Nova Scotia Government Business Plan

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					Nova Scotia Government
         Business Plan
           For the fiscal year 2006–2007
 Government Business Plan                                                                             Government
                                                                                                      Business Plan

Message from
Premier Rodney MacDonald
Our communities are strongest when our                When we live within our means, as we have
families    are       doing    their    best    and   been doing and will continue to do, we can
succeeding, making Nova Scotia’s families             invest more in health care, in public and
our first priority.                                   environmental protection, in our children’s
                                                      education, and in the ability of business to
Our government is committed to the vision
                                                      create new, high-quality jobs in our
of a stronger, safer, healthier Nova Scotia
that inspires people to succeed here at
home.                                                 Thousands of dedicated public servants are
                                                      needed to help in this work. We will
Government’s vision is based on traditional
                                                      continue our efforts to strengthen our public
Nova Scotia values of hard work and
                                                      service. Our government will ensure that we
community spirit. At their core, these
                                                      have a healthy, safe, productive workplace.
values mean responsibility for our actions,
                                                      It will have the resources and diversity to
care for our neighbours, respect for our
                                                      respond to demographic change and the
elders, and love of our culture.
                                                      needs of all Nova Scotians, as well as
Over the past six years, the Government of            contribute to the province’s development.
Nova Scotia has put in place a solid
                                                      Families, communities, public servants,
foundation based on these fundamental
                                                      and elected officials—we can all make a
Nova Scotia beliefs. It is also based on
                                                      difference if we work together. I believe we
careful fiscal management—that other
                                                      can and will make sure that strong families
fundamental Nova Scotia value of living
                                                      will create strong communities to lead us
within your means. I am convinced that we
                                                      into the future.
can fashion an even brighter future
together     from       the     optimism        and
community pride we share as Nova

This government’s priorities will be on
growing the economy, protecting health
care, and supporting youth, families, and
communities       in    a     safe,    clean,   and   Rodney MacDonald
prosperous environment.
Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board

         Nova Scotia Government
                  Business Plan
                                                                                      For the fiscal year 2006–2007

           Government Business Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
           Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
           Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
           Ñova Scotia’s Planning Context 2006-2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
           Corporate Priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
           Core Business Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
           Families and Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
           Health and Health Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
           Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
           The Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
           The Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64
           Government Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
 Government Business Plan                                                                         Government
                                                                                                  Business Plan

A stronger, safer, healthier Nova Scotia that inspires people to
succeed here at home

                                                  and sustainable practices, as well as
Introduction                                      competitive taxation and better regulation.
At its heart, the Government of Nova              The Government of Nova Scotia will work
Scotia’s overall priority is very simple. It is   with Nova Scotians to ensure that we
the health and welfare of Nova Scotia’s           accomplish these many aspects of our
families.                                         main priority, the health and well-being of
This priority will ensure that we accomplish      Nova Scotia’s families. We will do so in a
our vision of a stronger, safer, healthier        climate of continued fiscal responsibility.
Nova Scotia, where successful families            The budget will be balanced for the fifth
create secure communities in a modern,            year in a row. This puts us in a position to
competitive society.                              continue to invest in the conditions and
                                                  infrastructure that create good and lasting
Delivering on the vision is more complex,
involving as it does many different aspects
of life.                                          Through a complex set of strategies and the
                                                  determined efforts of all Nova Scotians, we
Families need to be in good health to do
                                                  will achieve our vision of a stronger, safer,
their best, so they can pay their bills, plan
                                                  healthier Nova Scotia where people can
for the future, have choices, and enjoy a
good quality of life in their communities.
                                                  The Government of Nova Scotia will ensure
For quality of life, Nova Scotians must have
                                                  that its public services and public servants
quality health services and safe homes and
                                                  also make a positive difference in the lives
communities. Our youth and older workers
                                                  of Nova Scotians. We value our employees.
need education, training, and retraining
                                                  We will support and celebrate their
opportunities to prepare them for economic
                                                  professional    development       and    the
opportunity throughout the province. They
                                                  excellence it produces. And we will promote
need an economic environment that is
                                                  diversity in the workplace to reflect the
robust and diversified enough to offer
                                                  diverse populations we serve.
quality opportunities in whichever villages,
towns, and urban areas they choose to live.       The pages that follow detail how the work
                                                  will be carried out. The results will be
Such an economy is bolstered by a business
                                                  published in the annual Accountability
climate founded on superior infrastructure
                                                  Report at the end of the fiscal year.             7
                                                                    Government Business Plan

    Nova Scotia’s Planning Context
    Our Changing                                      Our plan shows that we are working on

    Demographics                                      ways to create a social and economic
                                                      environment where citizens of all ages are
    Most people living in Nova Scotia were
                                                      educated and cared for in response to their
    born here. More than 40 per cent still live in
                                                      needs,      and    where   people    can   be
    the communities where they grew up.
                                                      comfortable and content in their homes,
    Wherever they live, most residents report
                                                      jobs, and communities.
    feeling a strong sense of community.

    At the same time, population patterns are         Health Care Context
    changing, and we must be prepared for
                                                      Nova Scotians value their high-quality
    that change.
                                                      health care and services. Not only do they
    The growing urbanization of Nova Scotia           expect them to continue, they want
    and the aging and anticipated shrinking of        improvements, such as reduced wait times
    the population could bring far-reaching           for emergency services and for the medical
    social and economic change.                       procedures they need, to cure them of
                                                      serious and chronic illnesses.
    As populations continue to move, demands
    for services in the urban centres will            As demand for services increases, so does
    increase, while facilities in the rural areas     the cost.
    must also be maintained.
                                                      Traditionally, health care has been the
    The aging of the population will put more         fastest-growing segment of the budget,
    pressure on health and other social and           averaging annual increases of 8.2 per cent
    economic services. And with fewer people          since 1996–1997, almost 3 per cent higher
    in the workforce, we will need to improve         than     average     revenue     growth.   For
    productivity and strategically fill skills gaps   2005–2006, health-care expenses across
    to sustain economic development and the           government represented some $2.66 billion,
    quality of life we enjoy in Nova Scotia.          47.5 per cent of net program expenses. This
                                                      is more than double the costs in 1996–1997.
    Through the business plan laid out in the
    pages that follow, we identify strategic          Of the total cost for health care, almost 46
    approaches to prepare for these important         per cent goes to running hospitals,
    challenges.                                       including nursing and other staff. Just over
                                                      20 per cent goes to paying physicians. The
8                                                     remaining 34 per cent is divided up among
 Government Business Plan                                                                      Government
                                                                                               Business Plan

long-term care, Pharmacare, home care,           Good nutrition and physical activity
emergency services, and other health             support the development of positive
services.                                        children’s behaviour, school performance,
                                                 and overall cognitive development.
This year, Nova Scotia is increasing its
investment in the Departments of Health          The new department will also sharpen the
and Health Promotion and Protection by           province’s     focus    on       emergency
$217.1 million. District health authorities      preparedness planning, to protect citizens
(DHAs) will receive a $79 million increase in    in an emergency through the development
their budgets, bringing total spending for       of a more integrated public health system.
health-care treatment and service delivery in
                                                 Public health concerns that have recently
the Department of Health to $2.76 billion.
                                                 captured attention are the potential for
Growth in health-care costs is not expected      infectious diseases such as SARS and avian
to abate in the near future. The challenge       flu, as well as extreme weather events such
will be to control spending growth to            as hurricanes and tsunamis and disasters
protect our ability to continue to deliver the   caused by human error or terrorism.
health services and other essential services
                                                 Better promoting and protecting the well-
that people need.
                                                 being of Nova Scotians is expected to take
                                                 some of the strain off health-care funding.
Health Promotion and                             This will allow us to sustain a robust
Protection Context                               health-care system and also provide
The government of Nova Scotia has created        support for the many other priorities that
the new Department of Health Promotion           help us develop the economy, protect the
and Protection to achieve better health          environment and nurture our families and
outcomes and contribute to the long-term         communities.
sustainability of the health-care system. In
addition to the benefits of good health in       Economic Context
and of itself, physical well-being lowers the
                                                 Nova Scotia’s economy continued its
health-care bill, which is unsustainable at
                                                 upward trend in 2005, with an estimated
current levels of growth.
                                                 real GDP growth of 1.9 per cent. This was
The Department of Health Promotion and           up from 1.4 per cent growth in 2004. There
Protection will co-operate closely with the      is every indication that Nova Scotia will
Department of Health and other partners          continue to achieve economic growth, with
in government and the community to help          an anticipated growth of 2.2 per cent in
Nova Scotians make better health choices.        2006 and 2.0 per cent in 2007.
                                                                 Government Business Plan

     The province has reached the highest           population. The consequences are a
     employment levels it has seen since the        reduction in the size of the workforce and
     mid-1970s, with a total of 443,100 workers     increased demand for health care and
     employed in Nova Scotia last year. Most        other social services.
     were employed in the wholesale and retail
                                                    There is also a global shortage of skilled
     trades as well as in the health-care and
                                                    workers, which increases competition on
     social assistance sectors. The employment
                                                    the local, national, and international
     rate is expected to grow by 0.9 per cent for
                                                    fronts. The province is now in a position
     both 2006 and 2007.
                                                    where the demand for labour in many
     The strong provincial economy generated        sectors is higher that the number of workers
     revenue from all sources, primarily from       available.
     income taxes and offshore royalties.
                                                    In 2006–2007, government will continue to
     The higher Canadian dollar contributed to      work with the Nova Scotia Community
     strong capital investments in both the         College to increase enrolments to meet the
     public and private sectors. However, it        demands of the marketplace and help
     posed challenges to Nova Scotians who          school     boards    expand      co-operative
     export goods, such as tires, lumber, wood      education links with the community
     pulp, and seafood. The dollar value of         college.
     exports dropped by 0.5 per cent from last
                                                    With continued growth in the economy
     year, but Nova Scotian industries are
                                                    and good fiscal management, Nova Scotia
     expected to adjust to the higher exchange
                                                    is in a position to invest in measures like
     rate and show growth in 2006.
                                                    these to address our long-term challenges.
     Nova Scotia’s economy has a number of
                                                    Nova Scotia is also making a number of
     ongoing challenges.
                                                    changes in personal income tax designed
     There is a shift away from the more            to improve the competitive nature of the
     traditional resource industries such as        provincial tax climate.
     fishing, mining, and shipbuilding to the
     labour-intensive service industries such as    Financial Context
     contact centres, health care, construction,
                                                    The Province of Nova Scotia will continue its
     and scientific and technical jobs. More
                                                    commitment to strong fiscal management
     people are moving from the rural to the
                                                    in 2006–2007. Central to this is the legislated
     urban areas to take advantage of these
                                                    requirement to balance the province’s
                                                    budget and produce surpluses sufficient to
     Nova Scotia is also experiencing slower        implement the debt reduction plan.
     population       growth   and   an     aging
 Government Business Plan                                                                         Government
                                                                                                  Business Plan

In 2006–2007, the province will bring in its    provinces. The government will continue to
fifth consecutive balanced budget, after        press firmly for an equitable and adequate
ending the 2005–2006 fiscal year with a         share of federal/provincial revenues. The
forecasted surplus of $151 million.             province is pleased that the federal
                                                government has recognized what is now
Nova Scotia has taken a number of
                                                known as the “fiscal imbalance.”
important steps to manage the debt in
recent years. In addition to running            The   government          acknowledges      the
surpluses for the past five years, the $830     importance       of   a     competitive     tax
million received from the Offshore Accord       environment in promoting economic
with the federal government was placed          growth. A number of measures are being
directly on the province’s cash debt. This is   undertaken to improve Nova Scotia’s long-
generating significant ongoing savings in       term competitive tax environment and to
debt-servicing costs.                           leave more tax dollars in the pockets of
                                                Nova Scotians.
As set down in the debt reduction plan, net
direct debt will start to decline in
2007–2008.     Within    this   plan,    the
                                                Social and
government will proceed with planned
                                                Environmental Context
capital investment in economic and social       Nova Scotia is the first province to
infrastructure such as highways and             commission an external review of the
schools that is critical to the long-term       strengths and limitations of its public
growth of the provincial economy.               health system following the SARS outbreak
                                                of 2003. This review led to the creation in
Increased provincial revenues will be used
                                                February 2006 of the Department of Health
to enhance essential programs and services
                                                Promotion     and         Protection,     which
such as health care and education. The
                                                consolidated public health functions to
province will make additional strategic
                                                strengthen the province’s public health
investments to benefit Nova Scotia’s
families and communities and future
generations.    Added     investments     in    Emerging global public health issues such
education and economic development are          as pandemic influenza and the province’s
designed to create high-quality jobs and        recent experiences with extreme weather
attract and keep skilled workers.               conditions    have         highlighted      the
                                                importance of preparing for emergencies
Federal sources continue to be essential to
                                                and promoting the highest standards of
Nova Scotia’s ability to offer programs and
                                                public health and safety.
services at levels comparable to other
                                                  Government Business Plan

     This year, the government of Nova Scotia
     will make additional investments in public
     health      protection   and   emergency
     preparedness that will improve our ability
     to prevent or recover from emergency or

 Government Business Plan           Government
                                    Business Plan

Government of Nova Scotia—
Corporate Priorities 2006–2007
• Families and Communities

• Health Promotion and Protection

• Community Safety

• Economic Development and

• Environment

                                                       Government Business Plan

     Government of Nova Scotia
     —Core Business Areas
     The Government Business Plan is grouped
     around six core business areas:

     1. Families and Communities

     2. Health and Health Care

     3. Education

     4. The Economy

     5. The Environment

     6. Government Services

     Core business areas are the social or
     economic sectors in which the Government
     of Nova Scotia is active in providing
     fundamental services to citizens, or the
     sectors in which Nova Scotians expect their
     government to play a significant role on
     their behalf. The core business areas align
     closely with government’s priorities and
     serve as a framework for the central policy
     objectives of the government.

     In each of these basic areas, specific
     priorities are linked to the overall priorities
     and vision of the Government of Nova
     Scotia. These are described in greater detail
     in the sections that follow.

 Government Business Plan                                                                       Government
                                                                                                Business Plan

 1. Families
Investing in Nova Scotia’s families and         Scotia will continue to work with other
communities is the starting point for           provinces and the federal government to
advancing the Government of Nova                achieve the best results for Nova Scotia
Scotia’s agenda for 2006–2007. We will          families. The plan will provide 1,000
provide    every   opportunity     for    our   additional licensed child-care spaces and
neighbourhoods and communities to               550 additional portable child-care spaces.
prosper, to be vibrant, and to be safe.         The plan increases the availability of child
                                                care in rural areas, as well as the
Our communities have strategic as well as
                                                availability of spaces for infants and
intrinsic importance. They reflect Nova
                                                children with special needs. More equitable
Scotia’s high quality of life, which along
                                                operating funding for non-profit and
with our natural environment, is one of the
                                                commercial centres and better information
province’s competitive advantages.
                                                and services for parents are other features
To maintain our lifestyle and competitive       of the new plan. (Community Services)
advantage, Nova Scotia must continue to
develop healthy, safe, diverse communities,     Priority: Strategy for Positive
where families thrive, seniors are valued       Aging in Nova Scotia
and involved, and young people can be           In   2006–2007,     the    Senior   Citizens’
confident of finding opportunities to learn,    Secretariat will lead the implementation of
work, and stay and raise families of their      the Strategy for Positive Aging, released in
own.                                            December 2005. More than a framework
                                                for government action, the strategy is a
Families and                                    planning tool to be used by all levels of
Communities Priorities                          government and sectors of society in
2006–2007                                       creating communities where seniors thrive.
Families and Communities                        This year the province will develop a
Priority: Child Care Plan                       positive aging action plan to outline its
Nova Scotia will be implementing the 10-        priorities for advancing the strategy and
Year Nova Scotia Child Care Plan. The           will launch an awareness campaign to
province will contribute an additional          encourage other sectors to do the same.
$23.5 million to federal monies to ensure       (Senior Citizens’ Secretariat)
the sustainability of the Nova Scotia plan
over the next decade. This will provide child
care for more Nova Scotia families and will                                                      15
help support the child-care sector. Nova
                                                                     Government Business Plan

     Priority: Elder Abuse Awareness                   Other OHV activities for 2006–2007 include
     and Prevention Strategy                           developing          relevant         regulations,
     The health and well-being of seniors will         establishing an advisory committee to the
     continue to be promoted through the               Minister,    and    developing       a    training
     province’s efforts to prevent and address         program and guidelines for closed courses,
     elder abuse. In 2006–2007, the government         as well as relevant permits and procedures.
     will begin a campaign to raise awareness of       (Natural Resources, Health Promotion and
     the issue—a key action identified in the          Protection, Environment and Labour)
     Nova Scotia Elder Abuse Strategy: Towards
     Awareness and Prevention, which was               Priority: Consumer Protection
     released in November 2005.                        In 2006–2007 and continuing over the next
                                                       several years, consumer protection officers
     Under the leadership of the Senior Citizens’
                                                       will be increasing the number of inspections
     Secretariat, educational materials will be
                                                       of licencees granted under six statutes
     developed      and   communities     will   be
                                                       administered by Service Nova Scotia and
     involved. June 15 will be proclaimed as the
                                                       Municipal Relations. The first priority will
     first-ever World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
                                                       be businesses holding consumers’ funds in
     and second annual Nova Scotia Elder
                                                       trust accounts, including those selling
     Abuse Awareness Day. (Senior Citizens’
                                                       prepaid funeral and cemetery services,
                                                       collection agencies, and payday lender
                                                       activities. Additional consumer protection
     Priority: Off-Highway Vehicles
     (OHV) Enforcement                                 officers will be hired to increase inspections

     In 2006–2007, the OHV enforcement                 and investigations to protect the public.

     program will see the deployment of a dozen        (Service     Nova   Scotia     and       Municipal

     enforcement officers in rural areas across        Relations)

     the province dedicated to OHV-related
     enforcement activities.                           Priority: United Way 211 Call
     Officers will patrol parks, beaches, trails,      The province will conduct a study in
     wilderness areas, and woodlands, as               2006–2007 on the feasibility of putting a
     recommended by the Voluntary Planning             United Way 211 call centre in place. The
     Off-highway Vehicle Task Force Report             newest three-digit phone number, 211 is
     (2004)   and    government’s      subsequent      dedicated to bringing people and services
     action plan. The enforcement personnel            together. The CRTC has provided this
     have a mandate to enforce the new OHV             number to the United Way to help
     Act as it pertains to land owners, trail users,   Canadians find information and referral
16   and environmentally sensitive areas.
 Government Business Plan                                                                             Government
                                                                                                      Business Plan

services on community, social, health, and         takes place all over the province, and just
government       services.   It    significantly   about every community is home to
improves citizen access to services and            amateur and professional artists.
ensures they are available equitably to
                                                   This year, the province is pleased to
everyone. 211 services are now in operation
                                                   increase its investment in arts and culture
in 26 states in the US. Metro Toronto is the
                                                   with an additional $1.2 million in funding.
only Canadian 211 service in operation,
                                                   This includes $850,000 to ensure the
although several other provinces are in the
                                                   sustainability of the sector and to examine
planning stages. (Service Nova Scotia and
                                                   potential opportunities for growth, and
Municipal Relations)
                                                   $361,000 to increase operating funding for
                                                   the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Priority: Political Participation
of Women                                           The      province       will        form     an
Government will extend workshops on the            interdepartmental committee to support
participation of women in politics to more         the growth of the culture sector. The
areas this year. The Advisory Council on           committee will enhance government’s
the Status of Women will hold three                partnership with the Nova Scotia Arts and
additional campaign workshops to take              Culture Partnership Council as it develops
place in rural areas. To date, the Advisory        programming relevant to the sector and
Council has held two annual non-partisan           will identify new resources and better
political campaign schools for women               allocate existing resources to promote the
interested in increasing their participation       development of the sector. (Tourism,
in electoral politics. While these schools will    Culture and Heritage)
continue to meet the needs of increasing
numbers     of   women,      the     additional    Priority: Heritage Strategy
workshops will help those who have                 Heritage    is   intrinsic     to   community
difficulty in travelling away from their           sustainability through its contribution to
home communities for extended periods.             identity, cultural diversity, social cohesion,
(Advisory Council on the Status of Women)          and community participation. In 2005,
                                                   Voluntary Planning conducted extensive
Priority: Culture Sector                           public consultations to identify what Nova
Development                                        Scotians value in their heritage, including
Already valued at $1.2 billion, Nova               perceptions      around      museums,      built
Scotia’s culture sector has tremendous             heritage, and cultural landscapes and
untapped potential to grow. Cultural               defining opportunities for heritage product
activity in the form of festivals and events       development.
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     This year the province will continue the          Priority: Aboriginal and Treaty
     development of a province-wide heritage           Rights Negotiation
     strategy in response to the recommendations       Together with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia
     resulting from the work of Voluntary              and the federal government, the province
     Planning. (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)         will continue working towards signing a
                                                       Framework       Agreement.    This    is   a
     Priority: African Nova Scotian                    commitment made in June 2002 to
     Affairs Cape Breton                               formalize the establishment of a negotiation
     In 2006–2007, the Office of African Nova          process on matters related to Aboriginal
     Scotian Affairs will open a satellite office in   rights, including Aboriginal title and treaty
     Cape Breton, including three permanent            rights.   The    provincial   and    federal
     positions. The head office is in Halifax, but     governments have approved the Framework
     large segments of the African Nova Scotian        Agreement, and the Mi’kmaq approval
     population live outside that area. The need       process is currently under way. (Office of
     for regional offices has been identified to       Aboriginal Affairs)
     ensure that rural populations receive
     support. The Cape Breton office is expected       Priority: First Ministers Meeting
     to open by late summer 2006. (Office of           on Aboriginal Issues
     African Nova Scotian Affairs)                     The Office of Aboriginal Affairs will lead
                                                       the follow-up work associated with the
     Priority: Mi’kmawey Debert                        2005 First Ministers Meeting (FMM) on
     In 2006–2007, the Office of Aboriginal            Aboriginal issues. The province will work
     Affairs will continue to work with the            with the federal government and the
     Mi’kmaq and other provincial and federal          Mi’kmaq to close the gap between the
     partners to further the work of Mi’kmawey         quality of life experienced by the Mi’kmaq
     Debert. The aim of this initiative is to          and other Nova Scotians.
     protect      valuable       and         unique
                                                       The FMM on Aboriginal Issues was an
     archaeological resources, while developing
                                                       historic turning point in Aboriginal-
     opportunities to share the history and
                                                       government relations, when all first
     culture of the Mi’kmaq. They have been
                                                       ministers committed their governments to
     working     with      the    province       and
                                                       take action in support of closing the gap in
     Government of Canada in recent years to
                                                       social and economic outcomes in housing,
     protect the site and develop a cultural
                                                       health,    education,      and    economic
     centre to showcase the history and culture
     of   the   Mi’kmaq      people.   (Office    of
     Aboriginal Affairs)
 Government Business Plan                                                                               Government
                                                                                                        Business Plan

In 2006–2007, the Office of Aboriginal                   ensure that children and youth live in safe,
Affairs,    in      collaboration      with      other   nurturing environments that promote their
provincial government departments, will                  mental, physical, emotional, and social
work locally with the Mi’kmaq and                        development.
Canada, to identify and implement specific
                                                         The foster care program recognizes the
actions       in     support     of    the       FMM
                                                         volunteer nature of the work that foster
commitments. (Office of Aboriginal Affairs,
                                                         parents do. It helps them to manage the
Intergovernmental Affairs, Health, Health
                                                         rising costs associated with their much-
Promotion and Protection, Education,
                                                         valued service to society.
Community Services, Office of Economic
Development, Environment and Labour)                     In 2006–2007, the government will increase
                                                         base rates by 5 per cent for the foster

Priority: Integrating Newcomers                          families who have opened their homes to
to Our Communities                                       about 1,200 foster children in Nova Scotia.
Integrating          immigrants        into       our    That translates to $14.46 per day for
communities is key to keeping them here.                 children under 10, and $21.02 per day for
The   first      priority   of   the     Office     of   children 10 and over. (Community Services)
Immigration is to retain the immigrants
who choose to land and settle in Nova                    Priority: Increasing Income
Scotia. In 2006–2007, the office will                    Assistance Rates
continue to provide funding to not-for-                  Government is raising personal allowance

profit organizations, community groups,                  rates for individuals on income assistance

and public educational institutions to help              and shelter rates for those clients who have

immigrant children find their way at school              difficulty covering their shelter costs. To

and to help their parents learn to speak                 help meet basic needs and increased costs

English or French and find meaningful                    for shelter, the rates will go up $10 per

employment so they can integrate and stay                month for personal allowances, $15 per

in    our          communities.        (Office      of   month for shelter for singles, and $20 per

Immigration)                                             month       for   households.   (Community

Priority: Supporting Foster
Families                                                 Priority: Additional Help for
Nova Scotia’s foster families provide a                  Employed Income Assistance
valuable service to children in need of
                                                         Finding and maintaining employment is
placement. By providing a secure, stable
                                                         the hope of all income assistance recipients
family environment, foster parents help
                                                                 Government Business Plan

     who are able to work. For some, this           programs. Despite the oldest housing stock
     movement into the workforce often starts       in the country, low-income Nova Scotians
     with part-time or seasonal employment.         will not have to live in substandard
     Currently, when income tax refunds are         housing in need of repairs that they cannot
     received, the full amount is used to reduce    afford. (Community Services)
     any entitlements. This can be a disincentive
     to continue working.                           Health Promotion and
     In 2006–2007, government will amend            Protection
     current income assistance regulations to       Priority: Pharmacare for
     allow clients who receive an income tax        Children in Low-Income
     refund to keep 30 per cent of the refund as
                                                    In 2006–2007 government will implement
     a   further     incentive   to   maintain
                                                    a Low-Income Pharmacare program for
     employment. (Community Services)
                                                    children. This new program will extend to
                                                    low-income working families prescription
     Priority: Affordable Housing
                                                    drug coverage currently available to
     The province has fully committed $37.3
                                                    children of income assistance families.
     million    in     funding     under     the
     Federal/Provincial Phase 1 Affordable          About 33,000 children under 18 years of
     Housing Agreement. This funding was used       age will benefit from the new program. It
     to create or rehabilitate approximately 900    ensures that more low-income families will
     housing units for Nova Scotians. Funding       have access to drug coverage for their
     under Phase 2 of the Agreement will begin      children, and it will help to reduce the
     in 2006–2007. (Community Services)             number of emergency room visits for
                                                    needed medications in non-emergency
     Priority: Housing Emergency                    situations. The program will help income
     Repair Programs                                assistance families enter and stay in the
     In addition to helping people access           workforce, knowing that drug costs for their
     affordable housing, government is also         children will be covered. (Community
     helping low-income Nova Scotians get           Services)
     needed home repairs and seniors adapt
     their homes for independent living.            Community Safety
     An additional $3.4 million is being invested   While recent surveys show that most Nova
     in housing emergency repair programs to        Scotians    feel   safe   in   their   homes,
     maintain waiting lists at the current level    neighbourhoods, and communities, there is
     while providing for the increased cost of      heightened awareness and a sense of
20   repairs associated with these popular
 Government Business Plan                                                                      Government
                                                                                               Business Plan

unease given reported increases in rates of     Priority: Youth Attendance
violent crime and violent victimization.        Centre
                                                The Department of Justice is proposing to
Between 1999 and 2004, Nova Scotia
                                                establish a non-residential attendance
experienced a 4 per cent increase in the
                                                centre in the Halifax area for youth in
overall crime rate. During the same period,
                                                conflict with the law. These centres have
the province saw a 12 per cent increase in
                                                been shown to be successful in holding
the rate of youth charged with a violent
                                                high-risk youth accountable through a
crime and a 43 per cent increase in the rate
                                                range of programs and services such as
of youth charged with causing bodily harm.
                                                education, job search, and treatment for
The reality is that only a small percentage     behavioural problems. (Justice)
of offenders are responsible for a large
volume of crime.                                Priority: Nunn Commission
In 2006–2007, the government of Nova            The Department of Justice will lead
Scotia is undertaking a number of initiatives   government’s response to recommendations
with    justice   partners   to   strengthen    arising from the Nunn Commission, which
enforcement and improve public safety.          is undertaking a public enquiry into the
This includes working to reduce the             release of a youth who was later charged
incidence of crime perpetrated by youth and     and convicted in the death of Halifax
other members of society. Government will       resident Theresa McEvoy. (Justice)
also invest in measures to improve
emergency management co-ordination and          Priority: Children under 12 in
preparation in 2006–2007.                       Conflict with the Law
                                                Government is considering investments

Priority: Youth Criminal Justice                that help prevent children from engaging
Act (YCJA)                                      in criminal activity and to provide them
Nova Scotia continues to call for action to     with   hope     and    opportunity.     The
enhance public safety by amending the           Department of Justice is exploring the
Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), to allow     possibility of a Restorative Justice Program
detention and custodial sentences for           for Children under 12 in Conflict with the
young people who pose a danger to the           Law. Partners will be brought together to
public. The Department of Justice has           determine the needs of young children who
argued that the YCJA does not offer             cause harm and to understand the capacity
effective measures to deter a small             of communities to sustain an under-12
percentage of youth whose behaviour is out      program. (Justice)
of control and jeopardizes public safety.
                                                                     Government Business Plan

     Priority: Safer Communities and                    Priority: Additional Police
     Neighbourhoods Act                                 Officers and Aboriginal Policing
     Government will be reintroducing the Safer         Two officers will be hired into the Violent
     Communities and Neighbourhoods Act,                Crime Linkage Analysis System Unit, which
     which will empower Nova Scotians to seek           maintains a database of major and
     community safety orders to shut down               potential serial violent offenders. The
     criminal activities such as the illegal sale of    database is a critical investigative tool for
     drugs and alcohol, prostitution, and illegal       police to address violent offences and to
     gaming       that    adversely    affect   their   identify links among violent offences in the
     neighbourhoods. A new Public Safety                province. This increases the likelihood of
     Investigative Unit will address complaints         capturing serial offenders.
     through a civil enforcement process.
                                                        Another officer will be hired into the
                                                        Technological Crime Unit, which addresses
                                                        Internet/technology-based crimes such as
     Priority: Criminal Intelligence
                                                        child pornography and Internet fraud.
     Service (CIS)
     To build safer, stronger communities, we           Additional RCMP officers and support staff
     need to respond to crime and the conditions        will be hired to address the law enforcement
     that create crime. Government is working           needs of aboriginal communities in three
     in close co-operation with our partners            First Nations communities in the province.
     through a $6-million investment over four          (Justice)
     years       to      improve      on-the-ground
     intelligence in the fight against crime. The       Priority: Monitoring People on
     Criminal Intelligence Service (CIS) focuses        House Arrest
     on marijuana grow operations, the illegal          As of May 2006, Nova Scotia began an

     use of prescription drugs, smash-and-grab          electronic supervision pilot project for

     tobacco rings, the sale of illegal drugs,          offenders under house arrest in the Halifax

     electronic fraud, murders linked to biker          Regional Municipality. The project is able to

     gangs, and border security. CIS expands            track offenders 24 hours a day, seven days a

     policing resources for collection, analysis,       week, to ensure that they are living up to

     and dissemination of criminal intelligence         their court-ordered obligations. Nova Scotia

     in regional offices across the province,           is the first jurisdiction in the country to use

     which is critical to combat organized and          global positioning system (GPS) satellite

     major crime and to heighten awareness of           technology to monitor offenders under

     potential terrorism issues. (Justice)              conditional sentences.

 Government Business Plan                                                                      Government
                                                                                               Business Plan

In 2006–2007, more resources are also           Priority: Joint Operations,
being provided for improved monitoring of       E-Team, and Emergency
bail house-arrest compliance. (Justice)         Response Capability
                                                When an emergency occurs, the Joint
Priority: Business Continuity                   Emergency Operations Centre (JEOC)
Planning                                        becomes EMO’s operations centre, and it
Recent extreme weather events, both here        needs a significant upgrade. In 2006–2007,
and in other parts of the world, as well as     the provincial and federal government will
widespread acts of terrorism and new            share the cost of the $100,000 upgrade
strains of influenza have highlighted the       needed to continue to respond adequately
necessity for comprehensive emergency           to emergency conditions. The result will be
management         coordination.   A   secure   improved coordination of emergency
community enjoys the sense that people          response. (EMO)
are prepared and will work together
whatever happens.                               Priority: Training
The Emergency Management Office (EMO)
                                                Operating a full-time training centre is a
is leading the development of provincial
                                                key component of EMO’s multi-year
government departmental plans to ensure
                                                training strategy. The facility will attract
continuity    of     services   should    the
                                                students from government and the private
consequences of a major emergency
                                                sector   to   enable   integrated   training
damage government facilities or otherwise
                                                opportunities with federal, provincial, and
prevent civil servants from performing
                                                municipal partners.
duties critical to Nova Scotians. (EMO)
                                                Nova Scotia families and communities will
Priority: 911                                   benefit from having more municipal and
Every community in Nova Scotia will             provincial government staff trained in
benefit from the renewal of the province’s      emergency management.
911 technology. Nova Scotia’s 911 call-         EMO trained 250 people in 2004–2005 and
taking technology has operated 24 hours a       1,000 people in 2005–2006, and expects
day, 365 days a year for the past four years.   further significant increases in demand for
A major upgrade to the system will begin in     training. (EMO)
2006–2007 to accommodate changes in
information technology and the 911
telecommunications world, in areas such as
voice-over-Internet protocols (VOIP) and
cellular location technology. (EMO)                                                             23
                                                      Government Business Plan

     Priority: Training Delivery
     EMO will help Nova Scotians avoid
     preventable emergencies and recover
     quickly when they happen, through an
     increase   in   training   and    awareness
     programs. In particular, EMO will prioritize
     the development of an awareness package
     for vulnerable persons, including seniors.
     Delivery of this training will be achieved, in
     part, through increased use of volunteers.

 Government Business Plan                                                                           Government
                                                                                                    Business Plan

Families and Communities — Measuring Our

Measure: Income Assistance Recipients Securing Employment
Outcome: Strong families; children reaching their potential (Community Services)
This measure indicates the percentage of individuals receiving income assistance and eligible
to participate in employment support programs who have secured full- or part-time work.

Performance Highlights and Targets
In 2004–2005, 28 per cent of income assistance recipients involved in employment support
services secured full- or part-time employment. This was an increase of 3 per cent from the
2003–2004 rate of 25 per cent. The target is to maintain the percentage at or above the
2003–2004 base year rate.

Measure: Overall Crime Rate (Justice)
Outcome: Safe communities
This measure indicates how many criminal incidents have been reported to the police for
violent, property, drug, and other offences, excluding Criminal Code traffic offences. The
number is standardized per 100,000 of the population so the rates can be compared across

Performance Highlights and Targets
Statistics show that Nova Scotia’s overall crime rate increased 4 per cent between 1999 and
2004. Nova Scotia’s crime rate for violent and other criminal code offences is above the national
average, while property crime rates are below national averages. Our target for the future is to
maintain the crime rate below the national average through particular attention to youth
crime, including advocating changes to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, strengthening
enforcement, improving offender supervision and support, and making additional investments
in crime prevention.

Overall Crime Rate (Criminal incidents          per 100,000 population—1998–2004)
            2000          2001                  2002         2003           2004
Nova Scotia 7624          7671                  7738         8614           8764
Canada      7666          7655                  7706         8146           8051

                                                                     Government Business Plan

     2. Health and Health Care

     The overall health and wellness of                Health and Health Care
     individuals    is   fundamental     to      the   Priorities 2006–2007
     government’s vision of a stronger, safer,
     healthier Nova Scotia.
                                                       Health Promotion and
     That is why in 2006–2007, the government
                                                       Priority: Public Health Review
     of Nova Scotia will continue to implement         Implementation
     its health strategy, Your Health Matters,         In   February    2006,   Premier    Rodney
     and why the government will continue to           MacDonald announced the creation of the
     increase its investment in Nova Scotians’         Department of Health Promotion and
     health. The total investment in health care       Protection.
     and health promotion and protection will
                                                       The new department brings together Nova
     rise to $2.8 billion in 2006–2007, an
                                                       Scotia Health Promotion, the Public Health
     increase of $217.1 million over 2005–2006.
                                                       branch of the Department of Health, and
     The strategic areas of focus this year are in     the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of
     line with Your Health Matters. We will help       Health. By bringing together experts in
     people stay healthy. We will train, recruit,      promotion, prevention, and protection,
     and keep more doctors, nurses, and health         government is taking the next step forward
     professionals. We will shorten wait lists for     in creating a healthier and safer Nova
     tests, treatments, and care. We will improve      Scotia.
     care for our seniors. And we will expand
                                                       In 2006–2007, the government begins the
     access to health services closer to home.
                                                       multi-year undertaking of putting the new
     In 2006–2007, the Department of Health            department into full operation. The parallel
     and the new Department of Health                  and much-larger task will be leading the
     Promotion and Protection will also work           way to public health system renewal, which
     closely to implement a strengthened public        will contribute to the health and well-being
     health system.                                    of all Nova Scotians.

                                                       The impetus for the creation of the new
                                                       department was the public health review
                                                       entitled The Renewal of Public Health in
                                                       Nova Scotia: Building a Public Health
                                                       System to Meet the Needs of Nova Scotians,
26                                                     received by Cabinet in January 2006.
    Government Business Plan                                                                        Government
                                                                                                    Business Plan

Components of the new system will include            Drug expenditure is the fastest-growing
                                                     category of health spending in Canada. It
•     public health workforce development
                                                     makes up the second-largest proportion of
•     infrastructure development for public          health expenditures and Nova Scotia is no
      health laboratories                            exception.    (Health    Promotion      and
•     information systems and organizations          Protection)
                                                     Priority: Tobacco Control
Formation of the department signals the
                                                     Strategy Renewal
government’s          commitment        to     an
                                                     Tobacco use is the number one cause of
integrated public health system that can
                                                     preventable illness and death and costs the
sharpen the focus on protecting citizens in
                                                     system $168 million a year in direct health
a     public     health    emergency,        while
continuing to promote health and reduce
injury.                                              One of the most successful of Nova Scotia’s
                                                     health promotion strategies, the Tobacco
Current trends point to the wisdom of
                                                     Control Strategy, will be renewed this year.
focusing on better emergency planning,
health and safety, and support for Nova              By 2004, the strategy had brought the

Scotians as they work to achieve healthier           smoking rate down to the national level of

lifestyles.                                          20 per cent from 30 per cent in 2000, when
                                                     Nova Scotia’s rate was the highest in the
Better emergency planning can help keep
                                                     country. (Health Promotion and Protection)
our institutions up and running and our
communities safe and viable in times of
                                                     Priority: Smoke-Free Places Act
natural       disaster,   epidemic,    or    other
                                                     On December 1, 2006, the province will
external threat. Better health practices
                                                     implement the strongest legislation in
among children, such as physical activity
                                                     Canada to protect its citizens from second-
and     good      nutrition,   are    recognized
                                                     hand tobacco smoke. Amendments to the
contributors to the development of positive
                                                     Smoke-free Places Act will ensure that all
behaviour,       school    performance,       and
                                                     workplaces are smoke free and will no
overall cognitive development.
                                                     longer permit smoking on licensed outdoor
More than 50 per cent of Nova Scotians are           patios. (Health Promotion and Protection)
not active enough to enjoy a health benefit,
and physical inactivity costs the provincial
health system many millions of dollars in
hospital, physician, and drug services.
                                                                    Government Business Plan

     Priority: Nova Scotia’s Smokers                   resource materials, pedometer access, and
     Helpline                                          recognition programs for individuals,
     A key component of Nova Scotia’s Tobacco          schools, workplaces, and communities.
     Strategy is the Canadian Cancer Society’s         (Health Promotion and Protection)
     Smokers Helpline, a service that offers
     tobacco users, friends, and family toll-free      Priority: Trail Maintenance
     information on how to find community-             Program
     based programs that can help them quit or         Given the high priority that Nova Scotians
     reduce tobacco use.                               attach to walking, the Department of
                                                       Health Promotion and Protection will
     As of April 1, 2006, the province assumed
                                                       introduce a trail-maintenance program in
     responsibility for the costs associated with
                                                       2006–2007 that will help Nova Scotians do
     call-volume charges.
                                                       more of this favourite activity. The funding
     The Department of Health Promotion and            will help community trail groups and
     Protection will also provide financial            municipalities maintain their trail systems.
     support    through     the    district   health   The department will also continue to
     authorities for nicotine treatment services       develop a Nova Scotia trails database.
     to help people stop smoking and for               (Health Promotion and Protection)
     community-based prevention programs.
     (Health Promotion and Protection)                 Priority: Dartmouth
                                                       Harbourwalk Trail
     Priority: Walking Initiative                      Waterfront    Development      Corporation
     Nova Scotia remains committed to the goal         Limited (WDCL) is working in partnership
     set by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial         with   Halifax   Regional     Municipality,
     Ministers Responsible for Sport, Recreation       Dartmouth Trails Association, and the
     and Fitness, to increase the number of            Shubenacadie     Canal    Commission      to
     Canadians active enough for health                develop a unique harbourside public use
     benefits by 10 per cent by 2010.                  trail, stretching 3.8 km between the
                                                       Woodside and Alderney Landing ferry
     Walking is the favourite leisure time
                                                       terminals. The total cost of the trail is
     physical activity reported by Nova Scotians
                                                       approximately $1.5 million, cost-shared
     and by Canadians in general. The
                                                       among the partners. When complete, the
     Department of Health Promotion and
                                                       trail will link with the Trans Canada and
     Protection   will   develop     a   provincial
                                                       Shubenacadie      Canal     trail   systems.
     walking initiative in conjunction with the
                                                       (Waterfront Development Corporation)
     Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova
     Scotia. The initiative will offer information,
 Government Business Plan                                                                             Government
                                                                                                      Business Plan

Priority: Nova Scotia Sport Plan                   Priority: Health-Promoting
In 2006–2007, the Nova Scotia Sport Plan           Schools
will be finalized, and an implementation           The Department of Health Promotion and
plan will be developed to improve the              Protection      will   continue     to   provide
quality   of   life   for      individuals   and   sustainable       program         funding    for
communities in Nova Scotia through active          partnerships with school boards and district
participation in sport.                            health authorities to continue the Health-
                                                   Promoting Schools program. This program
Sport is widely accepted as a powerful
                                                   supports schools throughout the province in
contributor    to     social     and   personal
                                                   providing healthy eating and physical
development. Studies have shown that an
                                                   activity opportunities for their students.
increased level of sport participation offers
many benefits over and above personal              Research has shown that a hungry child
satisfaction and a sense of physical and           has difficulty learning and that, over time,
emotional well-being. An increase in sport         poor nutrition reduces a child’s resistance to
activity can result in better marks at school,     infection.      (Health     Promotion       and
a decrease in tobacco use, reduced crime           Protection)
rates, and reduced use of illicit drugs. As a
way to be physically active, sport contributes     Priority: Community Volunteers
to the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and         Throughout the year, the Department of
prevention of disease and illness.                 Health Promotion and Protection will work
                                                   with its partners in the various regions of
As part of the Sport Plan, the Department
                                                   the province to find ways to build more
of Health Promotion and Protection will
                                                   volunteer resources in the physical activity,
lead the multi-year planning process for
                                                   sport, and recreation sector. When there is
hosting the 2011 Canada Winter Games
                                                   an energized volunteer sector working and
and provide support to the bid to host the
                                                   sharing       resources   with     government
2014 Commonwealth Games in Halifax
                                                   departments, the community becomes a
Regional Municipality. Other priorities of
                                                   healthier place in which to live. (Health
the plan include helping communities plan
                                                   Promotion and Protection)
for improving recreational infrastructure,
promoting national-status athletes and
teams from Nova Scotia, and collaborating
with the Aboriginal community to improve
health outcomes through physical activity,
sport, and recreation in the Aboriginal
population.    (Health         Promotion     and
                                                                  Government Business Plan

     Health-Care Services                            treatments, and services to help them
                                                     decide if they would like to travel outside
     Priority: Emergency                             their communities to a location where a
     Preparedness                                    wait time is shorter.
     The Department of Health is developing          Work will continue on the Ten Year Plan to
     plans for a comprehensive health sector         strengthen health care agreed to by federal,
     emergency preparedness response. Plans          provincial, and territorial health ministers.
     will focus on an “all-hazards” approach to      Nova Scotia is committed to establishing
     address threats of a chemical, biological,      multi-year targets to achieve priority
     radiological,   nuclear,    explosive,   and    benchmarks by December 31, 2007.
     terrorist nature. The department’s planning     (Health)
     spans the health sector and integrates with
     plans    in     health     service   delivery   Priority: Training More Health-
     organizations such as district health           Care Staff
     authorities, long-term care facilities, the     The Department of Health’s role in
     provincial Emergency Management Office          physician recruitment is to support district
     (EMO), Health Canada, and provincial            health authorities with the tools they need
     government departments. (Health)                to recruit the physicians their areas need.

                                                     Nova Scotia is continuing to build a solid
     Priority: Wait Times
                                                     plan for health human resources that will
     During 2006–2007, the Department of
                                                     support the health system’s current and
     Health will collect wait-time data on a
                                                     future needs. The immediate priorities
     voluntary basis for consultations with
                                                     include encouraging young people to
     specialists. Work will continue with the
                                                     choose health-related careers, training
     district health authorities and the IWK
                                                     tomorrow’s health professionals in ways
     Health Centre to define, gather, and report
                                                     that meet the community’s health needs
     wait-time information for diagnostic and
                                                     today, and accurately forecasting what
     surgical services. New systems, such as
                                                     those needs will be in the future.
     operating room, emergency department,
     and knowledge management systems, will          Government       continues    to     increase
     all be investigated as options in support of    undergraduate medical training seats at
     the wait-times monitoring project.              Dalhousie Medical School by eight.        By
                                                     2007–2008, Dalhousie will have a total of
     The Nova Scotia Wait Times website will
                                                     90 undergraduate medical seats. These 90
     continue to expand, providing Nova
                                                     seats will be funded each year through the
     Scotians with information on more tests,
                                                     Department of Health.
 Government Business Plan                                                                           Government
                                                                                                    Business Plan

To reduce wait times and see more family           Priority: Primary Health Care
practice physicians working throughout             Renewal
Nova Scotia, the Department of Health will         Nova Scotia will continue its commitment
expand the assessment and integration of           to strengthen community-based care. The
internationally          educated       health     province will continue the investment
professionals. Regulatory barriers and             begun by Health Canada through the
inadequate assessment and educational              former Primary Care Transition Fund, by
opportunities     have    contributed    to   a    sustaining an infrastructure in the district
significant pool of these professionals, who       health authorities for public health care
are either underemployed in their chosen           renewal. A provincial investment of $2.2
profession or unable to work in their              million past the end date of the federal
profession in Atlantic Canada.                     transition fund will allow the district health
                                                   authorities to continue their work on
The Nursing Strategy continues to provide
funds to expand nursing seats at St. Francis
Xavier and Cape Breton universities and in         All the district health authorities have
the   nurse     practitioner   program        at   identified a need for expanded teams in
Dalhousie University. Priorities of the            primary health care, including nurse
Nursing Strategy include rural nursing,            practitioners.    Evidence   suggests    that
relocation allowances, and continuing              collaborative teams are better able to deal
education.                                         with the increasing complexity of care,
                                                   increase the focus on health promotion and
Funding for the training of 25 medical
                                                   disease prevention, and do it all cost-
laboratory technologists will continue in
                                                   effectively. Each district health authority
2006–2007. This is part of the joint
                                                   will implement new models of care delivery
program offered by the community colleges
                                                   that meet the needs of their populations
in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to train
                                                   and give residents reasonable access to
medical lab technologists for Nova Scotia.
                                                   multidisciplinary teams.
Nova Scotia offers the students bursaries of
$4,000 in each year of the two-year                In addition to a team approach to health
program, in exchange for the students              and health-care delivery, primary health
coming back to work in the Nova Scotia             care    renewal     includes     prevention,
health-care system for two years when they         diagnosis, and treatment of common
graduate. (Health)                                 illness or injury, support for emotional and
                                                   mental health, ongoing management of
                                                   chronic conditions, advice on self-care,
                                                   healthy environments and communities,
                                                   and coordination of access to other services      31
                                                   and providers. (Health)
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     Priority: Mental Health                          help Nova Scotians maintain their health
     Standards                                        and independence, and improve their
     In 2006–2007, the Department of Health           access to care and support.
     will continue to develop regulations and
                                                      In 2006-2007, government will invest $12.6
     standards for the new mental health act,
                                                      million in initiatives designed, among
     the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act,
                                                      other things, to reduce wait lists for nursing
     approved in the fall of 2005. Funding for
                                                      homes and home care, expand the type of
     implementation of the standards will assist
                                                      home care services available, and increase
     in the areas of greatest care needs,
                                                      the number of restorative and long-term
     including the Youth at Risk Project and
                                                      care beds.
     patients rights’ advisors. Advisors will
     ensure that patients affected by the             The     government      has    committed    an
     legislation in all district health authorities   additional $3.8 million in this fiscal year to
     will be informed of their rights and due         introduce a number of new initiatives as
     process. (Health)                                part of the roll out of the continuing care
                                                      strategy. This includes the provincial
     Priority: MRI Access                             expansion of a palliative care program that
     Operating     funds   of   $3   million    in    has been piloted in the Northern Region,
     2006–2007 will support new magnetic              improved      respite   care    services,   the
     resonance imaging (MRI) scanners at four         expansion of the home oxygen program to
     sites in the southwest and northern parts of     include mobile oxygen units, and the
     the province: New Glasgow, Antigonish,           introduction of home care services in
     Kentville, and Yarmouth. MRI scanners are        schools and other facilities.
     used to detect and diagnose soft-tissue          A high-quality, client-centered, accessible
     tumours and diseases of the brain, spinal        and affordable continuing care system will:
     cord,    cardiac,      blood-vessel,      and
                                                      •     acknowledge the role of individuals
     musculoskeletal systems. (Health)
                                                            and families in achieving maximum
                                                            health and independence
     Priority: Continuing Care
     The Government of Nova Scotia is                 •     support local initiatives that help
     committed to supporting Nova Scotians in               individuals remain in their homes and
     their homes and communities. A provincial              communities as long as possible
     continuing care strategy will direct the work    •     ensure care givers and health providers
     of the continuing care branch for the next             are well supported
     10 years. This work will enhance existing
                                                      •     offer a range of services to children,
     services and expand new services that will
32                                                          youth, adults and seniors
    Government Business Plan                                                                                    Government
                                                                                                                Business Plan

•     provide long-term care when and                        people’s      access     to        health-care
      where it is needed. (Health)                           professionals. (Health)

Priority: Health Information                             Families and
Management                                               Communities
The Department of Health will be moving
                                                         Priority: Healthy Eating Nova
ahead        in   support        of     information      Scotia Strategy
management initiatives that speed up the                 Government released its healthy eating
development          of       electronic      health     strategy in March 2005. Since that time, the
information systems to improve access to                 Department of Health Promotion and
health-related       services         for   patients,    Protection has provided a variety of
families, and health-care professionals.                 funding opportunities to groups and
The following are a sampling of some of                  communities doing work in line with the
the    initiatives      to     be     continued     in   strategy.
2006–2007:                                               Funding has gone to each district health
•     identify opportunities to develop a                authority to hire an additional public
      provider registry among the four                   health      nutritionist          to         support
      Atlantic provinces                                 implementation of all four of the strategy’s
                                                         priority areas.
•     continue     to        participate    in    the
      Canadian public health surveillance                The priorities are breastfeeding, children
      projects that are to be implemented by             and youth, fruits and vegetables, and food
      all Canadian jurisdictions over the                security.   In    addition    to       the    DHAs,
      next several years                                 community partners include child-care
                                                         centres, family resource centres, and school
•     complete the Nova Scotia Picture
                                                         boards. (Health Promotion and Protection)
      Archiving      and         Communications
      System project, a high-speed, graphical
                                                         Priority: Breastfeeding
      computer system that stores and
                                                         Nova Scotia has become the second
      retrieves diagnostic images province-
                                                         province in Canada to adopt a provincial
                                                         breastfeeding policy to protect, promote,
•     install new endpoints to expand the                and support breastfeeding in hospitals and
      clinical capacity and use of the Nova              the community. Breastfeeding is the
      Scotia      Telehealth          Network,      a    natural way to feed a baby, and it provides
      videoconferencing             network       that   benefits    to    mothers,         infants,      the
      connects       health-care            facilities   community, and the health-care system.
      throughout the province to improve
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     The Department of Health Promotion and          Roundtable on Youth Sexual Health. The
     Protection will continue to partner with        work   of     the    roundtable     focuses    on
     hospitals, public health services, family       promoting youth sexual health, including
     resource centres, and others to implement       efforts to reduce teen pregnancy and rates
     the Baby Friendly Initiative in Nova Scotia.    of sexually transmitted infection. (Health
     (Health Promotion and Protection)               Promotion and Protection)

     Priority: Securing Healthy Food                 Priority: Community Health
     As part of the provincial healthy eating        Board Wellness Grants
     strategy,   the   Department     of   Health    In   conjunction        with    district   health
     Promotion and Protection has committed          authorities, community health boards will
     to the work that supports all Nova Scotians     continue to receive Community Health
     having regular, affordable access to healthy    Board Wellness Grants for local projects
     food. As part of this work, the department      aimed at preventing chronic disease.
     will provide funding to support the             (Health Promotion and Protection)
     sustainable food-costing model. This will
     help determine, on an ongoing basis, the        Priority: Children’s
     cost of eating a nutritious diet in Nova        Immunization
     Scotia. (Health Promotion and Protection)       Government will continue to implement
                                                     the expanded childhood immunization
     Priority: Youth Health Centres                  schedule consistent with the National
     Approximately 37 youth health centres           Immunization Strategy. (Health Promotion
     operate throughout the province, providing      and Protection)
     a broad range of services, information, and
     referrals, as well as some clinical services.   Community Safety
     Most are located in schools, and all deliver    Priority: Injury Prevention in
     their services in a confidential, non-          the District Health Authorities
     judgmental manner.                              Government will establish a grant to enable
                                                     the development and implementation of an
     The Department of Health Promotion and
                                                     injury-prevention strategy based in district
     Protection will supplement existing funding
                                                     health authorities. Local leadership will
     sources in 2006–2007 to sustain these
                                                     ensure that injury prevention programs and
     centres and extend their impact.
                                                     resources are integrated at all levels of the
     As part of its commitment to children and       community.          (Health    Promotion      and
     youth, the department also continues its        Protection)
     work as a partner on the Nova Scotia
 Government Business Plan                                                                               Government
                                                                                                        Business Plan

Priority: Preventing Alcohol and                   In 2006–2007, Health Promotion and
Risk Related Trauma in Youth                       Protection will continue funding and
(PARTY)                                            support       of     the     partnership     with
Injury is the leading cause of death and           Community Links for the Preventing Falls
disability for Nova Scotia’s teens. In             Together initiative.
2005–2006,        Health      Promotion      and
                                                   The department will also continue to work
Protection launched the Prevent Alcohol
                                                   with Transportation and Public Works to
and Risk Related Trauma in Youth
                                                   craft a road-safety campaign and will
program, also known as PARTY. This is an
                                                   continue a partnership with the IWK Child
evidence-based         resource   designed    to
                                                   Safety Link’s Car Seat Safety initiative.
educate teenagers between the ages of 15
and 16 of the consequences of risk and             The department will partner with the
serious injury.                                    Canadian Mental Health Association to
                                                   develop        community-based             suicide
Partnering with Emergency Health Services,
                                                   prevention initiatives and establish regional
the    departments       of   Education      and
                                                   suicide prevention coalitions. (Health
Transportation and Public Works, and
                                                   Promotion and Protection, Transportation
Dalhousie University, the PARTY program
                                                   and Public Works)
will   expand     in     2006–2007.    Planned
activities include continued training of
                                                   Priority: Alcohol Strategy
program     facilitators,     development     of
                                                   Coordinating the development of the
curriculum supplements, and research and
                                                   provincial alcohol strategy and preparing it
evaluation. The department’s goal is to
                                                   for launch will continue to be one of the
deliver PARTY to all 15,000 grade 10
                                                   Department of Health Promotion and
students    in     the     province.   (Health
                                                   Protection’s major efforts in 2006–2007. As
Promotion and Protection)
                                                   well, the department will develop, test, and
                                                   release education materials during the year
Priority: Injury Prevention
                                                   to support less-harmful drinking, reduce
                                                   social and economic costs, and improve
In the population as a whole, the leading
                                                   productivity. According to 2002 data,
causes of injury-related hospitalizations
                                                   alcohol-related        harm     among       Nova
and deaths are transportation-related
                                                   Scotians costs more than $419 million
injuries, falls by seniors, and suicide. These
                                                   annually.          (Health    Promotion      and
are the three target areas of the Nova Scotia
Injury Prevention Strategy.

                                                                   Government Business Plan

     Priority: Problem Gambling                        A major upgrade to the system will be
     In 2006–2007, the Department of Health            completed in 2006–2007, to accommodate
     Promotion and Prevention will continue to         changes in information technology and the
     implement seven initiatives from another          911 telecommunications world in areas
     major departmental initiative, the Gaming         such as voice-over-Internet protocols (VOIP)
     Strategy, released by government in April         and cellular location technology. (EMO)
     2005. Work will include providing resources
     to district health authorities to fill gaps in    Priority: Business Continuity
     prevention,    early     intervention       and   Planning
     treatment of problem gamblers and their           One of the effects of a possible flu pandemic
     families, delivering education programs to        will likely be a serious disruption in the
     both youth and seniors, and setting up a          business of government. EMO will lead the
     community-based prevention program.               development of provincial government
     (Health Promotion and Prevention)                 departmental plans to ensure continuity of
                                                       services should the consequences of a flu
     Priority: Socioeconomic Study                     pandemic     prevent    government     from
     on Gaming                                         performing duties that are a necessity for
     In 2006–2007 government is conducting             Nova Scotians. EMO has taken preliminary
     the first quantitative study to track the         steps to develop a province-wide strategy.
     social and economic aspects of gaming             (EMO)
     activity in the province. The study will look
     at the industry’s effects on those working in     Economic Development
     or supplying business services to the casinos     and Infrastructure
     and gaming industry in both Halifax and           Priority: Comprehensive
     Sydney. The results will help measure our         Workplace Health
     progress toward a better balance between          The Department of Health Promotion and
     the   social   and     economic   effects    of   Protection will lead the development of a
     gambling. (Environment and Labour)                workplace health strategy. The workplace is
                                                       identified as one of the key settings for
     Priority: Renewal of 911                          consideration by the provincial Chronic
     Technology                                        Disease Prevention Strategy. The workplace
     A key link in the delivery of health services     plan will build on the experience gained
     in Nova Scotia is the province-wide 911           from successful school health initiatives, as
     emergency telephone service. The existing         well as from HealthWorks, a national
     911 technology has operated 24 hours a            strategy for comprehensive workplace
     day, 365 days a year for the past four years.     health. (Health Promotion and Protection)
 Government Business Plan                                                                       Government
                                                                                                Business Plan

Health and Health Care — Measuring Our
Measure: Percentage of Youth Aged 15-19 Who Smoke
         (Health Promotion and Protection)
Outcome: Healthier Lifestyles
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death and disability. High rates of smoking
translate into high rates of diseases, including lung cancer, emphysema and
heart/respiratory disease later in life.

Performance Highlights and Targets
The 2004 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey reports that 20 per cent of Nova Scotia
youth aged 15 to 19 smoked, compared to 25 per cent in 2000. In Canada, the smoking rate
in youth declined from 25 per cent to 18 per cent over the same period. Nova Scotia aims
to continue decreasing the rate of smoking among Nova Scotia youth to the national rate
or below, by 2009-2010.

Measure: Percentage of Youth and Children Active Enough
         for Health Benefits (Health Promotion and Protection)
Outcome: Healthier Lifestyles
Regular physical activity for young people provides important health benefits. Inactive
children are more likely to become inactive and unhealthy adults. Physical inactivity is
measured by calculating the percentage of students in grades 3, 7 and 11 who accumulated
at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on at least five days of the week.

Performance Highlights and Targets
In 2001, the percentage of children and youth who accumulated at least 60 minutes of
moderate or greater physical activity during five days of the week was as follows:
grade 3: 90 per cent of boys and 92 per cent of girls
grade 7: 62 per cent of boys and 44 per cent of girls
grade 11: 12 per cent of boys and 7 per cent of girls

A repeat of this study is planned every four years. Results of the second assessment will not
be available until fall 2006.

Nova Scotia’s goal is to maintain the grade 3 activity levels and raise the grade 7 and 11
levels by 10 percentage points by 2009-2019.
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     Measure: Percentage of Adults Reporting Physical Activity That
              Provides Health Benefits
              (Health Promotion and Protection)
     Outcome: Healthier Lifestyles
     Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for adults, while inactivity is a
     major risk factor for heart disease and depression for this age group.

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     Physical activity is an important contributor to physical and mental health. Inactivity is a
     driving force behind the high rates of chronic disease in Nova Scotia.

     Self-reported data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is collected every
     two years, which identifies adults who are active (30 minutes of activity per day) and
     moderately active (15-29 minutes per day) and who obtain associated health benefits.

     According to the 2003 CCHS survey, 45 per cent of Nova Scotian adults 20 years and older
     reported being active or moderately active. This compares to a national rate of 49 per cent.
     Our goal is to increase the number of Nova Scotians active enough for health benefits by 10
     percentage points, to 55 per cent by 2009-2010.

     Measure: Percentage of Family Physician Positions Filled in
              Under-Served Areas (Health)
     Outcome: Access to quality health care
     This is a measure of the supply and distribution of family physician positions filled in under-
     served areas.

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     The total number of family physicians in under-served areas changes rapidly because of
     natural fluctuations (deaths, retirements and relocations) and successful recruitment. There
     are fewer positions identified as being in under-served areas: 37 positions in 22 communities
     as compared to 42 identified in prior years. Eighty-two per cent of vacancies in these
     positions were filled during 2004-2005.

     Ongoing recruitment efforts are required to maintain or exceed the provincial target (80 per
     cent). Nova Scotia is focusing on building multi-professional care teams, which includes
     increasing the number of primary health care nurse practitioner positions to 28 from the
     current 18.
 Government Business Plan                                                                                Government
                                                                                                         Business Plan

3. Education
Education and skills development are                    population growth, changing technology,
important tools in helping our youth                    and     rising     educational     and   skill
prepare for the future and all our citizens             requirements.
adapt to new opportunities resulting from
changing circumstances.                                 Education Priorities
In 2006–2007, the Government of Nova
Scotia   will   work      closely    with       other   Families and
departments and with school boards,                     Communities
higher education institutions, businesses,
and communities to achieve lifelong                     Priority: Reducing Class Sizes
learning success for Nova Scotians.                     Government will expand the Class Size
                                                        initiative from grades primary, 1, and 2
Many of the initiatives that will be
                                                        classes to cap grade 3 classes at 25 students,
undertaken        continue           with        the
                                                        as of September 2006. In addition,
implementation of the four-year strategic
                                                        combined grades 1–2 and 2–3 classes will
direction outlined in Learning for Life II:
                                                        have a maximum of 20 students, or an
Brighter Futures Together. This is our plan
                                                        additional non-teaching adult will be
to help more of our students from primary
                                                        placed in the class. (Education)
to grade 12 succeed in school and in life.

We will continue our work to cap class sizes,           Priority: Pre-primary Program
improve     mathematics         and         literacy    The Department of Education will continue
strategies, help parents and communities                to    coordinate    the   pre-primary    pilot
contribute more to student education and                program in up to 20 sites across the
training,   and       enhance        or     replace     province this year and evaluate the
educational facilities.                                 program at the close of the 2006–2007
At the same time, we will continue to invest            school year. The program is designed to
in adult learning and literacy strategies,              help four-year-olds so they are more ready
career-development          initiatives,         and    to learn by the time they enter school.
alternatives    for    those   who        are    not    (Education)
succeeding at the academic level. These
programs are designed to address today’s
labour market, which is facing the
combined        challenges      of        declining
                                                                  Government Business Plan

     Priority: Higher Standards for                 starting this year, more qualified guidance
     Learning and Teaching                          counselors in our schools. The strategy to
     As part of government’s goal to help every     increase these services is in response to the
     student reach their full potential, the        report   from    the    Special        Education
     Department of Education will enter year        Implementation Review Committee and
     two of the plan for school-improvement         input from principals across the province.
     accreditation. This process engages schools    (Education)
     in an extensive review of their student
     achievement and school performance. In         Priority: Accountability Reports
     the first year of implementation, 49 schools   A newly expanded Minister’s Report to
     began the process. Sixty more schools will     Parents will be released in 2006–2007. The
     begin in 2006–2007. Accreditation means        report outlines recent student assessment
     that a school meets a standard level of        results, particularly the grade 6 literacy
     quality and that educational goals are         assessment. The report will include, for the
     being met.                                     first time, results of the Mathematics 12 and
                                                    Advanced      Mathematics         12     student
     To support enrichment opportunities for
                                                    assessments. In addition, each school board
     students,     government      will   support
                                                    will report on successes with public school
     expansion of artists-in-schools programs as
                                                    programs      and      services    initiatives.
     well as individual and school leadership
     programs. The Department of Education
     will also provide funding for the expansion    Priority: Mathematics and
     of the International Baccalaureate (IB)        Literacy Resources
     Diploma Program in 2006–2007. That will        More learning resource materials will be
     help school boards prepare for the             provided for students in both math and
     implementation of IB grade 11 courses in       literacy in 2006–2007. Students will also
     2007–2008. (Education)                         benefit from the addition of more mentors
                                                    for teachers and for the students, and from
     Priority: Professional Services                more professional development training for
     for Students with Special Needs
                                                    teachers in these subject areas. (Education)
     In   2006–2007,      the   Department     of
     Education will continue its multi-year
     commitment to increase funding for school
     boards for core professional services for
     students with special needs. Funding will
     allow   for   more   speech    pathologists,
     psychologists, resource teachers, and,
 Government Business Plan                                                                           Government
                                                                                                    Business Plan

Priority: Language Education                      meaningful work or continue on to post-
Government       will    continue     French,     secondary education.
Mi’kmaq, and Gaelic language training in          In 2006–2007, the department will help
2006–2007. The Department of Education            school boards plan and establish a Career
will implement a plan to increase the             Academy in a number of high schools. Help
retention rate of students in Early French        will also be available to school boards to
Immersion programs at the elementary              expand co-operative education and other
level. The Department will continue to            work-placement programs through links to
promote an alternative delivery of Core           the community college and industry. The
French in grade 6, by increasing the              department will work with the Nova Scotia
number of schools offering Français               Community College and Université Sainte-
intensif. Ways will also be sought to             Anne to establish the framework governing
increase enrolment in Core French at the          guaranteed     admission      or    advanced
senior high level.                                standing in programs for O2 graduates.
Nova Scotia’s junior high school students         The O2 program not only helps individual
are required to study a second language. In       students succeed, but also positively affects
addition to French, school boards have the        their families and communities in the
option of offering both Gaelic and                process. (Education)
Mi’kmaq. In 2006–2007, support will be
provided for Mi’kmaq Language 7, and a            Priority: BLAC Report
draft curriculum will be completed during         To increase educational opportunities for
the year for Mi’kmaq Language 8.                  African   Nova      Scotian     learners,   the
Development of Gaelic 11 and 12 will be           department will continue implementation of
completed, for implementation in 2007             the Black Learners Advisory Committee
and 2008, respectively. (Education)               (BLAC)    Report:   Redressing      Inequity—
                                                  Empowering Black Learners. Government
Priority: Options and                             will continue its work with school boards to
Opportunities for Student
                                                  provide more support for struggling African
                                                  Nova Scotian students to improve their
The Department of Education will fund the
                                                  academic achievement and graduation
expansion of projects under the program
                                                  rates. English 12: African Heritage will be
known as O2: Options and Opportunities for
                                                  developed as an eligible credit for language
Student Success. This program provides
                                                  arts graduation requirements. The Council of
options to students who are not succeeding
                                                  African Canadian Educators will continue to
or not engaged by the high school program,
                                                  be    consulted     on    the      continuing
so that they will be able to establish a career
                                                  implementation of the BLAC Report.                 41
plan, complete high school, and find
                                                                    Government Business Plan

     Priority: Racial Equity Policy                   to school boards to refresh school library
     The Department of Education will support         resources and to improve the ratio of school
     implementation of the Racial Equity Policy       library technician staff to students. The
     in elementary schools across the province,       funding will help libraries expand their
     while at the junior high and middle school       collections    and    hire    more    library
     levels, efforts will continue to focus on        technicians. (Education)
     professional development for department
     staff and teachers. The next phase of            Priority: School Construction
     implementation in the system will focus on
                                                      and Renovation
                                                      The addition and alteration program
     in-service education in senior high schools.
                                                      continues to make major improvements at
                                                      school buildings throughout the province.
     Priority: Assessment Programs                    Five school construction projects are now
     The    Language        Literacy   Assessment     under way and will carry on in 2006–2007.
     program will be expanded in 2006–2007            Work will begin on six additional school
     from the current Elementary Literacy             projects during the year.
     Assessment administered in grade 6, to a         Eighteen schools are being added to and
     Junior High Literacy Assessment in grade 9.      altered under a multi-year program to
     Each assessment will yield individual            address building condition, as well as
     student results for parents, and the results     environmental        and    program   issues.
     will be used by schools to help students         (Education)
     identified by the assessment as struggling
     with reading or writing.
                                                      Health Promotion and
     Implementation       will     begin   of   new
     mathematics        classroom      assessment
     resources for grades primary to 3. This is a     Priority: Physical Education
     multi-year initiative of the Council of          To help boards implement Time to Learn

     Atlantic   Ministers     of   Education    and   recommendations for physical education

     Training. These resources will help teachers     instructional time (30 minutes per day), the

     determine students’ mathematical needs           Department of Education will increase

     and offer support for those who are having       targeted funding for boards to hire more

     difficulties. (Education)                        physical education teachers for grades 3–6.
                                                      Development of new curriculum for grades
     Priority: School Libraries                       10–12 is also planned. (Education)
     For a second year, the Department of
     Education will provide additional funding
 Government Business Plan                                                                      Government
                                                                                               Business Plan

Priority: Health-Promoting                     Economic Development
Schools                                        and Infrastructure
The department of Education will work
                                               Priority: Assistance to
with the Department of Health Promotion
                                               Universities and the Nova Scotia
and Protection, school boards, and district
                                               Community College
health authorities to support the Health-
Promoting Schools program.                     When     Nova    Scotia’s    post-secondary
                                               students have access to an equitable and
Over the next several years, the department
                                               high-quality    education,   the    province
will work toward achieving the objectives of
                                               increases its chances of sustaining a strong,
the Healthy Eating Nova Scotia (2005)
                                               competitive workforce.
strategy for children and youth. The
department will introduce the Food and         An investment in universities of $21.1
Nutrition Policy and Guidelines for public     million in 2006–2007 is part of the
schools, to be phased in over three years.     memorandum of understanding that helps
Work will take place in conjunction with       to cap tuition for undergraduate programs.
the Department of Health Promotion and         As part of this investment (Memorandum
Protection to expand and improve school        of Understanding on Funding and Tuition
breakfast programs. (Education)                Fees), government will work with the
                                               universities    and   the    Nova     Scotia
                                               Community College (NSCC) to gather data
Community Safety
                                               on the participation of under-represented
Priority: Safe Schools
                                               groups and on the credit-transfer process
The four-year plan continues to put in
                                               and make improvements in both areas.
place   the   School   Code   of   Conduct
Guidelines. A tracking form to monitor         As part of its four-year $123-million
student behavioural incidents is included in   investment in the Nova Scotia Community
the guidelines.                                College, government will continue to
                                               support curriculum development and the
To date, about half of the schools in the
                                               addition of more students. Announced in
province have been trained in Positive
                                               March 2003, most of the campus projects
Effective Behaviour Supports—a school-
                                               have been completed. The Annapolis
wide systems model that includes strategies
                                               Valley     Campus        (Middleton     and
for creating positive school environments.
                                               Lawrencetown sites) will be completed later
The process will be completed over the next
                                               this year, and the new Dartmouth
two years, to the benefit of principals,
                                               waterfront campus will be completed in
teachers, students, their families, and
                                               2007. It will open to students in September      43
communities. (Education)
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     of that year. Construction of a second          5,000 students will benefit each year from
     building at the Dartmouth waterfront            the Nova Scotia Debt Reduction Program.
     campus will start in 2007; it is slated for     The province can then reinvest these
     completion in 2009.                             payments in assistance for other students.
     The objective of increasing student capacity
     at the NSCC is on target. Enrolments have
                                                     Priority: Extending Age Limits
     been      growing   steadily    during    the
                                                     for Bursary Program for
     development project, and by September           Children in Care
     2007 the NSCC is expected to be teaching        Government is extending the school
     more than 10,000 students.                      incentive program for children in the care
     The Department of Education will help           and custody of the government, to young
     post-secondary institutions implement their     people between the ages of 21 and 24. Like
     Three-Year Accessibility Plans for students     many of their counterparts with natural
     with disabilities. Government will also         parents, these students will get a helping
     contribute to an Occupational Therapy           hand financially to make the most of their
     Master’s Program at Dalhousie University        educational opportunities. The support will
     as well as provide funding for the Nursing      help many avoid unemployment or
     Program at Dalhousie. (Education)               homelessness. Youth in this age category
                                                     who   are     enrolled   in   post-secondary
     Priority: Student Assistance                    education will be eligible to receive funds
     In the Blueprint for Building a Better Nova     for tuition, books, and related costs.
     Scotia government committed to increase         (Community Services)
     student    debt-relief   by    doubling   the
     employment and repayment bonuses in             Priority: Labour Market
     the new Student Debt Relief Plan by year        Partnerships for Career
     three of the current mandate.
                                                     The department will further advance career
     The doubling of the repayment and               development initiatives in the province this
     employment bonuses could result in up to        year. This includes enhancing the Career
     51 per cent of a student’s Nova Scotia          Options website for adults and career
     student loan being forgiven. The bonus          practitioners. Training workshops are also
     payments are intended to encourage              planned for practitioners, to enhance their
     students to stay and work in Nova Scotia        knowledge of labour market information.
     after graduation, as well as improve the
     timely repayment of Nova Scotia student
     loans. It is expected that approximately
 Government Business Plan                                                                      Government
                                                                                               Business Plan

Government will also undertake a number        Priority: Skills Development
of activities to bolster its Employed          As well, government is providing funding
Youth–Engaged Society for the Future           for a coordinator for the One Journey: Work
Strategy, known as EYES. EYES projects in      and Learn program. This program leads to
2006–2007 include guides for parents,          employment of individuals who are in
communities, and employers for hiring and      receipt of social assistance. A One Journey
working with youth. Efforts will also be       pilot program indicates a 75 per cent
made to better integrate youth-related         success rate in terms of those who have
programs across government. (Education)        gone from social assistance to jobs as a
                                               result of the program. (Education)
Priority: Engaging Youth
The Department of Education will expand        Priority: Adult Literacy and
the scope and influence of the Youth           Learning
Advisory Council and the Provincial            The Department of Education will advance
Student    Education     Council     within    a number of adult learning and literacy
government. In 2006–2007, the two              strategies in 2006–2007. It will strengthen
councils will undertake research and           partnerships in the Nova Scotia School for
develop a strategic plan of interest to        Adult Learning and revise Level II of the
members. (Education)                           Adult Learning Program with an emphasis
                                               on   making      the   transition    between
Priority: Apprenticeship                       community-based        and     institutional
There are many initiatives under way to        programs.
support youth apprenticeship in Nova
                                               The department will also work with
Scotia. A marketing and promotion
                                               partners like the Department of Health on
strategy for apprenticeship is being funded
                                               the health literacy awareness initiative and
for 2006–2007. The strategy will help to
                                               with the Seniors’ Secretariat on appropriate
promote apprenticeship to employers,
                                               learning      opportunities   for    seniors.
educate youth on the opportunities and
benefits of pursuing a career in the skilled
trades, and inform consumers about the
benefits of hiring qualified tradespeople. A
new program will also be developed to help
tradespeople succeed as business owners
and operators. (Education)

                                                                  Government Business Plan

     Education — Measuring Our Performance
     Measure: High School Graduation Rate (Education)
     Outcome: Better educated Nova Scotians
     This measure is the percentage of students receiving a high school diploma as of that school
     year, compared to the total number of grade 9 students enrolled three years earlier.

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     For the 2004-2005 school year, the graduation rate in Nova Scotia was 84.3 per cent, up from
     82.8 per cent the previous year. In fact, the graduation rate has steadily increased since
     1999-2000, when it was 79.1 per cent. The Department of Education will implement
     strategies targeted towards youth at risk of leaving school early, to achieve the performance
     target of a continued increase in the graduation rate.

     Measure: Implementation of Black Learners Advisory
             Committee (BLAC) Report Recommendations
     Outcome: Diverse, inclusive learning environment
     This is a measure of an education system that is equitable, accessible and inclusive

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     The Department of Education is implementing the recommendations put forward in the
     Black Learners Advisory Committee (BLAC) Report to address the issues of racial equity in
     education raised in the report.

     By 2005-2006, 25 of the 30 recommendations in the BLAC Report were begun and/or
     implemented. Government continues to work towards implementing or initiating all
     recommendations from the BLAC Report by 2007-2008.

 Government Business Plan                                                                            Government
                                                                                                     Business Plan

4. The Economy
The economy is putting in a strong                  Improving the province’s business climate
performance. Job numbers are growing                will be another major goal for the
steadily. Confidence is increasing in our           government in 2006–2007, through efforts
business climate. For the fifth year in a row       such as the Better Regulation Initiative.
we are tabling a balanced budget. In the            This initiative is making Nova Scotia a
year ahead, we will continue to make the            more business-friendly location through
decisions     that      demonstrate        fiscal   the avoidance of red tape.
                                                    To   fill   skills   gaps   and   meet   other
With the improvements in our financial              demographic challenges, we are creating
picture and economy, we are increasingly            the conditions to bring more people into
able to make strategic investments that we          the workforce from under-represented
know will make life better for Nova                 groups, among them older workers, African
Scotians and allow them to keep more of             Nova Scotians, Aboriginals, and people
their hard-earned money.                            with disabilities. We are working hard to
                                                    train more youth in relevant fields. We
In 2006–2007, government is updating its
                                                    continue to welcome new skills to both
economic      growth     strategy   with      the
                                                    rural and urban Nova Scotia through
publication        of    Opportunities        for
                                                    immigration, and we are planning an ex-
Sustainable       Prosperity   (2006).   As    a
                                                    pat recruitment campaign to attract
companion piece, government plans to
                                                    information technology workers back to the
release a Nova Scotia Export Strategy.
                                                    province to ensure that a labour pool exists
We will also be launching a Nova Scotia             to grow the IT sector further.
Gateway Strategy in 2006–2007, to provide
                                                    We are also mindful of the need for Nova
transportation and economic services to
                                                    Scotians to have the infrastructure tools
Canada that are built on the surging
                                                    they require. Roads, bridges, information
growth in trade between North America
                                                    technology, public transit, and municipal
and Asia.
                                                    services all play a part in the economic
The Come to Life initiative will continue to        development of the province. We will
spread the word this year about Nova                continue spending in these areas to
Scotia as a great place to live, invest, do         enhance economic growth.
business, get an education, and visit. And
tourism activities are expected to have a
positive impact on our overall economic
performance.                                                                                          47
                                                                  Government Business Plan

     Economic Priorities                             Sustainable competitiveness, the concept at

     2006–2007                                       the core of the new strategy, aims to create
                                                     prosperity by responding to shifts in global
     Economic Development
                                                     consumer demand for environmentally
     and Infrastructure                              responsible products and services. These
                                                     markets require us to use our resources
     Priority: More Competitive Taxes
                                                     wisely, thereby ensuring the long-term
     The Government of Nova Scotia recognizes
                                                     viability of our industries.
     that taxation can play a vital role in
     creating a favourable business climate and      Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity
     encouraging economic growth. This year’s        will be used to shape government’s
     budget will introduce tax measures that         economic decisions, including investments
     will help to build a more competitive           and industry challenges. The strategy
     playing field to attract and keep businesses.   includes a set of common criteria that
                                                     government      will   use     when   making
     Measures to reduce personal income tax
                                                     investments designed to grow the economy.
     are being introduced, in a realistic,
     sustainable way, to help Nova Scotians          The strategy also promotes growth and
     keep more of their own money.                   renewal by encouraging diversity and
                                                     eliminating waste—of money, resources,
     The province is also looking at ways to
                                                     ideas, talents, and potential.
     reduce taxes that will help Nova Scotians
     with the burden of rising home-heating fuel     During the next year, work will focus on
     costs.                                          four priority areas: increasing productivity,
                                                     increasing renewable energy sources,
     Priority: Opportunities for                     developing the Atlantic Gateway, and
     Sustainable Prosperity (2006)                   building a skilled workforce. (Office of
     In April 2006, government launched an           Economic Development)
     updated five-year economic development
     strategy that it will begin to implement in     Priority: Better Regulation
     2006–2007. Opportunities for Sustainable        Initiative
     Prosperity builds on the progress made          The quality of regulation is increasingly
     under Opportunities for Prosperity (2000)       recognized as a business success factor.
     and pulls together government’s planning        Businesses    succeed     when    regulation
     and strategic thinking around support for       protects society but also lets business do
     economic growth, from innovation to             what it does best—create jobs and stimulate
     energy to trade and the environment.            economic prosperity.

 Government Business Plan                                                                          Government
                                                                                                   Business Plan

Since the Red Tape Reduction Task Force in           Government is measuring the cost of
2004, Nova Scotia has become a national              regulation by measuring the time it takes a
leader in streamlining administrative                business to meet requirements such as
processes.    Through       the    Nova     Scotia   finding the right forms, filling them out,
Business Registry and its expanded online            and submitting them to departments and
services, businesses can now apply for, pay          agencies. In 2006–2007, baseline data will
for, and renew more than 60 different                be collected and reported. It will be an
licences,    permits,      registrations,     and    important standard against which to
certifications online. Government has                measure our performance in reducing the
reviewed as many as 150 acts and                     regulatory burden we find and reporting
regulations, leading to the launch of the            regularly on our performance.
Better Regulation Initiative in 2005.
                                                     The fourth aspect of Better Regulation—the
Improvements have already been made in
                                                     Competitiveness and Compliance initiative
a number of sectors, including standards
                                                     (CCI) at the Department of Environment
affecting amusement rides, food safety, and
                                                     and Labour—is changing the way laws are
commercial diving.
                                                     designed, communicated, and enforced.
In 2006–2007, the Better Regulation                  The   CCI    will   make    a   significant
Initiative has work under way on four                contribution to the competitiveness of Nova
separate     fronts   to    improve    business      Scotia’s economy and allow the department
competitiveness through the avoidance of             to improve its ability to protect the
red tape. The project is, at the same time,          environment, public health, and employee
designed     to   ensure     that   regulations      and public safety. Government will do so by
continue     to   protect    the    public,   the    designing better regulations, providing
environment, and our communities.                    more training for inspectors, making
                                                     information easier to understand to help
Government is building a strong network of
                                                     business comply with laws, reducing
regulatory coordinators across departments
                                                     unnecessary regulatory requirements, and
to ensure that a regulation is the best
                                                     measuring and monitoring performance.
solution for whatever situation it is
                                                     (Environment and Labour, Service Nova
designed to address.
                                                     Scotia and Municipal Relations, Office of
A government/industry effort is under way            Economic Development, Treasury and
to assess the accumulated impact of                  Policy Board)
regulations on small and medium-sized
business. A pilot project is looking at the
approval processes needed to start up or
operate an inn in Nova Scotia.                                                                      49
                                                                     Government Business Plan

     Priority: Atlantic Gateway to                    Priority: Land Transportation
     North America                                    The province of Nova Scotia is investing a
     Government will be launching a Nova              total     of   $176        million   in   capital
     Scotia Gateway Strategy in 2006–2007, to         improvements for roads and highways in
     support the lead being taken by the              2006-2007, more than triple the investment
     transportation industry in capturing a           of five years ago and $34 million more than
     significant share of the surging growth in       last year.
     trade traffic between North America and
                                                      The rising investment reflects both more
                                                      activity and higher costs for inputs such as
     The Department of Transportation and             labour and materials, particularly oil-based
     Public Works is leading government’s work        asphalt.
     on a coordinated collaborative effort to
                                                      Highlights of the department’s construction
     help key transportation service providers
                                                      program for highways in 2006–2007
     redirect a major portion of this trade into
     North America through Nova Scotia via the
     Suez Canal.                                      •   completion of Highway 103 twinning
                                                          from Otter Lake to Upper Tantallon
     An interdepartmental team has begun
     work on identifying the infrastructure           •   completion of the new Highway 103
     investments that will be required, as well as        Barrington
     the policy and public/private action needed      •   completion        of    the   Highway    125
     to make Nova Scotia a more prominent                 Coxheath Interchange
     international gateway. The success of this
                                                      •   completion of the Highway 118 Wright
     initiative will depend on a close working
                                                          Avenue Interchange
     partnership     among      all     levels   of
     government and the private sector.               •   continuation of Highway 101 twinning
                                                          from St. Croix to Three Mile Plains and
     The primary direct benefits will be
                                                          from Falmouth to Avonport
     increased       federal      transportation
     investment in Nova Scotia and the                This is also year four of the five-year Steel
     economic benefits generated by subsequent        Truss Bridge Program.
     increased trade flows into and through the
                                                      Highway maintenance work will be carried
     province and exports out of the province.
                                                      out on rural roads throughout the year.
     (Transportation and Public Works, Office of
                                                      This    will   include       increased    asphalt
     Economic      Development,       Nova   Scotia
                                                      patching, ditching and gravelling, shoulder
     Business Inc., Intergovernmental Affairs)
                                                      repairs, and brush cutting. Funding for the
 Government Business Plan                                                                             Government
                                                                                                      Business Plan

work is being increased from $10 million to     export expansion pilot program, a state of
$20 million over a four-year period under       trade report, and an action plan to guide
the Road Improvement Money program,             implementation of the export development
known as RIM.                                   strategy.

Last year, the fund increased by $2.5           The strategy is closely aligned with the
million, and this year it will go up an         province’s updated economic development
additional $2.5 million, bringing the total     plan,     Opportunities        for    Sustainable
for 2006–2007 to $17.5 million. A further       Prosperity     (2006).    It     recognizes    the
$2.5 million is being invested in improving     importance of exports as a way to renew
the    safety   of   our    roads    through    financial capital resources, innovation,
enhancements such as guardrails, line           productivity, and a strong labour market.
painting, and signage.                          (Office of Economic Development, Nova
                                                Scotia      Business     Inc.,       InNOVAcorp,
This year’s spending on provincial roads
                                                Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture,
and highways offers benefits to both local
                                                Energy,      Environment          and      Labour,
and    provincial    economies.     Building,
                                                Intergovernmental          Affairs,        Natural
repaving, and repairing Nova Scotia’s land
                                                Resources, Tourism, Culture and Heritage)
routes will make them safer for motorists
and smoother and more efficient as vital
                                                Priority: Trade Missions
trading and transportation links in our
                                                Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) plans to
economy. (Transportation and Public
                                                increase the number of trade missions and
                                                market development programs delivered by
                                                its export development team in 2006–2007.
Priority: Export Strategy
                                                These efforts are consistent with the
Total trade in Canada represents over 70
                                                direction provided by the province’s
per cent of the country’s GDP, and a small
                                                refreshed economic development strategy,
market like Nova Scotia’s must trade to
                                                Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity.
survive. The province’s proposed export
                                                (Nova Scotia Business Inc.)
strategy will build the potential of small
and medium enterprises (SMEs) and
                                                Priority: International Business
position Nova Scotia as a reliable trading
                                                Development Activity
                                                NSBI will continue to take a targeted and
In    2006–2007,     the   provincial   trade   aggressive approach to attract businesses to
committee will continue to support the          the province that have a strong fit with
development of exports of Nova Scotia           Nova Scotia’s assets, thereby providing for
SMEs. Priorities for the year include an        long-term      sustainability.       Key    sectors    51
                                                                 Government Business Plan

     include IT, defence and aerospace, energy,      create fewer than 50 full-time equivalent
     life sciences, and financial services.          positions (FTEs) are considered only if there
                                                     is high strategic value or strong economic
     In addition, with recent successes like
                                                     benefit. For 2006–2007, Nova Scotia
     Research in Motion and CGI, NSBI will take
                                                     Business Inc. intends to give greater
     a more aggressive approach to attracting
                                                     consideration to projects that fit existing
     higher-valued divisions of companies to the
                                                     eligibility requirements but may not meet
     province (e.g., research and development).
                                                     the 50-FTE requirement. (Nova Scotia
     This approach involves targeting the
                                                     Business Inc.)
     highest skills possible, to mesh with the
     province’s strong academic community.
                                                     Priority: Business Retention and
     The increased emphasis on higher-end,
     higher-valued projects is consistent with the
                                                     In conjunction with regional development
     government’s economic strategy to create
                                                     authorities and the federal government, the
     greater prosperity throughout the province.
                                                     Office of Economic Development will
     (Nova Scotia Business Inc.)
                                                     establish a rural business retention and
                                                     expansion (BRE) pilot project in six counties
     Priority: Ex-Pat Recruitment
                                                     of mainland Nova Scotia in 2006–2007,
     Nova Scotia Business Inc. has helped clients
                                                     building on work previously done in the
     create more than 3,500 information
                                                     Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and
     technology jobs, which are in the process of
                                                     by Nova Scotia Business Inc. BRE programs
     coming online in the province. An ex-pat
                                                     are proven community development tools
     recruitment campaign is planned for
                                                     that help identify threats to the growth and
     2006–2007 that will help ensure a labour
                                                     long-term success of local small businesses.
     pool exists to further grow the IT sector in
     Nova Scotia. (Nova Scotia Business Inc.)        The pilot will be extended to the rest of the
                                                     province as success is achieved. Business in
     Priority: Strategic Investment                  the pilot area and the HRM represent
     Funds                                           approximately 75 per cent of all businesses
     NSBI intends to increase the use of this        registered in the province. The program is
     successful tool to facilitate the growth of     built on a foundation of proactive business
     existing Nova Scotia companies in strategic     visitation and is expected to identify
     growth-oriented sectors such as IT, defence     business growth opportunities and lead to
     and aerospace, financial services, and the      increased referrals to programs and services
     life sciences.                                  of organizations like NSBI. (Office of
                                                     Economic    Development,      Nova    Scotia
     Currently, projects under the Strategic
52                                                   Business Inc.)
     Investment Fund (Payroll Rebate) that
 Government Business Plan                                                                         Government
                                                                                                  Business Plan

Priority: Research and                           Priority: Mentoring
Development                                      In 2006–2007, to further meet the needs of
The Office of Economic Development will          clients, InNOVAcorp will strengthen its
continue to support the operation of the         expertise   in    key   sectors,    such    as
Brain      Repair    Centre    in   2006–2007,   information       and       communication
contributing to the centre’s leading-edge        technology and life sciences, and actively
research into cures for brain injury and         monitor emerging sectors (e.g., aerospace
disease.                                         and defence) to ensure appropriate levels of

The centre will be a main tenant in the          corresponding       in-house       mentoring

proposed Life Sciences Research Institute        resources. (InNOVAcorp)

facility, a major piece of research and
development infrastructure in which the          Priority: Access to Seed Capital
                                                 and Venture Capital
province has invested through the Nova
                                                 In 2006–2007, to further meet the access-to-
Scotia Research and Innovation Trust Fund.
                                                 capital requirements of high-potential
(Office     of      Economic    Development,
                                                 Nova Scotia entrepreneurs, InNOVAcorp
                                                 will continue to proactively look to invest in
                                                 opportunities that offer the best potential
Priority: Cluster Development
                                                 for commercial success and financial
In 2006–2007, InNOVAcorp will complete
                                                 sustainability. InNOVAcorp manages the
Phase I of the Woodside Knowledge Park to
                                                 Nova Scotia First Fund (NSFF), which has
accommodate the Ocean Nutrition Canada
                                                 been a source of early-stage venture
micro-encapsulation facility.
                                                 capital. The funds managed by the
InNOVAcorp will also work to ensure that         corporation      have    been      active   in
the remainder of the park can be developed       investments as lead or syndicated partners
for best use and recruitment of other            with angel, seed, and venture capital funds
knowledge industry tenants.                      and institutional and strategic investors.
Going forward, InNOVAcorp will look to           (InNOVAcorp)
combine the physical facilities it manages
to provide a critical mass of incubation         Priority: Rural Innovation
infrastructure and an expanding affiliate        InNOVAcorp will increase support for rural
client and affiliate incubator network.          innovation in 2006–2007 through co-
(InNOVAcorp)                                     management of the Nova Scotia Co-
                                                 operative Council’s Proof-of-Concept Fund.
                                                 By encouraging university students and
                                                 researchers to prepare business plans that
                                                                     Government Business Plan

     prove their business concept, the fund              seafood sectors and strengthen the
     serves to advance projects to the point             emerging organic food and wine sectors
     where they may be considered for follow-on
                                                     •   a     new    aquaculture      development
     investment. The corporation will promote
                                                         strategy        including        a      new
     relationships with providers of early-stage
                                                         federal/provincial             aquaculture
     capital, including government agencies
                                                         development agreement will help
     and     departments,     angel     networks,
                                                         propel this promising sector forward
     associations, and private-sector partners.
                                                         over the next five years
                                                     •   a trade plan that aligns with the
     Priority: Agri-food and Seafood                     province’s overall trade strategy will be
     Competitiveness                                     developed to focus on agri-food,
     The Department of Agriculture and Nova              seafood, bio-products, and related
     Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture will               technologies.
     continue to support the efforts of the          The agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture
     province’s agri-food and seafood businesses     sectors contribute to a healthy economy in
     to expand domestic and international            Nova Scotia, contributing $874 million to
     markets. Government will also help the          the province’s GDP in 2003–2004; in total,
     sector develop new and value-added              the seafood and agri-food sectors were
     products and services, as well as develop       responsible for $1.4 billion in exports in
     and adopt innovative new technologies           2004. According to the 2001 census,
     and processes.                                  roughly 30,000 Nova Scotians earn their
     To achieve these broad objectives and           living from the land or sea or food
     enhance economic growth in coastal and          manufacturing, while another 40,000 work
     rural   communities,      a    number     of    in food distribution or food service.
     approaches and initiatives will continue in     (Agriculture, Nova Scotia Fisheries and
     2006–2007 and beyond:                           Aquaculture)

     •   the new Atlantic BioVenture Centre at
                                                     Priority: Lobster Support
         the AgriTECH Park in Bible Hill will
         work with the primary and processing
                                                     Partnering with harvesters, scientists, and
         sectors on bio-resource value-chain
                                                     others,    Nova     Scotia      Fisheries   and
         development and technology transfer
                                                     Aquaculture will conduct a year-round
     •   primary      and   secondary    industry    lobster-testing program in southwest Nova
         development will help renew the pork,       Scotia that will give harvesters information
         tree fruit, horticulture, and traditional   about lobster quality and allow them to
 Government Business Plan                                                                         Government
                                                                                                  Business Plan

modify their fishery if needed. A project will   with other levels of government in
also be funded in conjunction with the           responding to animal disease issues.
Northumberland Fisheries Museum that             (Agriculture, Nova Scotia Fisheries and
will include establishment of a hatchery.        Aquaculture)

Depending on need, additional projects will
                                                 Priority: Laboratory Services
be supported in other coastal regions to
                                                 The Department of Agriculture will make
address resource status and quality. Lobster
                                                 enhancements to its laboratory services to
is Nova Scotia’s richest fishery, representing
                                                 benefit a broad spectrum of the agriculture
$400 million in landed value. Generating
                                                 industry. The industry relies on the
over 8,000 direct jobs for Nova Scotians, the
                                                 program to conduct more than 100,000
lobster fishery is a major economic driver
                                                 tests per year, including analysis of soil,
for Nova Scotia’s coastal regions. (Nova
                                                 feed, water, dairy, and pathology. Lab
Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture)
                                                 services are provided in partnership with
                                                 the   Atlantic   Veterinary     College,   the
Priority: Safety and Security of
the Food Chain                                   Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the

Protecting   the   province’s    agriculture,    Maritime provinces. (Agriculture)

fishery, and aquaculture industries against
animal and fish disease supports the food        Priority: Sustaining Prosperity
                                                 from Offshore Energy
industry’s efforts to competitively position
                                                 Nova Scotia’s offshore energy sector is
its products in the marketplace.
                                                 going through a significant phase of
In   2006–2007,      the    Department      of   maturity. Offshore revenues are very
Agriculture and Nova Scotia Fisheries and        strong, with royalties alone estimated at
Aquaculture will continue their work with        $288 million in 2006–2007. However, while
federal and industry partners to identify        current revenues are rising, exploration,
and respond to animal and fish health and        which will lead to future developments and
disease    prevention      issues.   Through     revenues, has declined. A wealth of data
implementation of the Canada–Nova                has been collected on offshore geology and
Scotia Implementation Agreement for the          environment,     but   future     investment
Agriculture Policy Framework and the new         depends upon a better understanding of
Health Protection Act, the Department of         what the information means.
Agriculture will improve on-farm bio-
                                                 To help address the knowledge gap, the
security protocols, develop standard food
                                                 province has worked with the universities to
safety and quality systems throughout the
                                                 create two research associations. One will
food chain, and strengthen co-operation
                                                 fund research work on Nova Scotia’s               55
                                                                         Government Business Plan

     geology and develop new theories on where              market Nova Scotia to potential investors.
     the best prospects are. The other will work            Working closely with industry associations
     on building a better scientific understanding          such as the Offshore/Onshore Technologies
     of the environmental impacts from offshore             Association of Nova Scotia, the Department
     energy. The province used rising offshore              will   develop      and    implement         an
     revenues to grant $5.2 million to these two            international marketing program. The
     associations    to    fund     their    work.    In    Department will also monitor economic
     2006–2007, the agenda is being set, and the            activity resulting from local energy projects
     first research work is expected to be under            in order to identify, develop and implement
     way by the end of the first quarter.                   strategies that will increase Nova Scotia’s
                                                            market share.
     The    primary       purpose     of     the     new
     associations is to fund research into
                                                            Priority: Labour Services
     geological     and    environmental           issues
                                                            The Department of Environment and
     associated with the process to explore,
                                                            Labour will be introducing a new initiative
     develop, and produce offshore petroleum
                                                            in 2006–2007 to speed up arbitration for
     products. A portion of the funds will also go
                                                            employers and unionized workers and to
     to emerging technologies that exploit
                                                            ensure that workers are fairly represented.
     offshore energy renewable resources. For
                                                            The    improved     services   will    address
     example, Nova Scotia has some of the most
                                                            unreasonable delays in completing the
     powerful tides in the world. Tapping into
                                                            arbitration process and resolving disputes.
     these tidal currents may provide a new
     source of electricity. The research effort will        A new arbitrations advisory committee will
     help   us    understand      the       commercial      also be established to help the department
     potential of this new technology and ensure            renew its list of arbitrators and to provide
     that developments are carefully planned to             advice. The formation of this committee
     have no significant negative environmental             flows from the tripartite forum held in
     impacts. (Energy)                                      2005. (Environment and Labour)

     Priority: Promoting the Energy                         Priority: Welcoming More New
     Sector                                                 Nova Scotians
     The Department of Energy is increasing its             In 2005, Nova Scotia welcomed 1,927
     efforts to identify potential investors and            immigrants, up 8 per cent from 2004.
     market Nova Scotia’s petroleum resource                Under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program—
     potential as well as our business and                  the    province’s    primary     immigrant
     workforce capacities and capabilities.                 attraction   tool—newcomers           from   55
56   Based upon the results of our investment in            different countries are now settling in 48
     research, the Department will strategically            different communities across the province.
 Government Business Plan                                                                              Government
                                                                                                       Business Plan

We have increased our target for 2006               Language Services Act of 2004 confirms the
under the Nominee Program to 400                    province of Nova Scotia’s commitment to
nominees and their families. We hope to             promoting the development of its Acadian
remove all limits by 2007.                          and        francophone      community        and
                                                    maintaining for future generations the
With   more      than    1,000       applications
                                                    French language, which contributes to the
received and over 400 families already
                                                    enhancement of life in Nova Scotia. (Office
nominated, that means more than 1,700
                                                    of Acadian Affairs)
newcomers are either here or on their way
to live here, and the numbers grow weekly.
                                                    Priority: Economic and Cultural
The Office of Immigration will continue to          Links with Louisiana
work with the federal government to                 The Office of Acadian Affairs is leading
advocate for more settlement funding as             government’s work on a memorandum of
immigrant numbers continue to increase.             understanding with the State of Louisiana.
Both federal and provincial funding is              Areas that could benefit from this MOU
provided to not-for-profit organizations to         include tourism, culture and heritage;
provide language training, employment               economic          development;    energy;    and
integration,     and         other    settlement    education. Departments with an interest in
programs.                                           developing a formal relationship with the

We will expand the nominee program by               State      will   produce   action   plans    to

creating additional selection categories,           determine future steps. (Office of Acadian

including    entrepreneur,       student,    and    Affairs)

family business categories. (Office of
Immigration)                                        Priority: Come to Life
                                                    In December 2005, management of the

Priority: French Immigration                        Nova Scotia Come to Life initiative (Brand

The Acadian and francophone community               Nova Scotia) was formally transferred to

in Nova Scotia has recently embraced the            Communications Nova Scotia (CNS). CNS

concept     of   becoming        a    welcoming     will work with the private sector to enhance

community for immigrants, and it is                 Nova Scotians’ pride of place and Nova

actively pursuing activities related to             Scotia’s global presence.

attracting French-speaking immigrants.              Changing perceptions about Nova Scotia
The    availability     of    French-language       will differentiate us from the competition,
services from the provincial government             build up equity in the Nova Scotia brand,
will be key in making the decision to choose        and grow our economy by emphasizing
Nova Scotia as their new home. The French-          our     best      qualities—the    place,    the    57
                                                    products, the people.
                                                               Government Business Plan

     The province has committed to a three-             States, and testing new markets in
     year plan for the initiative. The year             Western Canada.
     2006–2007 will focus on bringing the
                                                   To support these efforts, the province will
     Come to Life messages to key arenas
                                                   increase its investment in tourism by
     throughout Canada, the United States,
                                                   providing an additional $600,000 to
     and worldwide. A corporate framework
                                                   strengthen tourism marketing efforts in
     will be developed to support the initiative
                                                   an    increasingly   competitive    global
     through policy delivery. Government will
                                                   environment. (Tourism, Culture and
     also actively seek out more internal and
     external partnerships. (Communications
     Nova Scotia)
                                                   Priority: Tall Ships 2007
                                                   In 2006, planning is under way to bring
     Priority: Tourism Sector Growth               back the tall ships festival event in the
     The tourism industry, with annual revenues
                                                   summer of 2007. The event will bring 30
     around $1.3 billion and 32,000 jobs, is a
                                                   ships into Halifax Harbour for three days
     major driver of economic development in
                                                   and send a number of ships into some of
     the province. This year the province will
                                                   the other ports around the province. Tall
     work towards increasing revenues by $25
                                                   ships events have a greater economic
     million, through the implementation of the
                                                   impact in the province than any other
     2006 Tourism Plan developed by the Nova
                                                   event. Through Tall Ships 2000 and 2004,
     Scotia Tourism Partnership Council—a
                                                   the province realized more than $50
     public/private sector council mandated to
                                                   million invested back into the people and
     advise government on tourism plans,
                                                   the province of Nova Scotia. (Waterfront
     programs, and investments. Highlights of
                                                   Development Corporation)
     the plan include

     •   strengthening transportation access to
         Nova Scotia

     •   developing and enhancing signature
         attractions such as the Joggins Fossils
         Cliffs site and Interpretive Centre,
         Peggy’s Cove, and Mi’kmawey Debert

     •   strengthening the Nova Scotia tourism
         brand in existing markets, including
         Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Quebec,

58       Europe, and the northeastern United
 Government Business Plan                                                                               Government
                                                                                                        Business Plan

Families and                                             •   Canada–Nova Scotia Infrastructure
Communities                                                  Program

Priority: Community                                      •   Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund
Development Policy
                                                         •   Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund
Government will continue to implement its
community         development            policy     in   •   Gas Tax Agreement
2006–2007. The policy improves the way in                •   Transit (Gas Tax) Agreement.
which government can help communities
                                                         During the 11-year period that the province
lead their own development. It is the first
                                                         will be responsible for delivery of these
step in a long-term process of helping
                                                         programs (2000–2012), the total funding
communities tackle the challenges they face.
                                                         involved will be more than $463 million in
Objectives for the year include a second                 federal/provincial contributions, including
conference        to     showcase         successful     the Provincial Capital Assistance Program.
community development projects, training                 (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal
in   community-based             leadership,       and   Relations)
compilation of community-level data,
statistics,   and       indicators.      (Office    of   Priority: Provincial Capital
Economic Development)                                    Assistance Program (PCAP)
                                                         Additional provincial funding will be
Priority: Community                                      directed to PCAP in 2006–2007 to reduce
Infrastructure                                           the cost burden for municipalities to an
In 2006–2007, Service Nova Scotia and                    affordable     level.   PCAP   allows   the
Municipal Relations will continue to                     government of Nova Scotia to contribute
administer the various federal/provincial                financially toward the cost of high-priority
programs supporting the development of                   municipal infrastructure projects such as
infrastructure         that    strengthens         our   water, sewer disposal, and solid waste
communities and provides for a cleaner                   projects.    (Service   Nova   Scotia   and
environment.                                             Municipal Relations)
This year, approximately $60 million in                  Community Safety
funding will be directed to core municipal
                                                         Priority: Road Weather
infrastructure         and    other      community       Information System (RWIS)
projects, with a focus on green municipal                This system will expand by up to three new
infrastructure (i.e., water, wastewater, and             sites in 2006–2007. Each site has a highway
solid   waste),        through     the    following      camera to provide the public with regularly
programs:                                                updated images of local road conditions.        59
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     This year’s additions bring the total to 42      changes are put forward. (Environment
     cameras     that   provide   road    weather     and Labour)
     information to the travelling public across
     the province. (Transportation and Public         Environment
     Works)                                           Priority: Opportunities for
                                                      Sustainable Prosperity (2006)
     Priority: Volunteer Fire                         Sustainable competitiveness, the concept at
     Departments                                      the core of the province’s updated economic
     The Department of Transportation and             development strategy, aims to create
     Public Works is working with volunteer fire      prosperity by responding to shifts in global
     departments and 29 different private             consumer demand for environmentally
     dispatch centres. The objective is to develop    responsible products and services. These
     a strategy that will lead to standardized        markets require us to use our resources
     dispatch protocols that improve efficiencies     wisely, thereby ensuring the long-term
     and public safety. (Transportation and           viability of our industries.
     Public Works)
                                                      The strategy also promotes growth and
     Enhancements to the volunteer fire system        renewal by encouraging diversity and
     in fiscal 2005–2006 included an operations       eliminating waste—of money, resources,
     grant of $190,000 to fund the training           ideas, talents, and potential.
     programs of the Nova Scotia Firefighters
                                                      During the next year, work will focus on
     School in Waverley and $100,000 to help
                                                      four priority areas—increasing productivity,
     refurbish the school’s burn building, which
                                                      increasing renewable energy sources,
     provides    training    opportunities     for
                                                      developing the Atlantic Gateway, and
     firefighters. These investments add to better
                                                      building a skilled workforce.
     on-the-job safety for firefighters and a well-
     prepared fire service for Nova Scotians.         Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity
     (Environment and Labour)                         builds on the progress made under
                                                      Opportunities for Prosperity (2000) and
     Priority: Workplace Safety                       pulls together government’s planning and
     Employers, labour unions, and injured            strategic thinking around support for
     workers in Nova Scotia will benefit from         economic growth, from innovation to
     improvements to our workplace safety and         energy to trade and the environment.
     insurance    system    in    2006–2007.     A    (Office of Economic Development)
     governance initiative will ensure and
     enhance consultation among agencies and
60   stakeholders before any new programs or
 Government Business Plan                                                                        Government
                                                                                                 Business Plan

Priority: Salt Management Plan                  Priority: Leadership in Energy
The government’s Salt Management Plan           and Design (LEED)
continues in 2006–2007, with the objective      The Department of Transportation and
of reducing any potential adverse effects of    Public     Works     is   working     toward
road salt on the environment. Five new salt     certification in Leadership and Energy
storage facilities will be constructed during   Design (LEED) on at least 50 per cent of new
the year, to better manage the handling of      government buildings.
road salt. Government will also install four    LEED certification means increased energy
new truck weigh scales to allow for better      efficiency and reduced pollution from
monitoring and control of salt use.             buildings. Based on the Canada Green
(Transportation and Public Works)               Building        Council   standard,     LEED
                                                certification     measures   environmental
                                                performance over the life of a building. A
                                                LEED-certified structure is much more
                                                energy efficient, resulting in cost savings on
                                                fuel and heating and a reduced impact on
                                                the         building’s        environment.
                                                (Transportation and Public Works)

The Economy — Measuring Our Performance
Measure: Balanced/Surplus Budget (Finance)
Outcome: Improved economic climate
This measure reflects government’s effective management of the province’s financial
operating resources.

Performance Highlights and Targets
The province had a surplus of $165.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2005 (compared
to a surplus of $38.1 million in the year ended March 31, 2004). Our forecast surplus for
2005–2006 is $151 million, well above the amount budgeted last year, $63.28 million. The
target for future years is to meet the legislated requirements for a balanced budget as well
as the debt reduction plan. To achieve this goal, the province must effectively control
expenditures while continuing to update and improve fiscal models used to forecast
                                                                    Government Business Plan

     Measure: Provincial Net Direct Debt (NDD) as a Percentage of
              GDP (Finance)
     Outcome: Improved economic climate
     This is a measure of the province’s fiscal sustainability and flexibility. The higher the ratio,
     the greater the burden of the province’s debt on the provincial economy.

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     The provincial NDD as a percentage of GDP has decreased to 41.0 per cent as at March 31,
     2005 (2004—42.6 per cent; 2003—45.1 per cent; 2002—46.6 per cent). The province has
     targeted a continuing of this downward trend as its goal. Maintaining expenditure control
     throughout the government reporting entity is the primary strategy to achieve this target.

     Measure: Credit Rating by Major Rating Agencies (Finance)
     Outcome: Improved economic climate
     A credit rating is a rating agency’s evaluation of a borrower’s ability and willingness to pay
     interest and to repay principal. Rating firms provide investors with measures of credit
     quality of bonds or other financial instruments. A credit rating affects the borrower’s debt-
     servicing costs and the investor’s rate of return, since an investor will demand a higher
     interest rate on a more risky, lower-rated security.

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     During 2005–2006, the Dominion Bond Rating Service improved their outlook on Nova
     Scotia’s debt to A(low), positive outlook, from A(low), stable outlook. Standard & Poor’s
     maintained their rating at A with positive outlook, and Moody’s rating also remained
     unchanged at A2 with positive outlook. The province’s target is to sustain or improve these
     credit ratings. To achieve this goal, the province will continue to make strong presentations
     to rating agencies on a regular basis that highlight our financial position.

 Government Business Plan                                                                    Government
                                                                                             Business Plan

Measure: Market Growth — Agriculture and Fisheries
         (Agriculture; Fisheries and Aquaculture)

Outcome: Improved economic activity in rural areas
The agricultural, fisheries, and aquaculture sectors contribute to a healthy economy in
Nova Scotia. In 2003–2004, the agriculture and agri-food industry contributed an estimated
$874 million to the province’s gross domestic product. Fish landings were valued at $707
million in 2004 and the seafood and agri-food sectors were responsible for $1.4 billion in
exports. According to 2001 census statistics, 30,000 Nova Scotians are employed in
agriculture, fishing, and food manufacturing. Another 44,000 Nova Scotians are employed
in food distribution and food service.

Performance Highlights and Targets
Farm gate value of aquaculture industry                       $45 million

Value of sport fishing industry                               $85 million

Fish products exports                                         $1.09 billion

Value of boat building, domestic                              $54 million

Value of agriculture production (farm cash receipts)          $445.1 million

Value of agriculture and fisheries exports                    $1.36 billion

                                                                      Government Business Plan

     5. The Environment

     Our natural resources draw tourists, attract     benefits of the province’s forests include
     businesses to the province, and enhance our      climate regulation, soil formation, waste
     quality of life. They contribute to the appeal   treatment, food production, and biological
     of our communities and fuel our economy.         control.
     For all these reasons, Nova Scotians cherish
                                                      The vast majority of Nova Scotians live near
     the province’s natural features, biodiversity,
                                                      or on the coast and are keenly aware of the
     and scenic beauty. We believe, simply, that
                                                      extensive coastal infrastructure on which
     you can live better in Nova Scotia, and we
                                                      we depend for our living, our health, and
     want to keep it that way.
                                                      our enjoyment of life. Most agree strongly
     The environment is a joy in itself. It is also   that the province’s natural capital—its
     a competitive advantage in terms of the          water, air, plants, animals, minerals, lands,
     high quality of life Nova Scotia can offer.      and ecosystems—must be preserved to
                                                      sustain    prosperity   and    health.   The
     The viability and competitiveness of
                                                      province’s Green Plan and related activities
     natural resources sectors like forestry,
                                                      for 2006–2007 and beyond are designed to
     fisheries, minerals, and agriculture, as well
                                                      do just that.
     as the tourism sector, are also dependent on
     practices      that   are   environmentally
                                                      Families and
     Nova Scotia earns $1.3 billion in annual
                                                      Priority: Environmental Home
     tourism revenues and employs 32,000
                                                      Assessment Program
     Nova Scotians in the industry, largely on
                                                      In   2006–2007,       the   Department    of
     the basis of our status as Canada’s foremost
                                                      Environment and Labour will begin a two-
     seacoast vacation destination. Outdoor and
                                                      year pilot program to help 1400 households
     nature-related tourism activities are a
                                                      protect the quality of their drinking water
     growing segment of our tourism industry.
                                                      and conserve water resources through the
     Conserved natural lands provide a wide           proper maintenance and use of household
     range of benefits. They allow us to              wells, septic systems, and oil tanks.
     experience nature, give us comfort and
                                                      In year one, 400 homeowners who are not
     security in knowing they exist in their
                                                      on public water and wastewater systems
     natural state, and provide clean air and
                                                      will receive an environmental assessment of
     water that give rise to a whole host of
                                                      their homes by a trained team, and a
64   further     advantages.     The   non-timber
                                                      package of environmental protection items
 Government Business Plan                                                                          Government
                                                                                                   Business Plan

and information materials. The program          the Drinking Water Strategy by addressing
will provide two provincial employees and       a broader range of water quality and water
fund eight positions with environmental         quantity issues. This will include increasing
non-government organizations (ENGOs).           our water monitoring, reporting, and
                                                decision-making capacity. (Environment
In year two, the program will expand to
                                                and Labour)
benefit an additional 1,000 homeowners,
and the regional employment will increase
                                                Priority: Air Quality
to 10 positions.
                                                Poor air quality can affect our health, lead
Household water and wastewater services         to increased health-care costs, and also
must function properly to protect public        damage     our       natural    resources.   The
health      and      the      environment.      Department of Environment and Labour’s
Approximately 400,000 people in rural           air-quality         management         program
Nova Scotia depend on these systems.            promotes       emission        reductions    and
A complementary program to support the          monitors      for    compliance.     Significant
repair or replacement of failed septic          monitoring      is    done     throughout    the
systems for low-income Nova Scotians will       province, especially in industrial areas.
also be available.                              In 2006–2007, the department will hire an
The program is also designed to accelerate      additional     air-quality      specialist   and
water-quality monitoring efforts in order to    continue the program to protect our
provide improved data for the purposes of       outdoor air quality. Regulations, programs,
decision making around this public health       and emission-based fees paid by major
issue. (Environment and Labour)                 industrial sources support work to reduce
                                                pollutants that lead to issues such as smog,
Health Promotion and                            climate change, and the thinning of the
Protection                                      ozone layer. (Environment and Labour)

Priority: Water Quality
Nova Scotians need a dependable supply of       Community Safety
clean, safe water. Access to this valuable      Priority: Operational Response
resource is a key issue for agriculture,        Capacity of EMO (NS)
industry, municipalities, and homeowners.       In 2005–2006, a historically high number

By protecting the resource, we can improve      of hurricanes were recorded, many of which

public health, protect the environment,         threatened to come ashore in Atlantic

and increase opportunities for economic         Canada. Weather professionals predict that

prosperity. We will build upon the success of   this trend will continue throughout this
                                                                  Government Business Plan

     decade, resulting in greater frequency and       as well as a relocation facility for the
     duration of hurricanes and tropical storms.      Premier and Executive Council.
     These may impact the Nova Scotia
                                                      The school will attract students from both
     environment in the form of tidal surges,
                                                      government and the private sector, to
     flooding, and coastal erosion.
                                                      enable integrated training opportunities
     In 2006–2007, redesign of the ergonomic          with federal, provincial, and municipal
     and   structural    layout   of   the   Joint    partners. The facility will be run by a full-
     Emergency Operations Centre (JEOC) will          time training coordinator, together with
     take place, and EMO will hire staff to           administrative support. (EMO)
     manage E-Team, the province’s emergency
     information management system. With              Environment
     these enhancements, the ability of the           Priority: Smart Energy Choices
     Emergency Management Office (EMO) to             In the second half of 2005–2006, the
     track storms and advise government will          government launched a significant new
     improve, and action will be taken to             initiative to help Nova Scotians reduce their
     mitigate the effects of weather emergencies      energy use. Making Smart Energy Choices
     on the environment. (EMO)                        means lower energy bills and less reliance
                                                      on fossil fuels, which have an impact on
     Economic Development                             climate change. The government has
     and Infrastructure                               renewed the Smart Energy Program for
     Priority: Establish EMO                          2006–2007 with a budget of $10 million.
     Training Centre
                                                      The program has a number of components
     The possibility of events such as explosions,
                                                      and has been designed to work closely with
     hazardous materials spills, and commercial
                                                      federal initiatives. In each case, the
     or industrial fires occurring will continue in
                                                      program helps Nova Scotians make
     Nova Scotia as elsewhere. An increased
                                                      permanent positive changes in their use of
     demand for training in how to manage
                                                      energy. Guidance is given on how to make
     such events is expected from municipal and
                                                      homes    more     energy     efficient,   and
     provincial governments.
                                                      homeowner grants are available to put the
     To meet the demand, a key component of           recommendations into effect. Solar water
     the multi-year training strategy of the          heating systems and wood stoves are
     Emergency Management Office is the               encouraged.     Public      education     and
     establishment of a full-time training centre     information kits are being made widely
     in Nova Scotia. The centre will also serve as    available. By helping Nova Scotians help
     EMO and E-911’s emergency relocation site,       themselves, energy can become more green
                                                      and sustainable. (Energy)
 Government Business Plan                                                                       Government
                                                                                                Business Plan

Priority: Green Plan                           Working with our federal, provincial, and
The Department of Environment and              municipal counterparts, the province hopes
Labour will continue to implement and          to improve the sustainability of our
build upon the Green Plan: Towards a           environment and key industries. Examples
Sustainable Environment (2003), which          include our efforts to complement oil and
makes a key link between green values and      gas production through generation of
future economic growth.                        electricity from renewable resources such as
                                               wind power and low-impact tidal-power
Other jurisdictions cite both the Green Plan
                                               technologies. (Environment and Labour,
and Nova Scotia’s drinking water strategy
as good examples of a strategic approach,
and use them as models for their own
                                               Priority: Climate Change
                                               Impact Analysis
Our recycling and waste management             The Department of Natural Resources will
have   also    made    us   national   and     prepare an analysis of the potential
international leaders. We now divert 50 per    impacts of climate change for each of the
cent of our waste from landfills—the           department’s areas of responsibility: forests,
highest waste-diversion rate in North          minerals, parks, wildlife, and Crown lands.
America. As well, our Solid Waste Resource     Results of the analysis will provide
Management Strategy has originated             background information needed for the
many new businesses, export opportunities,     development of new approaches to guide
spin-off industries, new technologies, and     resource management decisions. (Natural
new jobs. The government’s economic            Resources, Energy)
development strategy seeks to apply the
success we have enjoyed from reducing          Priority: Conserved
waste to almost every other area of the        Lands/Protected Areas
economy.                                       In    partnership     with     stakeholders,
                                               government will continue to work towards
The recently completed Environmental
                                               a comprehensive system of protected areas
Management Policy for government will
                                               for Nova Scotia. We will begin by
help departments incorporate environ-
                                               designating five new nature reserves on
mental considerations into all policies
                                               land donated by private landholders who
before they are introduced and will
                                               have asked to have their lands protected.
encourage departments to lead by example
                                               (Environment and Labour)
in such things as energy efficiency and
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     Priority: Ducks Unlimited Centre                 Priority: Park Maintenance and
     In 2006–2007, the Department of Natural          Restoration
     Resources will add four seasonal staff to the    In 2006–2007, funding will go towards the
     new Ducks Unlimited wetlands/interpretive        restoration and repair of infrastructure
     centre at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.        within the provincial park system. This is
     This is a co-operative venture between the       required to ensure that outdoor recreation
     province and Ducks Unlimited that will           opportunities that support a healthy
     provide an upgraded marsh in addition to         lifestyle remain available to the public.
     the educational centre. Both will enhance        Infrastructure that is now beyond its
     public awareness of wetland habitats and         normal operational life will be replaced
     waterfowl. Other benefits are expected to be     using modern design standards, and a cost-
     increased local and out-of-province tourist      effective    preventative     maintenance
     visitation and educational field trips, as       schedule will be put in place. (Natural
     well as use by scientific research and           Resources)
     veterinary institutes. (Natural Resources)

     Measure: Drinking Water Quality (Environment and Labour)
     Outcome: Healthy environment
     This measure tracks the proportion of the population served by municipal water supplies
     that meet health-based criteria for bacteriological quality, as stated in the Guidelines for
     Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     Approximately 60 per cent of Nova Scotians obtain their drinking water from municipal
     water supplies. In 2004, 98.4 per cent of the population served by municipal water supplies
     received water meeting national health-based criteria for bacteriological quality at all times
     during the calendar year, an improvement over prior years (2001—96.5 per cent; 2002—
     96.5 per cent; 2003—95.7 per cent).

     Our target is to continue to maximize the percentage of population served by municipal
     water supplies that meet national guidelines for bacteriological quality, through the Nova
     Scotia drinking water strategy, supporting municipal water supply protection plans, and
     enforcing the Water and Wastewater Facilities and Public Drinking Water Supplies
     Regulations and the Guidelines for Monitoring Public Water Supplies.

 Government Business Plan                                                                      Government
                                                                                               Business Plan

Measure: Sulphur Dioxide Emissions (Environment and Labour)
Outcome: Healthy environment
Performance Highlights and Targets
Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a major contributor to acid rain and smog and can have
significant effects on human health if concentrations are elevated.

Performance Highlights and Targets
Sulphur dioxide emissions have fluctuated over the past five years. In 2004, approximately
161,000 tonnes (estimate) of SO2 were emitted in the province, primarily through electricity

The Air Quality Regulations, amended in March of 2005, lowered the provincial SO2
emission cap to 141,750 tonnes per year. Reductions will be accomplished by working with
major emitters to reduce SO2 emissions through the use of lower-sulphur fuels and
technological upgrades.

Measure: Solid Waste Disposal (Environment and Labour)
Outcome: Healthy environment
The average amount of waste discarded by each person provides an indication of the level
of participation in waste disposal options.

Performance Highlights and Targets
Statistics Canada provides data every two years on solid waste disposal rates across Canada.
The most recent data available is for 2002. Each Canadian, on average, disposed of 780 kg
of waste. In Nova Scotia, we disposed of a little over half of that amount, at 417 kg per
person. The Atlantic region rate was 564 kg per person.

Our target is to maintain the Nova Scotia disposal rate below the national disposal rate
through continued public education, promotion of industry product stewardship, and
enforcement of the Solid Waste Resource Management Regulations.

                                                                    Government Business Plan

     Measure: Environmental Farm Plans (Agriculture and Fisheries)
     Outcome: Sustainable environment
     Conservation and sustainable development of soil, water, air, and bio-diversity is enhanced
     by increasing the number of farms that adopt environmental farm plans (EFP).

     Performance Highlights and Targets
     As of March 2005, approximately 670 farms participated in the EFP initiative. This
     represents 27 per cent of 2,400 registered farms. There has been a steady increase in the
     percentage of participants in the EFP initiative. The goal is for 50 per cent of registered farms
     to have completed EFPs by 2007–2008.

 Government Business Plan                                                                            Government
                                                                                                     Business Plan

 6. Government Services
Maintaining a strong public service is the       defining what programs and services we
principal way that government can                have and strengthening the relationship
continue to improve the effectiveness of         between government and its agencies,
government programs and services.                boards, and commissions.

In 2006–2007, the government of Nova             Systems     that    we     use     to     manage
Scotia will continue to implement the            government information will also be
comprehensive human resources strategy           upgraded and projects launched to develop
that it launched in 2004–2005 to respond to      new data systems and policies. Meantime,
current human resources and demographic          government departments will continue to
challenges.                                      upgrade electronic service delivery to Nova
To be a preferred employer, government
needs to attract and retain the talent
required to ensure that it meets its mandate     Government Services
to deliver high-quality services to the          Priorities 2006–2007
citizens of Nova Scotia. This year, led by the   Priority: French Language
Public     Service       Commission,       the   Services
government will focus on strategies to           In 2006–2007, the Office of Acadian Affairs

address employee wellness and other              will expand and promote its translation

workforce challenges such as competition         and other services offered to government

from     external      organizations,    being   and   work     with      the     Public   Service

representative of the diverse communities        Commission to increase government’s

we are as Nova Scotians, generational            French-language          capacity,        helping

differences in employee expectations, and        government deliver more services in

an aging workforce.                              French.

Led by the Office of Acadian Affairs, the        In 2006–2007, government is continuing to

government      will     also   pursue   joint   invest in a French Language Services pilot

opportunities for increasing the level of        project that was launched in 2005. This

French language services available from          project is cost-shared 50 per cent between

government.                                      Service     Nova   Scotia      and      Municipal
                                                 Relations     and        funds       from     the
The government will further strengthen
                                                 Canada–Nova         Scotia     Agreement      on
government accountability processes in
                                                 French-language Services, which is co-
2006–2007 as well. This work includes
                                                 managed by Acadian Affairs and the
                                                 Department of Canadian Heritage.
                                                                   Government Business Plan

     The Service Nova Scotia French-language         Priority: Healthy Workplace
     Services plan is a pilot to help government     The Healthy Workplace Initiative will build
     find ways to provide quality services in        capacity across government to champion
     French to Acadian and francophone Nova          the    creation    of    supportive       work
     Scotians wishing to do business with            environments for government’s 9,000
     government in their mother tongue.              employees. One of the objectives of the

     Progress has been made to date on each          initiative is to achieve PEP Level 1

     part of the Service Nova Scotia five-point      certification from the National Quality

     plan.      A     French-Language    Services    Institute (NQI).

     Coordinator has been at work in the             With the assurance of a safe and supportive
     department since August 2005. Bilingual         workplace, government employees can
     customer service is available by telephone      contribute most effectively in their roles of
     in all areas through the contact centre, and    delivering high-quality public service.
     in-person at the Dartmouth Access Centre
                                                     Through this initiative, the government
     and in Yarmouth. Translation of the
                                                     also has the opportunity to lead by
     SNSMR website is under way, with the
                                                     example and partner with other employers
     following online services now available in
                                                     in improving the health of our workforce.
     French: vehicle registration renewal; birth,
     death and marriage certificates; knowledge      Research shows that healthy workplace
     test and road test receipts; change of          initiatives   reduce    absenteeism,   lower
     address, and fine payments.                     treatment costs, and reduce drug claims,
                                                     but the benefits go beyond health-care cost
     Work is currently under way on the
                                                     savings. A healthy workplace makes it
     translation of frequently used forms and
                                                     easier to recruit and retain employees and
     publications such as the driver’s handbook.
                                                     increase productivity. A well-established
     The translation of the permits directory and
                                                     link exists between increased employee
     other business-related information sources
                                                     satisfaction and improved customer service,
     will allow businesses owned or operated by
                                                     and organizations have observed that
     Acadians or francophones to conduct
                                                     families and communities also experience
     business       with   government   in   their
                                                     health benefits from the domino effect of
     language of choice. This will expand
                                                     healthy workplace initiatives. (Public
     economic opportunities and contribute to
                                                     Service Commission)
     the preservation and growth of the Acadian
     and francophone community. (Service
     Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations,
     Office of Acadian Affairs)
 Government Business Plan                                                                                     Government
                                                                                                              Business Plan

Priority: Valuing Diversity                          guidelines for members of government’s
By   creating     a      diverse       workplace,    agencies,    boards,        and        commissions.
government        achieves         a      greater    (Treasury and Policy Board)
representation of the people it serves,
thereby enhancing service. Based on the              Priority: Program Inventory
available data, 7.4 per cent of the Nova             and Costing
Scotia   public       service   workforce       is   As part of government’s efforts to improve
represented by self-identified designated            accountability,       it    is    developing        an
groups. While there has been some minor              inventory of programs with related cost
fluctuation in the percentage share that             information. The inventory will provide
designated groups have of the total public           important information to help government
service, each of the designated groups is            assess the effectiveness and economy of
under-represented relative to the Nova               programs and services and to formulate
Scotia workforce population. This indicates          policy and funding decisions.
the need for more attention to diversity             Government’s priority for 2006–2007 is to
management, a priority area of the Public            update      the   web-based             application,
Service Commission in 2006–2007. (Public             allowing    for   improvements               such   as
Service Commission)                                  archiving and better reporting ability. The
                                                     costing methodology will continue to be
Priority: Third-Party Entity                         developed       and        piloted      in    several
Governance and Accountability                        departments. A users group will be
This multi-year initiative will continue in          established to provide guidance on further
2006–2007. Treasury and Policy Board                 improvements to the system. (Treasury and
(TPB) is working to strengthen governance            Policy Board)
and accountability policies and procedures
among    third-party      entities      that   are
                                                     Priority: Processing Drivers
consolidated in the province’s financial
                                                     Licences and Birth Certificates
statements. For 2006–2007, TPB will
develop orientation materials for use by             The government is moving the systems that

members of government boards. TPB will               run the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Vital

also prepare an analysis of the capacity in          Statistics, and Motor Vehicle Tax to a new

departments and at TPB to complement                 computer      platform.          The    Mainframe

improved governance and accountability               Modernization project is expected to be

and will make recommendations to                     completed by March 2007.

Cabinet on refining the appointment
process and implementing remuneration
                                                  Government Business Plan

     Newer technologies are needed to replace
     the 15-year-old, outdated mainframe that
     runs the systems currently and to be ready
     to meet emerging business requirements.
     (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal