Residents of eight communities in Kings County and Shubenacadie in Hants County will soon have improved water and wastewater systems thanks to investments from the Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. Federal and provincial funding of almost $4 million was announced today, June 28, by the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia. The municipalities will fund an additional $2 million towards the balance of the project costs. As a result of these projects, almost 2,700 households will have improved drinking water. Many residents will also have improved fire protection and water-treatment quality. The projects in Shubenacadie, New Minas, Canning and Port Williams will help those communities meet the new provincial drinking water standards. Most of the work centres on improving the quality of drinking water, and specific projects include a new reservoir, watermains and water-quality monitoring equipment. Wolfville, Kentville and Hantsport are also focused on improving the quality of drinking water. The projects include replacing watermains and sanitary sewers, as well as installing or replacing storm sewers. The Kingsport project will connect 100 households to the municipal water system, and includes a new well and the installation of watermains. “Community infrastructure, such as improving our drinking water and wastewater systems, is a priority for government,” said Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “These projects will help communities meet new water regulations and contribute to their quality of life, as well as protecting the environment.” “The federal government is getting things done for the residents of Kings and Hants counties by investing almost $2 million in important infrastructure projects,” said Senator Donald Oliver, on behalf of Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “We know that by joining forces with provincial and municipal governments, we can find creative solutions to help communities build the infrastructure they need to support a high quality of life.” The Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund supports community infrastructure improvements, such as water, wastewater and solid-waste management. “Nova Scotia municipalities have substantial infrastructure needs, and we’re pleased the federal and provincial governments are contributing,” said Russell Walker, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. “These projects help protect our citizens and the environment, and they’re important to the future of our communities.” Today’s investment is part of the $133-million, six-year Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, which is administered by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities are members of the program management committee.
Speaking on the legal action that can be taken against perpetrators spreading hate speech on social media, Indatissa said that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that no person shall propagate war or advocate national racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. “Whether it’s community A, B, C or D, it is wrong. The same rules must apply to everyone. As a multi-ethnic country we must learn to respect each other and live peacefully,” he said. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has warned the public against using social media platforms such as Facebook to spread hatred targeting communities.President of the BASL Kalinga Indatissa was quoted in a press statement today as saying that there are certain groups operating with vested interests to instigate racial tensions. He noted that there is a misconception in the local Police division that a publication on social media cannot be dealt with, but that is wrong.“Because similarly, if a person is found guilty for publishing or making oral defamation against a party or community, a Facebook post is equal to a publication and therefore, we can bring people to justice under the ICCPR. The only difference is the method of proof, and as a practice the relevant authorities should start filing test cases,” he said. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the ICCPR on 15th December 1966 and the Act came into effect on 23rd March 1976. Sri Lanka acceded to the Covenant on 11th June 1980.Indatissa explained that when a country becomes a signatory to the Covenant under the United Nations, there is a requirement for the country to draft its domestic law to suit the Covenant and Sri Lanka passed the ICCPR act in 2007, recognising fundamental rights of all Sri Lankans.“I firmly believe that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic country, at least for the last 700 years, and it is a fact that no one can deny. We are all one and if we are all one, we must learn to live either through the operation of law or through our own human conduct,” concluded Indatissa, citing that the media has a huge role to play in any nation and the role of the media is to bring people together in the context of a multi-ethnic society.