February 7, 2021: Tonight during the Super Bowl

I never thought the day would come when I would see my name next to Tom Brady’s.

Between us, we have six Super Bowls (maybe even seven after tonight?).
Since you’re receiving this email, you’ve likely been following along and know that we’ve been putting in the work to show Nova Scotians what we’re focusing on and how we’ll get there.
Tonight, we’re getting the word out to the entire province. I’m so thrilled to launch our latest TV commercial tonight during the Super Bowl on the CTV Atlantic feed. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is a sneak peek.

What else happened this week:

  • Congratulations to Premier-Designate Iain Rankin on being selected as the new Liberal leader and the next premier of our great province. I called the incoming Premier last night to wish him the best of luck.  It is an incredible honour to serve the province of Nova Scotia and I know he will do so with the best intentions. I look forward to working collaboratively to ensure Nova Scotia gets back on its feet. 
  • We learned that the Yarmouth Ferry’s 2021 season is officially cancelled. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, this will be the third year in a row that the Liberals will apparently pay to not bring passengers to Nova Scotia — and most of it was due to missed deadlines on terminal construction. And then, there are the costs. It appears that regardless of whether or not the ferry sails, your tax dollars continue to go towards the secret management fee. Almost two years after we took the government to court to get answers, the Liberals continue to hide how much the operator is being paid to keep the ferry idle. Shameful.
  • Northside-Westmount MLA Murray Ryan says the government needs to explain the disparaging difference in government support when it comes to the airport in Sydney and the Yarmouth ferryThe Sydney Airport has moved more people in the last two years during the middle of a global pandemic than the Yarmouth Ferry has in three years.
  • The Legislature is going back March 9th — finally. We’re pleased that a date has been set for the Legislature to resume as March 10 will mark a full year since Nova Scotians had their democractic institution working. MLA Allan MacMaster spoke to the Chronicle Herald about it and made the point that when the Legislature does resume, all Members should be able to participate in compliance with Public Health rules for public safety. Our democratic institution has to adapt to ensure it continues to exist, and that includes where we actually meet. I couldn’t agree more — we will push for this!
  • Basic quality of life is at risk for many as a result of the Liberal government’s slow phase-out of Nova Scotia’s eight adult residential facilities, says Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg MLA Brian Comer. The Standing Committee on Community Services met Tuesday to discuss phasing out Adult Residential Centre and Regional Rehabilitation Centre Facilities. This isn’t just paperwork. These are people’s lives and the lives of their families that are put on hold. The governing Liberals’ lack of action on their own commitments directly impacts those waiting to start living their lives in the community.

Tip of the hat
The PC Caucus is pleased to see three separate ideas put forward in recent years being adopted just days before Premier McNeil leaves office:

  • Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane’s legislation on exemption on vehicle registration for members of the Volunteer Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary was adopted by the government. 
  • Victoria-The Lakes MLA Keith Bain, who introduced the Firefighter Licence Plates Act in the 2013 spring sitting of the Legislature, saw his idea finally adopted this week.
  • Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage MLA Barbara Adams introduced an amendment to the Health Authorities Act that would ensure veterans and their spouses are placed together in long-term care facilities.

Some of these ideas date back to 2013. It’s unfortunate that it took this long for the Liberals to act on them — but better late than never! All three affect important groups in our society who have contributed greatly.

Failing grade
Those who protect our communities should be a priority for vaccinations, period.
And that should include police officers. Police officers interact with the public on a daily basis, and that puts them at an increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
Unfortunately that’s not the news Nova Scotia police agencies received from the government. They were told they would no longer be scheduled to be vaccinated during Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout.
According to Nova Scotia’s Coronavirus website, Phase 2 vaccination priorities include those who live or work in correctional facilities and shelters. Police officers should remain in this phase of the vaccine rollout because of their interactions with these groups and the broader community. They keep us safe.
We should not be bumping police officers down the queue for vaccines.
If it’s a supply issue, then the outgoing Premier and Mr.Rankin should join other provinces in pressuring their federal cousins to secure more supply. The solution should not be to bump frontline workers and pick winners and losers in the vaccine lottery among our essential workers.

On Wednesday, the Public Accounts Committee will meet to discuss Homes for Special Care: Identification and Management of Health and Safety Risks. This is a report from the Auditor General dating back to June 2016. It will look at Chapter 1, titled Managing Home Care Support Contracts.

Until next week,