Liberals Table Bills to Improve Cell Coverage and Emergency Preparedness
October 19, 2023 – (Halifax, NS)
Nova Scotia has faced historic natural disasters this past year, shining a light on the need to expand cell coverage in every region of the province and improve emergency preparedness.
“We’ve seen this year, more than ever, how important it is to be prepared for emergency situations,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “Hard, but important, lessons must be learned from the many natural disasters our province has experienced. Today’s bills from our Liberal caucus provide practical solutions to many of the biggest challenges that were identified during some of the darkest days our province has ever experienced.”
The Highway Cellular Coverage Act would mirror a similar initiative done in British Columbia to ensure that there is cell coverage on all highways in the province. Many pockets of Nova Scotia, both urban and rural, lack adequate cell service, lending to significant safety hazards and challenges receiving emergency alerts in a timely manner.
The Vulnerable Persons Registry Act will be re-introduced to put pressure on the Houston government to implement the initiative province-wide to protect the province’s many vulnerable people during emergencies. Municipalities such as Kings County and HRM have implemented their own registries, but disability rights advocates say that in order for the program to be effective, it needs to be led by the province.
The Flooded Homes Buyback Program Act would establish a program for the government to purchase homes that are located on a floodplain and have significant water damage. After similar devastating floods in 2016, the previous government offered impacted households the opportunity to sell their homes to the province. Not doing so forces residents in impacted areas such as Bedford to repair their homes, ignoring the very real threat to their safety.