HALIFAX – Cellphone users in Nova Scotia will have broader protection when a new federal Wireless Code applies to all cellphone contracts on June 3, 2015.
Currently, the federal Wireless Code only applies to contracts that start on or after Dec. 1, 2013. In June, it will apply to all cellphone contracts, no matter when they began. Because of this, provincial provisions, which only apply to contracts made on or after May 1, 2013, will no longer be needed, and will be repealed when the federal code covers all cellphone contracts.
Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey introduced amendments to the Consumer Protection Act on Thursday which will allow the cellphone legislation to be repealed and amend the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act to preserve protections against cyberbullying.
The federal Wireless Code covers areas addressed in the provincial legislation with a few updates, which include:
-- allowing customers to have a 15-day trial period to ensure the service meets their needs
-- providing caps on monthly charges: $100 for roaming and $50 for overage charges
-- rules governing prepaid service contracts
-- requiring companies to allow customers to unlock their phones at a specified price
The cyberbullying provision will move to the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, helping the Department of Justice's cyber safety initiatives.
Cellphone service providers will continue to provide educational materials to customers that support responsible cellphone use.
Nova Scotians will be protected under provincial cellphone rules until June, when the federal Wireless Code applies to all contracts.
HALIFAX – Nova Scotians who need help with home heating costs this winter can apply for the government's heating rebate program.
The 2014-15 Heating Assistance Rebate Program will launch on Thursday, Oct. 30, and will provide funding to thousands of Nova Scotians for essential household heating costs.
"We recognize the financial costs associated with home heating during the winter months in Nova Scotia," said Mark Furey, Minister of Service Nova Scotia. "We want to help, and this rebate is one opportunity to allow us to do just that."
Last year's program provided assistance to 46,600 Nova Scotians. The rebate provides up to $200 to help with the cost of purchasing oil, natural gas, wood, wood pellets, propane, electricity, or coal. To qualify, applicants must be a household with a net annual income of $42,000 or less or a single person earning $27,000 or less annually.
The government will send out pre-completed application forms to those who received a rebate last year. Applicants are asked to review the application and ensure it is up-to-date, and are reminded that they must continue to meet program requirements in order to receive the rebate.
Applications are also available at all Access Nova Scotia centres, MLA offices, Department of Community Services' offices, online at www.homeheatinghelp.ca, or by calling 1-800-670-4357.
It may take up to six weeks for completed applications to be processed and for eligible Nova Scotians to receive the rebate.
BERWICK - Harley Lawrence’s death on the town's sidewalk Oct. 23, 2013, had a “significant impact” on the community, prompting local residents to look within and “find some good to come out of the tragedy" Berwick's mayor says.
“It has been one year exactly since Harley’s tragic death,” recalled Berwick Mayor Don Clarke as he presided over the Oct. 23 dedication of the Harley Lawrence memorial garden, located in downtown Berwick. Due to rain, the ceremony was moved indoors to the chapel of the Serenity Lindsay Funeral home, which provided land for the garden.
The idea of building a memorial garden in Lawrence’s memory sprung from school and community meetings that followed the 62-year-old’s death. The garden was planted
Harley’s brother, Ron Lawrence spoke at the dedication after unveiling a portrait of his brother as he looked while he lived on the streets of Berwick.
“This is a very special day for our family,” said Lawrence of the dedication.
“The family is pulling through this. It means a lot to us.”
Ron also publicly thanked the RCMP for their efforts in making arrests in his brother’s death.
Sarah MacDonald-Hiltz, who designed the garden, described the space as written by Berwick School students.
“It is a peaceful place to remember Harley Lawrence as a member of our community.”
Local musician Hughie McDonell performed his song Here For a Reason, which he wrote after the 62-year-old’s death in a bus shelter fire.
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