About Kings North by Jim Morton
Kings North MLA Jim Morton. K. Starratt
Over the past few weeks, the NDP has been busy finding ways to make life better for Nova Scotians, like we promised to, after getting our books back to balance.
Children need a nutritious start to every day if they're to grow up healthy and be successful in school. That’s why, on Aug. 9, we announced that when school starts this fall, a new charitable organization will help children get a good breakfast so they can focus on learning. Nourish Nova Scotia will distribute provincial funding, and the additional money it raises, to school boards for nutrition programs, including the provincial breakfast program. We’ve committed $750,000 a year to the program.
Making repairs on your home can be expensive and almost impossible on a fixed income. On Aug. 13, the NDP announced an extra $1 million a year for the Seniors Citizens Assistance Program to help seniors address this issue. This program helps Nova Scotians 65 or older who wish to remain in their own homes but cannot afford to carry out necessary repairs.
At that announcement, we heard from Dorothy Miles, who is 94. This program helped Dorothy replace the roof on her house, purchase a new overhang, a new oil tank and basement door. It’s great news that this investment will allow more seniors like Dorothy to access such services. To hear Dorothy’s story, visit http://nsndp.ca/seniors/help-more-seniors.
Our young people are facing increased social challenges and they, along with their parents and teachers, need our support. To help meet that need, our premier and the minister of education announced $14 million to help students, including $4.6 million to hire more guidance counsellors. The other $9.4 million will be used to hire mental health clinicians and youth health centre co-ordinators.
This spring, the NDP committed to increasing dental coverage from nine to 13 years. On Aug. 16, we announced even more children will have access to basic dental care by expanding coverage, adding an additional year of coverage in each of the next four years. This means that children up to age 17 will be eligible.
The last Liberal government scaled this program back so that it only covered children up to age nine. The Conservatives had 10 years in government to expand dental services, but never did. Understanding that oral health is such an important part of overall health, I’m very pleased that children in Nova Scotia will be able to benefit from these programs and that families will be able to save that extra bit of money.
Investing in our children, families, and seniors is the right thing to do. I’m proud of these investments, and I hope you will be too.