Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 10-8

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Charlie Parker

Published by Order of the Legislature by Hansard Reporting Services and printed by the Queen's Printer.

Available on INTERNET at http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/

Second Session

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
SPEAKER'S RULING: Unparliamentary Language by Hon. M. Scott.
(Pt. of Order by Hon. G. Steele [Hansard p. 379, 04/01/10 ])
Member apologized to the House for unparliamentary language 444
SPEAKER'S RULING: Tabling Of Documents That Are Referred To But Not Read.
(Pt. of Order by Hon. M. Scott [Hansard p. 381, 04/01/10])
No point of order 444
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice - Correctional Facility (Cumb. Co.), Hon. M. Scott 445
Businesses/Jobs - Preserve: Tax Increases - Stop, Ms. K. Regan 445
Health: Lucentis Treatments - Cover, Mr. C. Porter 445
HPP: Healthy Living Tax Incentive - Unavailability,
Mr. A. MacLeod 446
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 172, Tartan Day (04/06/10) - Celebrate,
Hon. P. Paris 446
Vote - Affirmative 447
Res. 173, Simmonds, Marko: CD Release - Congrats.,
Hon. P. Paris 447
Vote - Affirmative 448
Res. 174, MacLaughlan, Craig - Gov't. (N.S.): Serv. - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Jennex 448
Vote - Affirmative 448
Res. 175, Cedar Bay Grilling Co.: Seafood Excellence Award (2010) -
Congrats., Hon. S. Belliveau 448
Vote - Affirmative 449
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 18, Vital Statistics Act,
Hon. R. Jennex 449
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 176, Tartan Day (04/07/10) - Celebrate,
Mr. A. Younger 449
Vote - Affirmative 450
Res. 177, World Health Day (04/07/10): Celebration - WHO Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 450
Vote - Affirmative 451^
Res. 178, Merritt Awards: Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 451
Vote - Affirmative 451
Res. 179, Lunenburg West MLA: Election Misleading -Remind,
Hon. S. McNeil (by Hon. Manning MacDonald) 452
Res. 180, Emerg. Services Provider Fund: Cuts - Reconsider,
Mr. K. Bain 452
Res. 181, Uniacke Square Studio: Contributors - Congrats.,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 453
Vote - Affirmative 454
Res. 182, Budget (N.S.[2010-2011]) - Rename,
Mr. L. Glavine 454
Res. 183, Justice: Boots on the Street Prog. - Completion,
Hon. M. Scott 455
Res. 184, Wolfville Farmers Market - Best of Kings 2010,
Hon. R. Jennex 456
Vote - Affirmative 456
Res. 185, Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville MLA: Election Misleading
- Remind, Ms. D. Whalen 457
Res. 186, MacLean, Dr. Bernie - Birthday Wishes,
Mr. A. MacMaster 457
Vote - Affirmative 458
Res. 187, McLellan, Borden - Milford & Dist. Lions Club: Volunteerism
(35 Yrs.) - Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell 458
Vote - Affirmative 459
Res. 188, Antigonish MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Hon. M. Samson 459
Res. 189, Hantsport Minor Baseball Assoc.: Parents' Role - Acknowledge,
Mr. C. Porter 460
Vote - Affirmative 460
Res. 190, Educ. Comm. Beijing W. Dist.: Educ. Partnership - Welcome,
Hon. M. More 461
Vote - Affirmative 462
Res. 191, Pictou West MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Hon. W. Gaudet 462
Res. 192, Natl. Wildlife Week (04/04 - 04/10/10) - Anniv. (63rd),
Mr. A. MacLeod 462
Vote - Affirmative 463
Res. 193, Edmonds, Arthur: Upper Musquodoboit - Musical Contribution
(25 Yrs.), Hon. J. MacDonell 463
Vote - Affirmative 464
Res. 194, Halifax Citadel-Sable Island MLA: Election Misleading -
Remind, Mr. A. Younger 464
Res. 195, Harvest House (N.Sydney): Efforts - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 465
Vote - Affirmative 465
Res. 196, Stewart, Dale - Summer Games (2009): Medals - Congrats.,
Hon. S. Belliveau 466
Vote - Affirmative 466
Res. 197, Cole Hbr.-East. Passage MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Ms. K. Regan 467
Res. 198, East. Shore MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Hon. K. Colwell 467
Res. 199, Henderson, Ms. Kelly - Safety To Motor Transportation Award,
Ms. L. Zann 468
Vote - Affirmative 469
Res. 200, Hfx. Chebucto: Election Misleading - Remind,
Mr. H. Theriault 469
Res. 201, East. Passage Lions Club - Charter Anniv. (35th),
Ms. B. Kent 470
Vote - Affirmative 470
Res. 202, Cumb. North MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 470
Res. 203, Lismore: Olympic Support Challenge - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 471
Vote - Affirmative 471
Res. 204, Wilcox, Shelley: Hfx. C of C Award - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 472
Vote - Affirmative 472
Res. 205, Beacon House Interfaith Soc.: Work - Recognize,
Mr. D. Wilson 472
Vote - Affirmative 473
Res. 206, Kings North MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Mr. L. Glavine 473
Res. 207, MacKinnon, April/Nurtured Products: Success - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Preya 474
Vote - Affirmative 475
Res. 208, Mills, Don - Bishop's Univ. Alumni Award,
Ms. K. Regan 475
Vote - Affirmative 475
Res. 209, Prince, Dr. Fred: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. G. Ramey 476
Vote - Affirmative 477
Res. 210, Vaughn VanTassell Mem. Park: Digby - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 477
Vote - Affirmative 477
Res. 211, Jungle Jim's Ramblers: Hockey Achievements - Congrats.,
Mr. B. Skabar 478
Vote - Affirmative 478
Res. 212, Murphy, Kevin: Courage/Determination - Recognize,
Hon. K. Colwell 478
Vote - Affirmative 479
Res. 213, Weir Rockin' Concert: Springfield Lake Rec. Assoc. -
Congrats., Mr. M. Whynott 479
Vote - Affirmative 480
Res. 214, Landry, Dylan: Judo Comp. - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Samson 480
Vote - Affirmative 481
Res. 215, Northeast Kings Educ. Ctr.: Girls Basketball Titans -
NSSAF Championship, Mr. J. Morton 481
Vote - Affirmative 482
Res. 216, Belliveau Motors: Commun. Involvement - Thank,
Hon. W. Gaudet 482
Vote - Affirmative 482
Res. 217, Porridge for Parkinson's Fundraising: Organizers - Congrats.,
Ms. P. Birdsall 482
Vote - Affirmative 483
Res. 218, Jones, Gary: Thyroid Cancer Research - Fundraising,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 483
Vote - Affirmative 484
Res. 219, Prem: Yarmouth Ferry Serv. - Cancellation,
Hon. C. Clarke 484
Res. 220, Best Western Glengarry: Director's Award - Congrats.,
Ms. L. Zann 485
Vote - Affirmative 485
Res. 221, Wade, Anna Horsnell: Progress Women of Excellence Award -
Congrats., Ms. B. Kent 486
Vote - Affirmative 486
Res. 222, Bridgewater Jr. Badminton Club: Medal Winners - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Ramey 486
Vote - Affirmative 487
Res. 223, Amherst FD - Emergency Services Provider Fund: Recipient -
Congrats., Mr. B. Skabar 487
Vote - Affirmative 488
Res. 224, Upshaw, Michelle: Commun. Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Whynott 488
Vote - Affirmative 489
Res. 225, Evangeline Club (Kings Co.): Contributions - Recognize,
Mr. J. Morton 489
Vote - Affirmative 490
Res. 226, St. Vincent's Orphanage - Lunenburg Rotary Club: Support -
Commend, Ms. P. Birdsall 490
Vote - Affirmative 490
Res. 227, McGee, Beth: Nickerson Lifetime Achievement Award -
Congrats., Hon. W. Estabrooks 490
Vote - Affirmative 491^
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 73, Election: NDP Platform - Misleading,
Ms. D. Whalen 492
No. 74, Fin. - Budget (2010-2011): Economy - Effects,
Hon. C. Clarke 493
No. 75, HPP - Physical Activity Coordinator (C.B.): PSC Contact -
Details, Mr. A. Younger 494
No. 76, HPP - Physical Activity Coordinator (C.B.): NDP Candidate -
Confirm, Mr. A. Younger 496
No. 77, TIR - Convention Ctr. Design: Rank Inc. - Modifications,
Hon. C. Clarke 497
No. 78, ERD - NSBI CEO: Salary Approval - Details,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 499
No. 79, TIR - Truro Reg. Hosp. Proj.: U.S. Products - Stance,
Hon. K. Casey 501
No. 80, Fin.: Budget (2010-2011) Implementation - Bus. Costs,
Mr. L. Glavine 502
No. 81, Donkin Mine Proj.: Gov't. (N.S.) - Support Confirm,
Mr. A. MacLeod 503
No. 82, Health: Lucentis - Funding,
Ms. D. Whalen 504
No. 83, ERD: CB Rail Serv. - Commitment Confirm,
Mr. A. MacLeod 506
No. 84, Health: W.B. Kingston Commun. Health Ctr. - Funding,
Hon. M. Samson 507
No. 85, TCH - Tourism Ind.: Concerns - Alleviate,
Mr. K. Bain 509
No. 86, Southwestern N.S.: Gov't. (N.S.) - Abandonment,
Hon. W. Gaudet 510
No. 87, ERD: Minacs Call Ctr. - Job Losses,
Mr. K. Bain 511
No. 88, Educ.: Per-Student Funding (Fed.) - Consider,
Ms. K. Regan 513
No. 89, Dexter Gov't. - Nova Scotians: Misleading - Explain,
Hon. M. Scott 513
No. 90, TIR - Hwy. No. 101: Completion - Time Frame,
Mr. H. Theriault 515
No. 91, Nat. Res. - Land Acquisition (Cumb. Co.): Cottage Owners -
Treatment, Hon. M. Scott 517
No. 92, Agric.: Assistance - Plans,
Mr. L. Glavine 518
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 14, Sales Tax Act, Mr. A. MacMaster 520
Mr. A. MacMaster 520
Hon. G. Steele 522
Mr. L. Glavine 525
Hon. M. Scott 527
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. No. 100, re Gov't. (NDP): Soft Tissue Cap - Retain,
Mr. A. MacMaster 530
Mr. A. MacMaster 530
Hon. G. Steele 531
Ms. D. Whalen 533
Mr. C. Porter 534
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Youth Progs.: Importance - Recognize, Mr. G. Gosse
Mr. G. Gosse 537
Ms. D. Whalen 540
Mr. A. MacLeod 544
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Apr. 8th ,12:00 noon 546
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 228, Boissonault, Mme Huberte/Fam.:
Guinness Book of World Records - Inclusion, Hon. W. Gaudet 547

[Page 443]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Gordon Gosse, Hon. Wayne Gaudet, Mr. Alfie MacLeod

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable members, we'll call the House to order. Before we go on to the daily routine, I have a couple of introductions in the Speaker's Gallery that I want to bring to your attention. We're pleased today in the Speaker's Gallery - today, as you know, is Tartan Day. We celebrated that here in Province House earlier this morning.

I am pleased to welcome a number of Scots, or Scots at heart, so in the audience today we have Ian and Marjorie Russell from Digby. They were very instrumental in the Nova Scotia Week that we proclaimed in Stirling, Scotland, last Fall. Next to them is Ted Christopher, a Scottish folk singer who helped to celebrate Tartan Day here today, and also Dr. Ron Matsusaki from Digby and Liz Galbraith, a councillor from the Town of Windsor.

They are all Scots and Scots at heart, and I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome here this afternoon. (Applause)

I am also pleased today, in the Speaker's Gallery we have Bill MacKenzie, a native Nova Scotian from Cape Breton. Bill is the Chief Clerk in the Legislature for Newfoundland and Labrador. I would ask the House to also give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

Before we move on, I have a Speaker's Ruling here. I want to rule on a couple of points of order that were raised in this House last Thursday. I will read the ruling to you.

[Page 444]

443

SPEAKER'S RULING: Unparliamentary language by Hon. M. Scott. (Pt. of Order by Hon. G. Steele [Hansard p. 379, 04/01/10]) Member apologized to the House for unparliamentary language.

A number of interventions were made by various members near the end of the sitting last Thursday and I will deal with them in the order that they were presented. Firstly, the honourable Minister of Finance raised a point of order stating that the member for Cumberland South shouted words across the floor to the effect of: you lied and you stole. The honourable minister went on to say that these are the most insulting things that can be said here in this House.

The minister invited myself, as Speaker, to examine the tapes and he indicated he thought the remarks would be clearly audible. The audio record has been examined by myself and by several members of my staff and the words complained about could not be heard by any of those who listened to the tape. I might add there was certainly a great commotion, perhaps, here in the House at that time and I personally did not hear the remarks that were alleged.

The honourable member for Cumberland South did not admit that day to making the specific remarks complained of. He did say, however, ". . . any comments that I make in this House across the way are not directed to an individual but said to that government and that Party . . ."

Yesterday in this House, at the end of Question Period, the honourable member for Cumberland South rose again with respect to the remarks he had made on Thursday last. The honourable member in effect said two things: (1) his unparliamentary remarks were not directed personally to the Minister of Finance; and (2) he apologized to the House for unparliamentary language.

I would caution all members concerning the use of such language. I would agree with the honourable minister that indeed, nothing could be more insulting, but since the honourable member for Cumberland South yesterday admitted to the unparliamentary remarks and apologized here to the House, that is the end of the matter.

[2:15 p.m.]

SPEAKER'S RULING: Tabling of documents that are referred to but not read.(Pt. of Order by Hon. M. Scott [Hansard p. 381, 04/01/10]) No point of order.

The honourable member for Cumberland South also rose on a separate point of order last Thursday. He alleged that in one case the Minister of Economic and Rural Development referred to but did not read from a letter from the federal government in respect to their

[Page 445]

denial of financial assistance for The Cat ferry. The honourable member also stated the Premier had referred to a policy in place in this province re fees paid or not paid on behalf of certain members, and again, this was something not read from by the honourable Premier. I would have no difficulty in finding there was a valid point of order if there was a significant quotation from either a letter or from a policy, but here such was not the case, and I find there is no point of order. Thank you for your time.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition today. Here we are on day seven, another petition that's a result of the string of broken promises, and this headline says, "Dexter says he'd keep Tory promises." Another 100 people have signed this petition in Cumberland County, now bringing the total to 447, to which I have affixed my signature. The operative clause is:

"We, the residents of Cumberland County implore that Premier Darrell Dexter keep his word and build a correctional facility in Cumberland County!"

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from the residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The operative clause reads in part as follows:

"We the Undersigned, petition the Legislature to preserve businesses and jobs by not increasing taxes."

It is signed by 22 individuals and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause reads as follows:

[Page 446]

"As you know Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are the only two provinces that do not cover Lucentis treatments for the eye and I hope Nova Scotia moves forward with providing coverage."

I have affixed my signature as well, and it's signed by 66 residents of Hants West.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause is:

"We have received an e-mail from Erica Baldwin, Health Promotion and Protection, informing us that the Healthy Living Tax Incentive is 'unfortunately not possible right now due to provincial budget restraints. Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.'"

It's signed by 100-plus people and I would affix my name as requested.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 172

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Nova Scotia's history, culture, and way of life have been enhanced because of the strong ties with its Scottish heritage; and

Whereas people of Scottish heritage around the world are celebrating their accomplishments and shared legacy as part of international recognition of Tartan Day, April 6th; and

[Page 447]

Whereas since 1987 Nova Scotia has played a pivotal role in ensuring that Scottish culture and traditions are recognized on an annual basis, not only in Canada but around the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House and all Nova Scotians be encouraged to celebrate and embrace our Scottish heritage on this day, April 6th, and throughout the year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 173

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Marko Simmonds is a talented musician from North Preston and a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music; and

Whereas a professional gospel and R&B piano player, Marko has worked with American civil rights activist Dr. Rosa Parks and Canadian jazz singer Jeri Brown; and

Whereas Marko recently released his first full-length recording Marko Presents;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Marko Simmonds on the release of his first full-length CD and wish him continued musical success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

[Page 448]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Emergency Management.

RESOLUTION NO. 174

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Craig MacLaughlan has been a dynamic force in the advancement of emergency management in this province and beyond; and

Whereas Nova Scotia is recognized as having one of the strongest emergency management systems in the country; and

Whereas Mr. MacLaughlan recently retired as deputy head and CEO of the Emergency Management Office;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mr. MacLaughlan on his service to the Government of Nova Scotia and wish him the best in his retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 175

[Page 449]

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Cedar Bay Grilling Co. Ltd. of Blandford, Nova Scotia just took the prize for top new retail product for its planked apple wood orange-ginger salmon at the 2010 Seafood Excellence Awards; and

Whereas Cedar Bay Grilling Co. Ltd. is the first Canadian company to win this prestigious award at the International Boston Seafood Show recently held in March; and

Whereas Cedar Bay's retail salmon products, which can now be found in Canada's major grocery retailers, has created strategic alliances to expand its distribution and is set to begin selling its products in the United States;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Cedar Bay Grilling Co. and company president Doug Park for having earned this award for top new retail product.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 18 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 494 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Vital Statistics Act. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a second time on a future day.

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 176

[Page 450]

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland's declaration of independence was signed on April 6, 1320; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's Legislature first officially recognized April 6th in 1987 as Tartan Day; and

Whereas Scottish-Canadians are encouraged to wear a tartan and proudly represent their Scottish heritage on Tartan Day, this year being celebrated on April 7th in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join all Nova Scotians of Scottish descent in celebrating their heritage, culture and freedom on this year's Tartan Day, being celebrated April 7, 2010.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 177

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas each year on April 7th, World Health Day is celebrated around the globe; and

Whereas on this day thousands of events mark the importance of health for productive and happy lives; and

Whereas World Health Day 2010 will focus on urbanization and health, with the campaign 1000 cities - 1000 lives, which calls on cities to open up streets for health activities;

[Page 451]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the World Health Organization in promoting World Health Day 2010 and the global movement to make cities healthier.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 178

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the winners of the 2010 Robert Merritt Awards honouring the best in Nova Scotia theatre were announced in a ceremony at Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth, on Monday, March 29th; and

Whereas Louisa Adamson received the award for Best Set Design for Poor Boy, a co-production of Zuppa Theatre Company and Neptune Theatre; and

Whereas Aaron Harpell was one of two winners of the Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with Zuppa Theatre Company;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Louisa Adamson, Aaron Harpell, Zuppa Theatre Company and the entire theatrical community of Nova Scotia for their ongoing and much appreciated contributions to the cultural life of this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

[Page 452]

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 179

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Annapolis, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election, the honourable member for Lunenburg West ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Lunenburg West ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Lunenburg West by making life more expensive, hurting local business and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Lunenburg West that he deceived his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: I would say that the wording that you're using there is unparliamentary, deceived is not a word that we accept in this House. (Interruption) No, I still don't think it's parliamentary, honourable member.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I just said that I would retract it and replace it with the word misled.

MR. SPEAKER: Okay, we will accept that. Have you asked for waiver?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No.

[Page 453]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 180

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas this NDP Government is running up deficits at an alarming rate; and

Whereas to date, questionable priorities and expenditures have ruled the day and money for unions, land and consultants flows seemingly without end; and

Whereas in spite of this, the Emergency Services Provider Fund - money allocated to provide necessary infrastructure to volunteer firefighters, ground search and rescue and others - was cut from over $8 million to under $1 million, leaving these vital groups with too little funding to cover their own needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to reconsider their priorities before implementing cuts to such vital organizations.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 181

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Uniacke Sound Studio recording studio, also known as Centre Line was officially opened in Uniacke Square on Wednesday, March 31st by representatives of the

[Page 454]

Nova Scotia Department of Community Services and of Communities and Uniacke Square Engaging (C.A.U.S.E.), a grassroots community organization; and

Whereas the Uniacke Sound Studio is the result of co-operation among C.A.U.S.E., the Department of Community Services, Halifax Regional Police, the North Branch Public Library and the Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority; and

Whereas the Uniacke Studio will provide a variety of opportunities for youth in the Uniacke Square community to develop performance and recording skills and to produce their own recordings;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate all those individuals and organizations who have contributed to the creation of the Uniacke Sound Studio and extend their best wishes for future success to all of the young people who will use the studio to express themselves and their community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction first?

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. GLAVINE: I would like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where there are friends from the Kingston area and as well a relative of Emile and Sharon Fournier and their friend, Rolanda Hussey. If they could stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 182

[Page 455]

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas members of the government campaigned during the last election on the slogan "A Better Deal for Today's Families"; and

Whereas yesterday this NDP Government introduced a budget that increased the HST to all Nova Scotia families by 2 per cent , especially hurting working families; and

Whereas they gave an income tax break to Nova Scotians who make between $83,000 and $217,000, including all members of the Cabinet;

Therefore be it resolved that this latest budget be declared "A Better Deal for NDP Cabinet Ministers" and "A Bitter Deal for Nova Scotia Families".

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 183

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the former Tory Government made a significant investment during the 2006 election with the implementation of the popular Boots on the Street program; and

Whereas the program has focused on reducing violent street crime, community policing and specialized drug units; and

Whereas Nova Scotians are seeing the dividends of the Boots on the Street program with lower crime rates and safer streets;

[Page 456]

Therefore be it resolved that this NDP Government commit to completing the fourth year of the Boots on the Street program so that police agencies across Nova Scotia can have the resources they require to combat a constant threat to public safety.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

There has been a request to revert to the order of business, Government Notices of Motion.

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

I guess then we can't do it. It has to be unanimous, I believe? We'll move on.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 184

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Eastern Kings Chamber of Commerce (EKCC) is the chief advocacy group for more than 300 businesses, organizations and individuals in Eastern Kings County; and

Whereas the EKCC held its annual Best of Kings Celebration on Wednesday, March 10th at the Old Orchard Inn in Greenwich; and

Whereas the Wolfville Farmers' Market was awarded the prize for the Best Farm Market;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the volunteers, staff and vendors at the Wolfville Farmers' Market for their achievement in being named Best of Kings in 2010.

[Page 457]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 185

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts, and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses, and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 458]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 186

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the quality of health care in Inverness County and the well-being of a countless number of its residents can be traced directly to the hard work and professionalism of Dr. C.B. MacLean; and

Whereas shortly after graduating from Dalhousie Medical School in 1961, Dr. MacLean settled in Inverness and now, almost 50 years later, he continues to help people with knowledge and compassion; and

Whereas Dr. Bernie, as he is affectionately known, recently celebrated his 75th birthday, he is still going strong and remains one of our province's most celebrated and respected physicians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly wish Dr. Bernie MacLean a very Happy Birthday, continued good health, and recognize him for his contribution to our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 187

[Page 459]

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas volunteers are crucial to improving the quality of life in communities; and

Whereas service organizations such as the Lions Club have long been instrumental in focusing the energies and talents of volunteers; and

Whereas on January 30, 2010, Borden McLellan of Milford was recognized by the Milford and District Lions Club for 35 years of service;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Borden McLellan of the Milford and District Lions Club for his 35 years of volunteerism and thank him for his selfless service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 188

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the recent by-election the honourable member for Antigonish ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts, and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Antigonish ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Antigonish by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses, and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

[Page 460]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Antigonish that he misled his constituents in the recent by-election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 189

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Hantsport Minor Baseball Association executive is getting ready for another exciting, action-packed season with plenty of thrills and spills on the baseball diamond; and

Whereas for the first time this year, a Midget level is being introduced in the minor association, to go along with T-ball, Rookie, Mosquito, Pee-Wee and Bantam age categories; and

Whereas Peter Johnson is the president of the Hantsport Minor Baseball Association for 2010, with Paul MacDonald serving as vice-president, along with executive members Cathy Carey, Susan Rawlins, Wanda Smith, Peter Cochrane, Jeff Starratt, Tim Schofield, Chris Cuvilier, and Randy Carey;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the terrific work of these parents who play such an active role in the Hantsport Minor Baseball Association.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

[Page 461]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, with your permission I'd like to make some introductions before I do my resolution. In the Speaker's Gallery I welcome members from the Education Commission of Beijing West District who are visiting Nova Scotia from Beijing, China. During their stay delegates will meet with government representatives to discuss the possibility of establishing Nova Scotia International School Programs in schools located in China's Beijing West District.

Delegates are here representing Beijing's No. 35 and No. 39 high schools, and include Mr. Zhu Jianmin, Principal of No. 35 High School; Ms. Wang Hongjun, Vice Principal of No. 35; Ms. Hu Lan, Head Teacher, No. 35 High School; Ms. Dai Shujie, Interpreter, No. 35 High School; Mr. Ding Feng, Principal of No. 39 High School; and Ms. Zhang Pinging, Manager of Beijing West District Education Bureau.

I hope that you thoroughly enjoy your time here in Nova Scotia, and I look forward to building our partnership as we discuss and develop curriculum opportunities in the coming months. I ask my colleagues to join me in welcoming our guests to the Legislature.

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all our special guests here today.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 190

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas establishing and strengthening international educational opportunities helps to foster students' global and cultural awareness while building partnerships from across the world; and

Whereas a delegation of educators from Beijing, China are visiting our province to discuss the possibility of establishing Nova Scotia International School Programs in schools in China's Beijing West District; and

[Page 462]

Whereas these programs will work to enhance learning opportunities in Beijing through the exchange of ideas, teaching methodologies, assessment methods, curriculum development, and technology implementation;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House welcome members of the Education Commission of Beijing West District and wish them luck as we work together to build a valuable partnership in education.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 191

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Pictou West ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts, and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Pictou West ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Pictou West by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses, and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Pictou West that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 463]

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear lots of Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 192

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas National Wildlife Week is being recognized across Canada between April 4th and 10th and came about on April 18, 1947, as a parliamentary bill with the idea being to encourage public interest via nature study groups, sporting, tourism, education and ecology-related organizations in the conservation field; and

Whereas Nova Scotians are encouraged to enjoy the wonders of our native wildlife and wild spaces during National Wildlife Week; and

Whereas Walk for Wildlife kicked off Easter Sunday and wraps up May 22nd, the International Day of Biodiversity, where everyone is encouraged to get out and walk for someone or walk in memory of a relative or a friend while creating a national awareness about wildlife conversation and biodiversity with the ultimate goal of having enough kilometres logged to go right across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the special significance of National Wildlife Week as Nova Scotians celebrate the 63rd Anniversary of this special celebration.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 464]

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 193

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Arthur Edmonds of Enfield marks this year the 25th Anniversary of his playing for the Saturday night old-time dances at the Fellowship Club in Upper Musquodoboit; and

Whereas over the course of that period he has provided music for waltzes, foxtrots and polkas on a wide variety of instruments, including at various periods, guitar, accordion, fiddle and piano; and

Whereas in the course of this quarter century, Art has played with a host of dance fiddlers in Musquodoboit, including Laurie Wright, Kirk Logan, Ervin Smith, Arnold Spears, and Clayton, Fred, Eva and Rosanna Burrill;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Art Edmonds on the 25th Anniversary of musical contribution to the old-time dances of Upper Musquodoboit and wish him a long and tune-filled future in the fellowship of music.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 194

[Page 465]

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election, the honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST which will directly hurt the residents of Halifax Citadel-Sable Island by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 195

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Harvest House, a North Sydney not-for-profit charitable organization helping those in need throughout the community, offered free meals over this Easter holiday weekend; and

Whereas a dedicated group of volunteers with Harvest House prepared a roast beef supper on Good Friday and a turkey dinner on Easter Sunday in support of those less fortunate within the community; and

[Page 466]

Whereas it is organizations like Harvest House, countless volunteers and generous donors, that are shining examples of the positive impacts that can be felt when a community works together;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the North Sydney branch of Harvest House for their proactive efforts in helping those in need while recognizing and celebrating the Easter message.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 196

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Shelburne County Special Olympian Dale Stewart won two medals at the Nova Scotia Summer Games in Halifax on July 17th -19th, 2009; and

Whereas Dale Stewart won a gold medal in the 400 metre and a bronze medal in the standing long jump; and

Whereas Dale Stewart consistently shows great sportsmanship, dedication and effort as a Special Olympian;

Therefore be it resolved that ths House of Assembly congratulates Shelburne County Special Olympian, Dale Stewart, for winning two medals at the Nova Scotia Summer Games in Halifax on July 17 to 19, 2009.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

[Page 467]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East on an introduction.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I saw some special guests from the Province of Québec, about to leave the gallery. I want to bring the attention of the House to these special people. One of them is a cousin of mine, Scott Emery and the other is his friend, Jane Wong. They are visiting here from Québec City today.

Scott has served the Province of Québec for many years as a Presbyterian minister in the Eastern Townships and also in Québec City, and has been a high school teacher. He is one member of our family who is totally bilingual and we are very proud of him. I would ask that both our guests stand and receive the warm welcome of the House and they are in the east gallery. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 197

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage that she dissembled to her constituents in the last election and she broke her promises to the very people who voted for her.

[Page 468]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 198

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Eastern Shore ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts, no increases in taxes; and

Whereas the NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Eastern Shore ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits, gave Cabinet ministers an income tax break and these deficits and tax breaks are going to be paid for by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of the Eastern Shore making it more expensive, hurting local businesses and causing people to consider moving out of the province in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Eastern Shore that he misled his constituents in the last election, he broke his promises to the very people who voted him in.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

[Page 469]

RESOLUTION NO. 199

MS. LENORE ZANN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Kelly Henderson of Truro is a dedicated, hardworking woman employed by the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic based in Truro; and

Whereas Ms. Henderson has made outstanding contributions to the trucking industry in the Truro area; and

Whereas Ms. Henderson has been recognized as an outstanding individual in her field, awarded the Safety to Motor Transportation Award from the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association which promotes safety, professionalism, innovation and high-ethical standards;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulates Kelly Henderson on receiving the Safety To Motor Transportation Award and thank her for her dedication to this industry and her commitment to excellence and safety.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 200

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election, the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts, no increases in taxes; and

[Page 470]

Whereas this NDP budget is proof the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Halifax Chebucto by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promise to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 201

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Lions Club's mission is to create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs; and

Whereas the Eastern Passage Lions Club has played an integral role in the success in the communities of Cow Bay and Eastern Passage by providing volunteer services through community involvement and international co-operation; and

Whereas on Saturday, April 10th, the Eastern Passage Lions Club is celebrating the 38th Anniversary of their charter;

[Page 471]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Eastern Passage Lions Club on the occasion of the 38th Anniversary of their charter and wish them every success as they continue to serve their community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 202

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Cumberland North ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Cumberland North ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Cumberland North by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Cumberland North that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 203

[Page 472]

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the passing of the Olympic flame through Pictou County sparked a desire to celebrate the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games amongst the residents of the community of Lismore; and

Whereas the community came up with an idea to undertake a challenge to walk 6,400 kilometres, the equivalent distance from Lismore, Nova Scotia to Whistler, British Columbia leading into the opening ceremonies; and

Whereas the people of Lismore and area, over a 70-day period, walked every day and undertook all kinds of physical activity to make up the total cross-country distance;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly recognize the people of Lismore, Pictou County, and surrounding area who participated in showing their Olympic support and at the same time succeeded in improving their personal health.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[3:00 p.m.]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 204

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Business Awards acknowledge outstanding individuals who contribute to the growth and vitality of the Halifax area business community; and

[Page 473]

Whereas at the chamber's 10th annual awards evening Shelley Wilcox and her company, CEDIF Management Ltd., were recognized with the Bronze Award in the 2010 New Business of the Year category; and

Whereas CEDIF Management Ltd. has supported seven community-based businesses in raising equity capital, which resulted in $1.75 million being invested in Nova Scotian initiatives that would otherwise have left the province;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Shelley Wilcox's investment, commitment and business acumen, and congratulate her on receiving the Bronze Award for New Business of the Year from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 205

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Beacon House Interfaith Society in Lower Sackville has been supporting our community's most vulnerable for many years; and

Whereas the mission of the Beacon House is to work in a caring and compassionate manner to provide food, clothing and programs for those in our community that they can help; and

Whereas without the support of countless volunteers who dedicate many hours, days and years supporting the important service that Beacon House provides;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature recognize the important work done by the Beacon House Interfaith Society in providing food, clothing

[Page 474]

and programs to those less fortunate in our community, and thank the many dedicated volunteers who give so much of their time to Beacon House and for their commitment to making life better for Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 206

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Kings North ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts, no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Kings North ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits, totalling over $700 million, and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Kings North by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses, and causing some people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Kings North that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

[Page 475]

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

RESOLUTION NO. 207

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in 2006 April MacKinnon began Nurtured Products for Parenting Inc. as a home-based on-line business and in 2008 was the Atlantic Regional Winner of the SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year award; and

Whereas in 2009 she opened a retail location in Halifax and Nurtured has become a resource for parents, providing support and high-quality local and Canadian-made products; and

Whereas Nurtured Products for Parenting Inc. was honoured by a Silver Award for Small Business of the Year by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce at their 10th Annual Business Awards on January 28, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate April MacKinnon and Nurtured Products for Parenting Inc. on their business success and for providing parents in Halifax with a local option for high-quality, ecologically friendly products.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 208

[Page 476]

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Bishop's University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, presents its Alumni Award of Merit, recognizing graduates who have enhanced the university's reputation through outstanding professional accomplishments; and

Whereas alumnus Don Mills of Halifax is the president and co-founder of Corporate Research Associates; and

Whereas for 30 years Don has served on numerous community boards and associations, was the founding president of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, and is the past president of the Canadian Association of Marketing Research Organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Don Mills upon receiving Bishop's University's Alumni Award of Merit and recognize that his accomplishments have enhanced the university's reputation, and wish Mr. Mills and his family continued success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. GARY RAMEY: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction before I read my resolution.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. RAMEY: In the east gallery, Mr. Speaker, we have two of my constituents from Lunenburg West, two of the many loyal and vigorous supporters that I have down there, and

[Page 477]

I would like to introduce them: Mr. Don Calhoun, and also Mr. Steve Andrews, and I would like them to stand up and be greeted with the usual applause. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 209

MR. GARY RAMEY: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Dr. Fred Prince, a well-known physician in Bridgewater, still found time to be a mentor, teacher, and friend to countless young musicians early on, myself included, providing instruments, repairing instruments, opening his house to anyone who wanted to use his considerable personal instrument collection, attending every music festival, and as a trustee and then chairman of the South Shore Regional School Board, being a driving force behind implementing school and music band programs, earning him the Nova Scotia Music Educators' Musica Viva Award in 1993; and

Whereas Dr. Prince formed and supported many community bands, including the Bridgewater Fire Department Band, Gentlemen of Swing, the Don Warner Orchestra, the Chester Brass, the South Shore Concert Orchestra, and the Big Sound Band; and

Whereas Ms. Beatrice Prince, his wife of 57 years, recently donated his considerable collection of over 30 woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments, along with an endowment to repair and maintain the collection, to Acadia University in his memory;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the significant and important contribution this remarkable man, Dr. Fred Prince, has made to his profession, his family, and his community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried. (Applause)

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

[Page 478]

RESOLUTION NO. 210

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on September 26, 2009, the Vaughn VanTassell Memorial Park in Digby rose from the ground with the assembling of playground equipment, gardens, shovelling and raking of sand and pea gravel, and building a chain-link fence by nearly 150 volunteers; and

Whereas the playground is named for and dedicated to Digby's former fire chief, the late Vaughn VanTassell, for his 40 years of commitment and dedication to the town;

Whereas Vaughn VanTassell loved children and worked to promote a physically active lifestyle and would have been happy to be involved with the building of this playground;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize the community of Digby for their outstanding achievement in having the Vaughn VanTassell Memorial Park built for all to enjoy.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 211

MR. BRIAN SKABAR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 479]

Whereas the Cumberland County Jungle Jim's Ramblers hosted the provincial PeeWee AA Championship on the weekend of March 27th for the first time ever at the Amherst Stadium; and

Whereas the Ramblers grabbed the silver medal in a nail-biting championship game, finishing off an impressive season of only 10 losses in all; and

Whereas four Ramblers received top marks in the skills competition events and five players earned tournament awards for their abilities in goal-keeping, defence, offence, and sportsmanship;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend our congratulations to the players and coaches of the Jungle Jim's Ramblers for the silver medal win and home-team hosting talents, ensuring all players and fans had a weekend full of fun and good memories

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 212

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Kevin Murphy sustained a spinal cord injury at the age of 14 on March 17, 1985, while playing hockey in a tournament for the Eastern Shore Mariners; and

Whereas despite his devastating injury Kevin has not lost his love for hockey and he is very proud of the community program that bears his name, the Kevin Murphy Hockey Fund Program; and

[Page 480]

Whereas this program raises funds for spinal cord research, purchase of auto defibrillator, a proper first aid kit, staff and volunteer training at the local arena, player development, and safety programs for minor hockey players along the Eastern Shore, to name a few;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize Kevin Murphy for the courage and determination he has shown since his injury 25 years ago and wish him and the Kevin Murphy Hockey Fund Program great success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, before I read my resolution I'd like to ask all members to pay attention because I think this would be a great event for all members to come to Upper Sackville for.

RESOLUTION NO. 213

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas this summer on Saturday, August 21, 2010, the Springfield Lake Recreation Association, in conjunction with Weir Rockin', will host their fourth annual outdoor rock concert series at Weir Field in Upper Sackville; and

Whereas the Springfield Lake Recreation Association looks forward to welcoming Lover Boy as the headline band, who after over 30 years of musical success are still touring the globe doing what they love to do; and

Whereas all members of the planning committee and the community are excited about the annual outdoor rock concert and are encouraging everyone to attend this tremendous event;

[Page 481]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly extend best wishes and congratulations to the Springfield Lake Recreation Association for the upcoming Weir Rockin' outdoor concert series on August 21, 2010, at Weir Field in Upper Sackville

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 214

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Dylan Landry, a student from Louisdale, earned his invitation to the national squad at the Quebec Open where he received his gold medal to qualify for the Junior Canada team and then qualified for the international competition in Germany; and

Whereas Dylan Landry is one of two athletes to make the Junior Canada team in Nova Scotia, having been chosen along with 23 athletes in Canada to compete in Germany; and

Whereas Dylan Landry will join the very best Judokas in Canada for the international competition held in Germany and he will be training with teams all over Europe and the world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dylan Landry for his outstanding achievements, and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

[Page 482]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

[3:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 215

MR. JIM MORTON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre, commonly known as NKEC, Division 2 Girls Basketball Titans were ranked number one throughout the 2009-10 season; and

Whereas the NKEC Titans, the team's coaches and managers and the girls' parents did a superb job of hosting the NSSAF Provincial Basketball Championship Tournament on the weekend of March 4-6, 2010; and

Whereas on March 6, 2010, the NKEC Titans girls basketball team, playing on their home court, capped an outstanding 2009-10 season by capturing their school's first-ever NSSAF provincial D-2 girls basketball championship;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize the players, coaches, manager and school for their hard work and dedication throughout the year and congratulate the NKEC Titans girls basketball team for bringing home their first NSSAF provincial basketball championship banner to the Northeast Kings Education Centre.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 483]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 216

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on October 3, 2009, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation held its 10th Annual CIBC Run for the Cure in Church Point and in West Pubnico; and

Whereas in keeping with their history of community involvement, Belliveau Motors co-sponsored the annual Run for the Cure again this year; and

Whereas this year's run raised $14,763 for breast cancer research, education programs and treatment;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly extend our gratitude and best wishes to Belliveau Motors for their active role as well as the countless volunteers and participants.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 217

MS. PAM BIRDSALL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 484]

Whereas Parkinson's disease is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease which affects approximately 8,400 people in the Maritimes with no known cure; and

Whereas the Lunenburg-Queens Parkinson's Support Group has teamed up with the Kiwanis Club of Bluenose Golden K to host this year's Porridge for Parkinson's fundraising breakfast with the help of the Nova Scotia Community College Lunenburg Campus; and

Whereas this successful event was held on March 27th to aid with the research around this disease and education for those living with Parkinson's;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the hard work of the Lunenburg-Queens Parkinson's Support Group and the Kiwanis Club of the Bluenose Golden K for holding the 4th Annual Porridge for Parkinson's fundraising event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

MS. KELLY REGAN: I would like to direct the members' attention to the west gallery, I would like to make an introduction. Darian Huskilson is with us here today, stand up, Darian. Darian is a former mayor of Lockeport and a former candidate for the Liberal Party. I ask the members of the House to give him our warm best wishes. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 218

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Timberlea resident Gary Jones passed the test of a lifetime when he underwent surgery for thyroid cancer in 1997; and

[Page 485]

Whereas this retired trucker is going to test himself again, on his bicycle this time, for a 4,500 mile ride across Canada to raise money for thyroid cancer research this Spring; and

Whereas this involved, enthusiastic member of Timberlea's Trinity United Church attributes his strength from "enjoying life and it's all about smiling" to quote Gary;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature offer best wishes to Gary Jones of Timberlea on his ride across Canada and congratulate him for his efforts to raise funds for thyroid cancer research.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 219

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas as this NDP Government has deliberately and recklessly cancelled the ferry service agreement in Yarmouth and southwest Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Dexter NDP see no value in the 500-plus jobs and $175 million in economic spin-offs; and

Whereas the Premier finally decided to meet with the mayor and council in Yarmouth, however was chased down the street by protesters;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn the government for their mean-spirited, devastating economic actions and remind the Premier, you can run but you can't hide and may need to buy the pair of sneakers displayed by the Minister of Finance.

[Page 486]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

It's good we have creative writers in our House, isn't it?

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 220

MS. LENORE ZANN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Best Western Glengarry in Truro has been providing guests to Truro with excellent hotel service since 1975; and

Whereas the Best Western, Truro has been a contributor to the local economy, employing approximately 80 staff, offering 92 rooms, 12,000 square feet of convention space and is a Canada Select 3.5 star property; and

Whereas the Best Western Glengarry in Truro has scored in the top 20 per cent of 2,400 North American hotels and been awarded the Best Western Director's Award for outstanding design, cleanliness and excellent customer service;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Best Western Glengarry in Truro on receiving this award and thank them for their outstanding service, wishing them continued success and growth.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 487]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 221

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Anna Horsnell Wade of Eastern Passage is a well respected artist who shares her talents with genuine interest in contributing to her community and enriching the lives of others through arts and culture; and

Whereas each year the Progress Women of Excellence Awards honour women who have demonstrated leadership, participation and contribution in the areas of their profession, community and personal achievements; and

Whereas the 2009 Progress Women of Excellence awarded Eastern Passage resident and artist Anna Horsnell Wade their distinguished award in Arts and Culture, celebrating her significant professional contribution to the development, preservation and appreciation of the visual arts;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Anna Horsnell Wade for being chosen as one of the 2009 Progress Women of Excellence Award recipients in the area of Arts and Culture and encourage and support Anna in her future efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 222

[Page 488]

MR. GARY RAMEY: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Bridgewater Junior Badminton Club is a community organization open to the youth in our area; and

Whereas young people should be encouraged to engage in all types of physical activity of which badminton, involving skill and flexibility, is a prime example; and

Whereas Sara and Kalvin Hirtle, Zach Wile, Lindsey Burns, Melanie Flack, Cassie and Danny Ross, Ian Smith and Matt Tremere of the Bridgewater club won 16 medals over March break at the provincial championships in Antigonish;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Sara and Kalvin Hirtle, Zach Wile, Lindsey Burns, Melanie Flack, Cassie and Danny Ross, Ian Smith and Matt Tremere for the medals they received.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction. I would like the members to direct their attention to the gallery opposite to Mr. Len MacDonald of Antigonish, he's a business owner. I would like Len to rise and have the House acknowledge him with a round of applause. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 223

MR. BRIAN SKABAR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 489]

Whereas our government remains committed to keeping Nova Scotia's communities safe, strong and healthy; and

Whereas the Amherst Fire Department, with Fire Chief Bill Crossman, eight full-time staff, and an astounding 51 trained volunteers is dedicated to the safety and well-being of the families in our community; and

Whereas the Amherst Fire Department will soon have a new thermal imaging camera, after receiving $5,000 from the government's Emergency Services Provider Fund;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend our congratulations to the Amherst Fire Department on receiving these funds so that they may continue to provide the best life-saving services possible to the people of Cumberland County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 224

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on February 28, 2010, the community of Upper Hammonds Plains and the Department of African Nova Scotian Affairs recognized the valuable contributions made by Michelle Upshaw during the first 29 years of her life; and

Whereas they acknowledged her educational accomplishments, including her recent work on her Master of Arts in Education Psychology; and

Whereas they made aware her invaluable contributions to her church and community, such as volunteer with a youth group, young adult program coordinator and summer camp coordinator for the Autism Society of Nova Scotia;

[Page 490]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly acknowledge Michelle Upshaw on her outstanding contributions to her community and to the Province of Nova Scotia and extend best wishes for her future undertakings.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 225

MR. JIM MORTON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Kings County Evangeline Club is a social club for people who experience problems related to mental health and isolation from their communities; and

Whereas the club offers a variety of needed programs such as lunches, bowling and cribbage tournaments, free haircuts, a supervised apartment for individuals who need housing support, an innovative community garden that provides food, builds skills and offers recreation for many members; and

Whereas the club involves its members and the management of the club both through volunteer roles and paid jobs;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize the members of the Evangeline Club for their important contributions to life in Kings County and wish the club success in all its future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

[Page 491]

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 226

MS. PAM BIRDSALL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Lunenburg Rotary Club has raised over $100,000 for various initiatives over the years, including long-standing involvement in the Saint Vincent's Orphanage in Haiti; and

Whereas the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12th, 2010, resulted in tremendous damage to Saint Vincent's Orphanage, as well as the death of eight residents, leaving the future of the orphanage in question; and

Whereas the Lunenburg Rotary Club immediately sent an initial $2,000 in aid with an additional $7,000 sent through fundraising and is looking at undertaking a major project to assist with rebuilding the facility;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Lunenburg Rotary Club for their support for Saint Vincent's Orphanage in Haiti over the last 10 years and for their increased commitment to this orphanage over the devastating affects of the January earthquake.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 492]

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 227

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future

day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Seabright resident Beth McGee is this year's winner of the Nickerson Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment to environmental stewardship in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this award is named after Mil Nickerson of Yarmouth, who had been a leader on environmental issues provincially and nationally for over two decades; and

Whereas Beth McGee is the Chair of the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust, and is a member of the Chebucto Wilderness Coalition, the St. Margarets Bay Stewardship Association, the Wooden's River Environmental Organization and the St. Margarets Bay Regional Tourism Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulates Beth McGee on receiving the Nickerson Lifetime Achievement Award and offers her best wishes in her future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[3:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Historically, in this House, out of courtesy, the government would notify the Opposition benches when the Premier or Cabinet Ministers won't be here for Question Period. We have not been notified of the absence of any members and I don't know if my colleagues have been or not. But I

[Page 493]

would just ask if the Government House Leader could at least notify us now if he expects the Premier will nor will not be in the House.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, in fact we did, if they would check, that at 2:00 p.m. yesterday the Premier's Office did send out notice and in fact twice in Question Period he told people that he would be in Yarmouth today.

MR. SPEAKER: I will take that under consideration.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTION PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: We will now begin Question Period. It is 3:32 p.m. and Question Period will go until 5:02 p.m.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

ELECTION: NDP PLATFORM - MISLEADING

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Deputy Premier. The NDP Government is a government built on broken promises. Each and every member on the government benches campaigned on the promise of a balanced budget, no tax hikes and no program cuts. Let's remember that it was the Leader of the Liberal Party that warned the NDP about making promises that could not be kept and that the Leader of the Liberal Party also challenged the Premier to tell Nova Scotians the truth. Instead of the truth, the NDP told Nova Scotians a fiscal fairy tale.

My question to the Deputy Premier is, what do you have to say to Nova Scotians who trusted you and who voted for you and what do you say to Nova Scotians who were misled?

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, what we will say to the people of Nova Scotia is, we inherited this fiscal problem and we will get you out of it. (Applause)

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate what the Deputy Premier has said, however, the facts and the figures were before us all during the campaign and during the last election and yet the NDP refused to acknowledge them and continue to tell their fiscal fairy tale. Candidates from one end of the province to the other, NDP candidates, got elected because they convinced the people of Nova Scotia and the people of their ridings to trust the NDP and to believe false promises of their Leader.

My question to the Deputy Premier is, what do you have to say to your Cabinet colleagues and the NDP back benchers who maybe unwittingly misled their constituents and ran on a platform that is proven to be false?

[Page 494]

MR. CORBETT: Well, what we have done, Mr. Speaker, in the Finance Minister's budget yesterday - our first budget - was to set a course. When Nova Scotians told us what they wanted fixed, we fixed it and we're going forward, not backwards.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it is quite convenient to look forward after broken promises have been left in the past. Now we look at this day, the day after the government broke its word to Nova Scotia and threw the middle class under the Dexter bus and we shouldn't be surprised that here we are where the Premier has left the Deputy Premier to answer the questions on these broken promises.

My question, again, to the Deputy Premier is, how can any Nova Scotian believe a single word that the Dexter Government or its members say?

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, it's very easy to believe what we say because we put our words into action starting yesterday and we're going forward and Nova Scotians are coming along with us no matter what the Opposition Parties say, thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

FIN. - BUDGET (2010-2011): ECONOMY - EFFECTS

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Finance. Yesterday in the sanctimonious, self-righteous style in only a way that the Minister of Finance can, we witnessed not only an attack on Nova Scotia's middle class, the minister also set his sights on New Brunswick. In interviews the minister stated, ask me 12 months from now, musing about our neighbours. From our balanced budget to this structurally contrived structural deficit, what clearly is in deficit is good business and common sense from Robin Hood over there who is taking from the middle class to give to the middle class and borrowing to do it.

Mr. Speaker, if growing revenue for Nova Scotia is so important, why would the minister inflict measures that will do the exact opposite and harm jobs and the economy?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, we have to deal with the situation the way that it is, not the way that we wish it was. We wish that the previous government had not left such a big mess behind but they did. One of the questions that I hope someone on that side will answer sooner or later is, why did they let the Colchester Regional Hospital go $80 million over budget? Why did they spend 10 years of recreation funding in two years? Why was there no money in their budget for H1N1 that they knew was coming? When they have answered those questions, they'll know the difficult challenges we were facing. We faced those difficult challenges head-on and it's the right budget for these times.

[Page 495]

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance needs to look no further than Hansard, from when they were in Opposition all the demands for spending that they would call upon. The Minister of Finance attempted yesterday to find cover for his own inept fiscal nonsense by pointing to New Brunswick's fiscal woes again, stating, well ask me in 12 months from now and maybe their situation will look worse than ours and we won't look so bad, musing over their fortunes next door. Maybe he should start worrying about the mess that the Dexter NDP have created in no less than nine months. Before long we're soon going to have a billion dollar deficit boondoggle thanks to the NDP.

The attack on the middle class should not come as a surprise given the Dexter NDP's attack on rural Nova Scotia, the attack on the new Halifax convention centre, the attack on the Cape Breton railway, dredging, Springhill Correctional Facility, the good ship Hector and others. Given the fact that the Minister of Finance is incapable of growing the economy, maybe the Minister of Economic and Rural Development who is from Halifax will do something for Halifax like support a job generator and sustain . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Your question, please.

MR. CLARKE: Does the minister support investing in the proposed convention centre for Halifax, yes or no?

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, as was stated clearly yesterday, there is no amount in the budget for the Halifax convention centre but nobody should read anything into that. The project is so large that in the normal course, if it were approved the money wouldn't flow until the following fiscal year anyway.

Unlike the previous government, we will take our time, we will do our homework, we won't do back-of-the-envelope math like that crowd did over there and we will make the right decision for people of the whole province.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I see the Minister of Economic and Rural Development can't even answer a question as was asked and directed. The attitude of the Dexter NDP when it comes to infrastructure that supports and promotes development is consistent. The Minister of Economic and Rural Development is aware that Centre 200 in Sydney has requested $1.5 million towards the $4 million upgrade. To date, the government has not supported this needed investment either. Will the Minister of Economic and Rural Development support Centre 200, Sydney and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and their request by doing the right thing and make this needed investment?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, what we will do at the Department of Economic and Rural Development when the request comes forward, it will go to Cabinet and decisions will be made at Cabinet.

[Page 496]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HPP - PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COORDINATOR (C.B.): PSC CONTACT

- DETAILS

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Public Service Commission. According to the Government of Nova Scotia Human Resources Management Manual, when a department wishes to engage the services of a person by contract, a personnel services contract must be prepared. The manual also states if the department is interested in hiring individuals by contract, it must consult with the Public Service Commission prior to entering into a personnel services contract to employ an individual within that department. So my question is could the minister please inform the members of this House whether the Department of Health Promotion and Protection approached the Public Service Commission to hire a physical activity coordinator in Cape Breton through the use of a personnel services contract in the last six months?

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I will take that under advisement and get back to the member.

MR. YOUNGER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I certainly look forward to receiving that information and I would like to delve a little bit more into the policy process when it comes to hiring personnel - and I'm sure the minister will be able to answer about policy.

There are certain government programs available to municipal units, as he would be aware, to enable them to access funding from the province to assist them in hiring staff who would be considered mutually beneficial. One such program is the Municipal Physical Activity Leadership Program. For the minister's benefit, the program enables municipal units to hire staff to develop programs, and Health Promotion and Protection funds 50 per cent of the cost to a maximum of $20,000 annually, so my question to the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission is why would any government department hire another staff person and potentially pay 100 per cent of the salary when the program and the benefit to the province in terms of saving money is structured as a 50 per cent payment?

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I don't believe we would, but if there's a certain individual or a certain position that the member has in mind, again, we will simply take it under advisement and find out about it.

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad the minister shares the concerns that I'm having. My final question in this round on this is, recently the Department of Health Promotion and Protection announced four physical activity coordinators for the province. Two of these individuals are in the same geographic area - the only case of this in Nova Scotia. One position is a physical activity coordinator and the other is a physical activity strategy coordinator. One of these individuals is employed with the municipality and the

[Page 497]

other, while hired by the municipality, appears to be employed by the province, including being on our GroupWise system. It is interesting to note that the Department of Health Promotion and Protection also employs a physical activity coordinator in Halifax but only one position at 50 per cent of the cost.

So could the minister please indicate what other region of the province, other than Cape Breton, has received 100 per cent funding from the province for both a physical activity coordinator as well as funding through the municipal program for similar staff?

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, since I'm not the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, what I will do is I'll take it under advisement and get that information back for that member.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East on a new question.

HPP - PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COORDINATOR (C.B.): NDP CANDIDATE

- CONFIRM

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, in a newsletter produced by the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, it announces Mr. Wayne McKay as the physical activity coordinator for Cape Breton and Ms. Colleen Carey as the physical activity strategy coordinator for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Mr. Speaker, the posting for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality advertises the position of the physical activity coordinator yet states this is a contract position with the Department of Health Promotion and Protection. So my question for the minister is, as the employer, is Wayne McKay the same Wayne McKay who ran as the NDP candidate in Cape Breton South in the last election?

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, as you can appreciate, there are many people employed by the Public Service Commission. As you know, on Tartan Day there are many McKays in this province. We can look into it to see if it's the same Wayne McKay. I'm not sure, but we'll get back to the member on that.

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows he's getting himself into hot water and he's trying to avoid it here. (Interruptions) I can help the minister out here. It is the same Wayne MacKay and let's look at what we know about the situation. The job posting was clearly from the CBRM, yet on the bottom of the ad it states it is a contract position with the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, is 100 per cent financed by the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, is located in a department office and the person is on the provincial GroupWise system.

[Page 498]

Given what we know, this has all the hallmarks of an NDP in-and-out scheme, just like in the election. Given what we know, could the minister responsible please advise whether he feels it is appropriate that the municipality post a position for employment where the province is actually the employer?

MR. CORBETT: Again, Mr. Speaker, it is not uncommon to share employees between the province and the municipalities. The only thing I can get from that questioning, is that member is against jobs in Cape Breton. Thank you.

MR. YOUNGER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think it is more likely that this minister is in favour of just hiring his buddies and his friends for the jobs that he can find. If this position was so important to the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, they would post it as a career opportunity within the province and not try to go behind the rules and have CBRM post the job for him so that he might be able to control who gets hired.

Mr. Speaker, my final question is, was it this government's intention to use the only process available to them, that by going through CBRM to hide their desire to hire an NDP supporter?

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, we know - the one thing, I guess it's good to let the member know is that finally, according to him, the relationship between the province and the municipality has finally thawed and we're working together collaboratively. I know I am not against jobs in Cape Breton, they may be.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

TIR - CONVENTION CTR. DESIGN: RANK INC. - MODIFICATION

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Aside from the minister's department's release today, our caucus has learned that this government has made additional requests of the developer Rank Inc. You previously stated that you had issue with the proposed design for the new Trade Centre complex for Halifax that was unveiled last May. Surely local interest groups, supported by the members for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island and Halifax Chebucto, are lobbying the NDP Government to kill this deal.

My question to the minister is, has your government asked the developer, Rank Inc., to make any modifications or changes in the last several months regarding the design and engineering of the convention centre that was unveiled last May by the previous government?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question on this important issue and this important decision which is forthcoming. I am

[Page 499]

aware of the fact, of course, that there has been an extension. The extension is no longer April 19th, it has been announced in a press release before we came into the House today that it would be extended to July 19th.

I want to make it very clear that this submission is the best one that we're looking for. That is what we want, we want the best information. Therefore, when the request came from the proponent to extend the date to a later time in the summer, we were in complete agreement with it because, after all, if we're going to make the best decision, we need the best possible information. For that reason Rank Inc. has been allowed to extend their proponents until July 19th. It is something that has been asked for by Mr. Ramia and it is something that we have agreed to. Thank you.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, as the minister knows and as was stated by the Minister of Finance, the NDP budget that was tabled yesterday didn't have one red cent in it designated for the new Trade Centre in this current fiscal year. The MOU that was signed between the HRM and the province was signed in May 2009. The site has almost been cleared, as many may know, for the preparation of the new facility. Nova Scotians are wondering if this deal is dead - aside from process aspects, and indeed will be moving forward.

My question is again to the minister. We all know that the Trade Centre would be a huge economic generator. What are the changes being asked for of the developer? I mean the changes by the government of the developer, not the time by the developer, Rank Inc., that will inevitably have a financial impact on the already heavily burdened taxpayer of Nova Scotia?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member opposite. Let's make a couple of things very clear here. The dollars involved, if this project is approved, are not necessarily to have been included in this budget. After all, the construction term is when it's "substantially completed" those dollars will be forthcoming at the time. If the project is approved, when the correct information is received, in a timely fashion, this summer, at that time, there will be a decision made. It will be a right decision, based upon the right information, for the right time in this province.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, for those who are looking to the government to provide stimuli and get the economy going and to provide for a vibrant sector here for the tourism and convention trade business, what they've heard is the government has no intention of moving on this centre anytime soon and Halifax will be impacted as a result of that. He talks about the planning. Will the minister table current discussions with the developer, Rank Inc., so that Nova Scotians can have the open, transparent and clear understanding of the additional costs that the developer is being forced to bear because of the frivolous request made by the government when a decision is finally made on this important issue? Will the

[Page 500]

minister provide that because the government has been asking for changes and thus the contractor has to move out the timeline?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, there's no frivolity involved here. There is no request other than the fact the request came from the proponent to us. Because of that we have agreed, and I have recommended to the Premier and the Cabinet, that we extend the date to July 19th. It's important for all of us to understand that you're going to make the right decision, member, you're going to make the right decision based upon the right information.

I want you to know that my staff has conscientiously replied to letter after letter, e-mail after e-mail. I've been involved with this process from the beginning, I continue to meet with people who have strong feelings on both sides. The decision has not been made yet. I have not thought of the final recommendation that I'm going to make to my Cabinet colleagues, but let me assure you, it will be the right recommendation.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

ERD - NSBI CEO: SALARY APPROVAL - DETAILS

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development. Last week in Question Period I asked the minister what people of Nova Scotia were paying the president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. His answer was around $180,000 per year. He was $35,000 short. The salary for the CEO, for the year ended March 31, 2009, is $215,706.94, more than any deputy minister in this province. On top of all this, the Minister of Finance gave him a tax break yesterday. My question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development is, will the minister inform Nova Scotians who sets the salary of the CEO, who approves any bonus payments, and has the CEO been given another raise this year?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I think there were a couple of questions there. First, what I said is that I thought the salary was $180,000-plus. That was first. The salary of the current head of NSBI was a salary that we inherited. That individual has been with the organization for a number of years. I think that salary at the time, I think - and I could be wrong on this - but I think he was hired in 2006, certainly before our time. I would assume, and I'm going to assume, that his salary was probably based on negotiations between him and the board of NSBI, then I suspect it would have gone to Cabinet for approval by the Cabinet of the day, certainly not this Cabinet.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister, that department is now on his watch. He's the minister for this particular department now.

[Page 501]

In addition to this very generous salary, $215,000 plus - more than the Deputy Minister - the CEO has billed taxpayers another $68,000 for expenses, bringing his total salary and expense package to $283,000 - over $0.25 million for the past fiscal year. (Interruption) If the Minister of Finance wants to join in here, let him get up. . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton South has the floor.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: You know, Mr. Know-It-All over there is trying to tell me what's going on, but he's not getting away with it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: The guy who just finished hoodwinking the taxpayers yesterday.

MR. SPEAKER: You may proceed with your question, please.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Andrew Krystal told you this morning. (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Come on, honourable member, you're going to ask your question, please.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the total salary and expenses are $283,000, over $0.25 million for the past fiscal year, whether the Minister of Finance likes it or not. NSBI, a division of the Department of Economic and Rural Development, has 75 employees making over $25,000 per year, including seven who make over $100,000 per year and another nine who make over $90,000 per year. All this to manage a budget of $35 million, salary class, including $7.5 million for the past fiscal year.

My question to the minister is, does the minister agree with me that this runaway train called NSBI is out of control financially and needs to be reviewed in light of the current fiscal situation in Nova Scotia?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, again I will reiterate part of my previous response. With respect to the salaries of NSBI, these are conditions and salaries that we inherited. As far as being out of control, I certainly would not characterize NSBI as a freight train being out of control. It's a very professional organization which does very good work, and the province is better off because of them.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: I'm sure it is, Mr. Speaker - $7 million in salaries to operate a $35 million budget, yes, that's pretty professional, all right.

[Page 502]

Considering the fact that the Department of Economic and Rural Development, the Industrial Expansion Fund, and NSBI are all under the same ministerial watch and essentially doing the same job - distributing taxpayers' money - would it not make sense to roll these into one accountable and transparent lending agency, resulting in millions of dollars of savings to taxpayers of Nova Scotia?

My final supplementary is, will the minister consider an independent review of your department to determine how all of these various divisions and agencies could better serve Nova Scotia's business and economic health, as well as the ability to pay for this service in the future?

MR. PARIS: Well, Mr. Speaker, I've heard the question and I even question the question itself. If I recall, just very recently the Liberal Party put forth a bill looking for NSBI - the so-called freight train, as they put it - to take over the IEF, which would give them even more strength.

Do you know what? As leader of the Department of Economic and Rural Development, one of the things that we do consider, we consider - (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development has the floor. (Interruptions) Order, the honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development has the floor.

MR. PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and as Minister responsible for Nova Scotia Business Incorporated I can tell you that I work very closely with NSBI and we are always in constant communication and we will continue that trend.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

[4:00 p.m.]

TIR - TRURO REG. HOSP. PROJ.: U.S. PRODUCTS

- STANCE

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, one of the ministers and one of the few who I believe understands a question and tries to answer it so I am happy to be asking it to him.

The Colchester-East Hants Health Authority recently issued an addendum to the regional hospital project in Truro. This will allow the use of USA-made drywall on the project. The call for tenders ends tomorrow. So my question to the minister is this, do you support the use of USA products over Canadian-made?

[Page 503]

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the member opposite for the question. I know there is a supplemental coming so, having been in this House before, I am truly appreciative of the fact that my commitments have always been to the fact that Canadian goods should be used in Canadian construction. So with that quick response, I'll turn it back to my learned friend.

MS. CASEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I will table the addendum. There are two businesses in Nova Scotia who produce the drywall. Supplying drywall to this project will protect Nova Scotian jobs. so my question to the minister is this, will he support this change when the work could be done by Nova Scotians?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Thank you, member, and thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am looking forward to the documentation that you're going to table, and based upon the evidence that you have presented and the discussion that we're having here on the floor, it's something that I will followup with the member opposite, but thank you.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member, I would like to ask the minister if he would take action to have the closing date for this addendum extension so that proper representation can be made to save the work for Nova Scotians. Will you extend the date on the addendum?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the member opposite. This is a specific question and I am not aware of all the details as we have brought forward here in the floor, but I will assure the member opposite that when the Question Period - perhaps I should readjust that thing - but if I could get out of here before 5:02 p.m., I will make sure the staff stays on a little bit later today so I can get further information to respond specifically to that request. Thank you for your question.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

FIN.: BUDGET (2010-2011) IMPLEMENTATION - BUS. COSTS

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Yesterday the Minister of Finance made life more expensive for Nova Scotia families. As a measure to ease some of the hardship he has caused very low income Nova Scotians, the minister talked about point of sales rebates. My question to the minister is quite simple - does he realize what various costs this new system will have for businesses to implement?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, as the member knows very well, the HST system has a system of input tax credits for Nova Scotia businesses which are in place, so that it is simply a flow-through through the business. There will be no impact, no implementation costs. The system is already in place.

[Page 504]

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, as the minister well knows, yes, the HST, the GST is the flow-through; point of sale rebate is a different matter. Obviously the minister himself feel people need protection from his own policies. These measures that the minister had to design in order to get very low income families some degree of protection could have been avoided if the Finance Minister didn't take the easy road by increasing taxes.

Businesses will have to update their computer and accounting systems to reflect the new tax rate and adjust to the point of sale rebate administration system. Some businesses will have to make these changes individually, which is time-consuming. Businesses will also have to retrain employees on the new system. Mr. Speaker, did the Finance Minister give any thought whatsoever to the implications of this NDP tax?

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, as usual, the Liberals are just completely wrong. They completely misunderstand the system and how it works. The system changes happened when they were the government and they brought the HST in. I would also say this - we are not the first province in Canada to increase sales tax revenue this year. In fact, we're the fourth, after British Columbia and Ontario, which have gone to an HST system and Quebec, which has also raised its sales tax. Perhaps the member could call those provinces because the last time I checked, they're all Liberal Governments. (Applause)

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, but along with Prince Edward Island, we are the only two jurisdictions at 15 per cent; a stand-alone tax zone with 10 per cent HST. Thanks to the NDP tax grab, businesses will now be responsible to update HST rate in sales equipment such as cash registers to correct the rate of tax; ensure that any revenues collected by automated payments from customer bank accounts are appropriately adjusted; update price lists, catalogues and other sales materials that are preprinted with the new tax rate; update web site, on line payment software for businesses that sell products on services over the Internet; update accounts payable software; update input, tax-credit calculations; update taxable benefit calculations; update formulas and spreadsheets such as expense reports.

Mr. Speaker, the question is simply - why is the NDP forcing the middle class and the working poor to pay for the government poor planning?

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, we announced the measures we took yesterday - it is a balanced approach. Where difficult choices are necessary, we've made those difficult choices. We've talked about spending restraint, we've talked about economic growth, we've talked about protecting health care and the one thing that is missing is any answer from the Liberal Party. What would they do instead? What would they cut? I understand (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order.

[Page 505]

MR. STEELE: I understand that people say that there are other options but what the Liberal Party advocates is more cutting. So my question to them is simple - what would they cut?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

DONKIN MINE PROJ.: GOV'T. (N.S.) - SUPPORT CONFIRM

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Premier. Xstrata has announced that it intends to move forward with a world-class coking mine. Can the Deputy Premier tell the people of Donkin, the people of Cape Breton and, indeed, all of Nova Scotia, is he in favour of this mining project?

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, we welcome companies like Xstrata to Nova Scotia. I think they are - I don't think, I know - they're an internationally respected mining corporation. They will create jobs, not only in Cape Breton West, but I would think throughout all of Cape Breton Island, so certainly, we wish them well in endeavours in Donkin.

MR. MACLEOD: My first supplementary, Mr. Speaker, to the Deputy Premier. The Deputy Premier says that he is supportive of this project and that's good news. Now, could the Deputy Premier explain to the community why he would never meet face to face with the Xstrata Coal Donkin mine project manager despite numerous requests being made to him?

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I think the member may have his facts mixed up or just simply wrong. We, the member for Cape Breton Nova and the Premier when he was Opposition Leader, toured that mine. I've met with various people from the Donkin project and will continue to do so whenever.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, I don't think I have my facts wrong, I just think that you have a very poor memory because I know of the number of times that you were asked for a meeting and you would not do it.

To the Deputy Premier, I ask this question. You say you're concerned about the Cape Breton economy and the Nova Scotia economy. How is it that you would fail to meet with this project manager of a project that has pumped $25 million into the area's economy, it has the possibility of creating upwards of 1,000 jobs, it has the potential of pumping $30 million to $40 million a year into the Nova Scotia government coffers, all of this being private money. These jobs are important to bring people home, they are important to the community, why aren't they important to the Deputy Premier?

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, again, I've met with Mr. Istomin, there were times when our schedules conflicted, but I've met with him. We've toured that project, we

[Page 506]

supported it. If I wasn't available, he has certainly talked to senior members of this government. I'll say this again, we're supportive of this, it's going in the right direction and we support it going forward. No matter what the naysayers in that Party say.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

HEALTH: LUCENTIS - FUNDING

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Information provided to the minister and the Department of Health clearly outlines that if Lucentis was funded, government would save $2.5 million in direct costs in one year alone with millions more to be saved in indirect costs associated with blindness. That is what we would call a strategic investment. While in Opposition, the NDP was very vocal when it came to the funding of Lucentis and now, in government, they have been silent. My question to the minister is, why don't Nova Scotians have access to Lucentis?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The Department of Health provides more than $240 million annually for drugs. The drug, Lucentis, is not one of the drugs that we have approved for funding. That hasn't changed with this Spring budget.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and our neighbour New Brunswick, all fund Lucentis. That leaves only Nova Scotia and P.E.I. as the last two holdouts. Others see the benefit of this worthwhile investment, but clearly, this government does not. With a net cost of $2.5 million to government this year, my question to the minister is, why hasn't the minister been able to find the money for this worthwhile investment within her budget envelope, which did increase by $200 million this year?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, first of all I would say to the honourable member that my numbers and her numbers certainly do not jive. The cost of Lucentis this year would be $4.5 million to $5 million. Over the next three years that would bill to be more than a $10 million pressure in terms of the expenditure. That's for one drug.

Mr. Speaker, as you're very well aware, new drugs are coming on the market all the time. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the budget of the Department of Health to pick up the costs of these additional drugs. That's why our government is implementing a drug-management policy unit. We will be looking to find the most up-to-date and the most affordable way for Nova Scotians to get the health care they need, including drugs.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, we're hearing a different story from the minister today than we did when she was in Opposition because she clearly understood the many social

[Page 507]

costs there are to blindness and that this is a disease that's devastating for those who can't afford that drug.

Now, if you have the money in Nova Scotia, you can get this drug, but if you're relying on Pharmacare, you cannot, and blindness is what you'll get. I don't think that's right in this province and more than 95 per cent of Canadians have access to this drug. I think the minister needs to review her numbers and measure the cost of rehabilitation and societal costs and just the costs of blindness.

My final question to the minister is, how long do Nova Scotians have to wait for the coverage of Lucentis?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as I've said, drugs make up a very large percentage of the department's budget. We're very committed to getting the most affordable deal for Nova Scotians, to ensure they have the drug coverage they require. We will be setting up a drug management policy unit in the department not only so that people will have access in the future to drugs like Lucentis, but all of the other drugs as well that people require for their health care.

[4:15 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

ERD: C.B. RAIL SRV. - COMMITMENT CONFIRM

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development.

Today marks a week since the agreement ended providing operational and maintenance support for the Point Tupper to Sydney portion of the Cape Breton and Central Railroad. The Premier and his Cabinet are either committed to the railroad or they're not - so far it appears that they are not, as evidenced by the couldn't-care-less attitude of the Minister of Economic and Rural Development.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister inform this House if he's committed to maintaining rail service for Cape Breton - yes or no?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in my place with respect to Cape Breton rail. We are still negotiating. I've said all along, and I continue to say this, negotiations are ongoing. Between us we have extended the timeline; operations still continue for the next month. Cape Breton rail and the Province of Nova Scotia are in honest and earnest dialogue with one another.

[Page 508]

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, two previous rounds of negotiations have been held and the results were a positive outcome. On both occasions it happened as a result of recognition and appreciation of the importance of the rail, a strategic infrastructure vital to hundreds of jobs in Cape Breton now and to the future economic development and commercialization of our Sydney Harbour. If the railroad presents a business case, consistent with the previous two agreements, will the Dexter NDP invest in Cape Breton's future or will they put the Island's future in peril as it seems to be the attitude of this minister - the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal seems to have his priorities straight, why can't you, Mr. Minister?

MR. PARIS: I'm not sure if there was a question there, but (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development has the floor.

MR. PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm just repeating that we are very actively negotiating with Cape Breton rail. Work continues on Cape Breton rail. They are operating the rail as they were yesterday; that will continue. We will continue to dialogue with them and, when those negotiations conclude, I will be making a recommendation to Cabinet.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, the bad attitude and hollow platitudes from the Dexter NDP Government about Cape Breton are shaking the confidence of business and citizens alike on the Island. The Dexter NDP didn't hesitate for a moment to deficit finance $100 million for land, yet they won't invest $25 million towards the continuation of rail service and the commercialization of Sydney Harbour.

Why is it, Mr. Speaker, why is it that the Dexter NDP will invest in dirt, yet treat rural Nova Scotians like dirt? Will you or won't you support Cape Breton's economic infrastructure - your Party made lots of promises during a campaign, but honouring commitments seems to be hard for this government to do. Is this minister going to support Cape Breton?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, this government has supported all Nova Scotians. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable minister has the floor.

MR. PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This government, as I have already said, continues to support all Nova Scotians, regardless of where they live. Whether it be in Cape Breton or whether it be on the mainland, we are very supportive.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

[Page 509]

HEALTH: W.B. KINGSTON COMMUN. HEALTH CTR. - FUNDING

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, March 28th, residents throughout Richmond County gathered in the L'Ardoise Community Centre for the kickoff of the fundraising campaign for the new W.B. Kingston Community Health Centre. The new centre will provide a range of health and medical services and will replace the 130-year-old building currently housing the medical clinic.

The total cost to build the new health centre is $1.5 million. The community itself has committed to raising $250,000, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation has committed $500,000, the Municipality of Richmond has committed $250,000, and the Province of Nova Scotia has committed - well, that's the reason for my question, Mr. Speaker.

Will the Minister of Health, who is also the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, tell the residents of Richmond County why the province and her government has not committed funds for the new W.B. Kingston Community Health Centre?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Well, Mr. Speaker, health facilities around the province are capital projects which are, in fact, funded by the Department of Health. However, the Department of Health is not a funder of community health centres, in terms of capital construction and infrastructure. Those kinds of plans and requirements go to the district health authorities, and perhaps the community health centre has submitted a proposal to the district health authority for their centre. If that's the case, I'm not aware of it, but I would be happy to look into it for the honourable member.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the previous government said, when the board went to see them, well, go see Tourism and Culture under the Sport and Recreation Fund, sent them over to put in a proposal for the funding that was being sent for private partnerships over in B.C., got the complete runaround. Now this minister is saying, put in an application to the DHA.

The fact is that the Department of Health is not providing any funding for capital construction of these community health clinics. If the minister doesn't know that by now, then we've got serious issues in this province.

Mr. Speaker, on October 26, 2009, W.B. Kingston Clinic chair Rene Samson wrote to the Minister of Health and stated: Despite words of praise and encouragement, as of this date we have not received any kind of financial commitment from the provincial government. Could the Minister of Health inform the House as to whether she has responded to this letter or made any arrangements to meet with the board of the W.B. Kingston Clinic?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, again, I want to say to the honourable member that in the Department of Health we do not fund the building of

[Page 510]

community health centres. We fund the operation of community health centres. We fund the doctors, the nurses, and the other personnel who work in community health centres.

However, in terms of capital infrastructure, it is not the practice of the Department of Health to fund the centre in the member's riding or the centre in any other constituency around the province, but whether or not that centre has approached the DHA or the department with a proposal is something I'm prepared to do some investigation on and look into, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, what is sad here is that the board of the centre are volunteers. They give of their time; they are trying to do something good for the community. How upsetting it is to watch the provincial government continue to give them the runaround.

The minister initially said, in her first reply, that they should apply to the DHA for funding for capital construction. Then she turned around and said, we don't do capital construction either through the DHAs, but we help with the operating costs.

The fact is this medical clinic doesn't need help with the operating costs. The way the clinic is set up, it will pay for itself once it's built but they need the money to be able to build it. I asked the minister a specific question, did she reply to the letter of October 26, 2009, and she didn't answer it because the fact is she didn't reply. If she's looking for their business plan, it was attached with the letter of October 26, 2009.

Will the Minister of Health explain today, and explain more importantly to the residents, the new doctor who is located in the community, to the new nurse practitioner who is there and to the hard-working board of directors, why did you not see fit to sit down and read that letter and at least give them the dignity of a reply?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, frankly, what is sad is not that the Department of Health doesn't fund the capital construction but it's, in fact, that the member doesn't want to hear the instructions that I'm giving him about what might be a very helpful way to get money so that centre, in fact, can be built.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

TCH - TOURISM IND.: CONCERNS - ALLEVIATE

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. The ChronicleHerald headline on Page 4 yesterday blared "Taxing times in tourism" - and I'll table that - citing the fact the tourism industry will be warding off a blow if the HST is hiked. We all know what happened. The Cat ferry shut down and a dollar that's on par with its American counterpart is also keeping American tourists away.

[Page 511]

My question through you to the minister is, what are you and your government planning to tell the 40,000 individuals employed in Nova Scotia's tourism industry and what are you doing to alleviate the concerns within that industry?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. There are a lot of things going on in tourism. First of all I've got to say that these are very challenging times for all of us. One of the things that we've been very fortunate in Nova Scotia is that when it comes to tourism, we've been able to pretty well hold our own and part of the reason that we've been able to hold our own when it comes to tourism, a $1.3 billion industry, is because of strategies; it's because of the good work of the department.

We don't stop, we continuously come up with ways, strategize with stakeholders, with members of the community and with people from TIANS to the heritage and culture sector, to all those units that contribute to tourism in the Province of Nova Scotia. We should be speaking the praises of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, $825,000 was spent on advertising in the United States in 2009-10 compared to $1.4 million in Europe with a major emphasis on the United Kingdom. With visitation down from the United States, my question to the minister is, are you spending more, less, or just the same in trying to lure American tourists this summer?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, times have changed. The way people shop for adventures in tourism have changed in the last 5, 10, 15 years. Now we do a lot of on-line searching. What we've done in the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, one of the reasons that our numbers have remained competitive is because we've changed with the changing times.

One of the things - the "stay" vacation - we did a lot of concentration in the past year of tourists within the Atlantic Region and within Canada. We are also looking at niche marketing in the United States, so we are looking at new markets in the United States and some of those traditional markets may be a little bit worn out and we've got to be on the edge and that's where we are. Again, we should be praising the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage for keeping the industry as a $1.3 billion industry.

[4:30 p.m.]

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, through you again to the minister, in an e-mail, one of the province's major tourism operators has informed me, as Tourism Critic, that one U.S. motorcoach which this company normally deals with and typically books around 18,000 rooms. This year they've booked only 14,500 rooms. The decrease is because they have to travel through New Brunswick. Mr. Minister, this is a loss of 3,500 rooms for 2010. What do you say to hotel operators across Nova Scotia? Why was there no discussion held as to

[Page 512]

how the government might assist them in compensating for this fiscal blow of over $0.5 million?

MR. SPEAKER: I would remind members to address the Chair when they're asking the question to the minister.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, we work with industry stakeholders on a daily basis. We are in touch and in contact and continue to dialogue with the Hotel Association, with TIANS, with all of the stakeholders and, I don't know what it's going to take to get the message across, that we have maintained a level of tourism in the Province of Nova Scotia which other jurisdictions envy, they envy that. We've done so much and it's an effort on our part to maintain that $1.3 billion industry and we will continue to do that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

SOUTHWESTERN N.S.: GOV'T (N.S.) - ABANDONMENT

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Premier. There was a lot of talk yesterday, a lot of discussion around spending, a lot of debate around costs and payments. The only thing there wasn't much discussion around was on a ferry service between Yarmouth and the United States. So my first question to the Deputy Premier is, why did your government completely abandon the people of southwestern Nova Scotia by cancelling The Cat ferry this season?

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, as we meet for this Question Period in this House today, the Premier is in Yarmouth meeting with the stakeholders. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The Deputy Premier has the floor.

MR. CORBETT: Well, Mr. Speaker, the people obviously have a crystal ball over there and saying a version of facts that aren't just quite accurate. To enlighten them, the Premier led them to a meeting at the local newspaper and they were glad to follow him, as most Nova Scotians are.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I hope the Premier will be able to provide an answer today in Yarmouth because his Minister of Economic and Rural Development certainly hasn't provided a single answer yet as to why they could not extend a subsidy for one year, and that's what the people of this region were looking for - one year of help. The people of this region needed economic guidance and a helping hand. So my question to the Deputy Premier, does your government really believe that the $600,000 you have saved from the buyout with Bay Ferries will save southwestern Nova Scotia from your reckless decision to shut down a ferry service?

[Page 513]

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, one thing I will agree with the member and the question is there was reckless spending around The Cat but it wasn't by this government. We were prudent with Canadians' dollars. We were prudent with Nova Scotians' dollars. We are leading the way in the resurrection of the economy of southwestern Nova Scotia. Follow us, we will get you there and not by spending money on a ferry that was going down.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that The Cat ferry was not viable. This is not a revolutionary statement from government. This is an international highway link. Surely the NDP Government and the federal Conservatives could have found a financial subsidy to keep this ferry service going until a viable option could be found. So my final question to the Deputy Premier is, why wasn't a one-year subsidy granted for The Cat ferry to avoid economic ruin in southwestern Nova Scotia?

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to get involved with the economic hyperbole that the members are engaging in across the way, because it is just not so. What we did is, we did the prudent fiscal thing for Nova Scotians. That ferry was costing us over $400 a passenger, that was not sustainable, that would not go forward and we did what was in the best interest of all Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

ERD: MINACS CALL CTR. - JOB LOSS

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister Economic and Rural Development. On March 9, 2010, the Minacs call centre in Port Hawkesbury announced that on April 30th, 94 people will be laid off. In discussions with the MLA for Inverness, we both realized that this is a significant blow to the community as well as the broader areas of Victoria County, Inverness, Richmond and Antigonish as well as the local economy.

My question, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development is, what has this government done to prevent these 94 people from losing their jobs?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, the question is, what have we done to prevent people from losing their jobs and in the case of Minacs, this came as a surprise to us when they made the announcement that some people would lose their jobs. As a matter of fact, my understanding is that there is a possibility that Minacs may not close, that they're looking at other customers, and we're there to help. Any way that we can help Minacs, or any other contact centres in the Province of Nova Scotia, we are there for them. (Applause)

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, for a community the size of Port Hawkesbury, the loss of 94 jobs is devastating. The need in the community will be great. Again, my question through

[Page 514]

you to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development - what is the government's plan to help those displaced by the layoffs if they do take place.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, one of the arms that we have in the government that the member opposite may be well aware of is through the Department of Education, Labour and Workforce Development. We will be working with Minacs, with the regional development authority, with the municipality, and again, I reiterate, we will do anything and everything humanly possible from our end as far as assisting Minacs to stay in Port Hawkesbury.

MR. BAIN: Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, this government's lack of regard for the well-being of rural Nova Scotians is becoming increasingly clear. Through you, can the minister outline steps he has personally taken, which will result in a strengthened economic-development strategy for rural Nova Scotia?

MR. PARIS: Well, Mr. Speaker, I could be here for a while. (Interruption) We've done a lot and I've actively been involved with DSME with their relocation at TrentonWorks. I've been actively involved with IMP, not only with IMP but also with the IMP contact centre in Windsor. What I can do if the member would like, I could certainly, through staff, provide him with a very healthy and lengthy list of things that have taken place in the last 10 or 11 months. (Interruptions)

There has been contact. You know, some times we laugh at contact centres, and when I say we, I don't mean this side of the House. Contact centres have provided a very valuable service to the Province of Nova Scotia, not to mention those in the financial sector. We have been able to lure people in the financial sector. Do you know, Mr. Speaker, a question was asked . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr. Minister.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

EDUC.: PER-STUDENT FUNDING (FED.) - CONSIDER

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Does the minister support federal per-student funding of post-secondary education?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, certainly various governments have tried to encourage the federal government to support post-secondary student funding rather than doing it by the population-based formula. It's something my department is considering very seriously, but certainly it would bring more post-secondary funding in from the federal government and it's worth taking a look at.

[Page 515]

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, has the minister gone to Ottawa to lobby the federal government to change the per capita formula to per-student and, if so, what was the result?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of avenues to dialogue and lobby with the federal government - intergovernmental affairs is one. Certainly Nova Scotia does most of its consultation with the federal government through the Council of Education Ministers Canada. I'm actually the vice-chairman of that organization and we work very closely with the other provinces in trying to interest the federal government in putting more money into post-secondary education across Canada.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, the problem with the minister's answer is that some of the other members on that council are not in favour of that kind of a funding change.

My question is, will the Minister of Education commit today to fight for Nova Scotia taxpayers, for students, to make sure they aren't picking up, say, Ontario's tab? This isn't fair.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, this government puts the interests of Nova Scotian families and students ahead of everything and we will do whatever is necessary to provide as much money as possible for post-secondary education in this province from all sources.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

DEXTER GOV'T. - NOVA SCOTIANS: MISLEADING

- EXPLAIN

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Deputy Premier.

This government in 10 short months has and continues to break every promise and commitment it possibly could. Balanced budgets, gone; no new taxes, gone; honour commitments of the previous government - I'll table again for the House where Premier Dexter said he would honour commitments - of course, broken word, broken promises. My question to the deputy is, why did the Dexter Government during the election, and why does the Dexter Government continue to mislead Nova Scotians?

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member - we have not. We are providing the proper government, we are moving forward as clearly set out here yesterday by the Minister of Finance, a way out of the fiscal mess that the former government left us in. We're moving forward.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Deputy again. We've received information through the Freedom of Information request that, in fact, the decision to replace two correctional facilities - one in Antigonish and one in Springhill - were made some time ago and in fact replaced one in the New Glasgow area. For all the NDP bluster around being

[Page 516]

able to afford the project, the decision was made and then staff were given direction to come up with a business plan and numbers on the one facility.

My question now will be to the Minister of Justice, how can you convince anyone that your actions or decisions are in the best interests of the justice system, Springhill, and Cumberland County, and not political?

[4:45 p.m.]

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that question and I'm very happy to answer that question. Unlike the previous administration that just made a decision, there's absolutely no business case to support the decision for the jail to go in Springhill or Antigonish, it was a decision in and of itself.

However, this government and this ministry has put forth a plan where the business case is being developed and when the thing is completed, a decision will be made. There is no announcement as to where that site is. I am glad that he does outline my riding, but I don't even think there's a site in the riding.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Justice would care to read Hansard, what I said was, in the New Glasgow area, which to me would be Pictou County. However, it is this government, this minister, and the Premier who have broken their word and broken their commitments to Nova Scotians. That is very clear. Nova Scotians are seeing that.

I sat at meetings with the Minister of Justice where he had said that he was not ruling anything out, and I know that information was misleading to the people of Cumberland County. In fact, in light of what the minister just said, for your information I'll read again from an e-mail that was from a very senior person in his department to a very senior person in Corrections. It says, "The minister in the press has referred to a business case. I don't know what rationale went into the recommendation to locate the jail around New Glasgow, but we need some facts and figures - a business case. I am copying Diana because she was involved and will have some information. You will need her help to pull together a business case asap."

Pretty clear, Mr. Speaker, pretty clear what is going on here. My question for the minister is, how can Nova Scotians trust the Dexter NDP Government when they clearly have misled the people of Springhill, Cumberland County, and Nova Scotia? I will table that (Interruption) No question about it, Deputy Premier. They have been misleading Nova Scotians, and people in my area want to know why.

MR. LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure of going to Springhill early in this whole discussion on the decision with the jail, and went out and spoke with the member in

[Page 517]

question and discussed this very issue. So I'm not clear where he is coming from, but I would like to see those documents.

My instructions to my staff are that we have to have a very transparent system where we put forth a good business case to justify where the jail is and the expenditure. Unlike the previous administration, we will spend our dollars in the best interests of all Nova Scotians, and we will have a clear business case which will be available for the people of Nova Scotia to see how the decision was made and the process and that it was sound, logical, and accountable.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

TIR - HWY. NO. 101: COMPLETION - TIME FRAME

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. I am going to raise an issue again today that has been raised in this House many times. That issue is the unfinished Highway No. 101, a 100-Series Highway from Digby to Weymouth in western Nova Scotia. For more than 35 years the people who have lived on this dangerous stretch of road have been asking, when will get this increasing 100-Series Highway traffic off our front doorsteps?

Mr. Speaker, my question is, when can these people expect to see Highway No. 101 between Digby and Weymouth constructed, or at least a path cut through the alders where the highway should be?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker. I thank the member opposite for the question, although the reference to alders will have to be passed at this time. I also want to acknowledge the fact that the member opposite has taken the time to meet with myself and staff and very clearly enunciated the wishes of his community when it comes to this important project. This is an important project because of the safety and the people in that particular part of Nova Scotia, as they make their way to and from work, to and from school. Having traveled the road many times, I share some of those concerns.

All that being said - and I know the member has heard me say it to him privately and in the presence of the deputy and various other members of staff - considering some of the financial restrictions that we're under at this time, it is one of the projects that is not going to be addressed immediately, but it is a project of importance to that member and I want him to know that he is being listened to in the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Thank you.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, that's what the people in Digby-Annapolis have heard for 35 years. It looks as though the people in that area will lose a major bus carrier in the region along with the ferry system. With no bus system, no rail system, no ferry, all the

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people have left is maybe some hope that a new road may be built. The completion of the highway between Digby and Weymouth has never been more important.

My question is, will the minister make a commitment today and provide a safe and secure piece of highway between Digby and Weymouth?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I know the member opposite shares the concerns that I have when it comes to travelling that section of highway. I know there's a major transportation study underway and it's going to be interesting to see, particularly as we look at some of the solutions for that particular part of Nova Scotia.

I have to say to the member in all conscience - and I appreciate your patience and your decorum in bringing the matter forward - at this time I cannot give you the assurances that you're asking, I cannot make that commitment at this time based upon financial restrictions, but I want the member opposite to know that his requests and his point of view certainly got the attention of this minister and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, the people who live along this dangerous piece of road have nearly lost all hope of ever getting that traffic off their doorsteps. I have made a commitment to the people of that area that I'm going to stay at this job until that highway is built, or at least get them some hope that it's going to be built. (Applause) I'm even giving up.

My question to the minister is, there has been a lot of talk about paving and highway construction this past while, this past year, with stimulus funding, and the people living on Highway No. 1 between Digby need a little bit of hope that someday maybe this road will be built. Can the minister confirm today that he will look into it and maybe give those people a little bit of hope that someday, at least someday, that road may be started?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, let's get this out of the way from the beginning. Under no circumstances do I want that member to no longer be part of this House. (Applause) (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, first of all I again compliment the member for his passion on this topic. It's one of the issues that we, of course, are looking at, particularly when it comes to federal dollars and infrastructure money. I want the member opposite to know that it is a concern for the department and it is a concern for that part of western Nova Scotia. I'm not going to make light of the fact of the possible threat, hopefully the road will be addressed in a timely fashion and hopefully the member opposite will have spent many long years in this House to see a safe road, Highway No. 1, between Digby and Weymouth.

[Page 519]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

NAT. RES. - LAND ACQUISITION (CUMB. CO.): COTTAGE OWNERS

- TREATMENT

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be to the Minister of Natural Resources. The Province of Nova Scotia recently acquired land in Cumberland County from J.D. Irving Rothesay Ltd. and Wagner as well. As the minister would know, on some of the privately owned land, permission was allowed in the past for camps, cottages and for owners to erect buildings and maintain them and this has gone on over the past decades. Now under the ownership of the province, and before this transaction actually took place, these building owners were given two options. In January they were offered to sign an agreement to have their buildings removed by this Fall and if they wouldn't sign, then they had to have them out by the following week. Can the minister explain to the House why the Dexter NDP Government is using Nova Scotians so unfairly?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I have to say that I don't agree with the member's premise that we're using Nova Scotians unfairly. He certainly is aware of the land purchase, he has that correct. The issue he raises is, I would say, a fairly delicate one in the sense that there were camp leases on those lands owned by those private companies and part of the agreement in that purchase was that those companies were to see to it that the people who had those leases, they were to be terminated or whatever.

That didn't turn out to be the case in all cases, Mr. Speaker. We have kind of pushed back our deadline to see what might be possible. In some instances we've been thinking that it might be possible for those individuals to buy that piece of land and own it. One gentleman expressed an interest - if he could stay long enough, he thought he might move his camp across the ice to another location. We told him he could keep it there for this summer and see what happened. We're going to kind of look at the overall policy in regard to those camp leases by the Crown anyway, but we're trying to help those individuals as much as possible.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. I have spoken personally with some of these individuals who had received these removal notices from the private landowner, and their concern is - as I'm sure the minister would appreciate - a lot of these people have made huge investments on their properties, and it's simply not fair to force them to remove these buildings. Many have strong family ties to these properties, as they would have spent many years gathering at these camps and cottages with their families to enjoy times together.

I'm asking the minister today, on behalf of the owners of these camps and cottages in my area of Cumberland County, if the minister will give some consideration to allowing at least this present generation of landowners to be grandfathered and to maintain these

[Page 520]

buildings and to be allowed to continue to enjoy these under public ownership, as they have in the past under private ownership?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, that's a pretty reasonable request, I think, by the member opposite. The member for Cumberland North has raised this issue with me as well, and actually it has been a consideration that I've asked my staff to look at on the general policy of camp leases, so that the party that presently has the lease, if we could look at them having that for their lifespan - or we might even put a time limit on it, but then make them non-transferable. Anyway, we haven't totally nailed down which direction we're going. We are trying to do it in a way that we think would be in the best interest of the property, the lessees there, and we'll try to decide in their best interest in this kind of overall policy direction.

MR. SCOTT: I thank the minister again for the answer. Mr. Speaker, I would ask through you to the minister if the minister would agree to table in this House copies of the contracts and all related documentation, e-mails, transmissions, and letters, et cetera, that would have accompanied the contracts that would show discussions between the Province of Nova Scotia, the Department of Natural Resources, J.D. Irving Limited, Rothesay Paper, and Wagner, so Nova Scotians can see exactly what discussions took place and what agreements were reached in regard to this transaction?

MR. MACDONELL: If I can, I will. If I can't, I won't, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

AGRIC.: ASSISTANCE - PLANS

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture, and I hope I don't get the same answer. It's a new day in Nova Scotia, or so we've been told. What isn't new is the lack of initiative from the NDP Government to aid our agriculture industries. It doesn't appear as though an increase of $1 will be seen to help Nova Scotia farmers in a new budget. My question to the minister, what is your government's plan to help our agriculture industries in Nova Scotia?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: I think the member would be aware that if his question is pointed toward the budget, I can't answer that question. I think his question is probably too general in the time period that we have. He would know about the interest buy-down program for beef producers, which I think has had a significant uptake, and so I think he'll have to ask me commodity by commodity in order to get the whole industry.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I will be more specific, and an area that the minister in Opposition was very positive on. Markets do not currently provide Nova Scotia farmers with a reasonable return for their production activities. Farms are shutting down, families

[Page 521]

moving off the family farm. Last Fall I asked the minister about implementing recommendations of the Kelco report, a report that is support to the hog, beef, sheep, horticulture and fruit sectors. Nova Scotia farmers need decisive action from our government, they need it now.

[5:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, have you examined the recommendations from the Kelco report and when can we expect you to come back with input from this important document?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure if it was my intention to come back with input from this document to the House. I have asked my staff to look at the Kelco report, actually to look at the entire value chain to see if there is some way for government to intervene in order for producers to get what they need out of the value chain. The member opposite does raise a good issue, he would be aware that the supply-managed commodities have a mechanism for doing that, but for those others, actually, that study of the value chain by my department will soon be complete and I hope to gain some insights. Whatever I can share with the member opposite I would be quite glad to share with him at that time.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, with just a few seconds remaining in today's Question Period, one other area of high interest to farmers is, when will you provide an exact date in 2010 for your government's 10-year plan for agriculture?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, soon, soon, very soon.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired.

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 14.

[Page 522]

Bill No. 14 - Sales Tax Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak on Bill No. 14, a bill to prohibit the province from proposing or agreeing to an increase in the provincial portion of the federally enacted harmonized sales tax.

Mr. Speaker, the HST - we heard yesterday that we must brace for an increase in the HST. What does this mean for business? Well, one comment made by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business was that it was disastrous, this budget. It means for business that things become more expensive for Nova Scotia consumers. They will have less disposable income. It's money out of people's pockets and it's money out of our local economies.

This does nothing to improve the morale of Nova Scotians after going through an economic downturn. People will start to lose faith. They will say, why bother? Why bother earning more money when you have to pay more tax? I think people are starting to get to a point in this province where they feel like giving up. We're some of the highest taxed people in the country.

Now I will say that there were measures in the budget to protect those with incomes under $30,000, and I can see the logic in that, Mr. Speaker. But I will say this, what about creating an environment for people who are earning $30,000 and under so they may have opportunities to earn more for a living. And I think when we look at taxes, the more we increase them, the more we decrease business and economic opportunity from reaching those people.

Mr. Speaker, I want to draw to your attention the small business tax proposed. While this is not the HST, it is another tax and in the budget that was presented, a balanced budget that was presented in the Spring of 2009, there was a plan to reduce tax to 4 per cent this year, 3 per cent next year, and 2.5 per cent the following year, effectively cutting the small business tax rate in half. Now there was a change yesterday, and I commend the minister for recognizing the small business community by reducing the tax, but I do want to point out that it's not by the same amount of reduction that had been proposed in the Spring 2009 balanced budget.

Mr. Speaker, the HST, how big an issue is this in Nova Scotia? Does it really make a difference? Well, I will point to this. There was a company in this very city that was advertising the sale of automobiles before this increase in HST, so it makes a difference and it will bear on people's minds when they go to make purchases. I will also say that increased taxes don't always bring a direct linear correlation with tax revenue. People may spend less and you may not get the same amount of taxes you would like to get in this case.

[Page 523]

I want to also draw to people's attention the fact that the Premier, Premier Dexter, had promised no new tax increases and we saw them yesterday. We have, today, the reputation of having the highest consumption taxes in North America. This is not good. This is nothing to be proud about. I do find it ironic that the federal NDP opposed HST increases in Ontario and B.C. so I wonder why Premier Dexter disagrees with his federal counterparts?

How will this affect working Nova Scotians? Well, we think the province should be lowering taxes, we think that government should be made smaller, we think that government should know its costs. I'm sure the Minister of Finance took a good reading of costs, and I know I've heard him make comments about that, but one thing that's very important is if the government is only taking in so much revenue, decisions need to be made. It's not good enough to pass on debt to future generations, it's not acceptable to the Progressive Conservative caucus.

We believe that a government should have a culture where things matter, where it matters to make sure the budgets are balanced, where it matters when decisions are being made in departments, where it matters that money is not spent where it's not needed to be spent. In the private sector, companies could not run their businesses like this. In our government, I would propose that we should not be running government like this.

When the NDP was in Opposition, they had all the answers. Today, the only answer they have for the people of Nova Scotia is increased taxes, deficits, let's place the debt on the back of future Nova Scotians. One thing economists look at when they look at a province's economy is the debt-to-GDP ratio. As debt grows and GDP remains flat, like we have in this province, that's not a good thing. That's the first thing that economists are going to look at when they look at this budget.

I want to say that I did some research. I looked at bond ratings and I asked a question to someone involved in the bond-rating industry. What would the effect of a deficit be in this province? In fairness to the minister, I don't expect there will be any bond-rating changes with the budget yesterday, but if there are continued deficit budgets, investors will start to look at buying the Province of Nova Scotia bonds and they will start to say, there's some risk attached to these bonds.

What happens then? The price on those bonds goes up. Effectively, that means it's going to cost us more to borrow money. That's not a good thing. This government has tried to be all things to all people. That philosophy has proven time and time again, in the business world, to fail. It will fail here in Nova Scotia with this government.

This government should be focused on growing the economy, but instead it's focused on taxes, it's focused on purchasing land at a time when we don't have the money to do it and it's focused on running deficit budgets. These initiatives will not grow the economy.

[Page 524]

They will squeeze the life out of the commerce in Nova Scotia to feed this government's need to be all things to all people.

You can complain about the past, which I have heard this government do many times since I have entered this House, but I will say that leaders are not complainers and they don't make excuses. Leaders take responsibility. If they took responsibility, we would have a balanced budget, not a deficit. Show leadership. Be responsible. Balance the budget. There is no alternative. Don't blame it on the economy, we have a defensive economy in Nova Scotia. We don't depend on an auto sector, we don't depend on a cyclical industry like oil and gas in Alberta. We have a defensive economy and the recovery is continuing all across the country, which means better federal revenues for our province.

I think we should be doing the right thing, I think we should be balancing the budget. I think we should be doing it today, Mr. Speaker, it will make a difference tomorrow. Now I know this from my past experience helping people personally with their finances; decisions today, even small decisions, make a big difference over time and running deficits is not good for the future. Even small deficits will make a significant difference for this province, it will make things worse for our future.

This bill was introduced because I believe that an HST increase will hurt the economy and I believe it will hurt those earning less than $30,000 here in Nova Scotia - perhaps not through the offsetting measures in the budget but it will hurt their opportunity to gain employment opportunities to earn more than $30,000.

The Progressive Conservatives are proud of our record of fiscal restraint. We delivered eight balanced budgets. When Premier Hamm was in power, the $830 million cheque we received from offshore royalties from the federal government was put directly on the debt. The NDP record is deficits and future debt for people in this province.

The future we envision for this province will not happen for Nova Scotians through tax increases. That is why I have introduced this bill, Bill No. 14, and I ask that members from all sides of this House support this bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Making all due allowances for the fact that that member is new, it is difficult for me to understand how he could have so little appreciation for what his Party did over the last decade. That member has said publicly and then again in here, that he believes that governments should be smaller.

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is that his Party, when they were in government the last decade, had a very peculiar way of showing that because government expenditure rose at a compound rate of 5 per cent per year, every year for a decade. When John Hamm was first

[Page 525]

elected, in 1999, the expenditure of the Government of Nova Scotia was $5 billion. In only 10 years, after a change of leadership, they left an expenditure of $9 billion, compounded growth, adding up to 80 per cent over 10 years. The only reason they were able to do that is the economy was going well, money was pouring into the treasury from offshore royalties, among other things, so the revenue was pouring in and the expenditures were pouring out because when that crowd was in government, all they knew how to do was spend, spend, spend.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I'm going to ask these questions again because so far I still haven't heard any answers. Why did that previous government allow the Colchester Regional Hospital to go $80 million over budget. Imagine what we could do with that money if they hadn't been so far off in their projections. Why, knowing that H1N1 was coming, did they put in zero dollars and zero cents in their budget in May 2009. Why is it that, knowing there were hundreds of public sector collective agreements open, why did they put zero money in the budget to actually pay for them.

Mr. Speaker, in other words they left us with a mess. I wish they didn't, I wish the mess they left us wasn't so big but it is. We are left to deal with the situation as it is not as we wish it would be or as they might wish it would be.

What we have done, Mr. Speaker, is we have engaged in the most extensive financial consultations in the province's history. I believe in the collective wisdom of the people and that side is trying very hard to dismiss the process but you know what? It was an outstanding success and I don't mind saying that I and this government will listen to the people.

[5:15 p.m.]

What happened is that when people sat down and looked at the facts and looked at the options, they said all right, here's what we want you to do and I listened to that message very carefully. Among other things, I got the message in every room I was in everywhere across the province that the right time back to balance was three to five years and that is exactly what is embodied in the budget because we listened to the people and we agree. Now that member says, first in public and now here in the House, that the budget I delivered yesterday should have been balanced. Okay, that's a respectable position, but that's only the beginning of the debate. It's not the end because what that member won't do, can't do, refuses to do, is to say how he would do it.

The only way to deliver a balanced budget yesterday, first of all, is to ignore what the people are saying to us and I'm not willing to do that even if that member is. The only way to do it is to slash civil service wages, have major lay-offs, close hospitals, lay off teachers and nurses, close community schools. We could have balanced the budget yesterday but we're quite sure that's not what the people of Nova Scotia want. (Applause)

[Page 526]

In fact, yesterday evening the Halifax Chamber of Commerce sent out a commentary on the budget and there was actually a line in it that said that the government tried too hard to be fair to everybody. Now I had to read that line two or three times to make sure that it actually said that because that was meant to be a criticism, but do you know what? I'm very proud to say that we were very fair to everybody. We tried to do that and we succeeded.

If that member is going to continue to stand up and say that his Party would have balanced the budget yesterday, I think it is incumbent on him to say how. What would he have cut? That's the really difficult question, that's the question on which we need to have a grown-up conversation in this province and shouting out slogans like that doesn't help anybody. We've got to deal with the situation as it actually is and that's why we took such a balanced approach in yesterday's budget.

One of the other messages I got from Back to Balance, very clearly and consistently, is Nova Scotians expect us to use every single dollar we receive as wisely and efficiently as we possibly can. That's why it is incumbent on MLAs to accept that $1.3 million has been taken out of their expenses, because MLAs - everyone from every Party - has to demonstrate that they are subject to the same restraint as everybody else.

We also said in yesterday's budget that of the $1.4 billion gap that we are trying to close, we will find $1.1 billion in savings and efficiencies between now and 2013. We are going to have to take on the big issues like pharmaceutical costs, like physician payments, like payments to universities and the other payments, each of which individually is hundreds of millions of dollars of our budget.

If that member and that Party are going to deny us the revenue we need to make up the difference, then they have to identify the cuts that they would make because I think the people of Nova Scotia want to know. So what we did is, we said that $1.1 billion of the gap is going to be closed by us making every dollar work harder than it has ever worked before and then we said that we are going to take the rest, some $300 million per year, in new revenue measure.

One of the other things that I heard very clearly during the Back to Balance process - and I heard it for the first time at the legion in Whitney Pier, which I believe you may be familiar with, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker - and which was repeated to me consistently throughout the province is that if we're going to do that, it is necessary to take measures to protect those with low and modest incomes and I'm pleased to say that in yesterday's budget we did exactly that. (Applause)

We have implemented an affordable living tax credit that will return $70 million into the hands of those among us who are most in need. In addition to that, we have taken all the provincial tax off such essentials as children's clothing and footwear, feminine hygiene products, and diapers, and I'm proud of that. (Applause)

[Page 527]

Another thing that we did, Mr. Speaker, is we remembered the seniors, just like we did when the now-Premier led the campaign to end the injustice of charging seniors in long-term care facilities for their health care. I don't mind saying once again that it was the Premier's idea to remember the seniors by returning $12.5 million into the hands of the 18,000 seniors in Nova Scotia with the lowest income. I am very proud of that measure as well, because we understand that we need to remember our seniors in all the measures that we're taking, so not only will any senior receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement pay zero provincial income tax, but they also qualify for the Affordable Living Tax Credit.

Mr. Speaker, today I was at an event hosted by the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville at a seniors' lunch at the local community centre. I talked to the seniors there about the measures that we implemented in yesterday's budget, and I have to say that they were very pleased with what this government is doing for them. If that member would care to go to the same community centre and talk to those seniors, I think it's incumbent on him to say what it is that he would cut.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to speak on Bill No. 14. I think one of the very first things that we do need to review is what Deloitte had to say when they did a review of the province's finances. It was not an audit, as we were told would take place, and that Nova Scotians were led to believe would take place. However, when they reviewed the books of the province through July and August, and when they appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on January 20th, they made a very clear statement - I can table that when I speak to this at another time - and that was that during their review, the worst-case scenario for a deficit that the province was now facing was $51 million. Shannon MacDonald stated it several times and very clearly.

So what Nova Scotians are faced with with the HST increase is to look after the $650 million spending spree that this government has gone on. Let's be very clear about that, and I think the minister would have been better served by a comprehensive tax review. You know, yes, we need revenue to run our programs. There's no question about that, but I think a fairer distribution of where the hurt could have gone with a fairer taxation system, rather than where the burden is placed now, and along with a comprehensive tax review - really sharpen the pencil, I think, with all departments.

We were told in a national review of health care across the country that we have 1 per cent above average in administration. Can you imagine, a little province like Nova Scotia and we have administration 1 per cent above the national average. As I told Global today, where would you have started? Where would you have started as the Finance Critic? I would have started with the 37 vice-presidents in Capital Health - no question, no question. If you take a look and discern all those jobs of 37 vice-presidents, do they need to be there? Is this the best investment of dollars? Take a look at Community Services. Management in Community

[Page 528]

Services has grown by almost 50 per cent in five years. Yet the number of recipients has not changed. Information management in community services has gone up over five years by 126 per cent. We have not looked at making the hard decisions and that is where we needed to go. This government took the easiest road of all jurisdictions that want to get extra revenue, raise taxes, and Nova Scotians earning between $35,000 and $83,000 have gotten hit with the burden.

Yes, I am pleased that our seniors and our low income - but below $30,000, that's only going to be neutralizing the effect of the HST. When we look at consumption tax on $30,000 and below until we get down to about $10,000 or $12,000, $240 plus $57 will not cut it and let's hope they don't have to buy a used car. Because once we get the big ticket items, $240 doesn't go very far.

So we made, I think, a very inaccurate premise to raise the HST. We have not gone into true restraint in Nova Scotia and that is exactly what we needed. We're also using the HST to pay for some salary contracts that are near 10 per cent. This government said that it would go 1 per cent. We know that most contracts have gone well beyond 1 per cent. This minister is talking one way and acting another. He is not dealing with the essential toughness that this province needs and the HST is an absolutely easy path.

To really fail Nova Scotians, and this is what I've heard on my e-mails today, they failed Nova Scotians because their central promise in the election campaign was a balanced budget with no tax increases. I want Nova Scotians to continue to send me the e-mails that we have been getting. I want them to be engaged and enraged at the false promise made by the NDP just 10 months ago. In one fell swoop, the NDP has taken money directly out of the pockets of families they swore to make a better life for.

This government has told Nova Scotians that life will be more expensive, but for the NDP Government, they've chosen the easy way for themselves. I really don't think the NDP Government realizes the disastrous effect this tax will have on businesses, particularly in the tourism sector and just moments ago, we heard from Gary Powell from Ambassatours. Along with the dollar reaching parity today, people start to ask not only what is the exchange rate, but how much tax do we pay in this province when we buy something? When we get off a ship, when we come into Nova Scotia - and it doesn't take long today for that word to run throughout the Internet, to run through to the social media, that Nova Scotia will tax your tourists.

Do you know one of the things that worked in Nova Scotia and the minister had an opportunity to do and this government had an opportunity to do and that was, as we did before, tourists could get a rebate on the tax. Do you know what was good about it, they liked the idea, a very, very small percentage ever applied for the tax rebate. It would have been a wonderful catchy thing to do, because we will devastate tourism in southwestern Nova Scotia this year. People know it, people feel it and now the HST. Make no mistake - hotels, bed and

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breakfasts, tourism operations in Nova Scotia will close, especially in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Tax increases are the easy way for this NDP Government to avoid coming to terms with real governance, but this is the choice that government has taken - higher taxes for everyone except that special group. We now have a special category in Nova Scotia, people who earn between $83,000 and $217,000 get a 1.7 per cent tax break. That's right, ministers, you have gotten a tax shelter from the HST. You have gotten a tax shelter at $150,000 and I will table for the House - Mr. Dexter, who makes $196,000 will save $456. If you're at $150,000, you save $1,263.70, calculated by tax people here in the city and I will table that for the minister's information. So he did give the ministers and that group of Nova Scotians a break from the HST.

[5:30 p.m.]

Just as the NDP broke the promise they made to Nova Scotians when they said they could balance the budget, remember that just about a year ago, without increasing taxes or cutting spending, the NDP has now turned their back on Cumberland County. Cumberland County will have the first sign up - we are the casualty of the HST - because on July 1st, gas taxes now go up more than two cents. Remember, it's a tax on a tax, plus the 2 per cent HST. We will see the trickle now move to a torrent out of Cumberland County into New Brunswick. (Interruptions) That's right, Mr. Minister, you've turned your back on Cumberland County and the new minister in the House will be a one-termer. You can be guaranteed of that. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you and the House for the opportunity to speak on Bill No. 14. First of all, I want to give credit to my honourable colleague, the member for Inverness. I predict this young man, I may not see it, but I think this young man will be sitting on the opposite side of the House in a very short time, sitting where the Minister of Finance is today. This young man has a bright future in politics.

It's quite interesting, I heard during the debate that the honourable Minister of Finance talked about how he'd gone around the province and listened to everyone and given everybody the opportunity to have input with regard to a very serious issue, but I didn't hear him say how much time at each meeting he actually gave people an opportunity to speak or to offer input or suggestions.

I would like to ask the minister this, I don't know the answer from the Liberal Party, the Finance Critic can answer this, I guess, but I don't believe the Minister of Finance ever made the offer to our Finance Critic - a young, bright mind, representing a generation that's coming behind us. Did he ever give him the opportunity to sit down face to face and look at

[Page 530]

some numbers and offer solutions or suggestions this young man may have? I think you have (Interruptions) You know, the NDP Government in B.C. travelled throughout the Province of British Columbia to do the very thing this minister here did. I'm sure he didn't think of this on his own. I'm sure the idea of traveling the province listening to people came from there.

However, you have to look at why that was done. Were people actually given an honest opportunity to share input, give ideas? It's like when you ask someone and you give them three options, but maybe there are four, five and six options. What if the people had said to the minister, we don't think at this point in time, in the history of this province, we can afford to buy land. We don't think you can afford to buy land. When you think about that, the people were given (Interruptions)

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, shut him up!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order please. The honourable member for Kings West, that's unparliamentary and I will ask you to retract that right away.

MR. GLAVINE: I will retract the comment, but please, let the person on the floor speak.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West, the Speaker is in charge of the order in this House and I will determine when I will call order.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, one thing I've learned in this House, the honourable Minister of Finance, when you question him, when you challenge him, you're going to get the response I just got now. I've heard from many, many people and yes, I will say for the record, for personal reasons I was unable to attend that meeting. If I thought it was any business of the honourable Minister of Finance, I would share them here, but for personal reasons I was unable to attend that meeting, and if I thought it was any business of the honourable Minister of Finance I would share that here, but for personal reasons I wasn't there. But, anyway, he cannot stand to have himself challenged here, and you know what? I've heard people throughout the meetings throughout the province say the very thing - if anyone challenges this minister, boy, I'll tell you, you're in for an earful from someone who does not want to be challenged.

Well you know, I will say this, Nova Scotians predicted this budget. Marilla Stephenson said it today, didn't she? Borrow, tax and spend - we've been saying that since last June. Look out, because these guys are going to borrow money, they're going to tax and they're going to spend, and that's exactly what they've done here.

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My honourable colleague mentioned about Cumberland County. You know, I may not have attended that meeting, but I'll tell you I'm speaking on behalf of Cumberland County residents and businesses from the whole county, and I've heard it loud and clear in the last number of weeks, not just from my constituency but from the whole county. There is no question - as a result of the decision of this government and this Minister of Finance, we're seeing the loss of business. Some have already announced already that they're not going to be able to survive.

It's very easy to stand in this House and say all kinds of things and offer solutions, and I've said it before and I'll say it again, when something good is done by the government I'll be the first to praise them, but I'll tell you the Premier himself, last week, offered to myself to work with him and the government to find solutions for Cumberland County. Well you know, the Minister of Finance may think this is funny, but I can tell you when he goes to Cumberland County next week he's going to see how funny people in Cumberland County think this is.

I offered, in a resolution the other day - because of the Premier's offer the other day in the House, he asked me to work with the government and that's a fair request, a fair offer because some of the issues have been very hot over the last week, but he offered that, and in response to that I introduced a resolution. I don't have it here but it basically said that I asked the Premier to form a committee, and the people in Cumberland County asked me to do this - the chamber of commerce, boards of trade, Department of Rural and Economic Development under the minister, his staff, CREDA, which would be the RDA, some business people and some citizens to work with the Premier and the government to find solutions for Cumberland County residents.

I think that's a pretty fair request. Now I understand the government doesn't want to give credit to someone outside of the their Party, that's fair enough. If they want to find a different way to do it, I have no problem with that.

The other thing I've heard loud and clear, particularly from the media - Nova Scotia is a very small province; the Maritime Provinces are very small - we have less than two million people and you know the problems we have, some of those same problems are faced by our neighbours in New Brunswick when it comes to taxes and, in our area, cross-border shopping. Make no mistake, there are a lot of New Brunswickers who come over to Amherst to shop. So I thought it was a fair request to ask that a committee be struck to work with those people I mentioned and, as well, to look at the Nova Scotia Government, how we could actually help those businesses and, further than that, how the Premier could use the results of that information that he would gather to take to his Atlantic Premier colleagues to discuss the issue of cross-border shopping and other issues that affect Atlantic Canadians.

The answer from the government was no, the Minister of Finance is going to go visit them next week. Well that's great. I don't know if you read the paper today, they're

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expecting more platitudes, they're expecting the minister to come sit down and listen to them, but to offer what? The issue of cross-border shopping is way bigger than the price of gas for Cumberland County residents.

We have people I know who are going to New Brunswick to buy their groceries, to buy their gas, to buy all kinds of items, and now with this rise in HST it is going to cause a devastating blow to Cumberland County residents. This is what was provided to me - a stagnant economy, an aging population, higher taxes equal one thing for us in Cumberland County and that's disaster. All I'm asking of this government is to reconsider the offer to Cumberland County to work with the people, the business people, the citizens who know their situation, their plight best.

The offer to come was made in sincerity and I mean that because the people in Cumberland County right now need the help and they need the help from this government.

I'm going to again ask this Minister of Finance, who will be in Cumberland County next week to talk about the issue of cross-border shopping in New Brunswick. The Premier is the one who made the offer last week, I merely picked up on it, declined by the government, and I'm asking the Minister of Finance and the Premier again to come to the aid of business and the people in Cumberland County and to seriously look at the issues that are affecting nowhere else in Nova Scotia but Cumberland County. Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for Bill No. 14 has expired.

The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Motions Other Than Government Motions.

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 100.

Res. No. 100, re Gov't. (NDP): Soft Tissue Cap - Retain - notice given Mar. 30/10 - (Mr. A. MacMaster)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

[Page 533]

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak on Resolution No. 100 - a resolution urging this government to retain the soft tissue injury cap so that Nova Scotians can continue to enjoy more affordable auto insurance.

Why did I put this resolution forward? Mr. Speaker, the cap has worked. Now, this government will tell you that for those who have suffered injuries, it has not worked, but I want people to know that the cap applies only to injuries that are minor and injuries that will heal - and that's not in the eyes of Premier Dexter, it's not in my eyes, it's in the eyes of a qualified physician, and that is important. Pain and suffering is hard to quantify. It's easy for those in the legal profession to quantify. Some of them make tidy profits by debating the subjectivity of pain and suffering in court. For example, I have heard about court cases where claims were made by lawyers on behalf of their clients for pain and suffering in a circumstance where the two automobiles involved hadn't even made physical contact. This is abuse.

When claims of $20,000 or more are awarded for these instances, the auto premiums for Nova Scotians go up, and those are the people who live in all our communities on all sides of the House. That is why the Progressive Conservatives put that cap in place. Allowing physicians to use their professional opinion to determine injuries that are suitable for the cap is better than leaving it for the courts to decide. The alternative offered by this government makes life more expensive for people.

How much did the cap save Nova Scotians? Well, since the Hamm Government put the cap in place in 2003, Nova Scotians have enjoyed 25 per cent savings, and in some cases even more, on their auto insurance. It's working, Mr. Speaker. So if your auto insurance premium was $1,000 in 2002, it became $800 - a $200 savings. That's $200 in the pockets of Nova Scotians that they can spend on something else in our province to help our economy. (Interruption) As one member just mentioned to me, they can now use that to pay extra HST. So I wonder why the minister didn't tell people that he was going to make a decision to take from Nova Scotians $200 of their hard-earned after-tax income in the budget yesterday, because that is effectively what will happen when this cap is removed. The cap has made auto insurance more affordable for Nova Scotians, and on behalf of Nova Scotians and this Progressive Conservative Party, I ask that your NDP Government keep the cap.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, it's evident to me that the honourable member hasn't spoken to anybody who has actually been subjected to the cap, because if he had, he would know how the cap actually works in the real world.

Mr. Speaker, as a result of our review of the minor injury cap, we've received almost 200 submissions, the vast majority of them being from accident victims who have described in detail how the minor injury cap had adversely affected their lives and their families' lives.

[Page 534]

We said from the very beginning that the minor injury cap was unfair, and one of the reasons it's unfair is because of the persistent myth peddled by that Party when they brought it in that it applied only to minor injuries - but it does not apply only to minor injuries.

As I said at the time and as I will say again, the way the law passed by the Progressive Conservatives and supported by the Liberals is worded, it's as if saying, well, the cap applies only to mice - but then it defines every animal smaller than an elephant to be a mouse. That's how the cap works, Mr. Speaker. There are some people with terrible, painful, life-changing injuries who have been subjected to the so-called minor injury cap, and that's not fair, that is simply not fair.

[5:45 p.m.]

Another part of the cap that they don't seem to take into account is it was set far too low, at $2,500, and what the insurance companies typically do is they take that as a maximum, so it takes very serious and painful injuries to get $2,500 and then it is down from there. Mr. Speaker, that's not fair. It has been in effect for seven years and there has been no inflation or cost of living adjustment at all, and that's not fair.

Mr. Speaker, I know it's easy for members to caricature the personal injury lawyers, but I'll tell you what happens in the real world - lawyers provide advice to people on how to get the maximum compensation allowed for by their insurance premium, which seems only fair, and what happens now, of course, is that with the cap there's not enough money there for lawyers to deal with and so a lot of people are approaching their insurance company without professional advice. Not only that, something the member neglected to mention is among all the other changes, that Party reversed the onus of proof so that now the onus is on the injured person to show that they don't have a minor injury, rather than putting the onus on the insurance company to show that they do.

Of course, most people can't afford to get the kind of professional and specialist advice that they need in order to make their case to the insurance companies, so what has happened is that a large number of injured people, genuinely seriously injured people - and that member really ought to know better, he caricatures those injured people as people abusing the system. If anybody is abusing the system, their claim is denied. That's the way it works, but what happens, Mr. Speaker, is that a lot of genuinely injured people are not getting fair compensation for their injuries. What we've done is we've said while respecting the need for affordable premiums we are going to restore fairness to the system. (Applause)

Now we did this in an open process, we put out a consultation paper, we've consulted the major stakeholders such as the insurance industry, which we've consulted every step of the way, the Insurance Brokers Association, Mr. Speaker, because brokers deliver the auto insurance product in every community around the province. We've let the door open to everybody to come and talk to us, to identify what the issues are.

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It's clear that the member hasn't even talked to the insurance industry because they agree that there are some issues with the cap and they agree that some changes are necessary, so what we're trying to do is make sure that the system is both affordable and fair. I will be shortly introducing, in this House, legislation that will balance affordability, Mr. Speaker, with fairness, and we are going to do that in a way that is going to be acceptable to all the stakeholders that is going to make the system more fair. It's the right thing to do. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is my pleasure to say a few words today on Resolution No. 100, which is talking about the insurance cap and was raised by my colleague from the Progressive Conservative Party.

In listening to the Minister of Finance's few words on this - and I must admit that we had only a few minutes to talk about it - my concern is just what is being proposed and what does the Minister of Finance consider fair. I'm going back in time to some of the things that the NDP has proposed.

When the discussion was ongoing here in the House in 2003, there was definitely discussion about a publicly owned and operated insurance system. That is of concern to us, that's not something that I would ever support. At the time I had said that that would cost hundreds of - well perhaps at least $100 million. I know it was scoffed at by the NDP at the time, but it would indeed cost that for less than one million people. So there have been some improvements in the time since 2003, but I agree with the minister on one point and that is that as the former Finance Critic for the Liberal Party, I definitely have talked to people who were injured in this past seven years who had very serious injuries in car accidents and who were not able to access the kind of health and financial compensation that they really needed and deserved.

In the area of fairness, I believe there are some cases that really did call for a different response. I found it interesting that the minister mentioned the mice analogy because he actually mentioned that at the Law Amendments Committee in 2003, concerning what the definition of a minor injury would be. If we're looking at the history of that change, we know that in 2003 the issue of high insurance costs, high rates to be insured for driving, had become a key issue in that election. It overtook every other issue of importance, like health and education, and as soon as the election was over, the government moved quickly to make some changes.

I would say in that instance - I think this is an excellent opportunity for me to say - the Liberal Party did support a cap on minor injuries, but the definition that was devised behind closed doors by the government of the day, which was the Progressive Conservative Government, went far beyond our expectation of minor injury and, in fact, was duplicitous,

[Page 536]

if I can say that word here in the House. It was not what we had intended, and what I would like to see in any change - and I have no idea what the minister and the NDP Government are proposing. I would like to see that regulation brought into line with what is indeed a minor injury.

I think that this is something that could be corrected by adjusting that to really reflect what the members of this House felt was fair at the time that they voted on that new law, because that was passed here, it went through the Law Amendments Committee. We talked to people who had been injured, and I remember at the time at the Law Amendments Committee hearing from some people who had been injured in accidents, and they said, really, the people losing here today are those people who have yet to be injured. They made that point, that we don't know whether it may be ourselves, one of our loved ones, somebody that we represent, who may be the person who is hurt at the end of the day.

I mean, the law has been successful in bringing down the number of people who couldn't find insurance. The numbers that were being insured through that Facility Association, which was an insurer of last resort, has gone down from 8.1 per cent in 2003 to 2.2 per cent in 2009. So that is a positive thing, that more people are able to access insurance, and their rates have come down as well. I believe that was already mentioned.

So there were positive things about it, but the definition of a minor injury was really misconstrued, and I would be the first to say that. I think that really the Progressive Conservative Party at the time did us and the people of Nova Scotia a disservice in going so far in the direction of what is a minor injury that it would be unrecognizable as somebody with an injury. People who are very seriously injured and may never recover their former capacities are being considered to be minor injuries, and that is not what we ever intended, Mr. Speaker.

So, with that, I would certainly like to pose the question or indicate that we are worried about what the NDP may be proposing. We would like to know more about this. They say they have had consultation, but we haven't seen it.

Mr. Speaker, with that, I would also say that we are not in the dire straits we were at in 2003, and I don't know that a complete overhaul is required. I think a small change to the regulation under the definition of a minor injury would suffice. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have a few short minutes this afternoon to speak to this very important topic. I guess from a little bit of experience in a previous life - and I know that side of the House has a former paramedic who would know a little something about injuries as well. We have heard quite a bit of discussion about the injury itself today, the definition - what does that mean?

[Page 537]

Perhaps there is an issue. I think to review, okay, fine, the review is there; we have no control over that, the minister and the government are going to put that in place. The issue here is what will it do, really? You talk about fairness, but what will it do to the rest of us, who are buying insurance at reasonable, although still high - I think most of us will tell you that the insurance rates are still high, regardless of what it is we're insuring. We don't want this to go up. This was put in place to protect all of us from extreme rates, and we need to keep that at a level that is also fair to folks driving and insuring their homes, et cetera. Whatever the insurance, the rates will go up. We're confident that the rates will go up. We've done some preliminary on that and we know that they were skyrocketing at the time, hence the reason it was put in place.

Mr. Speaker, we have to think about what the injury means, and I think people should be treated fairly, too. I come from the world, as I said, a former health care professional who saw my share of injuries. The issue has been what is a traumatic injury, what is a soft tissue injury? I think it is a very tough decision that we leave to the courts to decide, unfortunately, and from my past experience, people who are injured will always feel that they have not been treated enough. When you're looking at $2,500, maybe that's not enough; maybe the review will say it's $3,000. I don't know what that figure will be, but there is room for that review. I am not personally opposed to that review. I think it is appropriate.

The issue will be, how far do we go? We have to be fair to everyone. There's the big question. Will we be fair to everyone at the end of the day? That fairness to everyone means us as ratepayers as well, also those who are injured, I think it's fine, but we have great technology in the health care system today. It evolves every year, it gets better and better. We should be able to define what these injuries consist of, what does that mean, what is a soft tissue injury? There are injuries that will always be - the whiplash-type injury, the back pain-type injury - that are not out there that totally represent and are seen on X-rays, are seen on MRIs and can't be defined.

There will always be a fight in the courts over those types of injuries, but something that worries me more than anything else, and I've seen over the years as well, is what happens when the rates go too high? We're going to have drivers who are now driving without insurance because they can't afford it, that's what's going to happen. That's not fair, it's not fair to those folks who can afford it to be fined and charged, it's costing them even more money. At the end of the day it will be in court for them, God knows what will happen in between if there are accidents, who will pay? If they injure somebody in a motor vehicle accident, who will pay then?

We see these circumstances, fortunately, at a very low rate today. I think that the majority of drivers are doing the right thing, they're insuring their vehicles, but I would ask the minister and the government when they're doing this review to consider being fair to

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everyone. I want you to be fair to those who are injured. Define what soft tissue is, define what the cap should represent if there is, in fact, a cap left and I hope that there is. I would say perhaps there's room for increases in that figure, it hasn't moved in seven or eight years, whatever it has been since it's gone in now. Perhaps there's room to move that again, but this is costing the system, by opening it up it will cost the system. There will be more court cases, it will go longer, people will never be happy. You're not going to be able to win that one, in my opinion, from the experience that I've had on the street.

I've seen this many, many times over, people's injuries are hard sometimes to define, you can't see them. Those are the ones that we'll be worried about the most. We're going to see court cases that will be dragged out. Lawyers will have a field day with this, they'll enjoy going to court because it's how they make their living, in all fairness to the lawyers. Nothing against the lawyers, but it is how they do it, but where are we going to fit them in?

The courts are already overrun with cases now, we have no time to take these things to court. We have to wrap it up, we have to put something in place that works but must be fair for all parties involved and that includes the ratepayer. It's very important and I would hope that the minister and his government would consider - again I would ask all of these things - when making that decision and bringing forward and reviewing anything that comes forward with regard to this cap and any changes that could potentially be brought forward in your proposed legislation.

The time has been given that needs to be given to this and we look forward to debating the piece of legislation that will come forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allocated for debate on Resolution No. 100 has now expired.

The honourable Opposition House Leader.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, that concludes Opposition Members' Business for the day.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow between the hours of 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. where after daily routine and Orders of the Day, we'll call the Budget Estimates. (Interruption) I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker, I meant to say 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House now rise and meet again tomorrow between the hours of 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

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It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until 12:00 noon tomorrow.

We have now arrived at the moment of interruption. The adjournment debate was chosen earlier and won by the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova. The motion is:

"Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the vital importance of youth programs and after-school initiatives such as the Whitney Pier Youth Club and the Bay St. Lawrence Community Centre, recent recipients of funding through the Lighthouses grant program."

[6:00 p.m.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

YOUTH PROGS.: IMPORTANCE - RECOGNIZE

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, it's an honour to rise today to speak on behalf of our government regarding the Lighthouses funding program. The new Lighthouses Program is an example of a promise kept by this government. It's another way that this government is making life better for Nova Scotian families, by helping community groups provide recreational, educational, cultural and life-skills programs for Nova Scotia's youth.

On February 12th, 2010, Justice Minister Ross Landry announced that 15 organizations involved in community recreational activities would each receive $12,000 from the province's Lighthouses Program, for a total of $180,000. The grants are spread out across Nova Scotia from Yarmouth to the beautiful Cape Breton Island. An additional $180,000 will be awarded again next year in 2011.

Lighthouses is a community-oriented, crime-prevention initiative. The program helps community organizations to create healthy and safe communities by developing, delivering and maintaining effective recreational, educational, culture, life skills and after school programming for youth, sustainable partnerships for youth, government officials and the

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community are essential to healthy communities. Communities and individuals must support those who are at risk of being involved in crime in ways that reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

Lighthouses is an initiative intended to support this objective. Lighthouses Program focus on youth at risk, community engagement and collaboration and is intended to assist communities by supporting after-hour recreation, educational and pro-social programs.

We all know the importance of preventing crime before it happens. The amount of money that we spend as a society on young people today, invested in them today, will go a long way in the future of this province. If the young people today are the future of this province, by investing this type of money toward youth programming, we don't have those young people incarcerated because of the price of incarceration and those types of things on society today.

In my former life, before I got into politics, as executive director of the Whitney Pier Youth Club, I know first-hand what it means when money is invested in youth. (Applause) I've seen what money does and that's why these grants are going to organizations with proven track records, organizations that can help divert youth at risk from potential to offend.

The Lighthouses Program offers financial assistance to community groups that provide recreational, educational, cultural and the most important life-skills programs for youth across the Province of Nova Scotia. This program is modified after Manitoba's successful program, which 93 per cent of the youth canvassed said the program provided a safe environment and increased their self-esteem. This is what money given to youth does. It provides a safe environment for them to go and be with their peers and discuss matters and go over things which are going to affect their lives, in a safe, supervised environment. This is where this money is going. Communities are taking proactive and preventative approach with after-school programs and we are supporting them in this effort.

One of the groups is the Bay St. Lawrence Community Centre in Cape Breton that received funding for the Seniors and Youth Time Banking. This is an inter-generational program where seniors and youth work together and is very important to this community. The centre opened in 1999 and promotes physical, mental and social well-being in the Bay St. Lawrence and surrounding areas. They provide services for youth that includes teen activities such as role modeling through participatory approach activities and peer tutoring. This program has been chosen as a municipal Youth Volunteers of the Year Award and is quite an accomplishment for the centre.

They also provide senior-youth mentoring programs and programming for children that includes preschool programs, soccer, camping, boxing club training, minor baseball and bookbag programs. The Bay St. Lawrence Community Centre is an essential part of their

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community and wants to make sure this House recognizes all of the hard work and what a difference they have made in northern Cape Breton.

The member for Victoria-The Lakes would know first-hand the work done by Amy MacKinnon and that group up there. I had the privilege many years ago to go up there back in the 1990s and work with the former group that was in charge there to help them open this centre. It was an honour for me to do that and still work closely with them today. The Bay St. Lawrence Centre is an essential part of that community and by providing that youth programming to that community - and I know the former government has been in support of that centre and I know the member for Victoria The-Lakes has and I commend him on that, because that's money well spent, that's money very well spent.

When I first went up there many years ago the community was dealing with problems of drug abuse, dealing with problems of youth out of control, but by investing this money in that community, we have done things to help those young people so they will not make those choices, they will go down to choices in life that we all want them to be and that's good productive citizens of society.

Mr. Speaker, we know that we cannot eliminate crime but we can spend money preventing it and starting investing in kids so that they don't choose a life of crime. Those positive opportunities like these activities they will find role models and activities that build their self-esteem and help them make the right choices. As I stand in my place in the Legislature today I think of role models that I had as a young fella, my ball coaches, my hockey coaches and those people and think of those people that spent time with me after school in intermural programs in Holy Redeemer gym - a lot of time and look where I'm at today because of that.

I know well that time was invested in me and I remember one of my friends telling me, you know, when you were a young fellow, Gordie, if they had had the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD and the Ritalin you would have had to put in your arms intravenously between classes because you were so hyper. I can still think back to that mentor that I had and I think of all that time he spent on that ballfield with us kids and all the time that we travelled Cape Breton - Cheticamp playing junior ball and Louisbourg and all through the community playing fastball. And that little time that he spent in that community, in our neighbourhood in Whitney Pier and out of that became one of the better ball teams ever in that little community and that was just a bunch of kids that had time spent with them by somebody that cared.

We want to spend taxpayers' dollars wisely and where they are absolutely necessary. The Lighthouses Program was a commitment that this government made in the 2009 election. It was achieved one year ahead of schedule because we recognized the importance of providing youth with the preventative services that they require. We must work with our partners in communities across Nova Scotia to help direct young people in positive activities and thus reduce the potential of them starting a life in criminal activity.

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We heard a lot about that program that our Premier and Party made a commitment to Nova Scotians that we would be proactive in helping to reach out to youth. The Department of Justice has given out grants to community organizations before but this program has been spent over more organizations than the previous one. In some cases the $12,000 covers the whole program and others we are supplementing with other partners so the program can be provided.

Before I conclude, I would like to congratulate all of the 15 groups that received Lighthouses funding and recognize the hard work that they do in our communities each and every day. Before I sit down, I will mention the Whitney Pier Youth Club one more time and the work by Executive Director Chester Borden. Mark Gardiner has been there, I hired Mark in 1995, he has been there for over 15 years working with young people and Jennie, they've been there for a long time and they still have a lot of work that they're doing and the youth centre is being successful and I hope now that the Bay St. Lawrence Community Centre can also follow in the tracks of the Whitney Pier Youth Club.

Before I sit down I'll say one thing that I learned a long time ago and that thing that I learned is that youth don't care what you know as long as they know that you care. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I was pleased to stay late this evening and join the late debate to discuss this Lighthouses grants program which I must say I had not been aware of as the MLA in Clayton Park until I saw it in the Budget Address the other day. In the Budget Address it actually refers to the program. There's only a short mention but it says, "Young people need positive role models, and alternatives to risky behaviour." I agree with that and it says that there will be a commitment of $240,000 annually in the after-school Lighthouses Program. That's to provide recreational, cultural and life skills programming for youth. So when I saw that this had been put on the agenda for tonight's late debate, I was happy to do some background reading and to participate today.

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I notice that this program is coming through the Department of Justice and the announcements that I had found reference to were from the current Minister of Justice. I understand that the earlier Nunn Commission had made reference to the fact that we are missing this component in so many communities where there are no programs for young people and they are left to their own devices and, you know, that critical time they have after school and missing a lot of opportunities to learn, to be mentored, to develop skills, and even find out all their strengths. So I think it is a very important thing that there is some program available now and I see that it's by a grant system and that our community groups can apply. So I will definitely make sure that is well communicated and

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I hope that other members of the House will do just the same through their newsletters or Web sites, or any way we can, because we all have community groups that are working.

Now, one of my concerns might be that a lot of the areas where we have children at risk, we may not have good, well-developed community groups. I hope that will be looked at when you see where all the applications are coming from because I know if you look at PTAs, for example, parent-teacher groups and parent groups within schools, we find that a lot of the neighbourhood schools, for example in Clayton Park, have well-developed, strong PTAs that get going, apply for grants, have good programs, upgrade their schools, and then you go to another area that might have nobody who's willing to serve or the parents don't have the capacity.

We often talk about community capacity and they aren't engaged. They're busy fighting poverty, they're busy, you know, having to work two or three jobs just to look after their kids. I mean there are good reasons why they're not volunteering at the school but I just say that we should look and see that all neighbourhoods have an opportunity to access this kind of funding and it may actually spawn some new groups coming into play that could provide this service.

I was pleased to see when I looked at some of the groups that are receiving funding, that among them was one of the women's centres. I'm glad to see the member for Antigonish is here because I note that the Antigonish Women's Resource Centre is one of the ones that did receive a grant and I must say that I have had the opportunity to meet Lucille Harper on a number of occasions, both here in Halifax when she has come to speak at legislative committees and in Antigonish when I visited to find out what more we could be doing for women and for girls in our communities. Certainly the Antigonish Women's Resource Centre is very astute and I think they must have seen the opportunity here of helping more people because they do an at-risk program for girls who come in after school to the centre and they've been doing that for a number of years.

The schools themselves recommend and suggest who might come and they're invited. It has really helped to probably keep a lot of girls, you know, on the straight and narrow, if you like, because they realize somebody cares, as the member for Cape Breton Nova has said, from Whitney Pier, and knowing that somebody cares and having somebody to talk to can make all the difference and then finding ways where they can channel their energies into something positive which is what often happens when groups get together, whether they're cleaning up their neighbourhood or taking on new projects. So we really do appreciate that.

I'm just a little concerned that the emphasis is all on crime prevention because I can tell you there's not a community in this entire province that couldn't use a good after-school program and, in my neighbourhood a lot of the children may be better off financially but they may be going home to houses that have no parent at home. These are quite young children and even when they're old enough to be there, say they're 12 years old which is old enough

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to go home, you're still not going to be productively engaged if you don't have something to kind of occupy your time.

We talk so much about health and about activity levels for our young people, and as the Health Critic I'm very concerned on what we can do that would increase recreational opportunities. So, again, through a program like this we're not just addressing children at risk and crime prevention, we have an opportunity to do so much more in terms of recreation, fitness, education and health. I think that offering mentors and positive role models is really important for young people and I see a need for it in every corner of my community and I'm sure that other members who are nodding their heads feel the same way, that whether you're a rural community, a town or a city, there are different pressures on the young people and there's an awful lot that I think would benefit and would really welcome this.

So I know the program seems a little small, if it's $240,000 this year, which is more than the member for Cape Breton Nova mentioned, I don't know that he had seen that in the Budget Address, but at the same time we're glad to see so many organizations have accessed it. One of them, in HRM, is the African Diaspora Association - I'll have to say that one again. I know people who are - "de-aspara," thank you - which means moving all around the world.

[6:15 p.m.]

We certainly have people from that organization who I know in Clayton Park, and they have been very active in terms of providing weekend programs, so I doubt very much if that's an after-school. At any rate, we do support that, and I'm glad to see it in place. I hope that the minister will - as they're looking at it as a crime prevention committee that is making the grants and actually reviewing the grant applications - be reviewing that with an eye to overall health and just the well-being of young people in this province. This is a program that is needed in every community, as I said.

It surprises me how early the children are actually dismissed in the afternoon in some of the elementary schools. At École Rockingham School they are dismissed by 2:30 p.m., all the children, and the younger ones are out at two o'clock, the ones in Primary and Grades 1 and 2. I've always wondered - there's two questions, Mr. Speaker. One is, why do we think that children in Primary and Grades 1 and 2 get out half an hour earlier than the other children? It doesn't work well for families, I can tell you that as a mother who had to go through that period when you had one in each level. At the same time, it is so early to have them out and with babysitters or with after-school care. I do feel that we should be looking at making better use of our school day.

I realize, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, you are a former teacher, so you may have a different take on that, but as a mother, I think that's an important thing, that we consider maximizing

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the school day and integrating some of these programs right into the schools. Even with volunteers, that's quite a possibility, I think, as we go forward.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I don't know how the minister has communicated this program far and wide, because I know that many of the members were not aware of it. I thought perhaps the "Lighthouses Program" meant that it was an established program, something like the Boys and Girls Club or something that had a template about what you would do if you were adopting the Lighthouses Program - this is what you would do.

On reading the material to speak tonight, I see that it's very much up to the community to propose different programs that they think would fit the criteria. So really the Lighthouses Program is just the name that Nova Scotia has adopted for a community-based grant system which will respond to whatever needs are raised that they feel meet the crime prevention/helping youth at risk criteria.

What I'd like to see is that the criteria include - beyond just immediate concerns about crime - help to give the skills and the development that young people need to thrive. We know we have literacy problems. I think reading was mentioned by the previous member. We're in a province that has some serious literacy issues and we have a labour crunch coming up where we're going to have a lot more jobs than we have people to fill them, but at the same time, we're going to have people who would like to work but don't have the basic skills because they are not well enough prepared with literacy skills. So I'd love to see something that worked on reading and literacy with young people, because you can instill a real love of reading in even the youngest children. If they enjoy reading, they're going to be successful in a lot of their other studies. So even if it's like reading groups and book clubs, I think that has a lot of value for all of us.

I know CBC and others do the Young Readers Series - you can hear young people come in and talk about books - but we need to reach a lot more children than we reach right now.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to mention something about the Whitney Pier Youth Club. I know that the member for Cape Breton Nova has been very involved in that in his earlier career, but I was told - and I noticed in the material that it was actually founded in 1994 - that our previous Premier, Russell MacLellan, had actually dedicated his federal pension. Perhaps it was through your initiative of asking him. However, when he was Premier of this province and a sitting member of the House, he redirected his pension. (Interruption) Yes, and that's the one we're talking about, yes, exactly, Mr. - the honourable member. I was going to use your name, and I won't do that.

I thought it was really important that we note that somebody from our own - one of our own colleagues, somebody from this House, had seen the importance of the youth program. It was fledgling at the time, and he dedicated his federal pension, during the time

[Page 546]

he was sitting in the House, to that club. I think that's something that we should all acknowledge and appreciate.

Mr. Speaker, if I have just a few seconds to wrap up? Again, I think we'll be very interested to see this program grow and to hear more of the success stories as we go along. I think now that members of the House have a little bit more information on it, I hope that we'll all do our best to publicize it and to get more organizations to apply, because I think we'll hear a lot of good coming out of these groups and I hope to hear more of it in the future. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great honour to be able to take part in this debate today. First I want to thank the member for Cape Breton Nova for bringing this forward because I really believe this is a very important issue. I want to congratulate the member for Cape Breton Nova because he was the director of the Whitney Pier Youth Group. In Whitney Pier, when you talk about the youth and the centre, there are two names that come up - the member for Cape Breton Nova and also Chester Borden.

They have a motto at the youth centre in Whitney Pier and the motto is, youth don't care what you know, until they know you care. It's everywhere when you go there, and that member is a big part of why that organization has been so successful. (Applause) For us to be here today and talking about a program, a program that does so much for youth, it is so important to know how members of this House have had an impact.

The member for Victoria-The Lakes has been very active with them in Bay St. Lawrence and making sure that group had the funding and were able to get together. As a matter of fact, that member has had two different Justice Ministers down to that centre so the people in that community would know how much people cared about the challenges they face.

We have members here, and it doesn't matter what Party they're from, when we talk about youth, we're talking about the most valuable resource this province has. We're here together to make sure we do what is right for the youth. Programs like this are a good start. A program like this is something we have to remember is important because it has an effect. You don't have to be in an isolated community for you to have problems.

In my own area of Cape Breton West, we had some challenges in Louisbourg where there were some youths gathering, some graffiti being done, and some buildings and property being destroyed. The community got together, they came together and they thought, what do we do? How do we fix this? It was really something to see because for once everybody had one thing in mind, they had a focus. The focus was doing what was best for the children of their community.

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We saw the community come together. We saw the fire department step up and say, look, we have extra space in the basement of our building, we can use that for a youth centre. We saw the community say, we can donate different things to this centre so the kids have something to do, to occupy their time. We saw parents and grandparents volunteering their time to become leaders, to make sure there was direction given to these young people.

But the other unique thing that happened, the other thing that was so unique about this, in my mind, was the youth themselves stepped up and said, we need your help, but we don't expect you to do it alone. They took on a leadership role too. They elected a president from amongst their group and they took some leadership in the community. They went out and organized cleanups in the community. They went out and helped make sure that the damage that had been done by whomever, was fixed. These are the young people who are the leaders of tomorrow.

We have people who stepped up to the plate. I think of Melinda Power, an activist in the community, a parent, who saw what was going on, was concerned about what was going on, and she said, we have to make a difference. She approached everybody and anybody to see if she could get help.

Gerald Sheppard, who is a member of the CBRM police force, he's a community officer. He was there and gave his time. Gerald would come to that centre on his days off to make sure that the kids there had some activity and some leadership. They were there to make sure a difference was made.

The group calls themselves Louisbourg Youth in Motion. I can tell you it is something the whole community is proud of. During the winter when you land there, you can go in and you'll see them playing shuffle board or pool or watching a movie or organizing some kind of an event whether it is a food drive or clean up or something at Christmas.

It is important for us to have programs such as the Lighthouses Program, a program, I might add, that was very similar to a program that had been in place by the former government. That was a program that we took a great deal of pride in and we made sure the funding was in place. It doesn't matter what government put these programs in place, what matters is the kids are first.

When we talk about what do we do with our children, how do we make them part of our communities? I look at things and groups like the Sea Cadets. We have a very active Sea Cadet group in Donkin and we have an active Sea Cadet group in Marion Bridge - and why are they successful? They're successful because of the leadership that's provided by the people of the community, by those who care what happens to their children. They're successful because when the children are there, the children are made to feel that they are important, that they are somebody - and they are important, they are the most important

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resource that we have in this province. So Sea Cadets has made a difference because not all communities can have a youth centre, but you have to have some kind of a program to offer young people.

In Port Morien, in 2008, we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Scouting movement in Canada. That's where it started and why did it start in Port Morien? Because of the people who were living there. In those days it was a mining community and they knew they had to have something for their children to do, so what did they do? They looked around and they found these things coming from their own heritage, knowing that Lord Baden-Powell had started the movement in London, they brought it to Cape Breton, they brought it to Canada, and they made it something so that young people, the young people, the future, would have a place to go and a role model to follow.

Then, of course, there are groups like the 4-H - again because you cannot have a youth centre in every group. What we have in our community, in a place called Grand Mira, the longest, continuously running 4-H Club in Canada and that group has people there who do public speaking, they do husbandry of animals, they do cooking, they do foods - they do all kinds of things. But what is important about that, Mr. Speaker, is that they are together and they're learning about respect and they're learning about things that are important. They're putting their energy into doing something that is valuable for them and valuable for their community. It gives them life skills that they'll carry with them forever.

My children and my wife were all members of 4-H. It didn't matter if you lived in the city or the country, it didn't matter if you could bake or cook, it didn't matter if you could shear sheep or if you could walk a horse, there was always a place for you and there was always a role. In all of these ventures, and it didn't make any difference which venture it was, the thing that was most important was the leaders who volunteered their time.

So for our youth to be successful, there's a combination of things that I think we have to look at as a community. We have to look at engagement of the youth, we have to look at leadership by the community, and we have to look at programs like the Lighthouses Program to help provide funding because, Mr. Speaker, there is no better investment that we can make in our province than that that helps the children of our communities. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The time allocated for the late debate has now expired. I would like to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late debate.

The motion for adjournment was made earlier. The House will now rise to sit again tomorrow at 12:00 noon.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 6:28 p.m.]

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NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 228

By: Hon. Wayne Gaudet (Clare)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas members of a large Acadian family have earned a place in The Guinness Book of World Records book as the family with the most siblings living over the age of 70 years old; and

Whereas the former world record was set for 12 siblings over the age of 70; and

Whereas 13 surviving children of Edgar T. LeBlanc and Anna Landry of Moncton, N.B. have set a new world record;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mme Huberte Boissonault of Church Point and her family for having set a new Guinness world record and wish her many years of good health and happiness.

Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que les members d'une grand famille acadienne a établi un nouveau record dans le livre Guinness pour le plus grand nombre d'enfants vivant au-delà de l'âge de soixante dix ans; et

Attendu que l'ancien record établi était de douze enfants vivant au-delà de l'âge de soixante dix ans; et

Attendu que 13 enfants vivants de Edgar T. LeBlanc et de Anna Landry originaires de Moncton au Nouveau Brunswick ont établi un nouveau record mondial;

Qu'il sort résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent et transmettent leurs meilleurs vœux et souhaitent longue vie à Mme Huberte Boissonault de la Pointe-de-l'Église et aux membres de sa famille pour avoir établi un nouveau record dans le livre Guinness.