Nova Scotia has a higher profile in the nation’s capital today, Feb. 6, after Premier John Hamm officially opened the province’s new office in Ottawa. “The province of Nova Scotia has made terrific strides over the past several years. And, while I am proud of our accomplishments, there is more work to be done, including at the federal-provincial level,” said Mr. Hamm. Premier Hamm said creation of an Ottawa office has been high on his priority list for the last couple of years and he is pleased to see it become a reality as he prepares to retire from office later this month. The premier said the office will help ensure Nova Scotia’s priorities are understood by decision makers in Ottawa. These priorities include securing sustained federal funding for the province’s highway system, a step that would help Nova Scotia take further advantage of its geographic location as a gateway to North America. The office, which is part of the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, will also provide central space for Nova Scotia’s leaders to conduct the province’s business while in the nation’s capital. “The province of Nova Scotia has enjoyed a good relationship with the federal government and we have good reason to believe that relationship will continue with the new federal political leadership that took office today,” Mr. Hamm said. Mr. Hamm also welcomed Ian Thompson, senior representative in Ottawa for the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. Mr. Thompson, a business and community leader in Halifax, began his assignment Jan. 30. The opening ceremony was chaired by Chris d’Entremont, the Minister of Acadian Affairs and Agriculture and Fisheries. He told dignitaries and guests gathered for the ceremony that the office will help encourage the kind of co-operation that resulted in the recent federal-provincial agreement on French-language services. That agreement is designed to enhance use of Canada’s official languages. It establishes a framework for the planning and implementation of various measures to increase Nova Scotia’s capacity for French-language services. An online tour of the Ottawa office is available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/iga/ottawa.htm .