National Newswatch

Nova Scotia legislation would protect the province’s biodiversity

Mar 14 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government is moving to give itself more powers to protect biodiversity, including wild animals, plants and water species through legislation it says is the first of its kind in Canada. Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin said Thursday the government currently doesn't have the authority or regulatory powers it needs to […]

Union says overworked paramedics becoming public safety issue for Nova Scotia

Mar 14 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia paramedics are being so overworked it's become a public safety issue for the province, their union told a legislature committee Thursday. Mike Nickerson, business agent for union local 727, told the health committee that paramedics are logging one to six overtime hours a shift, which he said "is just not safe." […]

N.S. to mandate criminal checks for educators after series of charges

Mar 13 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is beefing up safety reporting protocols for teachers and others employed by the education system, including mandatory criminal record checks every five years. The proposed Education Act amendments are in direct response to a series of assault and sexual assault charges against educators in the province, Education Minister Zach Churchill said. "One is too […]

High probability files downloaded in Nova Scotia privacy breach contained

Mar 13 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Officials with Nova Scotia's Internal Services Department say they have been told there is a "high probability" that 600 files downloaded in a breach of its freedom-of-information web portal last year have been contained. According to a recent report by the province's privacy commissioner, the documents were downloaded in a series of 11 […]

Nova Scotia set to regulate coastal construction as sea levels rise

Mar 12 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is proposing legislation that would set rules for coastal construction and protect features such as salt marshes and dunes as sea levels rise in the future. Environment Minister Margaret Miller says the new Coastal Protection Act will ensure clear provincewide rules for what can and cannot be done along the province's […]

Nova Scotia proposes measures to bolster defined-benefit pension plans

Mar 12 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is proposing measures to help manage and protect defined-benefit pension plans. The Liberal government introduced changes under the Pension Benefits Act Tuesday that would introduce reserve accounts, remove limits on the use of letters of credit and allow for the discharge of liability for annuity buyouts that would let employees move […]

Nova Scotia Tories question process around chief judge’s reappointment

Mar 7 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's justice minister is drawing fire from the Progressive Conservatives who claim he stepped on judicial independence by overriding a recruitment committee struck last year on the appointment of the chief judge of the provincial and family courts. Tory Leader Tim Houston said Thursday that correspondence obtained by his party shows Mark Furey reappointed Chief […]

Nova Scotia to regulate short-term accommodations in bid to grow sector

Mar 7 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is proposing legislation to regulate the growing short-term accommodations sector, although the rules won't be in place for at least another year. Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday the changes would have to wait to allow time for further consultations with municipalities and the industry. MacLellan said the goal is to deal with […]

N.S. legislature honours seven Barho children as it opens spring session

Feb 28 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia legislature opened its spring sitting Thursday by paying tribute to the seven children killed last week in a house fire in a Halifax suburb. All members of the legislature observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the children of Kawthar and Ebraheim Barho, Syrian refugees who arrived in Halifax […]

Commissioner makes plea for an overhaul of Nova Scotia privacy law

Feb 27 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia has a 20th century privacy law in place when it faces 21st century privacy challenges, says the province's privacy commissioner. Catherine Tully made an impassioned plea on the need to overhaul Nova Scotia's privacy legislation as she appeared before the legislature's public accounts committee Wednesday. Tully said while people in other […]

Halifax-area patient says hospital ER trip ‘worst I have experienced’

Feb 26 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — There are new complaints about the condition of Halifax emergency rooms, with one patient describing a scene of makeshift beds in crowded hallways and nurses out of supplies. Natalie Brown, who describes herself as a "frequent flyer" of emergency rooms, said Tuesday her visit last month to the QE II Health Sciences Centre was […]

Nova Scotia transport minister has few answers around ferry’s move to new port

Feb 14 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's transportation minister had few answers Thursday on the Yarmouth ferry's ongoing move to Bar Harbor, Maine, prompting opposition parties to charge the government file has gotten out of control. Lloyd Hines said following a cabinet meeting he understands demolition work is underway at the Bar Harbor terminal, but he couldn't say […]

Nova Scotia looks at adding new cannabis stores after low online sales

Feb 14 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is considering expanding the number of retail cannabis stores, as online sales have been slower than expected. Finance Minister Karen Casey said Thursday that online pot sales were expected to account for about 10 per cent or more of total sales, but are only in the range of six per cent. Casey said […]

Tories sue Nova Scotia government over details of Yarmouth-Maine ferry fees

Feb 11 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Progressive Conservatives filed court documents Monday challenging the Liberal government's decision to keep details of the Yarmouth-to-Maine ferry contract confidential. Tory Leader Tim Houston said the notice of appeal was an "extraordinary measure," adding that Nova Scotians should never have to sue their government to get information. The move comes after […]

Northern Pulp mill formally registers controversial effluent treatment project

Feb 7 2019 — Keith Doucette — HALIFAX — Northern Pulp has formally registered its project to replace the effluent treatment facility in Boat Harbour with Nova Scotia's Environment Department. More than 1,700 pages of environmental assessment documents submitted by the mill were published Thursday on the department's website. The mill says its proposal will have no significant environmental impact. The formal […]