Recently my colleagues in the government caucus spent two days here in Eastern Passage visiting with local business leaders and entrepreneurs and planning for the spring session of the legislature. This time of collaboration gave me a chance to look back on what we have accomplished as a government while still looking ahead at how we can make life better in Nova Scotia.
I believe some of the most important progress we have made is in health care. Generations of past Liberal and Tory governments stood by while health care services in our province took more and more out of the provincial budget, but offered less and less of what people needed. Whether it was the Liberal's slashing of nursing positions in the 1990's or the chronic emergency room closures under the Tories in the 2000s, yesterday's health care system was in need of its own care.
Today we see innovation and real measurable improvements in the health care system. Our government began to address the issue of emergency room closures and timely care with the creation of the Collaborative Emergency Centre - the first of its kind in Canada. This approach is indeed collaborative, bringing together professionals such as nurse practitioners and emergency medical technicians - the people who have the skills necessary to provide care when and where it is needed.
Our government's plan, Better Care Sooner, will continue to address the long-standing problems of emergency care with thoughtful improvements for future generations.
Whenever I meet with people in our area, the conversation inevitably turns toward jobs and the economy of our province. For years Nova Scotians had become accustomed to governments that sat by and waited for jobs to come to them, watching as young people looked elsewhere for new, exciting possibilities.
I am proud our government has created ways to help young people secure a successful future here at home. There are programs for entrepreneurs, those focussed on innovation and productivity, and students who want to explore the work force through co-operative education placement. These programs and many more are available because of government's jobsHere plan. By bringing together departments, agencies and partners we have begun to think strategically about creating good jobs and growing our economy.
With new possibilities on our horizon, such as the Lower Churchill deal and the Irving Shipbuilding contract, the collaborative thinking that underlines the jobsHere strategy will maximize job creation. As the mother of teenagers, I am excited about the future, about their future, and what they will be able to do with their tomorrow.
If you would like more information about Better Care Sooner, jobsHere or any of the programs I have mentioned, please contact me. If you have ideas about how to make life better for tomorrow, I would like to hear from you.