Provincial Issues--February 2017

Department of Business Rural High Speed Internet Stakeholder Sessions

The Department of Business would like to provide an opportunity for municipalities to receive an update on activities related to Rural High Speed Internet Projects.

The Department of Business will be hosting two sessions on the following dates:

  • March 6th from 1:30 to 3:30 at NSCC in Truro, 36th Arthur Street. (Salon C, Cafeteria)
  • March 7th from 10am to 12pm at NSCC Waterfront 80 Mawiomi Pl, Dartmouth

The Department will provide updates on the following project elements:

  • Municipal and Community Group funding
  • Brightstar middle-mile strategy development
  • Federal Funding – Connect to Innovate
  • CRTC basic telecom services ruling

There will be a teleconference option provided for each session.

Please RSVP to Monique Arsenault by email at or by phone at 902-424-4120 by March 1, 2017. Please indicate which session you will attend and if you will attend in person or via teleconference.

Province Commits to More Access to Information

The Province continues to improve access to information for Nova Scotians through the launch of a website for submitting requests and reviewing freedom of information.

By visiting, Nova Scotians will be able to submit a request, monitor the progress of the application, receive responses and pay fees online. They will still have the option of paper requests that will continue to be processed.

Nova Scotia is the third province to post Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests online.

This new option for Nova Scotians builds on past successes that improved the response time to freedom of information requests from 78 per cent completed within 30 days in 2014 to 84 per cent in 2016.

Government has also increased its efforts to improve transparency by:

  • launching an open data site
  • posting ministerial expenses
  • posting information on forest harvest sites
  • posting information on how many people are waiting for long-term care beds
  • posting new information on the Department of Business accountability website.

Under the new disclosure site, completed Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests must meet criteria to be eligible for posting. For example:

  • personal or confidential business information will not be eligible to be released online
  • applicants will receive the response first and seven days later, the response will be posted publicly
  • the type of information posted online will depend on criteria set by Information Access and Privacy Services,


Change to Liquor Licensing Regulations Cuts Red Tape for Restaurants

Effective January 24, restaurant patrons will be able to order up to two alcoholic drinks without ordering food. Until now, customers had to order food to be served an alcoholic drink or move to the restaurant's designated lounge area, if one existed.

This change only applies to restaurants that hold a valid liquor licence.

This announcement is part of Red Tape Awareness Week. The government is working to make Nova Scotia stronger by investing in infrastructure and innovation, and cutting red tape to help businesses grow their business - and the economy.

Nova Scotia - One Year of Open Data

Nova Scotians are using data to create new opportunities and innovations while government continues to make more information available.

Government is marking the first anniversary of its open data portal by making more than 50 new and refreshed data collections available to the public on February 7. This brings the total number of datasets publicly released over the past year to nearly 400.

The open data portal presents information in an accessible, easy-to-work-with format. Among the new datasets added on February 7 are:

  • provincial immigration nominee program statistics, 2012-2015
  • community and family services program access
  • African Nova Scotian family names
  • No. 2 Construction Battalion nominal roll
  • farm registrations
  • Nova Scotia Museum locations
  • funding programs, grants and awards
  • employment service centre locations
  • school boards and public school locations

Nova Scotia launched the open data portal to give free, easy access to a wealth of government information. The portal was expanded several times over the past year to include data collections, high-resolution 3D maps and some information previously only available for a fee.

The portal has received about 300,000 page views and 8,000 downloads. The most accessed datasets include public service information, historical vital statistics and environmental monitoring reports. The site has logged visitors from all over the world and more than 60 per cent of visitors return.

The website address is