the public could be heard, but when I rose to speak I was told by the Speaker of the Legislature that I would not have the opportunity.
“Not today,” he said.
That’s not democracy.
In the 282-and-counting days since the House sat, lives have been lost and forever changed.
By not being in the Legislature, the Liberals guaranteed they would not have to answer questions about everything from the growing mental health crisis, to not committing to permanent virtual healthcare options, to the lack of support for our small- and medium-sized businesses; and everything in between.
It’s almost like they see themselves as being above democracy.
To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. We will continue to share our vision for this province because we know that it will take all of us, working together, to make Nova Scotia a more equal and prosperous place to call home.
Here’s a link to my interview with CBC host Tom Murphy. Video starts at the 27 minute mark.
There are no committees meeting next week.
Lastly, I want to wish you, your family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a chance to take some time and relax with your loved ones, in person or virtually (as the rules allow). I look forward to a successful new year for Nova Scotia.