INVERNESS COUNTY: Inverness County’s MLA was already a busy man but now, due to a number of new critic assignments, Allan MacMaster will have a whole lot to keep him occupied.
“Someone has the confidence that I can handle it, so that’s good,” he told The Reporter last week, just days after it was announced he’s adding the Department of Internal Affairs, Service Nova Scotia and the Elections Act to his responsibilities as the critic for Finance and Treasury Board.
In addition, he serves as the critic for the departments of Gaelic Affairs and Energy and Mines, and sits as a member of the standing committees on Assembly Matters and Internal Affairs.
With that, he’s also the PC House Leader.
He said Internal Services has to do with freedom of information and protection of privacy.
“Government collects a lot of information on us all, from our drivers licence to our medical information – you name it. Internal Services is responsible for protecting that information, and releasing that information when the public wants to know what the government is doing.
“It’s somewhat related to Service Nova Scotia, which is another department I have responsibility to be watching. There’s a lot of legislation that falls under that department.”
MacMaster said he knows there have been breaches in the recent past about people’s personal information. He said that’s a concern to the PC party.
“We are responsible to make sure the systems are in place to protect people’s information,” he said. “We’re going to be asking many questions if something like that happens again.”
In the springtime, when the budget is released, MacMaster said he’ll be finding himself quite busy as the finance critic.
One of MacMaster’s recent projects in relation to Gaelic Affairs is his urging to create a Council on Gaelic Education. It would be of low cost to government, he said, but it would supply the minister with a resource for what should be taught in school, as it relates to the culture.
“There would be someone sitting at the table for the interests of the Gaelic community,” he said. “It means a lot to young people to learn more about who they are and where they’re from.
“I’m hoping government will do that and if they don’t, maybe in a couple of years there’ll be a new government doing that.”
Energy and the cost of it is a topic of interest to everyone, the local MLA said, and there is a fair bit of gold mining currently taking place in Nova Scotia.