Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

La Chambre s'est ajournée le
26 octobre 2017

HANSARD 10-19

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

THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice - Correctional Facility (Cumb. Co.), Hon. M. Scott 1169
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Environ.: Earth Day (04/22) - Mark,
Hon. Sterling Belliveau 1169
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 575, Earth Day (04/22): Importance - Recognize,
The Premier 1175
Vote - Affirmative 1175
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 38, Voluntary Carbon Emmissions Offset Fund Act,
Hon. S. Belliveau 1176
No. 39, Coyote Control Act,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1176
No. 40, Tidal View Manor Tax Exemption Act,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1176
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 576, Earth Day (04/22): Importance - Recognize,
Mr. A. Younger 1176
Vote Affirmative 1177
Res. 577, Dienes, Dr. Zoltan P.: Univ. Pécs - Hon. Deg.,
Hon. R. Jennex 1177
Vote - Affirmative 1177
Res. 578, Woodlawn Library: Opening (04/24/10) - Congrats.,
Mr. A. Younger 1177
Vote - Affirmative 1178
Res. 579, Gov't. (Can.): Youth Criminal Justice Act - Support,
Hon. M. Scott 1178
Res. 580, Otto, Riley: Wrestling Accomplishment - Congrats.,
Ms. K. Regan 1179
Vote - Affirmative 1180
Res. 581, Earth Day: Anniv. (40th) - Celebrate,
Hon. K. Casey 1180
Vote - Affirmative 1180
Res. 582, Maersk Line/Aqualife North America: Lobster Shipping
Technology - Congrats., Mr. H. Theriault 1180
Vote - Affirmative 1181
Res. 583, Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter: Vols. - Applaud,
Mr. T. Zinck 1181
Vote - Affirmative 1182
Res. 584, Save the Hector Heritage Quay: Supporters - Commend
Mr. K. Bain 1182
Vote - Affirmative 1183
Res. 585, Hicks, Henry: Clare Vol. of Yr. (2010) - Congrats.,
Hon. W. Gaudet 1183
Vote - Affirmative 1183
Res. 586, NDP Gov't. - Tax Dollars: Expenditures - Monitor,
Mr. A. MacMaster 1184
Res. 587, Annapolis Co. Home Support Team - VON Award,
Hon. S. McNeil 1184
Vote - Affirmative 1185
Res. 588, KOC Coun. 8988 - Anniv. (25th),
Mr. C. d'Entremont 1185
Vote - Affirmative 1185
Res. 589, Batherson, Hughie/Robichaud, Francis: Haiti Fundraising
- Congrats., Hon. W. Gaudet 1186
Vote - Affirmative 1186
Res. 590, Stewart, Dr. Ron: EMS Award - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 1186
Vote - Affirmative 1187
Res. 591, Sharma, Robin: Book Publication - Congrats.,
Ms. K. Regan 1187
Vote - Affirmative 1188
Res. 592, Brouwer, Matt: Juno Award - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 1188
Vote - Affirmative 1189
Res. 593, Fish. & Aquaculture: Fish - Grow,
Mr. H. Theriault 1189
Res. 594, Jr. Chamber Intl. (C.B.) - Anniv. (10th)
Mr. K. Bain 1190
Vote - Affirmative 1190
Res. 595, Tusket Sales & Serv. Ltd. - Anniv. (35th),
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1191
Vote - Affirmative 1191
Res. 596, C.B. Highlands Acad.: AIMS Recognition - Congrats.,
Mr. A. MacMaster 1191
Vote - Affirmative 1192
Res. 597, Northside Commun. Pool. Soc.: Reopening - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 1192
Vote - Affirmative 1193
Res. 598, Payne, Alicia/Jesse Payne Team: Epilepsy Awareness -
Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 1193
Vote - Affirmative 1194
HOUSE RECESSED AT 12:02 P.M. 1194
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 12:03 P.M. 1194
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 189, Prem.: Jessome Boycott - Stance,
Hon. S. McNeil 1194
No. 190, ERD - Team West: Team Southwest - Support Confirm,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1196
No. 191, Prem.: Georges Bank - Moratorium,
Hon. H. Theriault 1198
No. 192, Prem: Team West/Team Southwest - Membership/Mandate,
Mr. W. Gaudet 1199
No. 193, TCH - Yarmouth Tourism Operator: Contact - Confirm,
Ms. K. Bain 1200
No. 194, LWD: Co-op Univ. Educ. - Training/Retaining,
Ms. K. Regan 1202
No. 195, Prem.: Voluntary Carbon Emissions Offset Fund Bill
- Details, Hon. K. Casey 1203
No. 196, HPP - MacDonald Corp./Reynolds Tobacco: Payment
- Receipt Confirm, Ms. D. Whalen 1204
No. 197, Com. Serv.: Easter Seals - Wheelchair Provision,
Hon. W. Gaudet 1205
No. 198, Prem. - Georges Bank: Moratorium Review - Decision,
Hon. C. Clarke 1207
No. 199, SNSMR - Wind Turbines (Digby Co.): UNSM Meeting
- Confirm,^Mr. H. Theriault 1208
No. 200, Prem. - Jessome, Joan: Meeting - Confirm,
Hon. M. Scott 1209
No. 201, Educ. - Reviews/Reports: Responses - Time Frame,
Ms. K. Regan 1211
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. H. Theriault 1213
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1217
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 1:35 P.M. 1221
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 5:52 P.M. 1221^
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Apr. 23rd at 2:00 p.m. 1224
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 599, Boston Pizza (New Minas) - Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1225
Res. 600, Domaine de Grand Pré - Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1225
Res. 601, Fritz's -Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1226
Res. 602, Hampton House Furniture & Decor -
Best of Kings Award (2010), Hon. R. Jennex 1226
Res. 603, Just Us! Café - Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1227
Res. 604, K-Rock 89.3 - Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1227
Res. 605, Maxwell's Quality Footwear Ltd. -
Best of Kings Award (2010), Hon. R. Jennex 1227
Res. 606, Rafuse Home Hardware Bldg. Ctr. -
Best of Kings Award (2010), Hon. R. Jennex 1228
Res. 607, Smitty's Fam. Rest. - Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1228
Res. 608, Sobeys New Minas - Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1229
Res. 609, Swimwear Hut - Best of Kings Award (2010),
Hon. R. Jennex 1229
Res. 610, Canso Vol. FD: Emergency Services Provider Fund -
Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau 1230
Res. 611, Erinville & Dist. FD - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 1230
Res. 612, Guysborough FD - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 1231
Res. 613, Three Top FD - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 1231
Res. 614, Toole, Frankie - VON Award,
Hon. S. McNeil 1232
Res. 615, Frail, Tammy - VON Award,
Hon. S. McNeil 1232
Res. 616, Glace Bay Miners: Female Bantam A Title
- Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil 1233
Res. 617, Allison MacDonald/Glace Bay Miners: Female Bantam
A Title - Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil 1233
Res. 618, Harris, Asst. Coach Bill/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1234
Res. 619, MacArthur, Asst. Coach Brian/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1234
Res. 620, Heffernan, Corinne/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1235
Res. 621, Kaiser, Hannah/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1235
Res. 622, Doucette, Jill/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1236
Res. 623, Sampson, Jocelyn/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1236
Res. 624, MacLean, Kelcey/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1237
Res. 625, Gilmet, Kelsey/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1237
Res. 626, Fraser, Kendra/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1238
Res. 627, Pasher, Lauren/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1238
Res. 628, Gouthro, Head Coach Liam/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1239
Res. 629, Gouthro, Maggie/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1239
Res. 630, MacPherson, Margaret/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1240
Res. 631, O'Neill, Megan/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1240
Res. 632, MacArthur, Meghan/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1241
Res. 633, Courtney, Mikayla/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1241
Res. 634, McKinnon, Rachel/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1242
Res. 635, Harris, Rebecca/Glace Bay Miners:
Female Bantam A Title, Hon. S. McNeil 1242
Res. 636, Broussard, Claudine: Spelling Accomplishment
- Congrats., Mr. A. MacMaster 1243
Res. 637, Thomas, Katherine/Miller, Kat Frick/Green, Jennifer
- Lunenburg Artists-in Residency Prog., Ms. P. Birdsall 1243
Res. 638, Barss, Peter & Patchen: Prostate Cancer Research
- Fundraising, Ms. V. Conrad 1244
Res. 639, Hartman, Dean: Health Lifestyles
- Fundraising, Mr. A. Younger 1244
Res. 640, HPP Min.: Health Fitness Tax Credit
- Return, Mr. C. Porter 1245

[Page 1167]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

11:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Honourable members, we'll start today's proceedings and welcome everybody here on Earth Day.

Before we start the daily routine, I'm going to mention the late debate under Rule 5(5). It reads as follows:

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to continue a moratorium on drilling and seismic activity on Georges Bank past 2012.

That was submitted by the honourable member for Dartmouth East (Interruption) I guess it's not going to happen. Anyway, we'll save that for another day, another time.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege. I want to table here, in a moment, a memorandum that was faxed to our caucus office at 9:52 this morning, and I'll read it in the interests of the House being aware of what it says. It says:

[Page 1168]

1167

"Please be advised that Premier Darrell Dexter will be absent from the Legislative Assembly on Friday, April 23rd, 2010."

I've been in this House for about 12 years now and I think we'd all agree in this House how important the estimates are to not only members of the House, but to Nova Scotians who want to see the budgets debated, want to see an opportunity for ministers, as I think the Premier himself said last year how important the House is and for "keeping ministers sharp", I think were his words.

We just became aware about an hour ago that the Premier will not be here tomorrow, and we are in the middle of his estimates. We consider it a breach of privilege that the Premier would automatically assume that he wouldn't have to be here tomorrow without any consultation from us. If there is a valid reason why he has to be away from here, we'd just like to hear it - there's no indication at this point why he won't be here. If there's something vital that he can't be in the House, I understand that and if that's the ruling or if that's the decision of the government, in that case we'd either ask, Mr. Speaker, to rule in regard to the breach of privilege of members, and if that's not the case then we'd ask that the estimates not be held tomorrow, be held off until Monday until we can bring the Premier back into his estimates before the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, the Premier does have business out of town. I don't think there was any privilege hurt in this, but you know if it's the want of the Third Party that we move it around, then we could possibly look at changing the hours to later in the day, that probably the Premier could accommodate those hours, or if indeed they finished with it, but there are many ways we could get around this and accommodate it - but I don't think there's any privilege injured here. Again, we're interested in finding solutions and if they want to look at changing of hours, I'm certainly amenable to that.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, I'm going to suggest maybe then if the three House Leaders perhaps can work on this together and come up with a workable solution - I think that might be the best way to handle it. If it means changing the hours for tomorrow or Monday, I think we'd all like to work on consensus and I think that might be the best way to handle it. I'm going to leave it with the House Leaders to work this out in an amicable fashion.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

[Page 1169]

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I rise today - today is day 18 of this sitting and 18 days of broken promises. This petition was initiated as a result of this headline that says, "Dexter says he'd keep Tory promises," which we know what happened there - they've been broken every day. The prayer of this petition says:

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

This is signed by 18 MLAs from this side of the House, and I would offer it to MLAs from that side of the House who want to support Cumberland County residents - and especially the member for Cumberland North - to sign this petition on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I have signed it, and this brings the total, to this date, to 1,707 people who are very upset with this government.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to mark Earth Day 2010. This is an important day and is an opportunity to reflect on how precious our Earth is, and a time to celebrate our environmental accomplishments. On this day and, indeed, every day, we need to take care of our environment to make sure that it is protected for future generations.

[11:15 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to promoting the protection, enhancement, and careful use of the environment. Government has an important role to play in the enforcement, policy and a host of other areas. However, we cannot complete this important work without the participation of Nova Scotians.

[Page 1170]

Protecting our environment depends on good partnerships. For this reason, Earth Day is not only a celebration of Nova Scotia's beautiful nature but also of our people. Together we have protected the health of the environment, preserved valuable lands and reduced our pollution emissions and strengthened the economy in the process.

The Department of Environment continues to undertake projects that will make Nova Scotia a leader in environmental management and sustainability. These projects are guided by the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. The Act sets Nova Scotia on a course to have one of the cleanest and most sustainable environments by 2020. Mr. Speaker, our government has made significant progress in reaching this end and we're committed to achieving the aggressive goals laid out in the Act.

Last August, we became the first and only province in Canada to place hard caps on both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants for power generation. Our efforts to reduce emissions have been further advanced through our ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change program. To date, this program has provided approximately $35 million in funding to 89 projects and put us on a path to reduce over 175,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and another 525 tons of air pollutants.

In July, government set a new target for renewable electricity production, 25 per cent by 2015. Mr. Speaker, we are already well on track to achieve this goal. In fact, by the end of this year, Nova Scotia will generate enough wind power to power the equivalent of 80,000 homes, that is a 400 per cent increase over last year. We're also developing world-class tidal energy technology, one of Nova Scotia's most promising sources of clean energy.

Renewable energy is not just about clean energy and a cleaner environment, it also translates into economic growth. Our government has invested $60 million in the Korean company Daewoo, to create more green jobs and further stimulate the renewable energy sector in our province.

Mr. Speaker, we can proudly say that Nova Scotia is a world leader in recycling. According to Statistics Canada, Nova Scotia's disposal rate is almost 50 per cent lower than the Canadian average. This remarkable feat could not be attained if it weren't for the environmentally conscious and keen citizens of Nova Scotia.

By working with our environmental partners we are also making good progress in other areas of environmental protection. We are moving ever closer to our province's land protection goal, protecting 12 per cent of Nova Scotia's land base by 2015. Currently, about 8.6 per cent of the province, legally, is protected.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Natural Resources consulted with our department on a large land purchase program this winter. Thanks to the strategic and impressive land purchases, further generations of Nova Scotians will have much more land to enjoy and government will have further opportunities to grow the economy.

[Page 1171]

Work continues on the development of a wetlands conservation policy and we will soon have a policy in place to prevent the net loss of wetlands in our beautiful province.

We're also working on a comprehensive water resource management strategy. There has been province-wide consultation on this strategy and from what I'm told, the participation of Nova Scotians was impressive. Staff in the Department of Environment have been guided by the many comments received and are working on drafting the final strategy, which is due to be completed and in place later this year. The strategy will help determine how much water we use as a province and guide us on the best ways to conserve and protect it and manage its use.

Mr. Speaker, as a planet, we are facing the effects of climate change. These trends will continue and we will have to adapt to warmer average climate change temperatures, higher sea levels, and weather events that are more frequent and more extreme.

Last year the government invested in an initiative to reduce the vulnerability of coastal Nova Scotia by identifying risk areas and providing options for adapting to these risks. This morning I announced the government's intention to introduce legislation that will help Nova Scotians in the fight against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint and investing in our green economy. Mr. Speaker, that legislation will be introduced today.

The tremendous achievements we have made in protecting our environment were reached by working closely together with the people of Nova Scotia. We will continue to address the environmental issues through stewardship and regulation and consult with Nova Scotians on the best way to protect our environment.

Mr. Speaker, as you can see, there is much to be proud of on Earth Day. Nova Scotia is actively working towards a greener, more sustainable and prosperous tomorrow, and we're making life better for families in every region of this province. On this, the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, I would like to commend Nova Scotians for their environmental leadership. Nova Scotia's efforts and accomplishments are evident and envied. We have provided leadership which has been noticed around the world and, more importantly, we have contributed to the health and the prosperity of our province.

On behalf of the government, I would like to say thank you to Nova Scotians for caring and for working to help protect our environment. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 1172]

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the minister for his remarks and for providing me a copy of his remarks in the House today, in advance. As well I thank you for the advance notice of the bill that he is going to be introducing.

Of course as the minister said, Earth Day began in 1970 and it is seen by many as the start of the worldwide environmental movement. We have not come as far as we should have since 1970 but today is, nonetheless, a day we can reflect on our own impact on the environment. It is expected that 6 million Canadians will join one billion people in over 170 countries, staging events and projects to address local environmental issues today in celebration of Earth Day. Nearly every schoolchild in Nova Scotia will take part in an Earth Day activity of one kind or another today.

While there remain people in this country, in this province and, by all indications, even one federal political Party, who have yet to realize the very real impact we have on the environment and, in particular, the damage that is being done and will be done by climate change, the environmental movement is no longer a fringe issue, it is "the issue."

Environmental issues now directly impact our economy, our need for health services and the safety and security of the residents that we represent. In Nova Scotia we need only to think of the health of our oceans and our coastal communities to recognize our impact on the world. The oceans are often the first ecosystems to show stress of human impact. We have for centuries dumped our waste in the oceans and treated the oceans as a dumping ground and a resource to be plundered. Today we witness the effects of this as more areas of the oceans show stress and that stress is rapidly resulting in the demise of fishing zones, as well as the release of carbon trapped in ocean ice and the ocean floor.

Elisabeth Mann Borgese, who is a well-known Halifax resident, once called the oceans the common heritage of mankind. She was largely responsible for crafting the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention on the basis of that statement yet, like other elements of the environment, it is a heritage we have been quick to squander.

Our concern, of course, goes beyond the ocean as we have seen; we have very real reason to be concerned about things such as unsustainable forest harvest practices, fresh water resources, and air quality in Nova Scotia.

The minister spoke about the efforts he believes the government has taken generally on the environment, and yes, the government has taken some steps to move Nova Scotia forward and I am prepared to give credit where credit is due, but I find that those steps are exceedingly small to date, and in the bigger picture I feel this province is falling further and further behind its own public.

The last Budget Speech did not even mention the environment - perhaps the most significant issue facing the world - and there is little or no movement on a range of issues,

[Page 1173]

including transit funding, wide-scale LED lighting conversions, the incorporation of biodiesel from fish waste, and government vehicles. These are initiatives which would not only result in meaningful change for our environment but would save money and support local Nova Scotia businesses. So we have a budget that even the Ecology Action Centre said didn't even show a hint of pale green, and I would like to welcome Mark Butler, who's joining us here today. He is the policy director of the Ecology Action Centre and is in the gallery today.

The minister spoke of Nova Scotia's success at waste diversion, and he's absolutely right, it's the efforts of our citizens that should be celebrated - but I believe that that success has been at least in part in spite of the government and not because of it. As the minister well knows from my comments during Environment estimates, full source separation is all but absent in most provincial government offices. This is not leadership; it's not even following.

On energy issues the minister says we are on track to meet renewable energy targets, and I certainly hope so, Mr. Speaker. Nonetheless, I have travelled much of this province, as has the Leader of the Official Opposition, and talked to Nova Scotians about energy and environmental issues. There is a desire by most Nova Scotians to move toward renewable energy, energy that will ultimately provide stable prices over the long term and reduce our carbon footprint, but time after time renewable energy suppliers tell us and tell this government that they need a strengthened electrical network to support renewable energy. As Minas Pulp and Power testified before the Resources Committee recently, and as other suppliers and financers have stated over and over again, there is a requirement for both the opening of renewable-to-retail and a feed-in tariff at the same time - not one or the other.

The necessity to significantly strengthen Nova Scotia's transmission system and renewable energy environment is immediate and is a major barrier to a prosperous renewable energy industry in this province. Unfortunately, many initiatives which could be moving forward in this province and making Nova Scotia a world leader in renewable energy, conservation, and green jobs are stalled in a maze of further study. This must stop. People are looking for action from their government - not endless study.

Mr. Speaker, today is Earth Day, but today should not be the only day that we think about the environment and our role in protecting it. Let's hope that by the next Earth Day this government will have worked with the Opposition Parties and the residents of Nova Scotia to significantly move environmental and energy policy forward by bigger steps than we have seen thus far.

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

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak in response to this morning's ministerial statement on Earth Day 2010. As most realize, today is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, having first started in the United States as an idea by a Wisconsin

[Page 1174]

senator to raise environmental issues. Today more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities in 170 countries worldwide.

Nova Scotia is without a doubt making tremendous strides in numerous ways toward protecting our precious environment, thanks to the legislation brought forward by the previous Progressive Conservative Government in March 2007 when we introduced the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act to make Nova Scotia internationally recognized by 2020.

In late August of last year the NDP Government took another step, announcing a grant of $1.4 million from the ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change toward the construction of NSCC's Centre for the Built Environment. The centre was first announced by the Progressive Conservative Government, and a groundbreaking was held for the centre in February 2008. The facility is still in the construction phase and the provincial government is contributing almost $28 million to the project's $31 million cost. I do want to commend the government that if they can do it, they are telling me and all Nova Scotians that by the end of this year Nova Scotia will be generating enough wind power to power the equivalent of 80,000 homes. I will be carefully watching this target to see when it is actually complete.

It is remarkable when you take a look at Earth Day's special events happening around the province today - everything from the Little Red Riding Hood event sponsored by the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library in Pictou, beginning yesterday and concluding today; it would see the Atlantic Gardens Plant A Tree program in Middle Sackville; in Stellarton at the Public Library you have the Dr. Seuss to the Rescue? event for Earth Day 2010; and in New Minas, the Annapolis Valley Business Environmental Committee is hosting a Litter Clean up along Commercial Street, which includes a mobile paper-shredding company.

[11:30 a.m.]

We all have read and heard other people say about the great things we can do to reduce our impact on the environment and they are simple - things such as vacation travel and working close to home; shorter showers; choosing natural non-toxic cleaning products; donating reusable and recyclable items before throwing them in the trash; choosing local organic foods that are in season, while supporting local food producers; washing full loads of clothes in cold water and hanging them out to dry; using incandescent light bulbs; walk, cycle, car pool or use public transportation; and smart shopping - buy what you need, not what you want.

Forty years of celebrating Earth Day. It will be intriguing to know what the earth will look like 40 years from today - look how far we've come since 1970. Thank you.

[Page 1175]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island on an introduction.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the west gallery today is Mark Butler who is policy director of the Ecology Action Centre. Mark has provided wonderful leadership to the Ecology Action Centre over a number of years and, as you know, the Ecology Action Centre for almost 40 years has been at the forefront - long before activism became popular on the environmental front. It seems appropriate on Earth Day that we recognize the Ecology Action Centre and Mark for the work they have done.

If I can speak for my constituency, Mark has been particularly active and I want to thank him for the work that he has done in protecting Sable Island and the work he has done promoting the work of the researchers at the Sable Island station, along with Zoe Lucas and David Richardson. Mark, thank you for the work on Sable and thank you for your work with the Ecology Action Centre. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 575

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (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 22nd, is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, a day in which Nova Scotians join more than a billion people across the world in activities that address local environmental issues; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has committed to become a sustainable province through such groundbreaking efforts as the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act; and

Whereas our children's and grandchildren's futures hinge on the efforts that we, as citizens of this great province, make each day toward environmental sustainability;

Therefore be it resolved that members recognize the importance of marking Earth Day as a celebration of environmental hope, and challenge ourselves to make each day a cleaner and greener day.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 1176]

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. 38 - Entitled an Act to Establish the Nova Scotia Voluntary Carbon Emissions Offset Fund. (Hon. Sterling Belliveau)

Bill No. 39 - Entitled an Act to Establish a Program for the Control of Coyotes in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Alfie MacLeod.)

Bill No. 40 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 94 of the Acts of 1972. An Act to Exempt Tidal View Manor in the Town of Yarmouth from Taxation. (Hon. Christopher d'Entremont)

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be read a second time on a future day.

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 576

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

Whereas Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd each year and is the largest, most successful environmental event worldwide; and

Whereas today marks the 40th year of Earth Day; and

Whereas more than six million Canadians are expected to attend Earth Day events and activities to raise awareness about environmental issues and to honour the commencement of the environmental movement;

[Page 1177]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize Earth Day and the importance of exercising an environmental conscience so we may pass on to future generations a planet worth leaving behind.

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. 577

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

Whereas Dr. Zoltan P. Dienes of Wolfville is a celebrated academic in the field of mathematics education, noted around the world for his lifelong body of work; and

Whereas the theories presented by Dr. Dienes have significantly impacted the way in which mathematics is taught to children in Nova Scotia and around the world; and

Whereas on April 24th, at Acadia University, Dr. Dienes will be presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of Pécs, Hungary, in acknowledgment of a lifetime of achievement;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the passion and dedication of this remarkable Nova Scotian, congratulate him for receiving this significant honour and celebrate his remarkable contributions to the field of education.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1178]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 578

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

Whereas the residents of Dartmouth have patiently waited for many years for a new and expanded Woodlawn library to meet the needs of a growing community; and

Whereas the new, 17,000-square-foot Woodlawn Library will provide seven-days-a- week service and has public access to study rooms, child-friendly spaces, interactive media and a 100-seat auditorium; and

Whereas the new Woodlawn Library will open its doors to the public on Saturday, April 24, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Woodlawn Library family on this occasion and recognize its staff, volunteers, and the community for their commitment and passion to make this finally happen.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 579

[Page 1179]

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

Whereas citizens are upset at the actions of a very few number of youth who are out of control in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the former Progressive Conservative Government supported measures that are being taken with the federal Conservative Government to strengthen the youth criminal justice system; and

Whereas on March 16th the federal government introduced new amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, known as Sébastien's Law, in memory of Sébastien Lacasse from Quebec who was a victim of violent youth crime;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly support the federal Conservative Government and Justice Minister Nicholson in their measures that will give Canadians greater confidence that violent and repeat young offenders will be held accountable.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 580

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

Whereas Riley Otto is an 18-year-old wrestler from Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championship took place in Singapore from January 7-8, 2010; and

Whereas the then 17-year-old took gold in his weight category - 85 kilograms;

[Page 1180]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Riley and wish him continued success both on the mat and 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.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 581

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

Whereas the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide, Earth Day, is celebrated every year on April 22nd; and

Whereas awareness of environmental and climatic issues has constantly increased since the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970; and

Whereas school children in Canada take part in Earth Day activities and since the best way to bring about change is to educate the children, the goal of Earth Day to teach people about environmental issues is a success;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly celebrate this 40th Anniversary of Earth Day by recommitting themselves to working to ensure that a cleaner environment is left for future generations.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1181]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 582

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

Whereas lobsters are helping to increase container traffic in the Port of Halifax in a groundbreaking move by Maersk Line and Aqualife North America of Halifax; and

Whereas live lobsters will begin being shipped next month in specially designed containers for the European market between Halifax and Rotterdam in the Netherlands; and

Whereas this new technology developed by Aqualife is being used to keep the lobsters healthy during their voyage and will lessen the cost and the carbon footprint of shipping shellfish by air;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Maersk Line and Aqualife North America for developing and using this new technology while improving the economic climate of the Nova Scotia fishery.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 583

[Page 1182]

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

Whereas a warm, safe place to find shelter, when all other avenues are closed to you, is a reasonable request certainly on a cold winter's night; and

Whereas once again this year the Out of the Cold emergency shelter opened in St. Matthew's United Church on November 22, 2009, and will stay open until April 30, 2010; and

Whereas the shelter is staffed by dedicated volunteers and is open to guests seven nights a week from 9:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. with 15 beds, the shelter has been operating near capacity every night, serving over 59 individuals, 29 of whom were youth, in the month of December alone;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly applaud the efforts of the many volunteers who provide a much-needed service for many of Halifax's homeless, at-risk and street-involved individuals.

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 Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 584

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

Whereas the Hector Heritage Quay is an important tourist destination in our province that is slated to close this year; and

Whereas more than 800 people have signed up to the Facebook page "Save the Hector Heritage Quay"; and

[Page 1183]

Whereas a petition being circulated by the Ship Hector Foundation has about 1,000 signatures of people who want to save this award winning attraction and the 17 jobs that go with it;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend the people working to save the Hector Heritage Quay and pledge to sign the petition to save it from closing.

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.

[11:45 a.m.]

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 585

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

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of every community in Nova Scotia, and the people of Clare are proud of the many dedicated individuals who give of themselves each day to make our municipality a better place to live; and

Whereas Henry Hicks of Lower Saulnierville has dedicated many hours helping the Knights of Columbus, the Lions Club, as well as other organizations, working to improve the lives of families and helping the elderly in numerous ways; and

Whereas the community of Clare has selected Henry Hicks as the 2010 Volunteer of the Year in recognition of his many deeds of kindness, and his genuine warmth and compassion for others;

[Page 1184]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Henry Hicks of Lower Saulnierville for being named Clare's Volunteer of the Year, and wish him continued success and good fortune.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 586

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has the second highest debt-to-GDP ratio per capita and one of the highest tax burdens in the country; and

Whereas a further increase in debt and taxes makes Nova Scotia uncompetitive and adds a burden on future generations; and

Whereas this government has shown little fiscal restraint;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to look inward and spend our hard-earned tax dollars more wisely before burdening the people of Nova Scotia further and hurting our provincial economy.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 587

[Page 1185]

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

Whereas the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) held their annual conference and general meeting in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, in September 2009; and

Whereas at this event the Annapolis County Home Support Team received the Team of Excellence Gold Award; and

Whereas this award recognizes VON teams that demonstrate the true meaning of the word "team" by promoting excellence in the professional collaboration with the VON in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Annapolis County Home Support Team on receiving this prestigious award, and recognize their dedication and commitment to their profession.

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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 588

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Knights of Columbus was officially chartered in Connecticut on March 29, 1882 as a fraternal benefit society with founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity; and

Whereas the Knights of Columbus Council 8988 - Bishop Albert Lemenager of Amirault's Hill was founded on April 25, 1985; and

[Page 1186]

Whereas the Knights of Columbus Council 8988 has more than 140 members and will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary on April 25, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Knights of Columbus Council 8988 - Bishop Albert Lemenager on this special anniversary, and thank them for the many years of service rendered to the communities that surround them and their commitment to the founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 589

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

Whereas on February 5, 2010, a fundraising hockey game organized by Hughie Batherson, vice-dean of Université Ste. Anne, and Francis Robichaud, president of the Clare Lions Junior C hockey organization, was held by the community for Haitian relief; and

Whereas the Clare Lions Junior C hockey team took on a team of former professional and university players, with the true winner being charity; and

Whereas $1,500 was raised to help the people of Haiti;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly acknowledge Hughie Batherson and Francis Robichaud for their hard work in organizing the event and reaching out to such a worthy cause.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 1187]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 590

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

Whereas former Cape Breton North MLA, the Honourable Dr. Ron Stewart, is now the first president of the National Association of EMS Physicians; and

Whereas Dr. Stewart is also the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia and was recently named an honorary member of the Executive Council of the Government of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Dr. Stewart was recently awarded with the Paul E. Pepe Excellence in Emergency Medical Services Award by the American Secretary of Homeland Security for his contributions to emergency medical services in the United States and around the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Dr. Ron Stewart on his most recent honour, the Paul E. Pepe Excellence in Emergency Medical Services Award.

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 1188]

The motion is carried. (Applause)

The honourable member for Antigonish on an introduction.

MR. MAURICE SMITH: Mr. Speaker, today in the east gallery we have some guests from Antigonish. We have Roselle and Roy Lawlor, two very fine residents of our community. I want to particularly point out that Mr. Lawlor is noted for his curling prowess; he was the mate on the team that I was involved in this winter at the fine curling rink at St. Andrews. I would ask the House to give these guests the usual acknowledgement and enjoy their stay with us today. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all our guests here this afternoon and hope they enjoy the proceedings of the House.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 591

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

Whereas Robin Sharma is a Nova Scotia-born author, lawyer, motivational speaker, and leadership guru; and

Whereas Robin is president and CEO of Sharma Leadership International, a global training firm that includes among its clients Microsoft, NASA, Nike, IBM, and General Electric; and

Whereas his bestsellers like Megaliving and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari have now been joined by another book, The Leader Who Had No Title, in helping people to reach their full potential;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Robin Sharma on the publication of his latest book and wish him well motivating us to new heights.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1189]

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. 592

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

Whereas the unique musical talent of Matt Brouwer of Brookside, Colchester County, has taken him all over Canada and the United States, entertaining delighted crowds at every stop; and

Whereas of Matt's three albums produced to date, his most recent album entitled Where's Our Revolution and nominated for an East Coast Music Award, was the winner of a Juno Award for Gospel Album of the Year; and

Whereas with this award, Matt is receiving well-deserved praise and recognition for his hard work and musical abilities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Matt Brouwer on his Juno Award for Gospel Album of the Year and wish him continued success in his musical career.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 593

[Page 1190]

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

Whereas Georges Bank is one the greatest national fish-producing areas in all of North America and is showing a great regrowth of groundfish, scallops, and lobster, valued today at $1 billion per year and growing; and

Whereas this bank also has the potential for producing oil and this Government of Nova Scotia is looking for money to bring this province out of debt through royalties from this oil; and

Whereas when you are money-hungry you may make decisions that are very dangerous, much like playing poker, and end up losing much more than you would gain when all is said and done;

Therefore be it resolved that if this government wants more revenue, then start growing fish around its 7,579 kilometres of coastline and harness the Bay of Fundy so we can provide two of the greatest things in demand on this Earth - fish and green energy. I guarantee this government's hunger for money will be fulfilled.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-the Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 594

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

Whereas JCI Cape Breton, a local chapter of Junior Chamber International, is celebrating its 10th year of service to the Cape Breton community; and

Whereas this organization of young leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs has been the leading voice for Cape Breton youth since their inception, implementing several youth attraction and retention strategies for Cape Breton; and

[Page 1191]

Whereas current chapter president Mark Sparrow plans to see continued growth and success for the organization;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the executive and membership of JCI Cape Breton on 10 years of service to our community and wish them the best of luck in all future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 595

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Tusket Sales and Service Limited president Hubert Pothier began in business by opening a small body shop in Belleville about 49 years ago; and

Whereas the company grew in leaps and bounds to where it is today a full-service automotive centre that employs nearly 70 people, some of whom have been with the company for over 25 years, and Ford of Canada recently named them Top Sales Leader in Yarmouth and Shelburne area; and

Whereas nearly 35 years ago, on November 12th, 1975, Tusket Sales and Service Limited opened for business at its present location and chose the week of April 19th - 24th, 2010, to mark their 35th Anniversary celebration;

[Page 1192]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Tusket Sales and Service Limited on reaching this milestone and thanking President Hubert Pothier, General Manager Marcel Pothier, and all its management and staff for the years of commitment to excellence and friendly and reliable service that their customers have come to expect and count on for 35 years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 596

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Highlands Academy is home to nearly 400 students from Primary to Grade 12; and

Whereas this is the third year in a row that the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies has named Cape Breton Highlands Academy the top school in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Cape Breton Highlands Academy is one of only two schools to receive an A rating in this report card for all of the high schools in Atlantic Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the students, staff, teachers, and administrators of the Cape Breton Highlands Academy for their dedication that keeps their school on top in the province year after year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1193]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 597

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I

shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Northside Community Pool is now refurbished and reopened; and

Whereas the pool had been closed since August 5th, 2005, and with major renovations and upgrades the community has a renewed building to serve citizens young and old alike; and

Whereas society chairman Charlie MacLean and his team have a full complement of programs for their patrons and the community is thrilled to have to have the pool functioning again;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Northside Community Pool Society on its reopening and wish them swimming success for many years to come.

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.

[12:00 noon]

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

[Page 1194]

RESOLUTION NO. 598

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

Whereas Alicia Payne, an Oxford, Cumberland County native, continues to make sure her brother's memory lives on by once again participating in the Bluenose Marathon for the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Alicia's brother Jesse was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 16 and died suddenly in 2008; and

Whereas Alicia started the Jesse Payne team for the walkathon that raised several thousand dollars for the fight against epilepsy and is hoping for $6,000 this year for research and awareness of this disease that approximately 10,000 Nova Scotians are living with;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alicia Payne and the Jesse Payne team on raising awareness and funding to help fight this serious disorder and wish them continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We are soon going into the order of business, Oral Questions Put by Members and just a friendly reminder, I guess, no electronic equipment on during the time of Question Period and secondly, that all questions and answers are to be directed here, through the Chair.

We'll take a short recess and we'll resume momentarily.

[12:02 p.m. The House recessed.]

[12:03 p.m. The House reconvened.]

[Page 1195]

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable members, we'll start again and the time now is 12:03 p.m. Question Period will go until 1:03 p.m.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

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

PREM. JESSOME BOYCOTT - STANCE

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The attack on small business continues by this NDP Government and their friends. Last week the Finance Minister called the research and opinion of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses unconstructive and said he would not speak with them anymore. Yesterday NSGEU President Joan Jessome went further - she called for a boycott on businesses and organizations which call for a reduction in government spending and a decrease in the Public Service.

My question for the Premier is, do you support the boycott called for by the 13th member of Cabinet, Joan Jessome? (Laughter)

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I have to say I know that the Leader of the Official Opposition is not being serious about this. Of course we don't support a boycott, of course we work very hard with members of the small business community. We appreciate their input. They were, in fact, an essential part of the work that the Minister of Finance did on all of the Back to Balance sessions. We have, in fact, very good relationships with small businesses from one end of the province to the other and we intend to continue that.

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that is in the budget, as you would know, is, in fact, a reduction in the small business tax rate.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, small business accounts for half of the jobs in our province. They are the heart and the backbone of our economy. These are Nova Scotians who have invested in this province with their money and their sweat equity but Heaven forbid they express their opinion and criticize this government or ask for a smaller government. My question to the Premier is, do you support the bullying tactics of your Minister of Finance and your friend, the president of the NSGEU?

THE PREMIER: I hope he's not insinuating that the Minister of Finance is not my friend as well. I don't think that's his intention. The reality is I think the Minister of Finance has made it crystal clear, at least in all the statements that I have heard from him that he very much appreciates the work, the input. In fact, the public policy discussion that comes forward

[Page 1196]

from members of the small business community, as I said, it was essential to much of the work that he did in his Back to Balance sessions.

I've heard him speak on many occasions about the difficulties that small businesses have in the province and looking for ways to be able to help deal with that. It was, of course, the budget that he introduced that reduced the small business tax rate. Governments in the past had the opportunity to do that, they didn't, and as far as the president of the NSGEU goes, she will speak for herself, I don't speak on her behalf.

MR. MCNEIL: It's interesting to hear the Premier talk about the Minister of Finance's Back to Balance. I had the opportunity to attend one and other members of our caucus have attended other ones. Quite interesting, the voice of small businesses was absent and when the Minister of Finance held one for small business, he didn't show up - really was interested to hear what small business had to say.

Small business is not alone in criticizing this government's increase in the HST, nor is small business alone in believing this government should stimulate the economy and trim expenses of government before raising taxes, but they stand alone in being attacked by your Minister of Finance and the president of the NSGEU.

The Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce put it best, "While we were trying to raise the level of debate, Joan Jessome talked about a 19th century tactic of boycotting businesses."

My question to the Premier is, will you outline for the House what steps you have taken to inform your Minister of Finance and your friend, the president of the NSGEU, that you will not tolerate their tax on small business in this province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance, contrary to what the Leader of the Opposition has said, met with small business people in the Back to Balance sessions, met with them specifically, met with other business organizations. Their input was valued in the process, it's one of the reasons why we wanted to recognize the small business sector by reducing the small business tax rate. We continue to make crystal clear to them that our door is open to them to meet with them, to talk about the issues that are important to the small business sector and we don't close the door on anyone, groups or otherwise.

As I said, as far as the president of the NSGEU goes, she represents her membership. I have nothing to do with what she says or does. I'll leave her business to her and I try to take care of our business.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

ERD - TEAM WEST: TEAM SOUTHWEST -

[Page 1197]

SUPPORT CONFIRM

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development. Yesterday the member for Clare asked a very direct question and did not receive an answer. Many people and small business owners in southwest Nova Scotia are very worried and deeply concerned about this season's tourism season because of the NDP cut and subsequent removal of The Cat ferry.

My question to the minister is, does Team West, the provincial body, support the efforts of Team Southwest, a federal, municipal and small business group? If so, what ways has it worked to enhance the region's tourism concerns?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member opposite through you, there are a lot of overlapping individuals and certainly organizations that are involved with both organizations. Team West, there was a meeting last week with Team West, there was also a meeting with Team Southwest the very next day, and many of the same players were at the same meeting.

So with respect to Team West, I think it's probably fair to say that this is a work in progress. I think that people will go in and out of those committees as they see fit and I'm sure that one will support the other. I think the biggest distinction between the two is that one is regional while the other is more centrally focused for Yarmouth.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the minister seems unable to understand the economic turmoil that he and his NDP Government have created in southwest Nova Scotia. The PC caucus knows there's a strong willingness from the federal government to assist Yarmouth. MP Greg Kerr was working with the local municipal government, small business and ACOA. He was dissatisfied with the level of interest, ideas and lack of co-operation coming from the province. In light of this, ACOA Minister Ashfield, at the urging of MP Kerr, created Team Southwest to assist businesses to survive and thrive within the new economic realities in Yarmouth.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is direct, and I hope will get a direct answer, who are the members of Team West and what is its mandate?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you to the whole House, I was asked that question yesterday and my response was that I would table some names today. What I do have today and I'm certainly willing to table now - I was going to wait until after Question Period, but what I have is I have the names of the organizations that are involved with Team West. I think it is appropriate for me to table those.

One of the things that I haven't done and I certainly will not table today - when it comes to individual names on that committee, there's one thing that I don't have, I don't

[Page 1198]

have their permission. (Interruptions) Now some people may obviously have a problem with that but Team West, I think it's probably fair to say that this is a work in progress. People will come and people will go and I think it is only appropriate that if I'm going to table individual names of people, I think I should have their permission first. Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I will table this. (Applause)

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that the 2010 tourist season is upon us. As a matter of fact, my parents just came across on the Digby boat and there were people from B.C. on their way into Nova Scotia to see Nova Scotia. Team West has offered no solution to Yarmouth tourism operators. By now the minister should know who are the members of Team West, what they can do to work with Team Southwest for the betterment of small business in Yarmouth.

Minister Ashfield was in Yarmouth, unlike our Minister of Economic and Rural Development, to ensure steps are being taken to support tourism operators and small businesses in Yarmouth. Given the peanuts the NDP are throwing at Yarmouth at this time, does the minister expect Team West to actually help tourism operators and associated small businesses for the soon-to-start 2010 season?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, again Team West and Team Southwest in many cases are the same people. They overlap. They meet together, the issues are similar and again, the differences, one is more centrally focused on Yarmouth, one is more regionally based. Team West involves all of the counties, from Queens all the way to Annapolis and those in between. It has a regional approach. They are meeting with Team Southwest, a lot of the same players are involved with both.

[12:15 p.m.]

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

PREM: GEORGES BANK - MORATORIUM

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Since the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has forgotten what he said in the past, I guess I'll have to go directly to the Premier on the issue of continuing a moratorium on Georges Bank past 2012. So my question to the Premier is, why have you silenced your Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture from speaking about what he truly believes about Georges Bank?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I've done no such thing. In fact, I'm well aware of the dedication of the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture to the fishery in southwest Nova

[Page 1199]

Scotia, and particularly the lobster fishery which he is very knowledgeable of. In fact, what he says - and what I think is the appropriate response - is that there is a process underway. In Question Period the other day, the Third Party asked questions about the expiration of the moratorium and about the empaneling of a further consultation model on it.

There's a process that's underway leading up to that and there are decisions that have to be made by the government in relation to this. There are studies that are out there currently being done. We want that information to come back to be able to make an informed decision and, you know, fundamental to any process is actually respecting the integrity of that process, and that's what we're going to do.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, studies have been done for the past 20 years on Georges Bank by both Canada and the United States. The policy on Georges Bank between Canada and the United States has always been a great partnership. Governments and organizations have worked hard to create an effective management organization for Georges Bank. So my question to the Premier is, why is your government going to risk destroying an agreement by drilling on Georges Bank?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we have said no such thing and, in fact, in the U.S. there is a process underway, there are actually hearings being held into what they refer to as the offshore continental shelf. They are considering the approach that they are going to take and they have now, at least initially, identified zones where they are going to allow drilling on the offshore. (Interruption) Well, they haven't dealt specifically with anything north of the line that they drew and I can't remember specifically where that is, but they haven't dealt with the rest of that yet.

In fact, if the member opposite is interested, the hearings on the offshore continental shelf that are being held in the U.S., you can actually watch them on-line and it is a great way to inform yourself, as I do, about how that debate is unfolding and the potential effect that that could have on Canada.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, the NDP continues to say that they will make a decision by June 1, 2010. Last week the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture said that this particular government does the right thing. But they don't have to wait until June 1st to do the right thing. The right thing would be for this Premier to tell us right now that the moratorium on Georges Bank will continue past 2012. So my question is, will you commit today to continue a moratorium on drilling on Georges Bank past 2012 - yes or no?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I know that the members opposite have a fondness for yes or no answers to complex questions. The reality is, as I've indicated already, there is a process underway, one that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is very much engaged in, one that involves the accumulation and examination of technical data, of scientific data.

[Page 1200]

So, of course, we want to respect that appropriately, respect that process, and I'm sure that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture will live up to the commitment that he has made.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

PREM.: TEAM WEST/TEAM SOUTHWEST -

MEMBERSHIP/MANDATE

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. For quite some time now we have been asking the Minister of Economic and Rural Development to clarify what exactly is going on with Team West and Team Southwest. The minister's repeated attempts to talk his way out of this mess has only served to confuse matters even further. Enough is enough - someone over there has to answer to the people of southwestern Nova Scotia. At some point, someone over there is going to have to stand up and have the courage to admit that they were wrong to cut the international ferry service out of Yarmouth.

My question to the Premier is, will the Premier explain clearly who is on Team West and what they're supposed to be doing, and who is on Team Southwest, and again, what their mandate is?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have to say with all honesty that I think the only people who seem to be confused about this are the people sitting across the aisle. Everyone else seems to understand that the mandate of these organizations is to encourage regional economic development. Team West is just that, it's a regional organization that's set up to strengthen the western part of the province, southwestern Nova Scotia - which the minister has just tabled an entire list of the organizations - which met and had their initial meeting on April 16th down in Yarmouth. I was there just shortly before that. I don't know why the member is confused about this, everyone else seems to understand it clearly.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, this is a question of integrity. The NDP was wrong to cut the essential service without a plan, but instead of standing up and admitting their mistake, they're cowering behind this idea of a damage control team, but they can't even get that right. What we have are two damage control teams with a similar focus, they both have a similar goal, they both are working in the same area and they even have overlap.

The fact remains, these are two very different teams - they have different leaders, different meetings and different budgets. My question to the Premier is, what is the budget for Team West and for Team Southwest and will the Premier provide these budget items or documents for these teams to the House today?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, well, the member knows that these are organizations that are put together to come up with proposals for economic development, either in the region, in the western part of the province or in southwestern Nova Scotia. When they come

[Page 1201]

up with a strategy for that, then they will be funded by the appropriate level of government and by the appropriate department of the province. That is the purpose of having a strategic planning group in the first place and I realize that's very difficult for him to understand.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, this is pure political optics and nothing more. What this could have been was a combined effort on all levels of government to clean up the mess made by this NDP Government. What we have instead is two different teams. While one meets in Cornwallis and the other one meets in Yarmouth, they are two different teams with the same goal, but they don't speak to each other because the NDP want to look like the savior of southwestern Nova Scotia.

My final question to the Premier is, why are there two teams?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there are two teams because they deal with different regions. It is true that there is some overlap between them because one is essentially a subset of the other. But he's right about this, he's right about the fact that there is a mess in southwestern Nova Scotia, and we understand that, and we know where the root of that belongs. It belongs squarely with the organization set up by the former government that wasted money in southwest Nova Scotia, that didn't serve the economic development (Interruptions)

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

THE PREMIER: . . . that didn't serve the economic development goals of southwest Nova Scotia, and we are going to clean it up and we are going to strengthen that region.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Victoria-the Lakes.

TCH - YARMOUTH TOURISM OPERATOR: CONTACT - CONFIRM

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. The funny thing is, when the NDP were in Opposition they seemed to care about the people in Yarmouth and the tourist industry there. Let me quote from a heartbreaking news release that I will table, that was issued by the MLA for Halifax Atlantic on April 30, 2008. "One Yarmouth operator told Raymond recently that she had to tear down rooms because she could no longer afford to have them sitting vacant. This operator also said she didn't hate her family enough to leave the business to them when she retires."

Mr. Speaker, to the minister, now that the Yarmouth Cat has been shut down by your NDP Government, has anyone from your government been in touch with this tourism operator to see how many more rooms she had to tear down, or find out if she's even in business anymore?

[Page 1202]

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, my response to the question is, I personally haven't met with this particular operator, but I know for a fact that the Premier has.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, just to be certain, if the member opposite wants to send me the information about the operator, I believe that I've already met with her. I'm happy to share with him the information that she gave to me and, certainly, the results of the conversation that I had with her. But just to make sure it's the same operator, I'm happy to respond to that.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, through you again to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. This news release that I have tabled is so compelling I must quote from it again: "I met with operators in the area and they paint an alarming picture. Many operators are getting down to 30 per cent occupancy in the peak season. It's no longer a break even situation." My question to the minister is, has the minister seen any research to determine what the occupancy rate may be this summer, now that the Yarmouth Cat has been shut down?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, we based a decision with respect to the ferry on current figures. We analyzed this, we looked at all sorts of statistics which were current. It was a tough decision, and we think we made the right decision.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, it would be appreciated if the minister would table that information. Again, through you to the minister, the MLA for Halifax Atlantic asked the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage of the day when he would sit down with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal of the day and work out a plan to ". . . give Yarmouth tourism operators a fighting chance."

My question to the minister is, has the MLA for Halifax Atlantic, who obviously cares deeply about the people from Yarmouth, been to see you demanding the plan to help the tourism operators who have been so devastated by the loss of The Cat ferry?

[12:30 p.m.]

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you I will say that this government, and especially this Cabinet, meets on an ongoing basis with respect to all Nova Scotians. Do we have priorities? Our priority is Nova Scotia in general. We emphasize those areas that need assistance. We will continue to meet and to work in the best interests of all Nova Scotians. That's my answer.

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

LWD: CO-OP UNIV. EDUC. - TRAINING/RETAINING

[Page 1203]

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. Would the minister agree that co-operative university education can be an asset to training and retaining students in this province?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I certainly would agree. We're very proud of the post-secondary co-operative program and the number of students who take part in it.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, Kirsten Somers and Scott Daniels, who are co-op coordinators at Mount Saint Vincent University, would agree with you.

Mr. Speaker, co-op university students in this province pay student fees, pay tuition for their co-op credits while they're on work terms. Sometimes they have to move for their work terms, forcing them to maintain two residences. But, unlike students in other provinces, they're not allow to receive up-front student loans for these co-op courses during their work terms. These courses are required for them to receive their co-op degree.

My question is now to the Minister of Education. Why are New Brunswick co-op students eligible for up-front student loans on their work terms, but Nova Scotia students are not?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is correct. Currently the policy provides for student assistance to students who have unpaid work placements, but I'm pleased to say we are currently studying the issue; in fact there's a committee meeting tomorrow with this on the agenda, and we certainly see it as a high priority to look at the exceptional needs of students who are in paid work placements who may need additional assistance. So it's an issue that's currently under advisement and I'll be pleased to report back to the House as soon as a decision is made.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, while I have the minister's ear, I might put in a pitch for co-op university education, just to make sure that tomorrow when the group meets they do make the right decision. Co-op experience is invaluable, but currently by the way things are set up it is penalizing students who take co-op; it's discouraging them from taking co-op. I benefited from a co-op university program and I want all students to have the same opportunity, so, Madam Minister, I'm asking you to report back to this House and to let us know how this meeting goes tomorrow.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I'd be pleased to report back on the outcome of those decisions. We certainly value the co-operative program at the post-secondary level; in fact, it's a growing program at the secondary level as well. It certainly provides valuable work experience and skills and attitudes and it's a great preparation for people entering the workforce. Thank you for the question.

[Page 1204]

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

PREM. : VOLUNTARY CARBON EMISSIONS OFFSET FUND BILL

- DETAILS

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. On December 8th of last year the Premier, in an interview with CTV's Steve Murphy, indicated that a time would come to "put a cost on carbon". The announcement today was to create a voluntary carbon offset fund - an Act to Establish the Nova Scotia Voluntary Carbon Emissions Offset Fund, is what I'm referring to. My question to the Premier is, when will voluntary become mandatory?

MR. SPEAKER: I do caution the member that it is a bill before the House, but I will allow the Premier to answer it.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, that's a very interesting question coming from the member, given the question that came from the member for Inverness just a short time ago. The purpose of that bill, of course, is to set up a clearing house so that those who want to offset their carbon footprint are able to do so, and have an approved list of projects that that money will go to - that is the purpose of doing that.

I'm not sure that we would want to see that made mandatory; we think at this point we're recognizing the efforts that people are making. There is, of course, going to be further work done on renewables and on renewable energy and that, Mr. Speaker, will become, I think, increasingly more obvious after tomorrow.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are overtaxed, businesses are struggling, and a competitive disadvantage is growing because of the policies implemented by this government. This is the government that always responds when they are asked, "we do our homework first." Information from a province living with a carbon tax is available and it is not favourable; in fact, if they were doing their homework I would ask the question, what information did you review and how did it affect the decision to introduce the tax?

THE PREMIER: Perhaps the member can be more clear. I'm not sure what tax she is referring to. There's no carbon tax that I know of.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, people questioned this government's vision when it kidnapped The Cat, when it stole the correction facility and when it hiked the HST. The Environment Minister said today that he enjoys the word "voluntary" and that people and companies are keen to be a part of the solution.

My question to the Premier is, has he or anyone in his Cabinet reviewed information such as that available on CTV.ca, which says, and I quote from this article and I will table

[Page 1205]

it, "Truckers in British Columbia are blowing their air horns in opposition to the province's carbon tax, saying it will cut into their profits and therefore cost consumers more." And from the B.C. Trucking Association president, "Our concern is that the carbon tax is going to take $500 million out of our industry in the next five years." Mr. Speaker, was that reviewed by the Premier?

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the member is referring to because there is no carbon tax in this province; in fact, the people on this side of the House are responsible for removing the HST from home electricity, which was the removal of a carbon tax.

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

HPP - MACDONALD CORP./REYNOLDS TOBACCO:

PAYMENT - RECEIPT CONFIRM

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. Last week the federal, provincial and territorial governments entered into legal agreements with JTI-Macdonald Corporation and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, relating to contraband tobacco in the early 1990s. While some provinces received individual payments, as well as a percentage payout, Nova Scotia has received its settlement in the form of a percentage payout only.

In the case of Nova Scotia, a total of $12.4 million was awarded and it was to be paid out immediately. My question to the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection is, can she confirm, Mr. Speaker, whether the Minister of Finance has advised her of receipt of that payment?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member, we do not yet know whether or not that money has come into the revenue of the province, but we certainly are looking forward to it arriving.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, this is money being received from the province as a result of contraband tobacco - this makes it a health issue as much as a finance issue. I would like to table for the minister an article as it relates to increased tobacco taxes, where the former NDP Health Critic, who is now the Premier, stated - and I won't quote him - but it states that if there's an increase in taxes, the money should go to smoking cessation programs and not be treated as a windfall for the province. So, just by way of background, I'm going to table that.

My question to the minister is, given that the province is going to receive $12.4 million, will the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection please confirm whether this

[Page 1206]

money will be used for smoking cessation programs or whether her government will consider it a windfall?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased that in Opposition this Party encouraged the government of the day to join in the legal action that has now resulted in some payment back to the province for the illegal tobacco contraband and the damage that that did, not only to our economy in terms of revenue, but certainly to the health of people who were smoking at the time.

Mr. Speaker, I think we have to be careful in terms of how we invest one-time-only money back into the coffers of the province and that we not use it for ongoing operating programs that then will have to be sustained because we will have to go out and find new revenue streams for that.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that money invested in smoking cessation programs has had a tremendous impact on our province and that we have actually had a decrease in the number of Nova Scotians smoking and it has had results. Therefore, I would like to see that we expand our social marketing program and that district health authorities have enough money in the smoking cessation program that they don't run out of funds halfway through the year, which is happening now.

The Centre for Disease Control recommends that a province our size should be spending about $4.7 million a year on a tobacco control strategy and that is $2.3 million more than we're spending today. So my question to the minister is, given that Nova Scotia is going to receive $12.4 million, will the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection make a strong case to the Minister of Finance for an additional $2.3 million from this tobacco settlement so that we can have an appropriately funded tobacco control strategy?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of finalizing a new tobacco control strategy and certainly as we go forward in terms of implementing that strategy, any additional costs will be considered through our ongoing budget process.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

COM. SERV.: EASTER SEALS - WHEELCHAIR PROVISION

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. The provincial government now gives $800,000 to Easter Seals to administer our provincial wheelchair program. So my first question to the minister is, can the minister inform the House how many wheelchairs were provided to Nova Scotians in 2009-10 under this program and how many people are still on a waiting list?

[Page 1207]

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, what I can say about the Easter Seals program is that it is a very good program that we support wholeheartedly, it has helped many, many Nova Scotians. I don't have the actual figures, honourable member, but I certainly can get those and table those in the near future for you.

MR. GAUDET: I want to thank the minister for committing to provide us with that information. Mr. Speaker. Wheelchairs can cost around $12,000 and probably even more. Individuals also face high costs to make their homes accessible. Many of these individuals are on a fixed income, and despite the high cost associated with being a wheelchair user, it is very hard to qualify for help. Many of these individuals contribute highly to our society, our parents, siblings and extended family members. Adults needing a wheelchair who have a family income of over $28,000 do not receive any government assistance. So my question to the minister is, if she knows, how many individuals were denied help because their income was too high?

[12:45 p.m.]

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Once again, I don't have the exact figures. It's a difficult figure to obtain, but I can get that information for the honourable member. I think what's very important to know is that this government has been very committed to all levels of individuals in the province, those with disabilities, and that's why we brought in the Poverty Reduction Credit, which will affect at least 15,000 people on disability.

With respect to Easter Seals, I have met with them on several occasions and we have been working very diligently with them to expand their wheelchair program for Nova Scotians. So it is a great concern to myself and to this government, but any of those exact figures, I certainly have no problem at all to get those for you, honourable member.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the minister's commitment to provide the House with that information. The Nova Scotia League of Equal Opportunities has been advocating for universal access to wheelchairs. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and British Columbia all have fully-funded programs. So my final question to the minister is, will government commit to working toward providing universal access to wheelchairs in our province, and if so, when?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, one of our commitments, actually, is to be dedicated to the disabled community. I have had meetings and conversations with the Paraplegic Association of Nova Scotia, along with, as I mentioned, Easter Seals. We know one of the challenges is the growing population, the aging population, which increases that need with respect to wheelchairs in the province. I can say that this government and myself have been committed to work with all these organizations to go forward and to develop strategies that will be able to fulfill the commitments as much as we can as we go forward.

[Page 1208]

As I said, all those organizations have been very open and understand the situation and the financial constraints in the province. What we're doing is we're looking at creative ways to provide services in this province and make sure that there's not an overlapping of services, but there are better ways that we can provide the services with the funding that we have.

MR. SPEAKER: We have got our question order slightly out of sync here, but that's okay, we'll make it up.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

PREM. - GEORGES BANK: MORATORIUM REVIEW - DECISION

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier and, once again, the NDP veil of secrecy has been drawn even further in this province. Yesterday in Question Period both the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Minister of Energy would not commit to an open, transparent, and non-partisan panel to review the moratorium on exploration of the Georges Bank past 2012.

Mr. Speaker, what is it the Premier and his Cabinet are covering up? If a closed door decision has already been had, will the Premier come clean and explain his position to Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I had hoped that I had explained it adequately to the member for Digby-Annapolis. Certainly what I've said, and what the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has said, is that there is a process underway. In fact, we are looking at expert scientific data; we're bringing that together. There is a process, as he points out, leading to the question of the renewal of the moratorium. We are going to respect the process.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, you know, when it comes to southwestern Nova Scotia, no sector, no industry, business, or community is safe from the wrath of the Dexter NDP. On a matter as important and significant as development of the Georges Bank, you would think the Premier and his ministers would support an independent non-partisan panel to balance all stakeholder interests.

Mr. Speaker, when will the Premier get back to balance and use some common sense for a change and convene an independent panel, or will he come clean on his real agenda for southwestern Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite actually has set forward a pretty good example of the way, in fact, that we are dealing with this in a balanced way. On the one hand we have the member for Digby-Annapolis who says simply, reinstate the

[Page 1209]

moratorium and on the other hand we have the member for Cape Breton North who says to make sure that there is an independent panel. What we're doing is we are looking at that process, we are weighing the expert evidence in the field and we're going to respect the process and make the right decision.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, a former activist and organizer of the NORIG movement now serves as the regional minister for southwestern Nova Scotia and also serves as Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and as Minister of Environment. Since the Premier can't come clean, would the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Minister of Environment, inform this House whether or not he does or doesn't support development on Georges Bank and will he support the establishment of an independent, non-partisan panel?

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to speak to this important issue. One thing I can tell the members opposite is that I feel so confident when we have the Minister of Energy that's in place to make this decision. Regardless if he's talking about street hockey or talking about Georges Bank, I am very confident that the Minister of Energy in our Cabinet is going to make an informed decision and make the right decision, thank you very much.

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

SNSMR - WIND TURBINES (DIGBY CO.):

UNSM MEETING - CONFIRM

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. I recently met with the Minister of Energy regarding the proximity of wind turbines near some homes in Digby County. It seems that the municipalities are confused on this matter and have received little guidance on this issue. My question to the minister is, has your office been contacted on this issue and have you met with representatives from the UNSM on this matter?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I have had some correspondence from some concerned citizens around locations, but it is basically a municipal decision around the people. I've heard their concerns. The question around have I spoken with UNSM about this issue, no, I haven't, they haven't brought it forward yet. Thank you.

MR. THERIAULT: Again to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. There are no uniform regulations from the province around wind turbines and the proximity to homes. Municipalities are making up their own regulations and it's causing confusion for the people in towns because they all seem to be different. My question to the minister is, will you push for province-wide regulations on wind turbines and their proximity to residential homes?

[Page 1210]

MS. JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, thank you for that question. For the point of clarification, I will look into that issue for the honourable member and we'll get back to him when I have some clarification on what different policies are in place across the province. Thank you.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. The property owners are not only concerned about their health but their ability to sell their homes in the future if these wind turbines cause harm.

My question to the Minister of Energy 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?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for this question. As I've said before to him privately and I say to him again publicly, I know how important that issue is to your community and to you personally. At this time, having reviewed the situation, I'm aware, of course, with the municipalities in particular, some of their controls about setbacks.

The question is a very sensitive one, and I hope the member opposite is aware of the fact that at this time, I just could not give that commitment as a member of this Cabinet. I understand that your concern is certainly one that is well-founded, and at the time it will be an important issue for us to deal with. Again, I thank you for your personal commitment on this particular issue.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

PREM. - JESSOME, JOAN: MEETING - CONFIRM

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be to the Premier. It's pretty obvious through the June 2009 provincial election that the Leader of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, President Joan Jessome, supported the Premier and the NDP, in fact, encouraged her own members to support them as well.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, we now see today, nine months, 10 months later, that was certainly to the detriment of those union members on the ground.

Mr. Speaker, through you, my question to the Premier is this, would the Premier tell this House if he has personally met with President Joan Jessome, or if his staff have, at any time since the June election, and if any of those meetings have been held around where the President demanded that the Premier keep correctional officer jobs in Cumberland County.

[Page 1211]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can indicate to the member opposite that I meet with many people, including the President of the NSGEU. You are asking me specifically with respect to correctional officer jobs. I don't recall that being the case but, of course, we speak about many things.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again through you to the Premier, as a result of debates in estimates this past week, the honourable Minister of Justice indicated to me that he had personally met with Joan Jessome, and he indicated as well, there could possibly have been another informal meeting. It was obvious to me in his response, that at no time did President Joan Jessome, the president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, ever request or demand of him that correctional officers be able to maintain their jobs at home in Cumberland County.

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious there are backroom deals happening between the Leader of the NSGEU and this NDP Dexter Government. As we are watching what is happening in Burnside, particularly around safety issues concerning officers, and with the relocation of officers out of Cumberland County at the expense of those officers and their families.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the Premier is, Mr. Premier, when are you going to stop and put aside the IOU that you have with the president of the NSGEU and start considering what is best in the lives of our correctional officers and their families in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, well, there is only one way to describe what the member just said and that is preposterous. Of course what we do is to make sure that we're making the decisions that are in the best interests of Nova Scotians, including correctional officers, including their families, because we believe that when it comes to making decisions that affect the correctional service, that affect the finances of the province, that ultimately ensuring that we have control of the provincial finances, that we're able, on a sustainable basis, to provide the services that people need, that will be for the benefit of all Nova Scotians, including correctional officers and their families.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again through you to the Premier, what is preposterous is the way that Nova Scotians - families, correctional officers and many others are being treated with total disregard by this NDP Dexter Government.

Mr. Speaker, it is vital that correctional officers in Nova Scotia and their families be given top priority when it comes to their livelihood, and especially their safety. Will the Premier, today, instruct the Minister of Justice to stop playing political games at the expense of correctional officers in Nova Scotia, and demand that he give his full and undivided attention to their safety, and what is in the best interests of them and their families.

[Page 1212]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I don't have to do that because the Minister of Justice is already doing it.

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

EDUC. - REVIEWS/REPORTS: RESPONSES - TIME FRAME

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, the school year is winding down for students across the province, and these students are expected to meet deadlines for their final assignments, but right now the government is behind on its assignments. The government failed to reach its deadline for the release of the TSP Review, it's behind on releasing a response to the absenteeism report. We don't have the minister's response to the Walking Distance Review or to the Black Learners Advisory Committee report. My question to the minister is, when are we going to see your response to these reports?

[1:00 p.m.]

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I agree, there are some outstanding ministerial responses, and when I am fully satisfied that I understand the impact of any decisions of all those recommendations, then I will be prepared to make a public statement. Thank you.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, if our students gave that same response, they'd get failing grades. Madam Minister, do you believe your department should meet deadlines?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I just want to give the honourable member an example of the kind of homework and research that I'm trying to do as a responsible minister in this government. For example, the BLAC report: Minister Paris and I co-hosted two focus groups, one in Whitney Pier, covering representatives from the African-Canadian communities from Guysborough up into Cape Breton. We also had a focus group here in the metro area, covering a number of community representatives from the mainland as well. We heard very interesting points of view. They reaffirmed some of the recommendations coming forward. They raised some more questions and other information that we're checking into on some of the other issues.

On the absenteeism one, that is a very difficult issue. As I understand it, there have been three major reviews of student engagement in this province since 2007, and I actually hosted four focus groups - two with principals, one with students, and one with parents - to make sure that I fully understood the impact of any possible decisions on those recommendations.

[Page 1213]

In terms of deadlines, when I'm ready to make an informed decision, I will give that information.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt the minister is very deliberate in her decisions and that she is doing the homework required. I just want to point out to her, however, that students and parents and teachers and principals and everyone involved in the education system are waiting. Thank you.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. During Question Period, the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party used the word "stole," which I believe is unparliamentary in the context of "stole the jail." I would ask you to review Hansard and provide us with a ruling on that, please.

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, I will have a look at Hansard and see what's there. There was quite a lot of noise in here at the time. I was aware that the issue came forward, but I will review Hansard and make a decision from there.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. During Question Period the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage referenced an economic analysis on the impact on southwest Nova Scotia with the removal of The Cat ferry. I would ask that for the benefit of all members that he would table the analysis that he referenced.

MR. SPEAKER: The request is to table that analysis. I will review Hansard again and see what exactly was said.

The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Regarding comments made earlier today in Question Period by the Minister of Economic and Rural Development regarding Team West and Team Southwest. He gave the House the impression, or literally said to the House, that he was not going to give the names of those people who are on those committees. I'm suggesting to you that minister should be required - if these people are appointed by the government, then the people of Nova Scotia have a right to know who they are. I would ask that you order that minister to provide this House with the names of those people who are on those committees.

[Page 1214]

MR. SPEAKER: I will take that under review as well.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, they were not appointed by this House and further to that, if and when you review Hansard, when you review Hansard, you will find that he did not refuse to do that. What he actually did say was that he wanted to make sure that it was okay with these people. Many of these people are not so much appointed individuals as they are organizations and, therefore, the organizations appoint them to that specific body.

MR. SPEAKER: I guess I've got my work cut out for me here, I'll be reviewing quite a bit of Hansard, but we'll do just that.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto Her Majesty.

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to stand here today in my place to speak about something that's not only very dear to me but very dear to other people in this House, and should be dear to all the people in this province, and that is the Georges Bank of this province. Georges Bank has been talked a lot about in this House but I'll guarantee you that 99 per cent of you people in this place have not been to Georges Bank. (Interruptions) Well, we've got one, I think we can get two hands up here maybe, but I can take you on a little trip to Georges Bank, one of the most unique banks off the southwest coast of Nova Scotia and off the east coast of Maine.

Now this bank is offshore approximately 75 miles southwest of Yarmouth and it's offshore from the United States approximately 65 miles off Maine. This bank is about 145 nautical miles long and it's about 75 nautical miles wide with different lengths and different widths through it, but this bank comes up to a shoal, it's shallow. In some parts of it, Mr.

[Page 1215]

Speaker, that you can pretty near touch bottom with an oar on the shallow part of it and on the deep side of this bank, it's over 2,000 fathom deep below the so-called Corsair Canyon, 2,000 fathom, that's 12,000 feet down over the sides of that bank to the top of it. Now, that gives you a little picture of the bank we're looking at. The member for Shelburne is nodding his head because he knows exactly what I'm talking about.

This bank is one of the most unique banks probably in the world. I won't get over off Australia and the coral reefs over there and the Great Barrier Reef, but this is our great barrier reef, Georges Bank. It also is the United States; we only own one-sixth of this bank, by the way. We own one-sixth of the size of this bank and I think that one-sixth of the size of that bank is probably one of the best producing pieces that produce the most fish. We've always believed that.

This bank, below it, a very small ways below it, probably within two to three steaming hours below that bank, the Gulf Stream runs. There have been many fishing schooners over the years and many scallopers over the years that have caught down there in storms in the wintertime and had to steam down into that Gulf Stream so they wouldn't ice up and freeze and roll over in gales, winds and hurricanes, and that's what saved them was that Gulf Stream running up by it.

This bank produces more fish - I believe, it records in North America. I'll put it up to any fishing bank in the world, that's what this bank will produce. Right now there's $1 billion and the fishery is down. There's $1 billion worth of product - lobster, scallop, haddock, cod, halibut, flounder, coming off that bank yearly, $1 billion.

AN HON. MEMBER: Where's it going?

MR. THERIAULT: Now most of that is going to the United States because they have the biggest share of that bank - it stands to reason, common sense, there's more fishermen. Now, to risk something like this, I don't know, to me it is a scary thing.

I want to tell you a story, I've been on that bank many times. I've been there as a crew member, I've been there as a captain, 60-, 65-foot boats. I was down there one night, just above the Corsair Canyon; that Corsair Canyon is 1,000 feet deep. We were fishing up on the bank, 60 or 70 fathoms above it. There was a research ship there that night and I listened to him on channel 16 while we were dragging our trawl. That scientist came on there and said, we've put cameras down in the Corsair Canyon, we had to quit, we ran out of cable.

They went down there over 300 fathoms and they had never seen so many lobsters in the holes in the side of Corsair Canyon in their life. Every six inches there was a hole, it looked like bird holes in a bank. Every one of those holes - millions of them - had a lobster in them, in the Corsair Canyon. They couldn't get below 300 fathoms, they didn't have enough gear, but the holes were still going and probably right to 1,000 fathoms deep of

[Page 1216]

lobster on the side of that bank. That bank was probably seven or eight miles wide, long, and 1,000 fathoms deep - 6,000 feet deep. Now there's a wall, full of lobster. That's how great the lobster were on that side of that bank.

The tides on this bank are unreal. They circle and they go up to three to four miles per hour. They circle that bank and then they spin off. It's just like the atmosphere around the earth - as it is turning, it spins. The tide never stops there. I have never ever seen slack tide there. It just goes and it spins the water off as it is spinning around this 140-mile wide bank.

There was a fellow who fell overboard off a container ship - a 700-foot container ship - and that ship probably being five or six stories high. The sea went over that boat on that bank and washed that man off. He was found up in the Bay of Fundy on Digby Neck shore, two weeks later, on the beach. That's where that tide spins, that's how far. That was over 120 miles in less than three weeks. Maybe he got there sooner, but he was dead. That is where those tides spun him, that's how far. They spun him right to the head of the Bay of Fundy, clear up the Eastern Shore, probably they spun clear to LaHave Banks here off of Halifax, That's how wide that system is off the Georges Bank.

Now I don't know what would ever happen if an oil eruption ever happened there but I could tell you one thing, it would be bigger than what we're seeing in Australia right now, I guarantee. I can see it wiping out the whole Gulf of Maine if it ever got big enough. I don't want to get into any scare tactics. I'll tell you how rough it can get on Georges Bank - how much time have I got left, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: You have about seven minutes.

MR. THERIAULT: Oh, I've got lots of time. I was on Georges Bank one time in June. I had the boat, the 60-foot boat, by 20 feet wide, a pretty good-sized boat. I went to Georges Bank that night, it was only giving 25 or 30 knots of wind. This was in June, the first of June, never expected any more than that.

That night it breezed up on Georges Bank. At about nine o'clock that night, it just kept breezing and breezing out of the northeast. About midnight, that wind was up to 60 and 70 knots of wind. We were down in the lower part of the bank. I said I've got to either get up over the bank, get up into the channel, or if we go here we'll be blown down the Gulf Stream by daylight. So up the bank we went.

[1:15 p.m.]

I don't know how many hours it took us, all night getting up there, and I made a mistake that night - and if you ever watched The Perfect Storm you might understand what I mean. We left our arms out to the side of the boat, 40-foot arms with 40 feet of chain

[Page 1217]

hanging off each end of them, and a fish, we called it, in the water, about four or six feet wide, with a shaft on the front of it to steer it and a big fin on the back to hold it straight. This shaft is about four inches big around and about two feet out to the front of this big flat thing and the chain, and they go flat in the water and it slows your boat up from rolling. That night I left them out in that gale of wind.

When I got above the bank, pretty near daylight before we got above the bank into the deeper water where it was a little bit calmer - and it wasn't calm because, you see the height of this ceiling? That's what was coming at us that night. Look up like that and the tops breaking off on them, 30 feet easy on the shoal of that bank. This was only 60 miles an hour wind - can you imagine 120 knot of wind? I don't know what kind of oil rigs they have, but you would want a damn good one on the shoal of that Georges Bank, I'm telling you, because you will see 60-, 70-foot seas there, no problem, on the shoal of that bank.

That night we shut her down and laid to. We said, we'll lay to with them out. I saw it coming at us, one of them, and she went down, that boat rolled down like that. I didn't know whether it was coming back, and she slid, when she fell down the other side she slid and she whipped that great big fish out there on that 40 - she whipped it, and when she fell down again, she pulled it straight down out of the air, and here was this thing coming down. I was sitting in the wheelhouse in front and this fish came down - it was just like a torpedo, right in front of me in the wheelhouse. It went through two layers of inch plywood plus fibreglass. It was just like a torpedo hit us.

I said that night - and my heart stopped, I know it stopped. (Laughter) You know, I never prayed so hard. I wasn't a religious man then, but I never prayed so hard in all my life that night.

That's how rough that was that night. I'd never seen it that rough before in my life. It was only 60 mile an hour wind on the shoal water of that bank. I wouldn't want to see 120 knots of wind. But I made a mistake: you don't leave them out. If you watched The Perfect Storm, he shouldn't have had them out that night, because I experienced it. When it is rough, you don't leave anything dangling. You tighten everything up. Batten the hatches, including stabilizers.

But that is how rough it can get on that bank. That's the point I'm trying to make. I don't know what would happen. I don't know what would happen if we ever got - it produces fish for the Bay of Fundy, produces lobster, produces scallops, up to the Eastern Shore. We don't know, really, how far the fish come, and the fish are just coming back on that bank, after the fishery being down. There are people nervous, worrying what this could do by fooling around there, drilling oil.

In the last few days, I've been hearing about these big spills around Alaska, covering 9,000 square kilometres, 400,000 litres a day or something. If that ever got out on Georges

[Page 1218]

Bank, the point is, you couldn't stop it. You could never stop this oil. It would fill the head of the bay full. I know it would. That body that came off that ship below Georges, and in two or three weeks, found it up in the Bay of Fundy on the Digby Neck Shore. So you can imagine what crude oil or any kind of oil out of the ground would do off that bank.

If anybody knows what Georges Bank is like - and the Minister of Fisheries, the member for Shelburne, knows exactly what I'm saying, and in his heart he knows that if a disaster ever happened on Georges Bank, this province's fishery would be done, and also the American shore of Maine. I truly believe that.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my seat. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, honourable member, for a very informed and entertaining dialogue.

The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I'm honoured to stand and speak for a few moments. It's a hard act to follow when the member for Digby-Annapolis gets up and talks about his experiences as a fisherman. Of course, he's been on Georges Bank way more times than I ever was, but I can attest to what I've heard. My father, who just recently retired after about 47 years of being in the fishery, has a lot of experiences just like that, and many of them a little scarier than we want to admit a lot of the time.

The member for Digby-Annapolis does speak to the dangers that our fishermen put themselves under - and more of a modern show that you people can watch, of course, The Deadliest Catch, that we watch on Discovery quite often, that's a daily thing on Georges Bank. That's a daily thing for our lobster fishermen off of southwest Nova Scotia. When everybody else is tying up their boats, the lobster fishermen are going out to make their money. If I talk about what's important to southwest Nova Scotia, I do have to start exactly where the member for Digby-Annapolis left off, and it is what will happen to our fishery in southwest Nova Scotia should the moratorium be lifted on Georges Bank.

If we look at what's happening on that bank, if we look at the replenishment, what's happening within that water column, we continually see a regeneration on that bank, which is not being seen in many other banks across the world. Looking at the Grand Banks, looking up at Baccaro Bank and all those other areas, they're not coming back the way Georges Bank continues to survive.

The member is quite accurate. There's not just a tide. I mean, if we talk about the greatest tides in Nova Scotia being in the Bay of Fundy, there's a reason, there's a pivot point that as the water comes counterclockwise around the Atlantic, it sort of hooks itself up on Cape Island in the member for Shelburne's area and sort of flows itself around Georges

[Page 1219]

Bank, in a way, and up. What happens quite often is this vortex of water that continues to come around, and as many long-liners and other fishermen would say, if you lose a high flyer - which of course is a big buoy with a radar stand on it - chances are, you give it a cycle or a couple of cycles, you'll be able to pick it pretty much up where you thought you lost it, because it will come back around. So they're continually fighting those waters.

The question really is whether or not our side of Georges Bank should look at oil exploration. What is going to be the impact? What is going to be the safety of a rig on Georges? Well, if there is a spill, where is it going to end up? It's going to end up on the whole bank, not just in that little spot that the oil or gas or what have you drilling mud might be dropped. It's going to end up over the whole bank, not just the Canadian side or the American side as well. After a couple of cycles it's going to end up on Brier Island, it's going to end up on Long Island, it's going to end up in Meteghan, it's going to end up in Yarmouth, it's going to end up in Pubnico, and it's going to end up in Shelburne County. That's the danger of looking at this.

Yes, the science will show - I'm very confident it will show - that there is safe drilling. There are new methods, there are new technologies, all of those things protecting the environments in which those rigs will reside, but there's still a chance. There's a chance that something might fail and there will be catastrophic damage to that environment. I don't know, but the people I talk to in the Pubnicos and the fishermen that I talk to in Wedgeport look at that small chance as too much of a chance. We shouldn't chance it at all.

Our feeling on this all along has been to put the independent panel back in place, just like happened in the first no-rigs campaign, to review the information, to look at what's happening and to render a decision - not left in the hands of the government where you don't know exactly what's going on. Put it in an independent group, they can make a decision, and we're confident - I'm confident, and I think the member for Digby-Annapolis and the Liberals would be confident - that they'll render a decision saying the risks are still too great to explore on Georges Bank.

Mr. Speaker, not only is it the drill platform that we worry about - and this is from a previous Minister of Fisheries when there was exploration going on off Cape Breton Island - it's the impact of the exploration itself, the seismic testing that will happen in that area. What is that impact on the fish stock? What is it on haddock? What is it on cod? What is it on the flounder? What is it on lobster? What is it on the crab? We don't know. That's the part that is frustrating about the science around seismic testing. You can't conclusively say that it does affect the fishery, but you can't say it doesn't, either.

As a government, they're going to find it extremely frustrating, because it will be, in my estimation, a hung jury. Some will say you can do it, others will say you can't. So put the panel in place, just like we did back in 1988, I believe. I know that the Minister of Fisheries at that time would have been an advocate for No Rigs on Georges at that time. I know the

[Page 1220]

member for Digby-Annapolis was an advocate on it. Mr. Speaker, I was just graduating from high school at that time, but I made sure that even I had a sticker on my truck, to make sure that it said No Rigs on Georges. We just can't chance it.

I'll move on from that one, but I think you'll say the member for Argyle is there to support his people, and his people are fishermen and fisherpeople and they say no rigs on Georges, so I am going to say no rigs on Georges.

The final point that I do want to bring up is the issue that I brought up in Question Period today, the confusion that we continue to see around the help for Yarmouth County, the help for the tourist industry, the help for the displaced workers, the help for the people who are going to be wondering what they are going to do next.

Mr. Speaker, I know the intention of the NDP Government has been to provide a function to help the people, and they went and set up this group called Team West, probably a few days after the federal government had done the same thing and set up Team Southwest. Now, people on the ground don't care where the help is going to come from, and I really ultimately don't care where that help is going to come from. I just want to see some help. I want to see a clear, concise mandate and mechanism that the businesses and tourist operators in southwest Nova Scotia can go to and get that help.

Right now we have a government - two governments, really - that are saying, we've got a process, we've got names for our groups, and we need to put them together. As I said in Question Period, I really don't care what it is called - if it is Team Southwest, if it is Team West, if it is Team Paris, or if it is Team Whatever - just stick to one organization, one organization that is going to look at the impact in southwest Nova Scotia and take all their funding and help together and make sure that we make it through 2010. This season is probably the most important season. We need to be able to keep our infrastructure in place.

The Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle Écosse is in Pubnico, the Musée des Acadiens is in Pubnico, the Tuna Museum is in Wedgeport, the Tusket Archives and Jail in Tusket, and I can go on and on of these organizations that are, of course, volunteer organizations that deserve to know how they're going to be able to survive for this season. But never mind those organizations, because those ones at least have some provincial funding. What about the Red Caps, what about the Hickory Huts, what about the Marcos, what about the Ultramars, what about the Paul d'Entremont Marines, what about all those small businesses that depended on the visitors to buy a little product, to buy a piece of pottery, to buy a painting, to buy some gas, to buy some of the best chowder in all of Nova Scotia.

[1:30 p.m.]

[Page 1221]

These are the people that we need to help, and we need to help them now. As I said during my questioning - I know I only have a couple of minutes left here (Interruption) I have five, thank you very much - my parents for the second year in a row decided they would go to sunnier climes and made it down to Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi. After 70-odd days of cold weather in the South, they worked their way back up and took the Digby boat.

They came across on the Digby boat and there was another trailer - they went down with their fifth wheel so they basically packed up house and home and went on down and came on back - on their way back they were parked right next to another fifth wheel trailer from B.C. A little early for our season, but this does begin our shoulder seasons - the success of our tourist industry has been not only this big tourist season in the summer, but to be able to cater to our shoulder seasons that begin now and end, sometimes, in October. We're starting it now and there is nothing there to help our tourist industry.

Of course, my father, knowing the situation that's going on talked about the lobster industry, talked about coming on down and having some of the best lobsters in the world, come to Yarmouth, do this and do that. You know what? They said no, we're not going to do that. It wasn't on our map, we're not going to go. Originally we wanted to maybe do something else - we might go to Halifax, we might head off to P.E.I. afterwards and that's it.

Had the work been done, maybe we would have had a bit of marketing campaign for the people coming to Nova Scotia now - not later, now. I mean, this happened back in December, just before Christmas, that's when this happened. We've had a lot of lead time to come up with a plan.

The Minister of Economic and Rural Development and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage has known about this decision since December, okay? So January, February, March, and now the end of April, so there's four months - I'll give him December because December is a lost month anyway because of Christmas and all the vacations that happen around it. You would figure by now rather than just having a group that's called Team West that they'd actually have a plan - they'd have what they're going to do, they'd have a mandate, and they'd have people sitting on their group.

Mr. Speaker, the frustrating part is that there are no answers to our questions. The member for Clare, the member for Victoria-The Lakes, we've all asked questions - what's Team West? What are we going to do for tourism? We don't get the answers, and we need to get moving. The season is upon us and yet there is nothing.

We need to be able to find a way to entice the people to Yarmouth, to Shelburne, to Digby, and to those areas that right now are being forgotten because it's not showing on the map, it's really not in the Doers'& Dreamers', and there's no quotation to say, by the way, we'd really like you to come here.

[Page 1222]

What is Team West going to do? What is Team Southwest going to do? I have a lot of faith that Team Southwest is doing what it's supposed to be doing - they had their meeting on Saturday and a lot of people showed up for it and they're moving forward.

I don't know what Team West is doing, and that frustrates me; that frustrates the people in southwestern Nova Scotia. What is it going to do? Is it going to focus on tourism? What we're hearing is it's not just going to be tourism, it's going to be forestry, fishery - and, by the way, it's going to be five other counties. So the actual help for Yarmouth is going to be minimal. Take $200,000 that was announced by the Premier when he came down, and split that up five ways, it's nothing for Yarmouth - $20,000-odd. They can't do much with that.

This budget, this government has left southwestern Nova Scotia out in the lurch. All that I ask as a member, as a resident of southwestern Nova Scotia, is let's pick up the pieces, let's get moving, and let's help southwestern Nova Scotia. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you honourable member.

The motion is carried.

[1:35 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gordon Gosse in the Chair.]

[5:52 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply reports:

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made considerable progress and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, that ends the government's business for today. Tomorrow we will meet from the hours of 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. After the daily

[Page 1223]

routine, we will go into the Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto Her Majesty. After we get our Supply debate in, we will go to Bills No. 1, 7, 13, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 29, 33, 35 and 36. I move that the House do now rise.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, just on a point of order, I was just made aware by the Attorney General that his estimates are still continuing on for tomorrow and he just made me aware that there's a funeral in his constituency that he would like to go to. So I'm wondering if the House would agree - we would have to have unanimous consent - that we could actually have the minister's estimates in the morning for wrapping up or closing off, probably from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m., which would let him then continue on. Of course, that would mean the House would have to agree that the Red Room would set different hours, but the thing we would have to sort out, we can do the four hours from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. because then Finance would have to come in behind them. (Interruption)

So what I'm asking the House, Mr. Speaker, is that we hold the Red Room estimates, start at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, let the Attorney General go in and do his wrap-up so he can be finished, let him finish, and then he would be away from 10:00 a.m. Then I guess we would finish the last three hours with Finance. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Yes, if we want a start time, we can say 9:00 a.m. for the Subcommittee on Supply. Then when they finish with the Minister of Justice, they can recess and then when the House convenes at 2:00 p.m., when the daily routine is over, they can start up with Finance at that point, if that's agreeable.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

So the subcommittee tomorrow morning will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will run from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the Red Room. Then when the House sits tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m., after the daily routine and the speech going into Supply, when the estimates resume, we'll have three hours left in the subcommittee.

The motion is that the House do now rise to meet tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. The House will sit between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 1224]

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[The Division bells were rung.]

[6:56 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I know the Speaker was in the Chair today and earlier today I rose on a point of personal privilege, where I felt that members' privileges were being challenged here in the House by the Premier not going to be here tomorrow, or not wanting to be here tomorrow for estimates. As you recall, earlier today the Speaker was asked to consider that. The Speaker is not here now. I still want . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: The time for adjournment has passed. The only reason we're here is for a vote.

MR. SPEAKER: That's correct.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: That's okay, we're here tomorrow morning, Mr. Speaker, or tomorrow night, or Saturday, whatever. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The question before the House is for the House to sit tomorrow between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Are the Whips satisfied?

A recorded vote has been requested.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[Page 1225]

[6:57 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Landry Mr. Samson

Ms. More Mr. McNeil

Mr. Estabrooks Mr.Scott

Ms. Peterson-Rafuse Mr. Clarke

Mr. Corbett Mr. d'Entremont

Mr. Dexter Mr. MacLeod

Mr. Steele Mr. Bain

Ms. Maureen MacDonald Ms. Regan

Mr. Paris

Ms. Jennex

Mr. MacDonell

Mr. Belliveau

Ms. Zann

Mr. MacKinnon

Ms. Conrad

Mr. Gosse

Ms. Kent

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Preyra

Ms. Raymond

Mr. Smith

Mr. Epstein

Mr. Prest

Mr. Ramey

Mr. Skabar

Mr.Whynott

Ms. Birdsall

Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Burrill

THE CLERK: For, 29. Against, 8.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

The House stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 7:00 p.m.]

[Page 1226]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 599

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas Boston Pizza in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Bar and Best Bar/Lounge and Best Family Dining;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Boston Pizza for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

RESOLUTION NO. 600

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas Domaine de Grand Pré and Le Caveau were awarded the prize for Best Winery and Best Fine Dining;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Domaine de Grand Pré and Le Caveau for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010.

[Page 1227]

RESOLUTION NO. 601

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas Fritz's in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Clothing Store;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Fritz's for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

RESOLUTION NO. 602

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas Hampton House Furniture & Decor in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Home Decor/Furniture Store;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Hampton House Furniture & Decor for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

[Page 1228]

RESOLUTION NO. 603

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas Just Us! Café in Wolfville was awarded the prize for Best Coffee Shop;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Just Us! Café for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010.

RESOLUTION NO. 604

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas K-Rock 89.3 in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Media;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of K-Rock 89.3 for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010.

RESOLUTION NO. 605

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

[Page 1229]

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

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

Whereas Maxwell's Quality Footwear Ltd. in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Shoe Store;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Maxwell's Quality Footwear Ltd. for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

RESOLUTION NO. 606

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas Rafuse Home Hardware Building Centre in Wolfville was awarded the prize for Best Hardware Store;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Rafuse Home Hardware Building Centre for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

RESOLUTION NO. 607

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

[Page 1230]

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

Whereas Smitty's Family Restaurant in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Place for Breakfast;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Smitty's Family Restaurant for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

RESOLUTION NO. 608

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

Whereas Sobeys in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Grocery Store;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of Sobeys in New Minas for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

RESOLUTION NO. 609

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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

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

[Page 1231]

Whereas the Swimwear Hut in New Minas was awarded the prize for Best Specialty Shop;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of the Swimwear Hut for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010, and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

RESOLUTION NO. 610

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 Nova Scotia's NDP Government is committed to keeping communities strong; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments provide invaluable emergency services to their communities; and

Whereas the Emergency Services Provider Fund was able to support 121 fire departments and first responders across the province to improve their equipment and their ability to take action;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Canso Volunteer Fire Department on applying for and receiving funding from the Emergency Services Provider Fund to assist with updating and purchasing important equipment to keep our communities safe.

RESOLUTION NO. 611

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 Nova Scotia's NDP Government is committed to keeping communities strong; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments provide invaluable emergency services to their communities; and

[Page 1232]

Whereas the Emergency Services Provider Fund was able to support 121 fire departments and first responders across the province to improve their equipment and their ability to take action;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Erinville & District Fire Department on applying for and receiving funding from the Emergency Services Provider Fund to assist with updating and purchasing important equipment to keep our communities safe.

RESOLUTION NO. 612

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 Nova Scotia's NDP Government is committed to keeping communities strong; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments provide invaluable emergency services to their communities; and

Whereas the Emergency Services Provider Fund was able to support 121 fire departments and first responders across the province to improve their equipment and their ability to take action;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Guysborough Fire Department on applying for and receiving funding from the Emergency Services Provider Fund to assist with updating and purchasing important equipment to keep our communities safe.

RESOLUTION NO. 613

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 Nova Scotia's NDP Government is committed to keeping communities strong; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments provide invaluable emergency services to their communities; and

[Page 1233]

Whereas the Emergency Services Provider Fund was able to support 121 fire departments and first responders across the province to improve their equipment and their ability to take action;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Three Top Volunteer Fire Department on applying for and receiving funding from the Emergency Services Provider Fund to assist with updating and purchasing important equipment to keep our communities safe.

RESOLUTION NO. 614

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 the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) held their annual conference and general meeting in Corner Brook, Newfoundland in September 2009; and

Whereas at this event, Frankie Toole, a registered nurse and VON nurse manager in Annapolis County, received the Management and Supervisory of Excellence Gold Award; and

Whereas this award recognizes VON management and supervisory staff for valuable contributions to the VON mission, vision, and values, as well as recognizes a manager who actively engages in positions with staff, program management, or supervision activities;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Frankie Toole for receiving this outstanding award and recognize her dedication and commitment to her profession.

RESOLUTION NO. 615

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 the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) held their annual conference and general meeting in Corner Brook, Newfoundland in September 2009; and

Whereas at this event, Tammy Frail, a VON Continuing Care Assistant in Annapolis County, received the Front-Line Service Delivery of Excellence Bronze Award; and

[Page 1234]

Whereas this award recognizes VON front-line service delivery staff working directly with clients who have helped improve client care and achieved optimal client outcomes;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Tammy Frail for receiving this outstanding award and recognize her dedication and commitment to her profession.

RESOLUTION NO. 616

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners on their victory and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 617

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

[Page 1235]

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners team member Allison MacDonald on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 618

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners Assistant Coach Bill Harris on the team's victory and thank him for his commitment to the sport.

RESOLUTION NO. 619

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

[Page 1236]

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners Assistant Coach Brian MacArthur on the team's victory and thank him for his commitment to the sport.

RESOLUTION NO. 620

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners team member Corrine Heffernan on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 621

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

[Page 1237]

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners team member Hannah Kaiser on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 622

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners team member Jill Doucette on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 623

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

[Page 1238]

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners team member Jocelyn Sampson on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 624

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners team member Kelcey MacLean on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 625

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

[Page 1239]

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Miners team member Kelsey Gilmet on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 626

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Kendra Fraser on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 627

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

[Page 1240]

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Lauren Pasher on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 628

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners Head Coach Liam Gouthro on the team's victory and thank him for his commitment to the sport.

RESOLUTION NO. 629

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:

[Page 1241]

Whereas on March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Maggie Gouthro on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 630

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Margaret MacPherson on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 631

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:

[Page 1242]

Whereas on March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Megan O'Neill on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 632

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Meghan MacArthur on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 633

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:

[Page 1243]

Whereas on March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Mikayla Courtney on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 634

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 March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Rachel McKinnon on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 635

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:

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Whereas on March 26 to 28, 2010, the Nova Scotia Female Bantam A Provincial Tournament was held at the Eastern Shore Recreational Centre in Musquodoboit; and

Whereas during the round robin phase of this tournament the Glace Bay Miners went undefeated, winning all four games and outscoring their opposition by an impressive 12-3; and

Whereas the Miners defeated their opponent 3-2 in the championship game to capture the Provincial Female Bantam A title;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Glace Bay Miners team member Rebecca Harris on her victory and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 636

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster (Inverness)

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

Whereas Port Hawkesbury resident Claudine Broussard won the Cape Breton Post Canwest Canspell Spelling Bee, collecting $5,000 for her victory and earning a trip to Ottawa to participate in the national competition in Ottawa; and

Whereas Claudine is no stranger to success on the regional or national level, having won the same competition last year and finishing third at the national competition; and

Whereas those who were not able to travel with Claudine in person still supported her by watching the event in a two hour special aired on Global Television April 3rd at 8:00 p.m.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Claudine Broussard on her recent accomplishment and wish her continued success at the nationals in Ottawa and beyond.

RESOLUTION NO. 637

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design has an artist-in-residency program located in the old fire hall in the Town of Lunenburg, designed to give recent NSCAD graduates an opportunity to gain professional experience, develop their work for an exhibit or graduate school, or make preparations for an entrepreneurial venture; and

Whereas NSCAD graduates Katherine Thomas, Kat Frick Miller, and Jennifer Green have spent several months in Lunenburg through the artist-in-residency program, providing workshops, lectures, and producing works of art in various mediums; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County First! Chowder Club hosted the three NSCAD students on April 8, 2010, with guest speakers Lunenburg Mayor Laurence Mawhinney, NSCAD Director of Extended Studies Sharon Blanchard, and Senator Wilfred Moore, where the students displayed examples of their work and described the benefits of their experience in the Town of Lunenburg;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Katherine Thomas, Kat Frick Miller, and Jennifer Green on their residency in Lunenburg and recognize the natural fit of the artistic nature of the Town of Lunenburg with the NSCAD artist-in-residency program.

RESOLUTION NO. 638

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Peter Barss and his son, Patchen, of Lunenburg County recently took part in Harry's Spring Run Off in Toronto to raise funds for prostate cancer research; and

Whereas funds are raised during this run to focus on offering the best of medical care to men with prostate disease in a holistic, people-focused manner; and

Whereas it is important to recognize the time and commitment members of our community give to fundraisers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize the participation, time, and commitment of Peter Barss and Patchen Barss to raise funds for prostate cancer research.

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RESOLUTION NO. 639

By: Mr. Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas Revolution is an annual fundraising event established in 2006 by Dean Hartman, then President of Nubody's Fitness, in support of the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation; and

Whereas Revolution has committed to raising $500,000 over the past five years to assist in Dartmouth General's purchase of a 64-Slice CT scanner; and

Whereas Revolution, now in its fifth year, will take place on Friday, April 23rd, and will not only achieve but exceed its fundraising goal of $500,000 under the chairmanship of Mr. Hartman;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in acknowledging Dean Hartman's tremendous dedication to promoting healthy lifestyles and improving health care in Nova Scotia and offer congratulations to Mr. Hartman and his team for accomplishing their goal of raising $500,000 for the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation.

RESOLUTION NO. 640

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Health Fitness Tax Credit for adults has disappeared under the present NDP Government's radar scope; and

Whereas it is a key initiative of Nova Scotia's Department of Heath Promotion and Protection, introduced by the previous Progressive Conservative Government to ensure Nova Scotians are as healthy as they can be; and

Whereas the Health Fitness Tax Credit was a unique idea which attracted more adults out to exercise classes and to places such as Curves, which is a fitness and weight loss facility dedicated to providing exercise services and nutritional information for women;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly demand the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection stop discouraging physical activity of adults in this province and bring back the Health Fitness Tax Credit.