News Release Archive

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY--Nova Scotia's Voice in Unity Dialogue 
The select committee on national unity today called on Nova
Scotians to make their voices heard in the dialogue on Canada's

"Speak up, Nova Scotia. This is your Canada," said committee
chair Eleanor Norrie.

"We are asking you to give some serious thought to the Calgary
Declaration, both by itself and in light of the concerns
expressed by aboriginal leaders. Let us know if it truly reflects
what it means for you to be Canadian."

The premiers of nine provinces, including Nova Scotia, and
government leaders of the two territories agreed on the 
seven-point declaration at a meeting in Calgary in September. It
calls for, among other things, the recognition of the equality
and diversity of all provinces and all citizens of Canada.

In November, leaders of five aboriginal organizations expressed
concerns that the Calgary Declaration might undermine the
position of aboriginal peoples in Confederation. Their concerns
are set out in writing for consideration at the same time as the
Calgary Declaration.

Both were drafted as frameworks for discussion --ideas to be
taken to the people for their concerns and views.

Nova Scotia encourages this process, and at a news conference
today at Province House, the province's national unity committee
announced the dates and locations for public hearings across Nova
Scotia and other arrangements made to gather Nova Scotians' views
on the two documents.

Mrs. Norrie is joined on the all-party committee by MLAs Bob
Carruthers, Ernie Fage, John Holm, Paul MacEwan and Ron Russell.
Lila O'Connor is an alternate member.

"Unlike previous national unity processes, this time, the people
have a chance to speak first --before any further steps are
taken," said Mrs. Norrie. "To Nova Scotians, we say: make your
views known, make your voices heard."

The committee wants to know, in particular, whether Nova Scotians
believe any further statements should be made in the declaration,
and whether, overall, Nova Scotians can support it as a vision of
Canada with which they can feel at home.

The public hearings begin next week in Halifax and resume in the
new year with eight more stops in the first three weeks of
January: in Sydney, Port Hawkesbury, Truro, Kentville, Church
Point, Yarmouth, Bridgewater and Dartmouth.

Simultaneous translation will be available at all the public

The committee has also set up a toll-free line for Nova Scotians
to express their views; the number is 1-888-38-UNITY, or 
1-888-388-6489. Comments phoned in will be summarized in writing
for the committee.

Those who would like to submit written presentation have several
     -at a public hearing
     -by fax: 1-902-424-0513
     -by e-mail:
     -via the Internet:
     -by post to:
      Select Committee on National Unity
      c/o Legislature Committees Office
      3rd Floor, Dennis Building
      1740 Granville St.
      P.O. Box 2530, Station M
      Halifax, N.S.   B3J 3N5

Written submissions should be filed with the committee by Jan.
23, 1998.

"We're looking forward to hearing the views of Nova Scotians,"
said Mrs. Norrie. "We firmly believe that together we can help
lay the foundation of a renewed Canadian federation --one that
we'll be proud to pass on to our children and grandchildren."

The committee is to report to the Legislative Assembly with a
draft resolution by Feb. 16, 1998. After debate, a free vote will
be held on the resolution.


Contact: Maggie Marwah
         Communications Nova Scotia

NOTE TO EDITORS: The schedule of public hearings follows. The
text of the Calgary Declaration and the aboriginal framework is
on the committee's Internet site,
Copies are also available from Communications Nova Scotia; please
e-mail or call collect 902-424-4492.

AU CHEF DES NOUVELLES: Ce communique est egalement disponible en
francais; c. elec. ou appeler 902-424-4492.

ngr                  Dec. 11, 1997               11:00 a.m.