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New ferry for trips between Nova Scotia and Maine arrives in Yarmouth

YARMOUTH, N.S. - A new ferry that will carry passengers and vehicles between southwestern Nova Scotia and Maine arrived in Yarmouth on Tuesday. The vessel is scheduled to begin making daily, round-trip crossings between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine, on May 15 with trips continuing until Nov. 2. The province cut funding for a previous ferry in December 2009 and the service's return is seen by local businesses and politicians as crucial to the area's tourism industry.

Halifax nurses who walked off job before legal strike position to be interviewed

HALIFAX - Nurses who walked off the job before they were in a legal position to do so earlier this month are being asked to explain their actions, Nova Scotia's largest health authority said Tuesday. John Gillis, a spokesman for the Capital District Health Authority, said meetings have been scheduled with about 150 unionized registered nurses to discuss their roles in an illegal strike Apr. 1.

Ecology Action Centre expresses support for Nova Scotia energy efficiency bill

HALIFAX - A Halifax-based environmental group expressed support Monday for the Nova Scotia government's energy efficiency legislation even though it's not what the Liberals promised during the election campaign. Catherine Abreu, energy co-ordinator for the Ecology Action Centre, said the bill introduced last week is contrary to the Liberal promise of making Nova Scotia Power pay for efficiency programs because it allows those costs to be passed on to customers.

Legislation would allow Nova Scotia village councils to hold in-camera meetings

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia villages would be allowed to discuss confidential and personnel matters in private under proposed changes to Municipal Government Act. Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey says the changes are being made at the request of the Association of Nova Scotia Villages. He says the government is correcting an oversight in the original law in allowing villages the same rights to have in-camera meetings as towns and cities.

Nova Scotia New Democrats hail ex-premier Darrell Dexter at convention tribute

HALIFAX - Veteran New Democrats praised their former leader and premier Darrell Dexter in an emotional tribute on Friday night, saying his legacy is one to remain proud of. In a brief ceremony at the outset of the party's annual meeting, longtime colleagues recalled Dexter's efforts to reduce poverty and bring shipbuilding jobs to the province. Frank Corbett, a member of the legislature and former deputy premier, drew a standing ovation when he claimed Dexter was the best premier the province has ever had.

Two more men face charges in relation to bells taken from Halifax church

HALIFAX - Police have charged two more suspects in relation to the thefts of three bells from a Halifax church. The bells were taken Tuesday from St. John's United Church on Willow Street. Investigators say they arrested 39-year-old Robert Edwin Eisener of Halifax and 45-year-old Ralph Bernard Hughes of Dartmouth on Thursday. Both were held in custody overnight and appeared in court Friday to face charges of possession of stolen property, break and enter, and trafficking in property obtained by crime.

Noel Knockwood, champion of Mi'kmaq culture in Nova Scotia, dies at 81

HALIFAX - Noel Knockwood, a spiritual leader in Nova Scotia known for his fierce dedication to Mi'kmaq culture, has died. He was 81. Premier Stephen McNeil extended his condolences Friday on Knockwood's death, saying he was considered a pillar of his community who was committed to Mi'kmaq people and traditions. Knockwood was born in Shubenacadie, about 60 kilometres northeast of Halifax, and attended the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School during his early years before joining the military.

Atlantic premiers remember Flaherty fondly, pay tribute to his time in finance

HALIFAX - Premiers in Atlantic Canada are remembering Jim Flaherty as a finance minister who guided Canada through difficult economic times with a political style they admired. The Nova Scotia legislature held a moment of silence to mark Flaherty's death as Premier Stephen McNeil told the house he respected Flaherty's approach to his work, even when he was dealing with illness. "We saw as some of his health issues appeared while he was performing his public duties that he continued to perform those public duties in a classy and forthright manner," he said.

Prosecutor who led wrongful conviction case says Nova Scotia man pleaded guilty

HALIFAX - The former Crown attorney who led the case against a Nova Scotia man wrongfully convicted of statutory rape in 1970 testified Wednesday that nothing seemed out of order, even though some key files had disappeared over the years. Gerald Barton is suing the Nova Scotia Crown for malicious prosecution and the RCMP for negligent investigation, claiming in a civil suit that he never gave an incriminating statement to police and didn't plead guilty to the crime of having sex with a female between the ages of 14 and 16.

Nova Scotia's premier defends efficiency bill in face of opposition criticism

HALIFAX - Premier Stephen McNeil found himself Tuesday defending legislation that would remove an energy efficiency fee from energy bills as Nova Scotia's opposition parties said the bill does not meet a Liberal promise to require Nova Scotia Power to cover the costs of efficiency programs. The promise to remove the efficiency fee from power bills — branded by the Liberals during the election campaign as an unaffordable "NDP tax" — and force Nova Scotia Power to pay for efficiency programs was a key commitment in the party's platform.
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