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NS Government: COVID-19 Weekly Data Report for June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Nova Scotia is reporting 1,491 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, 28 hospitalizations and four deaths during the seven-day period ending June 27. The number of new PCR-positive tests has increased slightly compared to the previous reporting period; however, long-term care outbreaks, hospital admissions and deaths have decreased.

“Our epidemiology shows that unvaccinated people have a substantially higher risk of hospitalization and death compared to people who have three or more doses,” said Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health. “And when we compare across ages among those with three or more doses of vaccine, people 70 years and older are at a higher risk of severe outcomes than those aged 50 to 69.”

Since the start of the Omicron waves December 8, 2021, the median age of hospitalizations is 71, and the median age of people who have died is 81. Three of the four COVID-19 deaths reported this week were people 70 years of age or older.

The data show that age is the biggest risk factor for severe disease and that vaccines are continuing to work. The risk of hospitalization is 11.5 times higher for people 70 and older and the risk of death about 117 times higher when compared to those under 50. Within every age group for whom vaccine is available, unvaccinated people are at higher risk of severe illness than those who are vaccinated. Vaccine-related immunity wanes more quickly in people 70 and older, which is why a second booster dose was recommended this spring. Most adults under 70 are still well protected against severe illness by their primary series plus one booster.

Nova Scotians who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines are still encouraged to receive all doses for which they are recommended.

To date, 65.9 per cent of Nova Scotians 18 and older have received at least one booster dose, and 77,211 people have received a second.

The weekly COVID-19 epidemiologic summary is prepared for the Chief Medical Officer of Health and his team to inform public health’s management of the pandemic. It tracks weekly trends and is focused on monitoring for severe outcomes in key populations. The full report is available here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/alerts-notices/#epidemiologic-summaries

Additional Resources:

COVID-19 public dashboard: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/204d6ed723244dfbb763ca3f913c5cad

Report a positive COVID-19 test to be linked to public health support, including virtual care and treatment for those who are eligible: https://c19hc.nshealth.ca/self-report/

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NT4

MSVU: Compassion in health care reduces health inequality for 2SLGBTQ+ people

June 28, 2022

Compassion is more than being nice and can be viewed in many different ways. Philosophers, religious leaders and scientists from different parts of the world have all discussed the meanings of compassion within their own contexts. It can be described as a distinct emotion, a virtue or a way of life that recognizes the pain and suffering of others. Compassion can be a means to self-healing and feeling our common humanity.

But compassion is also action: a “form of engagement with the world.” Compassion has the potential to positively transform social systems or the potential to reinforce current beliefs that can separate people.

Some have even critiqued the concept of compassion, particularly from a Western perspective, as an emotion that is focused on oneself and leads to the comparisons of the self with others.

Within Western health-care systems, there is growing recognition that compassion is an essential component for positive health and well-being. There have been calls for compassion to be a greater part of the care processes of health professions and the training of health professionals.

Researchers have shown that as little as 40 seconds of compassion have made positive differences in patients’ experiences and health. In those 40 seconds, compassion can be expressed by acknowledging patient concerns, showing support, acting as a partner and validating emotions.

Compassion and health care for 2SLGBTQ+ people

Accessing and receiving compassionate health care, however, is often not possible for many groups, including Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other sexual identities, such as pansexual or asexual (2SLGBTQ+) individuals.

Heteronormativity — the assumption that all people are straight — and cis-normativity — the assumption that all people are distinctly either a man or a woman — create many health disparities for 2SLGBTQ+ people. They also create barriers to accessing safe and inclusive care.

Heteronormativity and cis-normativity can lead to fear, ignorance, prejudice and acts of violence towards 2SLGBTQ+ in Canada. Research has shown that education on these topics during training for health-care professionals is beneficial, but physicians have reported a lack of advanced knowledge on 2SLGBTQ+ issues. There is a growing recognition for the need of more 2SLGBTQ+ health training and more funding for 2SLGBTQ+ health research.

Transformative compassion study

The aim of our forthcoming research, to be published in the journal Qualitative Health Research, was to explore the meanings of compassion for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals.

In our study — carried out at Mount Saint Vincent University — we talked with 20 self-identifying 2SLGBTQ+ people from across Canada. In online interviews, we asked them to share experiences of compassion (or non-compassion) and to tell us about their beliefs and values about compassion. Many of the things our participants shared were about compassion and health.

In our findings, we explored the meanings and expectations of compassion in health care for our participants. As one them said: “Good health care has to have compassion at the core.” Several of our participants noted that comfort, safety, inclusive language and awareness and understanding of the shared trauma that many 2SLGBTQ+ individuals suffer are essential components for health care to be compassionate.

Compassionate health care is not guaranteed

Another participant believed that when “…you’re accessing the health-care system you would expect compassion from the health-care system. I know a lot of people, queer or not, don’t have that experience. Compassion isn’t guaranteed in health care, but when it’s found it’s celebrated.”

For example, this participant described their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in which their doctor showed compassion to them by including their partner:

“COVID brought out this huge experience of shared humanity among all kinds of different people… a lot of compassion showed through in those first early months, where we’re all in this together.”

Compassionate comics

We wanted to share the beliefs and experiences expressed in the study as a means to start conversations about compassion, and to work towards creating awareness about the power of compassion to positively transform the lives, health and well-being. We have previously used comics as a means to share our research, and chose to do so again.

To create our compassionate comics, we enlisted the talents of 12 2SLGBTQ+ artists from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Greece. We asked each of them to illustrate stories told by our participants.

For example, a few participants used the HIV/AIDS crisis as an historic example of both the non-compassion in the health-care system and the power of compassion to change systems.

As one participant related:

“When I was in my 20s, the AIDS crisis was at its peak, and although in the long run I think that inspired compassion among the general public, at the time there was a lot of negativity. A lot of blaming of people, blaming of behaviours. A lot of religious nastiness. So, over time that has changed and I think media had a lot to do with it. And the organization of the queer community during the AIDS crisis — and I think more visibility — humanized people to the general public in a way that hadn’t happened before.”

This story is reflected in a comic entitled “Remember” by Canadian artist David Winters. In the 10-page story, a nurse walks through a crowd of anti-gay protesters outside her hospital to go to work. She shows compassion to a dying man by listening and showing understanding to him when others did not.

Our study results are reflective of only a few voices from the 2SLGBTQ+ umbrella, so we cannot make overarching generalizations. However, we can suggest that compassion was seen as a central and critical component for good care.

We suggest that in order to truly transform health care, we must examine and challenge assumptions of sexuality and gender in health-care practices and systems. Doing this will help all people feel comfort, safety and understanding — in other words, compassion.The Conversation

Phillip Joy, Assistant Professor, Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University; Andrew Thomas, Research assistant, Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, and Megan Aston, Professor, School of Nursing, Dalhousie University

NT5

CNA: From Flat Bay to the Smithsonian

Indigenous artist brings his work to the international stage

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Soon the world will see the work of a Mi’kmaw artist from Flat Bay, NL when it goes on display in the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection.

Nelson White graduated from the Visual Arts program at the Bay St. George Community College – now College of the North Atlantic (CNA). The piece is a portrait of his friend’s father.

“The Painting is called Veteran Elder. It depicts Ellsworth Oakley, a Wampanoag elder and American veteran of the Korean War — who joined up at the age of just 17,” said White. “He’s the father of a friend of mine. The Smithsonian had its eye out for artwork from east coast Indigenous artists, as well as work involving Indigenous military experience, so this was a good fit for them.”

Currently living in St. John’s, NL, White says his work is the contemporary retelling of Indigenous history.

“My work is figurative; displaying natives in a modern setting, telling stories of who we are now,” he said. “There is no real history of Indigenous portraiture, apart from settler representations of ‘the noble savages.’”

He says his work aims to challenge people’s preconceived notions of how Indigenous people throughout the world live.

“My attempt is to step in and show people who exist in the 21st century,” White said. “I want to display natives in a position of beauty and power. It is also the intent to defy the stereotype of want a “native person’ looks like. They are doctors lawyers, musicians and people who are community leaders.”

Founded in 1845, The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with more than 30 million visitors annually.

Growing up on the west coast of the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador, White says he became interested in creating art at a young age.

“Since I’ve been old enough to hold a pencil,” he exclaimed.

To the depths of the sea
A member of the Flat Bay First Nation Band – No’kmaq Village – White is also set to visit the site of the Titanic wreckage this summer.

Along with another Indigenous artist, Alex Antle, White will be part of a group travelling to the area where the Titanic sank off the coast of NL in 1912.

“It’s an initiative of Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services, a company dedicated to developing First Nations seafarers, and OceanGate Expeditions, which is conducting scientific surveys of the Titanic wreck. They put out a call for artists and I applied and was chosen.”

White says he is looking forward to visiting the famed site.

“It will be interesting. There is a lot of history and lore around the Titanic, but I’m interested in working with the Indigenous crew and seeing how they interact on such a large vessel with a science crew, with adventure tourists, etc.”

White also received more good news about his artistic endeavours. He was recently awarded the Excellence in Visual Arts Milestone award from Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador (VANL). The award is given to a visual artist who has had a significant achievement in their career and comes with a $2,000-prize.

When he is not creating art, White enjoys spending time with his family and is appreciative of his NL roots.

“I’m very proud to be from Flat Bay and western Newfoundland.”

For more information about White and his artistry, visit www.nelsonwhiteart.com.

For more information about CNA, visit www.cna.nl.ca.

NT5

GNB: Changes announced to senior government leadership

30 June 2022

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Blaine Higgs announced changes today to the senior ranks of the provincial public service.

Eric Beaulieu becomes the deputy minister of Health.

Jim Mehan, a long-time public servant in the province, becomes the deputy minister of Social Development. He is currently serving as the assistant deputy minister in the department.

Heidi Liston becomes the deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“Moving forward, we know health care is a major concern for our province and Eric Beaulieu will be continuing to lead the work already begun so that New Brunswickers see improved access to primary healthcare,” said Higgs. “Also, by establishing a deputy minister responsible solely for Environment and Climate Change, we will be better able to focus on the issues surrounding climate change and take actions to mitigate the impact on our province.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a complete list of deputy ministers, deputy heads and presidents of Part 1 Crown corporations (* denotes a change or addition):

  • Cheryl Hansen, chief operating officer, clerk of the Executive Council, head of the public service, deputy minister of Finance and Treasury Board, secretary to Treasury Board, and secretary to Cabinet;
  • Louis Léger, deputy minister and chief of staff of the Office of the Premier;
  • Nicolle Carlin, deputy minister of Strategic Initiatives and Communications, Office of the Premier;
  • Cade Libby*, deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, deputy minister of Aboriginal Affairs and president of the Regional Development Corporation;
  • Heidi Liston*, deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change;
  • Ryan Donaghy, deputy minister of Local Government and Local Governance Reform;
  • Cathy LaRochelle, deputy minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries;
  • George Daley, deputy minister of Education and Early Childhood Development (anglophone sector);
  • Marcel Lavoie, deputy minister of Education and Early Childhood Development (francophone sector);
  • Thomas MacFarlane, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development;
  • Eric Beaulieu*, deputy minister of Health;
  • Sadie Perron, deputy minister of Economic Development and Small Business, CEO of Opportunities NB (acting), and deputy minister of Immigration;
  • Daniel Mills, deputy minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour;
  • Michael Comeau, deputy minister of Justice and Public Safety, and deputy Attorney General;
  • Jim Mehan*, deputy minister of Social Development;
  • Yennah Hurley, deputy minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and deputy minister responsible for Women’s Equality;
  • Rob Taylor, deputy minister of Transportation and Infrastructure;
  • Alan Roy, CEO of Service New Brunswick; and
  • Paul Greene, deputy minister of Corporate Communications, Executive Council Office.

Media Contact(s)

Tyler Campbell, corporate communications,
Executive Council
Office, [email protected]

NT5

Abegweit First Nation’s fish hatchery celebrates releasing over a million fish to Island streams – CBC

Jun 30, 2022

Scotchfort facility has been releasing Indigenous fish species since 2012

The fish hatchery at Abegweit First Nation, P.E.I. is celebrating an important milestone: it has now released more than one million fish into Island streams.

Since 2012, the facility on the reserve at Scotchfort has been raising Indigenous fish species like salmon and brook trout. Those juvenile fish are then released to support the recreational fishery — or replenish streams affected by fish kills.

For Todd Knockwood, assistant manager for the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery, the milestone means a lot.

“We really, really, really are extremely happy that we have over a million fish released here on Prince Edward Island,” he said.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-abegweit-fish-hatchery-releases-million-fish-1.6506231

Mi’kmaq chief says Higgs falling short on shale gas consultations with Indigenous groups – CBC

Jun 30, 2022

Premier says he’s had ‘preliminary discussions’ with First Nations

Premier Blaine Higgs says he’s talking to First Nations about a possible revival of shale gas development in New Brunswick, but one Mi’kmaq chief suggests the province is already falling short on its duty to consult Indigenous people.

Natoaganeg First Nation Chief George Ginnish, who co-chairs the Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc. group representing Mi’kmaq communities, first learned of Higgs’s outreach in a news report in May.

“The first I would have seen of that myself would have been in the media, so I’m not sure exactly where that is,” he told CBC News Wednesday.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/shale-gas-first-nations-higgs-1.6505965

Miawpukek preparing for big celebration with a powwow open to all – CBC

Jun 29, 2022

They’ll do whatever it takes to get the jobs done — and usually, it takes long days and long nights.

Even this week, with just days to go, customers could be coming in to place orders, or see what last-minute options are available in store.

In the lead-up to Miawpukek’s annual powwow, the craft makers at the Glenn John Arts & Crafts Centre shift into overdrive.

Needles, thread and beads are flying — and this year, with the community on Newfoundland’s south coast celebrating its first powwow in three years, one that will be open to all, the excitement is even greater.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/miawpukek-powwow-conne-river-25-covid-1.6500736

Government of Canada celebrates opening of Mkwesaqtucampfffk/Cap-Rouge Campground in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

From: Parks Canada

Coastal camping experience along world famous Cabot Trail opens July 2022

June 29, 2022

The Government of Canada is investing in national parks across the country to support sustainable tourism, create jobs in our local communities and help advance the Government of Canada’s efforts to combat climate change.

Today, Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, and Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, formally announced the opening of Cape Breton Highland National Park’s newest visitor offer, Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground. The $7 million project, funded through the Federal Infrastructure Investment Program, offers a brand new coastal camping experience along the world famous Cabot Trail. A community celebration was held by Parks Canada and partners from La Société Saint-Pierre and the Parks Canada-Unama’ki Advisory Committee to mark the occasion.

Pronounced “Mm kwas sock took”, Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground opens to visitors on July 1, 2022, in time for the summer camping season. Visitors to the campground will have a private, backcountry feel, with stunning ocean vistas and views of the highlands and cliffs of the Cabot Trail. Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground offers 47 walk-in sites, including five oTENTiks and six accessible campsites, with treed nooks to create a feeling of remoteness and privacy, with the convenience of front-country camping.

In the design of the campground, Parks Canada integrated innovative climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions, including off-grid solar powered infrastructure and the use of native vegetation to build stable, climate resilient slopes. Climate change impacts to Parks Canada-administered places are complex, and the Agency is committed to integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation actions into its work. This investment ensures the quality and sustainability of the campground’s infrastructure and an enhanced visitor experience.

Investments in visitor facilities, such as Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground, ensure high-quality, meaningful, experiences for people coming to Canada’s national parks and historic sites. Investing in these places helps support the health of our natural heritage and creates jobs in our local communities. The Government of Canada is working towards net-zero emissions by 2050 to create a cleaner, healthier future for Canadians.

Visitors can reserve their campsite or oTENTik on the Parks Canada Reservation Service. As the country’s largest tourism provider, Parks Canada is committed to providing exceptional and meaningful experiences at iconic destinations like Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

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Quotes

“The Government of Canada is committed to commemorating our shared difficult histories and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The aptly named Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground honours the expropriated Acadian community and the Mi’kmaq connections to the region. Through infrastructure investments, the Government of Canada is protecting and conserving national treasures, while supporting local economies and contributing to growth in the tourism sector. This substantial federal investment and green infrastructure will ensure this park continues to offer a sustainable, safe, and breath-taking experience to Cape Bretoners and visitors for decades to come.”

Jaime Battiste
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria

“The Government of Canada is investing in sustainable tourism, supporting local economies and mitigating the effects of climate change. I am thrilled to join the community and Parks Canada partners to celebrate the opening of the new Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground and to welcome visitors from all over the world to experience the unique coastal landscape of Cape Breton and our Canadian heritage. Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground offers a wonderful opportunity to share with visitors the beauty, history, and culture of Cape Breton Highlands National Park and benefit the region’s tourism offer.”

Mike Kelloway
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso

“Sharing the Mi’kmaw perspective enriches and enhances any story told about the landscape of Nova Scotia. We are proud that both the Mi’kmaq and Acadian historical and cultural connections to these lands are being shared with visitors to the Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground. The collaborative efforts of our Mi’kmaq-Parks Canada Unama’ki Advisory Committee, and community of partners have been an integral part of how this important work has unfolded.”

Chief Wilbert Marshall
Lead, Culture, Heritage & Archaeology Portfolios for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs

“La Société Saint-Pierre, on behalf of the community of Chéticamp, especially the expropriated families and their descendants, is pleased to have this part of our troubled history told and forever remembered for future generations. This beautiful location was the home of many of our Acadian families, and we are proud to honour them today on this official opening. It is our hope that this is but the beginning of many more collaborative projects for many years to come.”

Napoléon Chiasson
President, La Société Saint-Pierre

Quick facts

  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a gateway to adventure in northern Cape Breton Island. Visitors can enjoy hiking, cycling, swimming, ocean kayaking, picnics in quaint coves, and experience the friendly local culture in the communities that surround the park. Parks Canada is looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Canada and abroad this 2022 season.
  • Sustainability and inclusivity are built into the campground design, which features an off-grid solar system, providing most of the campground’s power, as well as accessible washroom buildings, campsites, oTENTiks, kitchen shelters and facilities.
  • In August 2015, flash flooding triggered breaches in the Chéticamp River watershed, causing significant damage to the Chéticamp campground. The risk of future flood events determined that the lower Chéticamp campground be closed and the site relocated. The Trout Brook (Ruisseau des Maurice) day-use area was then selected as the location for a new campground.
  • The Mkwesaqtuk/Cap-Rouge Campground honours Indigenous connections to this region and commemorates the Acadian peoples whose lands were expropriated for the creation of the national park in 1936. Parks Canada collaborated with members of La Société Saint-Pierre and the Parks Canada-Unama’ki Advisory Committee in selecting a name that will encourage Canadians to learn about the full scope of our shared history.
  • The campground will provide visitors the opportunity to learn about Indigenous connections to the region, providing interpretation panels in Mi’kmaw, French and English. Parks Canada has worked closely with partners, La Société Saint-Pierre, to ensure visitors have the opportunity to learn about the rich Acadian cultural heritage by constructing the interpretation house in the Acadian style and offering interpretation programs.
  • Mkwesaqtuk is a Mi’kmaq word that describes a place or feature that distinctly changes to red. This Mi’kmaq expression would have been used to describe the coastal area that Acadians later called Cap-Rouge, on the western side of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The Mi’kmaw and French names capture the intent and spirit of Etuaptamumk, also known as the Two-Eyed Seeing approach, which combines Mi’kmaq and Western perspectives. The Mi’kmaw-French name of the campground honours the history of the location, and offers opportunities for celebrating Mi’kmaq and Acadian cultural and linguistic connections.

Associated links

Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
[email protected]

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
[email protected]

Brenna Ward
A/Public Relations and Communications Officer
Parks Canada
250-299-3957
[email protected]

Crystal Dorey
Communications Director
Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn
902-843-3880
[email protected]

Lisette Aucoin-Bourgeois
Executive Director
La Société Saint-Pierre
902-224-0234
[email protected]

NT5

Supporting Economic Development Initiatives in Labrador

June 29, 2022

The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, delivered the keynote address today at Expo Labrador 2022 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

While at the conference, Minister Parsons announced nearly $141,000 in support for five recent economic development projects.  Support for these projects demonstrates a focus on small businesses and economic development partners in Labrador, and contributes to the Provincial Government’s commitment to strengthen the province’s economic foundation.

  • DJ Group of Companies, owner and operator of the Atsanik Hotel in Nain and the Amaguk Hotel in Hopedale, received $45,761 to advance operational improvements in its two properties.
  • Nunacor, which assists with business development opportunities on behalf of NunatuKavut, and helps generate sustainable dividends for reinvestment in its communities, received $41,900 for marketing activities, including a new website and branding.
  • Located on the scenic Pinware River in southern Labrador, Big Land Fishing Lodge is an adventure tourism company that caters to salmon and trout fishers. It received $27,647 to advance a series of marketing initiatives.
  • Presented by the Labrador West Chamber of Commerce, MINEx Symposium in September 2022 will focus on regional, national and international development, diversification and innovation of the mining industry in Labrador West. To support the delivery of the conference and related marketing materials, it received $21,044.
  • The Labrador Research Forum, which is a biennial forum that highlights knowledge, experiences and innovative research activities conducted in Labrador, received $4,450

Quotes

“Our government is pleased to be a partner in supporting economic development initiatives across Labrador, aimed at strengthening the region’s economy. It is great to be in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, surrounded by so many creative innovators and industry leaders, to celebrate the many opportunities that lay ahead in Labrador.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology

“The Provincial Government is pleased to invest in people and communities in the Big Land. These projects demonstrate that small businesses and organizations in Labrador are capitalizing on opportunities to grow the economy in Labrador.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs and Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation

“This has been a very positive project for our company, and we anticipate a great deal of new business initiatives from their findings. Thank you once again to the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology for their support.”
Donna Stokes- Lane
Project Manager, DJ Group of Companies

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Learn more
Regional Economic Development

Business Development Support Program

Atsanik Hotel

Amaguk Hotel

Nunacor

Big Land Fishing Lodge

MINEx Symposium

Labrador Research Forum

Media contacts
Eric Humber
Industry, Energy and Technology
709-729-5777, 725-9655
[email protected]

Allan Bock
Labrador Affairs Secretariat
Office of Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation
709-896-4449, 899-6446
[email protected]

Donna Stokes-Lane
DJ Group of Companies
[email protected]

NT5

Premiers Discuss Rising Costs of Living, Healthcare, and Atlantic Priorities

June 29, 2022

Atlantic Premiers met today to continue working together to better manage health care, address the impact of inflation on the region’s economy and identify opportunities to enhance energy security and self-sufficiency to meet the region’s long-term needs.

As Chair of the Council of Atlantic Premiers, Premier Tim Houston of Nova Scotia welcomed Premier Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick, Premier Dennis King of Prince Edward Island, and Premier Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador to Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Premiers acknowledged British Columbia Premier Horgan’s contribution as Chair of the Council of the Federation and wished him well on his recently announced retirement.

Premiers expressed solidarity with Ukraine and its people, who continue to suffer the effects of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of their country. All four Atlantic provinces welcomed Ukrainian refugees, and look forward to the positive contribution they will make to the region’s economy and social fabric.

Premiers noted a recent report by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council shows the strength of the region’s economy, though labour shortages and affordability present significant challenges to residents and businesses. Premiers discussed ongoing supply chain interruptions due to global events, the impacts of climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These events are creating challenges for Atlantic Canadians in accessing affordable food and housing, as well as the impact of rising fuel costs. While global issues are contributing to these pressures, Premiers remain committed to addressing affordability, increasing the housing supply and improving food security for the region.

Premiers discussed moving forward with actions under the Atlantic Health Care Accord including engagement of Atlantic colleges responsible for physician licensing to work urgently to address the barriers facing the recruitment and retention of international health care workers, and to allow physicians to move seamlessly within the region.

Premiers also renewed their commitment to action through the Council of the Federation, where Canadian Premiers are calling for a revitalized health funding partnership with the federal government. Premiers continue to call on the federal government to increase their share of health funding from 22% to 35% through an increase in the Canada Health Transfer. This increased funding would have a significant impact on the ability of provinces to provide quality health care services and respond to the strain on health care systems.

Immigration and the retention of international students who choose to come to Atlantic Canada to further their education are critical to the continued growth of the region. Atlantic Premiers discussed Atlantic immigration policy priorities and urged the federal government to work with them to enhance the region’s capacity to develop, deploy and retain a skilled workforce. Premiers are committed to work with the federal government to address labour market needs and address barriers to immigration that will strengthen Atlantic Canada’s position as a destination of choice for immigrants.

The global situation has brought attention on Canada’s dependence on imports to meet our energy needs. The Atlantic provinces are uniquely placed to become a hub for export to international markets in traditional and sustainable energy sectors. Atlantic provinces will continue to work together to demonstrate leadership in the pursuit of emission reductions, clean power generation and transmission, and future-oriented energy development. In particular, Premiers discussed potential renewable energy opportunities, including hydrogen development and use, as well as wind, solar and tidal power, and small modular nuclear reactors. Atlantic Premiers acknowledged the Atlantic Loop will benefit the region but concerns regarding the costs and timelines were expressed. The loop will not fully satisfy the region’s future energy needs, which will require multiple energy sources. Energy planning will be required to improve affordability and while balancing environmental goals. The Atlantic provinces remain four willing partners; they call for further clarity and commitment from the federal government to support these major investments and to meet federal climate targets and timelines. Premiers highlighted the urgency for this clarity and the importance of maintaining reasonable and fair electricity rates.

Continued collaboration with the federal government is key to achieving national and local emissions targets, as well as working towards future sustainable development goals. Premiers look forward to upcoming Atlantic Growth Strategy discussions with federal ministers on July 24-25, 2022, in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Atlantic Immigration Program and the Clean Power Road Map for Atlantic Canada and Atlantic Loop initiative are examples of collaboration under the Strategy. Premiers look forward to renewing this partnership in areas such as immigration and workforce development, health innovation, infrastructure, climate change and clean growth, and trade and investment.

Premiers noted the role aquaculture plays in Atlantic Canada, and across Canada, in creating sustainable economic opportunities for many rural, coastal, and Indigenous communities. The ongoing changes to the federal approach to aquaculture in British Columbia were also discussed. While the federal government has responsibility in managing Canada’s fisheries, the aquaculture sector is well managed under provincial regulation in this region. Premiers are wholeheartedly committed to maintaining the existing system for licensing and overseeing aquaculture operations in Atlantic Canada.

Premiers announced the Atlantic Vision Conference, to be hosted by Premier King in partnership with the Public Policy Forum on October 13 and 14, 2022, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The 2022 Atlantic Vision Conference marks the 25th anniversary of the 1997 conference of the same name. It will provide an opportunity for leaders from various sectors to discuss how to shape the Atlantic economy, society, and environment to be more sustainable, inclusive, equitable, and diverse over the next 25 years.

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Catherine Klimek, Office of the Premier, Nova Scotia, 902-717-1020
Nicolle Carlin, Office of the Premier, New Brunswick, 506-453-7494
Adam Ross, Office of the Premier, Prince Edward Island, 902-368-4400
Meghan McCabe, Office of the Premier, Newfoundland and Labrador, 709-729-3960

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