A new year has begun and I wanted to take an opportunity to write a letter to our community.
2016 was an exciting year for our province; the population hit an all-time high; we continue to welcome newcomers from abroad; and our tourism sector saw an increase like never before.
As a former dairy farmer, I’m encouraged that our agricultural exports continue to grow and we are on track to reach our ONE NS goal of $480 million by 2024.
Here in Hants East, your government continues to make investments in the community.
I was thrilled to announce $14,000 in funding for after-school programming for youth at the East Hants pool, as well as $53,000 towards our new skate park in Lantz.
Our community is stronger when our kids lead happier and healthier lives.
Another memorable day was when I stood on the ocean floor at Burntcoat Head with my colleagues MP Scott Brison, and Warden Jim Smith, to announce an additional $65,000 in provincial funding for upgrades to the park.
I truly believe we have only just scratched the surface in showcasing our beautiful Hants Shore to the rest of the world.
When it comes to helping those who need it most, I couldn’t be happier to reveal the elimination of the VON waiting list for homecare in Hants East.
I’ve heard from many of you about the importance of working on a solution for the traffic congestion at the Lantz exit. This has been a long-standing concern for our residents over many years and I’m working hard with our Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, along with our federal counterparts to make this project a reality for Hants East.
I can’t explain how truly honoured and humbled I was to be asked by our Premier to become Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment in January 2016. It’s been a very busy year in my department, and we were proud to work with others in reaching an agreement with our federal counterparts on climate change.
Nova Scotia leads all provinces in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This agreement commits our province to even further reductions while continuing to protect the pocketbooks of all Nova Scotians.
While I’m proud of my work with the Environment department, the highest honour of my political life was being entrusted by the people of Hants East to represent you at Province House.
Please remember that your concerns are my concerns, and my door is always open.
Here’s to 2017!