The Halifax Regional School Board is postponing the Grade Primary to Grade 9 Assessment and Evaluation Day from Friday, March 27 to Friday, June 26. Students in Grades 10 to 12 were already scheduled to be in school this Friday.
To make dealing with government easier, faster and less frequent, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will create a new joint Regulatory and Service Effectiveness Office.
The office's mission will be to create a modern, consistent and fair regulatory environment driven by high-quality, client-focused service.
"We want to become one of the most competitive and prosperous business climates in Canada," said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. "To do that we have to remove obstacles and increase regulatory predictability so businesses are confident in making investments in our region."
The recent Nova Scotia Tax and Regulatory Review calculated the cost for small and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia to comply with regulations is about $119 million annually.
"Many New Brunswick companies do business in Nova Scotia and vice versa. By reducing and better aligning regulations in both provinces, we will help create the conditions for economic growth and job creation which is our government's number one priority," said New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant. "New Brunswick and Nova Scotia may be among the smaller provinces in Canada, but by working together, we can achieve more for businesses and families in the Atlantic region."
Co-leads of the new office will be appointed shortly by the premiers. Staff will be seconded from government departments to concentrate on reducing red tape, streamlining services and harmonizing regulations.
The Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy called on governments to "align their policies and programs more effectively, and to be more efficient and focused in supporting business growth and innovation."
The Tax and Regulatory Review highlighted the importance of partnerships between governments to reduce duplication and establish efficient processes. It also outlined a number of reform measures. The new joint office will directly address all the regulatory recommendations made in the review.
Premiers McNeil and Gallant today, March 24, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish and operate the office and reform regulations, including:
-- fair, efficient, effective, predictable and transparent regulations that are rigorous and meet citizens' expectations of protection
-- reducing red tape, overlap and unnecessary regulations, and costs for business
-- effective and efficient service that uses online technology
-- more co-operation, harmonization and measurement
Premiers McNeil and Gallant agreed they share a vision of regional collaboration that supports economic growth, and a more competitive regulatory environment is a tangible first step. This initiative is aligned with the Atlantic Red Tape Reduction Initiative announced by the Council of Atlantic Premiers in January 2015.
The new office will have a three-year mandate to substantially reduce obstacles to business growth, and build a more positive business environment in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
All Schools in the Halifax Regional School Board will be closed on Monday, March 23, 2015.
The Operations Staff have been working diligently over the last three days to ensure that schools and properties are safe for students and staff. It has been determined that an additional day is required to improve conditions of the grounds and to further assess facilities.
Administrators and caretakers have been asked to report to their schools on Monday to assist with assessing the conditions at their sites.
Thank you for your patience during these challenging weather conditions.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
MUNICIPALITY CONTINUING TO ENFORCE NO PARKING ON THE STREET
Crews are reporting significant progress in clearing and widening the streets across the Halifax region, due largely in part to the exceptional cooperation of residents to find off-street parking over the past 24 hours.
To assist with the ongoing cleanup, the municipality, in cooperation
with Halifax Regional Police and Halifax RCMP, will continue to fully enforce Section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act until further notice.
That section prevents on-street parking any time, day or night, when snow clearing is underway. Under more typical circumstances, crews can often work around parked vehicles; however, the volume of snow that fell across the region this week has significantly escalated the problems caused by parked vehicles hampering clearing efforts and access for emergency vehicles.
Police have been working with clearing crews and doing proactive patrols to help prevent people from parking on the street, as well as ticketing and towing any vehicles that are already on the streets hampering snow removal.
Crews are extremely grateful for the police support to ensure the
streets are clear of parked cars before their equipment moves in. This coordinated effort has saved time and increased productivity for crews working on snow removal and hauling.
The municipality has also had a very positive response from the
community to provide options for residents who require off-street
Last evening the Canadian Forces opted to close their military bases in Halifax and offered free parking today at the Dockyard off Upper Water Street and at Windsor Park, near the Military Family Resource Centre. This was for today only as the base will re-open on Friday, March 20.
Starting this evening, Waterfront Development is offering free overnight parking in its six lots on Lower Water Street. This parking will be available nightly from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. until the morning of Monday, March 23. Crombie REIT is offering some free parking at the Scotia Parkade and reduced parking rates for people attending Halifax Mooseheads and Halifax Rainmen games tonight and this weekend.
Finally, the municipality is also offering free parking at its MetroPark
lot on Hollis Street for as long as we continue to fully enforce Section 139 of the MVA.
We would once again like to thank residents for their continued
cooperation throughout this trying time. Your support and patience are greatly appreciated.
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Just over 50 million texts, tweets, calls & shares so far! Outstanding work, everyone. Keep it up by sharing our Facebook post of Howie Mandel (you can find that here: ow.ly/I3UNn) and we'll donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives in Canada.
You can also follow our progress here: letstalk.bell.ca/en/ (updated every half hour). #BellLetsTalk.