As Nova Scotia's Culture Minister, I meet talented and diverse people from all backgrounds, ages and interests. This February, I will be attending a variety of events during Nova Scotia's 28th annual African Heritage Month. Celebrations will pay tribute to Unsung Heroes: Men who Make a Difference. In 2010 we celebrated our Leading Ladies, Lasting Legacies, and in 2012 we are following suit by recognizing men who have a positive impact on their neighbourhoods.
Lower Sackville's own Joel Marsman is one of the men being recognized during African Heritage Month. Over the course of his career, Joel has had an impact on occupational health and safety practices across the province. An active community member, Joel volunteers at Emmanuel Baptist Church and mentors youth and young professionals. I am very pleased he is being recognized as a community leader.
The Sackville Public Library will also be taking part in the celebrations on Feb. 4 with their event African Dance and Drum. You can find out more about this event by visiting http://www.gov.ns.ca/ansa/
In addition to my work as Culture Minister, I am busy working with my colleagues on building Nova Scotia's spring budget. Two years ago, our Back to Balance consultation reached out to Nova Scotians from all walks of life to come up with a strong and fair plan that ensures government lives within its means. You can continue to provide feedback with Back to Balance's interactive website. Backtobalance.ca allows visitors to create their own provincial budget. You can adjust revenues and expenditures, and see the real-time impact of your choices on the bottom line. It's a great educational tool and another way to have your voice heard.
With winter upon us, I am looking forward to seeing more of you at our skating rinks and ski hills. When we cross paths, do not hesitate to stop me and share your thoughts and ideas on how to continue to make the lives of Nova Scotians better. You can also always contact my office by calling 864-0396.