Adult Literacy Act
BILL NO. 228
2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
57 Elizabeth II, 2008
Private Member's Bill
Adult Literacy Act
First Reading: November 19, 2008
WHEREAS higher literacy skills lead to reduced poverty and improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and the community;
AND WHEREAS working-age adults in Nova Scotia with inadequate literacy skills cannot take full advantage of current and future employment opportunities;
AND WHEREAS to provide effective literacy programming for adults, the Government of Nova Scotia, literacy practitioners, immigrant organizations, aboriginal organizations and communities and appropriate non-government organizations need to work together;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Adult Literacy Act.
2 In this Act.
(a) "information", in subsection 3(2), Section 6 and clause 11(1)(c), includes
(i) personal information as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
other than personal information respecting a person's health, and
(ii) personal information respecting a person's health, but only to the extent required to develop, implement and evaluate the adult literacy strategy and the Program in respect of adults with disabilities;
(b) "Minister" means the member of the Executive Council who is charged by the Governor in Council with the administration of this Act;
(c) "prescribed" means prescribed by the regulations;
(d) "Program" means the Nova Scotia Adult Literacy Program established by this Act.
3 (1) The Minister shall, in collaboration with other ministers of the Crown and agencies of the Government of the Province, literacy practitioners, immigrant organizations, aboriginal organizations and communities and appropriate non-government organizations, lead the development, implementation and evaluation of an adult literacy strategy for the Province.
(2) The Minister may require Government agencies and the other departments, branches and offices of the Government of the Province to provide the Minister with information to assist in developing, implementing and evaluating the adult literacy strategy.
4 The Nova Scotia Adult Literacy Program is hereby established.
5 (1) The purpose of the Program is to provide support for agencies that offer literacy programs for adults seeking to improve their literacy skills.
(2) Subject to Section 12, support may include funding to assist agencies in offering literacy programs for adults.
(3) To be eligible to receive funding under the Program, an agency must
(a) be a not-for-profit corporation, a library or an adult learning centre, that meets the prescribed criteria;
(b) provide an adult literacy program that, in the opinion of the Minister,
(i) offers sufficient hours of instruction over a sufficient period to make measurable improvements in the literacy of those attending, and
(ii) meets the prescribed requirements and standards;
(c) apply in the manner and provide the information required by the Minister; and
(d) enter into an agreement with the Minister that contains the prescribed terms and conditions, and any others that are required by the Minister.
6 For the purpose of evaluating an adult literacy program offered by an agency that has received funding under the Program, the Minister may
(a) require the agency to produce for examination or copying any of the following that are in its custody or under its control:
(i) records, documents or things relating to the agency's operations,
(ii) information relating to the adults who attend the literacy program;
(b) inspect facilities, teaching materials and other aspects of the agency's learning environment;
(c) observe the manner in which the agency provides its literacy program;
(d) conduct interviews or surveys of adults attending the literacy program, and require the agency to provide information respecting adults who are attending or have attended the literacy program, for the purpose of conducting off-site interviews or surveys;
(e) take any other steps that the Minister considers necessary to evaluate the adult literacy program.
7 The Minister may delegate to an employee of the Government any power conferred or duty imposed on the Minister under this Act, except the power to make regulations.
8 Subject to Section 12, the Minister of Finance may pay to the Minister from the Consolidated Fund such amounts as the Minister requests for the purpose of this Act.
9 Under this Act,
(a) personal information or personal health information required must be limited to the minimum amount necessary to accomplish the purpose for which it is required or disclosed; and
(b) the Minister shall not request personal information or personal health information if other information will serve the purpose of the request.
10 (1) Within six months after the end of each Program year, the Minister shall prepare an annual report on the adult literacy strategy for the Province.
(2) The report must contain a summary of the performance of the Program in the Program year, including
(a) the total amount of funding provided under the Program; and
(b) the total number of adults attending adult literacy programs that received funding.
(3) The Minister shall table the report in the House of Assembly within fifteen days after receiving it or, if the Assembly is not then sitting, within fifteen days after the Assembly next sits.
11 (1) The Minister may make regulations
(a) establishing requirements and standards respecting literacy programs for adults, including without limitation, standards respecting
(i) the minimum hours of instruction and duration of programming,
(ii) the requirements for admission, the methods of instruction and the qualifications of instructors and program coordinators, and
(iii) the availability and quality of teaching materials;
(b) establishing terms and conditions under which agencies may receive funding under the Program, including prescribing criteria for determining eligibility;
(c) respecting records to be made and maintained by agencies that receive funding under the Program, and information that those agencies are required to provide to the Minister, including records and information respecting
(i) financial matters,
(ii) the qualifications of instructors and program coordinators, and
(iii) the attendance, and measures of the performance of adults who are or have attended a literacy program;
(d) respecting the times at which and the form and manner in which records and information under clause (c) are to be provided to the Minister;
(e) establishing the Program year for the purpose of Section 11;
(f) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;
(g) respecting any other matter or thing that the Minister considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.
(2) The exercise by the Minister of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
12 Chapter 217 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Income Tax Act, is amended by adding immediately after Section 50 the following heading and Section:
Literacy Program Tax Credit
50A (1) In this Section, "prescribed" means prescribed by the regulations.
(2) Subject to subsection (4), an employer may deduct from the amount of tax otherwise payable under this Act for the taxation year an amount expended by the employer on a prescribed literacy program not exceeding the prescribed amount.
(3) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing forms for the purpose of this Section;
(b) governing any matter that may be prescribed pursuant to this Section;
(c) requiring an employer to supply information or documents respecting any matter required in assessing compliance with this Section;
(d) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Section;
(e) respecting any other matter or thing the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Section.
(4) The moneys required for the purpose of this Section shall be paid out of moneys appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature and, for greater certainty, no deduction may be made pursuant to this Section until the moneys are appropriated by the Legislature.
13 The moneys required for the purpose of this Act shall be paid out of moneys appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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