These holidays and traditions are specific to Nova Scotia only. For Canada-wide holidays, please review the section on Holidays at

Natal Day
Halifax and Dartmouth celebrate their founding during this first long weekend in August. There are parades, as well as activities for children, adults and families; sporting events; a walk across the MacDonald Bridge; concerts; fireworks; etc. Other communities in Nova Scotia also hold activities on the Monday which outside of the HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) is commonly referred to as the August Civic Holiday.

Dumping Day
Dumping Day marks the start of lobster season. In Queens County, the lobster season runs from the last Monday in November to May 31st. On this day, fisherman and their crews leave their ports at dawn to set their traps.

Nova Scotia is governed by a unicameral (one house) legislature, the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, operating in the Westminster system of government. The political party with the most number of seats forms the government and the leader of that party becomes Premier of the Province. After an election, the government can hold on to power for up to five years, however it is the prerogative of the ruling party to call an election before the end of the mandate should they wish. On occasion, a minority government will be elected, whereby no one party has won the majority of the seats in the Legislature, but the party with the most seats wins the right to rule. In such cases, and in times of controversial debate, it is common to hear the term “vote of no confidence”. When a no confidence motion is put before the house and the ruling party loses this vote, the government is dissolved and an election is held. For more information on the structure and workings of the government of Nova Scotia, visit their website.

Like Queens itself, the climate of Nova Scotia is temperate. Although we are a smaller province geographically, temperatures and conditions can vary from county to county on any given day. Ocean side weather can vary quite dramatically from that of the inland. A favourite saying is that if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes – it is Nova Scotia! Environment Canada has several weather stations in the province and visitors and residents can get the latest information on-line. Click here for Nova Scotia weather information.

The Rules of the Road in Nova Scotia are not all that dissimilar to that in the rest of Canada.  The Province has released a handy Driver’s Handbook that explains driving and licensing in Nova Scotia.  You can access the online version by clicking here.

Bicycling is a popular hobby in Nova Scotia, and cyclists also have a reference guide that they can access to help them navigate our roads and highways safely.  Click here to get all the information you will need to cycle in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s Health Insurance Programs are designed to provide eligible residents with coverage for medically required hospital, medical, dental and optometric services with some restrictions. The Medical Services Insurance Programs are administered by Medavie Blue Cross on behalf of the Nova Scotia government. The Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness provides policy direction for the programs. The Hospital Insurance Program is administered directly by the NS Department of Health and Wellness. The cost of providing these services to Nova Scotians is met through the general revenues of the province. You pay no premiums.

For more information visit the Province’s Department of Health and Wellness Site.