Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 10-28

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Charlie Parker

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

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

Second Session

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Com. Serv. - Grandparents' Access, Hon. S. McNeil 1924
TIR - Port Caledonia: Speed Limit - Reduction,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1924
ERD: Hillgrove and Area - Communications Infrastructure,
Mr. H. Theriault 1925
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1037, HPP: Injury Prevention Strategy - Impact,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald (by Hon. G. Steele) 1925
Vote - Affirmative 1926
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 64, Electricity Act,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 1926
No. 65, Homes for Special Care Act,
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 1926
No. 66, Liquor Control Act,
Ms. D. Whalen 1926
No. 67, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter,
Hon. R. Jennex 1926
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1038, Holland: Liberation - Anniv. (65th),
Hon. S. McNeil 1927
Vote - Affirmative 1927
Res. 1039, MS Liberation: Efforts - Support,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1927
Res. 1040, Forrest, Emily: Brigadoon Camp - Fundraising,
The Premier (by Hon. F. Corbett) 1928
Vote - Affirmative 1929
Res. 1041, Gov't. (Can.): Anti-Women Philosophy - Stop,
Ms. K. Regan 1929
Vote - Affirmative 1930
Res. 1042, Sobeys Elmsdale - Shining Star Award,
Hon. J. MacDonell 1930
Vote - Affirmative 1930
Res. 1043, Paton, Fran - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. K. Regan 1930
Vote - Affirmative 1931
Res. 1044, Democratic Process: Nova Scotians - Participation
(05/05/10), The Premier 1931
Res. 1045, Marsh, Con & Joan - Anniv. (50th),
Hon. W. Estabrooks 1932
Vote - Affirmative 1933
Res. 1046, Unicorn Theatre - Anniv. (15th),
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 1933
Vote - Affirmative 1933
Res. 1047, Burns, Wayne: Acting Role - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Zann 1934
Vote - Affirmative 1934
Res. 1048, Mersey Tobeatic Research Instit.: Work - Recognize,
Ms. V. Conrad 1934
Vote - Affirmative 1935
Res. 1049, Waterman, Isabel & Vincent - Fam. Vol. of Yr.,
Mr. G. Gosse 1935
Vote - Affirmative 1936
Res. 1050, Pink, Noah: Filmmaking - Recognition,
Mr. L. Preyra 1936
Vote - Affirmative 1936
Res. 1051, Amherst: ecoNova Funding - Congrats.,
Mr. B. Skabar 1937
Vote - Affirmative 1937
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 1052, Monthly Standard: Co-founders - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Whynott 1937
Vote - Affirmative 1938
Res. 1053, Cross, William/Williams, Alexis/Kane, Angel:
N.S. Recycles Contest - Congrats., Mr. J. Morton 1938
Vote - Affirmative 1939
Res. 1054, S. Shore Reg. Hosp.: Mammography Unit - Addition,
Mr. G. Ramey 1939
Vote - Affirmative 1940
Res. 1055, Reddick, Clarence: Educ. Wk. Award - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 1940
Vote - Affirmative 1940
Res. 1056, Col. Legion Pipes and Drums: Holland Liberation
Celebration - Congrats., Ms. L. Zann 1941
Vote - Affirmative 1941
Res. 1057, Vroegh Fam. - Fam. Vol. of Yr. Award,
Hon. J. MacDonell 1941
Vote - Affirmative 1942
Res. 1058, Hinners, Dick: Death of - Tribute,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 1942
Vote - Affirmative 1943
Res. 1059, N. Queens Ground Search and Rescue:
Emerg. Serv. Provider Fund - Importance,
Ms. V. Conrad 1943
Vote - Affirmative 1943
Res. 1060, Mitchell, Shandi: Writing/Filmmaking
- Accomplishments, Mr. L. Preyra 1944
Vote - Affirmative 1944
Res. 1061, Sackville Heights Jr. High: Grade 9 Trip Planning Comm.
- Congrats., Mr. M. Whynott 1944
Vote - Affirmative 1945
Res. 1062, Doyle, Mikayla/Garland, Courtney/Morse, Abbie
Wisted, Rebecca: N.S. Recycles Contest
- Congrats., Mr. J. Morton 1945
Vote - Affirmative 1946
Res. 1063, Warren, Bob - Mahone Bay: Serv. - Recognize,
Ms. P. Birdsall 1946
Vote - Affirmative 1947
Res. 1064, Doucet Cyndy: St. Marys Acad.: Contribution,
Mr. J. Boudreau 1947
Vote - Affirmative 1947
Vote - Affirmative
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 263, Prem.: Georges Bank Moratorium - Decision,
Hon. S. McNeil 1948
No. 264, Educ. - Libraries: Usage Increase - Effects,
Hon. K. Casey 1949
No. 265, Energy: Georges Bank Moratorium - Extend,
Mr. H. Theriault 1950
No. 266, Prem.: Economic Advisory Panel - Membership,
Hon. S. McNeil 1952
No. 267, Health - MS: Zamboni Technique - Use,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1953
No. 268, Prem. - Sydney Hbr.: Dredging - Support,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 1954
No. 269, Fin. - HST Increase: Tax Revenue - Effect,
Mr. A. MacMaster 1956
No. 270, Health - BTO Prog.: Increase - Review,
Mr. L. Glavine 1957
No. 270, Fish. and Aquaculture - Georges Bank Drilling:
Southwest. N.S. - Effects, Hon. C. d'Entremont 1958
No. 271, ERD: Student Career Skills Prog. - Details,
Hon. K. Colwell 1960
No. 272, TIR: Boat Hbr. Cleanup - Gov't. Commitment,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1961
No. 273, Educ.: Dartmouth HS - Refurbishment,
Mr. T. Zinck 1962
No. 274, Health - Macular Degeneration: Medication
- Payment Prog., Mr. L. Glavine 1963
No. 275, TIR: Chebucto Head/Duncans Cove Rds.
- Repair, Hon. C. d'Entremont 1964
No. 276, Nat. Res. - Clear-Cutting: Min. Position,
Mr. A. Younger 1966
No. 277, ERD - EastLink: Lunn Case - Investigate,
Mr. C. Porter 1967
No. 278, Com. Serv. - Residential Facilities: Abuse - Prevent,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 1969
No. 280, LWD: Lbr. Shortage - Numbers,
Mr. K. Bain 1970
No. 281, SNSMR - Tax Issue: N.S./N.B. Border
- Min. Recommendations, Mr. A. Younger 1972
No. 282, Prem.: Offshore Technology Conf. (Houston)
- Representation, Hon. C. Clarke 1973
No. 283, Educ. - Autism Rept.: Min. - Address,
Ms. K. Regan 1975
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 485, re NDP Gov't.: Sm. Bus. - Support, Mr. K. Bain
Mr. K. Bain 1976
Hon. P. Paris 1979
Hon. K. Colwell 1980
Mr. A. MacMaster 1983
Mr. M. Whynott 1986
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 34, Motor Vehicle Act
Mr. C. Porter 1989
Hon. W. Estabrooks 1993
Mr. H. Theriault 1997
Hon. C. d'Entremont 2000
Ms. V. Conrad 2002
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Seniors: Age-Friendly Grant - St. Mary's Mun. Dist.
Mr. J. Boudreau 2004
Mr. H. Theriault 2007
Mr. C. Porter 2009
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., May 6th at 12 noon 2012
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1065, Windsor-W. Hants Minor Hockey Assoc.
Pee Wee AA Team - Championship, Mr. C. Porter 2013
Res. 1066, Sentner, Paul/Prudential Plus Realty (Enfield)
- Prudential Atl. Can. Awards,
Mr. C. Porter 2013
Res. 1067, Beck, Barbara/Fam.: Steps for life - Participation,
Mr. C. Porter 2014
Res. 1068, Sanford, Helen/Kennedy, Cheryl: Fundraising
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 2014
Res. 1069, W. Hants Shooting Star Bantam Girls
Basketball League - Championship, Mr. C. Porter 2015
Res. 1070, Hupman, Scott and Ryan - ECMA Award,
Mr. C. Porter 2015
Res. 1071, Knowles, Principal Mike/Windsor Elem. Sch.
- Accreditation, Mr. C. Porter 2016
Res. 1072, Siler, Carl/Lake, Garnet: 45s Tournament - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 2016
Res. 1073, Kirk, Andy - Windsor Vol. of Yr. (2010),
Mr. C. Porter 2017
Res. 1074, Kings Chorale/Perrot, Bill: Concert for Peace
- Participation, Mr. C. Porter 2017
Res. 1075, Miller Mem. Hockey Tournament: Participants
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 2018
Res. 1076, Gardam, Cdre David: Military Career - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 2018
Res. 1077, Luckett, Pete: Kings Co. Development - Success Wish,
Mr. C. Porter 2019
Res. 1078 Galindo, Uriel/Pretty, Alicia/Wilkie, Sally -
N.S. Recycles Contest, Ms. R. Jennex 2019
Res. 1079, Pearson, Bryana/Coates, Shannon - N.S. Recycles Contest,
Hon. R. Jennex 2020
Res. 1080, Wright Zoë: Elem./Jr. HS - Transition,
Mr. A. Younger 2020
Res. 1081, Coffen-Smout, Thomas: Elem./Jr. HS - Transition,
Mr. A. Younger 2021
Res. 1082, Barry, Sandra: Elem./Jr. HS - Transition,
Mr. A. Younger 2021
Res. 1083, Elliott, Emma: Elem./Jr. HS - Transition,
Mr. A. Younger 2022
Res. 1084, Sweett, Len - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2022
Res. 1085, Sweett, Helen - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2023
Res. 1086, Hirtle, Denise - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2023
Res. 1087, Ash, Marlene - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2024
Res. 1088, Power, Niki - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2024
Res. 1089, Diab, Lena - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2025
Res. 1090, Cahill, Shelley - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2025
Res. 1091, Smith, Ken - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2026
Res. 1092, McGuinness, Mridula - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2026
Res. 1093, Warren, Sylvia - Commun. Champion Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 2027
Res. 1094, Maddison, RAdm. Paul/Mar. Forces Atl. - Bravo Zulu,
Hon. K. Casey 2028
Res. 1095, Swinney, Phil - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2028
Res. 1096, Bruce, Sheila - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2029
Res. 1097, Bremner, Terry - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2029
Res. 1098, Parsons, Alleen - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2030
Res. 1099, Bryan, Bob - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2030
Res. 1100, Roy, Bill - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2031
Res. 1101, Mills, Mary Louise - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2031
Res. 1102, McKee, James - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2032
Res. 1103, Peckham, Richard - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2032
Res. 1104, Mosher, Penny - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2033
Res. 1105, DeFreitas, Patricia - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2033
Res. 1106, McGrath, Mark - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2034
Res. 1107, Galbraith, Margaret - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2034
Res. 1108, Keeping, Lucas - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2035
Res. 1109, Renton, Carolyne - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2036
Res. 1110, Pereira, Roxanne - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2036
Res. 1111, Hawkins, Carol - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2037
Res. 1112, Brown, Dean - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2037
Res. 1113, Jackson, David - Bedford Vol. Award,
Ms. K. Regan 2038

[Page 1923]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Honourable members, I call the House to order. Before we go to the daily routine, I want to read the late debate topic at the moment of interruption. It reads:

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize this government's commitment to creating opportunities for seniors to stay in their own homes and communities longer by funding such projects as an age-friendly grant for park benches along a well-travelled way in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary's.

That will be at the moment of interruption at six o'clock.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South on an introduction.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, today in the Speaker's Gallery we have a number of guests. The Canadian Coast Guard College and the Japanese Coast Guard participate in an annual exchange. These three Japanese Coast Guard officers are currently visiting in Nova Scotia for two weeks observing the operations of the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and the Maritimes Region of the Canadian Coast Guard. They are, as well, taking part in the rich maritime heritage that we cherish here in Nova Scotia and have joined us here today. The three officer cadets visiting from the Japanese Coast Guard are Yoshinori Otsuka, Tatsuhiro Miyaji and Fumiaki Yokoo.

[Page 1924]

1923

With them are two Coast Guard cadets from the Canadian Coast Guard College. Accompanying them are Michael Hickey and Julien Houle. Mr. Hickey and Mr. Houle are both in their second year of the Officer Training Program at the Canadian Coast Guard College and will be representing the Canadian Coast Guard in the exchange program to Japan in July. Mr. Speaker, I would ask that the House give them a royal Nova Scotia welcome. (Applause)

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

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I am going to introduce a petition and this petition is in support of Bill No. 37, which is an Act to Amend Chapter 160 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Maintenance and Custody Act, and that bill was submitted by the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party - the member for Colchester North - and the operative clause of this petition reads:

"RECOGNIZING that maintaining relations between grandchildren and grandparents is in the best interest of the child and therefore should not be disturbed unless it can be demonstrated to the court that maintaining contact is not in the child's best interest."

Mr. Speaker, there are 5,907 names on this petition and I have attached mine.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

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

"The purpose of circulating this petition is to give the residence [sic] of Port Caledonia the opportunity to have some input in reference to the way heavy hauler trucks enter our community destined for the Donkin mine site. At present, the speed limit is 70 km. This petition is to support the initiative to reduce the current speed limit from 70 km to 50 km, commencing at Dearns

[Page 1925]

Corner . . . This will help maintain a continued safe environment for the children and pedestrians of the community."

This petition is signed by 97 people and I have attached my name as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from the residents of Hillgrove, North Range, South Range and surrounding areas. They are expressing their displeasure with their poor communication infrastructure and the unsatisfactory state of the telephone lines and Internet access in their area.

This petition is signed by 391 individuals and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1037

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Minister of Health, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas injury is the leading cause of death and disability in the first 45 years of life, killing 425 Nova Scotians every year, and costs the province $518 million annually; and

Whereas Nova Scotia was the first province to initiate a strategy around injury prevention in 2004; and

Whereas building on the success of that first strategy the Department of Health Promotion and Protection and Injury Free Nova Scotia have worked together, with a variety

[Page 1926]

of community partners, to renew the Injury Prevention Strategy to help take injury prevention in the province to the next level;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the impact of the Injury Prevention Strategy on reducing injuries and improving the health of Nova Scotians, and congratulate the many government staff, community and health partners who are committed to this important work.

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.

[2:15 p.m.]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 64 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2004. The Electricity Act. (Hon. William Estabrooks)

Bill No. 65 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 203 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Homes for Special Care Act. (Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse)

Bill No. 66 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 260 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Liquor Control Act, to Permit the Operation of Businesses that Assist Others in the Making of Beer, Wine or Cider. (Ms. Diana Whalen)

Bill No. 67 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008. The Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

[Page 1927]

RESOLUTION NO. 1038

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

Whereas on this day 65 years ago, 117,000 German troops surrendered to Lieutenant General Charles Foulkes of the First Canadian Corps in the Netherlands; and

Whereas after fighting in France, Belgium and Germany, the Canadian Forces fought in the Netherlands, ending the "hungry winter" at the most vital moment; and

Whereas for the past 65 years both countries have celebrated the bond which was formed while mourning the losses endured during the war;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize the significance of this date which marks the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Holland.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1039

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

[Page 1928]

Whereas May is Multiple Sclerosis Month in Canada and there are between 55,000 and 75,000 Canadians who suffer from MS, which typically strikes people between the ages of 20 and 40; and

Whereas Dr. Paolo Zamboni from the University of Ferrara in Italy published a study in November 2009 showing an angioplasty therapy to treat Chronic Cerebro-Spinal Venous Insufficiency or CCSVI has shown tremendous results in MS patients; and

Whereas the organization known as MS Liberation is holding rallies on Parliament Hill and in other cities across Canada, including here in Halifax, to draw attention to MS and to pressure the government to support new treatments;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly support the efforts of the MS Liberation and their goals to have MS treated using Dr. Zamboni's methodology and recognize that the people attending the House and outside today from across Nova Scotia who have come to inform the Minister of Health of the benefits of Dr. Zamboni's treatment on people who suffer from MS.

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 Deputy Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 1040

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Premier, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas between May 13th and August 8th, Emily Forrest will begin walking a total of 2,995 kilometres of coastline in Mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton; and

Whereas Ms. Forrest will walk approximately 40 kilometres per day and stop at more than 85 communities across the province to raise awareness for the Brigadoon Camp for chronically-ill children; and

[Page 1929]

Whereas she will not only be raising awareness about Brigadoon Camp, she will be inspiring more Nova Scotians to form walking groups on a journey to better health and well-being;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate and extend best wishes to Emily Forrest as she walks to raise money and awareness for the much anticipated Brigadoon Children's Camp for the chronically ill while being a role model for all Nova Scotians working to live healthier lives.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 1041

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

Whereas maternal and children's health programs are integral to the well-being of women and children in this country and around the world; and

Whereas Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth this week told women's groups to shut the fuddle-duddle up or they risk having their funding cut; and

Whereas MATCH International says it's among a dozen women's groups to lose federal funding in the past two weeks;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House immediately call on the Harper Government to stop pushing its anti-women philosophy and let women's voices be heard without intimidation.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 1930]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1042

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

Whereas businesses with community roots often shift to volunteerism after business hours are over; and

Whereas many community initiatives would not succeed without the involvement and support of local businesses; and

Whereas on April 23, 2010, the Municipality of East Hants recognized the management and staff of Sobeys in Elmsdale with a Shining Star Award for their collective volunteerism which has supported the Caring and Sharing Angel Tree Food Bank and many other local initiatives with their efforts and donations;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the management and staff of the Sobeys, Elmsdale, store on their Shining Star Award and thank them for their notable example of community service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1931]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 1043

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

Whereas the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee honours individuals who have made substantial contributions to enhancing the lives of others; and

Whereas at the Community Champion Awards Dinner on May 6, 2010, Fran Paton will receive the Community Service and Development Award for her extensive involvement in her community which includes volunteering with Rockingham United Church, Brunswick Street Mission, Metro Turning Point, The Ark, Phoenix House, Out of the Cold, the food bank, the palliative care unit and spiritual care at the QE II Hospital and as well, Fran is well-known in her community for her many gifts of baking and cooking, providing cakes and cookies to celebrate and soup to comfort; and

Whereas Fran will also receive the award for multi-cultural awareness for her work organizing anti-racism services as outreach chair at Rockingham United; as a member of the Partners for Human Rights Committee; as a member of the Rockingham Grannies, which supports grandmothers in Africa who are raising their children left parentless by the HIV/AIDS epidemic; and as a foster parent who supports four children in Haiti by collecting recyclables at her church;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the blessing that Fran Paton is to her community and congratulate her on receiving these well-deserved community champion awards.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 1932]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 1044

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 May 5th marks the one-year anniversary of the start of the election campaign to elect the 61st House of Assembly of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas 58 per cent of Nova Scotians tuned into the election over the course of the next several weeks and ultimately marked their ballot on election day; and

Whereas Nova Scotians in every community took the time to meet candidates from all Parties to decide who could best make improvements to health care, education, the environment, and jobs;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Nova Scotians for taking part in the democratic process that began on May 5, 2009, and who voted to make life better for today's families.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 1045

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

Whereas Con and Joan Marsh of Lakeside celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday, June 5, 2010, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 156; and

[Page 1933]

Whereas this memorable event will be attended by family members and friends; and

Whereas Joan and Con's longtime commitment is an example for all of us to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Joan and Con Marsh on their 50th Wedding Anniversary, with best wishes of happiness in their future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1046

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

Whereas this Spring marks the 15th Anniversary of the formation of the Unicorn Theatre, founded by Iris Elliott and her daughter after holding a drama camp at the Shore Club in Hubbards on July 22-23, 1995, when they were so impressed with the talent they decided to form a year-round children's theatre group; and

Whereas to celebrate this 15th Anniversary of Unicorn Theatre, they are presenting Lionel Bart's musical based on Charles Dickens' classic, Oliver Twist; and

Whereas the cast of the Unicorn Theatre production of Oliver! consists of students from Grades 2 to 12 and this cast numbered 40 members;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly extend very best wishes for a wonderful season of theatre and congratulate Iris Elliott and her daughter on fulfilling their dream of a theatre for children - may they have many more successful productions.

[Page 1934]

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 Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 1047

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

Whereas Wayne Burns, a 19-year-old resident of Truro, has been enthusiastic about acting since the age of 7; and

Whereas Wayne Burns is well known in Truro for his performances in local theatre; and

Whereas Mr. Burns recently performed his first major role in Halifax at the Bella Rose Arts Centre as King Arthur in the stage production of Merlin by award-winning Nova Scotian playwright Paul LeDoux;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Wayne Burns on receiving a major role in Halifax and wish him ongoing success in his acting career.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:30 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1935]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 1048

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

Whereas the Department of Natural Resources' Forestry Action Plan is helping the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute of Kempt, Queens County, develop a guide book for forest management; and

Whereas the booklet will promote and assess the feasibility of additional group certification; and

Whereas the funding in the amount of $150,000 will promote the Forest Stewardship Council certification, an environmental protection standard among woodlot owners;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate and recognize the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute in Queens County and the important work they are doing creating a booklet to promote environmental protection standards among woodlot owners.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 1049

[Page 1936]

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

Whereas on April 12, 2010, the 36th annual Provincial Volunteer Award Ceremonies were held; and

Whereas Archbishop Vincent Waterman and Isabelle Waterman, the backbone of their community, were recipients of the Family Volunteer of the Year Award; and

Whereas the Watermans, through their numerous volunteer roles, contribute countless hours in their community of Whitney Pier;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House recognize Isabelle and Vincent Waterman for their significant volunteer contributions, and congratulate them as Nova Scotia's Family Volunteer of the Year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

RESOLUTION NO. 1050

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

Whereas Noah Pink is a Halifax filmmaker whose film Bad Day, Good Day, Bad Day won Best Sound Design in the 2007 Atlantic Film Festival; and

Whereas this film was screened at the 2010 Winter Olympics as part of the Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver; and

[Page 1937]

Whereas his most recent film, ZedCrew, will be shown at the 42nd Directors' Fortnight during the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in France;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Noah Pink on his film making accomplishments and blossoming film 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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1051

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

Whereas our government is committed to creating a cleaner, healthier future for our province; and

Whereas the Department of Environment has provided $9,923 in funding for the Town of Amherst to conduct an energy and emission inventory and audit; and

Whereas this investment will help Amherst become more environmentally responsible;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Town of Amherst on receiving funds from the ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change so they can work to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants;

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 1938]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 1052

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

Whereas on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, a new local newspaper, The Monthly Standard, was officially launched at the Public Library in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia by co-founders Kevin Toal and Yvette d'Entremont; and

Whereas the new monthly paper will be produced and managed by local residents who have extensive experience in writing and editing and active participation in the area; and

Whereas The Monthly Standard will be delivered to over 20,000 homes in Sackville and Bedford, bringing information about the people, organizations, and businesses in the local community;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the co-founders of The Monthly Standard, Kevin Toal and Yvette d'Entremont, and all the members of the community who will assist in making this project an important resource for everyone to enjoy.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 1939]

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1053

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest encourages participation in recycling and composting programs among Nova Scotia youth; and

Whereas the 2010 contest, which encouraged students to become Waste Warriors and help Nova Scotia reduce our solid waste, saw over 9,300 entries from 227 schools across the province; and

Whereas William Cross, a student at Dwight Ross Elementary School, finished in first place in the contest, level Grades 4 to 6, with Alexis Williams of Aldershot Elementary and Angel Kane of Glooscap Elementary as runners-up;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate William Cross, Alexis Williams, and Angel Kane on their performances at the 10th Annual Nova Scotia Recycles Contest for Grades 4 to 6.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1054

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

Whereas mammography screening is the most sensitive method for the detection of breast cancer at its earliest stage, allowing for better treatments and improved outcomes; and

[Page 1940]

Whereas South Shore Health unveiled a new digital mammography unit at South Shore Regional Hospital on April 14th; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Government provided $600,000 in funding for the digital mammography unit, which will reduce wait times for mammograms;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize this new addition to South Shore Health as a way of improving health services to Nova Scotians and reducing wait times for health care.

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1055

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

Whereas April 18th to April 24th was Education Week, which provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of students and teachers and to acknowledge the contributions that many people make to our education system; and

Whereas Mr. Clarence Reddick has served as the African Nova Scotian representative with the Strait Regional School Board since 2000 and has diligently served on numerous school board committees; and

Whereas the Strait Regional School Board recognized Mr. Clarence Reddick at the 2010 Education Week Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 19th, as the Nova Scotia School Board Association's Education Week Partner Award recipient;

[Page 1941]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Clarence Reddick on being recognized for his contributions to the Strait Regional School Board and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 1056

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

Whereas the Colchester Legion Pipes and Drums Band has been bringing music to communities across Nova Scotia since 1973; and

Whereas the band contributes significantly to many events in the Truro community with their talents of music and marching; and

Whereas the Colchester Legion Pipes and Drums Band recently traveled to Holland to participate today in the 65th Anniversary celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Colchester Legion Pipes and Drums Band for representing the community of Truro and the Province of Nova Scotia in Holland and thank them for their dedication to the art of this music.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 1942]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1057

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

Whereas volunteers make many communities a better place for families; and

Whereas many families make volunteerism a family way of life; and

Whereas on April 23, 2010 the Municipality of East Hants recognized Philip and Lori Vroegh and children Logan, Cole and Marissa with the Family Volunteer of the Year Award for their volunteer contributions to a long list of worthy causes and organizations in their community of East Noel and surrounding area;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Philip, Lori, Logan, Cole and Marissa Vroegh for their Family Volunteer of the Year Award and thank them for their notable example of community service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 1058

[Page 1943]

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

Whereas Nova Scotians are saddened to hear that Dick Hinners of South Brook, Cumberland County, philosopher, farmer and activist passed away on Wednesday, April 28, 2010; and

Whereas Dick Hinners, together with his wife and family renounced academic life in 1974 for the life of a farmer which he followed for the past 36 years; and

Whereas Dick Hinners was an activist and advocate for social justice and environmental responsibility who believed a better world was possible and lived his life according to his beliefs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly extend our sincere condolences to the family of Dick Hinners, including his wife Barbara Jack, his sons Christopher and Andrew Hinners and his daughter Sarah Jack Hinners and express our appreciation for his untiring efforts on behalf of his community, his province and the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 1059

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, 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

[Page 1944]

Whereas the Emergency Services Provider Fund, through Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations provided $1,000 to the North Queens Ground Search and Rescue organization in Queens County; and

Whereas these funds will allow this organization to purchase new equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the importance of the Emergency Service Provider Fund to all of our ground search and rescue organizations and specifically the North Queens Ground Search and Rescue Organization of Queens County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

RESOLUTION NO. 1060

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

Whereas Shandi Mitchell is an accomplished Halifax writer and filmmaker whose award-winning short films have been featured at festivals across North America; and

Whereas in 2002 she won the Canadian award for Best Short Film at the Atlantic Film Festival for Baba's House and in 2008 she was awarded the Canada Council's Victor Martin-Lynch Staunton Endowment in Media Arts; and

Whereas her first novel Under This Unbroken Sky won the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the John and Margaret Savage First Book Award of the 2010 Atlantic Book Awards and the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the Best First Book;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Shandi Mitchell on her outstanding success as a writer and filmmaker.

[Page 1945]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:45 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 1061

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

Whereas on Saturday, April 17, 2010, the Sackville Heights Junior High Grade 9 trip planning committee held a booster night auction to raise funds for their Grade 9 trip; and

Whereas from June 2nd to June 5th, 109 Grade 9 students will have the opportunity to travel by plane to Toronto to visit the historic sites and surrounding areas; and

Whereas the booster night auction was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance and raised over $10,000 for their important trip;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the students, staff, and volunteers of the Sackville Heights Junior High Grade 9 trip planning committee and wish them best of luck for their upcoming 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.

[Page 1946]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1062

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest encourages participation in recycling and composting programs among Nova Scotian youth; and

Whereas the 2010 contest, which encouraged students to become "waste warriors" and help Nova Scotia reduce our solid waste, saw over 9,300 entries from 227 schools across the province; and

Whereas Mikayla Doyle, a student at Northeast Kings Education Centre, finished in first place in the contest level Grades 7 to 9, with Courtney Garland of Hantsport School and Abbie Morse and Rebecca Wisted of Berwick and District School as runners-up;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Mikayla Doyle, Courtney Garland, Abbie Morse and Rebecca Wisted on their performance at the 10th annual Nova Scotia Recycles Contest for Grades 7 to 9.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 1063

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

[Page 1947]

Whereas Bob Warren of Mahone Bay began his career with Canada Post in the late 1970s, serving as a letter carrier in the Bridgewater area before working in the post office in Rose Bay, Chester, Kennetcook and finally Mahone Bay; and

Whereas the member of the Mahone Bay Legion's swing band left his mark on the Town of Mahone Bay and its residents with his pleasant attitude and friendly smile; and

Whereas Mr. Bob Warren retired after 24 years as postmaster of the Mahone Bay Post Office on his birthday, April 19th of this year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the years of service Mr. Bob Warren has provided to the Town of Mahone Bay while serving as postmaster in the Mahone Bay Post Office, and wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1064

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

Whereas April 18th to April 24th was Education Week, which provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of students and teachers and to acknowledge the contributions that many people make to our education system; and

Whereas the Strait Regional School Board recognized four teachers at the 2010 Education Week Awards Ceremony held on Monday, April 19th; and

[Page 1948]

Whereas Cyndy Doucet of St. Mary's Academy was one of the four teachers honoured for her ability to treat students equitably, respect the differences among learners, as well as promote equity in education by ensuring that school programs and services are geared to individual learning needs;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Cyndy Doucet on being recognized for her contributions to the students of St. Mary's and all that she does to enable students to meet their learning needs and career aspirations.

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.

Just a friendly reminder as we go into Question Period, no electronic equipment is to be on during Question Period, and direct all questions and answers here through the Chair.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time now is 2:51 p.m. and we'll go to 4:41 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: GEORGES BANK MORATORIUM - DECISION

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Yesterday the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture stated he is standing by his campaign promise last year to maintain the moratorium on drilling for oil and gas on the Georges Bank. The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is a former fisherman who fished on those grounds

[Page 1949]

and he knows what is at risk. My question to the Premier is, will you stand behind your Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and maintain the moratorium?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, of course the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is a great advocate on behalf of the fishery and on behalf of southwestern Nova Scotia. He also understands that we are in a process, one that will lead to a conclusion on behalf of this government with respect to the moratorium, and I'm happy to inform the Leader of the Official Opposition that we expect that decision should be made within the next 10 days.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, prior to the last election campaign, the Premier agreed with his Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture that he supported a ban. His face appeared on the campaign literature of the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture with the promise spelled right out there for all to see. You're dragging your heels on making a decision - what's left to study? What has changed in the last 11 months? My question to the Premier is, why are you waiting until the end of June to make the decision that you could have made 11 months ago?

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I agree with the fact that the member for Shelburne, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, is advancing the cause on behalf of that area, as of course he should. I haven't said that I'm going to wait until the end of June; in fact, quite the opposite, I just told the member opposite, through you, that there would be a decision within the next 10 days.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge that the Premier did say 10 days. The point I was trying to make with him was the fact that 11 months ago he knew the answer, why does he need another 10 days to find the answer that he knew 11 months ago?

Campaign promises to Nova Scotians mean something, as well as they mean something to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He knows that his reputation is on the line - to say one thing when you're running for office and to say another after you've won is just plain wrong in Shelburne County and in every other part of this province. My question to the Premier is, will you do the right thing and live up to your promise to maintain the ban on drilling on Georges Bank?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in fact, I'm quite comfortable with the position that we advanced during the last campaign and with the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. There is a process, it involves not just us, there are other stakeholders in this. We have to respect the legitimacy of that process so we're going through it. As I mentioned to the member opposite, through you, that has advanced. In fact there is additional scientific information that came forward to the department and there are additional representations that were made, and we're considering that and we'll have a decision within the next 10 days.

[Page 1950]

MR. SPEAKER: Before we go on to the next question, I must say that math is not my forte and I want to correct the time of the finish here today - it will be 4:21 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

EDUC. - LIBRARIES: USAGE INCREASE - EFFECTS

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. Public libraries provide a valuable service for communities throughout Nova Scotia. Nine library boards support 77 libraries, and these libraries are reporting an increase in usage by Nova Scotians of all ages. My question through you to the Premier is, are you, as Premier, aware of the additional needs of the libraries based on the increase in usage?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we're certainly aware of the value of the public library system right across the province. As with any of these public facilities, we would like to see the usage increasing, it means that people are taking advantage of the investments that we are already making in the system.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, the question was "aware of the needs". I think we all understand the value, the question was "aware of the needs". Following extensive consultations with municipalities, library boards and library staff, it became obvious there was a need for stable and predictable funding. So my question to the Premier is, how does your current budget address the needs identified by these library groups?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I believe these matters were addressed or may have been addressed, I realize it is a relatively short time in estimates, so perhaps I could ask the Minister of Education to respond.

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, certainly my government is very aware of the needs that have been identified in the latest report from the library boards and library officials. We have been able to respond by adding, I think it's $700,000 new dollars to the budget for libraries - sorry, I misspoke - $900,000, nearly $1 million additional funding to library boards this year.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, the minister should well know and I believe the Premier would know that the request from the Library Funding Task Force was for a multi-year funding agreement and this would allow for the long-term planning and give boards the assurance that their funding would be stable and predictable. So my question to the Premier is, are there current negotiations to develop such an agreement and how soon would boards know that they have that long-term commitment?

THE PREMIER: Well, again, Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Minister of Education to respond.

[Page 1951]

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure to address the annual conference of the libraries last Fall. I explained to them the fiscal reality that our province is in and explained to them why, although it is desirable, it would not be possible to enter into a multi-year agreement. We did agree to abide by the principles of the recommendations of their task force. Certainly, as new money is added to the system over the coming years, we will take their needs and analysis into consideration.

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

ENERGY: GEORGES BANK MORATORIUM

- EXTEND

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. June 1st is just 27 days away. The Minister of Energy does not have to hold the fishing community, the environment community and all Nova Scotians hostage for the next four weeks or, as we just found out, the next 10 days. Can he tell us here today will you commit today, May 5th, to extending the moratorium to Georges Bank past 2012?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: I thank the minister opposite for the question and as I have said on many occasion that this is an important, emotional decision in this province. This is a province that, after all, has deep connections to its coast and to its fishing communities. This is also a province that is looking at the advantages of having the offshore business back out there making sure that we have a strong economy in that particular part of our province.

I want the member opposite to know that as I have said to people in my community, from my coastal communities, I thank them for their patience, the decision is going to be made in a timely fashion. You heard the Premier speak about 10 days. I urge Nova Scotians to continue to be in contact with me as the minister responsible, because it will be my recommendation that I will be taking forward to my Cabinet colleagues.

In particular, I thank the member opposite for his passion on this topic. You, along with many other, of course, are having a very strong influence on what I will eventually recommend my Cabinet colleagues to agree to.

[3:00 p.m.]

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, yesterday's edition of the Gloucester Times quotes a communications advisor from the Department of Energy as saying, and I will table this, Mr. Speaker: "The decision whether or not to hold a public review is independent of whether to extend the moratorium." My question to the minister is, will you clarify this quote and explain to the House what this means?

[Page 1952]

MR. ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the member opposite. That's a turn of phrase - most of my staff is usually clarifying my quotes. I'm not aware of who made that particular comment, but I'm going to be very clear on the fact that, as I've said many times publicly, as I've said many times privately to people who have been in contact with me, you can never have enough information.

We are looking at the fact that the clock is ticking. I know Nova Scotians have been extremely patient with this issue; I know you, the member opposite, has been extremely patient, but I want to inform you that the decision will be made in a timely fashion - the right information, with the right decision, eventually.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. For 20 years, the present Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has known in his heart that it is wrong to drill on Georges Bank. He has spoken out against drilling on this sensitive area. The people of southwest Nova Scotia have known that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has been against drilling on Georges Bank for many years. It is even stated in his campaign literature from the last election of 11 months ago.

It is clear from the comments made by the Minister and the Department of Energy that they are not listening to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture on this matter. My question to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is, if the NDP Government allows the moratorium to be lifted on Georges Bank - if - will the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture listen to his conscience, pack his bag, and resign from Cabinet?

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, the member opposite referred to the campaign literature, and I think he sums it up. There is an article in there, a one-clip - it talks about genuine leadership. If the people in Nova Scotia will reflect on the last five minutes that you heard the Minister of Energy and our Premier talk about genuine leadership on a difficult decision, I think they will feel very confident that the right decision is going to be made for coastal communities and all Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

PREM: ECONOMIC ADVISORY PANEL - MEMBERSHIP

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Last week the Premier appointed members to his Economic Advisory Council. The Premier is on record in this House as saying many people requested to be put on the panel, so my question to the Premier is, what process did you use to solicit participants for the panel, and who made the final decision?

[Page 1953]

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, of course, all of them were reviewed through my office, and ultimately the final decision was mine.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, Joan Jessome was appointed to the Premier's Economic Advisory Council. When asked the question in the Law Amendments Committee, she informed the committee that she had been asked to take part by Rick Clarke. The fact that the advisory committee is top-heavy with union representation and under-represented by entrepreneurs and small business owners - you have already told this House that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business was not asked to be part of the panel. So my question to the Premier is, was your process for selecting union representation different from the process of including business representation?

THE PREMIER: The answer to that, Mr. Speaker, is no.

MR. MCNEIL: Everyone understands that the Advisory Council on the Economy needs broad representation to have any real meaning. That is why it is important to have a balanced selection of union representation, business, and non-governmental organizations. Yes, representation of small business, those men and women who invest directly in the economy of this province and provide half the jobs, were absent from this committee. My question to the Premier is, will you commit to balancing the Economic Advisory Panel with more representatives from small business?

THE PREMIER: Well, as I've already said through you, Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I'm very excited about the economic council and very, very happy with the representation that includes small business, as I've pointed out before. In fact, what is very important about this is it also includes members who started out with small businesses, built them through hard work, and who are willing now to share that expertise with the government in order to strengthen the province.

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

HEALTH - MS: ZAMBONI TECHNIQUE - USE

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health. MS is a disease that affects between 5,500 and 70,000 Canadians and typically strikes people within the ages of 20 to 40. MS is a debilitating disease that has no known cause, no known potential cure, and no treatment. The best that modern drugs can do is slow the progression of the disease.

[Page 1954]

Recently there has been some groundbreaking research that has yielded some positive results for people who suffer from MS. Dr. Zamboni and his team of scientists in Italy published in November 2009 that they found that people with MS had a high rate of CCSVI, chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, and it is caused by narrowing veins in the neck that prevent blood from draining properly, which causes corrosive iron deposits on the brain. Dr. Paolo Zamboni has found that angioplasty through the veins is an effective way of stemming MS.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is, are you aware of the benefits that treating CCSVI has on MS patients and will the minister commit to using Dr. Zamboni's angioplasty technique on MS patients in Nova Scotia?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, Dr. Zamboni's therapy, while it offers great hope understandably to people who have MS, a degenerative disease, is still a very experimental therapy that requires more research and clinical testing before we can have this therapy adopted for treating MS in Nova Scotia.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, drug costs can be as high as $40,000 per year and only slow the progression of MS. MS associated costs in Canada are $1 billion per year and are increasing each year. Successful surgeries treating CCSVI in MS patients have been conducted in the United States, Poland, Jordan, Kuwait - all with positive results. Under the Canadian Health Act, treatment for CCSVI by using angioplasty is covered but not for the treatment of MS. Dr. Zamboni's information - you'll have to excuse me, I'm a little emotional about this one - as Health Canada refutes his treatment and is saying that it needs more studies.

Time is the worst enemy for people who suffer from MS - they can't wait. Mr. Speaker, this is as much about hope for people as it is about a treatment for people. My question to the minister is, will you fund existing tests for CCSVI, which use Doppler ultrasounds and MRIs, as insured services for people who suffer from MS?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, through you, I would say to the honourable member that this is why we need more research. We need to be sure that the risks and the benefits of this treatment are clearly established. Dr. Zamboni in his treatment had very specialized equipment that we don't necessarily have available to us. The link between the treatments that Dr. Zamboni did and MS are not clearly established and we require further research to determine exactly what the impact of this treatment will be for MS victims.

Mr. Speaker, I'm very aware of the need to continue to provide hope to people in our province who have MS and we will do everything in our power to support further research so that we will know that we will know that we will have risk-free and beneficial treatments for people who suffer from this debilitating disease.

[Page 1955]

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, this minister wouldn't even go outside and talk to the people that are here worried about MS. As a matter of fact, this procedure is a common procedure that's done on a daily basis at every hospital in the Province of Nova Scotia, to check the veins because people with hypertension and who could possibly suffer from strokes get the same type of treatment. The minister stood outside and said, no other province in Canada does this. They talked about genuine leadership for today's family, well here's an opportunity for genuine leadership. This is the opportunity. We were the first province in the country and we can be the first one to lead the way on MS.

The treatments for this are high for drug costs and costs on the system. If a person has any kind of blockage in the vein, that is a drain on our health care system. The simple and easy thing to do is test these people, test that it's being done right across this province and this country. Will this minister and this government provide real and genuine leadership and test the people so that they don't have to suffer and have no hope?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member, I'd like the member to know that I came over to the House early before we came into session today. I spent a half hour with the spokesperson for the people who are here, bringing information to the members with respect to this new Liberation Treatment. I met with this lady downstairs in the Uniacke Room. I explained to her that as with any new medical idea for treatment, substantial research and testing is needed to ensure that we fully understand the risks and the benefits that are associated with these treatments. That is the scientific method we have in place and that is what we will follow with respect to this particular treatment.

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

PREM. - SYDNEY HBR.: DREDGING - SUPPORT

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The dredging of Sydney Harbour is an economic development priority for Cape Breton. A final decision on whether the project will proceed must be made by the end of this month. My question to the Premier is, has the Premier discussed this matter with the federal government and issued your support for the dredging of Sydney Harbour?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite may know, I've been certainly very much involved with the discussions taking place around the dredging of Sydney Harbour. I had an opportunity to meet, just a little over a week ago, with several representatives who were going off to Ottawa for the purposes of discussing with federal representatives the commitment to this project.

[Page 1956]

This is, as I've said before, a federal harbour. The leadership on this file has to come from the federal government. I have written to Minister Baird, I have spoken to Minister Ashfield in relation to it. Of course we want to find out what the position of the federal government is with respect to the file. We want to know what their commitment is to it and, of course, once we know what their commitment is then we'll be able to respond and make our own commitments.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: It would be nice if the Premier had given his support up front so that would aid the federal government in making the decision but I guess that didn't happen.

The project is key to the economic development of the CBRM. The harbour could eventually produce 6,500 more jobs in the area and generate millions of dollars in revenue. Jobs are important in Cape Breton, whether or not the Premier realizes it. My question again to the Premier is, will you pressure the minister of ACOA to announce this funding soon, give your support and contribute to the region's potential to become the Atlantic Gateway?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in fact, I have been supportive of this initiative right from the very beginning. I understand that it is the priority of the businesspeople and the business community in that area. In fact, I had an opportunity to speak with Minister Ashfield just a short time ago about the project. As I've said, we've written to Minister Baird, we've written for the purposes of saying that we want the federal government to determine what their level of commitment to this project is and to allow their decision to come to us as soon as possible so we are then in a position to be able to do an assessment and make our commitment.

[3:15 p.m.]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the Premier is doing an excellent job of dancing around the subject here. My question was, does he support the project? Really, that was what I was trying to get out of the Premier, and still no provincial support commitment from that side of the House as yet.

The Port Authority has done its homework. An environmental assessment has been done, a competitive quote from a dredging company is in, and the timeline has been announced. The region of Cape Breton need jobs and it needs help from the provincial and federal governments. My final supplementary is, Mr. Premier, will you commit today to ensuring this money is assigned for the dredging of Sydney Harbour before the funding is lost? Will you give provincial support?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as I've said right from the very beginning, we supported the project from its inception. We have been in touch with the federal government and it is up to them to take a leadership role on this. In order for us to know what the

[Page 1957]

potential cost to the province is, we first have to know what it is that the federal government is prepared to commit to this project. We expect them to take the lion's share of any leadership in this project. It's a federal harbour and therefore lies with them.

We want to see this project be a success. We certainly want to see the federal government make a commitment to the project.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

FIN. - HST INCREASE: TAX REVENUE - EFFECT

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Tax increases create a psychological deterrent to consumer spending. Higher taxes also mean less disposable income for consumers to spend. Has your department quantified the negative effect of the 25 per cent increase in the provincial portion of the HST and what that will have on consumer spending in our Nova Scotia economy?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my department has, as they always do, put every economic variable into the very sophisticated models that they have available to them. The good news - despite all the negativity coming from the other side - is that we forecast economic growth of almost 2 per cent in Nova Scotia this year.

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I have a document to table here. This is proof that reduced taxes stimulate the economy. This is from the 2009 federal budget and it is a table that shows the estimated economic impacts of tax relief measures announced in conjunction with stimulus expenditure. These measures are going to boost real GDP by 2.5 per cent across the country and create or maintain about 265,000 jobs by the end of 2010. This is proof that a reduction in tax creates economic stimulus, and by extension of that argument, tax increases will harm our economy.

My question for the minister is, higher taxes also mean increased, unreported business activity, or as we hear it called, "work under the table". This means there will be income earned that is not reported, and this will impact tax revenues for our province. My question is, has the minister determined how much lost income tax revenue will result from an increase in the HST?

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, despite the doom and gloom coming from the other side of the floor, Nova Scotia has a great performance last year compared to other provinces. We're going to be growing strongly again this year because finally we have a government who is going to put the books of the province in order. As part of that, we are very pleased - last year we had the largest stimulus program in the province's history, this year we have the second largest. We're creating jobs and we're helping the economy.

[Page 1958]

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to get the minister to give us something positive. What measures will your government take to stimulate the economy, to generate tax revenue from economic growth? Not just from tax increases to pay for the deficit in 2010.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, as I said - perhaps I need to repeat it for the honourable member - we are spending $700 million in economic stimulus spending, creating 7,000 person years of employment and with this government, it's onwards and upwards.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH - BTO PROG.: INCREASE - REVIEW

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. I know many members, especially those living in rural Nova Scotia receive phone calls around the income threshold for the Boarding Transportation and Ostomy Program for cancer patients. In fact, it was so important to this government when in Opposition, the honourable member for Pictou East issued a press release asking why the government of the day refused to increase the threshold amount. I'll table that, Mr. Speaker.

This morning during Public Accounts, departmental officials confirmed that the income threshold established for this program has not been reviewed in the department for four years. My question to the minister is, given the NDP's support for an increase when in Opposition, could the minister tell the people of Nova Scotia why the income threshold for the BTO program has not yet been reviewed?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member says, the threshold has not been reviewed as yet. This is something we will be undertaking when we are in a better fiscal position than is currently the case. Right now, we have a situation where the province's revenue is flat and we have a limited ability to be able to add new programs. (Interruptions)

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

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, we will be announcing the review when we are in a position to do that.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, when asked last Fall, the Minister of Health said an increase in the BTO Program would be actively considered in the 2010-11 budget deliberations. At the time, the minister responded, yes, and Mr. Speaker, I will table Hansard for the benefit of the House. The words of the minister versus the report from the staff that the income threshold has not been reviewed in four years speak for themselves. Could the

[Page 1959]

minister clarify for the benefit of all Nova Scotians when she will review the income threshold level for the BTO Program?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as I've said, when we're in a better financial position to review that income threshold, we will certainly be doing that and I will be making that announcement when that occurs.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the gross family income threshold level is $15,720. For a family of three, this threshold level is close to $8,000 less than the low-income cut-off in rural Nova Scotia. Could the minister please comment on an income threshold level for a government program that is significantly lower than our low-income cut-off?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, again, through you to the member. The member will know that in this year's health budget, we're spending an additional $212 million. That really reflects an increase in salaries by and large - more than 60 per cent of that expenditure for our health human resources, increased costs for medical equipment, for drug therapies. When we have a better financial picture we will be able to review some of those income thresholds and I certainly look forward to the time when we are in that position.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

FISH. & AQUACULTURE - GEORGES BANK DRILLING:

SOUTHWEST. N.S. - EFFECTS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. With what's been going on in the Gulf of Mexico with thousands and thousands of barrels of oil leaking and devastating the fisheries in that region, I'm sure that the Georges Bank moratorium is at the front of your government's mind right now. Yet the minister continues to dance the dance, saying that he wants to see the science and what the newest technology has to say about drilling in sensitive fishing grounds.

Let me ask the minister - never mind the spin or the briefing note that sits in front of you, what is your gut feeling about what drilling will do to the fishery in southwest Nova Scotia?

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the question, to the member opposite. My feeling is that the member opposite made reference in the last couple of days to the campaign literature of the last election. My reflection is that the people on that literature asked for genuine leadership and on this particular decision this is exactly what they're getting, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it seems it has taken an oil spill for him to change his mind.

[Page 1960]

Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture again, a year ago the minister was much more straight in his views. Let me quote from the election pamphlet: Today's families can count on Darrell and Sterling. Sterling continues to be a strong voice for Shelburne County. (Applause) I want them to hear this, I'm going to wait: He will work hard to ensure that, among other things - now here's where we're going to get silence - the moratorium on Georges Bank is maintained. Wait a minute (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, you know he didn't even clap. I want to know what has really changed between the election and getting into Cabinet? Why have you changed your stance on such an important issue?

MR. BELLIVEAU: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I think the member opposite needs to refresh. What has changed is the seating arrangement on this particular government.

There is a process and I encourage members opposite to reflect upon Hansard. Our Premier has spoken to this. There is a decision that is going to be made, there is a process to follow. Again, I'll reflect and I thank the member for Argyle for reflecting on his earlier statement about the hard work. This is about genuine leadership and the people of Nova Scotia voted for that and this is what they deserve. Thank you.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member can try to spin it any way he wants but he stands in this place and says we need to review it, we need to look at the science, we need to render our decision at a later time, yet during the election he said that he wanted the moratorium continued on Georges Bank.

Mr. Speaker, all I ask, I wonder if the minister can maybe speak - maybe to the Minister of Environment as well - and speak to the Minister of Energy and see if they can get their messages straight.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Again, thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the question opposite. Again, I just want to reflect on the process that we're going through to make informed decisions and I'm confident that we'll reach that point. It just caused me to reflect on the previous government and their inability to make the correct decisions and the kiddie ATVs quickly come to mind. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ERD: STUDENT CAREER SKILLS PROG.

- DETAILS

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development. On Thursday I asked the minister for information regarding his

[Page 1961]

department's Student Careers Skills Development Program. The minister did table a document, close to 40 pages, in fact. Unfortunately, it was for last year.

Mr. Speaker, that is not what was asked for, so I will ask the minister again. Have all the organizations have been contacted with information on whether or not they will receive support from your department for this year's program, 2010?

[3:30 p.m.]

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I did table a document, and yes, it was 40 pages in length, and when I did table the document, I did make a statement that this was last year's statistics. I was very, very clear on that, and what I also said is that the current statistics were not available at this time. However, I'm pleased to say that I just found out today that they can be gotten to through our Web site, so anyone in the public and any member of the House can access them.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, in a way it was good that the minister tabled the information from last year last week. When I asked if this year marked an increase or decrease from last year, the minister didn't even come close to answering my question. He actually suggested that a closed-door meeting would be a better strategy than a straightforward answer. Well, the NDP may have turned their backs on transparency, but our caucus still believes that questions should be answered in the open. So I will ask the very same question to the minister that I asked last week, and this time I hope he will be accountable and answer. So, Mr. Speaker, would the minister please tell this House this year's - whether it marks an increase in jobs or a decrease in jobs?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, it just makes me so curious as to why a member would get up in the House and talk about cloak and dagger activities. When I invited the member to meet with me, I made it very, very clear to the member that the current statistics were not available yet. I've said here today that when they become available - look, they're on the Internet. How much more public can that be? They are easily accessible. Go on the Internet and look for them.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my final question is one that is very simple. Just to be clear, I am looking for current data. The information may be on the Internet, it may be public, but I want it tabled in this House, and I want the information on this year - who applied and who received the money.

My question will be to the minister again - and he can laugh about this if he wants, but this is important - will the minister table at the end of this Question Period a list of all of the organizations who applied and what each will receive by way of wage reimbursement in this program for this year, 2010?

[Page 1962]

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, again, I do respect the question. I wonder about the question, but I do respect the question. I don't know if it will be tabled by the end of Question Period, because staff will be listening to this, and I will make the request that we have that information so it can be tabled here in the House.

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

TIR: BOAT HBR. CLEANUP - GOV'T. COMMITMENT

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. In 2008, the then-Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal wrote a letter outlining his government's intention to clean up Boat Harbour. The previous government - our government - committed to fixing that longstanding issue. Now the current NDP Government says that they have no intention on following through on this commitment. My question to the minister is, was this a political decision or are you just not interested in helping the people of Pictou Landing First Nation?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I have a great deal of time for the member opposite, and I would hope that he would be careful - not that he has to be careful listening to me, but when he was in the Speaker's Chair, I listened to his direction. This is a sensitive issue. This is an issue I want the member opposite to know, and the members from my caucus know from the beginning, as the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister, when I first visited Boat Harbour and reported back to Cabinet, I was struck by the patience of the natives in the community. I was struck by the conditions. I was struck, particularly, with the visit I had to the school and to the community. Whether the December 5th letter is one that I would have signed or not, I want the member opposite to know, as he probably can tell by the tone of my voice, this is an important issue. This is an issue that keeps me awake at night, and there's no other way to put it than that.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, I do believe that this is an issue that the minister does have a lot of concern for, and I have respect for that minister, but my question is about his government's commitment to Boat Harbour cleanup. Now, earlier on in the season, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said it's not the focus of where we're going, and this conflicts with the campaign pledge that they would honour all commitments of other governments. Will this government agree that this is indeed a public health issue which requires their commitment and attention sooner than later?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. Having had the opportunity to be in the community this Monday, and to meet with the First Nation leaders at that time, and assuring them of the fact that I was there to listen, and I was there to make sure that I understood their point of view and their frustration. Having had a tour of the facility and seeing firsthand, as was presented to me during that meeting, a jug of

[Page 1963]

rather unacceptable water - that I did not drink of course - I know that this is a health issue and this is an issue of long-standing concern in the community. It's an issue that this government will address for the benefit of all involved, and it is one of those decisions that inevitably we'll make for the people of that First Nation in Pictou Landing.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. As Dan MacDonald, the lands manager for Pictou Landing First Nation put it, this letter is under the provincial seal and we believe the honour of the Crown is at stake. Now, I couldn't have put that better myself. Will this government uphold their word and the honour of the Crown, and agree to meet the commitments made to Pictou Landing First Nation by the previous government?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, this issue is more than about a letter. This issue is, after all, the long-standing frustration and history of this community. I was asked the other day, would I have signed that letter? I said very clearly, when Cabinet solidarity is behind the confidence of this minister, I would make the decision based upon whether I had the full support of my government, my caucus, and my Premier. That was not part of that letter, in my opinion.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

EDUC.: DARTMOUTH HS - REFURBISHMENT

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Education. Here we are again at another school year ending, and still no work has begun to refurbish Dartmouth High, despite the fact that both the school and the community were told in the Fall that monies were approved by the Department of Education. So I'm wondering if the minister can explain to the students and parents of the Dartmouth High family of schools, why we've only seen the installation of a natural gas line, as of this time?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I certainly share the interest of the honourable member in Dartmouth High School. It serves the majority of youth from my constituency as well. As he understands, about $12 million has been committed over four years for those very extensive renovations and upgrading. The work is underway. The school steering committee, with input from the school advisory council, has finalized a list of required upgrades, their assessment is underway, security and assessment of the current building in terms of supporting programming and a project manager has been hired. So certainly work is well in progress and we anticipate actually seeing the results of that planning period in the near future.

MR. ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, on April 12, 2010, Principal Monard reported that the administrative team did, in fact, meet with Ron Heiman to review the preliminary design. With the first deadline for the use of the funds now passed, I wonder if the minister can give us an update and timeline as to when we will see the first renovations being constructed.

[Page 1964]

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, it's my understanding that about $4 million of that $12 million is due to be spent in the coming year, so I'm assuming that the planning and the assessments and the hiring of the project manager will indicate that there will be some actual physical renovations starting soon.

MR. ZINCK: That's good to hear, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the minister for that. I'm just wondering if the minister can reassure, at this point in time, both the parents and the students of the Dartmouth family of schools that the project continues to be a priority for her and her government.

MS. MORE: The simple answer is yes, it's a priority of the Department of Education and this government. It was a wise commitment made by the previous government and it is one that we are very proud to honour. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH - MACULAR DEGENERATION: MEDICATION

- PAYMENT PROG.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Recently I've been contacted by Betty Sydow, who was advocating on behalf of her son, William, who suffers from macular degeneration. While Lucentis was recommended as his best treatment option, he was told to switch to isadyne because it would be covered through Pharmacare, but there was a catch: the high co-payment amount.

My office spoke to MSI with a request to consider 12 monthly payments. The answer was no. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Benjamin's income is $9,000 per year through Community Services. My question to the minister is, why is it not possible for William to establish a monthly payment plan with MSI? After all, his only other option is blindness.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the member, I would ask the member to bring that information to me following Question Period and I will certainly look into setting up some kind of a payment program. (Applause)

MR. GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the minister, but there is actually an even better option. William has 5 per cent of his sight left. He has been offered a treatment option that would be covered by the province at a cost of $1,750 per treatment, and six treatments would be required. With isadyne William will regain 10 per cent of his sight. Lucentis, however, would cost $1,575 per treatment, with seven treatments required. The prognosis for William if Lucentis was funded was a 70 per cent restoration of his eyesight. The difference in cost between the two options is $525. My question for the

[Page 1965]

minister is, is the 60 per cent restoration in someone's eyesight not worth an additional investment of $525?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. We've been having a conversation about Lucentis here in this Chamber and outside as well. I will continue to work very hard with people in my department and this government to find a way to see Lucentis on the formulary. However, as of this moment, it is not on the formulary. I will again offer to the member that if he would like to bring me the information with respect to the other drug that is covered but the difficulties that this family is having around a payment plan, I will be more than happy to look into it and see how we can rectify that.

MR. GLAVINE: Well, thank you, Madam Minister. I am pleased to hear that there is some offer of hope. Every province in this country funds Lucentis except Nova Scotia. Each and every month government delays their decision, Nova Scotians are losing their sight. Does this minister want to be known as the minister who managed a $3.6 billion budget or one who will be remembered for allowing Nova Scotians to go blind?

[3:45 p.m.]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, this minister would like to be known as the minister who gives Nova Scotians more affordable drugs. (Applause) For that reason, my department is embarking on a number of initiatives that we hope will lead to more affordable drugs for Nova Scotians. That will allow us to reap some savings that then can be reinvested in our health care system in a way that is sustainable and will see people get the new emerging treatments like Lucentis as they become available.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

TIR: CHEBUCTO HEAD/DUNCANS COVE RDS.

- REPAIR

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Chebucto Head Road and Duncans Cove Road serve the communities of Duncans Cove and Chebucto Head. These roads are in a state of severe disrepair. The residents who purchased property and built homes here pay a good deal of taxes for their properties and expect a decent level of service. This was stated by the member for Halifax Atlantic in a letter to her councillor on May 30, 2007 - I will table that letter - will the minister commit to bringing the Chebucto Head Road and Duncans Cove Road up to a respectable level of quality?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member opposite for the question. I'm aware of the fact further to correspondence that I have received from the councillor for the area. There is an issue of the jurisdictional responsibilities for these

[Page 1966]

particular roads. We're addressing the matter with staff, making sure there is clarity on it because whatever the road, whether a municipal issue or a provincial issue, in some cases a federal road for one reason or another, we have to make sure these roads are safe and accessible to Nova Scotians. This hasn't yet been clarified by my staff but it will be something I will have to get back to the member further with more details.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the former and current NDP MLAs for Halifax Atlantic brought the issue up to past ministers when they were in Opposition. But now the member's constituents are growing frustrated. The federal government does own the land, as the minister alluded to, but has divested itself from all responsibilities for maintenance and snow removal. As the minister would know, these roads presently do not qualify under the aid to municipalities, either because of their classification or status. This did not stop the MLA for Halifax Atlantic from telling the road's residents that it was up to the municipality to add the roads to HRM's J-class list for provincial-municipal cost-shared projects knowing full well that they didn't qualify. My question to the minister is, will the minister work with the local councillor to make Chebucto Head and Duncan's Cove Roads a capital priority for the residents who have been abandoned by their current MLA?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I'm in the habit as the minister working with all levels of government - councillors, federal Members of Parliament and MLAs. I want to assure the people of Halifax Atlantic that when it comes to making sure their views are being listened to in this House, or whether they're being listened to in my Cabinet office, the MLA for Halifax Atlantic has the ear of this minister. (Applause)

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, there just seems to be an awful lot of confusion around the responsibility for the road in that area, whether it's under federal jurisdiction, provincial jurisdiction or whether it's under city jurisdiction. There are many years that the folks have been waiting to have their road looked at and dealt with. By the letters that I tabled, I can go to the press release from July 10, 2007, a letter this year from the minister to the local councillor, and I can go on. They need a straightforward answer from this minister on whether he's going to be taking care of that road or not. Will he be taking care of the road?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. I share the concerns and the frustrations of the residents. They've been more than patient. It is an issue on which staff continues to advise me and I want you to know it is also an issue that the member for Halifax Atlantic has advised me on. It's one of those issues that has to be addressed, because after all we're concerned about the safety of all roads in Nova Scotia. This is confusing, I will agree with the member opposite, and as the minister responsible I will try to remove some of or, if possible, all of that confusion in future. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 1967]

NAT. RES. - CLEAR-CUTTING: MIN. POSITION

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. It seems as though the NDP Government's position on clear-cutting isn't quite so clear- cut. My colleague, the member for Kings West, has asked the minister previously what regulations his government might be proposing, especially in light of legislation that they introduced in Opposition about this type of harvesting. His answer is always "more study" despite the fact that they had all the answers when they were in Opposition. What is the minister's position on clear-cutting in Nova Scotia?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my position is we do too much of it.

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the minister. You know, the issue of clear-cutting has been raised repeatedly as an environmental one, but now some residents are raising it as a possible safety issue as well when it comes to Nova Scotia's highways. Local residents near Highway 4, as well as ones travelling Highway 4, and specifically near Folly Mountain have expressed concerns with how clear-cutting near the highway has become a safety issue with drifting snow and high winds during the winter, a risk to ecology from the soil erosion and the water system, and of course the destruction of the natural ambiance.

My question for the minister is, does he believe that clear-cutting on lands right up to Nova Scotia's highways can increase the danger for motorists, and is his department working with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on the issue?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, no I'm not working with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on the issue.

As a matter of fact, what the member is saying is that all of the farmers' fields that come right up to the highways, we have to do something about right now because of the possible snow drifting on the roads. The issue he raises is an important one, and actually I'd be curious to have my staff look at that situation because I think in the regulations there also is an issue around the incline that you clear-cut on or harvest on as well - there's a restriction there along with stream buffers and the amount of woody debris that's left on the site.

If there is anything about that particular site that would indicate that there's a breach in the regulations, I would really like to see my staff look at that. We are engaged in a process that will soon come to the point of writing policy. At some point in the very near future the member will see the direction of that policy.

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, the minister speaks as though he has never heard about this issue and yet he was forwarded a letter by the Leader of the Third Party a number of months ago and again was reminded a couple of days ago by the same resident. His

[Page 1968]

department hadn't responded yet. So this should not be a surprise, and as it relates to farmers' fields he would know that in areas where there is snow drifting they put a snow fence up near the highway - so it is actually an issue in some of those.

The fact of the matter is this is the second session of this government and we've still seen nothing to update the rules despite an insistence that it had to be done while they were in Opposition, so when will the minister table with this House, and the public, updated guidelines and regulations for forestry?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'll table them when they're ready. The issue around the member of the Third Party, she just gave me copies of e-mails yesterday or the day before, which I took to my staff and asked them to investigate. I don't have an answer for her on this, so it would make it difficult to have an answer for the member who is asking the question. My staff are looking into it and whatever response that I can get I'd be sure to convey that to both members as need be.

As far as regulation, I'm hoping that by the first of September, if all goes well, that actually we'll have regulations around clear-cutting that will be new to the province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

ERD - EASTLINK: LUNN CASE - INVESTIGATE

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Premier and Minister of Communications Nova Scotia, and I might warn the minister that he may find this difficult to believe, but it is the truth.

Nicole Lunn, a resident of Panuke Road in Three Mile Plains, has been trying to get EastLink Cable hooked up at her house for the past six years - not six months, but for six years. This poor woman has been told everything under the sun. It started with the cable wire being stolen from the house before she ever purchased it. EastLink has literally been teasing her: they have visited her home six times, a number of times calling to say they could hook it up, only to tell her something different when they arrived at the home. As the minister responsible for communications in this province, could you launch an investigation to see if Nicole Lunn can have EastLink Cable hooked up?

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, I think the member may be confusing CNS, which is the communications arm of government, with the rural broadband. So with all due respect, I will give that question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development.

[Page 1969]

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I certainly would be more than pleased to receive the information, the phone number from the person, and I will certainly make a phone call.

MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, to the minister, the first time she was told no problem about getting her cable hooked up. Then they couldn't because her 1,000 foot cable line had been stolen, as I mentioned earlier. She was told later, no problem, only to have them show up, first telling her they wouldn't charge her, then to change their minds a short time later to say, it is going to cost you now $5,000. The next time she was told that she needed a new pole by EastLink, only to have Nova Scotia Power tell her that there was nothing wrong with the pole. She was then told that she had cable by the company - turn it on! It gets better. EastLink showed up again, and guess what, they told her she couldn't have it because she didn't have her cable line.

My question to the minister, is there anything you can do as minister to prevent ordinary Nova Scotians from having to deal with these shenanigans? It should not be allowed.

MR. SPEAKER: Your question is directed to whom, honourable member?

MR. PORTER: The Deputy Premier is just fine.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I certainly can understand the frustration the customer would want around - it's cable television? I thought it was rural broadband - but the reality is that cable television is a federally-regulated body and maybe she should be better talking to her Member of Parliament on these issues, because cable is a federally-regulated industry.

MR. PORTER: My final supplementary is to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Her department has the consumer business division. After what you've heard me ask the Deputy Premier today, do you think something can be arranged through your consumer and business policy division that would make it illegal for any business to cause the kind of harassment which Nicole Lunn of Three Mile Plains has endured in the last six years trying to get something as simple as cable hooked up to her home?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I sense the frustration that this customer is having and we are here to investigate all of those kinds of complaints. Therefore, I will direct staff to look into the situation once the honourable member gives me all of the particulars.

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

[Page 1970]

COM. SERV. - RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES:

ABUSE - PREVENT

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community Services. We know that abuse in residential care facilities is an ongoing concern. The minister recognized this last Fall and said she was shocked by the abuse. My question to the minister is, what is the minister doing to prevent abuse in residential care facilities?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. Yes, certainly, I was very, very concerned with the situation that took place in one particular residential facility. So what I did was, I looked into the legislation of the day and, unfortunately, that legislation was part of the problem. That is why I actually introduced a bill today that will change the legislation to give the Minister of Community Services more power to be able to step into a situation of that kind. To put into place, temporarily, an effective management and whatever needs to be done, to ensure that the individuals who are living in these facilities, which are other homes, are safe and being cared for.

[4:00 p.m.]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I do believe that she was concerned last Fall but fixing the problem is yet another matter.

Mr. Speaker, other provinces are moving to small options care facilities. Their size works to prevent abuse in the first place. Rather than take this route, the government is encouraging large facilities. The government has spent $22 million to renovate Riverview, one of the largest residential care facilities in the province, and Riverview has had the worst cases of abuse we have ever seen. My question to the minister is, why is the government supporting a residential care model that doesn't work?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, what's very important to understand is the actual situation that we're dealing within the Province of Nova Scotia and actually throughout Canada. In the larger residential facilities, we have individuals who have extremely complex disorders so it's not just one disorder that they have; they typically have two or three. When I say complex, they are very complex and they would be very disturbing to anybody in here if they saw some of the results of the disorders they have.

So, therefore, through Community Services, our first priority is to actually place an individual in a community. However, if their disorder is so complex that they won't get the appropriate care in small options, that's why we need to put them in the larger facilities because of the fact that they then they have the best access to the best care, because there are psychiatrists and doctors available and more professional care.

[Page 1971]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: It sounds to me, Mr. Speaker, like that's an endorsement of larger residential facilities, something that certainly is not the way to go in the future. What she's saying, too, is that disorders cannot be handled by small options facilities in the community. I think that there are a lot of people out there who would disagree with that statement the minister made here today.

The minister has said, Mr. Speaker, that she's absolutely satisfied that the abuse problems at Riverview have been addressed. She said the abuse problems occurring more recently have been resident to resident as opposed to staff to resident. Abuse is abuse. It doesn't matter whether the instigator is a staff person or another resident. My final supplementary to the minister is, will you explain to Nova Scotians why you aren't acting to prevent abuse in large residential care facilities?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, in fact, that's exactly what the new legislation will do and it will allow us to be able to step in in a quicker process than was available before. It is very important, as I said, to understand that when I talk about complex issues, I talk about issues in terms of some individuals who eat pieces off the wall and eat batteries. I mean things that you would never dream, never dream even possible, and that's why they are not safe in the small options. So there will always be those issues and those kind of disorders, therefore, and with respect to the particular residential facilities, we have invested $20 million. We also put on some small options facilities right at that residential facility. So, therefore, we have a couple of small options.

My prime concern, of course, are the residents. It's their home and we're looking very closely at what they need for care. I understand in other places that have decided not to go with large residential facilities, they are actually having a lot of issues within their provinces. So we have to wait to see what's taking place with those changes elsewhere.

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

LWD: LBR. SHORTAGE - NUMBERS

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. Madam Minister, you stated in an address to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce earlier this winter that by the year 2014, 18,500 jobs will be disappearing in Nova Scotia while, at the same time, 40,000 Nova Scotians will be retiring. The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said back on January 19th in the Canadian Press story that 56,000 jobs will be vacant in the next five years.

When I hear the discrepancy in numbers, a simple question came to my mind, does your government have a true idea of the pending labour shortage facing Nova Scotia in the coming years?

[Page 1972]

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, we certainly are attempting to stay on top of the issue. This is a situation that changes week by week, because of the business decisions made by small business, medium-sized business and corporations. We do our best to estimate what changes, what job availability there will be.

Actually it is interesting to note that many of the youth who are graduating from our high schools and universities today, they are graduating into jobs that weren't even dreamed of perhaps 10 or 15 years ago. So we're keeping on top of it. If you check our Web site, you'll see that we're identifying where job opportunities are in various sectors and we're trying to match the skilled workers to the jobs available. Thank you.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, again through you to the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. In last Fall's budget an additional $200,000 was placed into a fund known as the older workers fund. Will the minister describe for me today how this money is spent? For example, was any of it used to train older workers for new jobs?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I don't have all the details but this was part of a federal initiative. We have invested in programs that will help keep older workers in the workforce, help attract back retirees, and also help retirees and older workers who might want to use their entrepreneurial skills and start up small businesses. So the money is being well invested. It is a short-term funding strategy from the federal government and we'll make sure that Nova Scotians benefit to the best degree possible. Thank you.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, again through you to the minister. You stated at this same dinner before the Halifax Chamber of Commerce that even if Nova Scotia doubled its immigration levels over the next couple of years, it would not be enough to fill the upcoming job vacancies. You said today's Nova Scotia workforce does not present the skills to fill jobs that are becoming open. How aggressive will job training become and will your government also be looking at changes to the Pension Benefits Act that will enable retired workers to earn pensions while they still continue to work?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say that the government is responding with a menu of different strategies and it will address many of the concerns raised by the honourable member. Certainly we've talked to economists and people who analyze population trends and we do know that in the Province of Nova Scotia, even if we doubled the immigration rate, even if we changed many of our policies to be more family-friendly, the birth rate is not going to increase significantly in this province. What we need to do is do things like retain graduates from our post-secondary institutions. We need to do more and we are doing more on-site training and we're working with small, medium and large businesses to do that. We have a number of different strategies trying to address that issue. Thank you.

[Page 1973]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

SNSMR - TAX ISSUE: N.S./N.B. BORDER

- MIN. RECOMMENDATIONS

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Unfortunately, while I agree with her on the bill she introduced this afternoon, I can't agree with her on everything and this is one of those.

Just over a month ago the minister said she would need some time to review the URB ruling on the gas tax issue at the border. The minister later told the House that she had read the report and that she would make her recommendations to Cabinet. Since that time the minister and Cabinet. Since that time the minister and Cabinet have been eerily silent on that issue. Would the minister mind telling the House whether she has made a recommendation to Cabinet?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the question. I appreciate that people have been patient. We did receive the recommendations, I did read all of the report, and even though it might have looked quite simplistic with all of the recommendations, making sure that the recommendations that I bring forward and all of the implications that have been fleshed out, it's just taking me a little extra time. I do promise the member opposite that as soon as a decision is made, I will present that decision to the House.

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, whether the minister has the opportunity to present her response to the House might depend on, I guess, how long this session lasts, and hopefully we're not talking about the Fall session of the House.

The idea that the NDP could solve the problems of provincial taxation by moving the border is just ridiculous. It was ridiculous during the election, it's ridiculous now, and the URB said it was ridiculous. The Leader of the Official Opposition said it was a bad idea at the time and the URB has now said it was a bad idea. My question for the minister is, now having looked at the report and understanding that it isn't a simplistic report - and I would agree with her on that - but they have one very clear conclusion and that is that the artificial border doesn't work, does the minister now agree with that suggestion by the URB that the artificial border is a bad idea?

MS. JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I just would like to repeat that I am taking the time to make sure that I look at the recommendation and all the implications around those recommendations. As soon as those recommendations come forward and a decision is made, I will make that very public.

[Page 1974]

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I guess what's frustrating for me and for a lot of people is that all the consultants, the reports and the opinion polls that the NDP can commission all say the same thing - it's a bad idea. The URB held hearings and said it's a bad idea; in fact, they said that all of the evidence suggests it's a bad idea. While the minister may not yet know what she's going to recommend as an alternative, would she now admit that the idea of a preferential tax zone mentioned during the election was simply a crass attempt to get votes in Cumberland North?

MS. JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to qualify that question with an answer. What I am going to say is that I am taking this situation very seriously. I have read the recommendations; I am still working through all of the implications around those. We want to be very mindful of any decisions that we make, that they're good decisions for all of Nova Scotia. Therefore, as soon as that recommendation comes forward I will share that.

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

PREM.: OFFSHORE TECHNOLOGY CONF. (HOUSTON)

- REPRESENTATION

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. As we know, the Premier has just returned from OTC, the Offshore Technologies Conference, in Houston. Since he wouldn't allow the hard-working Bill to go or his Deputy Premier who has experience - who has been there before - to go, my question to the Premier is, what is it that they don't know that you do?

THE PREMIER: I'm not sure in which category they want me to start to explain that, there would be a broad waterfront, I'm sure. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to attend the Offshore Technologies Conference. Of course it's one of the largest, if not the largest, in the world, and over the course of Sunday afternoon through until Tuesday morning we were able to meet with many of the companies and suppliers of companies that have interests here in the province. As you know, more than $1 billion has already been received by way of offshore revenues in this province.

The promotion of the offshore as an industry is something that I know is important to the former minister when he was in that position. It's very important to this government and we're working hard to try to attract as much new interest to our offshore as possible. It's not a matter of knowing more than other people, it's just a matter of wanting to protect and promote and defend the interests of the province.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the Premier doesn't have too much of a tan so I'm assuming he was busy while he was down there. But you know, Houston, we've got a problem, and that's this government getting their priorities straight about our offshore oil

[Page 1975]

and gas sector and the divergence of opinion. We know the Minister of Energy has lots of challenges before him and he has stated them in the House and I agree, but one of them shouldn't be his own Premier.

[4:15 p.m.]

The minister has talked about sensitive discussions and delicate negotiations in our offshore and I would think if the minister is trying to bring these things forward - the Premier has talked about past initiatives which have brought royalties in, he's not talking about current initiatives. My question to the Minister of Energy is, what is it that the Premier is doing that you should be doing and you're not getting the chance to do?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member opposite, I think. I understand part of that question, I won't dare ask you to repeat it because I bet you can't. The concern, of course, comes down to make sure that when we travel in other parts of the country and other parts of the continent, that we're speaking on behalf of the government and we're speaking on behalf of Nova Scotians as we look forward to some of the challenges we are facing in the offshore. As the minister, I feel very comfortable and I know the Deputy Premier has been there before, but I want the member opposite to know, I have the full confidence in my Premier when it comes to representing this province - whether it's in Houston, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Ottawa.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad the minister could identify the Premier likes to travel but what we're looking for is results for Nova Scotians at this time. My question to the Premier is - the minister has challenges before him, you said you've met with companies - can you tell us specifically what companies you've met with, who they are, and what you're trying to proceed for our offshore and oil development for Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: The number of companies I met with, of course, are a part of the business of the department and I'm not going to go through each one of them. What I can tell him is that there is, and remains, great interest in our offshore. We are looking to ensure that things like the interest that companies, for example ExxonMobil, have in significant discovery licences (Interruption) Does he want an answer, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER: That we have in significant discovery licences are advanced. Of course, these kinds of initiatives are very important because ultimately it means there continues to be another tier to the SOEP. It means that we bring to fruition more of the resources of our offshore and ultimately that benefits both the interests of the company in the offshore and the interests of the province.

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

[Page 1976]

EDUC. - AUTISM REPT.: MIN. - ADDRESS

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. On Monday the department announced it had received the autism report. This report makes 53 recommendations to ensure we are assisting those affected by autism. My question is, what process has the minister put in place to address the report?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I have to say that three ministers, with representation from a fourth, had the opportunity to meet with the Autism Management Advisory Team and receive the report. They briefed us on some of the highlights and as the honourable member has mentioned, there are 53 recommendations.

We first of all thanked them for the incredible amount of work they put into the research and the analysis and the recommendations. We committed to reviewing the report with our various staff and getting back to them, probably this Fall. As the member might know, it didn't just affect school-aged children, it affects the lifespan of children, youth, and adults with autism, and so it's a very significant report.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, we've been here before. There have been countless reports commissioned by the Department of Education and the response is almost always delayed or forgotten. This report is too important. Families are counting on these recommendations to be addressed. Will the minister set a firm date to respond to the report?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I cannot suggest a firm date because we want to make sure we do a thorough job of reviewing it, in order to honour a tremendous amount of work that this committee . . .

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

The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development.

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, during Question Period I was asked for some information. What I do have is those jobs. I don't have the funding numbers - they're not ready yet. So with the permission of the House, I would like to table what I do have.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 1977]

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, may I do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, in the east gallery we have three people from Lingan, Cape Breton, Alex MacPherson and his sons, Darren and Parker. Obviously one of them has lost a bet as you can see by the jacket, but I would like to see them rise and receive the warm reception of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome our visitors here this afternoon and hope they enjoy the proceedings here in the House.

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 485.

Res. No. 485, re NDP Gov't: Sm. Bus. - Support - notice given Apr. 20/10 - (Mr. K. Bain)

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

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand in my place this afternoon to speak on Resolution No. 485, which states:

"Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge this anti-business NDP Government to put aside personal vendettas and radical ideologies and start working in the best interests of small business, the hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians who are employed by them, and the economy as a whole."

Mr. Speaker, small- and medium-sized business is the backbone of the Nova Scotia economy. If you look at the many small businesses in rural areas throughout this great province, employing in most cases local residents, you will see why. The text of my remarks this afternoon focuses on the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the way it's being treated by this government. The CFIB represents 5,200 small- and medium-sized businesses in our province. I'm proud to say that until 2004 my small grocery business was

[Page 1978]

a member of the CFIB for over 30 years, and over that time I have witnessed the benefits to small- and medium-sized business throughout this province.

They are the voice of businesses from one end of this province to the other. From the CFIB Web site I would like to provide you with this information. With the strength of over 105,000 small business owners from across Canada, CFIB is the big voice for small business. For over 35 years they have represented the interests of the small business community to all three levels of government in their fight for tax fairness, reasonable labour laws, and reduction of regulatory paper burden.

Let me put this in terms the members on the opposite side of this House may understand. By representing the little guy, who without them would have no voice, it's almost like equating them to a union - you know, together we are stronger. The Minister of Finance criticized the leadership of CFIB, calling their style "confrontational," and encouraged its members to dump their leaders. In other words, if you don't agree with the minister, you are confrontational and won't listen to sound proposals.

By attacking the CFIB, the Finance Minister and the NDP Government are attacking the largest employer in Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, the CFIB is completely non-partisan and has criticized governments of all Parties across our country if they think their policies will hurt CFIB members.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to reference, if I could, and I will table this when I am through my remarks, the report card, the 2010-11 Nova Scotia Budget Report Card from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. I'm going to just mention a few things that are here. The first issue would be tax competitiveness. Here is the CFIB recommendation: avoid harmful tax increases; examples like HST, personal income taxes. The government's response: HST rises from 13 per cent to 15 per cent on July 1st, the highest in Canada.

The CFIB also recommends to improve Nova Scotia's overall tax system from third worst in Canada and the worst in Atlantic Canada. The government's response: income surtax replaced with a fifth tax bracket, costing taxpayers $31 million more.

Another issue on the report card is expenditure control. The CFIB recommendation, constrain spending growth to annual inflation, 2 per cent. The government's response, including last year's prepayment to universities, spending increased by 7.2 per cent.

Also, Mr. Speaker, red tape and we now know that red tape seems to be a problem for any small and medium-size business not only in this province but throughout this country. The CFIB recommendation: Continue to measure and publicly report paperwork reduction. The government's response: The budget made no mention of red tape. Again under red tape, the CFIB recommendation: Commit to measure and restrain red tape growth beyond 2010.

[Page 1979]

The government's response, or CFIB's response to government is, Nova Scotia's leadership on this file is faltering.

Mr. Speaker, these are just a few of the recommendations that were presented by the CFIB to government that went unheard. The Minister of Finance refused to invite any CFIB member to a closed-door meeting in Amherst on cross-border shopping, despite the fact that members of the CFIB in Amherst came to Halifax for a meeting on that issue. On March 8th, the CFIB hosted a business round table to discuss spending and taxation in the coming budget. The minister sent a staff person to attend.

In Nova Scotia small business optimism fell to 65.9 per cent as businesses braced for the looming increase in the HST. That is below the national average of 66.4 per cent. In March we were just above the national average in business optimism. Let's compare that to the optimism as it rose in the rest of the Atlantic Provinces and please keep in mind business optimism in Nova Scotia, 65.9 per cent; Newfoundland and Labrador, 71.9 per cent; New Brunswick, 69.7 per cent and Prince Edward Island, 66.9 per cent. All three provinces above the national average while business optimism in Nova Scotia fell below the average to 65.9 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, here's a quote from a small business owner in Nova Scotia who wishes to remain nameless, for obvious reasons:

"As the owner of a small construction company in N.S. the last thing we need is an increase to HST. Anyone building a $200,000 home (mid range) is already looking at $26,000 in taxes and now they'll look at $30,000.This will in my opinion serve to do nothing but slow down our building industry. My little company provides the livelihood for 7 - 10 individuals in this province and I firmly believe that this increase will affect some of those people. My advice to Minister Steele is to do something to stimulate the building industry, not shut it down."

[4:30 p.m.]

I did mention before that the CFIB also have issues with red tape and red tape is not even mentioned in the budget. Consider some of these examples from the CFIB Web site. A men's clothing store that provided customers with a cup of coffee being required, by the health authority, to send employees for food services training. A firm being written up for having the wrong font in its workplace safety manual. A cabinetmaker being fined for remitting one tax filing one day late after over 30 years of on-time payments. A small hotel needing an environmental inspection and licence to relocate its garbage bins on its own property. A tanning salon being required to have a food handling course to offer sealed cans of soft drinks to clients. These are just a few of the issues that the CFIB have noted on behalf of their members.

[Page 1980]

In conclusion, it's long past time for this government to recognize the importance of small business in this province and the organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that represents them.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development.

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in my place this afternoon and I should add that I rise on behalf of the Minister of Finance. I just want to speak with respect to Resolution No. 485 to speak about this government's commitment to small business in the Province of Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, CFIB, represents the interests of the small business community to all levels of government. We, as the Government of Nova Scotia, are also concerned about the interests of small business in this province.

Nova Scotia has approximately 30,000 small businesses and our government is proud to support their efforts. We are taking action to ensure that Nova Scotia is open for business and that we are competitive. We are committed to building a stronger economy, one that will continue to thrive well into the future. To help us accomplish this, we continue to meet with stakeholder groups across the province and recognize their issues.

Our government developed a four-year plan to bring Nova Scotia back to balance. We will do this by reducing government spending and growing the economy, while also increasing revenues. The values and priorities of small businesses across the province were central to the measures contained within the budget and in the approach we will take in the months and certainly in the years ahead. While it's true that no one enjoys paying more tax, restoring the HST to 15 per cent was supported by small businesses in Nova Scotia over other options. In addition, most businesses are rebated all of the HST they pay so there are no increased taxes on businesses. Our budget will create jobs and grow the economy.

The budget contains a number of measures to assist businesses. These include reducing the small business rate, the Manufacturer and Processors Credit, a continued reduction in the large corporate capital tax and the enhanced Equity Tax Credit. We also have a significant stimulus spending program.

A lower tax rate will encourage small businesses to retain earnings and to grow. The recent small business income tax reduction benefits more than 12,000 companies a year, and the province will spend $113.7 million on the small business rate reduction in 2010 and 2011, $0.5 million of this amount is due to the rate falling from 5 per cent to 4.5 per cent, as

[Page 1981]

announced in the 2010-2011 budget. In future years this rate reduction alone will leave an additional $6 million per year in the pockets of Nova Scotian businesses.

We look forward to continuing listening and working with - and I stress working with - CFIB and small business across the province and to speak to their needs going into the future, today, tomorrow and many, many years to come. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's a pleasure to stand and speak on Resolution No. 485 and, at the same time, being a former small business owner and operator, I am very disappointed with the government's approach and, indeed, the Finance Minister's comments about the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

As my colleague from the Progressive Conservative Party said, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is what it says it is, it is independent. It is not governed by any political Party or not directed by any political Party in the deliberations and facts they put forward on behalf of their membership. They are there to promote business in the country and, in particular, the local one for Nova Scotia, and try to make it better for Nova Scotians and Nova Scotian employers to help improve our economy. So when a person in the position of the Finance Minister in this province makes very derogatory remarks towards this organization, I think it is a very sad state of affairs, indeed, in our province.

As a business owner, you look at many things as you try to establish what your charge-out rates will be. The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development stated that the HST is a flow-through, a flow-through in other words, you charge it and you get a refund on it. That's fine, it is, however, it does put up your cost, what you charge out to your customers. It increases your cost to your customers. So if it increases your cost to your customers, as we've seen by the price of gasoline, which is not a small business but a large business, it drives people away.

If you are talking about building a home - a friend of mine is a small contractor. He had three houses to build this summer. When this was announced and passed in the budget, he had two of them cancelled - two houses cancelled. Now these houses were $300,000-plus houses, so it has affected his business. That means that he has a group of people working for him who will not be employed this summer. It's that simple. They won't be employed this summer, and hopefully, he gets other work so that he can survive this summer.

Again, every time you add 2 per cent to the GST in this province, you are taking away $200 for every $10,000 that you clear after you pay your income tax. So the more you are clearing today - if a family of four can clear $40,000 with both people working, that is $800

[Page 1982]

a year. That is not a lot of money if you have a couple of children you're trying to raise, paying a mortgage, and paying the expense of a vehicle which you need to get back and forth to work, and to take children where they have to go, and just survive. You don't go on fancy vacations or cruises at that rate. Indeed, if you have another $800 taken out of your budget, as I said here before, what don't you pay? You don't pay your mortgage possibly, you don't pay your car payment, you don't pay for insurance, you don't pay for your children during hockey or baseball, or whatever the case may be. That money is going to cost.

It may mean that you don't do renovations on your house, a small renovation. Maybe you are going to get a couple of new windows put in your home, so that $800 won't allow you to do that. So that means your energy costs are up for another year. It means that your home may deteriorate more because you don't have to do the work. It also means that the small contractor that relied on that small job won't have the job to do. That means he won't have a paycheque.

If you extrapolate what is happening with this, and as this moves forward, it is going to be, as I said many times in this House, this session, it is going to be a year, two years, three years before we really see the impact of this. When you do see the impact, it's going to be serious, it's going to be very, very serious. We've already seen the unemployment rates very high in some parts of our province and, indeed, full-time employment has decreased in this province - decreased - by 5 per cent since last June when this NDP Government took office. They're claiming they're creating jobs.

Also, our labour force has shrunk by 3 per cent. So take those two numbers and just look at them. This is before the HST was increased by 2 per cent. If you look at the negative impact that's going to have, and also you hear every day our chief economists in the province saying that there's going to be an interest rate increase. So, you're going to build a new home, you add $4,000 or $5,000 to the cost of a new home that you build and also the potential interest rate increase, you're not going to build the home; end result, people that would have worked on those jobs and paid income tax will not be working on those jobs. That means those jobs are gone. That means that people that traditionally had made a very good living from the construction industry, well, maybe not by this, by next year or the following year as a result of this, won't have the work to do.

I can remember in this province when the economy was in really desperate shape and there was no construction. All the tradespeople were off. What's the NDP going to say to the union buddies then? What are they going to tell their union buddies? We have no work for you this year because we put the HST up a couple of years ago. Too bad, that's just how it happens. But it's not our fault, we had to spend a lot of money and away we go. (Interruption)

One of the members said, no houses built. Well, if this HST goes up and affects this, well, I guess he wasn't listening, a friend of mine is a small contractor, he had three houses

[Page 1983]

to build this year and two of them have been cancelled already - two houses cancelled. (Interruption) My honourable colleague here from the Progressive Conservative Party, another home was cancelled. It doesn't take many to have a very negative impact on the economy.

When you look at these things, not just the homes that would have been built, it's the renovations that won't be done. When you look at these things, and that's just one small part of our economy, the construction industry. So if the renovations aren't completed, that means the home gets in worse condition, people don't have the money to do it, that means fewer and fewer jobs and fewer and fewer people working.

As the stats have already shown with the 5 per cent decrease of full-time employment in this province, where will it be in a year, two, three years time? With people getting older and spending less money on new homes and the things we would typically see as the population ages, you take that into consideration as well, this province is going to be in serious financial trouble.

At the point we're at now, we're taxed probably to the limit, maybe beyond the limit. Where's the money going to come from? The government has proposed in their budget that was passed here and supported by them, but not our Party of course, there's going to be no more tax increases you're going to be able to enforce on people and make them pay that way. They already said they're going to reduce the labour force by 10 per cent - I'll believe that when I see it. I don't think their union buddies will let that happen unless there are a lot of people that don't take a job in the province or decide to retire early and then that puts more stress on the pension fund.

As all this comes together and all things come in, we could be headed for what we call a perfect storm as we've seen some things in the weather situation like that, that could be in this province. I certainly hope I'm wrong. But, I'm not optimistic that it isn't.

I have to talk about gas prices. I really have to talk about gas prices. In this province we're paying now between five and seven cents more than they are in New Brunswick.

MR. SPEAKER: Order. There's a little too much chatter in the Chamber this evening. I wish the members would take their chatter outside the Chamber so we can listen to the honourable member. Thank you.

MR. COLWELL: Hope you add a few seconds on my time.

MR. SPEAKER: That I will.

MR. COLWELL: If you add the 2 per cent more for the HST on the price of gas, you're going to be between 7 and 10 cents difference. You tell a business in this province

[Page 1984]

they can compete with that much difference in the cost of fuel, when the cost of fuel is one of their key expenses, you've got to be living in a dream world. It's not going to work. I would just encourage everybody to talk to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and see how they have been treated by this government.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

[4:45 p.m.]

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, this evening we talk about small business in the province and what this resolution has done is it has called on the government to start working in the best interests of small business and the hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians who are employed by them. Now, I have to ask the question, who looks out for the interest of small business, small and medium-sized business in Nova Scotia? You know there are a lot of groups who come to government to have their interests represented and maybe it is time for small business to start voting as a block. Maybe it is time for the owners and the employees to vote for a Party that looks out for them, a Party that puts their interests at the forefront.

If those people look at which Party that has stood up for them in this House of Assembly, in this Spring 2009 session, they will see that the Party that has stood up for them is the Progressive Conservative Party. In contrast they will see little value in voting for their local NDP alternative because the NDP, through the Premier's economic council has no place for small business and the people whose jobs are located at these small businesses.

So, Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of all those small businesses around the province that maybe have the opportunity to hear these words today, I want to highlight for them some of the things that we have questioned on their behalf.

Now, this government has come through with an increase in the HST and we feel that this is negative and it is going to be negative for our economy. It is going to reduce the disposable income in the pockets of Nova Scotians to spend on the products and services that Nova Scotia businesses offer in the marketplace. And it is going to act as a psychological deterrent as well, Mr. Speaker, When people feel that they are being taxed more, when there is less money in their pockets, when there is even the perception of this, it changes their spending patterns. So we've questioned the value of an HST increase.

We've also questioned the taxation of people in the highest income tax brackets who are now going to pay more than 50 per cent of their daily wage once they reach an income threshold of $150,000 a year. Some would say, why would we bother questioning that, those

[Page 1985]

people make a lot of money? Well, I think we have to be careful in the message that we send to those people because often it is those people who are significant players in our economy, who have gained some kind of an expertise, who are sharing it with us and who are creating opportunities for employment for people in the province. I don't think we should be taxing them to that degree.

We also looked at and I don't think we're going to see this, and I hope we don't, but we have questioned the government on whether or not they intend to bring in public auto insurance, publicly provided auto insurance, because we believe that those services are best delivered by the private sector. There are many people employed in all 52 constituencies that are represented in this House, all around the province. Many people work in the insurance industry and fine, government should be there to protect the consumer and to protect anybody who purchases insurance. Government should be there to set the ground rules. But we do not believe that government should be there delivering the service. The service is being delivered just fine the way it is.

Another thing we questioned was the deficits that have been run in 2009 from the Spring onwards and now with this projected deficit in 2010-11. The reason we question this deficit and how it is going to affect small business owners and workers who work for those businesses in this province, the reason we question the logic behind running deficits is because all it does is it forces us to have to pay for that later in the years to come. It adds more pressure on government to increase taxation. So when you spend more today, as a government, you have less to spend tomorrow.

What that is going to mean for the economy is that we're handing our power away, we're handing our strength away. The way debt will affect our economy is the more pressure there is to tax business, the less incentive there is for business to innovate, to be creative, and the less reward there is for people to take risks to start small businesses. We don't see that as valuable; in fact, we see the opposite as valuable.

We should be moving towards smaller government, lower taxes and a chance for these people that we're talking about today, these small business owners who are right around the province, to make it easier for them to be successful, because when they're successful our economy grows. And you know what? It even comes full circle, it comes right back to government. Government becomes successful because there are more tax revenues coming in from economic growth.

This government has given us increased tax revenues but only through increased taxation, and there is no value in our economy or towards society in that measure. We've spoken against that because we believe in supporting small business.

[Page 1986]

I've talked a little bit about the size of government, but I also want to talk on the other side, and I asked the Minister of Finance this question today - how many more minutes do I have?

MR. SPEAKER: Your time is over at 4:57 p.m.

MR. MACMASTER: Thank you, I want to make sure that I get all my comments in before the end of the time limit.

I did ask the minister today about how he would grow the economy and I was sincerely trying to be positive. The answer that I got was that the government will continue with stimulus expenditure. I think that's good - it's certainly something that was good when it was started by the Progressive Conservative Government who was in power recently. I'm happy to see that the present government sees value in those investments and they're going to take advantage of federal government investment - the federal government is putting dollars on the table to improve infrastructure around the province and it's wise that we should take advantage of that. But I was kind of hoping for some other ideas and some other measures which the government would take to help strengthen the economy, and I did not hear any.

I do want to say that government needs to be more sensitive to small business and to medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia. I want to put on the record, because these people are often forgotten because they don't have some group to represent their interests. They have the CFIB, but they're not perhaps as strong as other groups - and I can think of labour organizations that have significant representation on the Premier's economic panel. It's important for their interests to be represented, but to see that the CFIB is not represented on this panel I think speaks volumes.

There is a need to have greater sensitivity. These people, these business owners and the people who work for them, they have to take a lot of time away from their families, they make a lot of sacrifices. Now I've worked in government and I've worked in the private sector and I put many long hours in, many days with long hours, as have many other people. The point I want to make is that a lot of these business owners don't get to go home at 4:30 every day. They can't leave the problems on the desk, they've got to keep working on them because they might not be able to generate revenue for the month; they might not be able to meet payroll. They take on that stress and thank God they do, because only for those people taking on that stress and that risk can we have people employed in those small businesses around the province and I want to recognize that commitment that those people make.

I also want to recognize that in a lot of cases they don't have a pension plan, they have to save for themselves - that's another risk they take on and that risk doesn't appear today but it certainly appears when they decide to retire. So they don't have a pension plan in place, many of them, they have to do that on their own, they have to look after that

[Page 1987]

themselves. They take risks; they put their own money on the line. Any time they decide to expand a business or move in a new direction, they put their own money on the line to do that and, if they lose it, it's out of their pocket - it's not out of somebody else's pocket, it's out of their pocket, and that needs to be recognized.

They create jobs for people, as I've mentioned a couple of times, and I would say instead of taxing these people more, which we've seen with the HST increase and the increase in the top income tax bracket, and instead of adding to the debt in the province and our future liabilities, you have to pay off that debt and the pressure to increase taxes further. I think government should be working with small business to try to put forward means to grow the economy, because I think these people make a tremendous contribution to our province and we should be working with them.

So if the CFIB and their members see value in the comments that we've been making over the course of this Spring's sitting, I would ask them to consider electing a PC Government in the next election. I'm happy to put these thoughts on paper and on the record, and I hope they have a chance to review those thoughts. I hope they have a chance to review the Progressive Conservative record in this Spring 2010 sitting of the Legislature, and I look forward to hearing from those members in the coming weeks, months, and years in advance of the coming election.

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

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, I'm certainly pleased to rise today to speak to Opposition Resolution No. 485. It's great to hear the debate that's going on here today between all Parties on all sides of the House.

This resolution talks about the government's commitment to small business in Nova Scotia. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business represents the interests of the small business community at all levels of government, be it municipal, provincial, or federal, right across the country. As the MLA for my community, I continuously hear from small business. Now, my riding doesn't have a vast, large group of businesses. I would say it has an average of about 80 businesses or so, and no question, they have called my constituency office and I've talked to them.

The fact is that a lot of those small business owners understand the mess that was left under the previous government, and we, as a government, are listening. We, as the Government of Nova Scotia, are also concerned about the interests of the small business community in this province. Now, the Opposition makes it sound like we don't want to listen - and we are listening. We are listening to small businesses in Nova Scotia, and that's the first time in over 18 years the small business tax was cut - the first time. (Applause)

[Page 1988]

Before this budget the small business tax was set at 5 per cent, and because of the implementation of this budget, it's now set at 4.5 per cent. That's a decrease, and I don't know if the Opposition sees that or not, but that is a decrease in the small business tax. We know that there are approximately 30,000 small businesses and our government is very proud to support their efforts in creating jobs in this province. We're taking action to ensure that Nova Scotia is open and is competitive for business. We're committed to building a stronger economy, and that just shows you that based on the budget left over from the previous government and this year's budget - I mean, this is the second largest infrastructure money that's going into infrastructure in the province's history - the second largest.

That is creating jobs. Governments across Canada have a significant role to play in providing stimulus spending to maintain jobs and create new jobs, and that's what this government is doing. The Nova Scotia Government is creating jobs and it's part of that four-year plan to get our province back to balance, because we know when a province is back to balance, we know it's good for the people and the families that we represent. We go back to what the expert economic panel discussed and that was that we had a gap, we had a $1.4 billion gap between the amount of money coming into this province and the amount of money being spent.

[5:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, they suggested three things: increase the amount of revenue coming into the province, grow the economy and reduce some spending. This government here, this NDP Government, is showing the leadership that is needed to get this province back to balance.

The Minister of Finance went across the province talking to Nova Scotians, listening to them, consulting with them. More than 1,500 people showed up, over 1,000 submissions. When was the last time a government did that? Can anyone tell me when was the last time a government did that? No.

With this budget we are continuing to create and maintain thousands of jobs by taking advantage of every single federal infrastructure dollar available. It is expected to create 7,000 jobs a year for employment, generating almost $300 million in income. This is a good thing for the people of the province. You know, as I mentioned before, I've spoken to several small businesses in my community. In fact, one of them I did speak to earlier this week, I believe it was on Monday. He talked to me about the fact that Nova Scotians- we've seen the 15 per cent in the past and there needs to be something done. He told me that this is a government that is going to do something, this is a government that will ensure the best future for the people of this province.

You know, we talk about growing the economy, we talk about creating jobs. It is just a testament to the amount of work that this government is doing, especially with the Minister of Economic and Rural Development, the Premier going to various parts of the world to

[Page 1989]

bring business to Nova Scotia. That is what Nova Scotians wanted. They wanted leadership, they wanted the jobs to come to Nova Scotia and I'm certainly glad to be on this side of the House.

We hear about people saying, less red tape for business. Mr. Speaker, this government has taken that initiative to ensure that there is, in fact, less red tape for business, so that we can create - and the CFIB complimented that, they complimented the fact that this government is taking the initiative. So our government has developed a four-year plan, as I said, to bring the province Back to Balance, We're doing that, as I mentioned, through reducing government spending, growing the economy and also increasing the amount of money coming into the province.

Spending growth - and the Opposition says, oh, you know they're not controlling the amount of spending that the government is doing. Well, in fact, as we know, spending growth will remain relatively flat, due to the aggressive saving targets adding up to almost $772 million by 2013-2014.

We hear often that that's what Nova Scotians - that's what I heard when I went to some of the Back to Balance meetings, this government needs to spend that money smarter. Government needs to evaluate that process of how we spend our money. It is obvious that that is exactly what we're doing. That is what people told us and that's what we're doing.

Mr. Speaker, we have had great things, especially as my honourable colleague mentioned - during the campaign we talked about the stimulus package, the funding for homes, the home tax credit. That is all money going back into small businesses, to families, to the people of this province. Almost 1,500 people - over 1,500 people applied for that credit, it was a success. Again, it's going back to putting money back into the people of the province. That's a good thing, let's be frank, it's a good thing.

We heard that - the other thing, too, I don't know if we could talk about this, as well, but the unemployment rate in Nova Scotia - I believe in the past it has gone down, almost a percentage point, I believe, just below. So as Nova Scotians, that's quite a testament to putting people back to work, and that's certainly an important piece there.

Mr. Speaker, the budget contains a number of measures to assist, as I already mentioned: the small business tax credit is going down; the manufacturing and processing tax credit that we implemented, we said we would and we've implemented it, and that is putting money back into manufacturers and processors here in the province; and we continued the reduction in the large corporation capital tax credit, again decreasing taxes for businesses here in the province.

[Page 1990]

We have enhanced the equity tax credit, it went from 30 per cent to 35 per cent, allowing Nova Scotians to invest in other businesses across the province. Mr. Speaker, again, there is another business in my community looking to expand, looking to create more jobs. I have to tell you, when I told them about that they said, wow, I can ask someone or someone can invest in my business and they can get more money back in their pocket. They said, wow, that's absolutely a good thing. So they found a way to go and apply for that. You know it's certainly a good thing that we see here.

We talk about a lower tax rate, and the lower tax rate that we've talked about here, and the many initiatives this government has taken, is lowering taxes for businesses, small businesses, to retain earnings and growth. The recent small business income tax reduction benefits 12,000 companies annually - 12,000 companies. That is a lot of people being affected, and the province will spend $113.7 million on a small business rate reduction this year alone; $0.5 million of this amount is due to the rate falling from 5 per cent to 4.5 per cent. Those are real jobs going to the communities that matter.

In future years, Mr. Speaker, this rate reduction alone will leave an additional $6 million per year in the pockets of Nova Scotia businesses. Nova Scotians, as we know, on June 9th last year voted for change. They voted for the leadership that was needed to get the province back on an even footing. We all know that is what the people of Nova Scotia voted for.

Earlier today, I believe, the Premier did a resolution talking about that today was actually the day it was called. You know, that campaign started in the riding of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for debate on Resolution No. 485 has expired.

The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, with that great effort on behalf of the member, would you please call Bill No. 34.

Bill No. 34 - Motor Vehicle Act.

[Page 1991]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased today to have a few minutes to speak to (Interruption) Bill No. 34. I thought he was going to jump up and take over right there. This is quite simply a bill about the public safety, it is the reason this bill was brought forward. I know it actually came out during the last campaign, there were a number of things that came up, of course, throughout the campaign; you are knocking on doors, you are talking to people, you are doing your thing, but what it was, it came from drivers along the 100-Series Highway, and of course my 100-Series Highway is Highway No. 101.

Unlike a little piece of Highway No. 101, a little farther down throughout the western part of the Valley, which is not twinned; the speed limits may be a little different. It is very much the old highway, basically is what it is, and it remains to be.

I know in the area that I represent, the highway, certainly we're travelling at 100-plus kilometres an hour - 100, 110, 120 kilometres an hour - and what people have noticed is that there have been people up on the highway, and if they are selling goods or doing whatever it is they're doing, it's distracting drivers. I had complaints about this during the last campaign, actually, and it was the fact that there were campaigns going on on the side of a 100-Series Highway.

People would stand out on the highway and hold their signs, they would wave, and I took a number of calls, because this had been going on for years. There are individuals who like to do that through the course of a campaign, and I can understand why. I mean, you're trying to reach as many people as you can and you're trying to do it as easily as you can and as quickly as you can, and it works. It is good publicity, but the issue came to my attention as a public safety issue and what it was is that it was distracting drivers.

People who have driven a long time, people on the edge of dusk and nightfall would sometimes be out there, or early mornings and so on, even before daylight there would be people out there on the sides of the highways.

It mentions in here as well, in what I have put forward, about not being able to do anything along the 100-Series Highway - with regard to selling anything, promoting anything, we just shouldn't be up there doing any of that, distracting drivers. Again, that is where it comes back to the public safety piece. That is what this really is. It is all about the safety of these drivers, and we have to take that seriously. I can tell you from my previous experience as a paramedic on these highways, we know what happens when drivers become distracted, or the potential for what happens when drivers become distracted. There are accidents, there are collisions. People can be injured and, unfortunately, sometimes worse. They can be killed because they're looking at other things.

[Page 1992]

Well, people might say, and members in this House might say, well, you know what, what is this bill really about? It is about the public safety, it is about distraction, and I know from people calling me with regard to signage, just any signage along the highways in my area. I spoke to the minister recently and we have been able to work through an issue regarding highway signs on overpasses being put up to tell drivers/motorists what road they may be going over or under, et cetera, and directing them into our communities - which is important, we want to bring people into all of our communities. We have to be able to do that somehow, and signage is the way to do that.

One of the problems, however, what we have is that there is no consistent application of that signage. It is different colours, it is different sizes; we can add a little one by one or two by two foot square blocks, or whatever they are, to the big signs that are out there pretty much at will. We make an application - some can be blue, some can be green, some are white - again, there is no real consistent application. I know in a recent issue that I had, and as I said, the minister and I worked through an issue there with regard to signage on an overpass. It is being taken care of. That's wonderful, but part of the problem in having to go there was the local folks said that there was no consistent application, we don't know whether we're even going to do this anymore or not.

So I said, we are doing it, and of course we just put one up in Hantsport, which is very important, and we recognized a gentleman who stood up there for 30 years, probably, waving to traffic and doing things like that - but he is on a collector road, he is not on a 100-Series Highway. The issue again is the fact that for public safety, we cannot have any interference out there distracting them while they're driving. That is what this bill is about.

People say, well, we need to be able to sell our goods on the side of the roads. Well, that's okay. I don't disagree with that at all, provided they are not on the 100-Series Highway. This may create issues - giving this some very quick thought, this may create issues further down in the Valley, for example. I am not sure how that would apply or if that is designated 100-Series Highway, through to Clare. I think it is and the member is telling me, yes, it is all designated. It certainly doesn't meet the criteria, I don't think, that some of the other highways on the more eastern end of the Highway No. 101 meets, and it certainly doesn't meet the criteria like Highway No. 103 and Highway No. 104, et cetera, 100-Series Highway meets as well, because it is not the same.

It's a different class of road, in my opinion. It is a two-lane highway with speed limits that don't allow - and certainly there are no passing lanes that I can recall. It has been a while since I have been down there, since last Fall. There isn't much in the way of protected passing lanes once you get past that last big hill that you approach as you come into Annapolis. There are a couple, and other members would know it much better than I, but maybe there is room to amend in certain areas of this Highway No. 101 and certain 100-Series Highways that come to that point. I know maybe through Cape Breton, Highway No. 105 is fairly similar. Actually, there would be spots along there that may, as well, need to be

[Page 1993]

considered where you could sit and park and sell fish or apples or whatever your product may be because I realize the importance of small business.

[5:15 p.m.]

We just heard an awful lot about small business, but it didn't speak to the true realities of small business and what we're doing for them. This is by no means an effort to discourage those types of vendors who would be out there - the agriculture sector - doing their business and selling their goods, regardless of what it might be. This doesn't take away from that at all. I think that the majority of that, living in the Valley and seeing where fruit and vegetables are grown and apples and so on, a lot of these types of sales, fish as well, they're generally done within the communities, within the towns on some of the side roads and out of parking lots and so on. I think that there's great opportunity for that to continue.

Again, I want to be very clear that I'm not discouraging anything or any one small business being out there, any farmer, anyone that would like to be out selling their goods, but not out there on the 100-Series Highways where the classification of the road is 100-Series. I would argue that some of them, although named Highway No. 101, some consideration may once again need to be given to that as well as Highway No.105, I think it is, as you approach through Cape Breton. (Interruption) Not just to shut them down but perhaps work with those vendors again that might be along there to say, how can we help you set up in different places that may be certainly more viable regardless of where that was, whether it was anywhere from that stretch of Highway No. 101 from, I guess it would be, just the other side of Kentville and throughout there down where you would see just about anybody selling any number of products. We would need to work with that.

I think there's room for more debate and amendments and such but this is really about out there on that highway wherever you can drive the 100 kilometres-plus per hour to say, we just can't have people setting up there, distracting drivers at that speed at any hour of the day - it's important.

Again, from someone who worked for many years having to witness some of these things, there are many things that allow us to take our eyes off the road, whether it's other vehicles, whether it's a beautiful picture, a sign on the side of the road. This goes back to that argument about the consistency of signs and how close you can have signage within your towns to highways and along any stretch of highway actually. On Highway Nos. 101 and 104 and the 100-Series Highways, we have a rule in place where you have to be something like 1,000 metres or 1,000 feet, or whatever that is, back off the road. The reason behind that apparently is because of the distraction. Well, if you have no consistency on what that looks like, you could have distraction. In many ways, there's no consistency on even what the highway, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal signage looks like, that is also distracting in some places as you make your way through. It's not put out there,

[Page 1994]

the farther you put it back from the road, the farther back you have to look and, again taking your eyes off the road.

This is public safety not only for the driver but the public safety of those people who are there on the highway selling or waving or whatever it is that they're doing in this province. (Interruption) Well, the rotary, as one member just mentioned, is not a 100-Series Highway, so I'm not picking on the rotary. I'm not picking on any town roads and I'm not picking on any collector roads or anywhere like that that's secondary to Highway No. 101. I'm referring solely to100-Series Highways, where the speeds are high, where it only takes a second to flinch on that wheel and you are distracted either across the road or off the road or into something. As I said before, we all know the outcome of such incidents and hence the reason.

Again, even though all those years on the road and seeing this thing, it wasn't really something that was on top of mind for me but it was brought to my attention as it was approaching dark, actually was when this happened and the folks are still out there doing their business or waving or doing whatever it is that they want to do on the highway and distracting. It created a scare for the driver, is what it did, on a couple of occasions and these folks were a little bit elderly, not that that really matters. I don't think the age matters at all, it's still a distraction.

With that again, the reason for bringing this in and we'd certainly like to have some serious consideration with that and with this bill. I realize it's certainly not traditional for the government to call bills put forward by the Opposition, but this is an issue of public safety and that is the gist behind this and I would seriously like to have some consideration given to it. I know the minister is sincere in the work that he's doing as the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and he states that not only in this House but outside this House. I think that the people who are being served and being looked after by what it is he's doing would agree with that statement. I look forward to his comments if he, in fact, is going to comment today. I know he's a little under the weather but I hope that he has a few minutes to comment. With those few words, I will take my seat.

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

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for trying to let on he's going to help me through my medical challenges. (Interruption) Well, you've lots of experience as a paramedic and I know if it came to it you could help me out for one reason or another.

On that topic, there could be a possibility that I could be sharing my time with the good member for Queens but at this stage I have comments that I would like to address on this piece of legislation. When Opposition business is announced, of course, it gives us that

[Page 1995]

opportunity as ministers to be able to stand in our place and be able to debate legislation which we perhaps, when we look at it, would this be something that we could support.

Of course, as you're well aware, having visited my home on a number of occasions, you're well aware of the fact that Highway No. 103 is the main 100-Series Highway in my community. I know that the member for Digby-Annapolis, of course, will probably join the debate later and I welcome his comments again because I know he'll be making comments, that I will pay close attention to, on Highway No. 101, particularly when it comes to some of those intersections where the alders are a little thick. But I'm aware of that fact, you know, and I fully take the member opposite's point on public safety.

That member opposite, the member for Hants West, based upon his previous career, he certainly knows some of the difficulties that are caused when there is driver distraction. driver distraction particularly when it comes to issues such as campaigning which is one of the things that I can tell you, and I have prepared notes here but, of course, I'm going to have a comment or two about campaigning. I've always urged people that the way you get elected is you knock on doors. You knock them down, right? You get out there on the doorsteps. No reflection on a previous Premier of this province, Mr. Buchanan and his wonderful wife, Mavis, they always, let's be clear, they did that after they had their campaign. I know that wasn't, of course, on a controlled access highway or it certainly wasn't on a 100-Series Highway, but when I see it in my community and there's no reference to it, it is a distraction. I can tell you, having been through a few elections myself, when people see campaigning taking place in that form, they look at it as not a distraction but desperation in terms of the fact, particularly when we look at the need to make sure that when it comes to signage, signage is in a safe, responsible place. Whether the sign is in the hand of a campaign worker, or the signage is in the hand of a candidate, or member of the family, that's no way to make sure that you're going to get yourself re-elected.

I want to just highlight a couple of important things about 100-Series Highways and it's important that we get some of these comments on the record. Particularly when we look at, as members are aware, some sections of 100-Series Highways in Nova Scotia are controlled access and some are not. That's, of course, based upon the fact of safety reasons as determined by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. There are busy intersections. There are sections of 100-Series Highways that I know the member for Digby-Annapolis will take me on a tour of in his constituency as he looks at these things, but safety remains paramount on our highways and that's why we have designated controlled access areas.

In the community that I'm fortunate enough to represent, I'm well aware of the fact that , as the 100-Series Highway makes its way down the coast, there are times, and I've been given the example particularly of a specific one, where there is a fabulous yard sale that is held on a section of the 100-Series Highways. Everyone knows that yard sale is there. It is one of, if it could be appropriately put, it is one of the tourist attractions but it's one of the

[Page 1996]

attractions that the locals look forward to visiting. To get to that 100-Series Highway you have to go up that driveway to that yard sale.

Now, if I carefully read this, and I know I'm not doing clause by clause, Mr. Speaker, but Clause 1 Section 173B(2) says: "No person shall solicit, offer goods for sale or engage in any other activity designated . . ." Now, that is a concern. So now we're going to have a situation where a local entrepreneur who has a legendary yard sale business, is suddenly going to be shut down.

If we look at the letter of the law when this particular piece of legislation - as well intentioned as it might be - it would seem to me that when we're looking at initiatives of the nature I've just mentioned, that particular yard sale specifically, we're looking at the fact, is that a danger? People know where it is? If the signage is appropriate for the area, that is also a warning - a warning is the wrong way to put it that you're coming to a yard sale. A word to the wise, down the road is one of these fabulous yard sale signs which says of course there's an attraction ahead. That is an attraction ahead.

I also want you to know that recently I had the opportunity to be in Pictou West and when I was in Pictou West, the member for Pictou West was giving me one of his usual road tours and I had the opportunity to look and visit an antique shop in Pictou West. The concern I had because at one time that was the main road to the Pictou ferry. It was a road my wife and I always liked to stop by, my wife was an antiquer, if that's the appropriate expression and my home is a recognition of that fact.

But, when I stopped in to see that antique shop, the question arose, no one's coming to my door anymore because I don't have any signage. The example, of course, we've talked about many times. I know the member opposite is aware of this too and I do thank you for drawing recognition to the fact that the overpass in Ellershouse, is that correct? That's an important sign, particularly for that. Of course, I'm looking forward to meeting the waver and I want to recognize the member for Kings South, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, who brought that issue to our attention.

When it comes to signage, it's appropriate that we recognize the fact that people have to know ahead there is a certain attraction; head means, of course, whether that's on an access or a controlled access highway. These sections of the road are there for public safety reasons and I want the member opposite to know that hundreds of thousands of motorists as they travel across this province, they want to have the opportunity to go to a yard sale. They want to have the opportunity to go to an antique store. They want to have that opportunity and it's important with appropriate signage in the appropriate places. There is a safe way to get off and on the highways in these various areas.

Section 22, as I return to my prepared notes - and I thank my staff, I'm actually going to rely on them for a moment here too - Section 22 of the Public Highways Act prohibits the

[Page 1997]

selling of goods on or within 45 metres of a controlled access highway. After all, that makes sense when we have a section of a highway, such as Highway Nos. 101 or 103, in this situation. I'm sure it's probably true in other parts of the province where we have 100-Series Highways. When we look at the fact that you have the opportunity to make sure, we're under the impression that we're looking at the importance of making sure people are aware of where there are certain attractions that they should be able to turn into and see.

When it comes to the matter of signage, I think it's important that I get on the record on the matter of signage. I am fortunate enough to have a summer cottage on Prince Edward Island - I see the member opposite nodding, he knows where I'm going to go on this particular thing. Probably there are no more intersections and crossroads per capita in any other place in Canada, at least - I was going to say North America - than Prince Edward Island. When we look at the settlement patterns of Prince Edward Island, it reminds me of Pictou County, there's a crossroad everywhere because nobody wanted to live next door to anybody else.

I don't know what that says about the Irish or the Scots, but that's the example of the settlement pattern. When we look at the signage policy, and TIANS has been involved with me on a number of occasions on this issue, when we look at the signage policy on Prince Edward Island and how it's administered, that is, after all, the way we should be doing business in this province.

When you come to a particular intersection, as you come through, the signage is consistent, it's clear and if you look at that sign and if you turn left at this intersection, it's five kilometres to Mary and John's antique shop. Of course, when you get to Mary and John's antique shop, they have their very attractive sign on their own property.

The issue of signage remains a concern, whether it's in controlled or access highways because we're looking at the fact that people want to know where they're going. That's the issue. I know the member opposite and I've heard the member for Sackville-Cobequid talk about this previously too - I'm aware of the fact that one of the issues that comes forward, when one of the issues comes forward, when people are making mistakes on the highways, they are at the last minute without warning or without being aware of the signage, they are making a decision that they are going to turn this way or that.

[5:30 p.m.]

I know the member opposite, as the member for Sackville-Cobequid pointed out to me recently on a trip to Cape Breton where he pointed on a number of occasions to where an accident had happened here, an accident had happened there, because of last-minute distractions, because of last-minute decisions.

It is important when we look at the topic of public safety that I put this on the record because I want you to know, as along with the previous minister, there have been a number

[Page 1998]

of steps to improve road safety in this province. The members of the House are aware of them, of course, including banning of hand-held cell phones, stronger and expanded penalties for street racing, legislation to protect emergency workers and doubling the fines for speeding in work and in school zones. Those are all part of making sure that we continue to have the safest highways possible with as few accidents as possible.

I understand the intention of the bill, I truly do and I compliment the member on the need for more public safety when it comes to using the roads, but it is also important to recognize that in some communities that we have in this province - smaller communities particularly - they count very heavily on their gas stations, their restaurants, their small businesses, their antique shops, so that people can get in and out of driveways in as safe a fashion as possible.

I will admit that there are some areas where there are concerns about controlled access highways that remain concerns but the problem that we have, of course, is we need consistent signage, we need warnings when it comes to certain intersections, but in certain other areas of the province, whether it is a controlled access highway or a 100-Series Highway or not, we have to make sure that people are aware of the fact that they are going to have the option in their community to continue to do a business, a yard sale business, for example, or in some other communities that I am aware, of course, in certain Lions Clubs around the province there is fundraising that takes place.

Now I'm not saying that we should suddenly have a road toll on the 100-Series Highways. Let's put it clearly on the record, I am not in favour of toll roads, whether it is for the Lions Club or the Kiwanis Club or the boot for the fire department. The issue comes down to the fact of public safety. Public safety is important to this province, it is important to this minister.

This piece of legislation, although well-intentioned, I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, is not something that as the minister at this time that I am willing to support. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise today and speak on Bill No. 34, introduced by the member for Hants West. This bill prohibits any form of solicitation, including the selling of goods on 100-Series Highways. It appears that this bill has been introduced as a safety measure for these 100-Series Highways.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I couldn't agree more. I believe the first thing, as the minister just spoke over there, he said he believes that safety is our concern. I'm about to tell you some stories about a piece of road that is being called the 100-Series Highway in this province in western Nova Scotia.

[Page 1999]

This piece of highway between Digby and Weymouth is on our maps right now and it states it is Highway No. 101, the 100-Series Highway. It is a nice piece of road. Fifteen years ago they put one foot of asphalt on that road and they made it a foot wider on each side. That brought it about three feet closer to the houses, a foot and a half on each side. This pavement on this road was squashed down from 12 inches to nine inches, 15 years ago and that road has not been touched since. It is one of the nicest little roads you ever want to be on and if the highway traffic was taken off that road, it would last forever, I believe. That is how well built that road is.

I'm going to tell you about this road. From Weymouth down to Yarmouth there is a controlled access highway, a nice highway, they kept it up. It has been rebuilt three times since that one in between was built. From Digby to Halifax, there's another controlled access highway. In between, some 26 kilometers, the department keeps telling me - has for the last seven or eight years - well there's not quite enough traffic there on that piece of road. Well, where is this traffic coming from, from Weymouth, off the access road and from Digby off the access road? They're disappearing when they get to Weymouth and Digby? Poof, they're gone. The vehicles are gone into thin air, but where are they? It's the same traffic, the same exact traffic, and more so because you've got trailer trucks coming up that South Shore - there are 1,000 trailer trucks travelling over this road next to these houses.

And I'm going to tell you about election time being on that road. You said, Mr. Minister, go door to door. I went down on that road door to door, Mr. Minister, and I want to tell you that when I got home that night I was having panic attacks getting in and out of those driveways on that road. It was amazing you know, you had Highway No. 101 traffic - and not travelling at 90 clicks, the speed, they don't slow up when they come off that lower highway of Highway No. 101, or the upper highway of Highway No. 101, they're still going 100 kilometres an hour plus. There's never anyone - I've done it a million times, I do it too, everybody does it. If you slow up, you get run over.

I want to tell you that there are 160 homes on this little stretch of road where I went and knocked on doors, 160. I got out of there quick, Mr. Minister, just as fast as I could - there was some fast rapping on those doors, and get out of there. I usually did it quite late at night when the traffic was a little less, I'm telling you, but I heard a story at every door I went in through - a good story, a lot of stories.

There are two fire departments on this road. There's one provincial park and there are four churches to get to that point - and I'm going to tell you about a church there in Plympton, above Plympton, Barton. There's a church, when you come out of it - years ago when this traffic kept increasing and increasing, you went out of the front of that church, and they would hold funerals in there, and when six people carried that casket out of that church they had to stop the traffic to get out on that road. So what they ended up doing was putting

[Page 2000]

the door of the church in the side of it, because if they kept doing that there would have been six more funerals - I'm telling you the truth. I mean here's a church, from here to you, Mr. Minister, off that highway, and afraid to bring a casket out through to take it to the graveyard - now that's how close that is.

You've got 25 small businesses on that road - talk about no solicitation on the 100-Series Highways - there are 25 businesses there. You've got the elderly people - some of the people down there are 89 or 90 years old trying to stay in their homes and their mailboxes are across the road. They don't dare to go across that road; they can't get across there fast enough to get their mail. Canada Post won't put it on the same side as their house, they keep it on one side - you know how they work. So here they are, the people can't cross the road to get their mail - but what we did do, I worked with the municipality down there and we got them so the garbage truck would pick their garbage up on both sides of the road. They were just picking it up on one side, and they couldn't get their garbage across the road - they would get run over. This is what's going on on this stretch of highway, but there's no traffic there - the department says there's no traffic. It stops in Digby and it stops in Weymouth and, poof, in the middle it's gone.

Well, it isn't gone, Mr. Minister. It's there and it's collecting more - there are 6,000 vehicles there a day, and most of the people living on that highway are elderly people. There are 1,000 trailer trucks that go up through there every day, just the same as they do from Digby and up, and from Weymouth down to Yarmouth, it's the same amount of traffic, but yet they won't look at this.

There are four school buses on that road and they're delivering at approximately 119 stops. These four school buses on this road with the red lights flashing - and it's one of the worst places for incidents of vehicles flying by, the red lights are going, because they're coming so fast when they come over those hills, they're doing 100 clicks and there's the school bus, and they just zip past them a lot of the time. So talk about safety - if we're talking about safety here, I want to talk about safety on this so-called 100-Series Highway. This has been going on, Mr. Minister, for 35 years. There are people who had hope 15 years ago, when they started doing a little paving there to fix up the old road, they had some hope - well, they're going to fix the old road, maybe they're going to put the new 100-Series Highway in.

It's all drawn out where it should go. They bought properties down through there. All there is left is a little land to buy, and that's why I asked you, Mr. Minister, if you could - I'd start cutting the alders, make the path, if you wanted me to. I'd be glad to do it. All the people down through there would help me. We'd all do it - we'd do it for nothing. We'll make the path, all we need is a grader to come behind us and flatten it out.

I am serious. I have to joke a little - if I don't, I'll cry. It's serious business. We're talking about somebody standing out beside the road with an election sign, you're worried

[Page 2001]

about him. Go down there and live there, go down there in an election to see what is going on. I know what's going on, I live it and I hear it every day.

On that road there are 580 uncontrolled accesses; 580 in a 26 kilometre space there. Now you're talking about the odd controlled access on Highway No. 103 - there are 580 different roads. There are gravel roads, there are the church roads, there's any little side road, that's the count down through there. They have been counted, and that's how many accesses there are down through that area.

I don't know what more I can say. I've said it for seven years in this House, going on seven years, and I've probably told this story before, Mr. Minister, before you were even minister. I don't know how many more times I'm going to tell it; I'll probably tell it until I stay here. I did say once that I was going to stay here until that road was done. Now that may not work out, but I'll tell you one thing, if I'm not even here, I'll never leave the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal alone, whoever that may be, because I'll fight for that road. I think that's one of the biggest concerns in our area for safety for traffic, that so-called Highway No. 101 from Digby to Weymouth, and I truly, truly mean that.

So yes, I am in support of this resolution, and we can start with that, with finishing this highway from Digby to Weymouth. That would be a dream come true. Not for me - it would be a dream come true for all those residents who have put up with that for 35 years. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It is my pleasure to stand and speak for a few moments to this bill that was, of course, introduced by the member for Hants West, and one that I believe the very intent is public safety as they travel along the 100-Series Highways of Nova Scotia. I would be remiss, of course, if I didn't speak a few moments to some of the comments made by the member for Digby-Annapolis and to add my support for him and the continuation of the highway between Digby and Weymouth.

It is amazing - 500 and some-odd uncontrolled access points along that piece of highway. People zing in and zing out all the time, which is sort of an indication, an example of what tends to happen if people are soliciting or selling goods along our 100-Series Highways where, of course, homes aren't available.

We don't have completed highways accessing southwest Nova Scotia. Not only do we have that stretch between Digby and Weymouth, we also have the issue along the South Shore. I can tell you, I've heard and experienced some of the very same examples that the member for Digby-Annapolis brings up, as I had friends that lived along the River Road in Shelburne County. Just prior to getting the by-pass complete in Barrington, people would cut

[Page 2002]

through the River Road in order to save a couple of moments as they flowed through down Barrington and back up to it until you hit the highway again.

[5:45 p.m.]

I can tell you, my cousin, in this instance, was always worried about the children travelling up and down so I can only imagine what it's like to live on an uncontrolled section of our controlled highway system.

Here's where the correlation, I think, should be made - there are very strict guidelines on the signage along the 100-Series Highways in this province. We're all very aware of what they look like, we're all very aware of their sizes, their placements as you come to intersections. They're made that way for a very specific reason. It's so that the motorist who is travelling along at speed can read them without distracting them too much. Without that kind of signage, people would make quick decisions as they made it to intersections - whether to stay on or stay off. That's the hazard that's created by soliciting or selling along our 100-Series Highways.

Maybe, maybe, this bill can be amended slightly. The issues the minister brought forward talks about maybe some of these places where there isn't controlled access, along the 100-Series Highways, Highway No.103, Highway No .101 and I don't know the other places that this happens, but it does happen up through Cape Breton. There are a lot of places where this happens. Maybe we can amend it and say on the controlled sections of our 100-Series Highways.

The point here is that the minister did speak a few moments but he said he didn't support the bill. What really we would have liked to have heard is that we like the idea, we all believe in the public safety along our highway system, maybe with a few amendments we could make it work. I think this bill could be made to work for the residents of Nova Scotia.

We've seen time and time again, whether it be at that level crossing - we still have lots of level crossings along our highway system, people sitting off the side selling fish, agricultural products, selling clams, you name it, in a high volume area, people will sort of set themselves up and do it. You'll see time and time again, people with signs setting them up in places where they probably shouldn't be. All of us who have had the opportunity to sit in this House know full well that when a sign goes up on a 100-Series Highway, it's not very long before the sign is removed.

But, what we've seen in the past are people along the side of that highway with signs and waving and all kinds of issues that take the activity (interruptions) Mr. Speaker I'm very careful that when I do that, that I'm not on a 100-Series Highway. But, we talked a moment ago about yard sales and it's a wonderful example of entrepreneurship in our province. The one I think of is the one in Wileville and there's a family - I've never actually stopped, I'm

[Page 2003]

not a yard sale stopper. But on a busy day you can see lots of cars pulled off on the side of that highway checking out the tables and tables of stuff that -I know it's in the member for Lunenburg West's constituency, along the sort of not 100-Series highway Section of that highway. If this happened more often, it would be very difficult to continue the flow of traffic along there.

We've been the province that has looked at public safety on our highways time and time again and I thank the minister for bringing that list forward and talking about banning the usage of cell phones, the issue of texting. I know there are times when it probably would be best if we could pass a law to make sure our children aren't talking in the backseat but I can only aspire to hope that someday we have that, to tell my children; if I ever needed that favour, I might ask the minister for it and I'm hoping my children are watching on TV but I can never guarantee that. But there are times when I think the distraction of the children or of my beautiful wife is more than, of course, the cell phone or texting at the time.

We all travel these highways at speed and we all know that it doesn't take much. (Interruptions) You like that, at speed? I know the Deputy Premier really enjoys the "at speed" because I think he's probably a little bit like me, he knows the speed limit's 100 kilometres per hour. Now, this is one of those incidents where we know it's 100 and I'm going to leave it right there.

We have to make decisions in some cases in a split second and sometimes at speed we can't stop in the split second that, of course, we have that decision. Knock on wood. You see that? Knock on wood, I have never had the unfortunate opportunity to have had that kind of accident, either rear-ending another car or (Interruptions) I said I knocked on wood, did you see the knock on wood? I did hit a pole once but that's a whole other story. The pole somehow jumped out into the road but that's something completely different. (Interruptions) It wasn't on election day either. I'm glad to see that the NDP caucus is interested in this issue and I'm hoping that, as much as we want to see the support on this Opposition bill, on Bill No. 34, I'm hoping that this will at least stimulate some thought on adding this issue on another bill or pulling it up forward with some amendments at some other point to just create a little safer environment on our 100-Series Highways.

Again, I have to go back to the member for Digby-Annapolis and of course support him. I know that I haven't got the peanut gallery comments on, well, you were government for 10 years, why didn't you do the bypass? Ultimately we have the same bureaucrats, let me put it that way and I've heard that before, well the traffic doesn't warrant it through the Weymouth area but for some reason on both sides of it, there's enough traffic to warrant it.

I know on many occasions the member for Digby-Annapolis has stood in this House and talked about the alders in his constituency and again, he stood and offered to go and cut those alders on the already laid-out area for that road. I would say maybe the minister should

[Page 2004]

give him the go-ahead to get his chainsaw out and go cut some trees and at least get one step closer to a bypass to Weymouth and Digby.

This bill is about public safety, it's about making sure that as we're driving at speed along our 100-Series Highways, that we're able to maintain the safety of not just your vehicle and you, but all the people that are around you.

I want to thank again the members for their indulgence during this debate and I look forward to further discussions on Bill No. 34.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I am so pleased to be standing here to speak to Bill No. 34 and giving the last few comments for this debate.

One thing that I am really most impressed with is that all members of this House take the safety of the travelling public and the public along our highways absolutely as a top priority and we're all in agreement with that, Mr. Speaker, and that's so impressive.

There is no question, as well, that the member for Hants West has brought a very important bill forward that has given us much debate and much to think about this evening. The bill has a lot of good pieces and it certainly is worthy of support in principle, however, I think we can all agree, as well, that it does need more clarity, because if we move this bill forward as it stands, this could have some other different types of impacts on the many businesses along our 100-Series Highways. Certainly, in the riding of Queens and along Highway No. 103, it certainly would have impact for a lot of businesses in my area. So we need to be careful when we're bringing bills forward like this that we do have clarity, that we do think out the process, that we do look at all of the stakeholders involved so that we're not negatively impacting businesses that exist on Highway No. 104 or Highway No. 101 or Highway No. 103. Again, as I said earlier, the number one priority for this House and this government and this minister is the public's safety on our highways, the travelling public.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for debate today has ended. I want to thank all the speakers for their participation.

The honourable Government House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Soon, very soon, Mr. Speaker. (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER: I guess I'm a little rusty.

MR. CLARKE: That would conclude the Opposition's business for the day and I would refer it back to the honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 2005]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, you're not rusty . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Careful.

MR. CORBETT: . . . as a wise man once said to me, you're better off wearing out than rusting out. I'm sure you'll wear out, you'll never rust out. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Government House Leader has the floor.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, our business for tomorrow will be Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill Nos. 1, 61, 62, 64, 65, 67; and Private Member's Public Bills, No. 50; and third reading of certain bills; and the Committee of the Whole House on Bills on certain bills.

With that said, Mr. Speaker, I ask that you do now rise to meet tomorrow at the hour of 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House now rise to meet tomorrow between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m.

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 have now reached the moment of interruption

The late debate tonight has been submitted by the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour:

"Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize this government's commitment to creating opportunities for seniors to stay in their homes and communities longer by funding such projects as an age-friendly grant for park benches along a well-travelled way in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary's."

ADJOURNMENT

[Page 2006]

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

SENIORS: AGE-FRIENDLY GRANT - ST. MARY'S MUN. DIST.

MR. JIM BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to speak to this resolution. Our government is committed to giving seniors options to stay in their homes and to stay in their communities longer. One of the programs that I am very proud to say that we're supporting is the age-friendly communities program, along with seniors' safety and the positive aging fund.

One of these programs is very pertinent to me in my constituency and that is the age- friendly grant. The Municipality of the District of St. Mary's has been very proactive in dealing with seniors and helping seniors to participate in their communities because, as most of you know, the constituency that I represent is the largest in the province. It entails 5,331 square kilometers. If I look at the next one, we have Inverness which is 3,887 square kilometers and for my colleague over there, Victoria-The Lakes, it's 3,359 square kilometers.

[6:00 p.m.]

The Municipality of St. Mary's is certainly a very beautiful part of the constituency. It is an area where you have a very diverse landscape and a very diverse economic base as well. The natural landscape here includes farmlands, which you would find in communities like Goshen and Glenelg. You would also find some seaside fishing communities which many here would be familiar with, communities like Port Bickerton, Ecum Secum and Sonora. I'm trying one of these days to get the honourable member to my right out to tour some of these areas.

We also have in this constituency some very large tracts of forest with some of the most amazing hiking trails and nature trails within the Province of Nova Scotia. Some of the communities, for example, would be places like Liscomb, Eight Island Lake for some of you, I'm sure you have never been here, New Chester, which is well into the woods.

AN HON. MEMBER: I know that place.

MR. BOUDREAU: Oh, well, that's great because one of these days we're going to take you on a tour and you're going to know more of those places. Mr. Speaker, these would be great places for park benches, where seniors could take strolls and they would be able to sit and relax and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings that exist in this constituency.

[Page 2007]

The municipality, through its involvement in this age-friendly grant, is able to, and is basically planning to, put in a park bench in each of the sections of the constituency, so people are kind of - the ones that I have been talking to, the seniors in particular, are very excited about going out and sort of picking the spot and getting involved in the actual placement of these benches.

I do want to say something about the municipality, as well, because the Municipality of St. Mary's is certainly a municipal unit that has shown significant leadership in not only dealing with seniors and the recreational opportunities for seniors, but certainly for all of the demographics that exist in that municipality. I would be remiss not to note that the individuals on council, including Warden David Clark and Deputy Warden Michael Mosher, and I suppose while we're at it we might as well talk about the councillors themselves, Kevin Pye, Jacqueline Dort, James Harpell, Shelley Bowen, they all seem to have an understanding that in order for seniors to exist and to continue to live in these areas, there must be some mechanisms in place so that they can actually live and enjoy the communities in which they choose to live.

Just a couple of things that they're doing - one of the other things in conjunction with these park benches is that in each of the parts of the municipality they are developing a three- to five-kilometre walking loop which is intended to be a low-grade walking loop for seniors.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is a great way to stay healthy.

MR. BOUDREAU: It is a great way to stay healthy.

AN HON. MEMBER: By the municipality?

MR. BOUDREAU: Yes, the municipality, in conjunction with our government funding, they're looking at a variety of things. They're restoring Stonewall Park, a municipal park. In this park they plan on putting in benches and picnic tables. Again, seniors, in particular, can walk around and rest and, you know, sit and enjoy looking at the beautiful St. Mary's River. (Interruption) They are accessible, sir. They are accessible, wheelchair accessible, yes. I think it speaks volumes of the leadership that has been shown by the recreation director there, Mr. Brendon Smithson. Mr. Smithson came to the municipality a few years ago and I can say with a great deal of knowledge, because I've worked with him, he's out there looking for ways in which he can help people living in the community and, in particular, the seniors.

The age-friendly grants were launched in 2007 to demonstrate government's commitment to build on early successful partnerships with HRM and, I might add, the Guysborough Regional Municipality which is in the area that I represent. These grants assist the municipalities wishing to develop or adapt services or structures so that they can better serve seniors. The age-friendly grants provide up to $5,000 with the other 50 per cent of the

[Page 2008]

project costs contributed by the municipality in cash or in kind. So this initiative has helped many of the rural parts of Nova Scotia put in place infrastructure which people in urban areas have often taken for granted.

AN HON. MEMBER: It might be appreciated by more than seniors.

MR. BOUDREAU: Absolutely, it is going to be appreciated by more than seniors. It's certainly going to be appreciated by tourists who come in and now they're going to have an opportunity to perhaps stop, take a breath, look around, enjoy what they see. Perhaps in doing so they might decide to stay over and stay in the area and do a little bit more sightseeing. (Interruption) Yes, we have some but we have to work on those camping facilities.

Now, the age-friendly community is a community where policy, services and structures related to the physical and social environment are designed to support and enable older people to live in a secure environment, enjoy good health, and continue to participate fully in society. Just this week, Mr. Speaker, there was an announcement that our government would be providing funding to help LORDA to deal with seniors and especially seniors with disabilities. So I was very pleased to see that.

The investment in the Municipality of St. Mary's is just one more step towards ensuring that the supports the seniors need to be healthy and active in the communities are in place. Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in this House should be very proud that the Department of Seniors is a world leader in delivering the age-friendly concept to communities. The concept originated with the age-friendly cities project, an initiative of the World Health Organization. It's very nice to see that we are looking at that in this province and our government is trying to play a leadership role there as well. So I'm very pleased to see that and I hope that this program will continue to grow and (Interruption) prosper, I was going to say that, live long and prosper, thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Five seconds.

MR. BOUDREAU: Five seconds, one second, time is up. (Applause)

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand in my place tonight to speak a few minutes on the late debate. I want to acknowledge the subject that the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour brought forward and that's our seniors. We certainly have - we could probably talk all night on this subject, but we know we only have 10 minutes each, and that's good. So maybe we can get a few points across.

[Page 2009]

Our seniors are part of our population, Mr. Speaker, that we have to take care of and it's not only about having safer places but healthier places for our seniors. In Digby we have the Lifeplex there for our seniors and young people. We've been having some problems with that, as I brought it up to the Minister of Health. It looks like the YMCA is working at taking that over. It's a beautiful Lifeplex there where the seniors can go and stay healthy. It has a walking track and it has a swimming pool. The seniors go there to work on anything they need to do to make themselves healthier. It's a great thing.

There are other things we need in our communities too. Assisted living is another thing. I know, as the honourable member mentioned, we need benches for people to sit down on, but I think there are many more things. Assisted living homes are something that we don't have in our area, the Digby area. Right now they're building a new home for our seniors and the old building, I've been pushing it for contractors to take over and rebuild and to turn it into an assisted living home where they could have benches galore.

There are a huge number of seniors in our area who need that assistance to live and to be able to live on their own. An assisted living home is a place where you can keep your independence and, with a press of a bell, somebody can come to their door and help them out. That's certainly needed.

I've always had questions asked of me - and I must bring this up. When are you a senior? Who's to say when you're a senior? I found out here two or three weeks ago - no, maybe a couple of months ago about how you know you're a senior. One night my wife and I were going to a movie, we were going to Alice in Wonderland. There were a lot of young people there - my wife wanted to see Alice in Wonderland and I did too. It was a long while since I saw the original Alice in Wonderland. It's a good movie.

Anyway, when we got to where we bought our tickets, I said two tickets please. He handed me two tickets and I looked at them and I said, these are seniors' tickets. I said to my wife, look, we have seniors' tickets. Oh, no, give them back she said, we're not seniors. I said, Diane, you be quiet now, we're seniors - he thinks we're seniors, we're seniors. I found out that night maybe you're a senior when you receive the discount without asking for it. I've thought about that ever since - I believe I'm a senior now. Maybe I should ask for the discount more - and I think I will. I enjoy being a senior. I'm not really that old, but I feel like I'm a senior.

I'd like to talk, too, about recreation in our homes. We have a lot of seniors' homes in this province and I don't know just how much recreation is provided for them. I know that recreation is good for people, and I'll tell you a story about recreation in a seniors' home. My daughter, Krista, she studied to be a recreational manager. She took four years at Acadia and she went on to do some more schooling after that, she trained to be a recreational manager

[Page 2010]

for children because she loves children - but she loves everybody, doesn't matter who they are or what age they are.

She came home here and she couldn't get much work around here for recreational management for children, so she decided to put in as recreational manager for a seniors' home in Yarmouth. When she got down there, she said I'm going to get these people out of this home and I'm going to show them some recreation - so she did. She had quite a battle with the administration there; she wanted some room to grow some gardens. She fought for two or three weeks to get this ground all plowed up out in back of the home down there in Yarmouth. After awhile the administration gave in to her and she plowed. She got it all plowed up and she had 90 per cent of those seniors out in that garden growing gardens that Spring.

She had them up home - I was in the whale-watching - she had them up home whale-watching. Some of them never, ever stepped aboard a boat in their lives; 90 years old, and they felt like the woman that I talked to that day aboard that boat, who felt like she was 30 years old again out aboard that boat.

[6:15 p.m.]

This went on a few months, so I went down to see my daughter one day and the administrator was there. Now I asked for Krista, my daughter, and we got talking about her and I said, well, how is she doing, anyway? The administrator said, Mr. Theriault, the death rate in this home has dropped in half since your daughter came here. That just goes to prove that if you give the seniors a reason to go on, to plant gardens and go see the whales and go fishing . . .

Another incident I want to tell you about, if I've got time, there was a boatbuilder down there. There was a boatbuilder in that home and my daughter used to bring him up to her home. He was just like a grandfather to her, but all the people were just like grandmothers and grandfathers to her, and that's why she had to get out of it because the seniors died on her and it pretty near killed her. Anyway, she brought this person up. She got me to arrange it for this man. He knew Joe Casey during the war and he had not seen the Honourable Joe Casey since the war. Anyway, I lined it up. Krista found out - he had told her the stories about him and Joe.

I went to see Joe - this was four or five years ago - and we brought them together. I got Joe and she brought this Mr. Atkinson up, who was a boatbuilder. He was 92 years old. Joe was only young then, 88, but they were in the war together and they sat at the table that day, at the dinner table. We got them together for dinner and we listened. My daughter and I never opened our mouths, but we listened to the stories that those two people told. I assure you, that put two to three or four more years on each of those people's lives.

[Page 2011]

It's just the way you do it, to give seniors more than a park bench. They need more than a park bench. They need a reason to live on. I don't think the park bench will do it, but recreational management for our seniors is something that we truly need to look at and to have more of and to expand more on, and you'll see seniors living 10 to 15 more years of their lives. I guarantee it. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, it's an honour to have a few minutes this evening to discuss what I consider to be a very important subject: anything to do with our seniors. I'm glad we're just not you and me this evening - the House is full, we've got all the members paying good attention tonight to the conversation and the debate that's been going on here. It is such an important issue, and as always, most debates in this House are important as they go.

The issue of park benches, as the member for Digby-Annapolis just said, it's not the issue of a park bench. It's many things well beyond the park bench. I, too, am very fortunate to have a number of seniors' homes in my area, not only the nursing home style - I guess we wouldn't call them Level 2, we only have one of those - but just seniors' residences where people can go when they don't want to have to look after the lawns, don't want to have to look after their houses anymore, and we could always use more.

Certainly in my area, and I think probably throughout the province, as we listen to people talking in this House and you meet more people and travel about and so on, we realize that our population is getting older, whether we like that or not. It's interesting, the topic, when are we a senior? Well, some days you need only be into your 40s to feel like you're a senior, but he's quite right, you can be 90 and not feel like you're a senior and be more than active, and we have our share of those people as well.

There's a number of things. That recreation piece is very important, whether it's the walking trail through St. Mary's - sure, we probably tire a little bit when we get older, I know we do and that bench is coming in quite handy, I would think. There are a lot of those kinds of projects throughout this province and through that program that was initiated back a number of years ago. I think a lot of these organizations have benefited from things like park benches and trail building and other types of things. That's much needed in this province, and I think it's important that we continue moving forward, moving in the right direction in supporting such projects. They're not a lot of money at times; they can be a few thousand dollars to a few hundred dollars to as big as you want to make them, but it's important that we continue to do all we can for seniors.

I've been fortunate enough to be here since 2006 and I know that there are a few who might feel like they are seniors who have been around here a lot longer than that, a number

[Page 2012]

of years and certainly my predecessor was here for a good long while. I think he was 82 when he left here and I could look at Ron Russell and say I don't even think he's a senior yet today because he is so active. It just goes to show you, when you're working and you are busy and your mind is fresh, it keeps you healthy. That's a wonderful thing and the more that we can do to keep the people in all of our communities healthy and out of the hospitals and out of the nursing homes, long before they need to be, that's a great thing.

Again, I commend the current government for carrying on with something that was started long before. I hope that the investment continues to be there. At times down the road, perhaps, when budgets are better and there's more money made available, that we can look at even doing more because there will always be more. As I said, we're not getting younger in this province, our population is certainly growing older. It's about the well-being of these people and they don't ask for much. The seniors who I talk to are pretty modest folks. They think it's a big deal to ask for the smallest things and perhaps these park benches are one of those examples.

You know we see the seniors in our churches, the majority of our church groups are still built from seniors. I am fortunate in my church where I go Wednesday night, there's a lot of young families who are joining that church. It's not like it used to be, though. There are a lot of folks again, they're growing older, what's keeping the congregations going? It's our seniors. So on that very line, what are we going to do to keep the churches going? There aren't many churches these days that are on the plus side when it comes to budgets. A lot of them are in the negative.

There probably should be programs out there to support the churches, the programs in the churches are senior-related. There are quilting clubs and UCW meetings but you won't find many young people in those kinds of meetings. If you are familiar with them at all, they are generally the older population in the church that have been there for a number of years and thankfully they are the workers. These folks are still very much the workers within our church communities. We need them and we need to support them, whether it is through walking trails, benches, whatever it might be, we need to give them a reason to stay so they can feel young, to exercise and to remain healthy so that they can continue on with this good work. Again, it is good that we have these programs.

I mention our nursing homes. We heard the member for Digby-Annapolis talk about recreation and we are fortunate in our nursing homes - I know the Windsor Elms and Dykeland Lodge and Haliburton Place, it is called, it has been there for a number of years now, it is part of the hospital, all have recreation directors that keep their folks busy. Through a variety of programs they're doing great work and as the honourable member said, it does give you reason to get up in the morning, whether you' re in a biking program that is a little bit different than what you or I might do. They haven't gone anywhere but their feet are going and they are peddling away through these mechanisms that they have.

[Page 2013]

I know that the Windsor Elms, specifically, is moving forward with a new facility. It costs a lot of money to build that facility and they've not done that without great frustration. It is wonderful to hear the member stand up and talk about what we can do for seniors but we, in this particular project, unfortunately it has not been without great anxiety I think at times, for the board that is managing that facility and trying to get it built because of delays through the tendering process. They put it in and I think, as a matter of fact I know that they are quite happy to go through the process, which is tendering, having the government approve the tenders and award them.

The problem is that there are such delays in this process, you know it is great to say out of one side of your mouth that we support seniors all the way, all the way, but yet on the other side we're saying well, we can't put that tender out and there's this issue that it always seems like the dollars get in the way. That's too bad, it really is, regardless of how many dollars.

I spoke a few minutes ago, it could be a park bench, a small amount of dollars, it could be a huge problem like the Windsor Elms, which is a big cost, it is $36-plus million. We've seen, unfortunately, in the province other nursing homes that were committed to, giving opportunities to replace or build new, that process has been slowed. I know down through the South Shore, the member for Argyle will tell you that his project down there - not his project but the community project that he represents, unfortunately it has been cancelled, I believe. Maybe there's one out in Guysborough-Sheet Harbour. The honourable member who spoke earlier in this debate has said I don't know if cancelled or postponed or delayed.

Again, you talk about looking after seniors and that's a great thing. That's a wonderful thing, honourable member, that's a great thing to put those walking trails in there, but if they've no place to live such as a home that you would very much like to have replaced, or built new down there, you won't have to worry much about walking trails or park benches because you won't have any there. You won't have anybody using it. Well, I shouldn't say anybody, maybe you'll have lots of good young people who are living in your community, some that are still able, and the fellow like the guy beside you there, the honourable member perhaps, his day will soon come, you know. (Interruption)

The member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour, you may at some point down the road, in the not too distant future, who knows, you may be looking to move into one of these kinds of places. I'm not saying that you're old or that you're a senior but as time passes us by, unfortunately, it seems to go quicker every year, it will soon be here, and it will be our time and it will be our opportunity to be looking at these places and say, you know, there's a potential for you right now, as a member of the government on that side, to say I need to have some impact, I have an opportunity. Not only I may need this, my family may need this, all the people that you represent. Those are the people who are important - seniors, those who will be seniors, and so on. We could go on for hours here probably, as others have said. I

[Page 2014]

know that my time is up and I was glad to be part of this debate this evening. I thank the honourable member for bringing the topic forward. With that, I will say thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: I want to thank you all for your participation in the debate.

The House will now adjourn and sit again tomorrow from the hours of 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 6:26 p.m.]

[Page 2015]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1065

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 Windsor-West Hants Minor Hockey Association's Pee-Wee "AA" Hockey Team came home in late March from Amherst as the 2009-10 provincial champions; and

Whereas this Pee-Wee "AA" Hockey Club under the guidance of Head Coach Gregg Riley, Assistant Coaches Jeff Parker and Greg Wile and Manager Tanya Singer won six consecutive games to bring home championship honors; and

Whereas the six victories were 2-1 and 4-3 over host Cumberland, 7-0 over South Colchester, a 5-3 win over Antigonish, they got by Cole Harbour 4-3 and were 5-0 winners over Pictou;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend the Windsor-West Hants Minor Hockey Association's Pee-Wee "AA" team on their impressive 6-0 showing at the 2009-10 provincials in Amherst while wishing them every future success in both their educational pursuits and hockey games.

RESOLUTION NO. 1066

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 Prudential Plus Realty's Enfield Office under the capable ownership and direction of Paul Sentner was recently recognized along with four of his agents for their outstanding work in 2009 at the Prudential Atlantic Canada Awards Convention in February; and

Whereas Paul, Rose Seitl and Margaret Hines were recognized in the honour society for being the top 10 per cent of sales for Prudential Associates in North America; and

[Page 2016]

Whereas Carol Dill and Rebecca Dickens were recognized in the "Rock Solid" category for being in the top 25 per cent bracket of Prudential Associates in North America while Rebecca was also recognized as a Rising Star for Prudential;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLA's in these historic Chambers offer our sincerest congratulations to Paul Sentner and the entire staff at Prudential Plus Realty's Enfield Office for being honoured with such prestigious awards while wishing them every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1067

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 "Steps for Life" is an annual five kilometre fundraising walk that supports "Threads of Life", a program which provides to families affected by a workplace fatality, life-altering workplace injury or occupational disease; and

Whereas Barbara Beck, whose husband Ron was the victim of a workplace fatality, along with her daughters Deanna Hamilton and Nicki Beck-Chisholm will be walking on May 2nd to reinforce the importance of workplace safety needs to be made the priority of every employer and employee across the country; and

Whereas participating in an event, such as "Steps for Life", will not only raise funds for this very worthwhile cause but it will also raise awareness around the importance of workplace safety with both employers and empoyees;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Hosue of Assembly commend Barb, Deanna and Nicki on their efforts and wish them all the best with their goal of organizing and hosting a walk in our community in the near future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1068

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 fundraising is a significant way for non-profit organizations to obtain the money necessary for functioning and churches often rely on fundraising activities to keep them operational; and

[Page 2017]

Whereas Helen Sanford and Cheryl Kennedy could recently be found selling baked goods, jams and an array of other homemade goodies at the Fort Edward Mall in Windsor, Hants County, where all of the money raised went towards the Faith in Action Holiness Church in Walton; and

Whereas without the support of people like Helen and Cheryl, and their outstanding fundraising talents, some charitable organizations would not have the means to carry on their most needed activities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud Helen Sanford and Cheryl Kennedy on their generous efforts and wish them all the best with future fundraising efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 1069

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 originally played with a peach basket, a soccer ball and a long dowel to retrieve the ball from the basket, basketball is now one of the most popular and widely-viewed sports in the world; and

Whereas Stevie Murphy, Jessalyn Harvey, Brittany MacKinnon, Natasha Williamson, Kimber Miller, Brandi Kehoe, Kaelyn Woolaver, Melissa Moore, Keanya Miller and Haley Guild of the West Hants Shooting Star Bantam Girls League, along with their coaches John Miller and Tony Guild recently defeated the Valley East Basketball Association in a championship playoff game; and

Whereas by being active in sports during their youth, these young ladies will build a strong basis for an active lifestyle that will continue into their adulthood;

Therefore be it resolved that all members in this House of Assembly congratulate the West Hants Shooting Star Bantam Girls Basketball League on their great accomplishment and wish them all the best in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1070

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

[Page 2018]

Whereas brothers Scott and Ryan Hupman attribute their focus on music to a small town upbringing in Shelburne; and

Whereas these superb musicians currently live in Wolfville and have been sharing the stage for over a decade, releasing three CDs; and

Whereas the Hupman Brothers captured their first East Coast Music Award at the annual music showcase in Sydney, winning Best Blues Recording for their Countin' Quarters;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate brothers Scott and Ryan Hupman of Wolfville on winning this prestigious award and wish them many more successes in their musical career.

RESOLUTION NO. 1071

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 Nova Scotia School Accreditation Program helps ensure every public school in the province is continually improving, offering quality programs and meeting the academic needs of all students; and

Whereas the Windsor Elementary School in Windsor recently completed the accreditation visit and as a result they will become only the second school in this province to receive this designation in the official program and not as part of the pilot program; and

Whereas the mission for improving learning conditions and remaining focused on the shared vision for the future are two of the necessary qualities that this school displayed during the accreditation process to earn this designation;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Windsor Elementary School principal, Mike Knowles and his staff on an excellent job well done and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1072

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

[Page 2019]

Whereas a card game is any game using playing cards as the primary things with which the game is played be they traditional or game-specific and countless card games exist with some games having formal standardized rules and others can vary by region, culture and person; and

Whereas Carl Siler and Garnet Lake, who are avid card players, recently participated in the Avondale Community Hall's Annual 45s Card Tournament where they were successful in winning first prize and will see their names placed on a plaque reserved for the winning team in memory of Bill Siler; and

Whereas card tournaments are great ways to keep in touch with friends while at the same time enjoying a night out and a little friendly competition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carl Siler and Garnet Lake on their win and wish them all the best with future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1073

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Andy Kirk from Windsor, Hants County, was recently named as Windsor's 2010 Volunteer of the Year for his countless hours of volunteering his time as president of the tennis club, chairpersons for the Windsor Recreation Commission and devoted Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Windsor, just to name a few; and

Whereas whether Andy is hammering nails and sawing boards for the new kitchen at Camp Mockingee or playing a leading role in organizing the annual Rotary Auction, Andy enjoys the benefits he sees in the outcomes of his efforts and will continue to contribute his time wherever he is needed;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Andy Kirk on caring about others in his community and thank him wholeheartedly for making a difference.

RESOLUTION NO. 1074

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

[Page 2020]

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

Whereas the Kings Chorale, a local non-audition choir, was started 27 years ago by Bill Perrot; and

Whereas the Kings Chorale was invited to perform at the world-renowned Lincoln Centre, as part of the Martin Luther King event, in the Concert for Peace; and

Whereas members of the Kings Chorale and their director, Bill Perrot, travelled to New York to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the members of the Kings Chorale and their director, Bill Perrot, on being chosen to participate in this prestigious event.

RESOLUTION NO. 1075

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 Hannah Miller Memorial Hockey Tournament was initiated after seven-year-old Hannah was tragically killed in a car accident in Port Williams to perpetuate her passion for hockey and provide opportunities for young players; and

Whereas Acadia University's School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology, the Acadia Minor Hockey Association and family members created the Hannah Miller Memorial Fund in her memory; and

Whereas the goal of the fund is to provide an opportunity for female hockey players to participate in an environment that emphasizes fun and fair play in female hockey in the AMHA and award an annual scholarship to a student at Acadia University;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate all those involved for another successful Hannah Miller Memorial Hockey Tournament.

RESOLUTION NO. 1076

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

[Page 2021]

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

Whereas Commodore David Gardam joined the militia in 1975 as a Private in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders; and

Whereas Commodore David Gardam has earned many accolades and promotions throughout his career in the military; and

Whereas Commodore Gardam currently holds the position of Deputy Director General International Security Policy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Commodore David Gardam on a very successful military career.

RESOLUTION NO. 1077

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 Pete Luckett of Luckett Farms Limited, and also Pete's Frootique fame, is preparing to develop his Grand Pré Road property in Wallbrook, Kings County; and

Whereas Kings County Council is considering the development agreement for a proposed winery, gift shop, full-service restaurant and tourist lodging; and

Whereas Councillor Dick Killam said this is the type of development the county needs and he would be supporting the application;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly wish Pete Luckett success as he prepares to develop this property in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1078

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 the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest encourages participation in recycling and composting programs among Nova Scotian youth; and

[Page 2022]

Whereas the 2010 contest, which encouraged students to become Waste Warriors and help Nova Scotia reduce our solid waste, saw over 9,300 entries from 227 schools across the province; and

Whereas Uriel Galindo of École Rose-des-Vents finished in first place in the contest level Grade 2-3, with Alicia Pretty of Coldbrook and District School and Sally Wilkie of Port Williams Elementary School as runners up;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Uriel Galindo, Alicia Pretty, and Sally Wilkie on their performances at the 10th Annual Nova Scotia Recycles Contest for Grade level 2-3.

RESOLUTION NO. 1079

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 the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest encourages participation in recycling and composting programs among Nova Scotian youth; and

Whereas the 2010 contest, which encouraged students to become Waste Warriors and help Nova Scotia reduce our solid waste, saw over 9,300 entries from 227 schools across the province; and

Whereas Bryana Pearson, a student at Northeast Kings Education Centre, was the regional Grade 12 winner of the 10th Annual Nova Scotia Recycles Contest, with Shannon Coates of Horton High School as runner up;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Bryana Pearson and Shannon Coates on their performance at the 10th Annual Nova Scotia Recycles Contest for Grade 12 students.

RESOLUTION NO. 1080

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 Zoë Wright is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

[Page 2023]

Whereas Zoë and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

Whereas Zoë will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Zoë on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

RESOLUTION NO. 1081

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 Thomas Coffen-Smout is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

Whereas Thomas and his classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

Whereas Thomas will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Thomas on his hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish him well in his transition from elementary to junior high school.

RESOLUTION NO. 1082

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 Sandra Barry is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

Whereas Sandra and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

[Page 2024]

Whereas Sandra will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Sandra on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

RESOLUTION NO. 1083

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 Emma Elliott is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

Whereas Emma and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

Whereas Emma will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Emma on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

RESOLUTION NO. 1084

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

[Page 2025]

Whereas Len Sweett will be recognized by the committee for the dedication he has shown over many years to the Boy Scouts of Canada, the Discovery Centre, Scientists and Technologists in the Schools, Science and Technology Awareness Network, the Rockingham United Church, Adsum House, Ark, Bayers/Westwood Food Bank, Brunswick Street Mission, Education Haiti, Metro Turning Point for Men, Out of the Cold Shelter, the Cancer Society, and the Nova Scotia Lung Association;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Len Sweett on receiving this award and thank him for the tremendous contributions he has made to improving the lives of others in his community and beyond, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1085

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Helen Sweett will be recognized by the committee for her many years of volunteer service to a wide variety of organizations including the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club, the Amateur Swimming Association, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the United Church of Canada, the Palliative Care Unit at the QE II Health Sciences Centre, Ark Sunday Supper at St. Andrews United Church, Out of the Cold Winter Shelter, and the Palliative and End of Life Care for the Homeless steering committee;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Helen Sweett on receiving this award and thank her for the tremendous contributions she has made to improving the lives of others, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1086

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

[Page 2026]

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Denise Hirtle will be recognized by the committee for the dedication she has shown to her church, the Girl Guides of Canada, Bryony House, the Kinette Club, the Children's Trust Fund, Multiple Sclerosis and Cystic Fibrosis Societies, as well as carrying out many thoughtful gestures of kindness for those in need;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Denise Hirtle for the tremendous contributions she has made to improving the lives of others, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1087

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Marlene Ash will be recognized by the committee for the dedication she has shown to Park West School as an invaluable volunteer at all school activities, and especially for her support of the school musical;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Marlene Ash on receiving this award and thank her for the hundreds of hours she has devoted to her community and neighbourhood school, and wish her continued success in the future.

[Page 2027]

RESOLUTION NO. 1088

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Niki Power will be recognized by the committee for the dedication she has shown to Park West School as secretary of the PTA, an invaluable supporter of the school musical, and a volunteer who is always prepared to step forward and help the school;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Niki Power on receiving this award and thank her for the hundreds of hours she has devoted to her community and neighbourhood school, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1089

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Lena Diab will be recognized by the committee for the dedication she has shown to many community organizations such as the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, the Rockingham Residents Association, the Multicultural Association, Diman Association, Our Lady of Lebanon Church, and the Canadian Lebanon Society;

[Page 2028]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Lena Diab for the tremendous contributions she has made to improving the lives of others, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1090

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Shelley Cahill will be recognized by the committee for the dedication she has shown to community organizations such as the Block Parent Association, Park West School, and the District 10 Neighbourhood Watch which she founded;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Shelley Cahill for the tremendous contributions she has made to her community, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1091

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

[Page 2029]

Whereas Ken Smith will be recognized by the committee for the dedication he has shown to Halifax West High School, Burton Ettinger Elementary School, Fairview Junior High School, the Foster Parent Association, Halifax Hawks Hockey Association, Halifax City Soccer, Scouts Canada, and his church;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Ken Smith for the tremendous contributions he has made to his community, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1092

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Mridula McGuinness will be recognized by the committee for the dedication she has shown to the Halifax Dunbrack Soccer Club and Ecole Rockingham School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Mridula McGuinness for the tremendous contributions she has made to improving the lives of others, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1093

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas many community groups and organizations in our province would not be able to continue their work without the commitment and dedication of volunteers; and

Whereas on May 6, 2010, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee will hold their annual Community Champion Awards Dinner to recognize

[Page 2030]

outstanding volunteers who consistently dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of others; and

Whereas Sylvia Warren will be recognized by the committee for the dedication she has shown as Chairman of the School Advisory Council and as a member of the Parent/Teacher Association at Fairview Junior High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Sylvia Warren on receiving this award, thank her for the tremendous contributions she has made to her community, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1094

By: Hon. Karen Casey (Colchester North)

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

Whereas on May 4th Canada's Navy celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the proclamation of the Naval Service Act, by Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier, which established the Royal Canadian Navy; and

Whereas Maritime Forces Atlantic, Canada's East Coast Navy, under the leadership of Rear Admiral Paul Maddison, was recognized by His Worship Peter Kelly, Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality, and the members of Halifax Regional Municipality Council, by being granted Freedom of the City, an ancient tradition that acknowledges the enormous respect and appreciation which this city and this province holds for our Navy and its members; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia and all Nova Scotians have benefited significantly from the presence of the Canadian Navy, its provision of maritime security, and the involvement of its members in the social and community life of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly offer a well- deserved "Bravo Zulu" to Rear Admiral Paul Maddison and to the officers and the sailors of Maritime Forces Atlantic, extend to them our appreciation and continuing support for their operations and missions, and assure them that they will always be warmly welcomed in this House of Assembly.

[Page 2031]

RESOLUTION NO. 1095

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Bedford Soccer Association nominated Phil Swinney to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Phil has been an integral part of the Bedford Soccer Association for eight years, serving as president, registrar, and member-at-large while improving communication through Web site design and e-mail communications, developing an automated registration process, and chairing Bedford's first turn at hosting the provincial championship - as well, Phil is president of the Suburban Football Club and started a committee that built a new elite-level soccer region;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Phil Swinney on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1096

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Bedford Lionettes nominated Sheila Bruce to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Sheila has been treasurer of the Lionettes for many years and she organizes seniors' dinners, bingos, and silent auctions - and even cooks the dinners - as well as being involved in the Diabetic Society, the Catholic Women's League, and the Canadian Cancer Society, the Safe Arrival Program, and many other activities;

[Page 2032]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sheila Bruce on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1097

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Bedford Minor Football nominated Terry Bremner to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Terry has coached football in Bedford and Sackville for decades, first coaching the Bedford-Sackville Bantam teams to provincial championships, then the CPA football team, and masterminding a fundamentals camp for young players, all while organizing the Tackle Hunger food drive and serving as president of Action Atlantic, a chronic pain organization;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Terry Bremner on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1098

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Bedford Players nominated Alleen Parsons to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Alleen has been an executive council member of the Bedford Players for the past 25 years, producing plays and pitching in with any and all tasks, as well as being the

[Page 2033]

librarian and a choir member of the Bedford Singers, an active member of All Saints Anglican Church for more than 25 years, and a canvasser for the Diabetes Society;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Alleen Parsons on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1099

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Bedford Minor Lacrosse nominated Bob Bryan to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Bob has been an integral part of the Bedford Minor Lacrosse team, coaching, serving as registrar, running the tryout process, and looking after the administrative duties for the association, and has also coached with Bedford Minor Hockey;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Bob Bryan on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1100

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas Brookside Cemetery Corporation nominated Bill Roy to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Bill has been a valued member of the board of trustees of the Brookside Cemetery Corporation for 10 years, including turns as chairman and Head of Grounds

[Page 2034]

Committee, and has served the Bedford community in many capacities, including as town councillor, deputy mayor, chair of the Planning Advisory Committee, and as a school board representative; as well, he was deeply involved in the Bedford United Church, the Bedford Community Singers, the Bedford Basin Yacht Club, and the Bedford Rotary Club;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Bill Roy on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1101

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Bedford United Church nominated Mary Louise Mills to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Mary Louise has been an active and compassionate member of the Bedford United Church and has served as president of the United Church Women, church elder, council member, worship committee member, worship presider, and hospital visitation coordinator, as well as being involved with the Run for the Cure for 15 years and captaining a team in the Hike of Hospice this year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mary Louise Mills on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1102

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

[Page 2035]

Whereas the Scouts Canada - 1st Bedford Group nominated James McKee to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas James has been volunteering with the 1st Bedford Cub Pack for the past three years, first as an assistant Cub leader and now as an energetic and imaginative "Akela," and has coached basketball for 10 years in the Bedford community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate James McKee on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1103

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Sackville River Association nominated Richard Peckham to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Richard has been a key volunteer for the Sackville River Association for the past 21 years, serving as chair of the trails subcommittee for 10 years, and organizing the annual Christmas Bird Count for Bedford and Sackville for the past five years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Richard Peckham on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1104

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

[Page 2036]

Whereas the Multiple Sclerosis Society nominated Penny Mosher to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Penny has been volunteering with the MS Society for the past 11 years, volunteering on the Carnation Campaign and the MS Bike Tour and volunteering for the Cancer Society, Beacon House, and the PC Party;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Penny Mosher on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1105

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Scouts Canada 1st Bedford Group nominated Patricia DeFreitas to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Patricia has been volunteering with the Boy Scouts for the past six years, enabling 1st Bedford to offer a co-ed program and providing first aid support to troop members while also volunteering at her church for the past nine years as a member of the New Mothers Support Group and the Visitation Group and as a Sunday School Teacher;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Patricia DeFreitas on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1106

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

[Page 2037]

Whereas the Rocky Lake Development Association nominated Mark McGrath to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Mark has been volunteering with the RLDA as a member of the board since 2002, contributing much-needed engineering expertise and has also been a key volunteer with Basketball Nova Scotia, Metro Basketball Association, Bedford Minor Basketball Association, the Boy Scouts of Canada, Phoenix House, United Way Dream Home Campaign, Feed Nova Scotia and Junior Achievement;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mark McGrath on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1107

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Girl Guides of Canada - Bedford District nominated Margaret Galbraith to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Margaret has been a key volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada for 30 years, serving in many and varied roles and garnering many awards for her service, all while also volunteering with the Atlantic Jazz Festival, the Run for the Cure, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, the Bosum Buddies and the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Margaret Galbraith on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1108

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

[Page 2038]

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Scouts Canada 1st Bedford Group nominated Lucas Keeping to receive the youth award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Lucas has been active with the 1st Bedford Cub Pack for the past nine years, sharing his knowledge and experience with the younger members of the troop while also volunteering with Judy's June Bug, the Relay for Life, All Saint's Church, St. George's Mission and has been recognized by HRM Police for his good citizenship in school where he is also an active volunteer in many charity drives, the school band and other activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Lucas Keeping on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1109

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas Meals on Wheels nominated Carolyne Renton to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Carolyne has been delivering for Meals on Wheels for the past four years and has previously volunteered with Special Olympics, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Help Line, Block Parents, the United Way and Pathfinders;

[Page 2039]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Carolyne Renton on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1110

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the St. Ignatius Church nominated Roxanne Pereira to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas Roxanne has been volunteering at St. Ignatius Church for several years and now is the assistant choir director and directs the Passion Play even as she raises funds, prepares year 9 students for confirmation and serves at Parish pancake suppers and also volunteers with Feed Nova Scotia, with Chalice, a church organization that sponsors children in Third World countries and also participates in many activities at her high school, including the fashion show, musicals, multicultural club and Amnesty International;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Roxanne Pereira on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1111

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society - Bedford Hammonds Plains Unit nominated Carol Hawkins to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

[Page 2040]

Whereas Carol has been volunteering with the Cancer Society for the past 24 years as Secretary, Programs Chair and Public Issues Chair all the while captaining a large subdivision in her area and being heavily involved in activities at St. Nicholas Church;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Carol Hawkins on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1112

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

Whereas the Catholic Women's League of St. Ignatius Church nominated Geraldine Brown to receive the award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas "Dean" has been a member of the CWL for 33 years serving as president for two terms and filling a variety of key positions as well as being heavily involved in various worship roles, in addition she has volunteered with the Cancer Society, Scott Manor House and the Nova Scotia Liberal Party;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Dean Brown on being honoured for her volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish her well in her future volunteer activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1113

By: Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 to honour the many volunteers of our community; and

[Page 2041]

Whereas the Sackville Rivers Association nominated David Jackson to receive the youth award from its organization at the recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 18, 2010; and

Whereas David has been volunteering with the Sackville Rivers Association for the past two years creating a concept and design for two signs on the Fort Sackville Trail and initiating improvements in Fish Hatchery Park, including painting the gazebo last year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate David Jackson on being honoured for his volunteer service by the Bedford Volunteer Recognition Committee and wish him well in his future volunteer activities.