LEGISLATURE

FALL 2021 SESSION

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My YouTube channel is now live!

 

The Legislature sat from October 12-November 5. The NDP caucus had a very successful session. We introduced critical issues and built on the advocacy and success of communities to strengthen proposed legislation.

 

A day in the Legislature starts with the Daily Routine – this is when petitions and reports can be tabled, bills introduced, and important issues noted. 

 

On Friday, November 5, I was honoured to present a response to Ministerial Statements on Indigenous Veteran’s Day.  

 

Throughout the session I introduced four Private Member’s Bills that I think are important pieces of public policy:

 

Bill 21: An Act to Implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

 

This Bill calls upon the Government to develop and report on a plan for implementing the 40 or so TRC Calls to Action that are the jurisdiction of the province.

 

Bill 23: An Act to Establish a Mental Health Bill of Rights

 

This Bill would establish a standard for government spending on mental health.

 

Bill 26: An Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1992, the Emergency "911" Act

 

This Bill calls for the creation of an alternative emergency response system in the case of mental health emergencies.

 

Bill 36: Vital Statistics Act (amended)

 

This amendment calls for the modernization of the Vital Statistics Act and removal of obsolete language, as well as the removal of certain stipulations around the marital status of a child’s parents. 

 

Bill 59: An Act to Establish the Agriculture and Food Security Secretariat

 

This Bill would establish an interdepartmental secretariat to address food insecurity and safe food production in NS.

Member's Statements

Each day, an MLA may be able to deliver up to two Member’s Statements. Over the three- week session, I introduced several Member’s Statements to celebrate people, organizations, and communities, and call attention to important issues. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing my member’s statements on social media and contacting people and organizations with printed copies of the Member’s Statement. See here for my last Members’ Statement of the session on Nova Scotia’s Take Home Naloxone program.

“Oral Questions to Members” Infilling in the Northwest Arm

This is the part of the day that most of us know as “Question Period”.  On the last day of the Legislative session, I asked the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change how he is addressing the issue of Infilling in the Northwest Arm within his role. In response to my follow up question, the Premier indicated his opposition to the idea.  

There appears to be limited provincial jurisdiction on the issue, but I want to protect the Northwest Arm and will be reaching out to provincial and federal Ministers on the matter.


 

Legislation 

Several pieces of legislation were passed during the session. 

Bill 57: Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act

A major milestone this sitting was the introduction and passage of Bill 57 - Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act. MLA Hansen was victorious in bringing an amendment to Bill 57 that addresses environmental racism. It was one of two amendments out of 32 proposed on the bill--many directly proposed by environmental experts and NGOs--that were accepted and will be added to the new Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act. 

Bill 43: Motor Vehicles Act

Motor Vehicle Act to help improve road safety

Bill 63: Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality Act

Bill 62: Interim Residential Rental Increase Cap Act

Bill 61: Joint Regional Transportation Agency Act

  • amendments to the Cannabis Control Act to clarify the standard of reasonableness required to search a place or vehicle

  • amendments to the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act to support Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board operations

  • amendments to the Police Act to allow the Serious Incident Response Team to conduct investigations or provide oversight of policing in another province

  • new legislation called the Protecting Access to Health Services Act to protect patients, health-service providers and staff of healthcare facilities from protests by establishing a 50-metre bubble area

  • legislation under the Tourism Nova Scotia Dissolution Act to transition Tourism Nova Scotia from a Crown corporation to a division of the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage.

Looking Forward

The government has announced some of its legislative projects for next spring on issues that matter me and the residents of Halifax Citadel- Sable Island. I will be working with community members and reaching out to Ministers to discuss these matters:

  • Creation of a Children and Youth Commission that will protect and advance the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and youth - news release

  • Define and address racism - Global News piece

  • Enshrine Mi'kmaw as Nova Scotia's first language. - news release

TRAFFIC SAFETY ACT

Nova Scotians can now provide feedback on proposed regulations defining the offences and mandatory suspensions under the Traffic Safety Act. These regulations also specify the penalties and fines associated with each offence. More info here.

Review the draft regulations and send your comments by email to tsa@novascotia.ca. The deadline to submit your feedback is Monday, 29 November 2021.