Renewed support to law enforcement will further enhance and protect Nova Scotia’s quality of life. Funding to address youth crime, child pornography, and illegal drugs will help keep homes and streets safer. ADDRESSING YOUTH CRIMEThe province will invest $450,000 to create a Youth Attendance Centre designed to provide an improved response to youth crime. The centre will provide intense support and supervision for young offenders in the community. PROTECTING CHILDRENAdditional police officers will be hired to address Internet — and technology-based offences. This $330,000 investment will be critical in addressing child pornography and will allow for better tracking of serial offenders. TAKING ACTION AGAINST DRUGSAlong with legislation that will allow Nova Scotia to control the distribution of products used in the manufacturing and production of illicit drugs, $685,000 will be provided to law enforcement to improve co-ordination among the RCMP and municipal police. The improved links will enhance policing efforts against organized crime, as part of our $6-million commitment to Criminal Intelligence Service Nova Scotia. SAFE HOMES, SAFE STREETSA $540,000-investment will create a Public Safety Investigative Unit under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act. This unit will target criminal activities such as the illegal sale of drugs and alcohol, prostitution, and illegal gaming. Offenders will be under more intense supervision with $400,000 invested in an electronic supervision program that uses global positioning system (GPS) technology. It’s a Canadian first — and allows Nova Scotia to more closely monitor offenders on house arrest or those serving conditional sentences. Another $200,000 will help police monitor bail compliance and ensure more aggressive monitoring of offenders in the community. LEGAL AIDAn additional $700,00 will be invested in legal aid funding to allow for speedier trials and resolution of issues in the courts. -30- Note: For further 2006-07 budget information, see the Department of Finance website at www.gov.ns.ca/finance
VICTORIA — British Columbia’s minority New Democrat government is embarking on a social spending program in a budget update that includes hiring 3,500 teachers, and building 1,700 affordable rental units and 2,000 homes for the homeless.Finance Minister Carole James says her government’s budget aims to make life more affordable for residents while setting the course for a strong economy that works for all and not just the few.The budget update forecasts a surplus of $246 million this year and economic growth of 2.9 per cent, up from the 2.1 per cent projected in last February’s budget.James says the housing initiatives in the update, including $208 million for affordable rental spaces and $291 million for the homes for the homeless, are the first steps in a long-term housing plan that will be detailed in the February budget.The minister says the budget includes tax measures that lowers corporate income tax rate for small business to two per cent from 2.5 per cent, but increases the general corporate tax rate to 12 per cent from 11 per cent.James says the government is making good on its election promises to cut medical services plan premiums by 50 per cent on Jan. 1 and increase income and disability rates by $100 a month.