National Newswatch

Staffing issues, shared rooms led to deadly outbreak at N.S. long-term home: review

Sep 21 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Shared rooms and staffing shortages were among the key factors contributing to a COVID-19 outbreak at a Halifax long-term care home that killed 53 residents last spring, according to two experts who led an external review. Nova Scotia infectious disease consultant Dr. Chris Lata and former British Columbia associate deputy minister of health Dr. Lynn Stevenson, say […]

Nova Scotia lobster fishermen protest ‘out of control’ First Nations fishery

Sep 15 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Hundreds of commercial fishermen protested at two wharves in southwestern Nova Scotia on Tuesday, over what they say is an illegal fishery in St. Marys Bay, continuing a long-standing dispute over fishing rights in the area. A communal First Nations lobster fishery in the region is being used illegally for commercial purposes, the fishermen allege. Federal regulations say no sales […]

No in-person voting when Nova Scotia Liberals choose their next leader in February

Sep 14 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's Liberal party has decided there won't be in-person voting when members choose a replacement for Premier Stephen McNeil in February. Instead, members will be asked to vote online or by telephone between Feb. 1-6, with the winner to be announced during a live-streamed convention on Feb. 6. Party president Joseph Khoury said he expects […]

COVID-19 costs shrink Nova Scotia’s surplus in fiscal 2019-20 to $2.3 million

Aug 20 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's response in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic shrunk its surplus to $2.3 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31 — a figure $31.3 million smaller than initially projected in the 2019 budget. Finance Minister Karen Casey said Thursday the province saw a $485.5-million increase in expenses, mainly due to […]

New Brunswick election negotiations a struggle to control province’s direction

Aug 13 2020 — Keith Doucette — Negotiations aimed at avoiding a snap election in New Brunswick have important implications for how the province manages future challenges such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, political experts say. Premier Blaine Higgs has said he is willing to call an election as early as next week if the opposition refuses a deal to keep his minority Tory […]

Speculation begins on who may be interested in Nova Scotia premier’s job

Aug 7 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil's sudden decision to step away from politics has political observers speculating on a potential successor and how this person will position the province's majority Liberal government. Names such as former federal Liberal cabinet minister Scott Brison and Halifax Mayor Mike Savage have been floated. Savage, however, has already said he […]

Nova Scotia Tories release estimated $634 million plan for long-term care

Aug 5 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — An estimated $634-million plan aimed at improving Nova Scotia's long-term care sector released Wednesday by the province's Opposition Progressive Conservatives focuses on adding more resources and support to the network. Tory Leader Tim Houston said his party would immediately add 2,500 single-bed rooms to the system, hire 2,000 nurses and continuing care assistants and establish a new option of […]

Reducing Nova Scotia’s deficit will need co-operation of public sector: premier

Jul 30 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Public-sector workers will have to dampen their wage expectations in the coming years as Nova Scotia grapples with a projected $853-million deficit resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Stephen McNeil said Thursday. After five consecutive balanced budgets, the premier said he hasn't changed his view of deficits and work will begin immediately to tackle the […]

Nova Scotia moves from surplus to $853-million deficit due to pandemic

Jul 29 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — After a thin $55-million surplus tabled in February's budget, COVID-19 costs have driven Nova Scotia's finances deep into the red, resulting in a $853-million deficit. Finance Minister Karen Casey said Wednesday in her budget update the deficit is the largest since the 1999-2000 fiscal year, when the province reported a $773-million hole. Casey blamed the COVID-19 […]

All Nova Scotia students back to class Sept. 8 under COVID-19 safety protocols

Jul 22 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia released its long-awaited back-to-school plan Wednesday, which aims to have all elementary and high school students in classrooms by Sept. 8. Education Minister Zach Churchill said while the objective is for schools to return to 100 per cent capacity in the fall, the plan includes measures to address the advent of a second wave of […]

Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation needs better plan for local industry, AG says

Jun 23 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's Crown liquor corporation does not have an adequate strategic plan for supporting the province's growing alcohol industry, a new report by the province's auditor general finds. In his report released Tuesday, Michael Pickup says the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation's five-year plan for the industry lacks detail and accountability measures, while oversight is described as "poor." […]

Nova Scotia’s premier takes wait-and-see stand on lifting of regional travel

Jun 11 2020 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Expectations that Atlantic Canadians are only weeks away from being able to travel throughout the region without any restrictions were dampened on Thursday by Nova Scotia's premier. Stephen McNeil issued a short statement saying that while Nova Scotia is open to the idea of a so-called "Atlantic bubble," he's not yet ready to say […]