Residents of Sydney Mines will soon have access to moreaffordable rental housing with the approval of a $1.3-million,20-unit project under the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housingagreement. Nova Scotia Community Services Minister, David Morse, and Memberof Parliament Mark Eyking, on behalf of Joe Fontana, federalMinister of Labour and Housing, made the announcement today, Nov.26. “This project is going to be of great benefit to Sydney Minesbecause it addresses an identified need for affordable rentalhousing for both seniors and non-elderly singles in thecommunity,” said Mr. Morse. “This is the first project to beannounced for Cape Breton and we look forward to working withinterested parties to develop more affordable housing in theregion.” “The government of Canada is committed to supporting affordablehousing for those Canadians who need it most,” said Mr. Eyking.”We are pleased to be making this investment to create affordablehousing units for residents of Sydney Mines. Together with ourpartners, we are helping to build healthy, sustainablecommunities across the province.” The project will receive funding from both levels of governmentand the developer. The government of Canada is providing $500,000in up-front capital, the province is providing $285,000 in rentsupplement funding and New Deal Developments plans to raisecapital through the sale of shares in the community. “We are pleased to partner with the federal and provincialgovernments on this project,” said Emmett O’Connor, president,New Deal Developments. “This is a unique, community-drivenproject that will enable us to increase the amount of affordablehousing available to Cape Bretoners.” The three-storey building will be completely wheelchairaccessible. It will contain a mix of bachelor, one-bedroom andtwo-bedroom apartments — all barrier-free. Construction on theproject will begin next spring and is expected to be completed byMarch 2006. Including today’s announcement, $11.55 million in funding hasbeen committed by the government of Canada and the province ofNova Scotia for the construction or renovation of 313 unitsvalued at $19.1 million in the province. It is expected that upto 1,500 affordable housing units will be created or renovatedunder the $37.3-million Affordable Housing Agreement by 2007. COMMUNITY SERVICES–Sydney Mines Gets Affordable Rental HousingProject
Every resident of Halifax Regional Municipality will have access to high-speed Internet service as a result of a $1-million contract announced by the province today, Aug. 13. The contract with OmniGlobe Networks is part of the Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative which will make Nova Scotia one of the most connected jurisdictions in North America. OmniGlobe joins EastLink and Seaside Communications to ensure that broadband services are available in all corners of the province. The $75-million initiative is on schedule and all Nova Scotians will have high-speed access by the end of 2009. Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac said OmniGlobe will provide broadband access to about 1,300 civic addresses in HRM. The addresses were not part of a separate broadband initiative by the municipality earlier this year. “We are pleased that the unserved areas of rural HRM are now included in the Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “OmniGlobe specializes in remote and complex Internet connections and is well suited to connect the remaining residents, businesses and agencies scattered throughout the municipality.” OmniGlobe Networks Inc. is a Canadian global telecommunications company based in Montreal. The company has wireless Internet projects in a number of countries. It has offices in the United Kingdom, Ontario and Quebec, and is expanding into British Columbia and Nova Scotia. “OmniGlobe is looking forward to partnering with the government of Nova Scotia and welcomes this opportunity as a wonderful fit for our expertise in wireless Internet,” said Jason Neale, CEO of OmniGlobe Networks. “Engineering and regulatory work will begin immediately in order to bring quality broadband service throughout rural HRM.” Although 80 per cent of Nova Scotia has broadband access, about 200,000 Nova Scotians, 93,500 dwellings and 5,600 businesses are not served with affordable, reliable high-speed access to the Internet. The Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative will close this gap completely. The cost of the initiative is being shared by the provincial and federal governments and the three service providers. An expert evaluation team selected OmniGlobe as the successful bidder based on a combination of a number of factors including the company’s experience with the proposed technology, the approach to the project based on its business model and technical expertise, the sustainability of service, and its ability to meet the desired completion date within reasonable costs. For more information on availability of OmniGlobe Broadband in HRM go to the website, www.omniglobebroadband.com , contact the company by e-mail at email@example.com or call 1-888-365-OMNI(6664). Information about the Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative and its progress, is available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/broadband .
Aquaculture operations and projects across Nova Scotia are developing new products, improving production and boosting quality, because of funding from the province. Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau announced today, Sept. 26, $793,499 in funding for Nova Scotia aquaculture operators and projects to boost capabilities. The investment is part of $2.5 million in aquaculture funding from the Community Development Trust Fund. “With 330 sites throughout Nova Scotia, the aquaculture industry provides jobs in our coastal communities and has great potential to grow,” said Mr. Belliveau. “These sites provide a variety of high-quality shellfish, marine plants, and fish to local, national and international markets.” The Community Development Trust Fund is a $34.9-million program established in 2008 by the federal government to help communities and sectors experiencing economic challenges. “This funding is assisting in research, quality development, production and communication initiatives,” said Mr. Belliveau. “The support of these projects will ensure aquaculture continues to grow within the province and provide secure jobs in our communities.” The priorities of the trust fund, are to enhance sustainable prosperity; diversify economic and trade opportunities; improve productivity, innovation and training; assist communities with transition planning; and help workers facing adjustment challenges. More information on the Nova Scotia fund is available at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/cdtrust .
Homegrown solar energy company, SolarTron Energy Systems Inc, is increasing production at its Amherst plant. The company is manufacturing 39 solar concentrating collectors used to provide hot water for tanks, boiler heating systems, radiant heating and air conditioning systems for residential, commercial and municipal markets. SolarTron is using a $250,000 repayable term loan provided through Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI). MLA Brian Skabar, on behalf of Minister of Economic and Rural Development Percy Paris, joined Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI, on a tour of the SolarTron production line today, June 29. “Clean energy is a large and growing international market and one in which Nova Scotia companies excel,” said Mr. Skabar. “This loan will help SolarTron to meet demand for its product and to increase its exports. Helping Nova Scotia companies to become more competitive is one of the priorities of jobsHere, the province’s plan to grow the economy.” SolarTron employs eight people in Amherst, and the company has distributors in Kenya, Australia, Germany, Austria, United States and Canada. Sobeys is a commercial client. The Municipality of Cumberland’s municipal building has a unit, and Halifax Regional Municipality Fire and Emergency installed a unit in May at its Knightsbridge Drive fire station. “With this loan, SolarTron has support to meet the demand for our product and become more competitive in a new industry,” said Edward Herniak, president of SolarTron. “We are committed to staying on the cutting edge of this technology and it is fantastic to see NSBI and the province are committed to helping us achieve that goal.” The collector, called the SolarBeam, uses technology that tracks the sun from morning to dusk, harvesting the sun’s energy at peak efficiency throughout the entire day. The company says its technology is up to 262 per cent more efficient than competing products. Traditional, flat-panel systems are only able to collect solar energy for two hours each day because they are stationary. “This a great example of the type of company we need to be developing in Nova Scotia,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. “The people at SolarTron are doing innovative, export-based work in an emerging industry. Ultimately, that’s good news for Nova Scotians.” Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s private-sector-led business development agency. Through trade development, investment attraction, business financing and venture capital, NSBI assists local companies and attracts international companies to Nova Scotia.
The following is the speech from the throne read today, March 29, 2012, by Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis at the opening of the fourth session of the 61st General Assembly of Nova Scotia: THE FUTURE STARTS HERE: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE 2012 Mr. Speaker, Members of the Legislature, ladies and gentlemen, Nova Scotians. Welcome to the Fourth Session of this, the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature. As this is my final opportunity to speak as her Majesty’s representative in this historic chamber, I want to wish all Nova Scotians well and thank them for their kindness to me over the past five-and-a-half years. This year is an auspicious one for Nova Scotians, as it is for our fellow citizens in every part of our great worldwide Commonwealth. In 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. Throughout the year, Nova Scotians will join others all over the Commonwealth in celebrating Her Majesty’s 60-year reign. Long may she reign over us. In July, as the Council of the Federation’s incoming chair, the Premier will proudly host his colleagues from across Canada and lead the provinces in discussions about sustaining and strengthening the growth of our national economy. And, Canada’s premiers and the national aboriginal leaders will hold their annual meetings in Nova Scotia this year. In the year that has passed since I last spoke in this Chamber, Nova Scotians have lost fellow citizens who gave much and freely of themselves. We take time now to remember these Nova Scotians whose contributions have fundamentally shaped this province across a wide variety of sectors: Our province can move forward in confidence because of the contributions of people such as these. In 2009, Nova Scotians voted for a new approach to government, rejecting an approach that had become stale, short-sighted and unable to learn from mistakes. Nova Scotians, seeking to make life better for families, provided a strong mandate for change. The priorities of Nova Scotians are as clear today as they were three years ago: good jobs and a strong economy, health care, education, and affordability. Nova Scotia needs a strong, vibrant economy to pay for important services like health care and education. A strong, vibrant economy will enable our children and grandchildren to find meaningful employment and raise their families. Here. At home. My government has been relentless in pursuit of economic opportunities that will propel the province forward. At the same time, it recognizes that the fiscal capacity of the government is driven by the way public resources are managed. With the help of thousands of Nova Scotians, business and labour leaders, public servants, and organizations, my government has taken on the difficult task of ensuring once and for all that the province’s spending is kept in line with its ability to pay. Getting back to balance — and staying there — is critical for making sure the public services that families rely on will be there when they need them, now and for generations to come. My government is one year away from bringing Nova Scotia back to balance. To ensure that the province continues to live within its means every year, my government will make even more improvements to the way it operates and delivers public services. My government is finding ways to deliver services much more cost-effectively, while maintaining or improving quality. In the coming year, it will focus further on procurement. The province spends $1 billion a year on goods and services, and Nova Scotians rightly expect their government to make wise spending decisions. My government will seek savings while ensuring quality and value for taxpayers. Previous governments have failed to find lasting savings in the administration of government, school boards and health authorities, municipalities and universities. My government is committed to providing services Nova Scotians want and need, while at the same time making the improvements necessary to deliver those programs and services more effectively. Just this month the province, the nine district health authorities, and the IWK announced the merger of several administrative services, including the elimination of up to 20 vice-president and senior executive positions. Once fully implemented, my government forecasts to save up to $55 million annually. Any service or program that is funded, either wholly or in part, by the taxpayers of Nova Scotia must be delivered in the most efficient way possible. Savings through shared services must be part of the solution. Continued duplication of services at public expense is something Nova Scotia cannot afford. My government is focused on the future. Its effort to secure a better life for families is supported by careful preparation and a strong, focused plan. My government is sticking to it’s plan. The plan is on track. The plan is working. Even as it has had to build a sustainable, balanced financial foundation for the province from the structural deficit it inherited, my government is also implementing significant change that is making life better for families now and into the future. Change to bring Nova Scotians better health care sooner. Change to put kids and learning first. Change to make life more affordable for Nova Scotian families. Change to create good jobs and grow the economy. Nova Scotia is positioned to succeed. Our time is now. CREATING GOOD JOBS AND GROWING THE ECONOMY In the past, poor economic performance was the norm. For 20 years, Nova Scotia’s economic growth was the worst in Canada. Previous governments were, at best, overwhelmed by the challenge, and failed to spur a more prosperous trend. Without change, Nova Scotia will not have a better future. My government is working with businesses, universities, and other partners to ensure that the province is strategically positioned to innovate, learn, and compete. Nova Scotia is heading into an era of what promises to be great prosperity — a time when good jobs are the norm, a time when young people who left the province looking for work can come home and build a life here in Nova Scotia. A strong, vibrant economy provides the foundation for the important programs and services Nova Scotians want and need.But opportunity rarely just drops into our laps. It must be pursued, planned for, and seized. Opportunities like the shipbuilding contract, the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project, and Shell Oil’s commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in exploration off our coast are going to significantly boost our economy. Much careful work and planning went into promoting and landing such opportunities. From Yarmouth to Cape Breton you can see and feel the optimism for the future, even before any direct impact has hit. This is truly a case of opportunity meeting preparedness. In Nova Scotia, right now, there are more people working than at any other time in our history. In the past few months, this province has turned an important corner: employment is higher now than before the recession hit in 2008. This is great news, but my government recognizes there is much more to be done. That’s where jobsHere comes in. A year after launching the jobsHere plan, the province has already supported the start-up and growth of hundreds of companies in all parts of Nova Scotia. My government lowered the small business tax two years in a row, creating the most competitive tax environment for businesses in decades, and expanded the Credit Union Small Business Loan Program, ensuring that small businesses in every part of the province have access to larger loans with more time to pay them back. jobsHere investments in workplace training help Nova Scotia employers grow their business. With funding through the Productivity Investment Program and the Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive, more businesses can adapt to new technology and new ways of operating. To date, the province has made 149 productivity training investments, totaling $2.5 million, with 6,325 Nova Scotian employees receiving workplace productivity training. An additional 48 applications are now being processed. Workplace Education Initiatives will continue to help workers increase essential skills. By the end of this year, 3,600 Nova Scotians will have moved into workplace education programs. This year, my government will improve the apprenticeship programs that teach young people the skills and trades they’ll need to make the most of their work lives in Nova Scotia’s bright future. Across Nova Scotia, demand for training in the workplace is massive. My government is expanding programs to meet that demand, and has brought all of its resources together under one virtual roof at careers.novascotia.ca. In recent years, generations of Nova Scotians have looked west for opportunity. Soon all of Canada — and eyes around the world — will turn toward Nova Scotia as this province steps up to take its rightful place leading the country in growth and productivity. In case anyone missed the announcement, Irving Shipyards was the successful bidder for the 30-year, $25-billion naval ships contract. This will have a profound and positive effect on Nova Scotia’s economy and on the lives of thousands of Nova Scotians and their families in all parts of the province. It is one of the “game changers” that are becoming economic reality in Nova Scotia. The shipbuilding contract will generate millions of dollars in economic spinoffs for the region, and create more than 11,000 good jobs during peak production. The province, through the Ships Start Here partnership, has already taken significant steps to help prepare businesses for participation. Last September, Shelburne Ship Repair reopened with the help of an $8.8-million provincial investment. Electricians, metal fabricators, sheet metal workers, welders, carpenters, steamfitters and pipefitters, and millwrights will be needed for the Irving contract. For those positions that cannot be staffed here at home, the best and the brightest from around the world will be attracted to share in our good fortune. Two generations of Nova Scotians will have chances that their parents and grandparents lacked. They will have choices. My government is putting tools in place to help them make choices that work for them, and is fully focused on ensuring that young Nova Scotians are trained and ready to benefit so that this opportunity means as much to Nova Scotia as it should. Through Kids and Learning First, the number of schools offering skilled trades will double over the next four years to 18 and a new manufacturing course connected to shipbuilding will be introduced in September 2013. These courses link learning to real-life jobs and help get young people thinking early about the opportunities out there and how they can seize them. In addition to the “factory floor” opportunities the ships contract offers, our universities will develop the engineers, the business leaders, the innovators needed to turn contracts and concepts into Canada’s next-generation naval fleet and build lasting economic legacies. A new $190,000 provincial investment will help high school graduates interested in shipbuilding enrol in a new metal fabrication program at the Nova Scotia Community College. And, my government will make a significant new investment in expanding trades training in our high schools. This investment in state-of-the-art trades training will ensure that young people from across the province are ready to take the leap into a fulfilling and rewarding career when they graduate. The province’s workforce strategy is helping Nova Scotians acquire the right skills for good jobs. While everyone can benefit, the strategy specifically and appropriately targets groups that are under-represented in the workforce, including women, African and Aboriginal Nova Scotians, people with disabilities, older workers, and income assistance recipients. Recently, the premier announced $640,000 for workforce training programs offered through the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office in Membertou. Mi’kmaw workers are a brilliant, untapped resource, and the investment will increase the number of Mi’kmaw ready to go to work in industries that need workers. That will help strengthen the economy and better prepare them and the province for a brighter future. Communities that have suffered discrimination and limited access to good jobs, particularly African Nova Scotians, have a new opportunity for training that is directly linked to worthwhile jobs. Skills Up offers financial assistance for participants to obtain new skills in areas such as carpentry, electronics technology, and operating heavy equipment, thereby enhancing their ability to obtain good jobs. New, immigrant Nova Scotians are another resource the province hopes will help meet the growing workforce demands. Welcome Home to Nova Scotia, the province’s new immigration strategy, is among the most comprehensive in Canada, internationally targeting workers who have the technical skills and global contacts the province needs to become more innovative, productive, and competitive. Nova Scotia will continue its efforts to persuade Ottawa to increase the overall cap on immigration to Canada, and continue to work with private industry to recruit new, skilled workers to this province. In May, Nova Scotia hosts the federal/provincial/territorial Status of Women meeting, and also the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology Policy Forum, which will highlight the need for the inclusion of women and Aboriginal people in non-traditional trades and technology for the shipbuilding industry. In this International Year of Co-operatives, Nova Scotians are proud of the Antigonish Movement that created the province’s first housing co-operatives and first credit unions, and countless good jobs. The Antigonish Movement, perhaps the world’s greatest adult education project, is an inspiration as Nova Scotians again take charge of their own destiny and use adult education, apprenticeship, and other skills training to ensure that as the future starts here, each family and community is ready to be part of that future. Through jobsHere, the province is supporting businesses to become more productive and globally competitive. jobsHere is enabling Nova Scotia businesses to win in an increasingly competitive global market. We have no better example of a long-standing, globally competitive business in this province than Michelin Tire. The Waterville plant, which makes truck tires, is marking 30 years of production this year. My government celebrates the commitment of Michelin and its employees to growing the economy of our province, and we look forward to continued growth in the years ahead. My government also recognizes the great economic opportunities that exist in regions across the province. We look forward to the launch of the Cape Breton Strategic Framework Advancement project, which will tap into the amazing potential the Island holds. The province also welcomes the new economic council in South West Nova Scotia, and looks forward to working with the council to establish a regional development agency. JobsHere also recognizes the important role played by the creative sector in Nova Scotia. My government is working with the members of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council to explore opportunities to enhance our creative economy and strengthen our support for arts and culture. Just this week my government appointed the first board of Arts Nova Scotia, underscoring the importance of independence and artistic merit in decisions about funding for individual artists and the organizations that support them. In this spring session, my government will introduce Status of the Artist legislation to reflect the importance of arts and culture to Nova Scotians. The province will also undertake research to measure the profound impact of the creative economy across Nova Scotia. My government takes a great interest in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the largest one of its kind in Atlantic Canada. Just over a year ago, my government and the federal government announced support for a feasibility study to help the Art Gallery determine whether it will move into a bigger location. We look forward to the results of the study later this year. My government recognizes that this province’s tourism sector is an important economic driver and has taken important steps to ensure the sector is reaching its potential through the establishment of a Special Operating Agency, which will involve tourism operators and experts in developing and implementing a long-term tourism strategy. The agency will hit the ground running at the start of what promises to be an exciting tourism season. Nova Scotia is the place to be this year — international media have named our province one of the top global destinations for 2012. With the eyes of the world upon us this year for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, we will be commemorating and proudly reflecting on Nova Scotia’s important role in this tragic story. We’re also getting ready to host amazing festivals and events across the province this year, including the return of the majestic Tall Ships to Nova Scotian ports, the TELUS World Skins Game, the Celtic Colours International Festival, and the much-anticipated relaunch of a Canadian icon, Bluenose II. The Bluenose II restoration is the result of world-class innovation and collaboration among three former rival companies to rebuild an important piece of our shared history. In the coming months, Bluenose II will return to the sea to carry on the proud legacy that connects our seafaring past with an exciting future. During the coming year, Nova Scotia’s diverse culture and heritage will attract global attention. The province anxiously awaits the outcome of the nomination of Grand Pré as our third UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation will entrench the important role the Acadians played in our history, for the entire world to know and see. And, through an investment of $750,000, Nova Scotia leveraged federal and private donors’ support to develop the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown, Shelburne County. The centre, opening in 2013 as the newest addition to the Nova Scotia Museum family, will ensure that the story of the courage and survival of Nova Scotia’s Black Loyalists will be known by generations to come. More Nova Scotian businesses than ever before are succeeding in international markets. My government is committed to helping businesses build capacity to succeed globally and increase their international activity. This spring, the International Commerce Strategy will be released. The strategy will better align programs and services directly with the needs of businesses engaged in the global economy. The new Jobs Fund pursues investment opportunities that support and retain industry, assist small businesses, invest in infrastructure, fund regional economic initiatives, and provide community economic stability where needed. As Nova Scotia stands on the verge of some of the largest economic projects this province has ever seen, my government is determined to maximize the opportunities and support innovation across all sectors, including our traditional mainstay industries. Strong rural communities will be protected and enhanced through a partnership between the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Dalhousie University, in Truro–Bible Hill. The merger will position the NSAC as a centre of excellence for applied research and a national leader in agriculture education, which will benefit students, improve the local economy, and maintain a focus on agricultural research and innovation. The fishery continues as a source of employment for many Nova Scotians, and is one of the most innovative sectors of the economy. My government will soon announce a new Commercial Fisheries Strategy that will address emerging challenges in the marketplace and will help strengthen the industry. The new Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Act will allow for the establishment of an industry-run board that will register and certify fish harvesters based on their knowledge and experience. It will also support skills and safety training opportunities. Early this summer, the province will release a Coastal Strategy to guide efforts to improve coastal management in Nova Scotia. My government has taken a leadership role to protect the future of this valuable resource. My government will soon announce a comprehensive Aquaculture Strategy that balances significant economic development potential with the need for regulation within this industry. And while some of our long-standing industries are sharpening their focus to grab larger shares of growing markets, others are forced to retrench, refocus, and retrain in order to maintain a competitive position in static or shrinking world markets. Nova Scotia’s forestry sector has supported tens of thousands of families since the founding of our province. As world markets change, my government has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the communities, businesses, and workers and their families who are focused on retaining Nova Scotia’s position in the world market.In year two of the Natural Resources Strategy, the province will continue to focus on innovation in this key sector. Growing quality trees, and gaining the maximum value from each tree, will generate wealth in the years to come. My government is committed to sustaining the ability of Nova Scotia’s forests to produce wealth, water, wildlife and timber for the benefit of future generations. Through the Natural Resources Strategy, we will continue to focus on innovation in this key sector, so that our children and grandchildren can look forward to enjoying, in a sustainable manner, the same kind of good jobs this important natural resource has provided over the years. Mining is an important job creator in Nova Scotia. New gold and coal projects are moving towards production, and the interest in exploration for rare-earth metals is increasing. My government will move forward with a new mineral incentive program, fulfilling a commitment in the new natural resources strategy to provide financial assistance to prospectors to attract exploration and development. Nova Scotia will be more competitive thanks to the creation of an on-line Mineral and Petroleum Rights Registry System for Nova Scotia that will allow businesses anywhere in the world to register their interest and claims. This will modernize the management of our mineral and petroleum resources and be of benefit to business. My government is taking decisive steps to secure clean energy and lower, more stable power rates for Nova Scotians. Former governments chose a high-cost, high-emission energy path that killed jobs. They felt it was safer and more comfortable to cling to past mistakes, despite rapid rises in fuel costs. Like some current opponents, they preferred to curse the darkness rather than light a candle. There is no change and no future for Nova Scotia in that high-cost path to which some still cling. Securing a 35-year price for clean Atlantic Canadian hydroelectricity, becoming a centre for world-leading clean energy developments, such as wind and tidal, and enabling Nova Scotian communities to be part of the clean energy future, with a globally admired community feed-in tariff, are all steps in the right direction. Escaping the fossil-fuel trap by setting and achieving renewable energy targets that will moderate the effects of decades of cost pressure on ratepayers, and continuing plans for the opening of the Donkin mine while creating more Cape Breton jobs will move Nova Scotia closer to the secure energy future we need and deserve. Fostering renewed interest and unprecedented investment in offshore resources, promoting energy efficiency and reducing harmful emissions in a well-planned manner with minimized cost are steps in the right direction. My government is achieving the opportunities for Nova Scotia to be an energy leader and to leave this province a better place for the next generation, with a cleaner environment, secure energy supplies, and a better economic foundation. Each step in this remarkable turnaround is subject to careful planning and public review whenever ratepayers’ interests or the environment are at stake; each step taken has passed those tests and reviews. In the next year my government will continue to develop the regulatory framework for cleaner and more affordable energy. There will be fully independent public reviews of the next steps in the electricity plans. My government will release the Cleaner Energy Framework to guide a prudent and timely transition. It will release the Marine Renewable Energy strategy to guide the development of this emerging industry. You, the representatives of the people of Nova Scotia, will be asked to approve further energy legislation to ensure that a modern legal framework is in place for the future. My government will also continue to work with the federal government to make offshore regulation more efficient and effective, and to ensure that regulatory best practices for safety and environmental protection are in place. Members of the legislature, Nova Scotia has shown that it can set and meet renewable energy targets, that it can meet and exceed federal greenhouse gas emission targets, and that it can be a partner with neighbouring provinces and the federal government in regional co-operation. These partnerships are critical for building enduring economic strength in Atlantic Canada, with the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project as the linchpin in a new era for our region of Canada. Plans and commitments already made mean more than $3 billion of new energy investments. Wind, tidal, wave, hydro, biomass, solar, and geothermal opportunities will all help Nova Scotia continue its energy breakthrough. Although provincial government offices are located in every corner of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotians think of their government as being located mainly in Halifax. To show clearly that provincial departments and agencies serve all of the people, regardless of location, my government will seek locations outside this immediate area for new and consolidated agencies and offices of government. Communities throughout Nova Scotia are good places to live, work, and raise a family, for civil servants as well as for hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens. The first details of this new approach will be released in the spring to the employees affected, then to all Nova Scotians. Modern, safe, and reliable infrastructure is vital to sustainable economic growth. In Nova Scotia that means highways. In 2011–12, the province invested some $265 million to improve Nova Scotian highways. Even with these improvements, road safety remains a priority. To that end, legislation governing the maximum speed limits in school zones will come into force in September 2012. My government continues to work on the Towns Task Force in collaboration with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to address the challenges being faced by Nova Scotia’s towns. For the first time in more than a decade, work is also underway on a collaborative review of the financial arrangement between the Province and municipalities, which will result in recommendations for improvements. Nova Scotia’s community museums and the Nova Scotia Museum are unique and valuable contributors to the strength of every region of the province. This year, once again, government is maintaining funding for the innovative Community Museum Assistance Program, an example of support for museum programming unlike any in Canada. In the coming year, my government will focus its attention on investing in communities throughout the province. The quality of life enjoyed by Nova Scotian families in every region will improve through strategic, smart investment that recognizes the unique strengths and advantages of this province — from Cape Breton to Yarmouth. BETTER HEALTH CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY My government is keeping emergency rooms open and delivering better care sooner. It has taken decisive steps to fundamentally improve the way emergency health care is delivered in Nova Scotia. Emergency care was hit-or-miss in communities across the province just three years ago. But today, Collaborative Emergency Centres are delivering 24/7 emergency care while ensuring that patients get appointments the same day or the next to see the care provider they need. These centres have opened in two communities. And there are more on the way. Nova Scotia is working on a physician resource plan that will help ensure an adequate supply of family physicians across the province. My government has consulted extensively with Nova Scotians living with mental health and addictions issues, their family members, health care workers, and community leaders. Later this year, the province will release the first strategy to improve mental health and addictions care. For years, thoughtful Nova Scotians have expressed concerns about the cost of health care overwhelming all other public services. Previous governments failed to manage health-care costs, allowing administrative costs, inefficiencies, and other expenses to drive up health-care spending by 8.4 per cent on average prior to 2009. That unsustainable rate of growth has been stopped. My government is leading the country in the effective management of health-care spending, ensuring that precious dollars are spent where they are most needed. Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada to do so. The province is accomplishing this, not through arbitrary budget reductions, but by working in partnership with District Health Authorities, the IWK, doctors, nurses, and other front-line providers to find better, more efficient ways to provide the care Nova Scotians need. Helping Nova Scotians stay healthy is a vital part of the health-care solution for today and tomorrow. Nova Scotia was the first province to mandate the use of helmets for skiers and snowboarders. Medical associations across the country are encouraging others to follow our lead. After consulting more than 1,100 individuals, groups, and organizations, my government will bring in a plan that will help make Nova Scotia a place where children are supported to eat well, move more, and grow up healthy. Nova Scotia seniors will be able to access more home care services and there will be new options to assist people with managing their mobility issues and medications in the home. This year, my government will consult with Nova Scotian families to develop an approach to early childhood development that ensures our children get the best possible start in life. This innovative and integrated approach will bring together resources from health, community services and education to best align programs and supports for Nova Scotia’s families and children. The early years are among the most important in a child’s development. Research suggests that early childhood services and programs return society’s investment seven times over. In the past several years, an investment of some $50 million has increased capacity in Nova Scotia’s licensed child-care facilities. But more can and will be done. Members of the legislature, I wonder how many of you are aware that right now there are more than 1,000 Nova Scotian children without a permanent home, and therefore in the care of the province. Surely, every child needs and deserves a loving and secure environment in which to grow and thrive with a forever family. This year my government, working with partners across the province, will develop and begin to implement a new Adoption Strategy to significantly increase adoption rates in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotian families in distress frequently find themselves in Family Court. Our body of Family Law has, over the years, been allowed to fall behind that of other Canadian jurisdictions. My government will correct that through legislation this spring. Protection of children will be the priority. Always. Domestic violence reduction will be the focus of concerted efforts this year, as implementation of the Domestic Violence Action Plan begins in earnest. The plan involves 16 departments and agencies of government working together to raise awareness, increase support for victims, and ultimately prevent incidents of violence in the home. My government continues to support and applaud the work of Project Lifesaver — a search-and-rescue tracking system that makes it easier to find people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and other cognitive challenges when they stray from their homes. Since government launched the program in 2011, approximately fifty 911 dispatchers and fifteen Ground Search and Rescue teams have been trained in this technique. Another nine Ground Search and Rescue teams will be trained this year. KIDS AND LEARNING FIRST No government in Nova Scotia’s history has shown a deeper commitment to children and education than has my government. This year, my government will invest more dollars in public education, per student, than ever before. Kids and Learning First was developed after listening to hundreds of parents, teachers, students, school boards, employers, and community members. The plan reflects their priorities. It builds on what is working well, while identifying the challenges that must be addressed. Student enrolment keeps going down, while education costs go up. Student test results are not improving, and they are declining in some key subjects. My government, along with parents and teachers, wants better results for every student. The plan will help children get off to a better start by strengthening links among day care, other early childhood development programs, and Grade Primary. It gives students at all levels more support in critical subjects and through transition years. The establishment of the Africentric Learning Institute was a key recommendation of the Black Learners Advisory Committee on Education. In the coming months, a board will be fully operational and steps will be taken to secure a location for the Institute. Kids and Learning First protects the quality of education in rural communities, where enrolment declines are sharpest. More students will soon have access to more high school courses through Nova Scotia’s virtual school. Teachers need support too. Everyone remembers a great teacher, and what a difference he or she made in their lives. Teachers should be able to spend less time on paperwork and more time with students. My government’s plan will make that happen. Average class sizes are smaller than ever. Kids and Learning First will keep them that way. Junior high school can be difficult for many, making the transition to high school that much more challenging. A new Discovering Opportunities program will help struggling Grade 9 students get excited about school again, make up lost learning, and prepare them for high school. Protecting arts education and helping students develop French-language and information and communications technology skills will continue to be priorities. SchoolsPlus — the program that brings needed services for children and their families into schools — will soon be available in every county. SchoolsPlus works. Where it is available, discipline problems have declined, teachers and parents feel more supported, and student test results have improved. The province has introduced a grants program to encourage community use of schools. This program will enable more people to use school facilities for physical activity and educational and cultural programs. By putting kids and learning first, my government will ensure children have the best opportunities to learn and develop into caring, responsible adults ready to live happy and productive lives here in Nova Scotia. MAKING LIFE MORE AFFORDABLE FO NOVA SCOTIAN FAMILIES Making life more affordable for Nova Scotian families is a priority of my government. My government has taken steps to put more money back into the hands of families, low-income Nova Scotians, students, and seniors. Keeping post-secondary education affordable for Nova Scotians is a commitment of my government. Universities are essential to the success of our province. University graduates are ready to innovate, create, and improve their world. They can enter the job market confident that they have the tools they need to adapt to the demands of today and tomorrow. Through a new Memorandum of Understanding my government has formed a partnership with Nova Scotia’s 11 universities to promote academic excellence, expand research and development, and invest $25 million to help them become more sustainable. My government has also taken steps to ensure tuition remains at, or below, the national average. Last year, the province made its single largest investment ever in accessibility to higher education, $42.5 million. The province kept tuition fees below the national average, reduced student debt, and improved student aid with more and better needs-based grants. For the first time, there is an absolute cap on Nova Scotia students’ debt, lowering maximum debt by more than $16,000. In addition my government introduced the Graduate Retention Rebate so that eligible graduates can reduce their provincial income taxes by up to $15,000 over six years. Community college students, who pay lower tuition, can reduce their taxes by up to $7,500. Low-income seniors can get assistance to adapt their homes so they can live there longer. And now, thanks to an initiative by the Premier himself, 18,000 seniors who are in receipt of the Guaranteed Income Supplement pay no provincial income tax.Social enterprises ensure that society thinks more broadly about good jobs, sustainable livelihoods, and economic stability, especially for rural communities and for minority groups throughout the province. Access to capital for social enterprises has been improved, and jobsHere offers support for more non-profits to engage in social enterprise. Barriers to social enterprise will be removed from provincial legislation and policies. The Poverty Reduction Tax Credit and the Affordable Living Tax Credit will continue. These are excellent examples of how my government is reducing the burden for those most in need. Members of the legislature, in this session legislation will be introduced to enact a new regulatory regime governing mortgage brokers and lenders, and a code of conduct and updated legislation and regulations for the funeral sector will be introduced in the fall. Nova Scotians in need of prescription medicine can now get the generic form at the same price or less than that paid by most other Canadians. My government’s fair drug-pricing plan ensures that savings on generic medicine is available to every Nova Scotian family, whether their prescriptions are covered by an insurance plan or not. Generic prescriptions in Nova Scotia now cost just 40 per cent of the name brand; this summer that will be reduced further, to 35 per cent. Members of the legislature, it is a sad reality that the most disadvantaged in our society too often suffer poor health, and inferior housing can be a large part of the problem. Healthy families live in healthy, sustainable homes. Historically, government housing programs, while well intentioned, have had the unintended consequence of stigmatizing the very people they intended to help. This year, my government will bring forward new ways to manage and diversify public and affordable housing that will support seniors, people living with disabilities, and low-income Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians care deeply about their communities and each other, and it shows: our volunteers devoted 207 hours on average to volunteer work in 2010, the highest average in Canada. My government recognizes the valuable work these dedicated individuals provide and is investing in the sector. Through the establishment of an $800,000 trust, 43 human resource management–related projects within non-profit and voluntary sector organizations across the province have been funded. As a part of jobsHere, $200,000 will be allocated each year to further strengthen the capacity of the non-profit and voluntary sector. There are few professions where men and women are asked to put their lives on the line every day for the good of their fellow citizens. But for those who do, government needs to be there to support them during –and after — their service. Nova Scotia has been a leader in extending benefits to those from our fire services who find themselves beset by cancers resulting from their work. In recent years, however, we have not kept pace with other jurisdictions as they extended further protections to these valued community members. In the year ahead, my government will bring Nova Scotia’s benefits for firefighters back in line with our neighbours across Canada. These 2012 changes will be part of a multi-year package of regulatory improvements developed by the Workers’ Compensation Board and its stakeholders. And, my government will take additional steps to safeguard and protect pensions and benefits for Nova Scotians in the year ahead. Nova Scotia is changing in a positive and significant way.My government has worked hard with our partners to secure solid, long-lasting opportunities that will keep families together and bring Nova Scotians home. My government is creating good jobs and growing the economy. My government is delivering better care to Nova Scotians. My government is making life more affordable for Nova Scotian families. And, my government is living within its means. God bless Nova Scotia. God bless Canada. God save the Queen. Graham W. Dennis, perhaps the greatest champion of Nova Scotia of his generation and publisher of Nova Scotia’s fiercely independent daily newspaper, who ensured that the power of his press was used in the service of that which is best in this province Senator Fred Dickson, who, as loyal as he was to his political party, never put the interests of anything ahead of the legitimate and honourable interests of his fellow Nova Scotians Joyce Carman Barkhouse, of Bridgewater, who wrote beautiful children’s literature, including the Nova Scotian classic Pit Pony Dr. Peter Aucoin and Dr. James Murray Beck, two of Nova Scotia’s most distinguished and quoted political scientists, who were academic and teaching giants at Dalhousie University Allan Blakeney, the first Nova Scotia–born NDP Premier in Canada, who provided leadership to the province of Saskatchewan for many, many years Dr. Willard Sterling Boyle, of Wallace, who was the co-inventor of an imaging semiconductor circuit known as the charge-coupled device (CCD sensor) and shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention The Most Reverend Colin Campbell, Bishop and Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Antigonish, a leader in his church and in his community Cape Breton Regional Police Service Chief Myles Burke, a community leader who worked his way up through the ranks and served the people of Cape Breton with distinction John J. Jodrey, an entrepreneur and community leader who served, among other capacities, as president of Scotia Investments Paul O’Regan, who built one of the province’s most successful automobile companies, and never lost his loyalty for or pride in his hometown of Parrsboro Ken Spinney, who grew, donated, and was justifiably proud of the Nova Scotia Christmas tree in Boston in 2011 Dr. Marie B. Elwood, who served as the Chief Curator of History for the Nova Scotia Museum and made an extraordinary contribution to this province, drawing Nova Scotians into a better understanding and appreciation of our cultural history. two former members of this House, Richie Hubbard and Harold Huskilson, both of whom served their constituents and Nova Scotia proudly and Peter Underwood, a dedicated and long-serving deputy minister with the provincial government
Nova Scotia is on the right path to becoming a stronger province as its finances continue to improve year after year. The province released its public accounts for 2011-12 today, Aug. 2, ending the year with a deficit of $248.5 million. This is an improvement of $141.1 million from the budget estimate. “Nova Scotia families and businesses will reap the benefits as the province’s finances become increasingly more stable and sustainable,” said Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald. “Our four-year plan is on track and it’s working. This government is helping to build a strong economy through careful management of the province’s finances and sound investments. “Credit-rating agencies are recognizing our progress and national and international companies are bringing good jobs by expanding their operations here.” Total revenues in 2011-12 were $9.7 billion, an increase of $137.8 million over estimate. Revenues were $245.8 million lower than the previous year, primarily because of lower corporate income tax revenues, petroleum royalties and recoveries, and decreases in other federal sources. Total expenses in 2011-12 were $9.9 billion, a decrease of $3.2 million from estimate. Expenses were $588.1 million more than the previous year, because $293.7 million in assistance to universities was reinstated and funding to Health and Wellness, Education, and Community Services increased. 2011-12 marked the third year in a row that departmental spending came in under budget. “All Nova Scotians have shared in the challenge of getting the province back to balance, and that discipline is paying off,” added Ms. MacDonald. “This government crafted a plan to fix the financial situation it inherited, and we are sticking to that plan.” Additional appropriations, approval to cover unbudgeted expenses, continue to trend lower than past years. In 2011-12, they were $49.6 million, $13.9 million lower than last year, and significantly less than the annual average of $276.9 million between 1999 and 2009. In April 2011, it was estimated that the province’s net debt at the end of 2011-12 would be $13.7 billion. Nova Scotia’s net debt was $13.2 billion at March 31, 2012, an improvement of $500 million from the April 2011 estimate and an increase of $485.2 million over the previous year. This year-over-year increase is due to the $248.5 million deficit and $245.3 million net investment in tangible capital assets, offset by a net decrease of $8.6 million in other non-financial assets. The province’s net debt to gross domestic product ratio, a key indicator of economic health, decreased 0.1 per cent from 35.1 per cent in 2011 to 35 per cent in 2012. The consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector. Nova Scotia’s auditor general has provided an unqualified auditor’s report, included in Public Accounts Volume 1. The other documents released today include Volume 2 – Agencies and Funds, and Volume 3 – Supplementary Information. The public accounts documents are available online at www.novascotia.ca/finance/en/home/publications/publicaccounts. Several large entities have fulfilled their 2011-12 requirements under the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act today. The province introduced the act in 2010, requiring public sector organizations to disclose individual compensation of more than $100,000 in an audited statement posted to a publicly accessible website. “This is about transparency in how tax dollars are spent across the public sector,” said Ms. MacDonald. “I’m proud that we are one of the few provinces where citizens readily have access to this information.” A list of the organizations that fall under this legislation can be found at www.novascotia.ca/finance/en/home/publications/pscd/organizations .
Extreme conditions including heavy snow, high winds, rain, and frigid temperatures have left many roads, including main highways across the province impassable. Plowing efforts have been further complicated by poor visibility and abandoned vehicles. Plowing efforts today, Feb. 16, will focus on getting 100-series highways such as Highways 104 and 101, as well as main trunks and routes, opened and passable for traffic. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is contacting private equipment operators for assistance and moving in heavy equipment and crews to some of the harder hit areas of the province. It may be several days before local and gravel roads are plowed. The department is working with EMO and Nova Scotia Power to assist with emergencies and help restore power outages. Motorists are advised to stay off the roads as much as possible and monitor twitter @NS_TIR and 511 for updates. Check road conditions at http://novascotia.ca/tran/winter/ . -30-
Les Archives de la Nouvelle-Écosse, Bibliothèques de la Nouvelle-Écosse et l’Université St. Francis Xavier ont travaillé ensemble pour protéger une nouvelle tranche de l’histoire sociale de la province et pour la rendre accessible partout dans le monde. Trois anciennes publications d’information néo-écossaises en français et en gaélique ont été numérisées et publiées en ligne. Ils s’agit : — des 66 premières années du Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse jusqu’en 2002. Le journal a commencé en 1937 sous le nom du Petit Courrier à Meteghan River, d’où il est publié chaque semaine. Il présente les nouvelles qui intéressent les Acadiens et les francophones de la province; — tous les numéros du journal gaélique Am Bràighe (1991-2003). Le journal n’est plus publié; — tous les numéros existants de An Cuairtear Òg Gaelach, publiés en 1851-1852. Il s’agissait d’un magazine d’information sur la Nouvelle-Écosse à l’intention des immigrants écossais. « La Nouvelle-Écosse a un riche patrimoine culturel et, en tant qu’Acadiens et francophones, nous en faisons l’expérience tous les jours, de dire le ministre des Affaires acadiennes, Michel Samson. Faire appel à la technologie moderne pour protéger des documents importants relatifs à notre passé est un moyen judicieux de contribuer à la force de ces communautés. » Les publications qui sont maintenant disponibles font partie d’une initiative continue de Bibliothèques Nouvelle-Écosse, avec le soutien du gouvernement provincial, destinée à protéger le patrimoine journalistique de la province et d’en faciliter davantage l’accès, et ce, à l’intention des générations à venir. « Les journaux, les feuilles de nouvelles et les magazines ont réuni et publié les nouvelles communautaires importantes pendant plus de 250 ans en Nouvelle-Écosse, indique Tanja Harrison, coprésidente sortante de Bibliothèques de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Mais le papier est fragile, l’entreposage des journaux est encombrant et leur consultation n’est pas facile. L’archivage et la numérisation des publications protègent un document fiable sur l’histoire d’une communauté. » « Le Courrier a été un représentant important de notre communauté en relatant notre histoire quotidienne, souligne Denise Comeau Desautels, la directrice générale du journal. Les Acadiens et les francophones ont grandi dans ses pages et nous pouvons suivre le développement de la communauté et l’épanouissement de notre identité dans les articles du journal. » « C’est tout un honneur que de faire partie de ce projet important et tellement satisfaisant de voir le travail de nos auteurs et tenants de la tradition gaélique conservé et mis à la disposition des gens partout dans le monde et pour les générations à venir », ajoute Frances MacEachen, ancienne éditrice d’Am Bràighe. Les publications serviront aux chercheurs dans les domaines de l’histoire et de la généalogie ici même dans la province et partout dans le monde. Les francophones, surtout les Acadiens et les descendants d’Acadiens, et les Gaëls peuvent en apprendre davantage sur la vie et le patrimoine culturel de leur communauté dans leur propre langue. Cette réalisation est au cœur de célébrations qui se tenaient aujourd’hui 19 septembre aux Archives de la Nouvelle-Écosse à Halifax, au Musée des Acadiens des Pubnicos à Pubnico-Ouest et au Musée du village des Hautes-Terres à Iona, au Cap-Breton. Les journaux sont accessibles dans le site Web de Bibliothèques de la Nouvelle-Écosse à l’adresse https://librariesns.ca/content/newspaper-digitization.
Government is moving ahead on its commitment to develop eight community-based homes for Nova Scotians with disabilities over two years. In July, vendors interested in developing and operating new homes can participate in information sessions in regions where five homes will be located – Halifax Regional Municipality (two homes) and Yarmouth, Kings and Lunenburg counties. Then in August, Community Services will issue a call for vendors to apply to develop and operate homes. Work is already underway on the development of homes in New Glasgow, Isle Madame and Clare. “We know that smaller, community-based homes are often the best living option for Nova Scotians with disabilities,” said Community Services Minister Kelly Regan. “Moving toward community-based homes instead of larger facilities will allow residents and their families to be more involved and included as part of their communities.” The homes will each house up to four Nova Scotians with disabilities. The application process will focus on finding the highest quality of service and support for participants of the Disability Support Program and their families. The locations and criteria for building the homes are based on needs of participants. The specific support needs for each home will vary depending on the needs of the participants. The development of more community-based homes for persons with disabilities is part of government’s commitment to an accessible province by 2030. Government increased its investment for the eight homes with an additional $1 million in Budget 2018-2019, bringing the total to $5.2 million over two years. There are currently 223 community-based, small option homes in Nova Scotia.
Hyderabad: With the ruling NDA on course to securing a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha polls, TRS supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s plans to stitch a “non-Congress, non-BJP” front of regional parties is in tatters.Anticipating a hung parliament, the TRS was gearing itself to play a “king-maker” role along with parties not aligned with the Congress and the BJP. But the trends indicate BJP will get majority on is own and touch 300 seats, pouring cold water on Rao’s plans. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCRao had met several regional leaders, including his West Bengal and Odisha counterparts Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik respectively, DMK president M K Stalin and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, as part of his outreach to opposition parties. However, he did not appear to have received unequivocal support from others, except Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSRCP as his efforts to form the federal front failed to make headway and remained a non-starter, according to Rao’s critics. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsHis decision to advance the assembly polls eight months before its expiry last year was hailed as a “master-stroke” as the TRS returned to power with a rich haul of 88 seats in the 119-member House. It was then perceived that national issues might have overshadowed those of the state if simultaneous elections were held for the Lok Sabha and the state assembly. In the Lok Sabha poll campaign, TRS told the electorate a win for it would enable Telangana get copious funds and development projects from the Centre. Rao’s focus on national politics led to speculation he would pass over the reins of the government to his son K T Rama Rao but the latter was appointed working president of TRS soon after TRS’ victory in the assembly polls. Chandrasekhar Rao’s glorious moment in his about four-decade-long political career came when the UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh granted separate statehood in 2014, a long cherished dream, catapulting Rao to be the mascot of Telangana pride. Though the Congress and BJP also claim credit for passage of the Telangana bill, it was Rao’s TRS that reaped the rich political harvest.
Gurugram: Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has directed the officers concerned to prepare a ‘zero drain out system’ for Gurugram’ for storage of maximum water.Under this plan, the comprehensive Drainage Plan for Gurugram would be taken up in a phased manner. The plan would include the creation of water harvesting structures, pondage areas and channelization of creeks and creation of Leg IV (Vatika Chowk, Sohna road up to Railway culvert-61) and construction of recharge wells from SPR to Railway culvert 61. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCA sum of Rs 160 crore would be spent in the next two years for this purpose. It was informed that identified water bodies in the district are being rejuvenated. For this, the water bodies are being connected to the stormwater drains. Moreover, it has also been informed that all the residential buildings having rooftop measuring over 100 square meters in Gurugram would have a rainwater harvesting system. Directions have been issued to ensure that water harvesting systems already installed in the buildings are operational. Similarly, those who have not yet installed the rainwater harvesting system have been asked to make arrangement for the same, for which rate has also been fixed by the Municipal Corporation. In the past, the Chief Minister has expressed concern over the falling groundwater reserves in Gurugram and the other district of South Haryana. Around 40 percent of Gurugrammers still, depending on the groundwater for their water supply.
Mumbai: The RBI will issue a new set of guidelines for bad loan resolution, replacing the February 12 circular that was quashed by the Supreme Court, “within the next three-four days”, governor Shaktikanta Das said Thursday. The apex court had on April 2 struck down the stringent RBI circular, issued on February 12, 2018, for resolving bad loans under which a company could be labeled an NPA if it missed repayment for a day banks were asked to find a resolution within 180 days or else it should be sent to bankruptcy courts. But the Supreme Court had declared the circular “ultra vires”. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents”A revised circular (over the February 12 circular) will be issued very shortly. Very shortly means, in a matter of, may be, next three or four days,” Das told reporters after the second monetary policy wherein he announced the third consecutive rate cut. “It has taken more time than we anticipated because it involved examining various legal issues and wide-ranging stakeholder consultations,” he explained for the delay. Under the February 12 framework, banks were asked to disclose defaults even of a day and have to find a resolution plan within 180 days in case of large account of Rs 2,000 crore and above failing which it would be send for bankruptcy. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefPower sector companies, which were affected the most by the circular, argued that their outstanding loans of Rs 5.65 lakh crore (as of March 2018) were a result of factors beyond their control such as unavailability of fuel and cancellation of coal blocks by the apex court/government and non-payment by state-run discoms. GMR Energy, RattanIndia Power, Association of Power Producers, Independent Power Producers Association of India, Sugar Manufacturing Association from Tamil Nadu and a shipbuilding association from Gujarat had moved different courts against the circular. The petitioners had challenged the circular arguing that applying a 180-day limit to all sectors of the economy without going into the special problems faced by each sector would treat “unequals equally” and would be arbitrary and discriminatory, and therefore, violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court order came in on a petition filed by the central bank challenging the Allahabad High Court order which had asked it and the finance ministry to treat the power sector NPAs separately as their woes were mostly driven by external factors. According to an earlier estimate by rating agency Icra, the total debt impacted due to the February 12 circular is around Rs 3.8 lakh crore across 70 large borrowers of which Rs 2 lakh crore across 34 borrowers are in the power sector. Of that 92 percent of the debt were classified as NPAs by banks as of March 2018 and also made provisions of over 25 -40 percent on these accounts, the rating agency had said.
Kolkata: Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has urged the Bengal government to spruce up a 4 km long road leading to the highway from the Kolaghat jetty in East Midnapore, to facilitate the transport of cargo through it.”We have finalised the design of the loading structure at Kolaghat. The only problem is a 4 km road connecting the place with NH 41 that needs reconstruction. We are inclined to do this with the Bengal government, which is happy to re-construct the road. We have got permission to operate our jetty at Kolaghat. It might need some dredging. Once the road is constructed, we hope to start operation before December,” said IWAI chairman Pravir Pandey, speaking at the Inland Waterways Summit, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in association with IWAI. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaKolaghat has been declared as an extended part of the India-Bangladesh protocol (route) and IWAI expects a lot of fly ash movement from Kolaghat to Bangladesh with Indian vessels being able to load it, once the Kolaghat jetty becomes operational. Tata has already approached IWAI for movement from Kolaghat. Pandey said that the government has identified 36 National Waterways to be developed in the immediate future. He felt that the country can benefit more, both socially and economically, by developing the inland waterways. He cited that inland cargo has increased from 3 million tonnes to 7 million tonnes between 2014 and 2018. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersAccording to Pandey, Nepal is keen on exploring new waterways for “cleaner and greener” bilateral trade with India and has proposed the Gandak river route for cargo transport. Under the current arrangement between the two countries, cargo reaches Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Kalughat in Bengal or Sahebgunj in Jharkhand via National Waterways-1 on the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system, before being transported to the Nepal border on road, covering over 170 km.
Los Angeles: Actor Chris Pratt and author Katherine Schwarzenegger are a married couple. The duo exchanged vows on Saturday during an intimate ceremony in Montecito, California, sources told People magazine. “You can tell today is the happiest day for Katherine. She hasn’t stopped smiling. And Chris seems giddy with excitement. The venue is beautiful. Lots of flowers and greenery everywhere. It’s a very romantic setting for a wedding,” the insider said. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ The whole family took wedding photos, including Schwarzenegger’s parents Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Everyone just looked so happy,” the source added. The guest list included Pratt’s six-year-old son Jack, Schwarzenegger’s siblings – Patrick, Christopher and Christina, and close friend Rob Lowe and his sons Johnny and Matthew. Pratt, 39, and Schwarzenegger, 29, announced their engagement on social media this January after seven months of dating. It marks her first marriage and his second. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star was previously married to actor Anna Faris, with whom he shares Jack. They split after nine years of marriage in 2017.
Tehran: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday ruled out any negotiations with the US over the spiky issues between the two countries as he spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a meeting here. “Iran has no trust in America. Iran will never repeat the bitter experience of previous negotiations with the US within the framework of the JCPOA (Iranian nuclear deal),” Khamenei told Abe. “A wise and free nation will not accept talks under pressure,” he was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ Abe arrived in Iran on Wednesday with a plan to help ease tensions between Tehran and Washington. Washington withdrew from the Iranian international nuclear deal in May 2018 and re-imposed full sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports and banking sector. US President Donald Trump has called for talks with Tehran for a renewed nuclear deal, the halt of Iran’s ballistic missile tests and its regional role, which the country has dismissed.
New Delhi: Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday accepted the request of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to hold a joint meeting with the Union Finance Minister to resolve the Rs 31,000 crore food account loan legacy issue.According to an official spokesperson, Paswan agreed to organise the meeting after the Union Budget session when the Punjab CM called on the minister on Thursday. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah”The Union Minister has also agreed to allow Punjab to create additional storage space to enable the state to address the problem of acute shortage of storage space in this rabi season. Modalities for the same will soon be worked out,” the spokesperson said. During his meeting, the Chief Minister pointed out the Rs 31,000 crore food loan legacy issue, inherited from the previous government, had already been referred to a special committee headed by NITI Aayog Member Ramesh Chand, who is also the Member of 15th Finance Commission. The Committee had been mandated to look into all aspects of the legacy debt of Punjab government arising out of accumulated CCL (food credit gap) with reference to FCI. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey ColonyExpressing concern over the slow movement of stocks, the Punjab CM also told Paswan that the state government was grappling with acute shortage of storage space for foodgrain. “The CM also mentioned that state agencies were currently stocking 160 lakh MT of wheat and 107 lakh MT of rice, while 96 lakh MT of wheat was lying in the open and 10.5 lakh MT of wheat purchased more than a year ago was still being stocked in the open,” he added.
Explore the real flavours of South India by indulging yourself in the delicacies made with splattering mustard seeds, fresh coconut curries and rich spices. So, hop over to zest for an authentic Dakshin experience at Blooms. When: July 4 – 13 Venue: Blooms Restaurant, Eros Hotel, Nehru Place, New Delhi Price: 2050 + taxes Timings: 12 pm –3 pm (Lunch) 7 pm –11 pm (Dinner)
Lucknow: Reacting to the General Budget, BSP supremo Mayawati Friday said though the Union government tried to make it alluring, it would only help the capitalists. “It has to be seen as to how this Budget of theirs is actually beneficial for the people of the country at the ground level,” she said in a tweet, adding that the entire country was “distraught and harassed” by poverty, unemployment, poor educational and health facilities. The BSP chief further said the Budget would “encourage the private sector and help big capitalists” at every level, further “complicating” the issue of reservation for the Dalits and backwards besides problems of inflation, poverty and unemployment. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first Budget of the Narendra Modi government’s second term in the Lok Sabha Friday morning.
Kolkata: The week-long celebration of Van Mahotsav was kicked off on Sunday, with the state level programme being held at Jharkhali in Sunderbans.State Forest minister Bratya Basu, along with senior officials of the department attended the event that witnessed the presence of a good number of school students in the area, among whom saplings were distributed. The state Forest department has handed over 1,000 saplings to each of the 294 MLAs across the state, for distribution and plantation in their respective areas. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersBanners and hoardings have been set up in the city and at strategic locations in the districts, to create awareness against destruction of greenery and encourage plantation. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has time and again reiterated the need for conservation of greenery, tweeted: “Go Green, Save Green, Let Consciousness emerge from green.” It has been learnt that Basu has urged the Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) across the districts to take a more proactive role in conservation of forest and wildlife. He handed over Rupasi Bangla Awards to the three best JFMCs. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaLocal party MP Pratima Mondal, who attended the programme, urged the Gram Panchayat to encourage schools in their respective jurisdictions to take steps for saving greenery and assured of funds from her MPLAD. Basu also handed over saplings as token under the Sabujshree project, to five mothers who came with their newborn children. The Sabujshree scheme launched in 2016 is a brainchild of the Chief Minister, in which saplings are given to the family of a newborn girl child during their release from the hospitals. It may be mentioned that the state Forest department has already started digitisation of the forest boundaries across the state. “The land records are being tallied for preparation of the boundary. The effort is aimed at preventing depletion of forest land,” a senior official of the Forest department said. He added that the digitisation work in the South Bengal forests will be more challenging, with the nature of forest cover being entirely different from that of North Bengal. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has also distributed saplings as per demand of the respective councilors, for massive plantation in the city to mark Van Mahotsav. A total of 1,000 saplings have been given out, among which councillors of ward 124, 129 and 65 have taken 100 each. A programme to commemorate the occasion will be held at Mohor Kunja in presence of Mayor Firhad Hakim on Monday.
New Delhi: Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is going steady at the Indian box office, and has registered business of over Rs 73 crore since its release on July 4. The Jon Watts directorial follows the aftermath of “Avengers: Endgame”. . “Spider-Man: Far From Home” collected Rs 61.06 crore in its opening week. The film minted Rs. 2.6 crore on Friday, Rs 4.70 crore on Saturday and Rs 4.80 crore on Sunday, taking the total to Rs 73.16 crore (nett),” revealed the film’s publicity unit. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot Trade expert Taran Adarsh feels the Hollywood film has done exceptionally well, considering the cricket World Cup was on in full swing at the time of its release. “‘Spider-Man Far From Home’ braves new and holdover titles as well as cricket matches, yet does well in Weekend 2,” he tweeted. The film released in India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu versions. Hollands co-stars with Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders and Jon Favreau, among others.