The Nova Scotia Auditor General has agreed to help the province ensure that Nova Scotians personal information is protected. On April 20, the province requested audit assistance from Auditor General Michael Pickup. The province also contacted the Nova Scotia Information and Privacy Commissioner Catherine Tully, regarding the recent privacy breach of Nova Scotia’s personal information via the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy portal. She has announced she will be conducting a privacy investigation. “Focused efforts by the province, the Nova Scotia Auditor General and the Nova Scotia Information and Privacy Commissioner are a vital step to safeguard the privacy of Nova Scotians,” said Minister of Internal Services Patricia Arab. “Their findings will ensure that we have the right processes and measures in place to reduce the risk of a privacy breach happening again.” The province continues to work with appropriate partners to ensure breach containment and has taken steps to notify affected applicants of the breach. A copy of the letter to Mr. Pickup is available upon request.
8 December 2011Financing received through the proposed Green Climate Fund should not exacerbate developing countries’ debt burdens, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today, calling for international banking institutions not to have too great an influence on the fund. “Climate finance should be provided in the form of grants and not loans,” UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights Cephas Lumina said in a statement.“Climate loans will add to the existing external debt burdens of recipient countries, many of which simply do not have the capacity to repay further loans without undermining their already precarious development prospects.”The Green Climate Fund was created during last year’s conference in Cancún, Mexico, to help developing nations protect themselves from climate impacts and build their own sustainable futures. But the fund has not been launched yet, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on developed countries this week at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, to inject the necessary capital to kick-start it.Mr. Lumina called on UNFCCC members to ensure the fund adopts a “country-driven approach and promotes meaningful and effective participation of all stakeholders, including communities, farmers, workers, women and other marginalized groups.”Mr. Lumina also stressed the Fund’s financing decisions should not be disproportionately influenced by the joint World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF), due to the history of the two multilateral creditors.“The DSF is biased by its very nature, is based on questionable growth assumptions and is concerned only with capacity to repay, not what the impacts of payments are,” he noted.During last year’s UN Climate Change Conference, countries decided to invite the World Bank to serve as interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund. However, this decision has sparked concern among climate change activists, human rights groups and some developing countries.“The Bank should not have a central role in the new climate finance mechanism,” Mr. Lumina said. “Its problems with unsuccessful projects, history of forcefully encouraging developing countries to implement economic policies that have an adverse social impact, and its record of financial support for projects harmful to the environment that may have contributed to climate change, suggest that it may not be the most legitimate institution for managing and delivering climate finance.”Mr. Lumina, who serves in an unpaid and independent capacity and reports to the Human Rights Council, also warned against the over-reliance on private capital as he said this would subordinate public interest to the unregulated pursuit of profit.“Climate finance is not as a matter of charity, and should be seen as a legal obligation under the UNFCCC and a moral responsibility on the part of those that have contributed the most to it.”
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “It may be more difficult for them to be able to move away or hide from anything which might scare or worry them. Therefore the RSPCA wouldn’t recommend that cats are walked outside in this way.“Some loving owners who have cats that live indoors-only may feel that walking cats outside on a harness or collar is beneficial for their welfare.“However, we would generally suggest that for most cats taking steps to provide an indoor environment which has plenty of opportunities to be active and mentally stimulated is likely to be more beneficial for the cat’s welfare than walking them on a lead.”However, many animal behaviourists disagree, claiming that whilst some cats may lack the right temperament, the craze is largely beneficial to animals without alternative access to the outdoors.Laura Moss, the founder of the website Adventure Cats, said: “More people are leash training their cats. Taking a cat outside can be great for a cat’s mental and physical health.“Many indoor cats simply don’t receive enough stimulation and they may suffer from obesity or boredom-related behavioral problems.” “Just because we live in a flat and haven’t got a garden, we didn’t want him to miss out on the beauty of life,” she added.‘Cats are curious animals, they like exploring. It would be a shame if he just stayed indoors because of the busy roads.’“Some people didn’t notice, whilst others were amazed and struggled to grasp the idea that we were walking the cat. Other people walked by with their dogs and the dogs looked more surprised than they did.“In London, we see it often, people walking ferrets, rabbits – we even saw a guinea pig on a leash in the park recently. People don’t have gardens and so they have to take their animals outside for a walk.”However, the RSPCA warns that this well-meaning trend is having the opposite of the desired effect, because forcing cats to walk with a collar or harness removes their “sense of control”.Unlike dogs, which eagerly await their daily walk, cats are more territorial and likely to become agitated when forced into new environments. Pet owners should stop walking their cats around on a leash because they become stressed and agitated when they “lose control”, the RSPCA has warned.Across Britain a growing number of pet owners are walking their cats on leads in a bid to give them more “enrichment”, the charity says – but doing so is likely to do more harm than good.With many cats cooped up indoors for prolonged periods, particularly in urban towns and cities, there has been a drive in recent years to provide them with more freedom.Capitalising on the trend, well known pet brands have released their own line of cat walking products, with specialists including PetSafe UK and PetPlanet stocking a range of cat harnesses and leads.Meanwhile, social media is also believed to be encouraging the trend, with the hashtag #catwalking used more than 14,000 times on Instagram alongside pictures of owners taking their cats through city centres, on public transport and to country parks.They include actress Marleen Maathuis and interior designer Tim Van Cromcoirt, from south London, who recently took their Maine Coon cat, Ash, on a three day walking holiday to Snowdonia. A spokeswoman added: “A sense of control is very important to cats and being walked on a collar or harness prevents them from having control,” she added. Speaking to The Telegraph, Ms Maathuis said that because Ash was unable to roam freely at home, they had trained him on a leash and now regularly take him on walks across the capital. Ash the cat surveys his surroundings in the rocky climbs of Snowdonia