Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), any new route additions or other major changes to the NHS, including deletion from or movement within the three categories comprising core, feeder, and northern and remote routes, could be proposed by any jurisdiction including the federal government. In order to evaluate these proposals, jurisdictions are required to provide supporting information and the data as per established criteria and thresholds. The NHS task force then provides its recommendation to the council of ministers.
In addition, in 2007 ministers also agreed that a full review of the NHS be undertaken every five years to maintain its relevance due to changing economic, social and demographic conditions. Starting in 2009, the NHS review task force engaged in a thorough review of the NHS for 2010. However, the 2010 review has yet to be brought to closure as additional work is required prior to recommendations being tabled with the council of ministers.
In response to (b), all changes to the NHS must be unanimously approved by all members of the council of ministers responsible for transportation and highway safety.