Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Signs of Things to Come?

Even with our new NDP government officially sworn in here in Nova Scotia, I was finding it hard to get too excited. Perhaps I have become more cynical than even I had realized. Perhaps I was just politicked out.

And although I still wouldn't put myself in the category of "excited", there have been a couple of neat things a'happening recently.

For example, I was very pleasantly surprised to see this story concerning the provincial government's initiative to provide "eligible caregivers" in Nova Scotia with financial assistance to the tune of $400 per month to "recognize their important role and support their efforts to assist loved ones and friends". Unless and until one has been there, it's difficult to realize just how draining and demanding that role can be; physically, mentally and financially.

As I was to note that, in my absence, the Province has finally gotten around to launching the long-promised HealthLink 811 program which will enable Nova Scotians to be connected 24/7 via telephone with "an experinced registered nurse" who, we are assured, will be able to "assess the urgency of the caller's symptoms or health condition and advise them on the next steps, such as appropriate self-care, or to seek services from a family physician or another health-care provider, or to visit an emergency department". Meaning it looks like Nova Scotia has finally reached the cutting edge of healthcare given that similar programs have been available for quite a while in other provinces. It's about time, eh?

Last, but certainly not least, our newly-minted Nova Scotia government has lowered the amount of the application fee under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act from $25 to $5. Many of the fees under the Act were dramatically increased when the Conservatives were in power and, despite their own recommendations to the contrary, they were never dropped. Hopefully this will at least somewhat lessen Nova Scotia's dubious distinction as having the highest fees fees in the nation for access to information requests and appeals.

But more importantly, hopefully all of this is but a sign of more good things to come. Hey, a girl can always dream, can't she?


Pogue said...

I hope your NDP does well. We desperately need a viable third party here. Set a good example for us, will you?

MMC said...

I'm not so sure how well that would work for you, Pogue. The NDP are to the left of the Canadian Liberal party, you see. ;-)

For me, although I have pretty well given up the party federally, I'm still a big fan/supporter provincially.

Pogue said...

I understand that, and I'm not speaking specifically of the NDP's platform, but rather the principle of an alternative to the two thoroughly entrenched and self serving parties we have here now.