The festive lights are on again at Province House, and this yearthey are sending a message about energy conservation. With help from the Department of Energy, Province House hasinstalled 25 strings of light emitting diode (LED) Christmaslights and eight compact flourescent floodlights around theHollis Street entrance. Energy Minister Cecil Clarke said switching to energy efficientlights costs a little more up front, but has long-term savings.”It’s important for us to demonstrate that small changes canresult in significant savings,” said Mr. Clarke. “Energyefficient lights have much lower operating costs, so you spend alittle to save a lot more.” LED lights convert electricity to light without using heat. Eachlight should last more than 200,000 hours compared to only 1,000hours for conventional lights. A string of LED lights, like theones used at Province House, costs less than 4 cents to run for30 days when lit for six hours a day. Conventional lights wouldcost $3.15 to run for same length of time. The compact flourescent floodlights are very efficient, too.Usually, the front of Province House is lit with eight 90 watthalogen lamps. Each of these lights would cost about $1.60 to runfor 30 days. They have been replaced with compact flourescentbulbs that will cost about 34 cents each to run for the sameperiod. “Switching to energy efficient holiday lights is a small butsignificant way Nova Scotians can help conserve energy,” said Mr.Clarke. “We hope Nova Scotians will try them out.” Speaker of the House Murray Scott agrees, “Province House is animportant symbol to Nova Scotians and it’s appropriate that itsChristmas lighting lead by example.” The new energy-efficient lights will also have an environmentalbenefit. The reduced electricity consumption represents areduction of about one-half tonne of greenhouse gasses.
Statistics Canada says the average minimum wage in 2013 was almost identical to the 1975 minimum wage, in constant dollars.The agency says the average minimum wage was $10.14 in 2013 and the 1975 wage, expressed in 2013 dollars, was $10.13.Between 1975 and 2013, however, the minimum wage in 2013 dollars, varied, slipping to $7.53 in 1986 before rising to $8.81 in 1996.Up to 2003, the real minimum wage remained stable at around $8.50.The report says 6.7 per cent of all paid employees earned the minimum wage in 2013, up from 5.0 per cent in 1997.It says young employees, less-educated employees, part-timers and people in service industries were most likely to be paid minimum wage.