As power restoration continues throughout Halifax RegionalMunicipality (HRM) and northeast Nova Scotia, the province isensuring that hurricane victims can get the food and suppliesthat they need over the weekend, Ernest Fage, Ministerresponsible for the Emergency Measures Act, said today, Oct. 3. In areas affected by power outages, the province is asking policenot to lay charges against stores that may open this Sunday, Oct.5, to provide food and other emergency supplies. “Special circumstances call for special measures,” said Mr. Fage.”Many people are in need of fresh food and supplies to helprestore their properties. As more customers regain power over theweekend, they will need access to grocery and hardware stores.That’s why we’ve decided to allow stores to open this Sundayonly.” Consumers who believe they have paid too much for essential goodsand services in the wake of Hurricane Juan should seek help fromlocal law enforcement authorities. Complaints about overchargingfor gasoline can be registered with the Department of Environmentand Labour at 902-424-7773. Only incidents involving gasolinewill be dealt with by provincial authorities. The Department of Community Services will continue to providesupport and services over the weekend. Any income assistanceclients with urgent needs should contact the HRM EmergencyMeasures Organization at 490-4000. Community Services staff willbe available at that number to provide necessary support andassistance. Lunch was provided today to seniors’ homes by Northwood Manor anddelivered by the fire department. Supper for families and seniorswithout power is being provided by the Red Cross. “Everyone involved in the hurricane recovery effort has beenexceptional. From the crews who cleared roads and debris, to thevolunteers helping to bring food to those in need, the provincethanks every person involved for their contribution,demonstrating once again the great spirit and compassion thatNova Scotians are noted for,” said Mr. Fage. Metro Regional Housing Authority staff volunteers worked with theMetro Food Bank today to prepare food baskets for seniors’ homeswhere power was restored on or after Wednesday, Oct. 1. They weredelivered by federal government employees. Federal government staff are also delivering hot food along theEastern Shore in co-ordination with local fire departments andthe RCMP. Most schools in HRM are expected to be open on Monday, Oct. 6.School boards with closures are working hard to ensure studentsreturn to a safe learning environment as soon as possible.Parents and school staff should continue to listen for updates orcall their local school board. Outpatient services at the Nova Scotia Hospital reopened today. More information about the Hurricane Juan recovery efforts andcontact numbers can be found on the Web site atwww.gov.ns.ca/emo/ or through public inquiries. That number is902-424-5200 in Halifax or toll-free 1-800-670-4357. -30- EMERGENCY MEASURES ORGANIZATION–Hurricane Recovery Report, Oct.3
Orange cones, traffic barrels, a reduced speed sign — all of these are signals to drivers that highway work is underway. Together, they are what stand between the highway worker and motorists who, too often, are not paying attention. This year, the Department of Transportation and Public Works will spend $142 million building and repairing Nova Scotia roads. That means better roads — and more construction zones. “Drivers should always use caution when approaching and travelling through a construction zone,” said Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “Inattention or speed are hazards that affect the safety of workers and everyone else in the work area.” The Department of Transportation and Public Works and the Nova Scotia Road Builders Association launched a construction zone safety advertising campaign on Monday, June 20, which will run throughout the summer. Highway workers know that drivers can get frustrated with delays. The frustration can trigger dangerous behaviours, putting drivers and highway workers at risk. Transportation and Public Works highway worker Basil Atkinson suffered severe whiplash and other injuries to his back in a work-zone collision in May of 2000. Mr. Atkinson missed months of work, and back pain still keeps him awake at night. Mr. Atkinson was in the driver’s seat of a parked one-tonne truck in a closed lane, when a tractor trailer crashed into him from behind. Mr. Atkinson’s wife and young daughter have shared his pain. “When she was younger, my daughter used to ask, ‘Dad, when are you going to be able to pick me up and play with me?’ I missed out on that.”
-30- Local Area Office: 902-825-4827 Fax: 902-825-3593 ANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Highway 101 Highway 101, from three kilometres west of Exit 17W to the overpass at Route 362, will have a one-lane closure for repairs from Monday, July 25 to Wednesday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Conservation of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Species at Risk and important lakeshore habitat in the Tusket River Watershed, Sara V. Good-Avila Dragonflies as Indicators of Habitat Integrity of Treed Bogs, Scott Hubley / Tom Herman The utility of eastern pipistrelles as indicators of landscape level change at large spatial and temporal scales-year 2, Hugh G. Broders Forest characteristics required by the northern saw-whet owl compared with the more rare boreal owl, Randy F. Lauff Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas: Engaging and Training Volunteers for Bird Conservation, Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas Examining the size and extent of the marten Martes Americana population in western Nova Scotia, (Trappers’ Association of Nova Scotia) Mercury (Hg) in river otter (Lontra canadensis) – year 3, Sarah Spencer Project Webfoot Wetland Education Program, Ducks Unlimited Canada The Role of Riparian Buffers in Forest Bird Conservation – year 2, Cindy Staicer St. Mary’s River Conservation Legacy Project, Nova Scotia Nature Trust Shelter Cove Campaign, Nova Scotia Nature Trust Small Marsh Enhancement in Southern Kings County, Ducks Unlimited Canada Wildlife and forage-quality benefits of a late maturing hay cultivar, Sean LeMoine Woodcock Habitat Enhancement, The Woodcock Conservation Society Wood Turtle Habitat Conservation in the St. Mary’s River Watershed, St. Mary’s River Association Youth Leading in Stewardship Program, Tusket River Environmental Protection Association Projects that will preserve coastal habitat and help protect marten and wood turtles, are among the 16 projects approved to receive funding, from the province’s Habitat Conservation Fund. The fund is supported by hunters through the required purchase of a three-dollar wildlife habitat stamp on all hunting licences in Nova Scotia. This year a total of $151,000 will be awarded. “Hunters and trappers in Nova Scotia support this fund, which is used to sustain our wildlife and wildlife habitat,” said Natural Resources Minister Brooke Taylor. “The funds collected are used entirely for habitat conservation.” The primary goal of the fund is to assist with projects that protect and enhance wildlife habitats. Projects may be funded up to 75 per cent on a cost-shared basis, to a maximum of $25,000 ($50,000 for land acquisition). The projects must fall into one of four categories: purchase of land for the benefit of wildlife; habitat improvement; wildlife habitat research; and related education programs. Since the program began in 2001, about $650,000 has been directed toward wildlife conservation. The project applications are reviewed and recommendations are made by an independent board of directors consisting of members from hunting, naturalist, and academic associations. Applications for the 2007 Habitat Conservation Fund can be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, wildlife division, between Dec. 1, 2006 and Jan. 31, 2007. Submission guidelines and application forms can be obtained from any Department of Natural Resources office or on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/habfund/ . Information on the 2006 projects and on past projects is also available on the website. Successful projects and recipients of funding for 2006 are:
Another layer of security to keep drugs out of Nova Scotia’s correctional facilities came into effect today, Oct. 21. Ion scanners detect trace amounts of drugs and explosives. “Drugs are a problem in our province’s facilities, as they are in any correctional facility,” said Department of Justice Minister Ross Landry. “The province continues to look at ways to improve training and equipment to alleviate this issue, and the new ion scanners are just one more thing we are doing to make our facilities as safe as possible.” For example, if someone has handled drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines or marijuana, the sophisticated piece of equipment will detect trace amounts on their hands. The scanners will help intercept drugs that could enter the facilities. There are four ion scanners placed according to need throughout the province. Two are at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside, one at the Cape Breton Correctional Facility in Sydney, and one at the Southwest Nova Facility in Yarmouth. Correctional facility staff have been trained to use the scanners, which are also used in many airports and correctional facilities throughout the country.
Nova Scotians will be able to learn more about the Office of the Ombudsman at a series of six outreach sessions across the province this month. “These meetings will give us an opportunity to provide people with a better understanding of our role,” said Dwight Bishop, Ombudsman for Nova Scotia. “During the past several years, the scope and responsibilities of this office have broadened considerably to include seniors and youth who receive government services.” The Office of the Ombudsman investigates complaints against provincial and municipal government departments, agencies, boards and commissions. It also provides youth and seniors services along with a civil service disclosure of wrongdoing process. Ombudsman investigations provide the opportunity to make recommendations that impact policies, procedures, and structures — the foundation of government service delivery. Representatives from the office will talk about the role of the Ombudsman, explain the complaint process, and answer questions about the office. The outreach sessions will be held from Monday, Oct. 18 to Friday, Oct. 22. in Ingonish, Baddeck, Pictou, Bridgetown, Hantsport and Bridgewater. Established in 1971, the office promotes the principles of fairness, integrity and good government. For more information about the Office of the Ombudsman and the complaint process visit, www.gov.ns.ca/ombu .
Last year, the Minister of Health asked me to recommend improvements to emergency care in this province. It wasn’t a task I took lightly. Like all Nova Scotians, I value the important role each hospital has in our communities. Over the past year, I heard from people who live the reality of emergency care every day — doctors, nurses, mental health workers, long-term care workers, and citizens, to name a few. Their voice from the front line was crucial because they know what works and what doesn’t. I wanted this report to be a reflection of those realities. But moreover, I wanted this report to focus on the patient experience as they make their way through the emergency care system. When I focused on the report from a patients’ perspective, what I saw was a broken system. On the media front, there has been much focus on 24-7, and whether emergency departments will be open or closed overnight. I am concerned about the fear this can create for patients. I want people to understand that my recommendations, if adopted, will give them far better access to 24-7 care than they have now. They will still have emergency departments, and much more. For far too long, Nova Scotians have become accustomed to a level of access and quality that is less than what they deserve. In too many communities, people call their family doctor only to be told to wait up to six weeks for an appointment. By default, they go to their local emergency department. That’s not how it is supposed to work. My report includes 26 recommendations to improve access to emergency care. The recommendations will give communities access to better care, sooner. If it’s done right, long waits to see a doctor will be a thing of the past — so will overcrowding in our larger hospitals. In smaller hospitals, the problem is less about overcrowding and more about access to care. When people are told to wait weeks to see their doctor, they go to their emergency department for treatment of a sore throat, a cut or an upset stomach. That is if their local emergency department is open. Frequent emergency department closures in some communities create uncertainty. Last year, emergency rooms were closed for more than 19,000 hours provincewide. That’s the equivalent of 795 days. Unpredictable closures cause stress that can be avoided. My report recommends creating collaborative care centres where people can get better care, including emergency care, sooner. That means same or next day access to a clinician instead of waiting weeks or going to the emergency department and waiting hours to be seen. There has been some confusion in the reporting around these centres. Some media have reported that I recommended closing emergency departments overnight. That is not correct. Emergency departments remain a very important part of collaborative care centres. I also recommend options to keep the centres open overnight, if the district health authority, hospital staff, and community choose. These options include innovative on-call systems, including enabling staff in smaller hospitals to reach out to doctors in larger centres through video conferencing. It really comes down to the distinct needs of each community, and about supporting them in making the right decisions on how to match services to real needs. It is also about making the best use of the time and skills of our doctors, nurses, paramedics, our HealthLink nurse line, and all who provide care as part of a more effective 24-7 emergency care system. Collectively, the recommendations I’ve made will mean better health care, sooner for patients. I encourage you to read my report at www.gov.ns.ca/health and get involved in ensuring the health care in your community matches your needs. -30-
Wear your Games spirit on your sleeve, and your hat, scarf and vest, too. The Halifax 2011 Canada Games Host Society is introducing its Gameswear Friday program, encouraging people in Halifax and Nova Scotia to wear their Gameswear every Friday from now until the Games in February. Businesses and organizations are invited to participate in the program by purchasing, or cost-sharing the purchase of, Gameswear and supporting staff wearing Gameswear on Fridays. Organizations that sign up as official Gameswear supporters will be eligible for discounts and a chance to get Gameswear rewards. The program launch coincides with the announcement of the 02.2011 Boutique, in Barrington Place Shops, that will sell Games merchandise, starting Saturday, Dec. 11. Gameswear merchandise can also be purchased at Zellers in Bayers Lake and Mic Mac Mall, as well as online at cgmerch.com . To sign up as an official Gameswear supporter and place a group order, e-mail Mike Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 902-579-8608. The 2011 Canada Winter Games will be the largest multi-sport event held in Nova Scotia and Halifax’s first Canada Winter Games. From Feb. 11 to 27, more than 2,700 athletes will compete in more than 20 sports, attracting thousands of visitors, VIPs, officials and media. Held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the Canada Games are a key event in the development of Canada’s young athletes, producing the next generation of national, international and Olympic champions.
La dette à long terme de la province a été relativement stable et a même connu une certaine amélioration au cours des dernières années, mais la Nouvelle-Écosse continue d’assumer un fardeau de dette plus élevé par habitant, par rapport au PIB, que la plupart des régions semblables au Canada atlantique et dans l’Ouest du Canada, selon le vérificateur général de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Dans son rapport publié aujourd’hui 18 janvier, Jacques Lapointe souligne que la dette de la province est le résultat de plusieurs décennies de décisions prises par le gouvernement visant à dépenser plus d’argent qu’il n’en gagnait, soulevant ainsi des problèmes critiques du point de vue de la responsabilité et des enjeux d’ordre moral. Lorsque les dépenses actuelles sont financées par une dette future, les décisions liées aux dépenses ne tiennent pas compte des décisions difficiles liées à la collecte des fonds nécessaires pour financer les services et les programmes, selon M. Lapointe. « Les gouvernements qui prennent ces décisions en matière de dépenses ne sont pas responsables devant les Néo-Écossais qui, dans le futur, devront payer, dit-il. Des enjeux d’ordre moral sont soulevés. Est-il acceptable pour les gouvernements d’aujourd’hui de décider de dépenser plus d’argent qu’ils ne gagnent, pour leur avantage à court terme, et de reporter les coûts dans un avenir lointain? Est-il acceptable pour les Néo-Écossais de s’attendre à recevoir des services pour lesquels ils ne paient pas, en reportant les paiements aux générations futures qui ne jouent aucun rôle dans ces décisions? » Le vérificateur général souligne qu’il y a très peu de cas où le gouvernement peut légitimement dépenser au-delà de ses moyens, par exemple en cas d’urgence ou de catastrophe, d’emprunt pour des projets à grande échelle qui ne pourraient pas avoir lieu autrement ou de maintien des services pendant une courte période de ralentissement économique. Il dit que les risques associés à la dette du gouvernement devraient être mieux compris, et que les questions d’ordre moral soulevées par les emprunts excessifs et le fardeau placé sur les générations futures exigent une plus grande considération. Le rapport du vérificateur général à l’Assemblée législative sur les questions financières inclut un certain nombre d’indicateurs sur la viabilité de la situation financière de la province. Les indicateurs de viabilité mesurent la capacité du gouvernement de maintenir des programmes et des services tout en s’acquittant de ses obligations envers ses créditeurs sans augmenter sa dette ou les impôts. Le vérificateur général affirme que la dette de la province épuise les ressources actuelles et futures et limite la capacité du gouvernement de faire des choix au sujet des services. L’augmentation de la dette peut menacer la viabilité des programmes et des services gouvernementaux. La dette de la Nouvelle-Écosse se chiffre maintenant à 12,8 milliards de dollars et coûte 861 millions de dollars par année en intérêts. Ce chiffre correspond à neuf cents sur chaque dollar gagné par la province. Bien que les frais d’intérêts aient diminué comme pourcentage du revenu, la Nouvelle-Écosse continue de dépenser une plus grande portion de son revenu en intérêts que la plupart des régions comparables. M. Lapointe a également fait rapport sur le rendement du gouvernement dans la mise en œuvre des recommandations financières précédentes formulées par son bureau. Le taux de mise en œuvre global de ces recommandations se chiffre à 66 p. 100, ce qui est, à son avis, toujours trop faible. De plus, un certain nombre de recommandations n’ont pas été mises en œuvre depuis plusieurs années. L’une des recommandations de longue date est la consolidation appropriée des prévisions en matière de revenus de la province pour inclure les revenus externes des organismes. Pendant des années, le gouvernement a refusé de procéder à la mise en œuvre de cette recommandation, et le vérificateur général a dû exprimer une opinion avec réserve sur l’exactitude des prévisions en matière de revenus dans le budget. Un consultant embauché par le gouvernement pour résoudre le problème a recommandé l’ajout d’une annexe comme simple solution. « Nous recommandons que des mesures soient prises dans le budget de 2012-2013 afin que nous puissions exprimer une opinion sans réserve au sujet des prévisions en matière de revenus, » a exprimé M. Lapointe. D’autres problèmes soulevés par le vérificateur général incluent le besoin d’un certain nombre d’améliorations aux contrôles internes, le besoin d’évaluations ministérielles des risques liés aux rapports financiers et les lacunes continues non corrigées en matière de rapports comptables et financiers par les organismes, conseils et autres organisations externes au gouvernement. Le rapport intégral du vérificateur général peut être consulté, en anglais seulement, au www.oag-ns.ca.
The province is amending the Purchasing Management Association of Canada Act to better reflect work by members of association. The amendment changes the members’ professional designation to supply chain management professional from certified purchasing professional. “By amending this act, we are updating and simplifying the legislation,” said Justice Minister Ross Landry. The designation in the legislation does not accurately describe members’ work. Supply chain management integrates procurement, operations and logistics. “We are pleased that the act is being changed to reflect the changing role of supply chain professionals,” said Peter Chaffey, president of the Nova Scotia institute. “The new designation better reflects the profession and the advanced and integrated training that association provides, in both the private and public sectors.” The original legislation, enacted in 1986, restricted the use of certified professional purchaser to eligible members of the association. The act had not been amended since, and will continue to include the original designation.
More than 70 Nova Scotian teachers were in class this week learning about online resources and how to integrate technology more effectively into the classroom. Teachers from Nova Scotia’s regional school boards and the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey board participated in the Information and Communication Technology Summer Institute from Aug. 1-3 at the Agricultural College in Truro. “The summer institute is an excellent opportunity for teachers to learn how to use technology effectively for 21st century learning,” said Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann on behalf of Education Minister Ramona Jennex. “Nova Scotian teachers are extremely hard-working, dedicated individuals, and it’s great to see so many from across the province putting kids and learning first by spending part of their summer upgrading their knowledge to make a real difference for their students this fall. “And what better place than at the NSAC in Bible Hill which is soon to become a faculty of Dalhousie University.” The sessions offered at the summer institute include using digital images to meet learning outcomes, using digital microscopes and science tools, creating webpages for classrooms, using GPS technology to enhance students’ exploration, and creating stop motion animation. Teachers also received an introduction to MOODLE, an interactive web-based tool that helps teachers share resources and deliver curriculum materials to students. “Technology integration allows teachers of all subjects and grade levels, as well as from every region of the province, to collaborate together to benefit students and learning,” said Tami Cox Jardine, a Grade 6 teacher at Falmouth District School and facilitator at the event. “The summer institute is an opportunity for teachers to gain insight, wherever they are teaching.” Participating teachers also explored tech-gadgets such as SMARTBoards, tablet computers and cameras, along with online resources and apps used in classrooms. “These summer sessions are all about promoting technology innovations and excellence in the classroom,” said Eric Therrien, Information Technology Integration Consultant and keynote speaker of the summer institute. “The summer institute provides a portal for teachers that gives them easy access to the many online resources that assist in the teaching practice and are valuable for students’ success.”
A regulatory hearing begins in Halifax today, May 28, to determine whether the Maritime Link project is the lowest-cost option to provide clean energy and lower power rates for Nova Scotians. The Utility and Review Board hearing is expected to last up to three weeks and the board is expected to hear testimony from a large number of witnesses and experts. The board has been receiving and reviewing pre-filed evidence and submissions for the past four months. “This hearing is one of the most important energy hearings in the history of the province,” said Mat Whynott, ministerial assistant for Energy, on behalf of Energy Minister Charlie Parker. “Over the next three weeks, Nova Scotians will get the opportunity to better understand how the Maritime Link project will improve the energy and economic future of the entire province.” Independent expert witness John Dalton is expected to take the stand later this week or early next week. Mr. Dalton did a detailed assessment of three primary energy supply options for the province: adding hydroelectricity from the Maritime Link, importing hydroelectricity from Hydro Quebec, or a natural gas/wind mix. He concluded that the Maritime Link project is the lowest-cost option for Nova Scotians. The options were assessed based on the lowest, long-term cost to meet federal coal and greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements, as well as the best fit for Nova Scotia’s strategic energy goals. The Maritime Link project is part of the province’s overall energy plan, which has five key points to ensure the lowest, fairest electricity rates for Nova Scotians. They are local, reliable, green, tax-free and efficient. The province’s energy plan has begun, and includes: removing the provincial portion of the HST of basic home electricity supporting efficiency efforts that help Nova Scotia families lower their bills and consume less electricity using more local, cleaner sources of energy to help stabilize prices and securing an energy supply for the long term. “Nova Scotia’s energy plan, including the Maritime Link, will help us meet our renewable electricity goals and federal greenhouse gas reduction requirements,” said Mr. Whynott. “It will ensure we have a stable, secure energy in the future and, most importantly, position us for current and future economic growth. “The future of the project is now in the hands of the UARB and I look forward to the regulatory hearing process and the final decision expected in July.” Nova Scotians interested in the hearings, can listen live at http://nsuarb.novascotia.ca/.
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic will commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion with special events on Sunday, Dec. 6. Events will begin at precisely 9:06 a.m. when the CSS Acadia will ring its bell, along with other ship bells and sirens, for 20 seconds. The time is significant because the explosion happened at 9:06 a.m. on Dec. 6, 1917. The Halifax Citadel gun will also sound off to acknowledge the lives that were lost, those who suffered and those involved in the rescue efforts. “The Halifax Explosion is the tragedy that families in Halifax and across the province will never forget,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince. “On Dec. 6 each year, we are reminded of everything that was lost on that terrible day, but we also think of the aid that came from Boston and other places, and the hope they brought with them.” At 1:15 p.m., artist Laurie Swim will share her proposed community art project for the 2017 centenary of the explosion. Hope and Survival includes a special scroll of remembrance for the Halifax Explosion Memorial and quilt pieces depicting the images of the aftermath of the tragedy. “The volunteers and I have nearly completed beading the individual sheets of the scroll of remembrance,” said Ms. Swim. “We have begun finishing and assembling the 43 fabric panels. Each one is a 45″ x 9″ column of the names of the victims in script and beaded Braille. The first twelve hung together will be on view for the afternoon.” At 2 p.m., songwriter David Stone will tell the story of the explosion through a cycle of ten songs that he wrote based on his research into the disaster, and conversations with survivors and their families. The concert will feature the song, All of the Questions, a tribute to harbour pilot Francis Mackey. Admission to the museum will be free for the day. Donations to support the museum’s Mission to Seafarers and Boatload of Toys campaigns are welcome. For more information, visit http://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca .
Viola Cain has gained a lot of wisdom from loving more than a hundred foster children. For starters, she’s learned to cope with many different nicknames earned over the decades. The trick, she says, is simple. Just answer. Respond to them all. A roll call of the most persistent names includes Nanny Viola, Auntie, the Big Vee and Auntie Blow How. Even her home in the African Nova Scotian community of North Preston is dubbed Nanny’s House. From toddlers to teenagers, many children have traipsed across that threshold. “As soon as they come to the door I tell them, it’s up to you what you call me,” she explains. “That’s so they don’t get mixed up with their own family.” The 70-year-old is now taking care of three school-aged children, plus her adopted 33-year-old son, who has an intellectual disability. Thanks to the children she feels at least 10 years younger. It helps to be constantly on the go. Right now basketball is her main activity on Saturday. “They are all playing and all on different teams,” she laughs. “It’s, c’mon nanny, everyone else has parents there. So out we go, all together.” Saturdays include an early morning, a day of cheering on her teams, maybe a detour through McDonald’s, and by the evening, a chance to sit down back at home. “I tell everyone that on Saturday, I’m an unfit mother,” she jokes. “On Saturdays, it’s eat what you can catch day.” Viola believes that happiness comes from loving what you’re doing. “I can’t wait for each morning to come. I rise at 5 a.m. and do my devotions until 6 a.m. Then the next time is devoted to my son and getting him ready. Then, there are the other children to get ready for school.” Being well organized, and planning ahead, is ingrained in her. Depending on the children’s ages, she either prepares or supervises lunches the night before. “I know what kids do. You have to teach them responsibility. So I tell them. I don’t feed garbage cans. I feed stomachs. You eat your fruit when you come home from school. They do.” On Saturday night she prepares a big meal for the next day. This frees up time to visit with former foster children who drop by with their children on Sunday afternoons. She draws strength from her family and community at Saint Thomas Baptist Church, where she also teaches Sunday School. “Sundays are a special day. We always have a big dinner after church. We sit down together as a family.” “There’s a phone check here – no cellphones allowed up my stairs. They would even try to text and set the table at the same time. It’s not good for the kids to see that. So now we have our family chat time and that’s good.” Viola is happy to share her experience and wisdom with others. “We have to help young parents. I belong to a support group in the community.” She would like to see more foster homes in African Nova Scotian communities. “That would be the best thing that could happen, having more foster families. We’ll be gone – we need new blood. So I’ve been recruiting others already.” -30-
Weight restrictions will be in place on all provincial gravel roads starting at noon Friday, Feb. 24. Gravel roads will be posted to a maximum of 15,000 kilograms until further notice. Unseasonably warm weather is softening gravel roads to the point where weight restrictions are necessary to avoid unsafe road conditions and expensive repairs. The department will continue to monitor road and weather conditions to determine when it is safe to remove the restrictions. -30-
Nova Scotia’s famous furry forecaster Shubenacadie Sam did not see his shadow today, Feb. 2, meaning an early spring for Nova Scotia. Folklore says that when Sam does not see his shadow, we can expect an early spring. Sam appeared at 8 a.m. before a large crowd and a live webcam at the Groundhog Day ceremony held at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. Nova Scotia’s time zone means Sam is the first groundhog to make his prediction in North America. To learn more about the groundhog and his prediction, follow Sam via @ShubenacadieSam or on Facebook. To plan a visit to the park on weekends, go to http://wildlifepark.novascotia.ca. -30-
Mumbai: On his son Junaid Khan’s birthday superstar Aamir Khan shared an adorable photograph of his son along with Rani Mukerji and wondered how Junaid managed to charm the actress. Aamir on Monday took to Twitter and Instagram to share the image, where Junaid can be seen smiling as he stood right next to Rani. The “Mardaani” star can be seen looking at Junaid and smiling. “I wonder how he managed to charm Rani… I never did! Happy Birthday Junsie,” Aamir captioned the image. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ Aamir and Rani have worked in movies like “Talaash”, “Ghulam”, and “Mangal Pandey: The Rising”. Junaid’s sister Ira Khan also took to Instagram stories to wish her brother. She posted a photograph of the siblings and captioned it: “Happy birthday, Junnu.” Both Junaid and Ira are from Aamir’s first wife Reena Dutta. The couple divorced in 2002. Aamir got married to Kiran Rao in 2005. The 54-year-old actor will next be seen in “Lal Singh Chaddha”, a remake of the 1994 Hollywood blockbuster “Forrest Gump”. The film will be penned by Atul Kulkarni and directed by Advait Chandan of “Secret Superstar” fame.
New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah figures in all the Cabinet committees constituted by the government, a development that highlights his importance in the second Modi dispensation.While Shah is a member of all the eight committees, details of which were released by the government on Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s name figured in all but one of them. The government has reconstituted six committees to reflect the changes in the new dispensation and formed two new Cabinet panels to deal with issues like investment, growth, employment and skill development, amid concerns over an economic slowdown. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistDefence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was the home minister in the preceding government and member of six committees, is now a member of only two panels – economic affairs and security. He is not a member of the cabinet committee on political affairs. The induction of Shah, who is also the BJP president, in the government has led many political observers to believe that he will be the second most powerful person in the new dispensation. The new appointment has further cemented his position. Shah had chaired an informal meeting of several Cabinet ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, besides Sitharaman, on June 4 over crude oil related issues.
Hong Kong: A contentious extradition bill at the centre of a political crisis in Hong Kong looks increasingly likely to be delayed, with a top adviser to the citys leader on Friday suggesting that it will be impossible to rush it through the legislature. “I think it is impossible to discuss (the bill) under such confrontation. It would be very difficult,” the South China Morning Post quoted Executive Council convenor Bernard Chan as saying. “At the very least we should not escalate the antagonism.” Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ Chan advised Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s government to re-evaluate the situation in light of violent clashes between police and protesters after a mass rally against the bill brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets. Chan also admitted he had underestimated the backlash from the business community over the proposed legislation, which would allow the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions that Hong Kong does not have an extradition agreement with, including mainland China. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China The adviser’s statement comes after tens of thousands of protesters, mostly in their 20s, on Wednesday brought part of the city to a standstill by occupying key roads to besiege the legislature and prevent it from debating bill, reports the South China Morning Post. The protest ended in clashes with police, which left more than 80 people injured as officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag rounds to disperse the crowd. Eleven people were arrested. Before the protests escalated on Wednesday, Lam had insisted the government would push ahead with the bill.
Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, whose Bharat has minted over Rs 150 crore at the Indian box office, says he gets scared when film critics praise his work as most of the time he gets validation of his work only from his fans who contribute to his movies’ collections. In an interaction with the media here, Salman said: “I get scared when critics praise my work because usually their thinking does not match with mine or that of my audience. So I wonder why are they giving stars to my film and writing good things about my work?” Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography”Having said that, in recent times, the kind of films that I have done, I did those because I loved those stories. Also when I do a film, I have a few parameters… I want people to come to the theatre, forget their worries and when they leave the theatre, become happy, with a sense of heroism, or become a better human being… at least (have) the thought of (being) a better human being.” Who is his biggest critic? “My father is the greatest critic of my work. So he said, ‘Ab bhul jao, so jao… picture bahut badi hit hai (Now forget about it, go to sleep… the film is a hit)’ but that is it, he will not come and praise my performance in front of me. I never get a chance to hear any compliment from him. Very rarely, he says, ‘Achha kaam kia (you’ve done well)’. Nothing more than that,” he said.