Current majority government:
Premier: Stephen McNeil (Liberal government since 2013, re-elected in 2017)
Number of Members of Legislative Assembly in NS: 51
Progressive Conservative: 17
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Environmental stance of majority party:
During the 2017 election, the premier of NS, Stephen McNeil, stated that a sustainable and green economy is a priority for the province. A cap and trade system aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions was promised to fight climate change (4).
Percentage of 2020/2021 budget estimated to be allocated to the environment:
Total budget: $11.5 billion
Total allocated to the environment: $42.492 million
Percentage: 0.368% (13)
Main provincial-level legislation for environment protection:
-Environment Act (1994-1995): Environmental laws of the province, to encourage and promote the protection, enhancement and prudent use of the environment
-Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (2007): An Act respecting environmental goals and sustainable prosperity
-Importation of Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater Prohibition Act (2013): Act to ban the importation of hydraulic fracturing wastewater
-Non-essential Pesticides Control Act (2010): Act to prohibit the sale and use of non-essential pesticides
-Water Resources Protection Act (2000): Act to protect the water resources of NS
-Voluntary Carbon Emissions Offset Fund act (2010): Act to establish the NS voluntary carbon emissions offset fund
-Wilderness Areas Protection Act (1998): An act to protect wilderness areas in NS (7)
Specific government-based environmental programs:
-Waste Dangerous and Non-Dangerous Goods Temporary -Storage facility (Feb 2020)
-Asbestos Waste Disposal Cell Project (July 2019)
-Ellershouse Wind Farm Expansion Project (Feb 2017)
-Envirosoil Facility – Addition of Stabilization & Solidification Technology Project (Dec 2016)
-Liverpool Wind Farm Project (Oct 2015) - (8)
Next election date:
NS is the only province in Canada with no election date, the maximum time a government can hold office is 5 years with an extra 40 days (5).
NS has pledged to ban single-use plastic checkout bags in a year, passing legislation in September 2019 (10).
What makes this province different?
NS has introduced new environmental targets that are of the most aggressive in the country through the Sustainable Development Goals Act. The target for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is to reduce 2005 GHG levels by 53% by 2030. The goal is to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050 (12).
Efficiency NS is Canada’s first energy efficiency utility, helping Nova Scotia citizens complete energy efficiency projects. This has saved energy costs and reduced the amount of CO2 emissions (11).
Sea level rise and increased risk of flooding threaten the well-being of the 60% of Nova Scotians who live within 20 km of the coast (14).
Increased frequency of severe weather events will cause even higher precipitation levels (15).
Warming of the ocean is changing the distribution of fish populations on the Scotian Shelf. Cold water species like northern shrimp and snow crab have begun to disappear, posing a challenge for local fisheries (16).
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