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Morning Fix: NDP Brings in Patient Safety Act, NSNU Calls Work Conditions Unsafe

The federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the Status of Women are currently meeting at the Halifax Harbourfront Marriott for their 30th annual meeting ... of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the Status of Women.

Their conference wraps up at around 11:30, when federal Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose and Nova Scotia's Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More will hold a brief media availability.

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald will hold a bill briefing at 11 a.m. at One Government Place. As always, the content of the bill will not be released until the minister introduces it in the house. But, as always, the name gives us a bit of a hint – the “Patient Safety Improvement and Accountability Act.” Which actually sounds kind of substantial. Which would be a nice change.

The House of Assembly sits from noon to 10 p.m., with Question Period getting underway after the usual business of resolutions, introductions, etc.

Immediately following QP, the legislature's Law Amendments Committee will meet to consider 12 bills. Three have compelled members of the public to come down to the legislature to offer opinions: Bill No. 17 (Financial Measures Act 2012), Bill No. 30 (Promotion of Respectful and Responsible Relationships Act), and Bill No. 41 (Grandparents' Rights Affirmation Act).

You'd never know it from the name, but Bill No. 30 is actually government's response (such as it is) to the cyberbullying task force's report. I've also heard that there will be a bit of a demonstration at Province House over Bill No. 41. We'll see how that plays out.

You can find the full order sheet here, and follow the proceedings live courtesy of LegTV.

For the second day in a row, the Nova Scotia Nurses Union is taking a shot at the provincial government. Yesterday, NSNU President Janet Hazelton said Premier Darrell Dexter's comments on raises and layoffs jeopardized her union's collective bargaining process before they even got to the table – going so far as to suggest Dexter was floating the idea as a threat to public sector unions.

Today, Hazelton says that the province's Collaborative Emergency Centres – a big part of the Dexter government's overall health care plan – are breaching safe staffing standards. From the release:

“I asked the Minister and Deputy Minister (of the Department of Health and Wellness) to review the staffing model established for these CECs,” said Hazelton. “The Nurses’ Union, on behalf of our members who have voiced their concerns about the CECs, is asking for appropriate staffing levels to better ensure safe practice.”

Instead of one nurse and one primary care paramedic, Hazelton wants to see the province up that to two nurses and one primary care paramedic. It's a good thing, too. I thought we'd have to go a while without hearing about labour unrest.

And that will take me to my weekend. Enjoy Friday, suckers!

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