Nova Scotians will see early improvements to highways this year because of three road-paving contracts awarded by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The projects, with a total value of $5,030,246, are spread over three counties with 24.9 kilometres of paving. All three projects are scheduled to be completed this summer. The projects are: — Halifax Regional Municipality: A $2,393,460 contract awarded to Dexter Construction Co. Ltd. for repaving 8.8 kilometres on Route 333 from east of the intersection of Macdonalds Drive; — Pictou County: A $1,887,486 contract awarded to S.W. Weeks Contracting Ltd. for repaving 9.8 kilometres on Highway 104 from the end of the twinned section to exit 27A near Sutherlands River. Also included are repairs to the Thorburn and Pine Tree Road overpasses; — Yarmouth County: A $749,300 contract awarded to Aberdeen Paving Ltd. for repaving 6.3 kilometres on Route 335 east from the intersection of Green Grove Road. “Already this year, we’ve awarded more than $33 million in paving contracts throughout Nova Scotia with more to come when the budget is finalized,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “These contracts represent an important investment in our road network across the province.” The projects are part of government’s commitment to better roads and infrastructure as outlined in the speech from the throne. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.
“I urge the authorities in Kenya to ensure that civilians of all ethnic and political backgrounds can exercise their right to vote in safety and security, and to guarantee that in the post-election period we do not witness the rise in politically-motivated rape which occurred in the wake of the last elections,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, said in a statement.Monday’s election will be the first presidential polls since the December 2007 vote, which was followed by post-election violence in which more than 1,100 people were killed, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced.As Kenya goes to the polls, national and international observers and human rights actors have warned of the risk of election violence, including the deliberate targeting of civilians due to political or ethnic affiliations, Ms. Bangura noted, adding that thousands of cases of rape and other forms of sexual assault were documented after the last elections.“I call on all candidates to speak out against election violence, and for the Kenyan authorities to take the necessary steps to avert the risk of increased sexual violence and ensure the protection of civilians, especially women and girls,” she stated.“Above all, the Kenyan authorities must remain alert to the warning signs and send the signal that such crimes will not be tolerated.Also today, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it is deploying a four-person team to monitor the human rights situation during the electoral period and to support the Kenyan National Commission of Human Rights as well as civil society groups.Earlier this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced the hope that all Kenyans will work together to ensure that the 4 March election will be peaceful and credible, and said he trusted that efforts made at many levels to prevent a repeat of past violence will be redoubled during the remainder of the campaign.