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Premier Tim Houston sets up emergency Nova Scotia Guard

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Premier Tim Houston announced the establishment of the Nova Scotia Guard, a group of volunteers that will support communities during and after emergencies.

Houston cited climate change as the driving force for this move and said there is no question climate change is causing more frequent and severe storms, wildfires, floods and other emergencies.

“As we’ve seen time and again, whenever an emergency happens, the first thing Nova Scotians do is step up and help their neighbours, that’s the Bluenoser way,” said Houston. “The Nova Scotia Guard will enable us to call on volunteers who are ready to jump in and help their communities in their moment of need.”

Houston said the idea for the Nova Scotia Guard came after a number of severe weather events impacted parts of the province.

“The number one need we always have during these emergencies is the need for more people and more equipment,” said Houston. “You kind of want to over-resource these things, you wish you had more.”

Houston said a site will be established where people can sign up but in the meantime anyone wanting to put their name forward can do so by calling 2-1-1

The establishment of the Emergency Management Department replaces the Emergency Management Office, a portfolio that fell under provision of the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Minister John Lohr will remain on as the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and also take on the role as minister of the Emergency Management Department and oversee the Nova Scotia Guard.

The Emergency Management Department will oversee the Nova Scotia Guard and existing emergency response teams from across government, with expanded responsibilities such as:

  • leading Nova Scotia’s co-ordinated emergency and disaster preparedness, response and recovery initiatives
  • leading the co-ordination of all organizations, internal and external, that respond to emergencies and disasters
  • working closely with communities, as well as Indigenous, federal, municipal and private-sector partners.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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