Blueprint for building a better Nova Scotia…2005 Progress Report is available on the government website at www.gov.ns.ca/prem . A 30-year low in unemployment rates, an historic offshore royalty deal with Ottawa, help for low-income diabetics, new housing options for people in need, more money for schools, hospitals, roads, and a fourth straight balanced budget are some of the highlights of the second year of minority government. Premier John Hamm today, Sept. 29, released the government’s annual progress report on its Blueprint for building a better Nova Scotia. Just over two years into the four-year plan, 95 per cent of its commitments have been either completed or are well underway. “The achievements of the past year show that it is possible to help people in need, make smart investments in our schools, hospitals and roads, and be fiscally responsible with Nova Scotians’ money,” said Premier Hamm. “I’m confident that these commitments to building a brighter future will continue in the years to come.” Among the commitments underway or completed are: securing 100 per cent of Nova Scotia’s offshore resources, highlighted by an $830-million down payment from Ottawa; lowering class sizes, hiring more teachers and adding more resources to schools; hiring more health-care professionals and doubling the number of publicly funded MRIs; introducing low income drug assistance program for diabetics; updating the five-year-old provincial economic growth strategy, building on the plan that helped Nova Scotia lead the country in job growth in 2004 and have its lowest unemployment rate in 30 years; opening of the new Office of Immigration.