Today marks one year since voters in Nova Scotia elected a new government. Let me begin by saying it is the honour of a lifetime to serve as Premier of Nova Scotia.
Although it has only been one year, the government hit the ground running.
In August of 2021, we made a commitment to deliver solutions for the province, and since then, we have delivered over 80 real solutions.
Our number one priority is healthcare. That’s why our government started by talking to the experts – our healthcare workers – and designing a plan to improve the system. Our Action for Health plan is already being implemented. The changes needed to improve our healthcare system are very significant and they will take time, but we will start seeing results more quickly in the months and years to come.
Our doctor recruitment efforts led to a record number of doctors coming to Nova Scotia over the past year. We increased wages for continuing care assistants to attract more employees into the system. Our government made it clear we want medical professionals who graduate here to stay here, which is why we’ve offered jobs to every nurse graduating in Nova Scotia while adding 200 nursing seats for students across the province.
We’ve listened to paramedics and created new temporary licences so graduating paramedics can start working in their field sooner, instead of waiting for the licensing exam. We’ve hired 180 transport operators for routine transportation needs, freeing up paramedics for emergencies. And there is so much more to come.
We know the rising cost of living is putting pressure on Nova Scotians, as inflation impacts those across Canada and around the world. We continue to look for opportunities to responsibly and sustainably help Nova Scotians, like the Seniors Care Grant, which provides support for seniors across the province. The grant was recently expanded to include more services and additional funding to help seniors heat their homes this winter.
And we’re expanding child care across the province, including in many areas that have never had access to it before. Child-care fees have already been reduced by 25 per cent and by the end of March 2026, an average of $10-a-day daycare will be accessible and available to families that need it.
We’re investing in a growing economy. This year, Nova Scotia passed a major milestone by reaching one million people. More and more, the world is realizing Nova Scotia’s potential, and the result is record immigration and population growth. We worked with the federal government to expand our immigration targets and include occupations that will help our businesses address labour shortages.
To prepare for this growth, we are moving as fast as possible to build affordable and attainable housing across the province. We need skilled trades workers to do this, so we are also investing in our young people who are under the age of 30 working in a trade. The More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) program will return their provincial income tax paid on the first $50,000 of income earned.
We’re supporting our film industry with a soundstage that will help the industry grow sustainably and generate economic activity year-round.
We also launched the prototyping phase for Nova Scotia Loyal, which will be a buy local program like no other and aims to increase demand for local products. Our products are the best in the world, and Nova Scotia Loyal will help showcase them to Nova Scotia and the world.
As I reflect on the past year, I am forever humbled that Nova Scotians put their trust in me and our government. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating – this is one of the best places to raise a family, work, thrive and enjoy.
We are more energized than ever before to keep going. There’s a lot more to do, and we look forward to delivering for you.