News Release Archive

  Premier John Savage says the legislative sitting that
  wrapped up today was an important milestone for the
  provincial government. "The legislative agenda just
  completed represents the fulfilment of virtually all the key
  policy objectives which this government had laid out," said
  the premier. "We can now focus all our efforts on
  consolidating and fine tuning the reforms we have begun."
  The legislative session, begun in the spring, was one of the
  longest in Nova Scotia history. Members sat for a total of
  82 days, including the period between Christmas and New
  The premier said that while change is never easy, he
  believes that Nova Scotians are beginning to understand the
  necessity for wide ranging reforms that enable us "to do
  things better and still live within our means". He said that
  the key objectives underlying the government's reforms have
  been to bring the province into alignment with the
  challenges of the 21st century, "so that we can build a
  thriving and competitive economy and create a more
  prosperous future for ourselves and our children", to get
  the government's fiscal house in order and regain control of
  spending "in order to protect the programs and services that
  all of us value", and to "come to terms with the financial
  bottom line while at the same time remaining compassionate
  and socially responsible."
  "Anyone looking at our legislative agenda will see that
  these are the themes that have predominated overall in the
  actions we have taken," said the premier. He pointed out
  some of the highlights of the legislation, which include:
  - The Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Act, which
  enables the government to consolidate services by bringing
  four metro hospitals under the umbrella of a single
  administration, a move which opens the door for greater
  efficiencies and cost savings.
  The government combined this legislation with a $24 million
  dollar initiative designed to assist hospital workers who
  may be displaced by changes in service delivery.
  - A new Education Act which streamlines the administration
  of school boards by reducing the number of boards, with the
  object of focusing more dollars on students and on the
  classroom. The act also gives communities and parents a
  larger role in decision making by allowing a bigger share of
  the decisions to be made at a local level. The act also
  - for the first time in Nova Scotia - establishes an Acadian
  School Board.
  - An Act Respecting College de l'Acadie and the Nova Scotia
  Community College, which makes it possible for both colleges
  to become more competitive by cutting through red tape and
  bringing training more directly into line with the job
  - Consolidation of the government's Maintenance Enforcement
  Act, which protects families and children by making it more
  difficult for parents to avoid making support payments.
  - An Internal Trade Agreement Implementation Act which gives
  Nova Scotian businesses and workers barrier free access to
  markets and job opportunities in all areas of the country.
  Premier Savage said that in addition to the legislative
  accomplishments of the past year, the government is very
  proud of the fiscal milestone it is about to accomplish, by
  eliminating the deficit in this budget year, one full year
  ahead of schedule.
  "Getting spending under control enables us to spend less of
  our money on interest on our debt, and more money on the
  programs and services that we are determined to protect,"
  said the premier. "I don't think there is any question that
  Nova Scotia is in a more secure position today than it was a
  couple of years ago. Not only are we in a better position to
  absorb the cuts in federal spending which are headed our
  way, we have succeeded in creating a better climate for
  business investment in this province - and that's already
  lead to a growth in more than 30 thousand new jobs since
  this government took office."
  "With the main legislative agenda now complete, I intend to
  spend the year ahead concentrating on doing everything
  possible to boost economic growth and build jobs, so that
  more Nova Scotians can share in the opportunities that have
  begun to open up in this province," said Premier Savage. "On
  behalf of my colleagues in this government, I can say most
  definitely that jobs and the economy are our primary
  objective, and recent events such as the unfortunate layoffs
  at Devco merely increase our determination. We have had
  setbacks before - such as the downturn in the fishery - and
  we have survived them by becoming more productive and more
  self reliant. Cape Bretoners are resourceful people, and
  this government will support their efforts to overcome this
  Premier Savage said that there are a number of bright lights
  on the horizon in the year ahead. "With initiatives like the
  expansion at Stora Forest Industries and the construction of
  Highway 104 in the months ahead, I think we can look forward
  to another year of increased opportunities for employment."
  The premier made his remarks while on a trade mission in
  India with Prime Minister Jean Chretien, one of a number of
  trade missions the premier is undertaking this year in order
  to develop new markets and new opportunities for Nova Scotia
  businesses and boost foreign trade and investment. Premier
  Savage is expected to return on Jan. 21.
  EDITORS NOTE: There is an accent aigu on the first E in
  Contact: Ann Graham Walker  902-424-2590
                    Cellular: 902-497-0305
  trp                    Jan. 11, 1996