“This government said it would keep emergency rooms open. We’re doing that. This government said it would reduce administrative costs. We’re doing that,” said Premier Dexter. For a complete list of bills passed this session, visit http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/status-of-bills/. “Education remains a priority for this government,” said Premier Dexter. “Investments this spring in our Kids and Learning First plan ensures that even as enrollment declines rapidly, the province is increasing per student funding in a way that produces even better results.” help Nova Scotians be more informed and better protected when they enter into cellphone contracts modernize how the province’s largest public pension plan is governed, setting the framework for a superannuation plan that will operate more independently provide NewPage employees and pensioners options that could lead to better pension benefits strengthen, protect and organize the commercial fishery in Nova Scotia modernize and improve Nova Scotia’s family laws to ensure the justice system meets the needs of today’s families define support for the arts and culture sector and recognize the role of the artist help community groups, municipalities and the Mi’kmaq preserve traditional use of private lands for communities ensure a clear and transparent review process of the Maritime Link project give property owners access to sales information and improve the property assessment system ensure Nova Scotians are better protected when they purchase a mortgage make it easier and faster to families to deal with estates valued at $25,000 or less officially recognize Tartan Day and incorporate the description of the Nova Scotia tartan in legislation formalize the planned merger of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Dalhousie University, bringing significant new opportunities in agriculture and for the Truro-Bible Hill area The province doubled the HST rebate for first-time home buyers purchasing new homes, and also announced personal income tax reductions for about 78,000 Nova Scotians. The Affordable Living Tax Credit and the Poverty Reduction Credit will be increased to help reduce the impact of rising prices on everyday needs. For the second year in a row, the Income Assistance Personal Allowance will go up by $9 per month, effective July 1. The premier announced a new high school for Eastern Passage and a new $10 million state-of-the-art Skilled Trades Centre for Cole Harbour District High School. The province passed new legislation to begin the fight against cyberbullying. The minister of Education announced the doubling of virtual school courses and the expansion of SchoolsPlus into 48 more schools across the province by 2014, giving more students and families access to parenting sessions, employment supports, physical activities and homework clubs. The province invested a further $5.5 million in student assistance to enrich the grant portion of student loans and help fill the gap between available assistance and the actual cost of education. Beginning July 1, Nova Scotians living in licensed long-term care facilities or with reduced mobility will benefit from a reduction in ambulance fees. People with low incomes will also be eligible for lower ambulance fees, beginning Sept. 1. “A key part of our plan is helping make life a little better for families,” said Premier Dexter. “Changes announced this spring will help to do just that.” — Early in the session, government announced that for the third year in a row, the province’s spending came in below what was estimated at the beginning of the year, an accomplishment not seen since at least 1967. “Our progress is clear – we are on track to restore sense to the province’s finances and get Nova Scotia back to balance, and this government will continue to move that plan forward to secure a better life for Nova Scotia families.” Some of the other bills introduced and passed during the session will: The province continued to build on its accomplishments in the spring session of the House of Assembly through further investments in the JobsHere plan to grow the economy, opening more Collaborative Emergency Centres, introducing new ways to make life more affordable and by sticking to its plan to get back to balance by 2013-14. The fourth session of the 61st General Assembly wrapped up today, May 17. The government introduced 33 bills and the members sat for 34 days. “We are continuing to build on our plans to make life better for families,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “Government created plans to create good jobs and grow the economy, get back to balance, keep emergency rooms open and help make life more affordable. This session we delivered significant progress in every one of those areas.” — The province passed legislation to ensure the provincial portion of the HST will be reduced by one point in 2014 and another in 2015. “Nova Scotians shared the challenge of getting the province back to balance, and they will also share in the benefits of achieving that goal,” said Premier Dexter. “This government created a plan to correct the financial situation it inherited, stuck to that plan, and now that discipline is paying off.” — The province is relocating nearly 100 civil service jobs into New Waterford, Cape Breton, Shelburne, Digby and Truro. “The province wants to provide good jobs in communities across the province,” said Premier Dexter. — The province announced that it had committed up to $304 million in loans to Irving as part of the successful $25 billion shipbuilding bid. “Nova Scotia bid to win. The provincial investment, which represents six per cent of the tax revenue the province expects to receive in return, was crafted to help put the Irving bid in front,” said Premier Dexter. “It will mean an additional 11,500 jobs for Nova Scotians and will increase the province’s GDP by almost $900 million during peak production years.” The Department of Health and Wellness released its physician resource plan that will ensure more Nova Scotians have access to doctors and other care providers. The minister of Health and Wellness released a new mental health strategy with 33 actions and a $5.2 million investment this year. The province lowered ambulance fees for those most in need. The province continued to fulfill its commitment to keep emergency rooms open by announcing another Collaborative Emergency Centre in Springhill. Four more will be announced this year. The minister of Health and Wellness announced the province would achieve millions in additional administrative savings by working with district health authorities to merge services and eliminate up to 20 vice president and director positions.