House Session Advances Action on Nova Scotians’ Priorities
During the fall sitting of the legislature, the government passed important legislation, advanced new policy solutions and participated in respectful debate, setting the stage for a healthy Nova Scotia.
The sitting, which included the return of full in-person attendance, wrapped up today, November 5.
As committed in the throne speech, amendments to the Elections Act were passed that will, for the first time in Nova Scotia, establish fixed dates for provincial general elections.
The Province is taking action to improve access to affordable housing across Nova Scotia with funding for new programs and services. Five separate pieces of related legislation were also passed: the Interim Residential Rental Increase Cap Act, Residential Tenancies Act (amended), Joint Regional Transportation Agency Act, Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality Act and a bill with amendments to the Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.
Ambitious environmental legislation, with targets and a strong focus on equity and inclusion, was also passed, continuing Nova Scotia’s leadership in environmental sustainability. The Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act includes the strongest 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target in Canada and sets the path for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
“As a new government, we have jumped in quickly and are moving forward on initiatives that matter to Nova Scotians, like healthcare recruitment, long-term care, mental healthcare, affordable housing, the environment and the economy,” said Premier Tim Houston. “I am proud of our team in what we have accomplished so far, and I am thankful to all members of the house for the open and thoughtful discussions we had on equity, systemic racism and finding solutions to better serve marginalized Nova Scotians. This raises the bar for our democracy, and I look forward to even more cooperation.”
During the session, Premier Houston announced in a ministerial statement that all nurses graduating from Nova Scotia’s universities and Nova Scotia Community College for the next five years will be offered a job in the province.
Premier Houston also tabled the third and final report of the Reflection and Action Task Group in the legislature in response to the Restorative Inquiry into the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. It outlines the government's progress in addressing barriers and systemic racism and in finding solutions centred around the needs of the people it serves.
Among other legislation passed:
- amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act to help improve road safety
- amendments to the Cannabis Control Act to clarify the standard of reasonableness required to search a place or vehicle
- amendments to the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act to support Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board operations
- amendments to the Justice Act to allow the Serious Incident Response Team to conduct investigations or provide oversight of policing in another province
- new legislation to protect patients, health-service providers and staff of healthcare facilities from protests by establishing a 50-metre bubble area
- legislation to transition Tourism Nova Scotia from a Crown corporation to a division of the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage.
The government has also announced it is working on legislation for next spring:
- to create a Children and Youth Commission that will protect and advance the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and youth
- to define and address racism, in collaboration with all parties
- to enshrine Mi’kmaw as Nova Scotia’s first language.
For a complete list of bills passed this session, visit: https://nslegislature.ca/legislative-business/bills-statutes/bills/assembly-64-session-1
For a copy of the throne speech, visit: https://nslegislature.ca/legislative-business/throne-speech