HALIFAX: Nova Scotia will move forward with solutions that work for Nova Scotians, addressing the problems within the healthcare system and embracing what is possible for the province’s economy and future.
That was the main message of the speech from the throne, delivered by Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc on Oct. 12, as he opened the first session of the 64th general assembly of the Nova Scotia legislature.
Addressing the healthcare crisis is the government’s number one priority, with a focus on listening to healthcare providers and bringing forward solutions that will:
— attract and retain more healthcare professionals
— improve access to primary healthcare and mental healthcare
— support seniors in their homes and in long-term care
— tackle wait times.
“When we are honest about where we are today, and if we commit to working together, we can overcome the challenges,” said Lt.-Gov. LeBlanc in the speech.
“Nova Scotia can offer the foundation for success, resulting in growth of both our economy and our population. But having the opportunity to succeed also means being healthy.”
The government further commits to giving attention to the economy at the same time as it is investing in healthcare. The plan will help position Nova Scotia to compete with other provinces and countries, through the strength of its people, talent, beauty and goods.
The government’s made-in-Nova Scotia solutions to help grow the economy include:
— putting more money in employees’ pockets by giving employers a choice of paying corporate taxes or increasing the pay of their workforce
— training and attracting more trades workers, with increased emphasis on girls and students with diverse backgrounds
— addressing the housing crisis
— introducing environmental legislation to adopt green measures, aggressive targets and other solutions for climate-friendly, sustainable development.
A healthy government is one where Nova Scotians have the information and opportunity to hold their government to account. That is why the government’s path forward commits to greater accountability with the creation of fixed election dates and returning the legislature’s public accounts committee to its original format, which allows officials from any department to be called as witnesses before a committee that meets regularly.
“There is so much to be optimistic about for the future. We can fix healthcare and put Nova Scotians on the path to financial sustainability; we can support our traditional industries and build an environment plan that fights climate change; and we can make our province a magnet for doctors, investors and tourists alike, and remain proud of our traditions and our heritage,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Our government is committed to doing everything in our power to make access to healthcare better and life better for all Nova Scotians.”
The speech from the throne is available at: https://nslegislature.ca/legislative-business/throne-speech