Liberal Bills Support Nova Scotia's Rural Economy
October 26, 2023 – (Halifax, NS)
Bills tabled by the Liberals today would strengthen rural Nova Scotia by providing supports for critical resource sectors like forestry, fishing and emergency services.
The Wood Chip Heating Systems in Public Buildings Act would encourage the government to consider installing wood chip heating systems in new major builds such as schools and hospitals. Using a wood chip heating system is an environmentally friendly way to heat buildings and lower Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions, while also providing new markets for low-grade wood.
The province continues to see lingering damage from storms like Hurricane Fiona, creating potential safety hazards especially during wildfire season. An amendment to the Forests Act would enable the forestry industry to help with natural disaster clean up efforts in a timely and efficient manner to mitigate additional safety risks.
The Forestry Industry Carbon Pricing Exemption Act would require the Houston government to negotiate with Ottawa to exempt the forestry industry from the carbon tax, similar to other essential industries like fishing and agriculture.
“Forestry is a critical industry, and the bills tabled by our caucus today show our commitment to ensuring the industry thrives in our province,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “The fishing and agriculture industries are already exempt from the carbon tax as they are essential sectors. Working with Ottawa immediately to exempt the forestry industry would help reduce the cost of lumber, which is essential to solving the housing crisis.”
Amendments to the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act would require the Houston government to make good on their promise to increase the maximum fine to $1 million for commercial buyers who are caught selling out-of-season lobster. The amendments would also further protect the industry by ensuring that a person found guilty would lose their license permanently.
Volunteer fire fighters are often on the frontlines of emergencies, particularly in rural Nova Scotia. Often these volunteers are called in to cover ambulance calls that cannot be dealt with by EHS due to resource issues. An amendment to the Volunteer Fire and Ground Search and Rescue Services Act would allow volunteer fire departments to submit costs incurred by covering EHS calls to the Department of Health and Wellness for reimbursement.