20 Apr Reflecting on the 2018 Spring Sitting
The spring 2018 sitting of the 63rd General Assembly included a balanced budget that invests in Nova Scotians’ priorities in health care, education and inclusive economic growth.
“We are committed to making progress on Nova Scotians’ priorities for health, education, and inclusive economic growth,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We are building a stronger Nova Scotia and what we accomplished this session will help us do just that.”
The budget made investments to grow the economy and help more young people find their first job in Nova Scotia. The budget invests to help expand traditional sectors, like agriculture and the fisheries, while investing in projects to make the province’s economy more innovative.
“For the first time in three decades, more young people moved to Nova Scotia than away from here,” said Premier McNeil. “We will keep building on that success.”
The budget provides added support for children and families in many areas, including funding to start implementing the report of the Commission on Inclusive Education, the addition of about 130 new pre-primary classes, and more affordable child care spaces.
“All of our children should have the opportunity for a strong start and the support they need in school,” said Premier McNeil.
The many funding initiatives in the 2018-19 budget also include measures to recruit more doctors, increase the number of hip and knee surgeries, support young people in finding a job and exempt child support payments from income assistance calculations.
During the sitting, the Education Reform Act was passed. It strengthens the education system and provides a foundation for other improvements, including the recommendations on inclusive education.
Among other bills passed:
amendments to the Labour Standards Code to allow victims of domestic violence to take leave from work; government will continue consulting on the possibility of requiring a portion of the leave to be paid
changes to three pieces of legislation to allow municipal councillors to take parental leave without having to ask council for permission
the Cannabis Control Act, which also includes changes to several pieces of legislation so Nova Scotia will be ready for the federal legalization of cannabis
amendments to the House of Assembly Act that set parameters for electoral boundaries commissions
opposition bills amending the Motor Vehicle Act and the Volunteer Services Act were also passed.