The province is proclaiming changes to the Elections Act today, Dec. 21, to help improve voter turnout and the protection of personal information. The changes will take effect Jan. 1. The legislation, passed during the fall sitting of the House of Assembly, is the first major changes to the Election Act in 25 years. “The new Elections Act modernizes and simplifies the elections process and will bring us into the 21st century,” said Justice Minister Ross Landry. “We now have legislation that Nova Scotians can rely on to improve the election process in the province.” The new act promotes higher voter turnout by increasing opportunities for people to vote. A continuous poll, before advance polls, will allow voters to cast ballots at a returning office anytime during office hours. Mobile polls will be used more extensively, and write-in ballots will be encouraged. The chief electoral officer can set up advisory committees to look for ways to help persons with disabilities vote independently. Other improvements include: greater independence and accountability of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer improved protection of personal information allowing parties to access age demographic information so candidates can encourage people to vote by using age-based interests a provision for the registration and regulation of third-party participants in an election more opportunities for youth to participate in the administration of elections clear authority for the CEO to investigate alleged breaches of the act ability for merit-based selection of returning officers rules for divesting assets of a registered political party
The province is helping Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage make upgrades and develop a strategic plan so the popular summer destination can provide people the best experience for years to come. MLA Becky Kent on behalf of Communities Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra and Economic and Rural Development Minister Graham Steele, today, June 25, toured the upgraded boardwalk with Fisherman’s Cove Development Association board member Earl Gosse. She announced a strategic plan is being developed to help build the area as a cultural, business and tourist hub. “Thousands of people visit Fisherman’s Cove every year for its natural beauty and to experience our rich culture and heritage by the sea,” said Ms. Kent. “It is important that the province invest in this community asset and work with the amazing staff and board to make Fisherman’s Cove as beautiful and as accessible as it can be for families to spend time together. “Coming here, visiting the buildings, walking the boardwalk, and enjoying the sand on the beach is a real treat for people, and I have no doubt that it will leave a lasting impression on families and visitors from all over the world.” The province is investing $22,500 from the Community Jobs and Facilities Improvement Program for upgrades, and repairs to several buildings. The boardwalk improvements were finished earlier this month and include a new section and leveling existing sections and a stage for music and other performances was also built. “So far, I think people are really happy with the repairs to the boardwalk,” said Mr. Gosse. “People were starting to get worried that it would get run down, and they wouldn’t be able to use it anymore. We made the boardwalk our first priority, and now it’s built well enough that it can withstand the kind of storms, high tides and pounding surf that we get out here. It’s built to last.” The province is investing $27,260 from the Community Economic Development Program, which helps communities and not-for-profit organizations identify opportunities to help grow the local economy. Fisherman’s Cove offers an affordable, popular location for small businesses, and venue for festivals and events that generate economic activity for the Eastern Passage area. For more information about Fisherman’s Cove, go to www.fishermanscove.ns.ca.