All public schools in the province will be shut down on Monday for students calling it an unsafe environment. Teachers are expected to report to work as usual. Education minister Karen Casey announced the decision at a press conference at 11:00 a.m. Casey added the move is not to lock out teachers. Casey went on to say the legislation that will be tabled on Monday is designed to get students back in school as quickly as possible. The act known as the Teachers’ Professional Agreement Act (2016) will adopt the tentative agreement reached by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the government on September 2, 2016 and will extend until July 2019. The legislation would remove some of the union’s ability to work-to-rule. Casey added when the legislation passes teachers will be back to work. Premier Stephen McNeil announced the legislature will be recalled on Monday for introducing emergency legislation. Teachers across the province were expected to begin their work-to-rule mandate on Monday morning.
Latest News from The Coast…
The price of gas went up, overnight. Gas jumped by 1.7 cents and a litre of regular gas now goes for a minimum of $1.06.3 cents in Cape Breton. Diesel went up slightly by six-tenths of a cent and now costs a minimum of $1.04.6 cents a litre on the Island.
Weather conditions have delayed Marine Atlantic’s ferry crossings from North Sydney.
The Crown Corporation says last night’s crossing well as ones scheduled for this morning and tonight won’t leave until 11:45 tomorrow morning, weather permitting.
There’s now a gale warning in effect for the Cabot Strait.
We don’t yet have gas price predictions, this week. However, the price of gas in New Brunswick went up by 2.3 cents a litre, last night. Diesel there jumped by 1.8 cents. The current minimum price for a litre of regular gas in Cape Breton is $104.6 cents a litre. Diesel now goes for a minimum of 1.04 cents on the Island.
Auditor General Michael Pickup says the province has no plan to quickly manage an emergency response if something should happen to the Canso Causeway. Pickup cites the only link between Cape Breton and the mainland as an example of a lack of risk assessments for government assets in his November report. He also takes aim at the Department of Education’s process for building new schools. Pickup says the Department does not have an established long-term capital planning process in place. He adds a new $21 million school has been approved for Eastern Passage despite no analysis supporting it. He also says four schools were approved by Cabinet, despite being ranked behind other unapproved projects on committee assessments.