Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 10-18

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 21, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice - Correctional Facility (Cumb. Co.), Hon. M. Scott 1064
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Aboriginal Affs. - Membertou: Baptism - Anniv. (400th),
The Premier 1065
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 513, Membertou, Grand Chief: Catholic Baptism - Anniv. (400th),
The Premier 1068
Vote - Affirmative 1068
Res. 514, Culture Days (09/24-09/26) - Celebrate,
Hon. P. Paris 1069
Vote - Affirmative 1069
Res. 515, Maritime Day (04/21/10) - Celebrate,
The Premier 1069
Vote - Affirmative 1070
Res. 516, States, Sheldon/Reddick, Clarence/Parris, Sylvia:
Educ. Wk. - Honours, Hon. P. Paris 1070
Vote - Affirmative 1071
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 37, Workers' Compensation Act,
Mr. L. Glavine 1071
Mr. L. Glavine
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 517, Skin Cancer Screening Clinic (House of Assembly):
Cdn. Dematology Assoc. - Thank, Ms. D. Whalen 1071
Vote - Affirmative 1072
Res. 518, Administrative Professionals Day: Contributions
- Acknowledge, Hon. K. Casey 1072
Vote - Affirmative 1073
Res. 519, Go Clean Get Green: Value - Recognize,
Hon. R. Landry 1073
Vote - Affirmative 1073
Res. 520, Wadden, Terry - Hfx. Reg. Sch. Bd.: Serv. - Congrats.,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 1074
Vote - Affirmative 1074
Res. 521, Chester Dist. Mun./HRM: Vols. - Recognize,
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 1075
Vote - Affirmative 1075
Res. 522, Entrepreneurs With Disabilities - Anniv. (15th),
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 1075
Vote - Affirmative 1076
Res. 523, Acadia Robot Programming Comp.: Staff/Vols./Sponsors
- Congrats., Hon. R. Jennex 1076
Vote - Affirmative 1077
Res. 524, Blois, Owen & Lloyde: Dairy Award - Congrats.,
Hon. J. MacDonell 1077
Vote - Affirmative 1077
Res. 525, Titus, Molly: Letters From India - Publication,
Ms. V. Conrad 1078
Vote - Affirmative 1078
Res. 526, Foster, Kyra Jessie Annette: Hair Donation - Congrats.,
Hon. S. Belliveau 1078
Vote - Affirmative 1079
Res. 527, 2b Theatre/Neptune Theatre: Merritt Awards - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Preyra (by Mr. M. Whynott) 1079
Vote - Affirmative 1080
Res. 528, Lighthouse Publishing: Better Newspapers Comp.
- Awards Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey 1080
Vote - Affirmative 1081
Res. 529, Educ. - West Highlands Sch.: Funding - Congrats.,
Mr. B. Skabar 1081
Vote - Affirmative 1082
Res. 530, Eaton, Doug - Kentville Vol. of Yr. (2010),
Mr. J. Morton 1082
Vote - Affirmative 1082
Res. 531, Legge, Ms. Alex: Bayer Mem. Scholarship Award
- Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall 1083
Vote - Affirmative 1083
Res. 532, Exxon Mobil/Sable Workforce - OTANS Award,
Mr. J. Boudreau 1083
Vote - Affirmative 1084
Res. 533, New Glasgow Kinsmen - Summer St. Ind.: Contributions
- Recognize, Hon. R. Landry 1084
Vote - Affirmative 1085
Res. 534, SS Atlantic, The White Star Line's First Disaster at Sea:
Atl. Book Awards - Congrats., Hon. W. Estabrooks 1085
Vote - Affirmative 1086
Res. 535, Kipping, Pat/Evans, Dick: Oxfam Can. - Serv. Thanks,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 1086
Vote - Affirmative 1086
Res. 536, White Rock Commun. Ctr. - Anniv. (25th),
Hon. R. Jennex 1087
Vote - Affirmative 1087
Res. 537, McMullen, John: Milford & Dist. Lions Club
- Serv. (35 Yrs.), Hon. J. MacDonell 1087
Vote - Affirmative 1088
Res. 538, Swim, Joyce: Terry Fox Run (2009) - Participation,
Hon. S. Belliveau 1088
Vote - Affirmative 1089
Res. 539, South Queens Jr. HS Robotics Club: Lego Challenge
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 1089
Vote - Affirmative 1089
Res. 540, Sharpe, David: Swimming Accomplishments
- Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra (by Mr. M. Smith) 1090
Vote - Affirmative 1090
Res. 541, People First (Kings Co. Br.): Efforts - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Morton 1090
Vote - Affirmative 1091
Res. 542, Mahone Bay Printmakers: Gallery Exhibit - Congrats.,
Ms. P. Birdsall 1091
Vote - Affirmative 1092
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 169, Prem.: Dal. Med. Sch./St. F.X. Nursing School - Cuts,
Hon. S. McNeil 1092
No. 170, Prem.: Lucentis - Funding,
Hon. K. Casey 1093
No. 171, Prem.: Staff Member - Moving Expenses,
Hon. S. McNeil 1095
No. 172, Prem.: Lost Luggage - Expense Claim,
Mr. A. Younger 1096
No. 173, Educ. - C.B-Victoria Reg. Sch. Bd.: Funding Increase
- Amount, Mr. K. Bain 1097
No. 174, Fish. & Aquaculture - Georges Bank: Oil Drilling - Policy,
Mr. H. Theriault 1098
No. 175, Educ. - C.B.-Victoria Reg. Sch. Bd.: Funding Increase
- Adequacy, Mr. A. MacLeod 1099
No. 176, ERD: Team West/Team Southwest - Membership,
Hon. W. Gaudet 1101
No. 177, Health: Dal. Med. Sch. - Funding Cuts,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1102
No. 178, Fin. - Gaming Strategy: Consultations - Table,
Mr. L. Glavine 1103
No. 179, Fish. & Aquaculture - Georges Bank: Moratorium
- Panel Convene, Hon. C. Clarke 1105
No. 180, Health - Long-Term Care: Accommodation Costs
- Increases, Ms. D. Whalen 1106
No. 181, Health - Type 1 Diabetes: Children - Numbers,
Hon. M. Scott 1108
No. 182, Health - Nursing Homes: Accommodation Costs
- Increases, Hon. M. Samson 1109
No. 183, RRFB - Recycling Contract: Guysborough - Loss Explain,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1111
No. 184, WCB - Staff Salaries: Increases - Appropriateness,
Hon. K. Colwell 1112
No. 185, Fin. - PC Gov't.: Past Budgets - Criticism,
Mr. A. MacMaster 1113
No. 186, Com. Serv. - Reg. Housing Authorities: Wait Lists
- Table, Hon. Manning MacDonald 1114
No. 187, HPP: Seniors - Funding,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1116
No. 188, Energy - Wind Turbines: Effects - Responsibilities,
Mr. H. Theriault 1118
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 28, Fire Safety Act, Mr. K. Bain 1119
Mr. K. Bain 1119
Mr. D. Wilson 1122
Mr. L. Glavine 1125
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1127
Mr. Mat Whynott 1130
No. 25, Emergency Health Services Act, Hon. M. Scott 1131
Hon. M. Scott 1131
Mr. D. Wilson 1134
Ms. D. Whalen 1137
Mr. A. MacLeod 1140
Mr. J. Boudreau 1143
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Gov't. (N.S.) - Fed. Funding: Infrastructure - Usage:
Mr. M. Whynott 1144
Mr. A. Younger 1147
Mr. A. MacMaster 1150
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Apr. 22nd at 11a.m. 1152
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 543, Strait Area C. of C.: Economic Assembly (2010)
- Contribution, Hon. S. McNeil 1153
Res. 544, Antigonish C. of C.: Economic Assembly (2010)
- Contribution, Hon. S. McNeil 1153
Res. 545, C.B. Partnership: Economic Assembly (2010)
- Contribution, Hon. S. McNeil 1154
Res. 546, Antigonish Area Partnership: Economic Assembly (2010)
- Contribution, Hon. S. McNeil 1154
Res. 547, Dicks, Debbie: Sexcellence Award - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 1155
Res. 548, Richardson, Bev: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1155
Res. 549, Keddy, Sara: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1156
Res. 550, Sinibaldi, Sara: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1156
Res. 551, Starratt, Victoria: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1156
Res. 552, Ogilvie, Kelsey: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1157
Res. 553, Murphy, Katelyn: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1157
Res. 554, Dawson, Dominique: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1158
Res. 555, Dawson, Danielle: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1158
Res. 556, Johnson, Keri: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1158
Res. 557, Steadman, Idalee: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1159
Res. 558, Webster, Micayla: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1159
Res. 559, Ruggles, Jacqueline: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1160
Res. 560, Irvine, Pat: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1160
Res. 561, Bent, Elizabeth: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1160
Res. 562, Lonergan, Annie: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1161
Res. 563, Moody, George: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1161
Res. 564, Palmer, Norm: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1162
Res. 565, Hill, Joanne: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1162
Res. 566, Jordan, Mike: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1163
Res. 567, Spicer, Carolyn: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1163
Res. 568, Thomas, Andy: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1163
Res. 569, Steadman, Deidre: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1164
Res. 570, Barbour-Leonahard, Neillie: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1164
Res. 571, Graves, Carolyn: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1165
Res. 572, Palmer, Allana: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1165
Res. 573, Mogensen, Stefan: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1165
Res. 574, Fraser, Jeremy: Berwick Vol. Awards (2010)
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 1166

[Page 1063]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 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: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville:

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize that this government has kept its promise to maximize federal funds to build the infrastructures that communities need, like the interchange on Highway No. 101 at Margeson Drive.

This will be debated this evening at 6:00 p.m.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to bring the attention of the members of the House to a well-known gentleman in the Speaker's Gallery. Everyone would remember Mr. Bill Casey, who was Member of Parliament for Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley for many, many years. Mr. Casey is here today to actually give credit, but also take part in a free clinic which, I hope, the members had the opportunity to take part in downstairs.

[Page 1064]

1063

This free clinic was provided for by the Canadian Cancer Society and, of course, the dermatologists were here today to provide their services free of charge. As the House would know, Mr. Casey had been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma - and he found that form of cancer and they discovered it as a result of him attending a free clinic in Ottawa, such as was provided here today to us.

Certainly he's living proof of the value, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to the Cancer Society and to the doctors who came here today to provide this service free of charge to us.

I would ask Mr. Casey to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome Mr. Casey and all our visitors here in the gallery this afternoon.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

AN HON. MEMBER: What day is this?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Well, Mr. Speaker, they ask me what day it is. It's day 17, day 17 of broken promises, and of course what led to this petition in Cumberland County was this headline - and I know the members and the Premier have heard it before - "Dexter says he'd keep Tory promises." That led to a petition in Cumberland County, the prayer reads:

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

This is signed by 263 residents of Cumberland County, bringing the total today to 1,688 - and I've signed the petition and there are many more to come.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

[Page 1065]

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, may I make some introductions before I begin my statement?

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in your gallery we are joined by Kji-Keptin Andrew Denny, Keptin Ryan Paul, and Deborah Ginnish who is the executive director of the Mi'kmaq Association of Cultural Studies. I understand that Andrew Denny is also a great athlete, excelling as a goaltender - and somebody here told me that he was a great shortstop with the Cape Breton Pepsis.

I ask the House to welcome our guests here today. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today to make a statement on a matter that is of great importance to the history and culture of the people of Nova Scotia - June 24, 2010, marks the 400th Anniversary of the baptism of Mi'kmaq Grand Chief Henri, or Henry, Membertou. This historic event signalled the peaceful intentions between the Mi'kmaq and the European nations, and established a deep bond of faith between the Aboriginal community and the Catholic Church, a relationship that continues to thrive in Mi'kmaq communities 400 years later.

Today the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia announced their plans for and around the Membertou 400 Celebrations. As a government we place tremendous value on the Mi'kmaq's contributions to the province's history, culture, and economy. The Membertou 400 Celebrations will provide an opportunity to build a greater understanding of Mi'kmaq history, as well as the issues facing Aboriginal people today. These events represent another important step in enhancing the understanding and appreciation of the rich culture and heritage of the Mi'kmaq. It is a celebration of the life and legacy of Grand Chief Membertou and the culture and contributions of the Mi'kmaq people.

I believe there is much to be learned from the experiences and the character traits of our forefathers and, in particular, Grand Chief Membertou who demonstrated the qualities of intelligence, courage, selflessness, and leadership. He remains today a hero to many Mi'kmaq, and taught the new European settlers many of the skills they needed to survive in our cold and, sometimes, inhospitable climate. Chief Membertou embraced Catholicism and his people were among the first Aboriginals in North America to adopt Christianity, and over the next 50 years, many Mi'kmaq followed his lead.

[Page 1066]

The Membertou 400 gathering runs from June 24th to June 28th and is the largest of its type ever held in Atlantic Canada. It will include a re-enactment of the baptism in Port Royal, celebrations at the Halifax Commons featuring cultural displays, music and dancing competitions, a concert by Buffy Sainte-Marie, traditional Mi'kmaq food, and an open-air Catholic mass and many more.

The Province of Nova Scotia has been a supporter of this initiative since its inception and has provided both financial and in-kind contributions. I believe that strong partnerships are the foundation of success. Today's announcement demonstrates that there is goodwill and a common interest in helping the Mi'kmaq to achieve their vision. Together, let us celebrate this important milestone in our shared history.

Mr. Speaker, thank you. Merci. Wela'lin. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, Premier.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

[2:15 p.m.]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First I wanted to thank the Premier for giving me an opportunity to see the remarks in his presentation earlier. I also want to welcome our guests here in the gallery and thank them not only for the events that are going to unfold in June, but for their commitment to the Province of Nova Scotia in making sure that we celebrate our collective heritage, to show the world what a multicultural country we are.

I represent the riding of Annapolis. Port Royal is part of the territory that I have the honour of representing in this House. I am excited about the events that will take place on June 24th and I know that the community is ready to celebrate. I believe it is, quite frankly, the birthplace of the multicultural Canada that we know today. It was over 400 years ago that the French arrived to join the first settlers, the first people of our land, the Mi'kmaq people here. This is giving us an opportunity to help celebrate and perhaps look back over our collective history, which hasn't always been positive, but this is an opportunity for us to celebrate what has been a positive relationship for us as a province.

I am also a practising Roman Catholic in the diocese of Yarmouth, and I belong to St. Alphonse's Parish. While it has been a difficult time for Roman Catholics across the globe, it has been the faith in the church that you turn to and your belief in a higher being, someone who will hold you not only in your tough days but you rely on in your good days, to see us through as a congregation. I think it is what will hold us through as a country and as a globe.

[Page 1067]

I was struck today when I was at the celebration, when Mrs. Marshall gave a prayer. I have never been to a celebration in the First Nations Community where we do not start by a prayer, and it was alluded to today, but it is always a prayer of thanks - thanks for what they have as a community and what we have as a province and as a country, and turning to that faith of strength. More often than not we rely on our faith in our worst days, very seldom giving thanks on our best days. All of us could learn, quite frankly, from the Mi'kmaq community, that we turn to our faith in our very best days.

I am looking forward to June 24th, when you are visiting the constituency of Annapolis and Port Royal, and I am looking forward to the celebrations that will take place here on the Commons. It is an opportunity for our province to showcase our province, not only for us to learn about the Mi'kmaq culture. It is an opportunity for us, as a province, to showcase ourselves to the world because, quite frankly, I believe this celebration will be captured all over North America.

I want to thank and congratulate the Premier and this government, and I know the previous government was starting conversations with the Mi'kmaq community about this celebration and I want to thank them as well. This has been a period of time, Premier, and I will acknowledge this as we talk about this celebration, of a healing and a celebration. This is one, your move and your government's move with Africville was another, and it will be a great summer for the Province of Nova Scotia to move forward and continue that healing process that we need to do. Mr. Speaker, with those few remarks, I'll take my place. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to thank the Premier and his Government for the statement today and for the beginning of celebrations of Membertou 400. I would also like to extend my welcome to the guests in the gallery today. It truly is an event that is of great cultural and historic significance in this province.

Mention has been made of our government, and I would like to speak just a moment about the opportunity that our Cabinet had to meet with the Council of Chiefs in 2008. We were hosted by the Council of Chiefs at Eskasoni and I believe it was the first time that our Executive Council of the Province of Nova Scotia had met with the Council of Chiefs. I think it was a real beginning, and it is one that we value, we appreciate. At that time the Mi'kmaq Nationhood Proclamation was signed, and it was the beginning of a look at governance, a look at co-operation. I encourage the Premier and his Cabinet to continue, and I also encourage the Council of Chiefs to make sure that what was started in 2008 is continued, because I believe it will continue to foster good relationships in the province. So

[Page 1068]

I would ask all Nova Scotians to take part in the celebrations and to show their sense of pride in the diversity that exists in our province. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 513

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

Whereas Grand Chief Membertou was one of the greatest leaders of the Mi'kmaq people, a man renowned for his leaderhip, bravery and loyalty; and

Wheras Grand Chief Membertou, born in 1510, was one of the first people to meet the Europeans who travelled to North America, and he established rapport and mutual respect when the French arrived at Port Royal in 1604; and

Whereas as a sign of alliance and friendship with his French allies, Grand Chief Membertou became the first Aboriginal leader in North America to be baptized on June 24, 1610, an act that helped to bridge the gap between the Native and non-Native cultures;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House honour the great contributions of Grand Chief Membertou during this year, the 400th Anniversary of his Catholic baptism, and encourage Nova Scotians to attend events honouring the Mi'kmaq leader who laid the foundation for peaceful relations with Europe.

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 Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

[Page 1069]

RESOLUTION NO. 514

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

Whereas art and culture make a significant contribution to our quality of life and are vitally important to the economy and the health of every community in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas a group of dedicated volunteers began a collaborative, pan-Canadian movement known as Culture Days to raise awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities by encouraging the arts and culture community to offer free activities that invite public participation in hands-on, interactive experiences; and

Whereas Nova Scotia is home to many talented artists and art organizations whose high-quality cultural products are in demand around the world and are recognized for their social and economic impact;

Therefore be it resolved that September 24th to September 26th shall be Culture Days in the province, and I urge all Nova Scotians to celebrate our vibrant and diverse arts and culture 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 Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 515

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

Whereas today, April 21st, the province celebrates Nova Scotia Maritime Day; and

[Page 1070]

Whereas Nova Scotia Maritime Day is an opportunity to celebrate and embrace Nova Scotia's maritime culture and seafaring heritage; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Maritime Day raises the profile of Nova Scotia's maritime industry and is an opportunity for all Nova Scotians to appreciate the importance of this industry to the province's economy, culture and heritage;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House celebrate Nova Scotia Maritime Day, and recognize the efforts of those individuals who have worked hard to organize and plan this important day in Nova Scotia.

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. 516

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

Whereas Education Week honours teachers and education partners' commitment to their students and subjects; and

Whereas the theme to Education Week 2010 is Equity in Education: Supporting All Students; and

Whereas Sheldon States of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Clarence Reddick of the Strait Regional School Board, and Sylvia Parris of the Department of Education were honoured Monday, April 19th, for their dedication to inclusive, equitable education;

[Page 1071]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mr. States, Mr. Reddick, and Ms. Parris for their heartfelt dedication to their profession and Nova Scotia students.

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. 37 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 10 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Workers' Compensation Act. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 517

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 Canadian Dermatology Association and Halifax dermatologists have organized a skin cancer screening clinic at the Nova Scotia House of Assembly today for members and staff; and

Whereas Dr. Richard Langley, Dr. Laura Finlayson and Dr. Cary Purdy will be carrying out these screenings; and

Whereas the screening is being held to raise awareness about the need for early detection of skin cancer;

[Page 1072]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly extend their appreciation to the Canadian Dermatology Association and the Halifax dermatologists who are striving to bring awareness of skin cancer and its prevention to 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 Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 518

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

Whereas April 21st is Administrative Professionals Day, an occasion to celebrate the significant contributions these individuals make to the workplace; and

Whereas the wide range of skills needed by, and demands placed upon, administrative professionals make them an irreplaceable component of any office setting; and

Whereas this day is a fitting tribute to those who do so much and often do not get the credit they deserve;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly take the opportunity on this Administrative Professionals Day to acknowledge the contribution administrative professionals make to many businesses and organizations in the province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1073]

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 519

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

Whereas the Go Clean Get Green initiative is taking a new approach to waste management; and

Whereas the program is looking to teach and encourage youth to help reduce litter and encourage a green way of life; and

Whereas the program hosts an annual cleanup day, which includes a corporate challenge and a student challenge, encouraging participants to become involved in a cleanup day while at the same time encouraging them to take pride in their community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize the important value of the Go Clean Get Green initiative and all participants and local businesses involved who continue to make the program a huge success.

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

[Page 1074]

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, before I read my resolution, I was wondering if I could introduce a friend of mine in the gallery.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Absolutely.

MR. ESTABROOKS: In the gallery today is the HRM councillor and past Lions Club member and citizen of my community, Reg Rankin is here. I wonder if you could stand, Reg, and receive our recognition. (Applause)

[2:30 p.m.]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 520

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

Whereas Terry Wadden is retiring this year as the principal of Sir John A. Macdonald High School in Upper Tantallon; and

Whereas this accomplished educator has demonstrated exemplary leadership during his teaching career; and

Whereas Terry Wadden's devotion and hard work are much appreciated by students, staff, and community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate and thank Terry Wadden for his many years of service as a teacher and administrator with the Halifax Regional School Board, with best wishes and good luck in his 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.

[Page 1075]

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 521

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas April 18th to April 24th is recognized as Volunteer Week in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteers are the heart of our communities; and

Whereas both the Municipality of the District of Chester, and Halifax Regional Municipality are recognizing the multitude of special volunteers on Wednesday, April 21, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that all recipients of volunteer awards in these two municipalities be congratulated.

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. 522

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

[Page 1076]

Whereas the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network promotes and facilitates entrepreneurship among people with disabilities to ensure that persons with disabilities can realize their dreams and reach their full potential; and

Whereas the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network was held last night, April 20th, here in Halifax; and

Whereas Dan MacNeil of Sydney Mines, founder of "OurTownEarth.com" received the 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which recognizes and celebrates entrepreneurs with disabilities who have demonstrated business growth, innovation, passion, and persistence;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly thank the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network for its work on behalf of disabled persons over the past 15 years and congratulate Dan MacNeil on being named the 2010 Entrepreneur of 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 Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 523

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 Acadia Robot Programming Competition mission is to foster interest in computer programming, science, math, problem solving, and teamwork among students in both junior high schools and senior high schools; and

Whereas the 2009-10 edition of the Acadia Robot Programming Competition took place on January 30th and featured 43 teams from across Nova Scotia; and

[Page 1077]

Whereas the event was a spectacular success due to the dedication and hard work by event staff and organizers at the Jodrey School of Computer Science at Acadia University;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all event staff, volunteers, and sponsors for their significant contributions in making the 2009-10 Acadia Robot Programming Competition in Wolfville a successful and memorable learning experience for so many students.

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. 524

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

Whereas milk is an essential food for many Nova Scotians; and

Whereas a high quality of milk and milk products is demanded by consumers; and

Whereas Owen and Lloyde Blois of Upper Nine Mile River have been awarded the Florence Cox Award for Excellence by Farmers Cooperative Dairy for the second year running and have also received an Award of Excellence for 20 consecutive years of producing quality milk from Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Owen and Lloyde Blois on their awards, and especially the Florence Cox Award, and thank them for ensuring that the milk they send to Nova Scotians is of the highest quality.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 1078]

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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 525

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

Whereas the book Letters from India, by Molly Titus, takes us back in time through a wonderful collection of letters so important to our history; and

Whereas letters of Mary Robertson Sedgewick Puxley and Jimmy (H.L.) Puxley take us back to a time of intriguing world events in a part of the world most of us will never visit; and

Whereas these letters from the 1930s and 1940s were published in a book last year, which has gained great coverage in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Molly Titus of Port Medway, Queens County, for her wonderful book Letters from India, and the authors of those letters, Mary Robertson Sedgewick Puxley and Jimmy (H.L.) Puxley, her mother and father.

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 1079]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 526

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

Whereas four-year-old Kyra Jessie Annette Foster of Crowell, Nova Scotia, donated 10.5 inches of her hair on February 4, 2010, to be used to make wigs for sick children who have lost their hair due to medical treatments; and

Whereas Kyra Jessie Annette Foster wanted to help children who are suffering from life-threatening illness; and

Whereas Kyra Jessie Annette Foster unselfishly donated her hair in an effort to brighten the day of another child;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate four-year-old Kyra Jessie Annette Foster of Crowell, Nova Scotia, who donated 10.5 inches of her hair on February 4, 2010 to be used to make wigs for sick children who have lost their hair due to medical treatments.

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. 527

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 1080]

Whereas two Halifax Theatre companies won 2010 Robert Merritt Awards; and

Whereas 2b theatre earned 12 nominations and two awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Outstanding Lighting Design; and

Whereas Neptune Theatre Company earned 11 nominations and three awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Outstanding Costume Design, and Outstanding Sound Design;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate 2b theatre and Neptune Theatre on their many nominations and Robert Merritt Awards.

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, two of my constituents are up near the top: Don Calhoun and Steve Andrews. I would appreciate it if the House would welcome them in the usual way. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 528

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 Bulletin, a weekly newspaper in Bridgewater owned by Lighthouse Publishing, has been delivering the news to the residents of Lunenburg County

[Page 1081]

for 123 years and recently learned that they had received seven awards in the Better Newspapers Competition sponsored by the Canadian Newspapers Association that will be handed out in Toronto on May 13, 2010; and

Whereas reporter Paula Levy took top spot in the outstanding reporter initiative category for her feature series entitled A Reason to Belize, and her colleague Robert Hirtle achieved second place honours in the Best Historical Story category for an amazing third year in a row; and

Whereas the Bulletin team won several other awards, including first place in Best Newspaper Promotion for the third time, as well as awards for Outstanding Community Service, Best Special Section and General Excellence and being nationally recognized for their community Web site, "southshorenow.ca";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Lighthouse Publishing staff for the national recognition accorded them by winning these awards from the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, commend them on their hard work and dedication and wish them continued success in their efforts to provide top quality news and community service to the residents of Lunenburg 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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 529

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

Whereas the children of Nova Scotia are important to this government; and

Whereas in the budget for the fiscal year 2010-11, the Minister of Finance announced funding for the construction of West Highlands School; and

[Page 1082]

Whereas the NDP Government is keeping its commitments and making the right decisions for Nova Scotia families;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Town of Amherst and surrounding areas on the forthcoming new West Highlands School and the high quality of education that their children will receive.

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. 530

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

Whereas Doug Eaton of Kentville has volunteered for almost 40 years in many sports organizations including hockey, soccer and baseball, coaching a women's hockey team to a national championship and a girl's soccer team to become provincial champions and has coached more hockey teams than can be easily listed; and

Whereas Mr. Eaton has served on the Kentville Recreational Advisory Committee, been a member of Big Brothers and on the VON Annapolis Valley; and

Whereas Mr. Eaton was inducted into the Kings County Academy Hall of Fame in 1999 and is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Mr. Doug Eaton for his dedication and mentorship to many young people, for longstanding service to his community as a volunteer and congratulate Mr. Eaton on being named Kentville Volunteer of the Year for 2010.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 1083]

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. 531

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

Whereas Alex Legge is a former resident of Mahone Bay and a student at Park View Centre, who has long been recognized as a top basketball player in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the AUS all-star and rookie of the year and Dalhousie student is currently on the Dean's List and has been awarded Dalhousie President's Award for excellence in athletics, academics, leadership and community service, as well as being selected for the AUS women's basketball Student Athlete and Community Service Award winner and nominee for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Sylvia Sweeney Award; and

Whereas Ms. Alex Legge has earned the highest honour in the Atlantic University Sport as the recipient of the 24th Annual James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Award on March 13th;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Alex Legge on receiving this distinguished honour and commend her for her continued commitment to sport excellence, academics and community involvement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1084]

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 532

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

Whereas the Exxon Mobil and the Sable workforce have been selected to receive the 2010 OTANS Petroleum Pioneer Award; and

Whereas this award honours individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the development of the Nova Scotia petroleum industry; and

Whereas this award will be presented on Thursday, April 22nd, at the Petroleum Pioneer dinner which will be held at the Cunard Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the ExxonMobil and Sable workforce on their OTANS Petroleum Pioneer Award.

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.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 533

[Page 1085]

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

Whereas the New Glasgow Kinsmen have been donating to Summer Street Industries for over 40 years; and

Whereas the New Glasgow Kinsmen have helped to keep the doors open at Summer Street, a facility which helps to broaden the horizons of adults with intellectual disabilities by offering adults the opportunity to learn in the computer lab, paint, play music and learn office skills; and

Whereas the New Glasgow Kinsmen have graciously donated over $1 million to Summer Street Industries through events like Kinsmen TV Bingo;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize the important contributions of the New Glasgow Kinsmen to Summer Street Industries, without this type of donation, they would not be able to offer their wide variety of programs.

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 534

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

Whereas the SS Atlantic, the White Star Line's First Disaster at Sea, written by Greg Cochkanoff and Bob Chaulk, was chosen as the winner of the Dartmouth Book Award for non-fiction and the Democracy 250 Award for historical writing at the recent Atlantic Book Festival; and

[Page 1086]

Whereas Mr. Cochkanoff spent 20 years researching the wreck of the SS Atlantic off Lower Prospect by performing hundreds of dives; and

Whereas Mr. Chaulk, a friend and scuba diving partner of Mr. Cochkanoff who died unexpectedly in 2008, completed the book about the book about this disaster that took place in April 1873 near Terence Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature offer its congratulations and best wishes to Anne, Mr. Cochkanoff's widow, and Bob Chaulk on the selection of the SS Atlantic, The White Star Line's First Disaster at Sea as a double winner at the Atlantic Book Awards.

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. 535

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

Whereas Oxfam Canada is a non-profit organization which works to build lasting solutions to global poverty and injustice and which has been active in Halifax for 37 years; and

Whereas Pat Kipping, the Senior Fund Development Officer with Oxfam in Halifax, is leaving after over six years to take on another challenge, and also Dick Evans is stepping down from the Oxfam Canada Board of Directors after 11 years, during five of which he served as board chair; and

[Page 1087]

Whereas a celebration of their contributions to Oxfam will be held this coming Saturday, April 24th, by their many friends and fellow Oxfam supporters;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly thank Pat Kipping and Dick Evans for their years of dedicated service to the great work of Oxfam Canada and wish them both well in all their 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 Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 536

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

Whereas on Sunday, May 16, 2010, the White Rock Community Association will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the White Rock Community Centre; and

Whereas the White Rock Community Association will celebrate the spirit of volunteerism and pay tribute to past and present members who helped to build, grow and carry on the work of the association and the community centre; and

Whereas the White Rock Community Centre has built a sense of community and has contributed greatly to the lives of White Rock and area residents for 25 years;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the members of the White Rock Community Association on the 25th Anniversary of the White Rock Community Centre and send best wishes in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 1088]

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. 537

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, John McMullen was recognized by the Milford and District Lions Club for 35 years of service;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate John McMullen 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 Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 538

[Page 1089]

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

Whereas Clark's Harbour resident Joyce Swim has once again gone above and beyond the call of duty by participating in the 29th Annual Terry Fox Run on September 13, 2009; and

Whereas Joyce Swim who is a cancer survivor and a Terry Fox team member, has participated in the Terry Fox Run for 27 years, raising an estimated $13,000 for cancer research; and

Whereas Joyce Swim, who at the young age of 73, also participated in other community events that help fund cancer research and offers financial assistance to local cancer patients including the Relay for Life and the Rosalin Nickerson CARE Fund;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Clark's Harbour resident Joyce Swim who has once again gone above and beyond the call of duty by participating in the 29th Annual Terry Fox Run on September 13, 2009.

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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 539

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

Whereas the South Queens Junior High School Robotics Club competed in the 4th Annual First Lego League Smart Moves Challenge at Acadia University in February of this year taking 1st place for the South Shore and 7th place in the province; and

[Page 1090]

Whereas the club was required to build and program a Lego Mindstorms robot to explore the best way to move people, goods, services and data around the world; and

Whereas the team was required to present for five minutes and program their robots to explore the growing questions around how to make transportation more efficient;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the South Queens Junior High School Robotics Club for their ingenious accomplishments at the 4th Annual First Lego League Smart Moves Challenge and for their five minute presentation on the viability of public transportation in Queens 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 Antigonish.

RESOLUTION NO. 540

MR. MAURICE SMITH: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas David Sharpe of the Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club is a first year student at Dalhousie University; and

Whereas David was honoured with one gold medal and three silver medals at the 2010 Canadian Interunivesity Sport Swim Championships and was named Atlantic University Sports Rookie of the Meet and Swimmer of the Meet; and

Whereas David also received ninth place in the Pan Pacific Swimming Trials in Montreal and has been recognized by Swim Nova Scotia as a male swimmer of the year for 2010;

[Page 1091]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate David Sharpe on his extraordinary swimming accomplishments.

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. 541

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 People First movement in Nova Scotia was started in 1989 by those who had been labelled "intellectually challenged"; and

Whereas People First gives its members their own voice in the community, a better future, and the opportunity to take control of their own lives; and

Whereas the Kings County Branch of People First provides guardianship, encourages employment, supports meaningful living arrangements, and understands the importance of building community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the Kings County Branch of People First for promoting equality for all people who have been labelled intellectually challenged, for teaching the community about its issues, and for supporting members as they speak for themselves and make decisions about their own lives.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1092]

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. 542

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 Mahone Bay Printmakers Group is comprised of 10 local artists who work out of studio space located in the Mahone Bay Centre; and

Whereas the Mahone Bay Printmakers Group has been actively making relief prints, collagraphs, etchings, and mono-type prints at this studio since 2003; and

Whereas works of the Mahone Bay Printmakers Group, entitled Recent Impressions, will be the feature exhibit at the Lunenburg Art Gallery for the month of April;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the artistic merit of this printmakers' collective and congratulate the Mahone Bay Printmakers Group on their month-long exhibit at the Lunenburg Art Gallery.

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.

We will soon be going into the Oral Question Period. Just a friendly reminder, no electronic equipment is to be on during Question Period, and secondly, I'd ask you to direct all questions and answers through the Chair.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

[Page 1093]

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time now is 2:58 p.m. and we will go to 4:28 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: DAL. MED. SCH./ST. F.X. NURSING SCHOOL - CUTS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. First, the Dalhousie Medical School and now the St. Francis Xavier Nursing School - it makes people wonder who might be next. Today it was reported that the bureaucracy was responsible for the confusion surrounding the $2.5 million cut to the Dalhousie Medical School, along with the $5.3 million cut to the nursing school budget at St. F.X.

Leadership starts at the top. Excuses for mistakes and confusion have to stop. My question to the Premier is, can the Premier explain how this could happen?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite very much for the question. No notice has been given to St. F.X. with respect to the withdrawal of any funds in this regard. In fact, the government is working with the university to ensure that the same number of seats are going to be there in the nursing program.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier and the ministers involved have stated that a committee has been struck to address the issue. The only confusion here seems to be with government. It's pretty straightforward: you meet with the institutions involved, you explain that you are transferring funding to another department, you transfer the funding to the other department, you confirm with the institution the amount of the transfer, end of story. It is really not that difficult.

Today a spokesperson for St. F.X. stated that they were notified that government intended to withdraw their funding for the final year of that three-year agreement. So my question to the Premier is, will the Premier admit that the government meant to make the cuts and they are now backing away, or is government just that unorganized that they can't figure this out?

[3:00 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, funding to St. F.X. for this program has increased by about $8 million over the last 10 years. The government is involved and the department is involved in negotiations currently. The object of those negotiations, of course, is to ensure that the program is properly funded and that the same number of seats will be available.

[Page 1094]

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, today's media story indicated that funding has not been transferred and that funding will be placed in the next school year. With all due respect to the communications officer who has been thrown under the Dexter bus, I'm not sure whether that means September 2010 or for the academic year commencing in 2011. So my question to the Premier is, will the Premier please confirm whether the funding will be restored by September 2010, or will cuts have to be made to the nursing program at St. F.X.?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated already in the previous two answers to this question, there are negotiations going on now between the Department of Education - sorry, they get funding from both Education and from Health, but the negotiations are ongoing, the expectation is that they will be able to maintain the number of seats that are currently in that program - of course the government is trying to make sure that the money we are giving out or advancing through to these programs is spent as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

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

PREM.: LUCENTIS - FUNDING

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. In Opposition the NDP were very vocal about the need for Lucentis, a drug used in the treatment of macular degeneration, to be funded by the Department of Health, but since taking office the NDP Government has done nothing to make this happen - in fact, during questioning last week, the minister distanced herself from prior commitments and statements. My question to the Premier is, why does this government now no longer see the funding of this drug as a priority?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, to respond to the honourable member's question, the government understands the value of many of the new drugs that are coming onto the market, and we understand their importance to the people who would benefit from them. We also know that there is a funding envelope that is available to the province for the purposes of supporting those drugs.

What the government has done is we have looked at establishing a drug policy unit to be able to manage these costs and to look at drugs as they come onto the market and come onto the formulary. That process is currently underway. The Minister of Health is, of course, shepherding that effort and we are looking at some positive results from that which will allow us to address the very kinds of issues that the honourable member raises.

MS. CASEY: Lucentis has been proven to restore vision in 70 per cent of those with macular degeneration. If these patients do not receive the treatment, the related cost to the health care system far exceeds the cost of the drug. So my question to the Premier is, when

[Page 1095]

will you have this drug added to the approved list, to address both the short-term and the long-term benefits?

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in my previous answer, we are of course very cognizant of the benefits of many of these drugs that are coming onto the market and are being proposed for use in the province. We want to ensure there is an appropriate policy unit in place so that we can balance the expenses that are associated with many of these new drugs, with the effective nature, and to see how we are able to manage those costs within the system. I think everyone understands that the health care budget is a very large one in this province and we need to ensure that we approach this issue respectfully but cautiously.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I take that to be a no, it will not be approved, so my question is - doctors are now prescribing Lucentis for their patients but many Nova Scotians must still cope with the loss of vision because they are finding the costs to be beyond their means. To the Premier, how are Nova Scotians, who require this drug to treat their condition, how are they expected to use it when they don't have the finances to pay for it and the government refuses to add it to the approved list?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the position that the member opposite advances is an important one, it is one that we are very cognizant and considerate of. But the same argument is true for many drugs, for many of the new drugs that are coming onto the market. That is why we have put in place the initiative that I mentioned with the Department of Health to ensure that there is a management unit that looks at these drugs.

Mr. Speaker, much of the conversation that took place in this House over the last couple of weeks was about controlling drug costs in our province and we wanted to ensure the member opposite that we're fully cognizant of both sides of this issue.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: STAFF MEMBER - MOVING EXPENSES

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Yesterday, the Premier confirmed that the taxpayers paid close to $10,000 to move a political staffer from Manitoba to Halifax. The Premier said that the staff person worked for him years ago and was recruited because of the expertise she acquired in the Doer Government. I accept the Premier's claim that this person is highly skilled - she is political staff, however, and not a member of the civil service. So my question to the Premier is, who in your office approved the moving expenses of this political staff person?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the people in the Premier's Office work in the service of the people of the province. They are, of course, my staff and the rules that apply to them

[Page 1096]

are the same rules that apply in the handbook for civil service staff. They would have been hired and, of course, moving expenses are a normal part of the recruitment process.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, actually, this was a two-for-one deal; the government actually got two political employees from Manitoba with this move. Shauna Martin and Wade Derkson were moved together. Mr. Derkson is a senior adviser to the Minister of Health, another political position. The moving and relocation policy of the government actually only applies to civil servants. So my question to the Premier is, will the Premier table the government documents that require taxpayers to pay for the moving expenses of political staffers?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I don't know of a company anywhere that goes out and recruits staff and doesn't, as part of that, pay moving expenses. This is part of the recruitment policy program of most companies and, of course, it has been the practice of the government.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, it is on occasion the practice of companies to move their employees and if the New Democratic Party wants to pay for the moving expenses of its political staffers, it can do so but the taxpayers of Nova Scotia should not.

Shauna Martin's contract says that she was seconded from the New Democratic Party caucus office from June 22nd, yet she was moved in August from Manitoba. Obviously, this highly skilled person was brought here to work on the NDP election campaign in the guise of working in the caucus office. So my question to the Premier is, when did Ms. Martin arrive in Nova Scotia and what work did she perform during the election campaign?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, she arrived I think, as he indicated, in August of last year. I have to say, over the course of the election (Interruption) She arrived here as I've indicated, she was a resident of Manitoba, she came here because of the expertise that she has, particularly in research. We were very pleased that she agreed to stay and, of course, as part of the normal recruitment process, the moving expenses were paid.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

PREM.: LOST LUGGAGE - EXPENSE CLAIM

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Premier. Yesterday during estimates, the Premier offered a travel log of sorts of his time going from Halifax to Vermont and on to western Canada. Unfortunately the Premier lost his luggage on that trip, something many of us have unfortunately experienced from time to time.

Now, the Premier suggested to the Leader of the Official Opposition yesterday during estimates that while he claimed the cost of new clothes, he reversed the claim as soon as he noticed it. However, the Premier's expense record shows that while the August 5th claim was

[Page 1097]

filed on September 22nd, the revision to remove that claim did not come until days before the beginning of this session of the Legislature on March 22nd, six months later. Could the Premier tell me why it took him a full six months to notice and reverse this claim?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, yes I can, I would tell the member that I asked for a review of those expenses and one was carried out. This particular one was picked up. I had assumed that those costs, of course, would go through to Air Canada, since they were the ones who lost the luggage and should be responsible for paying it and that the Province of Nova Scotia should not be, so that is why that was submitted.

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, well, between this claim and the mileage claim that the Premier has already reimbursed, it almost seems as though the Premier is using the provincial Treasury as his own private bank for small six-month loans.

As it happens - and perhaps the Premier will recall from last summer - I lost my luggage on that trip too, except I lost it on the Continental flight to Vermont just a few days before the Premier. I feel for his situation but, you know, I walked up to the Macy's behind the hotel and bought some clothes and it never occurred to me that I should file an expense for the clothing, it never occurred to me. Yet, the first thing the Premier did was file a claim.

Can the Premier explain exactly why he thought it was appropriate to file a claim for clothes in the first place?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I was on the business of the province, I was representing the Province of Nova Scotia at the Council of the Federation meeting with the other Premiers of this country. Obviously I needed to have clothes to be able to do that. I indicated to the Leader of the Official Opposition that when I realized that this was the case what I did was withdrew that claim and I submitted it to Air Canada, which I think is a reasonable course of action that anyone would expect.

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I'm pretty sure I was on the business of the province too with the Council of State Governments yet I didn't file the claim and he did, so there is a difference and it's a judgment call.

It's rapidly appearing that the Premier either does not keep good track of his own expense claims and it looks like there is a pattern that he waits until he's either caught or until he's about to be caught before he fixes the mistakes. Can the Premier tell this House what the public should think of his judgment that you claimed an expense few would even likely think about claiming and then reversed it six months later when you thought it might become public?

[3:15 p.m.]

[Page 1098]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the member opposite is that I attempt, I think as most members of the House of Assembly do, to make sure that the records are as complete and full as possible and that my practice is to make sure that the claims that I submit are done in good faith.

When I recognize that there is an error though, Mr. Speaker, I am a big enough person to be able to withdraw that and to set it right appropriately. I think that's what the people of Nova Scotia expect, it's what I expect of myself, and I'm sure it's what the member expects of himself as well.

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

EDUC. - C.B.-VICTORIA REG. SCH. BD.: FUNDING INCREASE

- AMOUNT

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board received a 2 per cent increase in funding this year. Do you know what that amounts to in actual dollars?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to get that information and share it with the member during Budget Estimates.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, through you again to the minister, I can answer that for her - it comes to $2.7 million. Also this year, Madam Minister, your friends at CUPE negotiated a 1.9 per cent raise for their members. Do you know what that raise would amount to in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, despite my reputation for working long hours and trying to be all things to all people, no, I'm afraid I don't have that detail in my head.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary through you is to the Minister of Education once again. Funny enough, the raise received by CUPE members in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board comes to $2.7 million. Your increased funding to the board only covers the cost of your negotiations with your CUPE friends. Knowing this, will you now consider giving the school board an actual cost of living increase this year in order that students won't be the losers?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, this government was pleased to provide $20 million extra to school boards across the province. We've had many meetings with both school boards and their senior officials and we understand there will be challenging times ahead. We certainly will be working side by side in order to make sure that the students in our schools have the best possible education that Nova Scotians can afford.

[Page 1099]

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE - GEORGES BANK: OIL DRILLING

- POLICY

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. I would like to read a little quote from the member for Shelburne on September 23, 2008: The U.S. House moved last night to prohibit oil and gas drilling around Georges Bank. The United States realizes that the valuable fishing grounds around Georges Bank need to be protected today and in the future, and took a positive step in its protection of the area. He also stated: In Nova Scotia the Minister of Energy has to stop flirting around with the idea of drilling on Georges Bank and commit to protecting it.

My question to the minister is, what is the NDP Government's policy on drilling for oil on Georges Bank?

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, I want to congratulate the member for quoting me on the fisheries issue. What our government is doing, there is a decision that's going to be decided on by June 1st, by the Minister of Energy, and what our government is doing is collecting all the information. The member opposite is very aware of the technology and I think every member in this House can look at the technology that has evolved in the last 10 or 15 years, and presently, either on the wheelhouse of a boat or the person. This information is going to be gathered by our government and we're going to make an informed decision at the appropriate time.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to hear the minister speak about the new technology. He also spoke about it on Monday during estimates, and the minister said the new technology out there makes it almost impossible for there to be a leak or spill or blowout when drilling.

My question to the minister is, are you aware of the public inquiry in Australia, right now, about the 71-day-long, 2-million-litre, 9,000-square-mile oil spill caused by the modern equipment used for drilling?

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite, he made quotes, and I want to go back and check Hansard because I question that. I also can tell the member opposite that I'm very familiar with the sensitivity around Georges Bank; I'm very familiar with the seismic testing around our world and that particular situation that he described. But I also go back, that this particular government does our homework. We'll gather that information and we'll make an informed decision at the appropriate time.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, let me read to the House another quote from the member for Shelburne on April 21, 2009, exactly one year ago today: The reaction to

[Page 1100]

potential drilling on Georges Bank is clear. Fishermen, residents and the impacted coastal communities do not want it. It's time for the Premier and the Minister of Energy to start listening to the people of the province and protect the Georges Bank moratorium. Maybe the Energy Minister should spend a little more time with the people in southwestern Nova Scotia, the people whose lives would be impacted the most.

My question to the Minister of Fisheries is, now that you are a minister you have to look them in the eyes, and look them in the eyes - what are you going to tell the people of southwestern Nova Scotia about drilling on Georges Bank?

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the member opposite is I can look a number of people in the eye in the coastal communities across Nova Scotia. I can look them in the eye and say that on June 9, 2009, they asked for leadership and this is what they're going to get on this file. Thank you very much.

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

EDUC. - C.B.-VICTORIA REG. SCH. BD.: FUNDING INCREASE

- ADEQUACY

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Education. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board received a 2 per cent increase in funding this year. We know that this increase only covers the cost of salary hikes in the school district. My question is, how do you expect the school board to balance their budget when you haven't even given them a cost-of-living increase for this year?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, this government is investing $1.1 billion into public education - that's what is being sent out to the boards. We met with the boards early on to find out what their cost pressures were going to be this year and, as far as possible, we are helping them meet all their obligations in order to ensure the best possible education for students in our schools.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, through you, again, to the Minister of Education. This board needs 3.6 per cent to maintain the status quo. I think you have found a way to help them though because you told them that if they wanted to balance their budget the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has been given $0.5 million credit for allocation for textbooks and you've told them it doesn't have to be used for textbooks, you can take half of that and put it on the bottom line of your overall budget.

Could you please tell me, Madam Minister, is this fair to the students, that many of them won't be getting new textbooks this year because the Dexter NDP Government refused the increase to the board's budget even though costs are increasing?

[Page 1101]

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, it's interesting that a member representing the former government would ask me a question about textbooks. Actually, when the budget was passed last Fall, there was a $4 million reduction in textbooks that was suggested by the previous government. Certainly our government has tried to put much of that money back in and to pass on that flexibility to the school boards. Thank you.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, again to the minister, well, you know it is interesting how the minister can always remember numbers about what somebody else has done but can never remember what is the right thing to do. Now she has given them an allocation of $0.5 million and they can put it on the bottom line. She's not worried about textbooks, she already told them that.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, like many boards, is struggling. This board looked at the possibility of closing some smaller schools, rural schools at that. Yet, to their credit, the board decided these closures of small, rural schools was not a road that they wanted to go down, but in turn they are looking at the entire system. Has anyone in your department, Madam Minister, spoken to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board? How are you going to stop closures of small schools in rural Nova Scotia?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, a number of issues were raised in that final question. Certainly boards have the ability and they have the responsibility to try to juggle the amount of money that they're given among their facilities, among their professional and support staff and among their programming. To their credit, the boards across this province have done a tremendous job in managing their resources and their revenue.

Certainly we have always worked alongside the boards, in terms of school reviews. We improved the process to ensure more accountability and more involvement of the public. Certainly I know the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board recently chose not to review eight schools and that certainly is their decision. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

ERD: TEAM WEST/TEAM SOUTHWEST - MEMBERSHIP

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development. As we are all aware by now, the federal government has announced that through creating Team Southwest and the province creating Team West, both levels of government hope to strengthen the economy in western Nova Scotia after this NDP Government decided to cut the ferry service out of Yarmouth this summer.

My question through you, Mr. Speaker, is, can the minister inform the House, who are the members on Team West and who are the members on Team Southwest?

[Page 1102]

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, what I do with respect to the membership of the team, the team does overlap. There are representatives that - the stakeholders are people from the community, politicians from the area. For a more specific number what I can do is I can provide names, after consultation with my department, and I will certainly table those names in this House. There are a number, and again I reiterate, the names are overlapping as well. Thank you.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I would welcome it if the minister would table that information.

The minister seems to only add to the confusion over these two damage-control teams. Yesterday in the House we all listened to the minister talk about Team West and Team Southwest and who does this and how this team is like the other team and so on and so on. While the minister and the NDP fight with the federal Conservatives over who gets credit for which team does what, the 2010 tourist season approaches and there is still no plan for this year.

My question through you, Mr. Speaker, to the minister is, why is it more important for the NDP to try to score political points than to ensure that a strategy for southwest Nova Scotia is in place for this summer?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I can say this, and I can say this in all sincerity - and it is unfortunate that somebody would talk in political terms such as that, because certainly this government and this minister are not involved for political glory (Interruption) This is about doing the right thing for the people in that region and trying to promote tourism and economic development in the area.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, it does not matter to the people of southwest Nova Scotia what team does what. What they need are solutions to the problems that this minister has created. The NDP has no plan for 2010, the minister is too distracted by politics to do what he is supposed to be doing. As confusing as the minister was yesterday, his silence on one particular question was quite clear. The NDP has no plan for 2010.

So, Mr. Speaker, I will pose the same question again to the minister and give him a second chance to answer this question. What is your plan for 2010?

[3:30 p.m.]

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, the only confusion that exists here is from that member who is asking the question. I would say that the plan that will come out of this is a combined effort by the stakeholders. We are working with them. We are just one member of the team. This is a team (Interruptions) This is a team that is dedicated (Interruptions)

[Page 1103]

MR. SPEAKER: Order. Order, please.

MR. PARIS: This is a team that is dedicated to the region. This is a team, Mr. Speaker, that they are driving it. We are merely a participant. We are there to assist and offer some expert advice when requested.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HEALTH: DAL. MED. SCH. - FUNDING CUTS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Wouldn't I like to ask a question and comment on that last one, but I am going to leave that to the member for Clare.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to try to find my question from yesterday to the Minister of Health. As we know, the Department of Health had apparently, inadvertently, cut the $2.5 million in funding to the Dalhousie Medical School. We have learned through the media and through the minister that the NDP Government now says that it intends to form a committee to report back on the current funding arrangement. So my question to the Minister of Health is, why did you pre-empt the committee's findings and make the cut before the results were determined?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to maintaining the seats at the Medical School at Dalhousie. Those seats are both financially supported both by the Department of Health and the Department of Education. The funding formula is not very transparent. We have a working group that is working to make the funding formula for those seats transparent and they have already met and they will be meeting again and, at the end of the day, we will have a strengthened formula that is more transparent and accountable for the people of the province.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, in an attempt to justify this harmful action the Minister of Health was quoted in yesterday's The ChronicleHerald as saying that the government is going to sit down and discuss the complexities of the funding arrangement and get a more transparent arrangement in place that works for everyone. So it sounds like she is reading very well from her prepared text.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is, how would a sudden cut of 8 per cent from the Dalhousie Medical School work for students, faculty and the Nova Scotia population in great need of doctors?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I think the member's estimation of an 8 per cent cut is greatly exaggerated. However, we do have a working committee. The working committee is, as I indicated, working through the details of a system that is very

[Page 1104]

complicated, that is thoroughly lacking in transparency, and at the end of the day we will rectify those problems with the current funding arrangements.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the 8 per cent cut to the Dalhousie Medical School is a quote from the Dean of Medicine in that same article of yesterday's The ChronicleHerald. It's not something that we made up, it's something that the faculty has said, that they're looking at an 8 per cent cut to their program. The need for doctors in this province comes as news to no one. We believe the latest move by this government will simply compound what is already a very serious issue.

My final question to the Premier is, will you commit today that not one job or seat will be lost at the Dalhousie Medical School as a result of this inadvertent cut?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite has heard the answer repeatedly. He understands that negotiations are underway and that the intention of the government and the Minister of Health is to ensure that no seats will be lost at the Dalhousie Medical School.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

FIN. - GAMING STRATEGY: CONSULTATIONS - TABLE

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Part I of the Gaming Control Act. On April 1st, I asked the minister about the province's development of a new gaming strategy. He indicated that between now and October he will be, ". . . working with all interested parties to develop a gaming strategy that will govern this government over the next five years."

Given that the NDP has been contradicting their own position that they held in Opposition, it is more than reasonable to insist that the minister begin the discussion clearly and publicly in this House. My question is, will the minister commit to tabling in this House his detailed plans for consultations with stakeholders and, indeed, all Nova Scotians on this issue?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to renewing the gaming strategy for the next five years. We're almost to the stage of being able to announce that but we're not quite there yet, so I'd just ask the member for just a little more patience.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development publicly admitted that she will continue to suppress a study on the impacts of

[Page 1105]

gambling. In less than a year, the NDP has turned themselves completely around. At first they only used consultants as political cover to hide behind but now they are more than comfortable with suppressing information and withholding reports.

My question is, will the Minister responsible for Part I of the Gaming Control Act urge the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development to end the secrecy, release this report to the public, so that they can decide whether it is too confusing?

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I refer that question to the Minister responsible for Part II of the Gaming Control Act.

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, the socio-economic study has been something that has been in progress for over the past six years. Early on, the expert advisory committee indicated some concerns about methodology and so when the draft report was presented to our government in June, shortly after we were elected, we thoroughly reviewed the draft study and recognized the same inconsistencies as had been reported by the expert advisory panel. We don't feel that it gives the reliable information that a government and stakeholder groups and others would need to make responsible decisions. Thank you.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the problem is clear. The government set the parameters, contracted out for the report and is responsible to the taxpayer, but not liking the results they got back, the government refuses to let anyone read it. The excuse given, that it's confusing, methodology problematic, is a pretty weak one.

Mr. Speaker, the solution is simple. The NDP should release the report and give a detailed explanation of what they feel are the flaws in the report. My question to minister Part II is, would the minister explain why the NDP does not think that Nova Scotians are smart enough to understand this report?

MS. MORE: I can only repeat that this study was started under a previous government. There had been continuous attempts to improve the methodologies so that the information in the report would be reliable. This did not happen and it did not make sense to continue and so the contract was terminated.

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE - GEORGES BANK: MORATORIUM

- PANEL CONVENE

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I was very glad to hear the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture say, this government does our homework. My question through you is to the Minister of Energy. In December 1999, the Georges Bank moratorium on oil

[Page 1106]

and gas exploration and drilling in this extremely productive fishing grounds was extended until December 31, 2012. Has the government looked into setting up a new panel to render a decision on whether or not this moratorium will be extended?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. It's always important, when you come to making a decision and the deadline is looming, that you're getting the correct information. It's with some consequence I know that we've looked at this issue and I've talked to my colleagues, particularly the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. I've talked to other members from that particular part of southwest Nova Scotia. This is an issue of real concern and when you have to make these types of decisions, it's important that we get as much information as possible. We're collecting that information as I speak and I can assure you that when the time comes to make that decision, it will be made in the proper fashion and it will be the correct decision.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, the original Georges Bank panel held their first public meetings in October 1996 and finished their report in June 1999. That was 32 months to render a decision and to do much thought and non-partisan consideration. We're now about 32 months away from the moratorium ending. So does the minister intend to have a full and transparent and clearly established process with regard to this review other than an internal government one?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, thank you again to the member opposite for the question. The concern of course is that when we have a valuable resource, and my good friend, the member for Digby-Annapolis, brought forward this concern earlier and, you know, all involved have to make sure that they are being listened to and that their particular point of view is being considered as we go forward to make these decisions.

The key factor is that people believe very firmly in the fact it's not necessarily one of these types of decisions that can be made in an ad hoc fashion. It has to be one where we collect the information and make sure we have the correct information. I know that the member for Argyle is putting up the 3-2 beside you as he's saying 32 months. If it takes 32 months, if it takes 36 months, it's going to be timely and it's going to be the correct decision.

MR. CLARKE: Well, Mr. Speaker, actually 36 months would be too late and, in fact, the moratorium would be up at that point. So we need to make sure and I agree, we're trying to be constructive, and I recognize the concerns raised by the member for Digby-Annapolis, I also recognize the interests of others that see positive co-existence of the oil and gas sector along with the fishing industry. We've seen some indications of people looking at it, especially when you look at the unemployment numbers, that we know this government has not improved in southwest Nova Scotia but are further damaged down there.

[Page 1107]

Mr. Speaker, what I'm asking the minister is, is the government prepared to establish a non-partisan, properly established panel to consider this and report back to government and do it in a very coordinated manner?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I mean we are aware of the fact of the implications socially, economically, ecologically. This is an important issue. It's very sensitive, time sensitive, but it's also a very important sensitive issue for that region of this province. It's an important issue for the entire province. We are continuing to collect information. When the time comes for that decision to be made, it will be made in the proper fashion and it will be the correct decision.

[3:45 p.m.]

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

HEALTH - LONG-TERM CARE: ACCOMMODATION COSTS

- INCREASES

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last Fall the NDP Government increased the accommodation costs for people in long-term care without any public explanation or justification for that increase. As a result of last year's increase, seniors who are charged the maximum accommodation rate are paying over $34,500 per year to be in a nursing home. For information purposes, that is $3,000 more than the year before, a full 10 per cent increase.

Given that it has been six months since I last posed the question, I'd like to ask the minister, is the minister now able to explain in detail the justification for this increase in the cost?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I believe the explanation is the same today as it was when the member asked the question back in the Fall. The cost of operating in the long-term care sector has increased. Insurance, heating, food, all of these kinds of regular expenses go up to long-term care operators, and the rate increases for the room and board part of long-term care accommodations reflect those increased costs.

MS. WHALEN: Last year when the minister answered that question, she also referred to some of the costs that are actually in the provincial budget that are health-related costs and that are capital construction costs. Today I see she has not done that but I still believe that the people need to have an itemization why it would be $3,000 more per year for a person who is paying the maximum accommodation charge. If it goes beyond the costs that are justified, then isn't that more of a tax than actually just an increased fee? I think we have a right to know what costs have gone up and just by how much because that is far above the cost-of-living increase.

[Page 1108]

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, why has the NDP Government refused to be open and accountable when it comes to justifying to seniors and their families the $3,000 cost increase for accommodation in nursing homes?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, we're very pleased that in the Department of Health we're able to pick up the health-care component costs of living in long-term care. This is a policy that I take some pride in, having been a member of a political caucus that fought very hard to make sure that that was the policy.

Mr. Speaker, we do know that there are costs associated with being in long-term care that are not health related, that have to do with the accommodation portion of being in long-term care. Those costs, just like living in your own private home, have continued to grow as the cost of living has grown in the last year.

Mr. Speaker, we have a review process in the Department of Health that establishes what the per diem will be for that portion of the cost and people have received notices of slight increases around the province.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, given that it is usually November that the costs are increased, I'm not sure what the slight increases are that the minister is referring to because last year's increase in the per diem was almost 10 per cent. I think that is an outrageous number, given the cost of living and the recessionary times we're living in.

Just two months ago now the minister would know that she had announced the security deposits in nursing homes are going to be gone. My point around that is that that amount coming back to the residents will be completely eroded by the large increase in costs per year for the residents in those homes. We have a continued secrecy and lack of details around why this is allowed to happen.

My question to the minister is, can the minister assure nursing home residents that they won't be paying for the NDP election promise on security deposits through yet another increase in accommodation rates coming through in November?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to say to the honourable member that there is no secrecy with respect to these costs. It's unfortunate that none of the members of the Opposition raised any of these questions with respect to these fees if they were so concerned about secrecy in the 25-plus hours that I spent on my feet in this House answering detailed financial questions with respect to my department's budget.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Health has the floor.

[Page 1109]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, if they had thought to raise these questions when the financial folks were here I would have been more than happy to provide all of the details at that time.

HEALTH - TYPE 1 DIABETES: CHILDREN - NUMBERS

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be for the Minister of Health. The reason I'm asking it today and didn't ask it during estimates is, as the minister will know, Hansard will be readily available tonight or tomorrow morning for the people up my way who are really looking forward to hear the answer to the question.

Recently members of this House attended the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Diabetes Association information dinner, which I know the minister attended - I heard her comments that night. I know that she, like the rest of us in this House, is very supportive of this association and the great work they do as they try to assist Nova Scotians in dealing with the very life-altering disease of diabetes. I wonder if the minister might tell the House if she knows how many Nova Scotia children under the age of 16 have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, diabetes is quite prevalent in the Province of Nova Scotia and it's growing in prevalence. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Quite often it is children who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which they will experience throughout all of their lives. The Diabetes Association, as the honourable member indicates, is a very effective organization working with families and children throughout the province.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again, through you to the Minister of Health. I would like to tell the Minister of Health about one child in my constituency, nine-year-old Grant Wood. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on January 2, 2010. His father has a medical plan which unfortunately does not cover the opportunity for them to provide an insulin pump for young Grant. His mom has applied for coverage, but she knows that the end result will be, no pre-existing condition to be covered. The family is faced with the purchase of an insulin pump at this time, at a cost of $6,800. They're actually hoping now that family and friends are going to come together so that they can provide this instrument for Grant to make his life more enriching.

I'm wondering if the minister could inform the House and the family when she thinks that this government may be able to help the MacFarlane-Wood family by covering the cost of insulin pumps for children under the age of 16?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, insulin pumps, indeed, are relatively recent devices that have been developed for people with diabetes. Certainly I am told that for children with diabetes the use of an insulin pump really allows them to lead a much more

[Page 1110]

normalized life in many respects, and it frees them from having to do a lot of the regular testing and other forms of injections. This is a medical intervention that we are aware of and we've done some assessment of in the Department of Health, like many of the new medical devices and new drugs.

We examine quite carefully what the costs would be and we attempt to plan for the eventuality of being able to cover these as we're financially able to do so.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, my second supplementary through you again is to the Minister of Health. I have no idea how many other families throughout Nova Scotia are in the same position as this Parrsboro family and who are attempting to try to make life better for their children with the use of an insulin pump. I just know that I received the letter from Tanya MacFarlane-Wood and she said exactly those words, minister, in a letter about a normal life for her young child.

My question now to the minister is, would the minister at least commit to go back to her department and to Cabinet to see if there may be some way she could find some additional assistance to help young Grant and all those other children in Nova Scotia under 16 who need insulin pumps to help them with their diabetes?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, we're on the eve of the release of quite a significant report on the cost of drugs in Canada. It's going to show where Nova Scotia fits into the mix. We all know that getting drug and pharmaceutical treatments to people - and I would put insulin pumps somewhat in that same category - is a significant challenge for a province that has some financial challenges.

Nevertheless, we will look at this issue with great care because I understand the importance that this particular device could have for children, in particular, with Type 1 diabetes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

HEALTH - NURSING HOMES: ACCOMMODATION COSTS

- INCREASES

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, last month a constituent of mine wrote the Minister of Health with regard to concerns she had with her mother's accommodation rate in a nursing home. The resident switched nursing homes and in September 2009 reported an annual increase of income of $2,430.04, which in her case works out to be a daily increase of $6.66. As a result of her mother's reassessment through the Department of Health, her accommodation rate was increase by $24.73 per day. It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that her accommodation rate increased significantly, outpacing her increase in income by $18.07 per day.

[Page 1111]

My question to the Minister of Health is, can she explain why the increase in the accommodation rate outpaced the increase in the resident's income by almost $20 per day?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the answer to that question is that rate increases in long-term care are not tied to income in that way. The rate increases for long-term care are set quite independently of the income of the individuals. Although there is a kind of a sliding scale and there are seniors at the low end of the scale who may, in fact, pay no fees directly to long-term care at all.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the family will find it quite amusing to hear the Minister of Health saying it's not directly tied to income because in their case they actually asked for a reassessment seeing how her income had only increased by $6.66 per day and yet her daily rate was going up over $20 per day. The Department of Health has come back and asked the family on three separate occasions to provide the same income information to the department. So to hear the minister today say it's not tied to income, why are they continually asking, on three separate occasions, for the exact same information?

Mr. Speaker, there is mass confusion out there for the residents of long-term care and their families with regard to how this increase in the rates is applying to them. I ask the minister, if it is not tied to income, why is your department continually requesting families to provide the same information regarding income over and over again?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I guess if, as I said, there is a sliding scale, there are some people whose incomes are so low that the fees don't apply. Perhaps the department is attempting to assess whether or not - I don't know, I can't speak specifically to the case the member brings forward. I'd be happy to look into it, but perhaps the request for the information is to determine whether or not the individual falls into that very bottom category.

[4:00 p.m.]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, she is not in the bottom category. She is paying her daily rate, the family cannot understand how, when her income went up by just over $6 a day, the Department of Health is now asking them to pay over $24 a day. So it is not because she is at the low end, it is because they cannot understand how that increase has taken place.

Now, Mr. Speaker, when they were in Opposition, I remember the current Minister of Finance continually harping on the previous government about making user fee increases or any other increases outside of this Legislative Chamber. When this government decided to increase the daily rates of residents in long-term care, they did so in the Cabinet Room, outside of this Legislature and outside the place where representatives from all parts of this

[Page 1112]

province could debate that and fully understand the merits of that increase. Yet that was not done.

So, my final question to the Premier is, when he campaigned on a plan for a better deal for Nova Scotia families, did he specifically intend to exclude residents of long-term care and their families?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the members of this caucus and myself in particular are very proud of the work that we have done in respect to long-term care. We think of it as ending a practice that went on for many years, that impoverished many seniors. Currently, with respect to the cost - whether they happen to be non-profits or private institutions - the way the per diem is set is based on the input costs of running that particular institution; the non-medical infrastructure costs. So, because these are private institutions, they are to offset private costs associated with those facilities.

Mr. Speaker, they are not tied, as my colleague indicated, they are not tied to income in the fashion in which the member suggests. They are tied to the input costs associated with the facilities.

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

RRFB - RECYCLING CONTRACT: GUYSBOROUGH

- LOSS EXPLAIN

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Resource Recovery Fund Board. Earlier this session, the member for Victoria-The Lakes asked, ". . . which rural town will be the next to feel the wrath of this government's policies?" Now, we have the answer - it is Lincolnville, Guysborough.

Despite a bid that would save taxpayers of this province $650,000 to recycle tires, the District of Guysborough lost the contract to a Halifax company. Can the minister explain, despite having excellent facilities and a lower bid, why did Guysborough lose out on this contract?

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite was paying attention, I think if he reviewed the questions of the previous week, that question was asked and I can tell the member opposite that particular situation is before the courts and it is inappropriate for me to comment at this time.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, I want you to understand something. I can hear that minister and I hear what is going on in this House. Now, if he doesn't like being asked the question, maybe he should resign being the minister. But our prerogative here is to ask questions. He didn't answer it last week and he's not answering it today.

[Page 1113]

Now, my question to that minister, and maybe if he wouldn't mind listening (Interruptions) My first supplementary to you, sir, is that the District of Guysborough, like the members of this House, is unable to get answers as to why they lost this bid and are forced to take the Resource Recovery Fund Board to court. They have to go to court to get an explanation. That's the way this government operates - if you can't get anything, take us to court.

I want to know, Mr. Speaker (Interruption) Yes, that's why we pay his fees. Have you been briefed by your staff, Mr. Minister, as to what this court case will cost the taxpayers of Nova Scotia?

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite, I believe, has been around this House long enough to know that these particular situations when before the courts that it is inappropriate to comment and that's exactly the strategy I'm doing. I asked the question and I encourage the member to ask me more questions. Thank you.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, again to the Minister responsible for the Resource Recovery Fund Board. (Interruption) There's recycled tires all on that side of the House right now. The question was not about what is going on in the case. The question is, how much money is this government going to spend for this case? That has nothing to do with what is going on with the case - the question is, how much taxpayers' money is this minister willing to spend to prove how inappropriate the contact award was?

Wouldn't it be easier, Mr. Speaker, and I wonder why and I want to know from the minister, why he won't just give the six other tire recycling bids to the Municipality of Guysborough so they can get the answers they want and don't have to go to court, don't have to cost the Province of Nova Scotia money and get on with doing the right thing, as they always say they are going to do?

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I'm sitting by the pun capital or the minister and this is where the rubber hits the road, right here. We make the right decisions, we have addressed this question before and when a question like this is before the courts, it is inappropriate to comment and that's exactly what I choose to do. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. The honourable member for Preston.

WCB - STAFF SALARIES: INCREASES - APPROPRIATENESS

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Workers' Compensation Act. The Workers' Compensation Board has nearly $700 million worth of unfunded liability yet senior staff have been handed massive raises,

[Page 1114]

according to Allnovasoctia.com. There have been salary increases of between 6.9 per cent to 17.1 per cent for various staff. The top salary is nearly $250,000 per year.

My question to the minister responsible is, do you think these salary increases are reasonable or responsible in this time of financial restraint?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I'm assuming that information came from the 2009 Annual Report. It is public information. The Workers' Compensation Board is an independent body and the board decides on the salaries of their senior staff. Thank you.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the average Workers' Compensation Board worker's salary is over $69,000 per year. Meanwhile, there were 7,206 serious injuries last year which resulted in time lost from work. My question to the minister again is, shouldn't there be investing in injury prevention and injured workers, rather than salary increases for staff?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, the Workers' Compensation Board has a very heavy responsibility and certainly workplace safety is a key priority of this government. We certainly want to keep the assessments reasonable for the employers, at the same time we've actually given the Workers' Compensation Board increased responsibility for workplace safety not only among their own members but certainly among the entire workforce across the province.

It is a responsible position and we agree that we want to be fair and equitable to those who suffer injuries in the workplace and we are working very hard to decrease. One injury or one death is one too many. Thank you.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the board chairman, Elaine Sibson, said with respect to salary increases, that it's an issue that if raised by the public might come to the board table. My question to the minister is really simple. Do you intend to raise this issue with the Workers' Compensation Board again at this time of financial restraint?

MR. MORE: Certainly, as the member has indicated, the new chairman has recently been selected and is in place. Certainly, I and the Deputy Minister of Labour and Workforce Development and the CEO of the Workers' Compensation Board will have regular meetings and there will be a number of issues being discussed. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

FIN. - PC GOV'T.: PAST BUDGETS - CRITICISM

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The minister has stated that the previous government left him a mess. What specifically did you not like about Tory spending while you were in Opposition?

[Page 1115]

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, there's not enough time left in Question Period for me to answer that question. (Interruption) How many ways did they leave us a mess? Mr. Speaker, let me count the ways.

Let me start, for example with the cost overruns at the Colchester Regional Hospital. That hospital, when it was first promised, was supposed to come in at just slightly over $100 million. The day we walked into office, we were told that we had no choice, the new cost was a minimum of $180 million, through gross mismanagement on the part of that crowd over there and that's just the first of many examples that I could give.

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for shedding some light on his displeasure with past budgets. What's funny about this is that the minister actually voted for these budgets from 2004 to 2007.

My question to the minister is, what are the main changes to spending in your 2010 budget?

MR. STEELE: The problem, Mr. Speaker, is precisely this - those cost overruns, which that crowd over there knew about, were not included in the budget. Let me give the member another example - H1N1. Everybody knew that H1N1 was coming last year. How much did that crowd include in their budget for H1N1? They included zero, so that when we came in, we had to include the things that they should have put in. That's just one more example of the mess that they left behind.

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I find this interesting. You know, the minister has raised a couple of examples today but originally he was saying there was a structural problem. Now, he's not raised any structural problems today. So, little really has changed with this 2010 budget. If the minister feels that there has been a lot of change in the way this government is expending money, perhaps he can identify what the cuts were that he did make and if he plans to reduce expenditure in the future, perhaps he can identify what areas he plans to cut in the future.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, let me then talk about the structural deficits since I haven't talked about that so far. The essence of the structural deficit is that when that crowd was in government they spent at an average rate of increase of 5 per cent per year, which was fine as long as the revenue was going up at the same rate. The problem was that when the revenue went flat, they were completely out of ideas and all they had left was the only three things that they knew how to do - spend, spend, spend.

[4:15 p.m.]

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

[Page 1116]

COM. SERV. - REG. HOUSING AUTHORITIES: WAIT LISTS

- TABLE

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today is to the Minister of Community Services. Today the Department of Community Services appeared before the Public Accounts Committee to discuss regional housing authorities. A simple question was asked at that meeting. Our Party would like to know what the wait lists are for each regional housing authority and the answer we got was no answer. They would not give a firm answer and they went on to say that the wait lists can vary. We were simply asking a very proper question - tell us how many people require affordable housing in this province? That's the question we were asking this morning and I'm asking you again today. will the minister table the waiting lists for each regional housing authority today?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, one of the aspects that people have to understand with the waiting lists for housing is that the numbers that we will provide - and we will provide those numbers - are not exact numbers in the terms of what the wait is about. Often there are people who want to go in particular housing units and, therefore, they are on the waiting list and something may come up and they'll refuse to go into that particular unit. So you have to keep in mind there's a lot of factors in those numbers, but there's absolutely no issue in my department to provide those numbers to the honourable member.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: I guess, Mr. Speaker, that begs the question why wasn't that done this morning at the committee meeting? It would have saved me the trouble of asking the minister the question this afternoon. I guess we have two sets of waiting lists here - one is one kind of waiting list and another is another kind of waiting list if I listen to what the minister had to say.

Well, I can tell the minister what the waiting list is in the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority, it's 360 on the waiting list, of which 80 units are empty over and above that and not fit for habitation at the present time. So if she doesn't have the numbers yet, I can give her those numbers and I have the numbers here for the other housing authorities as well.

My question is, I guess, why didn't the people who were there before the committee this morning give the Public Accounts Committee those numbers? What are they trying to hide? My question to the minister is, do you consider these vacancy rates acceptable?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, firstly, I understand that our department offered to table those and we'll bring that information forth, so I don't know why we were even asked that question. Secondly, of course, I don't think they're acceptable numbers. It's just too bad that the former government didn't realize and put their efforts into those issues in funding and the issues that we have been facing. So, no, they're not, but we're working

[Page 1117]

on a strategy to go forward to see what we can do to help in terms of housing in this province.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, at least the minister is not blaming this Party, they're blaming the Party to my left here. (Interruptions) Not philosophically to my left but structurally to my left.

A 30 per cent vacancy rate is not appropriate in this province and 360 people on a waiting list for apartments in the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority is also not appropriate, Mr. Speaker. When you have a vacancy rate like that, it leads to the private sector doing what I would call predatory pricing. In other words, the people who can't get public housing units are forced into substandard housing, and I know this to be a fact in my area, and are paying rents way above what they should be paying, that they would be paying if they were in public housing. The priority should be to fix those units that are vacant and get people who need adequate housing into those units at rates they can afford.

My question to the minister is, what is your department going to do to ensure the many people on low income in my area and throughout Nova Scotia get proper housing in public housing units and not be subjected to slum landlords?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, we're working towards that. We know that it is an issue and we're doing many things surrounding that. The stimulus funding has put in $128 million towards the housing in the Province of Nova Scotia. We are working at a housing strategy along with - we're also doing something that I think is fairly unique in government, in that we are working with all the different partners out there. We're not making the decisions on our own. We have a new group that is working from all different sectors - from the building associations of Nova Scotia, the local contractors. We know we need to have a strategy and that's what is important, is to have a strategy and to work with all those people that are involved in the sector. That's exactly what we're doing. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HPP: SENIORS - FUNDING

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. During the last year's election campaign, the people of Nova Scotia were assured that if elected the NDP would offer a plan that, and I quote from this election platform, ". . . includes a range of steps to help seniors stay stronger and healthier."

We know what that commitment was worth after learning that the Lansdowne Outdoor Recreational Development Association park, designed to provide a range of recreation activities accessible to seniors and those with physical disabilities, have been

[Page 1118]

denied a $55,000 grant. What that means is that the park, the only one of its kind in Nova Scotia, will not open after 26 years in operation. I'd like to ask how this is helping seniors stay healthier and live longer and why this government would attempt to cut costs at the expense of the 16,000 people who rely on this park annually as a means of staying active?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health Promotion and Protection has never provided operating funding to this park or, indeed, to any other park. We don't provide operating funding to recreational facilities. What we do is assist with capital costs and I understand that this operator has been in contact with the department and the department is looking at what their capital needs might be. We understand it is an important facility in our province and we're not really sure at this stage what role we will be able to play with respect to its ongoing operation.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, for many of our seniors and people with physical disabilities, the opportunity to get out and enjoy our beautiful Nova Scotia summer is extremely limited. The park allows them to do just that. It draws people from across the province, and those residing in care and various assisted living facilities are there by the busload.

LORDA has tremendous value to thousands of Nova Scotian seniors, therefore I would like to ask the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection to explain how maybe they could look again at their role and maybe find some capital grant to help out this organization with $55,000 this year?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I understand that this particular operator has also been in contact with the Department of Seniors as well as the Department of Economic and Rural Development. As I said, my department is looking at what their capital needs are. At this stage, we haven't, I think, arrived at any conclusion but we will look very carefully at what is required because we do recognize that this is a unique facility that provides a service to people with disabilities as well as seniors in the province.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for her answer. We know that many of our provincial and community parks do offer some wheelchair accessibility but LORDA also provides activities, things that people with physical limitations could not typically enjoy such as fishing, bocce ball, barbeques and the like. With such a worthwhile investment, I'm asking can the minister commit to working with the other ministers like the Minister of Seniors, the Minister of Community Services, and the Minister of Economic and Rural Development, to find a way to reinstate this funding to this very important organization in Nova Scotia?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I will just reiterate what I have said, that LORDA has been in contact with Health Promotion and Protection. We don't fund the operating budgets for recreational facilities but we do provide assistance with respect to

[Page 1119]

capital improvements. The organization has been in contact with the Department of Seniors, as well as my colleague's department, Economic and Rural Development.

Certainly we will look very carefully at what it is that they require and what programs we have that might accommodate their requirements, Mr. Speaker.

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

ENERGY - WIND TURBINES: EFFECTS - RESPONSIBILITIES

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. The minister and I met with concerned citizens from Digby about wind turbines and how close they were to their homes. Many people are worried about the turbines, that they may cause illness to them in time to come. My question to the minister is, if this happens, who will be responsible if people in this area become ill because the wind turbines are too close to their homes?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. It was a pleasure to meet with the residents of that community. I know that the member opposite has a particular personal concern because of where his home is located.

As a follow-up to that meeting, I want the member to know that I have met with staff and asked for more detailed information, specifically of that case alone. You know, the sincerity of those folks and the information that they brought forward at that time, I felt obliged when the meeting was over that when the time came for a question in this House or a further opportunity when we can talk about it privately, it is a concern, I want the member opposite to know that.

It is something that I am going to continue to collect information on, not just on this particular case, member, but on the entire issue. I do thank you for bringing it to my attention and it was a pleasure to meet your residents.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is, if this government truly believes that wind turbines close to homes will not affect the people, will this government commit to being responsible for any damage done to the people or their property?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is well aware of the fact that further to discussions we had that day and the specifics that were brought about, I think

[Page 1120]

those people knew that they had my attention during that short meeting. I look forward to meeting them in the future. It remains a concern for this government as it does for you.

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

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. 28.

Bill No. 28 - Fire Safety Act

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

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to stand in my place today to speak to Bill No. 28, an Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Acts of 2002, the Fire Safety Act. This is a bill that provides long overdue recognition for firefighters. It is a bill that would provide long-service medals for individuals in fire departments after 15 and 25 years of service.

You know, Mr. Speaker, regardless of the day, place or time, these selfless individuals give of themselves to ensure the safety and the well-being of communities all over this province. These brave men and women do not seek praise, they simply go about their jobs and, in doing so, make an immeasurable difference to our province.

[4:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, in almost 40 years of being in the fire service and 25 of those as fire chief, I've witnessed that dedication first-hand. These individuals, through their bravery and professionalism, have protected and saved countless lives and millions of dollars of property. Very few jobs induce the stress and dangers as emergency service providers. Mr. Speaker, these individuals truly risk their lives for others, and for that they're worthy of our recognition.

[Page 1121]

This recognition, while very important, is only one step. We know that to properly honour the service of these individuals, we as a province need to provide them with all the necessary tools to do their jobs and to do their jobs properly. If they're willing to put themselves in positions few others are willing or able to do, the least we can do is provide them the necessary equipment.

When I mentioned that, Mr. Speaker, I have to say that's why I was so very disappointed with the NDP's decision to cut the Emergency Services Providers Fund. This fund was set up by the previous government and gave over $8 million to fund deserving fire departments, not only in restricted areas, but indeed fire departments throughout this province. That over $8 million has been reduced to just over $900,000 today.

This means that many providers will be unable to have the equipment necessary to meet the basic needs of their tasks. It is a shame, and we hope the NDP Government changes their stance on the issue and provides more money for the Emergency Services Providers Fund.

While universally humble, we feel that these individuals are worthy of the recognition that they will receive in these long-service medals. They are to be worn proudly. For many of these individuals, they're simply irreplaceable, and wear them proudly they will. All you have to do is look at the dedication to their fire department, to the fire service, and to their community, and you know that they are proud or they wouldn't be putting their lives on the line each and every time they answer a fire call.

In closing, I must say that this is long overdue. We did look at fire departments that were getting 25 years - you had to work for 25 years or be in the fire service for 25 years. Many fire department members regrettably were never there for the 25 years to receive the medal that they so rightly deserved. Now, with a 15-year span, they can be recognized, and recognized they should be. (Interruption)

Yes, as a matter of fact - thanks for that, honourable member for Cumberland South. I mentioned earlier that I had been in the fire department for close to 40 years. That is why my hair is the colour it is. (Laughter) And the Fire Chief in Big Bras d'Or informed me just recently that at the fire department installation that will be taking place this coming Saturday, I will be receiving my 25-year pin. (Applause) I guess I was one of the fortunate ones to pass that 25 year mark and be able to receive it. (Interruption)

I am not going to comment on that as far as age goes, but I joined the fire department when I was 16 years old and if you wanted to add 40 years to that you might find my age. I might get two medals, I guess, if the 15-year comes in - I'll be able to get my 25 and 15 at once.

[Page 1122]

Mr. Speaker, when you look at the honouring of these members - and I did mention that they have put their lives on the line each and every time that they answer a call. When I joined the fire department, way back, 40 years ago, the methods of fighting a fire were much different than they are today. We have our furniture with so many chemicals and gases that are emitted. We have homes that are built differently. They risk their lives each and every time, and I guess that's why the importance of the Emergency Services Providers Fund. It provides fire departments with such things as the right breathing apparatus when they do come on a fire scene. But it goes beyond that.

The fire service witnesses motor vehicle accidents and you have to wear your breathing apparatus because you do not know what gases are being emitted at a motor vehicle accident in the case of a fire. These men and women get out of their beds to answer a fire call, leaving behind a family who does not know whether or not they will be returning. Honouring them by presenting them with this well-deserved long service medal after 15 years is indeed very deserving.

I mentioned the amount of time and effort that firefighters put into fire fighting but you can't be a firefighter unless you're trained. A lot of time is being spent on training, more time away from their families. The training is going on probably more than the calls that are being answered. In order to provide some of the necessary equipment - they don't get enough from their municipalities, they haven't gotten enough from the Emergency Services Providers Fund. So these fire department members, these men and women, no longer have to just get training, they no longer just fight fires, they are no longer just the first responders in our community - in order to do that, they have to go and raise their own money. In these times, when every organization and every group is trying to go to the same people, looking for the funds to keep their organizations going, that makes it even harder for the firefighters.

It's volunteer, but it's a 24-hour job. We have to thank the employers that are out there who let their employees leave their jobs when they receive a fire call. There are so many more beyond the fire service that we should be thanking and we should be recognizing.

I'll never forget an episode that I witnessed during my time in the fire service and this was back in the days when the alarm system wasn't the best. It was beyond the crank phone but it was a dial-out system, and I remember being in my bed at 3:00 in the morning when the alarm went off and the message that we got was to respond to a certain address in Big Bras d'Or. Immediately your first reaction, you jump out of bed, you put on your pants and you start out the door. Before I got out the door, there was a message that came over the paging system again to respond to this house in Big Bras d'Or and that there were children in the house.

Automatically those pants that you put on are not much good to you because you feel like dropping on the floor anyway because you don't know what you're facing when you're

[Page 1123]

going there. As luck would have it, the children were out of the house. The home was completely destroyed but the children, by the grace of God, were out of the house.

These are instances that firefighters - the brave men and women face each and every time they leave their homes, they leave their families. There's not a community in this province that could exist without the dedication, the commitment, the professionalism that each and every one of these volunteers demonstrate, and we can finally now recognize them by honouring them with a long service medal after 15 years of service.

This recognition, as I say, is only one step and I urge all members to support this bill and quite possibly we could bring it forward for second reading this afternoon. Having said that, I'll take my place.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Cumberland South for introducing this piece of legislation because it gives an opportunity for all members here to hopefully say a few words or recognize the dedicated work that the men and women who are firefighters and first responders around the province, the work they do and how important it is. I want to commend, I know many members here whom I've come to know over the last number of years have and still are serving in the volunteer fire departments throughout the province.

The member for Victoria-The Lakes stated over 40 years so I guess he is truly one of those professional smoke eaters, and you can take whatever you want from that, but I, too, had spent some time - like the member for Argyle, I believe - as a volunteer firefighter in the early days. I remember when I turned 19, it was one of the first things I did to try to serve my community, but it was kind of a neat experience, you know. Some of my friends were involved in the volunteer service and definitely passed on their excitement of belonging to such an organization.

Mr. Speaker, throughout the province we have communities in the smallest corners of our province that have men and women who are dedicated to providing this service for their neighbours, for the residents who live around them, and we do need to recognize that. I definitely understand what those individuals give to their community and I know our members, our caucus, and this government want to recognize the service of these men and women who give so much of their time to providing an important service to their neighbours and to the residents of our province.

Mr. Speaker, our caucus throughout the years has worked very hard to bring forward ideas, bring forward initiatives to the government when we were in Opposition, and now as government, to hopefully recognize that work and ensure that firefighters are not forgotten,

[Page 1124]

that they're given the services and the protection that they need, the support of government and the support of local municipal governments also.

I know that our now Premier and our member for Cape Breton Centre were recognized a number of years ago by the local union of the International Association of Fire Fighters here in Halifax, given honorary life membership in their local, because of some of the work they did to put pressure on - and I would like to commend the government of the time for including more cancers that were recognized as ailments that firefighters or former firefighters might come down with, Mr. Speaker. It was a great decision of the government at the time to continue on that.

So I think we've shown in the past, and we'll continue to show, that we definitely care about the firefighters that we see and have here in our province, Mr. Speaker, and we'll continue to bring forward support for those firefighters throughout our province and I will tell the member that we'll definitely have a look at this piece of legislation and take it into consideration to see if it's the most appropriate way to recognize the service that firefighters give to each and every one of us here in Nova Scotia. I truly feel that we will have that debate and have that discussion in the relatively near future.

Mr. Speaker, I know throughout the province, the small departments that we have, the municipalities and the counties, and the governments that we have, do a great job recognizing the service of firefighters. As the member for Victoria-The Lakes stated earlier, he was recognized for his 40-year pin, or he had a 25-year pin. I know that many fire services, like the one I belonged to, it used to be called the Sackville Fire Department but now, of course, it's the Halifax Regional Municipality Fire Services, after amalgamation, that they take the time to recognize their individual members and it's a great service. If MLAs have the opportunity to attend some of these recognition and awards banquets and dinners that they have, it's important that we show them our support in those arenas.

Mr. Speaker, as a provincial government and federal government, there are opportunities for fire services, for fire personnel to obtain medals and recognitions. We have a wide range of different service medals, exemplary service medals, recognizing the people who are working in the high-risk professions throughout our country and, of course, in our province. It's under, I believe, the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General of Canada who recognize the service and the dedication the firefighters have given not only to the people of our country, but to the people of our province.

[4:45 p.m.]

There are opportunities now to be recognized in the service that someone provides to the residents of our province and our country. I know that will continue to happen. I think there are many opportunities, hopefully, that people within their communities can go towards those fire departments, go towards those municipalities, those county councillors and

[Page 1125]

aldermen - whatever their title is - to ensure that they continue to be recognized and have those opportunities.

I know through the mayor's office they have opportunities also to have those firefighters recognized in different ways, Mr. Speaker, so I am encouraged and I know that the member for Cumberland South brought this forward to ensure that the important work that these dedicated men and women provide in Nova Scotia continues to get the support of government, and continues to get the support of the members of our Assembly here.

I had many opportunities over the years to work with firefighters, Mr. Speaker. As I said earlier, I was a volunteer early on. After my exposure within the fire service to the Emergency Health Services I became a paramedic and worked many years alongside these dedicated individuals and, I can tell you, there's no one more dedicated than someone who provides a service, who is a volunteer, especially in the rural communities.

We have paid firefighters throughout the province, especially in the urban centres. Here in Halifax they are all paid members, but I tell you that the most dedicated at times, and the ones who have the most ambition at times, are those who are volunteers, who do it for free. Sometimes they get an honorarium, some people get a turkey at Christmas, some get a small stipend of $200 or $300.

What we need to do is to continue on and ensure that those individuals receive some of the benefits, some of the tax relief that is possible through government initiatives, that they can continue to provide those services. We all know with the decline in population, especially in our rural communities, that affects how many volunteer members they have in those communities. A lot of them - and I am sure the members here could stand up and give you those numbers that have been lowering over the years - they are a dedicated, small group and you just couldn't imagine the hardship that is done when you see or have a fire. These dedicated people are on call, no matter what time of the year it is or what time of the day it is - they are there to respond to those emergencies.

Many of my friends, as I said earlier, Mr. Speaker, are full-time firefighters, are volunteer firefighters, and they are dedicated to their work. Much like many other emergency personnel, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, they love their job and, yes, some of them do get paid, but as I said earlier the majority of them, especially in rural communities, do it for no monetary gain - and that shows the dedication of that individual and the commitment they have for their community and the safety of their community.

I hope that firefighters, the men and women who do put on the uniform and provide those services, know how much they are appreciated, not only by the members of this House, Mr. Speaker, and our government, but by the residents themselves here in Nova Scotia because they provide a tremendous support.

[Page 1126]

Again, Mr. Speaker, it's amazing to see some of the environments that these individuals place themselves in. They are in great harm with the way construction is today and the materials used. As the member for Victoria-The Lakes stated earlier, some of the chemicals and some of the smoke that is given off during these fires is very toxic, so they put their lives at risk every time they respond - and they don't know until they actually arrive on the scene what they are going to encounter. The simplest call, when it goes over the radios or through dispatch, can turn out to be a serious event and it is important that our firefighters receive the support, have the gear, and the protection gear that they need, through their breathing apparatus or the vehicles that they need to extinguish these fires.

The fire service in Nova Scotia has expanded. Many rural communities offer more than just fire suppression - they offer education to the children in the schools, and they do a tremendous job about fire prevention, Mr. Speaker, and as paramedics we have learned a lot, as a profession, from the firefighters on how this prevention and how to make sure the public know that they're there to assist them, make sure they know how to ensure that their houses and their lives and activities are safe.

Firefighters do more than that now - they do first response. Many of them respond to medical calls because they're the closest assistance to that accident or to that medical emergency. We have a great ambulance service here in the province but they're not everywhere, and fire departments are in every little community throughout this province. You have firefighters who are volunteering, who are showing up to medical calls, providing medical assistance to individuals to try to make a difference and to ensure those people are safe, they're protected, and they're given the best possible care that they can at that time.

Again, I recognize the intention of this piece of legislation that the member brought forward. As I said earlier in my statement, we will review it and we will look at what we can do to enhance the support that this government and my caucus give to firefighters throughout this province. Even if they're paid or if they're volunteers, it doesn't matter. They're firefighters and they play an important role in the lives of everybody here in Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to be able to rise in my place today and speak to this proposed bill. In fact, I know very well that every member in this House would like to get to their feet and speak in some manner about the fire departments in their riding, whether it's a rural riding with 100 per cent volunteers or whether it's here in metro or Sydney or another large community where there are paid firefighters.

I'm pleased to hear the member opposite, the government member, say that they will give consideration to this piece of legislation. It may come back to the House in a little different form, and I know from our Party perspective, we have no problem with seeing whatever arrangement they want to make in terms of recognizing long service of firefighters

[Page 1127]

in our province. I can say, and I'm sure many members would also ditto my comment with saying, that as MLAs they probably mark off on their calendars when there is an awards night, a special function to recognize and honour the firefighters in their district.

The value to our province of professional firefighters - but I have a special place in my heart for the volunteer firefighter and what they contribute to the safety of our province, especially with no remuneration. As members have pointed out, there may be some small honorarium, there may be some little recognition that comes about at certain points in their career, but if we were to place a dollar value on the volunteer firefighter and what they contribute to our province, we know it's a staggering figure in the millions and millions of dollars.

To take a little time along the way at years 15 and 25 to give recognition is a very good thing. I guess there's probably a couple of reasons, even at 15. Some members may just stay in that length of time. I know I can refer to my own time in the Kingston Fire Department as having a duration of 15 years. Also some members join late in life, it's something they want to do and contribute and give back to their community, and so age may catch up with them and they may only get 15 years in, but it is very, very recognized and regarded.

There are also federal awards and some counties have started to recognize - this year Kings County will recognize current and former firefighters who have 15 years of service, so I think it's a good piece of legislation for the province to take a look at.

One of the things that we perhaps don't often appreciate - and I talked to one of the members today who was just recently at an awards night, or their annual general meeting, and they were fascinated by the array of calls, the kind of calls that they have during the course of a year. It is not just a fire. It is not just a house fire or a grass fire that they would respond to, it's a whole wide range. In fact, in many areas, as the member for Sackville-Cobequid pointed out, they have to be first responders.

There's no question that we have a tremendous emergency response service in Nova Scotia, but due to geography, due to other calls, they have to do coverage. Sometimes they're the very first ones at a serious accident, and many of these firefighters are very well trained, well beyond first aid. In fact, they're able to deliver emergency care when they arrive on the scene - the number of different spills of chemicals and looking after those incidents that happen in our communities and are all too common.

That's one of the reasons that firefighters take a very special place in our communities, and that is the diversity of response, the diversity of reactions that they're able to have. There really is very little difference in our firefighters as far as being professional, whether they're volunteer or paid. The level of training that is now required to be a firefighter has risen over the years. Level one is no longer enough, and in fact, fire service is trying to

[Page 1128]

have mobile training units to get out to the departments because it is costly for the volunteer to come to the fire school in Waverley and also get time off work, all these considerations.

I think over the course of a lifetime or even a number of years, like 15 or 25, there is a time to acknowledge the commitment and dedication that our firefighters have. One of the other aspects that take members beyond their community to assist is mutual aid. Mutual aid is a very big aspect in many of our rural areas. There are small departments, they don't have all the equipment, enough personnel to respond to a major fire or a major accident or incident in their communities. The training together, again, sometimes requires additional time. A comment that I often hear in the Annapolis Valley from Windsor to Annapolis is that the mutual aid system in the Valley has been so fine-tuned that it is one of the best in North America. That doesn't come about by accident; that comes about by lots of training, lots of dedication, and lots of commitment to support each other in this cause.

One of the aspects, of course, of firefighting and responding to emergency incidents is the risk of injury, and in fact, recently we were looking at the fact that a firefighter in our area was off work, now going into the seventh week, still no insurance coming his way, and so when I asked the insurance company about this they said, it does take a while and I said, why would it take a while, there can't be very many injuries?

[5:00 p.m.]

I was amazed at the response. He said, there are far, far too many injuries in our volunteer and professional fire departments and basically there are just one or two companies that seem to take on that insurance risk and so it does take a while. So fire departments are, in fact - out of concern for their members - putting a pool of dollars that they can have available to provide income when, in fact, they are off the job.

So it is a very wide-ranging requirement that firefighters are exposed to and I know that many departments have to put in long, long hours with fundraising in addition to training and responding. That is another aspect again that the professional firefighter doesn't have to deal with - they have the available monies to run their departments.

Equipment is enormously expensive. Most of it is built in the United States and does come into our country from those areas and they're extremely costly.

So, taking some time to recognize those people who risk injury and when I say injury, that's immediate. One of the aspects that we all know about firefighting which has come to light in more recent times is, again, the accumulative effect of being exposed to toxins when firefighters are on the scene. There are now a couple of known cancers in fact that firefighters can receive compensation for. So that is one of the risks that is there.

[Page 1129]

I know that many communities do all they can to show their appreciation to firefighters because I know there is a great sense of comfort and relief when we can go to bed at night knowing that fire departments are 24/7 and that they will respond to an emergency, whether it is your home, a neighbour, or somebody in the community. So I'm very much in support of providing recognition along the way to our firefighters and that's one of the words that we always have to use, this firefighter, firepersons, because more and more women have joined our department as recruitment has become problematic in our rural communities. I think if that could be a little bit of an incentive and a goal, stay in your department for 15 years or 25 years and have provincial recognition for that time of service.

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to speak to this bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Merci boucoup, M. le President. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand and speak to Bill No. 28, an Act to incorporate, basically, 15 and 25 year awards to firefighters in our province.

Mr. Speaker, I can say that I joined the fire service back in 1993 and, therefore, put in somewhere like 17 years to the service, so I'm young compared to my colleague the member for Victoria-The Lakes. But 17 years, there are times that I look back at it thinking that was an awful long time ago and times were different at that time. Equipment was different, the way we did things was different and to look at the maturity today of our fire service is absolutely phenomenal.

At the time that I joined the West Pubnico Fire Department, I was, of course, just freshly out of university, out of college and was looking for a volunteer thing to do. I had always wanted to be a firefighter, had a number of cousins in the area who were firefighters and therefore, I joined at that time.

Mr. Speaker, a little bit of training but I can say it probably wasn't a whole lot - how to use your B.A., how to direct traffic, how to turn the pumps on, those kinds of things. You really learned how to be a firefighter out in the field at that time, dependent on whether you are at a fire at Argyle - I remember one of my first fires, it was an older house in Argyle where the house was pretty much rundown and we had to, of course, vent the roof, we had to do a whole bunch of different things like that. Being the young 22-year-old, I think, at that time - that seems like an awful long time ago - and climbing up on the roof and cutting holes in the roof, doing all those things really puts into perspective the work that firefighters do.

The previous member talked about the commitment of firefighters, of when that phone call comes, when that page happens - whatever the method of call - that they

[Page 1130]

automatically put on their pants and get out to the fire department or to the fire, regardless of what it may be.

I can tell you it's not just the possible physical toll that it plays on individuals but there's also a mental side that we don't talk about very often. I know the member for Victoria-The Lakes talked about it a little bit, when you get called and you know that there is a possibility of people trapped within a fire or drowning victims or whatever you may be called for, it is very, very difficult and hard on these volunteer individuals.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the first call that I remember that I went to - again, 1993, brand new and actually was sitting there and getting the call - the first call I went to was two five-year olds who had fallen through the ice. I can tell you that to this day I still remember that day like it just happened yesterday. Today I can tell you that without the help that we received from Victims Services and from the organization, I probably would have quit that very day. We have a very close-knit organization, a real close-knit group, and we all saw ourselves through that. I can say that my career as a volunteer fireman has spanned all those years.

Now today I have to say I don't spend an awful lot of time with the fire department, even though my chief continues to assure me that I'm more than welcome at all the fires, I'm more than welcome to come and operate equipment, as long as I remember how. I question that sometimes because my gear is getting kind of old and I think it is actually out of date. I don't know what my chief is trying to tell me. (Laughter)

I will continue to attend the pages, as I can in my area because it is more than just showing up to the meetings or showing up to the turkey suppers, showing up to the fundraisers. It is those opportunities where you do get to help individuals.

Mr. Speaker, in my constituency I represent I think it is seven fire departments. As I said, I joined West Pubnico at that time but you know you move on, you get married and you basically have your first argument with your wife on where you are going to reside and, like many of the other arguments, she won that one and I moved off to Eel Brook and District - I know I will continue to lose arguments in that way - but I was happily taken in by that fire department where I have been ever since that time, I think it was 1997 that I went there.

The neat part about the fire service is that it's not just your home fire department. Because of the way the system is set up, because of mutual aid, you tend to know many of the other firefighters in the area so you get to work with the folks in East Pubnico; the people in Amiraults Hill; the fire department in Quinan - as a matter of fact we go to all the calls in Quinan because they're an underserviced fire department that needs the extra help, so we always go to their fires; the Wedgeport and Plymouth Fire Departments; Islands and District, which I've talked about, a bridge issue, in this House - I've talked about that one many times, a wonderful organization.

[Page 1131]

Mr. Speaker, there's Vaughans Lake, the Lake and District Fire Department, which is partly in Yarmouth and partly in my constituency. Yarmouth does assist on many of our calls on Highway No. 103 - and I've got to say on many occasions Woods Harbour is there. I do remember one time when all through Woods Harbour and Shag Harbour there was a big forest fire and I remember getting the call that we had to stand in Barrington. We basically had to drive around it on the highway and stood there to take care of that community while that fire department was racing through some communities - probably went right behind the house of the member for Shelburne, right across his backyard. But that's the way we all work together - wherever that call may be, we go and we make sure that we help.

In talking to the people who are there, there are some people who joined the same time that I did - a guy by the name of Mike Muise, he just lives down the road from me, he was in Neils Brook and I was in Pubnico at the time. We're still in the service, but lives have moved on - we have children who are older and we question whether we should be part of the fire department because of our competing priorities.

Last year I remember being on the roof of a house with Mike's brother, Curtis. We were putting out a chimney fire, and I got to say, you know having me on the roof is one thing, but having Curtis there is something else, on that day - because I know I'm going to get some of the fat jokes here, but I mean there you go - it was Curtis' wedding day. So here he was, on Curtis' wedding day, putting on the gear, climbing to the top of that house, and I looked at him and I said, aren't you getting married today? He said, yes, yes, that's later on. I said, yes, but you know you could hurt yourself, you could fall off the roof - there could be something else that happens. He said, no, I'm a firefighter, this is what I do, my wife can wait. So I don't know how well that has worked out for him, but I can say that I know he's still happily married, knowing full well that he was a volunteer firefighter to start.

Mr. Speaker, I've got to say I was very heartened to hear the comments from the members of this House in being in agreement of this 15-year and 25-year recognition of that service because I know for members, again like me, there has got to be maybe something else to just of sort drag us along because we know that the volunteer base continues to erode. The new firefighters don't tend to readily come out. Our Junior Firefighting Program doesn't seem to be as good as it used to be, so more and more we, as more experienced firefighters, have to stay in the service and continue along.

I think this has a lot of merit - just like the tax rebate that we did, just like the licence plate for firefighters that we did. So this is one more piece in recognizing people who put their community first every time. Mr. Speaker, I think we have a lot of agreement in this House for this bill.

I would ask for unanimous consent to move second reading and move this on to the Law Amendments Committee. (Applause)

[Page 1132]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great honour to stand here today to speak to this bill. Also, I give great merits to anyone who is in the fire service here in the province. I remember years ago when my stepdad had a heart attack - who were the first people there? The first people there were the firefighters - to comfort my family, to comfort my stepfather who was in the midst of having a heart attack.

Mr. Speaker, I also remember one day travelling back from a university class about five or six years ago and, in fact, I called 911 because as we all know - as the member for Halifax Clayton Park will know - the crosswalk in front of Mount Saint Vincent University is a very dangerous intersection and I had to actually call 911 and again, it comes back to who were the first people on the scene and those were the firefighters. I give respect to anybody who is able to come to a blazing fire and put their life on the line to save other people, it's certainly a great thing.

In my riding I have four fire stations, in Hammonds Plains, Upper Hammonds Plains, Lower Sackville and Upper Sackville and over the course of being the MLA for the area for about 10 months now, almost 11 months, I've certainly contacted them, spoken with them and again, do anything I can to help support their efforts in everything that they do in their community. With that, I do thank you for the time here and, again, for all those firefighters who put their lives on the line.

[5:15 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for debate on Bill No. 28 has now expired.

The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 25.

Bill No. 25 - Emergency Health Services Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to now rise on Bill No. 25, an Act to Amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2005, the Emergency Health Services Act.

I want to start out by saying, first of all, that this bill provides that Nova Scotia long-service medals for paramedics and other persons involved in the provision of emergency

[Page 1133]

health services are to be given after 15 and 25 years of services. What the House is going to see, has seen this afternoon and will see and as a result of other bills that we've tabled in this House - Bill No. 21, the Income Tax Act, the Motor Vehicle, of course Bill No. 25, Bill No. 28 and Bill No. 30 - what we're attempting to do here is to align the medal-awarding process in this province so it's consistent across emergency health services in Nova Scotia, whether it be for firefighters, whether it be for police, whether it be for paramedics.

I have to start off by saying I'm kind of disappointed this afternoon that I thought we brought forward legislation - I think the honourable member opposite said earlier that when they were in Opposition they brought some good ideas forward and I agree totally with that, they absolutely did. We as a government, when we could, tried to move those issues forward a lot of times. Members in Opposition will come forward with many requests that cost a lot of money and the government at the end of the day has to determine whether it can afford it or not. In this particular case, what we're asking is firefighters, police officers and paramedics and other emergency responders in Nova Scotia be adequately recognized at 15 years of service with a medal. It will have very little cost to the taxpayers and to this government.

I heard members opposite and members of this side of the House get up and speak about the bill that we discussed previously, Bill No. 28. I will tell the House, Bill No. 25, when we have a few moments left at the end of our debate, we'll be asking again for the unanimous consent of this House to pass the legislation through second reading and on to the Law Amendments Committee. It doesn't put any requirement on the government other than to let a debate take place at Law Amendments Committee. If the government decides at the end of the day they never want to call the bill forward, that's their prerogative, it's out of our control once it passes out of here.

We all can stand in the House and speak very highly of all these wonderful people that are in the employ of and volunteer in the province but words are hollow, actions speak. Actions would be to pass this on through second reading to the Law Amendments Committee and allow the process to follow. It would be very easy to stand up here and say, oh yes, we support our firefighters, we support our paramedics, we support our police, but then it ends here.

Anyway, I'm going to talk for a few minutes about Bill No. 25 and go back to my policing days when the paramedics were really, at that time they were called ambulance drivers. I have the greatest respect for the paramedics in place in this province today. I remember the days of the police officer when he'd attend at an accident and an ambulance would arrive at the scene, a lot of times an ambulance driver all by themselves. The first thing he would do was ask for the closest person, whether it was a tow-truck driver, whether it was a police officer or whoever, to help them in their duty in regard to moving a victim of an accident or whatever the case may be.

[Page 1134]

We've come a long way in this province, and credit to Dr. Stewart, I believe, with the Liberal Government, who brought in the quality of training and paramedics we've seen - I think it's second to none in North America.

Mr. Speaker, maybe members of this House would know the name and maybe a lot wouldn't, but Dr. David Rippey was a general physician in Springhill, where he started his career right out of medical school and in fact stayed there for many years, I think, probably around 20 years or more. He went on to the Regional Health Board and then went on into the Department of Health here in Halifax and assumed a very high-level professional career with the Department of Health.

Dr. Rippey passed away a number of years ago, and I believe today Dr. Rippey's name is on one of the ambulances over in Dartmouth, that they give him credit for the great work he did in the Department of Health. I remember Dr. Rippey told me one day - a little boy had been hurt, just a very minor injury. This young boy had been hurt, and Dr. Rippey came along, and I was working on the police force at the time, and he said to me - we were waiting for the ambulance to come, you know, we were then just getting into this new level of health care service with paramedics. I remember Dr. Rippey saying to me at the time, Nova Scotians will agree someday that they are far better off to have this highly trained, skilled professional paramedic arrive to take care of most emergency situations than they are with someone like myself - himself as a physician.

He said that the quality of training that paramedics in this province have - and I know the member for Sackville-Cobequid opposite, is a trained paramedic. I know the honourable member who sits behind me from Hants West is as well. Mr. Speaker, I think we would all agree in the House that we owe a lot to individuals like these gentlemen here, and as well, the many throughout the province who provide that very, very professional service to Nova Scotians.

I want to say what Dr. Rippey said at the time, I agree with totally today, that we are definitely in the situation now where we have an excellent service that we can be very proud of. Mr. Speaker, they deserve to be recognized. Yes, they are paid, yes, many people attend at emergency services, for example, firefighters who are volunteers and are not paid. You know these individuals - and I'm going to mention a couple, who talk to me about the exemplary service medal. One is Roger McCabe, who was stationed in Oxford and is now, I believe, stationed in Springhill, and another one who continually talks to me about paramedic service and about the ambulance service and about training and so on is Keith Odlin of Parrsboro. Both of them are long-time, professional service people who have been paramedics for a number of years, and they certainly are very strong proponents of the medal process.

[Page 1135]

I just want to say again that when you look at the training and the high level of service that these individuals provide, surely we can look at providing them with something as simple as a 15-year and a 25-year medal.

Now I want to say, Mr. Speaker, we in the previous government passed legislation that would allow medals to be provided to this group of individuals - paramedics. Unfortunately we did not specify the years that they would receive them; hence, the bill is before the House today.

Mr. Speaker, to the government it shouldn't matter whether it is 15, 25, or 10. The numbers shouldn't matter. What we're proposing here today is to show our support, show our respect for these very highly-trained professionals - paramedics, firefighters, police. Surely the government can put aside the issue of the fact that it was brought forward by the Opposition, the fact that it would be very little cost, if any, to the government, and allow this bill to pass forward from this House into Law Amendments Committee. Then if the government decides from that date forward they don't wish to call it, that's the government's prerogative. That's the Government House Leader's prerogative.

I can tell you this, firefighters in Nova Scotia will read what we all had to say here today, how we respect them - they'll read that. The paramedics are going to read, in very short order here, what we've had to say here in the House today about them, and the government's decision on whether they would allow this bill to pass forward, to show them the recognition that we all say they deserve, and pretty soon it will be the police and any other emergency response organizations.

Words are easy to speak. Action is a little harder. I heard the members opposite speak very positively about these bills, so I would hope they will be able to tell paramedics, they will be able to tell firefighters, why they wouldn't allow this legislation to pass through into Law Amendments Committee, to have a formal debate and then back to Committee of the Whole. Now very easy, Mr. Speaker, they're sitting over there, they've got all kinds of reasons why. I'd like to have them stand publicly and tell these people why they don't think they deserve a medal at 15 years. It's that simple. It's that simple. If you believe they should, pass it on. If you don't think they should, I guess you'll stall it here.

I can tell you from this side of the House, I've spoken to my colleagues from the Liberal Party, they support this. All the members of our caucus on this side of the House support this. We believe in the firefighters, we believe in the paramedics, we believe in the police and we're willing to put this bill forward, to have a full debate at the Law Amendments Committee and I'm asking that the government allow this with the unanimous consent of the House to pass through to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

[Page 1136]

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I think it's extremely important for all members to stand in their place when you care deeply about an issue. I can tell you I care deeply about the men and women who are on guard right now as we speak across this province to serve other fellow Nova Scotians and that's the paramedics of this province.

Our caucus, our government, cares deeply about these individuals. I think it definitely shows in our actions as a government. Since I came into this House - we all bring in our backgrounds, we bring in our education, we bring to this House our past employment. As you are aware, I was a paramedic in this province before I came into this historic Chamber. One of the reasons I did make that decision to come here is to give paramedics a voice on the floor of this Legislature. I think I've done a good job of doing that over the last seven years and I'll give a few examples of what I've done and what our caucus has done over the last number of years. (Applause)

One of the first things as a new MLA, you always go to the comfort areas of what you know and what you were educated in to try to bring about change. Of course, in the paramedic profession we've seen significant changes over the last decade or so. I've complimented former governments on decisions they've made to improve the service that people receive here in Nova Scotia and the service men and women give to Nova Scotians as paramedics.

One of the first pieces of legislation I introduced and started working on was in 2003 and that was a piece of legislation, I believe I introduced it for the first time - I had to introduce it a number of times - in the Spring of 2004, was to allow for some protection and something that I've said many times was, it was a bill to protect those who protect us. I said before where I read that on the gas pump of a gas station in Florida and I thought, that resonates. That's what that piece of legislation was meant to do. It was to ensure when you have medical personnel, firefighters or police on the side of a highway attending to an emergency, is that you slow down, you allow space for those individuals to have the opportunity to work in a safe environment.

I have to tell you, it wasn't well received when I first introduced it. I remember the Minister of Transportation at the time, Ron Russell, wasn't too warm about slowing down traffic on the highways. He was a bit old school, no offence to Mr. Russell, he was a great parliamentarian here, but he wasn't comfortable with doing that. So I continued to try to have dialogue with him, try to have interactions with him to ensure that the government recognized the importance of that piece of legislation.

I continued to introduce that legislation and once my colleague, a former paramedic, the member for Hants West, joined this Chamber in 2006, he did give me his verbal support for that piece of legislation, but unfortunately he didn't get the support of his government at the time. I was very proud, very proud, that the first piece of legislation that this NDP

[Page 1137]

Government brought forward was that bill - to improve and protect those who protect us. I'm very proud of my government and our caucus for doing that.

As we all know, I know you're not allowed props Mr. Speaker, but on everybody's desk today there's a postcard that indicates, effective May 1st, that law comes into effect. That shows what a government can do if they're serious about protecting those who protect us. (Applause)

[5:30 p.m.]

So, to hear the member for Cumberland South stand up and say that you know (Interruptions) I'm a little bit, yes - Cumberland South say that actions speak larger than words. I think we've proved them, Mr. Speaker, and that is true because we have acted to ensure that those individuals in our province who are on call every day of the year get the support of government.

We do have a medal that the paramedics received today, Mr. Speaker. I was at a ceremony in September, I believe it was September 4th, and I think almost a dozen paramedics received a medal called the Exemplary Service Medal for Emergency Medical Services, and that was presented by the Lieutenant Governor in the Red Room. It was a great ceremony. Many paramedics who I had worked with over the years were recognized for the dedicated service they did. The Exemplary Service Medal recognizes people in high risk professions, as I stated in the earlier debate on another piece of legislation, who have dedicated themselves to preserving public safety in Canada through long and outstanding services.

The Emergency Medical Service medal is one of the newest medals in the Exemplary Service Medal family, joining other public safety professions including police officers, correction services, fire services, Canadian Coast Guard, and peace officers. This medal was created in 1994 through a branch of the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General in Canada, and I am proud to have the opportunity to see paramedics here in Nova Scotia receive that medal. I think it shows that the province here recognizes the service of these individuals.

We have paramedics who are working seven days a week, Mr. Speaker, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. When many of us are sitting home on those holidays with our families, there are men and women who are out there away from their family, ready to respond to emergencies - ready to lend service to those who are in need, who have a medical emergency in all parts of this province. From someone who might fall off the cliffs at Meat Cove to the wharf down on Shelburne, there are men and women who are ready, who are dedicated professionals and have a high degree of medical training, because as we've said

[Page 1138]

many times in this House, we have one of the best - if not the best - paramedic/ambulance services in North America and it has been recognized as such a service.

We have seen so many transitions throughout the years that have improved the delivery of health care to individuals in our province, especially in rural Nova Scotia. Those are the individuals who will benefit more from the professionalism, from the training that paramedics have today, because ultimately what's happening in small rural communities when you have an emergency is, you have an emergency room going to that patient. The sheer number of medications that are on an ambulance today is amazing, the same as you would find in an emergency department.

The equipment we have, Mr. Speaker, is the same as you would find in the emergency room. I'm talking about defibrillators, suctions, other mechanical devices that are on our trucks, ready to be put into service, and they're all being used by highly skilled professionals.

Paramedics in this province love to learn. They want to learn new techniques, they want to administer new drugs, they want to ensure that the patients that they serve seek the best medical help that they can. Mr. Speaker, I think as a government, we're continuing to support that and we will continue to support that in the future.

It is important that we take the time to recognize these individuals, because they see a lot of stuff. I've seen a lot of stuff over the years and some of it is not nice. A lot of people do not like to talk about it. People deal with it in different ways, but we see a lot of death and dying that most people wouldn't want to see, wouldn't want to come across in a lifetime, and we have men and women that come across it every day, every shift that they work. They never know what they're going to come across, what they're going to see, and what situation they're going to find themselves in. If we can continue to ensure that they do that in the most safe environment, then we're going to continue to do that, just like Bill No.1, which was passed in the last sesssion.

We will continue to do that as a government, and I know that I have the support of my caucus. I know I have the support of the Minister of Health, and I know that I have the support of this government, Mr. Speaker, to do that. (Applause)

So, as I said earlier, we do have an opportunity to recognize paramedics through the Emergency Medical Service Exemplary Service Medal, Mr. Speaker. I can tell you that my government will review with the Lieutenant Governor this issue and consider whether this is the most appropriate way to recognize the paramedics who provide service in our province here today.

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

[Page 1139]

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to join the debate today as we debate Bill No. 25 which is an Opposition bill. It's called the Emergency Health Services Act and as we know from the debate, we're calling for a revision to the Act which would allow for medals to be given out to those paramedics, and I guess it's Emergency Health Services staff, who have served 15 and 25 years.

Mr. Speaker, I was glad to hear the previous speaker, the member for Sackville speaking about (Interruption) Sackville-Cobequid, is that right, thank you very much, to get the correct title. We're all having a little trouble with our geography today but thank you - Sackville-Cobequid - and he is a paramedic. At the end of his speech today or his debate contribution, he did say that he would look at this and take it back to his caucus to see if there is not a compelling reason to do this.

I would like to join the debate and urge him to do so, because I do see that this is something that was an omission in the original Act, that there is a provision for it in the original Act that we are amending here. In fact, it talks about long-service medals or giving medals to our emergency responders, but it didn't say when and so what this does is simply set a framework out. I was pleased to hear the member for Cumberland South speaking about it. Initially I wasn't sure where the idea had come from, but his suggestion that this would help align all of our various emergency responders, to have the same system in place for medals for long service and I think that that's very commendable.

Just to talk about our own public service, where we as MLAs frequently are in contact with people who provide services, in community service or in the Department of Environment, Health, Education and so on, they routinely receive awards for long service. There's a big event once a year and many of the members have attended that event. The Premier will go and have his photo taken with these many individuals who have given long service and good service to the Province of Nova Scotia, and why would we not afford the same recognition and respect to our members who serve as paramedics and emergency health responders.

So I think there is a very good reason to do so and I'm sure that the members of the government will agree and, I think, perhaps they want to do it in their own time, have a chance to look at it, and not do it at the urging of the Opposition, that may be their problem with this, but I must say it has merit. We on the Opposition side have often said if we hear of something good the government does, we would like to acknowledge it. I think on the government side, when you see members of the Opposition recognizing an omission on something that needs to be corrected - it's, in fact, a small item, let's be honest, not a costly item, not an item that's going to be difficult for government to institute. It really is something that shows respect and recognizes the contribution and the hard work and the dangerous work that these very important paramedics serve in our province. So I think that there's every reason to look at it and I hope that sort of good judgment will prevail rather than politics in this instance.

[Page 1140]

The member for Sackville-Cobequid actually said as well that there are other means of recognizing paramedics and it is true that there is a national program to do so. As he mentioned, I had looked it up online to get a little bit of information on it. It's called the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal, but in a single year only 14 of our paramedics were able to be given that medal. Now, I'm not taking anything away from a national award that would particularly look for somebody who has done something really outstanding in their field, or maybe done something particularly heroic, which I know paramedics do every day, but to find those people we want to give this national honour to, it's still very commendable and still has its place. What I'm saying is what is wrong with recognizing the long service of all the paramedics in the province as they provide service every day?

As the member said, we don't know what kind of stress they're under day to day because, just as we said in the earlier debate around fire service when the call comes in and you're heading out to a traffic accident or the scene of some accident or crime or disaster, you don't know what you're going to be faced with. You have to be ready to provide service and help and step in really at people's darkest hour, for an individual; if it is somebody in our family or in our community, somebody who we care for who is in distress, we rest easy knowing that we can call and there will be an emergency responder come and that we have paramedics who are the best trained in the country and, in fact, the best service in the country.

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not mention as well the contribution of John Savage and his government in setting up this stellar service that we have here in our province. When I arrived in Nova Scotia, when I returned after being away for a number of years, and I had a young family - this would be 20 years ago - I was really shocked to discover that a lot of our ambulance services were actually coming from funeral homes. The ambulance was parked at the funeral home and they provided the service in much of the province. They didn't have the training in any way that we have today. I mean God love them, they were doing the best they could but it was a ragtag service that we provided in this province.

John Savage was a doctor, he recognized the importance of getting the right kind of care to people right away in saving lives. His Minister of Health was Dr. Ron Stewart who took this up as his cause. I don't actually think too many feathers were ruffled in doing this but whenever you make change, sometimes people don't like it. This is a change that we should all be proud of, as Nova Scotians, and I'm particularly proud of as a Liberal because I say after his government was no longer in power, we can look back and say, there's something that is so much better than it ever was before, something that left a legacy for all of us.

[Page 1141]

As I say, I think we should all be proud of that and continue to thank them for it. We have a very proud service of men and women who serve as paramedics in this province and again, people have come here from around the world, from across Canada and other places in North America and, in fact, around the world, to see how we have set up a system to serve the people of Nova Scotia in every remote corner and in every part of our cities as well. We have a great system in place.

The recent report by Dr. John Ross that came out, spoke about - in fact, Dr. Ross is looking at our emergency rooms and our emergency coverage and he actually spoke about the fantastic service we have serving rural Nova Scotia and areas that might otherwise be suffering some closures, at least losing hours or they are closed at times in some of the rural areas. I think he was putting that in there to be reassuring, to say, even when your emergency room is closed, rest assured that there is an excellent emergency health service in this province and that you have got coverage and you have wonderful paramedics who will be coming to your door if you need them.

I think we need to remember that and again, the point of our discussion today is to say those people go above and beyond every day, when they come into work and don't know what sort of scene they will be required to visit and what kind of work they may have to respond to. They save lives every day, Mr. Speaker. I think that's why the bill is before us, is to say how can you not recognize that, in a regular program where we say long service needs to be recognized. You've put in those hours and days, countless years, and we want to recognize that what you're doing is helping our province and making our public safer and providing peace of mind as well, saving lives and every day giving Nova Scotians peace of mind.

I can't see that you could ever have enough ways to say thank you. I feel the same way with volunteers; if we have a province-wide volunteer program to recognize people, that's great. HRM has their own system to recognize people, but in my own community we said, you know that's wonderful but we want to have our own volunteer recognition as well, which some might say, well, that's three tiers of recognition, but people cannot be thanked enough for the work they do in our communities. There are so many people who should be thanked. I can't see any reason to take away from any one of those ceremonies. Although HRM didn't particularly want to support a little community like ours in Mainland North Halifax having their own awards, I know Bedford as well has just had their individual volunteer awards, we need to do that because we need to do that at every level and in every community.

By the same token, I would say great, there are some national awards for paramedics and I'm delighted that we had 14 Nova Scotians receive that award, but, at the same time, we need to recognize our men and women who serve in this province day in and day out and do it on a regular basis that does dovetail and coincide with our other emergency responders, like fire and police.

[Page 1142]

I'm not sure, do I have just a few minutes left? A minute?

MR. SPEAKER: Forty seconds.

MS. WHALEN: Forty seconds left. I will say that I think it's extremely important that we do this. When you dial 911 in this province, you can be assured that a top-notch, best-trained paramedic will be at your door and that means the world to people here in this province. We need to give them the recognition and support and thanks that they well deserve.

I believe this bill should be passed and I hope that it will come back to the floor of the Legislature at another time. Thank you very much.

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

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand in my place today to talk about Bill No. 25, an Act to Amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2005, the Emergency Health Services Act.

I'm proud it was one of my own colleagues who brought this forward, the member for Hants West, who served as a paramedic. It is interesting when you look around and you see the diversity of the people that represent people in this House and we actually have two people who have served as paramedics here in this House extending their service to the people of Nova Scotia. I think both of them should be congratulated on the work they did in their past lives and on the work they're doing today. (Applause)

Health care workers, in my mind, are a very special breed of people. It doesn't matter to them what the ailment is, they want to help people. When you think about it, they're working with people that are not always at their best. They're working with people that have some kind of trauma in their life, some problem that they need to have help with. Yet, the paramedics don't think about that, they just get on their truck and they move on to the scene where there is a problem and they try to make sure that they can help someone.

When you think about it, it's not a job for these people, it's a profession and it's a profession that they take a lot of pride in. There's a lot of training, there's a lot of work that goes in to do this. One of my colleagues has said it's really not even a profession, it's a calling. You need to be a very special person, as I said earlier.

There is immense special equipment that must be used by the people who are paramedics, and different types of medications. If you can think of where we started as a province with emergency health services and with paramedics and where we are today. My colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park, had mentioned that it was Dr. Ron Stewart

[Page 1143]

who helped bring this forward and I'm very pleased to say that he's another one of those people that came from Cape Breton and who was a leader in his time. He deserves the respect of this House for bringing that forward. He was the person who brought this to California and he turned around and he brought it back home to Nova Scotia. Again, we, as a province, should be proud of the leadership we have shown and we should always be proud that it was a Cape Bretoner who showed the leadership.

I want to say that the conditions the paramedics work under are not always the best of conditions. Think about it. These people are hauled out and they never really know what is going to be in front them. It could be an accident, a construction site, a problem in a home and they're not sure what that problem is. They could get a call from a family member, they could get a call from a police officer, they could get a call from a person on the street that's going by somewhere.

They never hesitate. They hop in their vehicle, they get their gear together and off they go. Where do they go? They go to make sure they can help someone. They are taking a chance, but it's not about them. It's about the people the paramedics can help. They never put into consideration what might happen to them, they're worried about the person that the call came in about.

There are many things that could face them. You could get into an accident site where you don't know what kind of gases or fuels or environmental issues might be there. You could get into a place where there's a spill where you have to work on an individual that's covered in some kind of material that you don't even know what it is, but yet the paramedic is willing to take the time to help that person, because that's what they're about. You have to give them a lot of credit because they don't always think about themselves, they think about the person they were called to help. We should be more than proud to stand in this House and congratulate them and identify them and support them with this bill, a bill that identifies what these people have done over the course of years.

Mr. Speaker, I'm a little older than some in this House, and in our day, and certainly in my parents' day, a person took on a profession and they were in it usually for their lifetime. They were either a fisherman, a farmer, a fireman, or a police officer, but it was a lifetime profession. Today we see many people who have four and five different careers over the spell of their working time, and for someone who would stay in a profession such as this, a profession that needs their all, that needs everything, if they would stay at that the least that we as a province can do is recognize them for 15 years of service or for 25 years of service, or whatever the number is, because it is the type of job, the type of calling that has a lot of strain on an individual, that creates a lot of turmoil within one's self.

[Page 1144]

I think when we're talking about paramedics and putting this bill through, and listening to my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, say that he believes this is a good thing, then I think we should all stand together and move this bill forward.

Mr. Speaker, you know the people who are paramedics don't ask for recognition. They don't do this because they want to be recognized - they do it because it's the right thing for them to do. It is something, as I said earlier, that is their calling.

Mr. Speaker, when you think about that, when you think about what a person will put themselves through to help someone else, it's really a trait of Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians are known worldwide for being there, for helping individuals, helping people who are neighbours, helping complete strangers - and that is what a paramedic does. A paramedic will go out, not knowing where they're going, not knowing what is before them, but knowing they have an opportunity to help an individual who may have some serious issues and problems.

There are a number of people who are paramedics and they are all so proud of what they do and they put a lot of energy and time in it. Most of them, when they are finished their regular job, they turn around and they are volunteers in the communities - they are firefighters, they are people who work with disadvantaged individuals in their community, they are in all walks of life. So here we are today, as a group of individuals who have the honour to represent Nova Scotians in this House, with an opportunity to recognize health care, paramedics, first responders, police officers, and firefighters. All of these people make our communities better to live in, safer to live in, and places we can be proud to live in.

Mr. Speaker, as has been said by many, when people are rushing away from a bad thing, paramedics are rushing into that bad thing. (Applause) They are the ones who are not worried about themselves, they are worried about whoever had the mishap. You know when you talk about doing something with this bill, you talk about trying to move it forward to make sure that the right recognition is given to the individuals - well, there was an individual who used to sit in this House and one of his favourite sayings was "it's never the wrong time to do the right thing."

Mr. Speaker, moving this bill forward is the right thing, it is the thing we should be doing as a group. We shouldn't be standing back trying to figure out who is going to get credit for it, we should be making sure that the paramedics of this province, the firefighters, the police officers, and all of those individuals who could be recognized under this bill would have an opportunity to be recognized, because those are the people who need to be recognized. It's not us who needs the credit for getting it, none of us in this House, it's the individuals that we need.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to move second reading of this bill and ask for unanimous consent so it can be moved on to the Law Amendments Committee so that the people of Nova Scotia can rightly give credit to our paramedics.

[Page 1145]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour. (Interruptions)

Order, please. The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour has the floor.

MR. JIM BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to get up this evening to talk about Bill No. 25. I certainly would agree with my colleagues in the House that the individuals that we talked about here this evening, the firefighters . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for Bill No. 25 has elapsed.

The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, the hours of the House tomorrow will be from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. After the daily routine, we will be doing Committee of the Whole House on Supply. I don't think we'll do any bills tomorrow - 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and after the daily routine and Question Period, we'll do Supply.

I move that the House do now rise to meet tomorrow at the hours of 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House now rise.

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 House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

We have now reached the moment of interruption. The adjournment debate has been chosen, as announced earlier, and won by the honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville:

[Page 1146]

"Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize that this government has kept its promise to maximize federal funds to build the infrastructures that communities need, like the interchange on Highway No. 101 at Margeson Drive."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

GOV'T. (N.S.) - FED. FUNDING: INFRASTRUCTURE - USAGE

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, it's certainly an honour for me today to stand to speak on behalf of our government regarding promises kept to maximize federal funds to build the much-needed infrastructure that communities need like the interchange on Highway No. 101 at Margeson Drive.

Now, Mr. Speaker, Margeson Drive is a very important new road that's being constructed in the riding of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville because it has been a project that has been on the books since the early 1990s. At that time, I'm pretty sure it was called the Department of Highways, I'm not quite sure, but back then, whatever form it was, it was discussed to have an original highway that would connect the communities of Beaver Bank, Middle Sackville and then eventually to Tantallon, but obviously with fiscal restraints back in that time, it was felt that it could not happen.

So, Mr. Speaker, it became evident that because of the federal stimulus package that this project would go forward and after much review, the province in 2008 had announced that a commitment of a section of the interchange and a connector road connecting Margeson Drive, which is a well-connected family in the community of Sackville, and as well to Trunk 1 which is known as Sackville Drive. Of course, it was conditional only on joint funding from all three levels of government. So the total cost of this interchange project is estimated to be around about $5 million and it's cost-shared between the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in fact, in the 2009 election campaign, the former member for the area actually told the constituents of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville that if you vote for this current member, the project won't happen. So the project now, I'm happy to see that the project is there. The beams are up, they're going there, and the project is going forward, and I'm very happy to see that that's happening.

With that Mr. Speaker, as of July 27, 2009, probably about six weeks after being elected, I saw that the tender for this project went forward, and I'll actually table this release that I put forward. Basically, and I quote in the release, "this will go a long way to improve

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traffic flow for the people of Middle and Upper Sackville. I'm pleased to see that Minister Bill Estabrooks is following through on commitments to improve roads made during the June election. Residents who lobbied for this deserve congratulations for their efforts," because we all know that in every part of our riding we have volunteers and community advocates who put ideas forward, and government goes through with them.

It will certainly be a benefit to our community to see that this project will be complete. My understanding from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is that the project will actually open some time around December of this year, maybe January, so it's a very good day. In fact, tomorrow evening the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is coming to our community to give the community an update as far as the project goes.

This highway that was announced by the previous government is now being fulfilled under our mandate, and yet again, it's just another example of a commitment that was actually put on paper in an agreement with levels of government, unlike some other commitments made by the previous government. The people of the province know that this government is making life better for families in every region.

In 2008, as we all know, as challenges and realities of a recession came forward, it became more and more clear that all governments, every level of government, recognized that they had a significant role to play in maintaining and creating secure jobs for our province and for the rest of the country. Therefore, the role of the federal government was to work with the provinces to provide a much-needed stimulus package to businesses and people right across the country, and especially here in Nova Scotia. It resulted in an influx of stimulus spending, which was the largest capital expenditure program in Nova Scotia's history. Our government made the commitment during the campaign to maximize these federal dollars, to build the infrastructure that communities need. It is with a great sense of pride that I rise today to tell you that we're doing just that.

Last year our government invested over $724 million in capital spending in roads, in schools, hospitals, and as we heard today in the Public Accounts Committee, in housing, because that's a very important part of the social fabric of Nova Scotia.

This year the capital investment will be an additional $710 million. Again, this will help and continue to create jobs right across Nova Scotia - the secure jobs that Nova Scotia families deserve.

From rural Nova Scotia to urban centres, from Yarmouth to Cape Breton, our government is investing in infrastructure for all communities, improving roads, bridges, and highways, and creating new jobs right across the province. This month our government kicked off the upcoming construction season with a $310 million investment in roads and bridges across the province. (Applause) We know that this government does things

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differently, we look at all Nova Scotians, all parts of Nova Scotia, for that much-needed infrastructure.

The interesting part is that our commitment has not only been to roads. Our government has also set aside $4 million in funding for water, for wastewater projects across Nova Scotia that will help secure that there is clean and safe drinking water for Nova Scotia families, which is really an important part of a province to have.

It is clear that our government is meeting its commitment to make the most of every federal dollar, including fully committing all the federal stimulus funding allocated to Nova Scotia. Projects this season include the twinning of Highway No. 101 to the Valley, Highway No. 104 in Pictou and Antigonish Counties, Highway No. 125 in Cape Breton, and the recently announced construction of the interchange on Highway No. 101 at Margeson Drive in Middle Sackville. Funding is also directed to pave hundreds of kilometres across our province, as well as bridges and replacing of roads.

Mr. Speaker, our government understands that an investment in roads is an investment in its people and its economy. (Applause) Not only do our roads go through the scenic areas of Nova Scotia, but they help connect the amazing, hard-working people who rely on them to get to their families, to their jobs, to local business, to their doctors, and help them link to their neighbouring communities, which is really important and it brings a sense of pride to those people.

Nova Scotians rely on the safety and efficiency of our roads and that is why our government is improving road-building standards and enhancing bridge and truck inspections.

We made a promise to Nova Scotians that we would improve road safety, fix rural roads, and keep communities strong. We are following through on this promise by hiring three additional bridge inspectors to monitor the province's bridges, and we have also hired three new vehicle compliance officers as well.

Mr. Speaker, we promised to make the right decisions for Nova Scotia families and we are doing just that by investing in Nova Scotia roads and infrastructure and making the most out of the stimulus funding that we have received.

I have personally seen the positive results of this and that is through the interchange at Margeson Drive, being built in Middle Sackville. Many members will see it as they travel down to the Valley, and I am very happy to see that this will be completed by the end of this year - and it will make the people in my riding, especially, very happy to see the traffic controls that will come out of this.

So, Mr. Speaker, with that I thank you and I thank my honourable colleagues here today for listening to my remarks. (Applause)

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MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, it just seems that it was not that long ago that the honourable member opposite and I were in here, in an almost empty Chamber, for a late debate.

You know, I was a little bit surprised to see the wording of the motion, put forward by the honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, as the motion suggests the NDP has kept its promise to maximize federal funds to build infrastructure - a point which I will address, but I first want to use the point of this interchange.

The member uses a specific example of the interchange on Highway No. 101 at Margeson Drive. Now, that's more than a little bit misleading, as the NDP had very little to do with that project and, as much as I hate (Interruptions) No, you've got to listen here because, Mr. Speaker, as much as I hate to give credit to the Third Party, the fact of the matter is that the tender documents were prepared under the previous government and the timing of the release of the tender was just after.

You might ask how I know that. Well, in fact, Mr. Speaker, while I was on HRM Council we approved the project on April 8, 2008, and on that date HRM became the last of three parties to sign the document, which is public record, and HRM was putting in $1.6 million, the feds were putting in $1.6 million, and the province was putting in $1.6 million. That was on April 8, 2008, that that agreement was finally executed, with HRM being the final signatory.

Now it is therefore more than a bit rich to suggest the NDP should take credit for a project - it would have actually been a story if they had cancelled it. I certainly do not, Mr. Speaker, condone the actions of the former member who ran against him and said such things; I don't condone that at all. And certainly I know it is a piece of important infrastructure and I'm glad that the NDP kept moving ahead on it, but the fact is the NDP can't take credit for building that interchange because it was approved more than a year before they even became government and it was signed off on.

As the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal well knows, there is no tender document in this province that gets written in a matter of a few weeks and put out. These things take - well, far too long, actually - months and months. So, while I'm happy that that happened, I am sorry, but this government really can't take responsibility for that - the member who is getting up after can take more responsibility for that.

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But I want to get to the meat of it. The meat of this resolution is that they maximize the federal funds - "maximize" federal funds - which means that they used all the funds that they had access to. Well, Mr. Speaker, we know that this is not the case - just in the past week, in fact, a clear example is the project on the Shubenacadie Canal that runs through my constituency, as well as the ridings of the Minister of Education and the Minister of Natural Resources. In fact, both the Premier and the Minister of Natural Resources have stated that one reason the canal project did not get funds, was the government did not have the money to cost-share with the federal government on their infrastructure program. So if they're not going to cost share they haven't maximized the funds, so the motion is incorrect.

You know, ACOA had approved the $500,000 for the project and Halifax Regional Council on February 2nd or 8th - I don't have the date in front of me, but it's certainly in the Hansard record - approved their contribution. While the Minister of Natural Resources has tried to suggest that HRM had not approved their contribution, it was inaccurate and he misled the House as the documents I tabled proved. The only thing remaining was the final sign-off at a main council meeting that legally could not happen until the Minister of Natural Resources confirmed their $500,000. That is $1 million lost in infrastructure funds - $500,000 of which is federal infrastructure funds. If we lost $500,000 in federal infrastructure funds, then guess what? We haven't maximized them.

The shame of that particular project is the fact the province, as the owner of those assets, will ultimately have to bear the higher cost in the next few years as the waterway sees the infrastructure crumble further, resulting in environmental issues, fish passage issues, flooding and problems along the waterway, particularly the farming communities further upstream.

The canal is only one example, a single example, of how the government has not taken the opportunity to maximize federal infrastructure dollars which were available, and, which frankly, possibly, still remain available today. We can also point to some other projects. We can look at the Bedford Fourplex. While the federal government didn't contribute money to that and while the province did put some money in, the fact of the matter is what we did not see the Premier or any other member of Cabinet do is join the fight, join the very public fight, against the federal government to get federal infrastructure dollars for that project.

Why not? Why not? Because it wasn't in an NDP riding, I guess. That's the only thing that I can think of. There's no question that I am as ashamed with the federal government as I think the honourable member opposite is, that they put money into another project which wasn't the one that was the wish of the community and the provincial and municipal governments. But there was an opportunity lost and that really is a shame. As well. . .

AN. HONOURABLE MEMBER: They gave money to fund the library, though.

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MR. YOUNGER: Well, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite mentions the library. The funny thing about that is that although it's been announced, that hasn't been signed yet. We still don't actually know. In fact, they still haven't signed off on the documents. It's much like the convention centre project where nobody really is quite sure what's going on. I congratulate the member opposite. I certainly did not say that they haven't taken advantage of some infrastructure funds, even maybe the majority of them, but the motion that the honourable member opposite put forward was that the government has maximized them which implies that they have accessed all the federal funds to which that government was entitled. It only takes one project to prove that's not the case and there's actually more than one project.

There's the canal commission, which is the one nearest and dearest to my heart at the moment. Let's also take a look at the fact that this budget, as we found out through estimates, includes little to no money for capital funding on transit. Which is kind of funny coming from the NDP Government. Even the Third Party had money for capital, even if it was a small amount, for transit in their budget. That means that municipalities in Nova Scotia will not be able to trigger the infrastructure funds for transit. If you don't have the money there, you can't do it - again, not being maximized.

As well, we now know that in southwestern Nova Scotia the Cabinet did not make a direct request to federal ministers for funding of The Cat service out of Yarmouth for an additional year, didn't even pick up the phone to make the call, as has been admitted in Question Period. Again, how do we know the dollars weren't maximized when, in fact, the phone call wasn't even made to ask.

The fact is, the opposite appears to be true. The dollars weren't maximized, they were squandered. There are some excellent projects, you know. There are important projects. The interchange the honourable member speaks of, that's an important project, there's no question about it. The fact is, it wasn't approved by the NDP. It wasn't, so don't take credit for it. The fact that you put it a tender out a year and one-half after the funding agreement was reached, doesn't mean that it's your project.

Mr. Speaker, there are projects that are important to many communities, projects which have not been able to access federal infrastructure funds because the province was unwilling over the past 11 months to cost-share on that. The Shubenacadie Canal is just one example and that is a shame. This budget seems to have little or no money for capital cost-sharing with municipalities and community groups. Again, that is a shame because a lot of municipalities in this province have put together programs of their own that require federal and provincial matching dollars, yet this budget doesn't have a line item for that.

[6:15 p.m.]

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Mr. Speaker, I only wish it was true that this NDP Government has and is maximizing the federal dollars. It is unquestioned that they are using some of them, perhaps using a lot of them, but they are not maximizing them. The fact is that this government is a rudderless ship that is rapidly missing opportunities and this motion, as a result, is without merit. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to have an opportunity to speak on the resolution put forth by the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville this evening. I have to smile, today the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville wants to claim credit for the spending of the Progressive Conservative Government that came before him.

Now just moments ago we had his own Minister of Finance chastising the Progressive Conservatives for the structural deficit he says that he was left with. The Finance Minister went so far as to say that he was left with a mess.

Would the people who use the Margeson Drive interchange each day call this a waste of money? Would they call it a waste or would they call it a mess? I think not, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville can educate his Minister of Finance on the value of this and other investments that were made by the previous Progressive Conservative Government.

Now the resolution put forth says that the House of Assembly should recognize that the NDP Government has " . . . kept its promise to maximize federal funds to build the infrastructures that communities need, like the interchange at . . . Margeson Drive." I am not sure who the new member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville thinks he is trying to fool, but this project that he is referencing was brought in before he was even a member of the Legislature. This project was part of a three-year, $1 billion infrastructure investment under the vision of my predecessor, the Honourable Rodney MacDonald.

Today I asked the Minister of Finance - I tried to find out from the minister what were the structural expenditures made by the former Progressive Conservative Government that he did not like. I question how much he disliked these expenditures, Mr. Speaker, and expenditures like the three-year, $1 billion infrastructure expenditure envisioned by Premier MacDonald, to make road travel safer and more enjoyable for Nova Scotians and people who visit our province. I question how much the NDP minister disliked these expenditures because the Finance Minister did not cut these expenditures from his budget since he became minister responsible.

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Is this hypocritical? I will say that the Minister of Finance's thinking is inconsistent. I will say that he says he was left a mess but when it comes to act, he has chosen to maintain spending, the very structural expenditure he has criticized. I gave him a chance today to identify structural expenditures that he did not feel should be part of his budget. I gave him that chance today and, Mr. Speaker, he avoided the question, so I stand here with a smile on my face because this NDP Government is caught with their very own words - they say one thing but they do another, much like we've heard on balanced budgets when they promised, before election, that they would balance the budget. Today we see that they have plans to run, they are running their second of five deficits, in their own words. They told us before they were elected that they would not increase taxes for Nova Scotians - today we've seen that they are increasing taxes.

The member raises a good question, what do you want us to cut, because I asked the minister that question today and he couldn't answer me because I don't think that side of the House wants to cut either. I like the way the member mentions nurses and doctors and teachers, but truth be known, Mr. Speaker, there are many expenditures in government.

So the word on the street is that Nova Scotians know the difference, that this NDP Government will be a one-hit wonder. Nova Scotians will be looking for an alternative in the next election, and the Progressive Conservatives will give them a sensible alternative. Nova Scotians want good roads, and the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville knows that the people that he represents want good roads. The Progressive Conservatives gave Nova Scotians better roads with a three-year $1 billion commitment, and that is why the NDP member put forth this resolution. He believes the Progressive Conservatives got it right. He believes and he agrees with the vision that the Progressive Conservatives put forth. I would say that his Minister of Finance, by his actions, agrees with the vision, or at least some of the vision, put forth by the previous Progressive Conservative Government.

The thing I want to point out, though, is that the NDP agrees with things when it's convenient for them. Let's look at some of the other projects initiated by the Progressive Conservatives - some of the other infrastructure investments.

Mr. Speaker, how much time would I have left in my remarks this evening?

MR. SPEAKER: You have about 5 minutes.

MR. MACMASTER: Five minutes. Well, there's obviously not enough time to identify all of these good projects, but for the benefit of the members of the House I'll identify a few. We see in 2009, Coldbrook to Kingston, passing lanes in Annapolis County. We see design work coming this year near Cornwallis in Annapolis County. Mary Jane Riley Road interchange ramps. We see Larry Uteck Boulevard, which is under construction. We see New Glasgow to Pinetree Road twinning, just east of New Glasgow in Pictou County - that's under construction. I appreciate that twinning project because I drive it once a week,

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twice a week, every time I go back and forth to the constituency of Inverness. I know a lot of people in Inverness use that road as well.

In Antigonish County, under construction, Addington Forks to east of Beech Hill Road, new four-lane highway along that same span. We look here in Halifax County with the Burnside to Bedford new four-lane highway; there's a consultant study in 2011. That was all as a result of the vision of Premier Rodney MacDonald and the Progressive Conservative Government.

I will ask the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville for just one thing tonight. I will ask that member to give credit where credit is due. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: That ends the debate for this evening and I want to thank all members for their contributions.

The House is adjourned until tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

[The House rose at 6:23 p.m.]

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NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 543

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Official Opposition)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on Wednesday, April 14th, over 100 leaders from the area known as The Quad Counties met in Port Hawkesbury to participate in the 2010 Economic Assembly; and

Whereas this group of leaders spent the day examining internal and external economic forces, while dedicating themselves to preserving and building the future of the regional economy; and

Whereas by the end of the day a resolution was passed that this group produce a report to the community containing recommended actions and proposed timetables for implementation by Thanksgiving 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate members of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce for their contribution to the 2010 Economic Assembly, and thank them for their demonstration of leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 544

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Official Opposition)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on Wednesday, April 14th, over 100 leaders from the area known as The Quad Counties met in Port Hawkesbury to participate in the 2010 Economic Assembly; and

Whereas this group of leaders spent the day examining internal and external economic forces, while dedicating themselves to preserving and building the future of the regional economy; and

Whereas by the end of the day a resolution was passed that this group produce a report to the community containing recommended actions and proposed timetables for implementation by Thanksgiving 2010;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate members of the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce for their contribution to the 2010 Economic Assembly, and thank them for their demonstration of leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 545

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Official Opposition)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on Wednesday, April 14th, over 100 leaders from the area known as The Quad Counties met in Port Hawkesbury to participate in the 2010 Economic Assembly; and

Whereas this group of leaders spent the day examining internal and external economic forces, while dedicating themselves to preserving and building the future of the regional economy; and

Whereas by the end of the day a resolution was passed that this group produce a report to the community containing recommended actions and proposed timetables for implementation by Thanksgiving 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate members of the Cape Breton Partnership for their contribution to the 2010 Economic Assembly, and thank them for their demonstration of leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 546

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Official Opposition)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on Wednesday, April 14th, over 100 leaders from the area known as The Quad Counties met in Port Hawkesbury to participate in the 2010 Economic Assembly; and

Whereas this group of leaders spent the day examining internal and external economic forces, while dedicating themselves to preserving and building the future of the regional economy; and

Whereas by the end of the day a resolution was passed that this group produce a report to the community containing recommended actions and proposed timetables for implementation by Thanksgiving 2010;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate members of the Antigonish Area Partnership for their contribution to the 2010 Economic Assembly, and thank them for their demonstration of leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 547

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on Friday 24, 2010, Debbie Dicks, for her outstanding work in supporting sexual health for the residents of Sheet Harbour area, was awarded the Sexcellence Award at a public reception held at the Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital; and

Whereas this is the third annual award granted on behalf of the Nova Scotia Association for Sexual Health; and

Whereas sexual health is an important part of overall health and is highlighted through the presentation of this award;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Debbie Dicks on receiving the Sexcellence Award from the Nova Scotia Association for Sexual Health and thanks her for supporting and promoting outstanding work in the field of sexual health education.

RESOLUTION NO. 548

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to many organizations, Bev Richardson is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bev Richardson and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

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RESOLUTION NO. 549

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 1st Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Sara Keddy is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sara Keddy and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 550

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 1st Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Sara Sinibaldi is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sara Sinibaldi and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 551

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

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Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 1st Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Victoria Starratt is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Victoria Starratt and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 552

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 2nd Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Kelsey Ogilvie is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kelsey Ogilvie and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 553

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 3rd Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Katelyn Murphy is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Katelyn Murphy and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 554

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 4th Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Dominique Dawson is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dominique Dawson and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 555

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 5th Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Danielle Dawson is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Danielle Dawson and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 556

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 6th Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Keri Johnson is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Keri Johnson and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 557

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 21st Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Idalee Steadman is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Idalee Steadman and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 558

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

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Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 8th Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Micayla Webster is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Micayla Webster and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 559

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the 9th Berwick Pathfinders/Rangers, Jacqueline Ruggles is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jacqueline Ruggles and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 560

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the Berwick Gala Days, Pat Irvine is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Pat Irvine and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 561

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By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the Ladies Auxiliary Royal Canadian Legion Ortona Branch #69, Elizabeth Bent is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Elizabeth Bent and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 562

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the Christ Church Berwick, Annie Lonergan is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Annie Lonergan and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 563

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

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Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of his contributions to the Apple Dome Committee, George Moody is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate George Moody and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 564

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of his contributions to the Berwick Lions Club, Norm Palmer is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Norm Palmer and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 565

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the South Berwick Women's Institute, Joanne Hill is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Joanne Hill and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 566

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of his contributions to Kings Minor Basketball, Mike Jordan is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mike Jordan and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 567

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the Children's Wish Foundation, Carolyn Spicer is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carolyn Spicer and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

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RESOLUTION NO. 568

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of his contributions to Berwick Scouting, Andy Thomas is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Andy Thomas and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 569

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to Berwick Scouting, Deidre Steadman is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Deidre Steadman and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 570

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

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Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the Grand View Manor, Neillie Barbour-Leonahard is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Neillie Barbour-Leonahard and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 571

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the St. Eudora Rebekah Lodge, Carolyn Graves is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carolyn Graves and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 572

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of her contributions to the Berwick Food Bank, Allana Palmer is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Allana Palmer and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 573

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of his contributions to Christ Church, Berwick, Stefan Mogensen is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stefan Mogensen and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 574

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Town of Berwick held its volunteer awards night on April 21, 2010; and

Whereas each year the town recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

Whereas in recognition of his contributions to Christ Church, Berwick, Jeremy Fraser is one of the 2010 Berwick Volunteer Awards recipients;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jeremy Fraser and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

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