Front row left to right: Renette M. Muise; Colleen O’Connor; Premier MacDonald; Robin Jardine; Judy Purcell; Louise Michalos
Back row left to right: Adela Teresa Escobar; Raymond Lefort; Dr. John H. Calder; Stephen T. McGrath; Chris Spencer; Roger Peters; Joe Brown; Dennis W. Pilkey
Since 1988, Nova Scotia has had a right to crown share adjustment payments with Parliament's enactment of the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Act. In 2001, the Crown Share Adjustment Payments Team began building a persuasive case for a generous interpretation of the legislation. While it garnered respect from federal counterparts, government was not prepared to enact the necessary regulations.
In April 2008, after working collaboratively with other departments and external advisors on this complex accounting and legal case, the team presented Nova Scotias case to the Crown Share Adjustments Panel. The panel recommended that the Government of Canada provide Nova Scotia $234.4 million for past payments up to March 31, 2008.
As a result of the team's efforts, the two governments have agreed to work together to take the steps necessary to implement the panel chairs recommendation, which includes the calculation of Crown Share Adjustment Payments for future years. The estimated payments for future years is approximately $633 million. These payments will help put Nova Scotia on a solid fiscal foundation.
Following more than 10 years of strategic planning, community consensus building, responding to operational and social issues, lobbying at all levels of government, and preparing the nomination dossier, the vision of having Joggins Fossil Cliffs as a UNESCO World Heritage Site was finally realized in 2008.
Dr. John Calder was the visionary proponent and driving force to have the Joggins Fossil Cliffs inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He was responsible for making the scientific case for inscription, providing scientific leadership to the project and to the interpretative displays, building consensus in the community, and co-authoring the nomination dossier. A major success of this project has been the establishment of the Joggins Fossil Institute, which manages and conserves the site that has attracted visitors from all over the world.
Dr. Calder currently serves as an occasional expert contributor to international world heritage projects upon the request of the International Union of the Conservation of Nature.
Adela Escobar is a dynamic woman from El Salvador who has won the hearts of clients, care givers and colleagues through her extraordinary commitment in being the only Counselor for the Alternate Family Support Program. Prior to the creation of this program, Adela was the Counselor for the Community Residence Program. When the Alternate Family Support Program was being created, Adela was able to articulate and demonstrate the value of her role in supporting clients. She supports individuals with disabilities to live within a family setting in their home community.
Because of her involvement with both clients and caregivers, she has been able to support people through some very difficult times. Adela has often been referred to as an ally for the greater good, forging bridges between team members, clients, support providers, policy makers and field staff. She utilizes opportunities to emphasize the value of diversity through the sharing of different experiences, different perspectives and different ideas to benefit the team and the community.
She sows faith, energy and enthusiasm into every relationship and everything she does. One of her clients sums it up as a genuine love for her job that shows through in the quality of care she gives, and in the way she relates to those she works with.
Over the past few years, Maple Leaf, Trenton Works and Moirs have closed their doors, which resulted in over 1,000 job losses. The Skill Development Coordinators' Team played a lead role in responding to these closures by creating on-site and community response teams, conducting job vacancy studies in affected and adjacent communities, developing transition centres for displaced workers, and brokering and providing direct programs and services to help workers transition to new employment.
Each program that is developed by the team is unique, depending on the needs of the individuals. It ranges from assisting workers manage anger, loss and change, as well as building relationships and capacity in affected communities to provide on-going support to these individuals.
In the past two years, services have been provided to over 1, 342 individuals to obtain the skills, training and confidence they require to re-enter the workforce.
Community Counts started as an innovative pilot project, based on an award-winning model of Community Accounts in Newfoundland and Labrador. It evolved under Dennis leadership into an ongoing program that provides data for and about communities for use by policy makers, elected officials, program designers, and community developers.
The web-based tool provides data from Statistics Canada and provincial government sources for various geographic regions, including over 275 communities. Dennis was able to attract strategic partners from the government, community and academic sectors to contribute time, expertise and resources toward this common vision of a publicly accessible website.
Community Counts provides information to help with planning to improve the health and well-being of Nova Scotians and contributes to making our communities sustainable in the 21st century. Good public decision-making requires good data, and the data provided through Community Counts can benefit many key government programs and community planning initiatives.
Details about the 2010 Premier’s Award of Excellence will be communicated in the fall of 2009.