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Nurses dispute, budget expected to dominate Nova Scotia legislature

HALIFAX - A looming strike by nurses is expected to top the agenda when the Nova Scotia legislature returns Thursday, a week ahead of the Liberal government's first budget. Premier Stephen McNeil has said the government will ensure patient safety if 2,400 registered nurses employed by Halifax-area hospitals walk off the job, but he hasn't given a clear indication how the province would respond to a walkout.

Nurses dispute, budget expected to dominate Nova Scotia legislature

HALIFAX - A looming strike by nurses is expected to top the agenda when the Nova Scotia legislature returns Thursday, a week ahead of the Liberal government's first budget. Premier Stephen McNeil has said the government will ensure patient safety if 2,400 registered nurses employed by Halifax-area hospitals walk off the job, but he hasn't given a clear indication how the province would respond to a walkout.

Nova Scotia premier says panel struck to select new auditor general

HALIFAX - Premier Stephen McNeil says a panel has been struck to find Nova Scotia's next auditor general. McNeil says the seven-member panel will select a successor to Jacques Lapointe, who retired at the end of January, and interviews with prospective candidates are expected in early April. The panel includes former provincial auditor general Roy Salmon, the dean of the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary's University and representatives from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia and the Certified Management Accountants of Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia premier says his government is open to helping Michelin if asked

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's premier isn't ruling out future help for Michelin Canada but Stephen McNeil says any financial assistance will be free of grants to the multinational corporation. McNeil said Thursday the tire manufacturing giant has not asked for assistance but the government would consider a proposal if it is brought forward. Michelin had been a good corporate citizen during its time in the province, he said.

Nova Scotia parties unite in call for inquiry into slain aboriginal women

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's three main party leaders are calling on the federal government to launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. In a joint statement, Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil says the death of Loretta Saunders is a tragic reminder of a serious issue. Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuit woman from Labrador, was studying at Saint Mary's University in Halifax when she disappeared last month. Her remains were found by the side of a New Brunswick highway two weeks later and two people face first-degree murder charges in her death.

Nova Scotia parties unite in call for inquiry into slain aboriginal women

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's three main party leaders are calling on the federal government to launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. In a joint statement, Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil says the death of Loretta Saunders is a tragic reminder of a serious issue. Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuit woman from Labrador, was studying at Saint Mary's University in Halifax when she disappeared last month. Her remains were found by the side of a New Brunswick highway two weeks later and two people face first-degree murder charges in her death.

Nova Scotia legislature sits for second day to deal with home-care strike

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia legislature is taking the rare step of sitting on a Saturday as the Liberal government looks to pass essential services legislation to end a strike by Halifax area home-care workers. Third and final reading is expected on a bill Premier Stephen McNeil says won't take away the right to strike. But McNeil says it would require an employer and union to determine who is considered an essential worker and if an agreement can't be reached, the matter would be submitted to the Nova Scotia Labour Board.

Nova Scotia legislature to resume early to deal with pending health care strike

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's Liberal government is bringing the legislature back early, saying it needs to deal with a potential strike in the health-care sector. Premier Stephen McNeil's spokesman said the legislature will resume Friday, a month earlier than it was scheduled to begin its next session. Kyley Harris said Wednesday that McNeil requested the session to deal with a pending strike by 420 home-support workers in the Halifax area. He wouldn't give specific details, but he said the government is considering its legislative options to deal with the labour issue.

Nova Scotia to embark on sweeping review of public education system

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government is poised to conduct a sweeping review of the province's public education system, saying the last time it went under the microscope was 25 years ago. "Think about how much has changed in the last 25 years," Premier Stephen McNeil said Tuesday, adding that the process will go beyond the curriculum review he promised during the election campaign last fall. Among other things, McNeil said the review will look at the length of the school day, the length of the academic year and the use of technology in classrooms.

Group for those with intellectual disabilities want policy changes

HALIFAX - A Nova Scotia group that speaks for people with intellectual disabilities says although it has been gaining public support, it wants more commitments from federal and provincial leaders to implement policy changes in the justice system. About 40 people held signs and tied red ribbons around their arms as they marched to Halifax provincial court in the city's downtown Sunday afternoon. It was one of eight protests happening across the province as part of the group's push to stop the criminalization of people with special needs.
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