Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 10-53

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

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
PSC: Civil Service Disclosure of Wrongdoing Regs. & Pol.
- Anl. Rept. (2009-10), Hon. F. Corbett 4157
TIR - 5-Yr. Hwy. Improvement Plan,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 4158
Agric. - N.S. Crop & Livestock Insurance Commn.
- Anl. Rept. (2009-10), Hon. J. MacDonell 4158
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2466, Inn On The Lake - Choice Hotels Award,
Hon. P. Paris 4158
Vote - Affirmative 4159
Res. 2467, McCurdy, William D.: Atl. Agric. Hall of Fame
- Induction, Hon. J. MacDonell 4159
Vote - Affirmative 4159
Res. 2468, Hines, Robert: Speedy Recovery - Wish,
Hon. S. Belliveau 4160
Vote - Affirmative 4160
Res. 2469, Lobster Fishers: Safe Season - Wish,
Hon. S. Belliveau 4160
Vote - Affirmative 4161^
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 118, Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act,
Hon. F. Corbett 4161
No. 119, Residential Tenancies Act,
Hon. R. Jennex 4161
No. 120, Condominium Act,
Hon. R. Jennex 4162
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2470, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- Prem. Recognize, Hon. Manning MacDonald 4162
Res. 2471, Bill No. 100 - Reintroduce,
Hon. J. Baillie 4163
Res. 2472, Wentzell, Cathy - Christmas Card Prog.,
Ms. V. Conrad 4163
Vote - Affirmative 4164
Res. 2473, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- Health Min. Recognize, Ms. D. Whalen 4164
Res. 2474, S.S. Khandalla Band - School of Rock Comp.,
Mr. C. Porter 4165
Vote - Affirmative 4166
Res. 2475, Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign - Recognize,
Ms. P. Birdsall 4166
Vote - Affirmative 4167
Res. 2476, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- Fin. Min. Recognize, Mr. L. Glavine 4167
Res. 2477, "Let's Can Hunger": Organizers - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 4168
Vote - Affirmative 4168
Res. 2478, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- TIR Min. Recognize, Hon. W. Gaudet 4168
Res. 2479, Gibson, John: Cultural Treasures - Protection,
Mr. A. MacMaster 4169
Vote - Affirmative 4170
Res. 2480, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- LWD Min. Recognize, Ms. K. Regan 4170
Res. 2481, Sydney Mines Legion Centennial Band: Vol. Serv.
- Congrats., Hon. C. Clarke 4171
Vote - Affirmative 4171
Res. 2482, MacLean, Lisa/MacInnis, Jolene
- N.S. Can. Games Hockey Team, Mr. A. MacMaster 4171
Vote - Affirmative 4172
Res. 2483, Grainger, Heather: Vol. Work - Acknowledge,
Hon. K. Colwell 4172
Vote - Affirmative 4173
Res. 2484, Buchanan, Johnny: Victoria Co. Councillor - Election,
Mr. K. Bain 4173
Vote - Affirmative 4174
Res. 2485, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- Fish. & Aquaculture Min. Recognize, Mr. H. Theriault 4174
Res. 2486, Johnson, Josephine: MSVU - Hon. Deg.,
Hon. K. Colwell 4174
Vote - Affirmative 4175
Res. 2487, Belliveau Motors: Run for the Cure - Congrats.,
Hon. W. Gaudet 4175
Vote - Affirmative 4176
Res. 2488, Lobster Fishermen: Safe Season - Wish,
Mr. Z. Churchill 4176
Vote - Affirmative 4177
Res. 2489, Ross Rept. - Recommendations: NDP Gov't.
- Response, Ms. D. Whalen 4177
Res. 2490, Educ.: Prog. Cuts - Planning Exercise,
Ms. K. Regan 4177
Res. 2491, Tideview Terrace: Care - Recognize,
Mr. H. Theriault 4178
Vote - Affirmative 4179
Res. 2492, Surrette, Winnie: Yarmouth CIBC - Serv. (45 Yrs.),
Mr. Z. Churchill 4179
Vote - Affirmative 4179
Res. 2493, Densmore, Beth - N.S. Fed. of Agric.: Pres. - Appt.,
Mr. C. Porter 4180
Vote - Affirmative 4180
Res. 2494, APEX Golf Tournament: Participants - Congrats.,
Ms. L. Zann 4180
Vote - Affirmative 4181
Res. 2495, Agric.: Strategy - Min. Provide,
Mr. L. Glavine 4181
Res. 2496, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- Energy Min. Recognize, Mr. A. Younger (by Ms. K. Regan) 4182
Res. 2497, N.S. Power: Operations Team - Workforce Practices,
Mr. A. Younger (by Ms. K. Regan) 4183
Res. 2498, Shears, Dorothy - Birthday (85th),
Hon. M. Samson 4184
Vote - Affirmative 4184
Res. 2499, St. Joseph's Credit Union: Food Bank Donation - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Samson 4184
Vote - Affirmative 4185
Res. 2500, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- Prem. Recognize, Hon. S. McNeil (by Mr. L. Glavine) 4186
Res. 2501, Lbr. Law - Consultation: Importance
- Com. Serv. Min. Recognize, Mr. G. MacLellan 4187
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 87, Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act,
Hon. F. Corbett 4188
Hon. M. Samson 4188
Hon. C. Clarke 4196
Vote - Affirmative 4204
No. 93, Motor Vehicle Act,
Hon. F. Corbett 4204
Hon. M. Samson 4204
Mr. A. Younger 4207
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4209
Hon. W. Gaudet 4211
Ms. K. Regan 4212
Vote - Affirmative 4213
No. 94, Motor Vehicle Act,
Hon. F. Corbett 4213
Mr. A. MacMaster 4214
Hon. K. Colwell 4215
Vote - Affirmative 4215
No. 95, Consumer Reporting Act,
Hon. F. Corbett 4216
Vote - Affirmative 4216
No. 97, Motor Vehicle Act,
Hon. F. Corbett 4216
Hon. M. Samson 4216
Mr. A. Younger 4218
Hon. W. Gaudet 4220
Mr. H. Theriault 4221
Vote - Affirmative 4222
No. 98, Solemnization of Marriage Act,
Hon. F. Corbett 4222
Vote - Affirmative 4222
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 113, Clothesline Act,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 4223
Mr. A. Younger 4225
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4227
Mr. H. Epstein 4230
Hon. K. Colwell 4235
Mr. T. Zinck 4239
Hon. C. Clarke 4241
Hon. M. Samson 4247
Hon. W. Estabrooks 4251
Vote - Affirmative 4251
No. 114, Anti-idling Act,
Hon. S. Belliveau 4251
Mr. A. Younger 4253
Hon. C. Clarke 4256
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4276
Adjourned debate 4278
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 30th at 2 p.m. 4279
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2502, Harrison, Cheyenne - Summer Swimming Prov. Tournament,
Ms. V. Conrad 4280
Res. 2503, Hunt, Elijah Lem - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 4280
Res. 2504, Gehue, Gary - Paramedic Long. Serv. Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 4281
Res. 2505, Muise, Graham - Summer Swimming Prov. Tournament,
Ms. V. Conrad 4281
Res. 2506, Hank Snow Tribute - Anniv. (20th),
Ms. V. Conrad 4282
Res. 2507, Van Dyk, Jeannie - Rosemary Davis Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 4282
Res. 2508, Smith, Joel Thomas - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 4283
Res. 2509, Mansfield, Katelyn Dawn - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 4283
Res. 2510, Gordon, Kristen - Female U-15 Hockey Team,
Ms. V. Conrad 4284
Res. 2511, Himmelman, Megan Lynn - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 4284
Res. 2512, Spence, Pauline: Queens Co. Music Fest. - Vol. Serv.,
Ms. V. Conrad 4285
Res. 2513, Queens Assoc. For Supported Living:
Home Hardware/Artists - Fundraising, Ms. V. Conrad 4285
Res. 2514, Sobeys So. Shore Wild - Ball Hockey Tournament,
Ms. V. Conrad 4286
Res. 2515, Moase, Nick/Brooks, Kelly: Queens Co. Advance
- Roles Recognize, Ms. V. Conrad 4286
Res. 2516, LaRocque, Zack - Summer Swimming Prov. Tournament,
Ms. V. Conrad 4287
Res. 2517, Best Western Plus (Cookville) - Grand Opening,
Ms. P. Birdsall 4287
Res. 2518, Boat Builders' Marketing Assistance Prog.:
Recipients - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall 4288
Res. 2519, Corkum, Cheryl/Lun. Visitor Info.
- TIANS Pineapple Award, Ms. P. Birdsall 4288
Res. 2520, Best Western (Cookville): Clean the World Fdn.
- Participation, Ms. P. Birdsall 4289
Res. 2521, Tomilson, Kirsten/Capello, Mark/Fourth Monkey Media
- ERD Voucher, Ms. P. Birdsall 4289
Res. 2522, Tomilson, Kirstin/Fourth Monkey Media
- Best Big Idea Award Finalist, Ms. P. Birdsall 4290
Res. 2523, Lun. Commun. Christmas: Success - Wish,
Ms. P. Birdsall 4290
Res. 2524, Lun. Yacht Club - Fundraising,
Ms. P. Birdsall 4291
Res. 2525, Mahone Bay Town Hall
- Registered Heritage Property Designation,
Ms. P. Birdsall 4292
Res. 2526, RavenStar Resource Recovery: Innovation - Recognize,
Ms. P. Birdsall 4292
Res. 2527, TecBoc Intl.: Expansion - Congrats.,
Ms. P. Birdsall 4293
Res. 2528, Gilkerson, William: TD Cdn. Children's Lit. Award
- Shortlist, Ms. P. Birdsall 4293
Res. 2529, Murphy, Brooke - Lady Baden-Powell Award,
Ms. B. Kent 4294
Res. 2530, Friends of McNabs Island Soc. - Anniv. (20th),
Ms. B. Kent 4294
Res. 2531, Milo the Clown (Leahy, Miles): Career (20 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Ms. B. Kent 4295
Res. 2532, Shupe, Taylor - Prov. Field Hockey Player of Yr. (2010),
Ms. B. Kent 4295
Res. 2533, East. Passage Commun.: Terry Fox Run
- Support Commend, Ms. B. Kent 4296
Res. 2534, Sherbrooke & Area Vol. FD:
Emergency Services Provider Fund - Funding,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4296
Res. 2535, Seven Communities Rec. & Vol. FD:
Emergency Services Provider Fund - Funding,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4297
Res. 2536, Seashore Vol. FD: Emergency Services Provider Fund
- Funding, Mr. J. Boudreau 4297
Res. 2537, Dist. 6 - Mun. of St. Marg's FD:
Emergency Services Provider Fund - Funding,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4298
Res. 2538, Liscomb Vol. FD: Emergency Services Provider Fund
- Funding, Mr. J. Boudreau 4298
Res. 2539, Hazel Hill & Dist. FD:
Emergency Services Provider Fund - Funding,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4299
Res. 2540, Delorey, Karey-Beth: Olympic Torch Bearer - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4299
Res. 2541, O'Neil, Shantel: Olympic Torch Bearer - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4300
Res. 2542, Dort, Nicholas: Olympic Torch Bearer - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4300
Res. 2543, Guysborough Acad. Boys Basketball Team:
Invitational Basketball Tournament - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4300
Res. 2544, Guysborough Acad. Boys Basketball Team:
Baddeck Basketball Tournament - Silver Medal,
Mr. J. Boudreau 4301
Res. 2545, Campbell, Malcolm - NSSAF Sports Award,
Hon. K. Casey 4301
Res. 2546, Moss, Dr. Pippa: Kenya AIDS Work - Thank,
Hon. K. Casey 4302
Res. 2547, MacGillivray, Logan: Sierra Leone - Fundraising,
Mr. M. Whynott 4302
Res. 2548, O'Brien, Lois: Oxford FD Aux. - Serv. (5 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4303
Res. 2549, Lawless, Tiffany: Oxford FD Aux. - Serv. (5 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4303
Res. 2550, Rushton, Tracy: Oxford FD Aux. - Serv. (5 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4304
Res. 2551, Rushton, Rouie: Oxford FD Aux. - Serv. (40 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4304
Res. 2552, Stewart, Elizabeth: Oxford FD Aux. - Serv. (40 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4305
Res. 2553, Pyke, Brian - Oxford FD Firefighter of Yr.,
Hon. J. Baillie 4305
Res. 2554, Hickman, Ken - Oxford FD Firefighter of Yr.,
Hon. J. Baillie 4306
Res. 2555, Ellis, David - Oxford FD Firefighter of Yr.,
Hon. J. Baillie 4306
Res. 2556, Weagle, David: Oxford FD - Serv. (5 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4307
Res. 2557, Dobson, Adrian: Westchester FD - Serv. (15 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4307
Res. 2558, Jones, Edwin: Westchester FD - Serv. (5 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4308
Res. 2559, McNutt, Jason: Westchester FD - Serv. (15 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4308
Res. 2560, Gilroy, Douglas: Wentworth FD - Serv. (35 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4309
Res. 2561, Ogilvie, David: Wentworth FD - Serv. (30 Yrs.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4309
Res. 2562, Tattrie, Jeremy: Wentworth FD - Serv. (1 Yr.),
Hon. J. Baillie 4310

[Page 4157]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Gordon Gosse, Mr. Leo Glavine, Mr. Alfie MacLeod

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We'll welcome everybody back to a brand new week, and we'll begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Premier.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of the Public Service Commission, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Civil Service Disclosure of Wrongdoing Regulations and Policy, 2009-2010.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

[Page 4158]

4157

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan for the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table The Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission, Annual Report for the year 2009-10.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2466

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

Whereas Inn on the Lake in Fall River has become a member of Choice Hotels Canada and is an important contributor of good jobs that grow the economy in its community; and

Whereas the Inn has received a 2010 national APEX Award for Rookie of the Year, from Choice Hotels, in recognition of its efforts to ensure a high standard of quality in all aspects of its operation; and

Whereas the Inn on the Lake has demonstrated a passion for providing exceptional experiences for their guests and contributes to the strength of Nova Scotia's tourism industry, which helps make life better for families throughout our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Inn on the Lake on their Rookie of the Year Award from Choice Hotels, and wish them continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

[Page 4159]

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. 2467

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

Whereas the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame was established in 1968 as a means of recognizing Atlantic Canadians for their contributions to developing our region's agricultural industry; and

Whereas William D. McCurdy of Old Barns is an industry leader in soil conservation and agriculture technology innovation, and a dairy farmer who has exemplified leadership in his local farming community by looking for new ideas and adopting better ways to do things; and

Whereas William D. McCurdy was honoured on October 28, 2010, as Nova Scotia's inductee in the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate William D. McCurdy upon his induction into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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 4160]

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

[4:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2468

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

Whereas Charlesville lobster fisher Robert Hines suffered serious injuries while preparing for the opening of the southwestern Nova Scotia lobster fishery on November 27, 2010; and

Whereas the local fishing community stepped up to the plate to help their fellow fisher, ensuring Mr. Hines' boat loaded with traps left with the rest of the fleet when the season opened on November 29, 2010; and

Whereas the commercial fishery is one of the most dangerous professions in the world, where safety must be the number one consideration;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly wish Charlesville lobster fisher Robert Hines a speedy recovery from his injuries and applaud the local fishing community for stepping up to the plate to help their fellow fishers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2469

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

[Page 4161]

Whereas the six-month southwestern Nova Scotia commercial lobster fishery opened in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFA) 33 and 34, on November 29, 2010; and

Whereas the southwestern Nova Scotia lobster fishery is the largest in the world, employing thousands of people aboard the 1,683 vessels that make up the fleet, as well as hundreds more onshore; and

Whereas lobster is the number one seafood export for Nova Scotia, as well as Canada, with LFAs 33 and 34 landings worth a preliminary $250 million for the 2009-10 season;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly wish all southwestern Nova Scotia fishers a safe and prosperous start to the 2010-11 lobster fishery, which opened on November 29, 2010.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 118 - Entitled an Act to Promote Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing. (Hon. Frank Corbett)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations on an introduction.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the east gallery. In the gallery this afternoon we have Dean Johnston, the Director of Residential Tenancies for the Province of Nova Scotia, and we also have Mark Coffin, the Registrar of Condominiums. I would like to have them receive the warm welcome of the House this afternoon. (Applause)

[Page 4162]

Bill No. 119 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 401 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Residential Tenancies Act. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

Bill No. 120 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 85 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Condominium Act. (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 member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2470

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Deputy Premier recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 4163]

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 2471

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

Whereas the government has introduced Bill No. 100, the Labour Board Act, without proper public consultation and vetting; and

Whereas clauses in this bill have the potential to create sweeping change in labour-management relations and possibly the competitive position of our province; and

Whereas employers and employees in Nova Scotia have a right to a full public discussion of proposed legislation that affects them;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House agree that those aspects of Bill No. 100 which have not been presented for public discussion and input prior to drafting of the bill be struck from the bill and that the bill be re-introduced in a form that is reflective of an honest vetting by the public.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2472

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

Whereas Canadian Forces members serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan, appreciate receiving correspondence from students across Canada at this time of year; and

[Page 4164]

Whereas Cathy Wentzell, a Grade 5 teacher at Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy in Liverpool, Queens County, has coordinated a Christmas card-writing project for our Canadian Forces members; and

Whereas Grades 2 to 6 students have sent approximately 100 cards to Canadian Forces members in Kandahar, Afghanistan, wishing them a very merry and safe Christmas;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and thank Cathy Wentzell for coordinating the Christmas card-writing project and a very special thank you to all of the Grades 2 to 6 students for taking the time to send Christmas cards to Canadian Forces members in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2473

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace, like Bill No. 100, should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, not just a select few;

[Page 4165]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. PORTER: In the gallery opposite this afternoon, we are privileged to have with us some rock stars, or up and coming rock stars. We have four young gentlemen who competed in the CBC Main Street Best High School Band and they won a week or so ago as the best rock band on the mainland. I'd like to introduce to you this afternoon, Danaan Pederson, Justin Tousignan, Evan Stoney and Ryan Langdon. Along with them are Kim Langdon, Mark Langdon and Darlene Pederson, you may stand as well and receive a warm welcome of the House and the members here, please. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 2474

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

Whereas CBC's Main Street program recently held a School of Rock contest for high school and junior high school bands; and

Whereas Ryan Langdon, Justin Tousignan, Danaan Pederson and Evan Stoney of the band S.S. Khandalla showcased their musical talents in the School of Rock contest where they took first place November 10th and earned the distinctive title as the best high school band on the mainland; and

[Page 4166]

Whereas for all their hard work, these outstanding young musicians have won the exciting opportunity to record a radio-ready single in CBC's Studio H in early 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that Ryan, Justin, Danaan and Evan be congratulated on winning the first School of Rock competition and wish them continued success in their music endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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. 2475

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

Whereas Stephen Lewis, through the Stephen Lewis Foundation, began the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in 2006, an organization in which Canadian grandmothers raise awareness and support for African grandmothers who are caring for children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic; and

Whereas Mahone Bay-based textile artist Valerie Hearder, who has deep connections in South Africa, was inspired by this organization to create African Threads, a company which imports fair trade textiles and craft items from South Africa to be marketed in Canada, with 15 per cent of her profit going back to the Stephen Lewis Foundation; and

Whereas this fair trade business, which makes a direct impact on the lives of women in South Africa, hosted an open house on November 27th and 28th and another on December 5th and 6th, featuring a collection of unique and unusual crafts, jewellery and textiles;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign and the efforts of Valerie Hearder to support this campaign through her donations to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

[Page 4167]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2476

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace like Bill No. 100 should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Finance recognize at a time of economic instability the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

[Page 4168]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2477

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

Whereas third-year students at Cape Breton University's Bachelor of Arts Community Studies Program along with their advisor, Constable Paul Ratchford, and Jess MacNeil of CBU's Students in Free Enterprise, devised an innovative and exciting contest to introduce local high school students to what CBU has to offer; and

Whereas the goal of the contest, Let's Can Hunger, is to see which high school can raise the most food bank donations while promoting CBU and strengthening community spirit; and

Whereas the result is a win-win situation for the university and the local high schools but the biggest winner being our local food banks;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating these young Cape Bretoners who are trying to build stronger, more caring communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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.

[4:30 p.m.]

[Page 4169]

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2478

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create workplace environments where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces and the province, not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2479

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

[Page 4170]

Whereas the Blind Piper's Chanter is a musical artifact that may be older than the man who played it, Iain Dall MacKay, who was born in 1656 in Gairlock, Scotland; and

Whereas his descendants, the MacKay family in Nova Scotia, brought the chanter here when they emigrated from Scotland in 1805, where it continued to be played in the Gaelic tradition; and

Whereas John Gibson of Judique, who has written two books on the history of highland bagpiping, recognized the value of this treasure, and through his efforts, Heritage Canada will now approach the owner of the chanter, Michael Sinclair, about keeping this precious instrument here to commemorate the piping tradition of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend John Gibson for his efforts to protect our cultural treasures for the appreciation of future generations of Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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. 2480

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

[Page 4171]

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers, pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia, is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2481

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

Whereas the Sydney Mines Legion Centennial Band was formed in 1967 to fill a need for a marching band for its Remembrance Day parade and service, with Breton Branch 8 of the Royal Canadian Legion purchasing the instruments, and John MacKeigan and Les Rowe recruiting members; and

Whereas Wilson Rowe has been the band director since 1986, with his love of music and dedication keeping the band together; and

Whereas the band plays for visiting cruise ships, festivals, concerts, church services, military march pasts, monument unveilings, skating sessions, Nova Scotia Command conventions, as well as off-island events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Sydney Mines Legion Centennial Band for years of volunteer musical service to the community and wish them many more years of entertaining success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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 4172]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2482

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

Whereas Lisa MacLean of Inverness and Jolene MacInnis of Whycocomagh have been named to Nova Scotia's Canada Games hockey team; and

Whereas Ms. MacLean's and Ms. MacInnis' player development skills were honed with the Northern Storm Midget female team; and

Whereas Jolene and Lisa and their team will compete in the largest multi-sport event ever hosted by our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lisa and Jolene on being named to Nova Scotia's Canada Games hockey team and wish them success in front of our hometown crowd in February.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2483

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

[Page 4173]

Whereas Heather Grainger was born and brought up in Dartmouth where she met and married her husband Fred, moving to Lake Echo 36 years ago to bring up her son and daughter; and

Whereas Heather worked outside the home at BIO and Guildfords until their children were born and then afterwards as a typesetter at The ChronicleHerald; and

Whereas Heather has always supported her family and community, especially as a scorekeeper for the Lake Echo Minor Softball Association for the past 20 years, and also participated in fundraising events, organist at the St. Augustine's Anglican Church for the past 30 years and at St. Mark's Anglican Church for the past seven years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge Heather Grainger for her volunteer participation in the community and wish her well in her future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2484

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

Whereas in the communities of Dingwall, Cape North, Bay St. Lawrence and surrounding areas a municipal by-election for District 8 was held with three candidates seeking the seat; and

Whereas Johnny Buchanan, a well-known fisherman from South Ridge, community volunteer for 18 years and proud father of three boys, offered to stand as councillor; and

Whereas on November 20th, Johnny Buchanan was elected as councillor and will be officially sworn in as District 8 councillor this evening;

[Page 4174]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Johnny Buchanan on his election as Victoria County Councillor, District 8, and wish him the best as he serves his community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2485

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace should be created with consultation and a complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, and not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia is more vital than ever for the future of economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

[Page 4175]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2486

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

Whereas Josephine Johnson from North Preston graduated in 1970 with Early Childhood Development from the St. Joseph's Institute of Early Childhood Education and was appointed director of the North Preston Day Care Centre, where she retired after 20 years of service; and

Whereas Ms. Johnson volunteered as a Sunday School teacher, a counsellor, Morning Glory Prayer Service coordinator at her North Preston United Baptist Church, chairs the North Preston Seniors and has chaired the Seniors' Council for Halifax-Dartmouth, as well as fundraisers for the Nova Scotia Cancer Society and the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation; and

Whereas this Fall, Ms. Johnson was awarded an honorary degree from Mount Saint Vincent University for being a trailblazer in her community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Dr. Josephine Johnson on receiving her honorary degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and thank her for the tireless work she has done, and is still doing, on behalf of her community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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 4176]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2487

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

Whereas on October 2, 2010 the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation held its 11th Annual CIBC Run for the Cure in Church Point and West Pubnico; and

Whereas in keeping with their history of community involvement, Belliveau Motors has once again co-sponsored this year's event; and

Whereas this year's run raised $16,303 for breast cancer research, education, programs and treatments;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contribution Belliveau Motors has made to the Municipality of Clare, congratulate them on another successful Run for the Cure.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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 Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2488

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

Whereas the lobster fishery is the economic driver for southwest Nova Scotia; and

[Page 4177]

Whereas lobster fishermen and their families work hard and sacrifice much to bring fish ashore and to ensure that the industry flourishes; and

Whereas the largest fishing districts in the Atlantic Region, 33 and 34, began their season today off the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly wish the lobster fishermen and their families a safe, plentiful and successful lobster season.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2489

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

Whereas this government made a commitment to Nova Scotians in the last election that emergency rooms would remain open 24/7; and

Whereas despite this promise, communities throughout Nova Scotia continue to experience emergency room closures with no end in sight; and

Whereas the inability to access primary health care services are forcing individuals to access emergency rooms in large numbers;

Therefore be it resolved that this NDP Government respond to the Ross report with specific recommendations around emergency room access as well as solutions to improve primary health care access in our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

[Page 4178]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 2490

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 NDP Government has said it recognizes the importance of education for the future of Nova Scotia's social and economic well-being; and

Whereas a 22 per cent reduction recently proposed by this government will negatively impact educational programming since school boards have been told they cannot make cuts to the approximately 80 per cent of their budgets devoted to salaries; and

Whereas the Minister of Education claims this reduction is the result of student population decline, but she is well aware the Hogg funding formula already takes this into account;

Therefore be it resolved that this government stop needlessly worrying parents and students over a so-called planning exercise that would result in a 20 per cent reduction to educational programming.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2491

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

Whereas September 2010 marked the 7th Annual Health Association of Nova Scotia-Sponsored Continuing Care Month Campaign; and

[Page 4179]

Whereas the theme of the provincial public awareness campaign was Above and Beyond Because We Care - Enriching Lives Every Day; and

Whereas the Tideview Terrace continuing care facility in Digby, Nova Scotia exemplifies caring for our aging and physically-challenged loved ones;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the Tideview Terrace for all their excellent care and kindness that they provide to their clients and for making life better for those who need a helping hand.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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.

[4:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2492

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

Whereas Winnie Surette has been a dedicated, valued and beloved employee of the CIBC of Yarmouth for almost 45 years; and

Whereas Winnie has been a tireless volunteer for countless organizations, committees and causes in her community; and

Whereas Yarmouth and surrounding area is a better place to live and a more engaged community because of Winnie's service;

[Page 4180]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize Winnie Surette for nearly 45 years of service to the CIBC of Yarmouth and for the many years of time, energy, dedication and friendship that she has so generously given to the people of Yarmouth and wish her good health and happiness.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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 Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2493

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

Whereas Ron and Beth Densmore have owned the Densmore farm in East Noel for more than 20 years and recently transitioned their farm from dairy to sheep and grapes; and

Whereas on November 26, 2010, Beth was elected as president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, the first female president in the organization's 115- year history; and

Whereas Beth brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the federation's executive and her dedication and passion for agriculture in Nova Scotia will serve her well as she leads her executive team through the next term;

Therefore be it resolved that all members in this House of Assembly recognize Beth on her appointment to president for the NSFA and wish her all the best as she takes on this new challenge.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

[Page 4181]

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. 2494

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 APEX golf tournament serves as part of an annual homecoming event for the African Nova Scotian community in Truro and has been held annually for 37 years; and

Whereas the tournament provides a strong sense of community spirit and an opportunity for African Nova Scotians to maintain bonds and supports through sports and fun; and

Whereas the APEX tournament also raises funds that are used to recognize students from the community who are attending a post-secondary institution for the first time and who demonstrate outstanding community involvement and excel in academics;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate those who have participated in making the APEX golf tournament such a positive experience for African Nova Scotians for the camaraderie it provides as well as the award recognition and scholarship opportunities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4182]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2495

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

Whereas agriculture is a cornerstone of economic development in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas for years our farmers and producers have been neglected by successive Progressive Conservative and NDP Governments; and

Whereas last Friday, the Minister of Agriculture released the NDP's lacklustre 10- year plan for agriculture in this province;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly urge the Minister of Agriculture and the NDP to come forward with a real strategy for Nova Scotia farmers and clearly set benchmarks and targets to raise local food consumption and increase agricultural sustainability.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

MR. SPEAKER: Before you go on, member, I know you were up twice before, but I said you could re-read your first resolution, is that what you're reading again?

MS. KELLY REGAN: No, I would like to move this resolution on behalf of the member for Dartmouth East.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

[Page 4183]

RESOLUTION NO. 2496

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Energy recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 2497

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

[Page 4184]

Whereas the Customer Operations team at Nova Scotia Power is made up of 500 employees; and

Whereas these employees work as powerline technicians in fleet operations and vegetation management in the control centre and as planners and engineers; and

Whereas over two years Nova Scotia Power's Customer Operations team has reached 2 million hours without experiencing a lost-time injury;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Customer Operations team at Nova Scotia Power for their dedication to safe workforce practices and wish them continued success without future lost-time injuries.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2498

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

Whereas exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic and healthy, especially for seniors, exercise can help manage the symptoms of illness and pain, maintain independence and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging; and

Whereas Dorothy Shears of Hureauville has been a part of the exercise class at the Strait Area pool for over 30 years; and

Whereas Dorothy Shears recently celebrated her 85th birthday on November 6, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dorothy Shears on celebrating her 85th birthday and commend her for many years of commitment to health and exercise.

[Page 4185]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2499

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que la faim est un problème caché dans de nombreuses communautés et que de nombreux résidents dépendent des banques alimentaires pour leurs repas; et

Attendu les banques alimentaires locales dépendent des dons des résidents et des organismes de leur région pour contribuer à éliminer la faim; et

Attendu que la Caisse populaire St-Joseph à Petit-de-Grat a recueilli 850 livres d'aliments non-périssables pour la banque alimentaire de l'Isle Madame;

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de la Chambre d'assemblée félicitent la Caisse populaire St-Joseph pour son généreux don et pour sa participation communautaire continue.

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

Whereas hunger is a hidden problem in many communities and numerous residents rely on food banks for many of their meals; and

Whereas local food banks rely on residents and organizations for donations in order to be successful and help put an end to hunger; and

[Page 4186]

Whereas St. Joseph's Credit Union in Petit-de-Grat collected 850 pounds of non-perishable food items for the Isle Madame Food Bank;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate St. Josephs's Credit Union for their large donation and commend them for their continued community involvement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried

The honourable member for Kings West.

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Have you been up twice before?

MR. GLAVINE: It's on behalf of the Leader of the Official Opposition, sorry about that.

MR. SPEAKER: You may start again, if you wish.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2500

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

[Page 4187]

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers, pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia, is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2501

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

Whereas if Nova Scotia is to encourage new investment, jobs, and prosperity, labour laws must be designed to meet the challenges of the global economy and workplaces of the 21st Century; and

Whereas it is the role of government to create a workplace environment where people are treated fairly and employers and employees are able to work together without discord and pressure; and

[Page 4188]

Whereas all government decisions and legislative changes pertaining to the workplace should be created with consultation and have complete buy-in from all types of workplaces in the province, not just a select few;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Community Services recognize that in a time of economic instability, the importance of consultation and participation with all types of employers, pertaining to labour law in Nova Scotia, is more vital than ever for future economic prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 87.

Bill No. 87 - Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act.

MR. SPEAKER: Somebody has to move third reading. Who is moving third reading?

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 87.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

[Page 4189]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise again and say a few words on the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act. If I'm not mistaken, this is one of the bills I highlighted earlier that is a bit of a minor bill, to say the least. If I'm not mistaken, it's merely a few clauses and is one page in length.

For those who may have missed my comments the first time, I wanted to take the opportunity to once again have a few of those comments, to remind the government, as they prepare moving into not only this session but into the Spring session of 2011, that what we used to have from the previous administration was what is called the Justice Administration Act. What was done under those bills was a collection of minor changes to a number of pieces of legislation, but it was contained under one bill.

[5:00 p.m.]

Now let me go back into some of my comments in previous sessions. What we noticed happening was that the government of the day, a previous administration, was being a bit clever in that while introducing these Justice Administration Bills, which for the most part were minor changes, they started sneaking in some more significant changes in the hopes that nobody would notice some of the more controversial parts of the bill. If I'm not mistaken, I believe Bill No. 100 might be another example of sneaking stuff into bills which may not have actually gotten the public's attention or the House's attention in the fact that it was put in there as part of some other changes.

I lamented at the time, as the Justice Critic, that putting significant changes in an omnibus bill that was making minor changes to another piece of legislation wasn't really an up-front way of dealing with the changes. It wasn't a way of allowing Nova Scotians who may have an interest in those changes to be able to comment on them. So that's why I asked at the time that if there are going to be major changes to any bill that it should be a stand-alone bill. The government, I have to say, to their credit - the previous administration - did heed that concern and they did start to break down the bills when there were significant changes.

I have no doubt the fact that it was a minority government helped the government of the day hear the concerns that I was raising around this legislation. Here we find ourselves with a new government, and so I can tell you there was no fear of them bringing in a Justice Administration Act because now, instead, they've broken it down to a bill for every single change being proposed to legislation.

One has to wonder, when we look at Bill No. 87, is this a means by the government to try to make sure that Nova Scotians are fully aware of the changes that are being made so that there is no confusion by combining some of these bills together under a Justice Administration Act? Or in the alternative, is this a means of trying to have more bills so that

[Page 4190]

at the end of the session, Mr. Speaker, when yourself and the Clerks will be paraded in and you start rhyming off all of the bills dealt with in this session, that this will be one of the bills and the Government House Leader will stand in his place and tell the media, look at all of the productivity that came out of this session? Here's how many bills we got passed, here's how many bills Rodney MacDonald's Government got passed, and we did much more business than previous sessions of this House.

When you're dealing with something like Bill No. 87, which is merely one page long and is only a couple of clauses, again, I have to ask myself, when you look at some of the justice issues facing our province, why is it that the minister would not take the opportunity to bring those types of issues to the floor of this House?

I found it interesting because when we were having this debate on second reading, I had given the minister an opportunity, when I raised the issue of temporary absences, which is something that is on the minds of many Nova Scotians, in fact, I attended a function on Sunday, a fundraiser, and a gentleman came up to me and said he had been watching Legislative TV and he actually watched me for the duration of my speech on one of these bills. He himself said how disturbed he was to learn that both the current government and previous government had been issuing thousands of these temporary absences, especially to those who had been convicted of crimes such as sexual assault, impaired driving, and other very serious offences which certainly was something that he felt was inappropriate.

I would submit that was but one person, but many Nova Scotians share that concern. I found it interesting that, on second reading, when speaking on justice issues, one of the questions I had asked was, when did the Minister of Justice become aware? Reviewing some of the media clippings on the issue, it's very clear that the minister's first response in the media was that he was unaware when he had been first asked and he had to find out later.

He seems to have backed away from those comments, so when I spoke on second reading I wanted to give the minister the opportunity in closing the debate and highlighting to him that unlike Question Period, where you have a very short period of time to answer questions, the minister could take up to an hour in closing debate to be able to answer the very simple question I asked: when did he find out about temporary absences?

Hansard will show, when the minister was given the opportunity, he once again refused to answer. He had up to an hour that he could have taken to answer the question. Now, I don't think it would have taken him an hour to answer such a simple question, but he had that opportunity and he didn't take it. Which leaves us to wonder, what is he hiding? Why would he not be forthright, especially when the Premier stands in this House and says, I am running a transparent government? It doesn't appear to be very transparent.

I asked as well, Mr. Speaker, when we looked at the response we received from the Deputy Minister of Justice, which listed, in very general form, the types of offences that

[Page 4191]

people had been given temporary absences for, there was a complete lack of specifics. When it said motor vehicle offences, my question was, how many of those may have been for impaired driving? So I had hoped that on closing the debate, the Minister of Justice would have made either a commitment or himself provided that type of detailed information and yet, again, he had up to an hour to discuss the matter and give his reaction, he chose not to do so.

So, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are left to wonder what type of priority is being given to justice issues here in this province. I did notice, just by chance through Google, that someone, I believe it's either in the New Glasgow paper or Pictou County paper, had written a letter to the editor supporting the Minister of Justice and, I believe it's safe to say, criticizing myself for suggesting that the assaults of three jail guards at the Burnside facility should be made - the public should be made aware of that. The individual - I have no idea who the person is - agreed with the Minister of Justice that what happens day-to-day at the Burnside facility should be of no concern to Nova Scotians, this is part of their job, and why would Nova Scotians be bothered by hearing of these types of incidents?

Mr. Speaker, that certainly feeds into the mentality of the Minister of Justice, and I have no idea if he knows who the individual is that wrote the letter, but regardless, I'm not going to back down from our belief that when there are significant incidents where jail guards are injured at that facility, Nova Scotians have a right to know. They have a right to know that the men and women who work for our province, who are injured on the job site, Nova Scotians should be aware of that.

It's curious to see the logic coming from the Minister of Justice on these types of issues when you have the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development, whenever there is a significant incident at the workplace, her department immediately notifies the public. So why does the Department of Labour and Workforce Development have one standard and yet the Department of Justice, it is hit and miss whether we're going to find out about significant workplace incidents at the Burnside facility?

There seems to be a double standard and I would suggest that double standard probably feeds into the fact that you have a Minister of Justice who has downplayed assaults against jail guards by basically saying, when they go to work, they should expect that there's a likelihood they'll be assaulted because they work in a jail and that people - I think he referred to them as clients, the clients, most of us would say convicts or prisoners, offenders, criminals, he calls them clients - so he expects the clients at Burnside, because they have been unable to stay within the boundaries of the law, one should not expect them to observe any law or any rules when they're in the correctional facility.

Mr. Speaker, I don't think too many Nova Scotians share that view. If we can't keep prisoners under control within a prison, how can we expect them to be any better in society once they are released? Then again, under this Minister of Justice, one of the issues I believe

[Page 4192]

we should be discussing, when we talk about Bill No. 87, is the fact that we either have prisoners who should have been in custody being sent home and then we have the incident of the individual who was kept in custody over a month longer than they were actually supposed to be kept in custody.

So those, again, are issues which I believe, Mr. Speaker, should be put to the floor of this House so we can have a discussion on it. We can have a full debate as to the merits of what this government has been doing, what their response has been, and are there other solutions that could be looked at?

The minister has indicated to us that he has a plan to put an end to temporary absences yet, as far as we can tell, the plan exists in his head only because he hasn't shared it with us. He hasn't shared it with Nova Scotians and that's an issue, I think, which we should be debating on the floor of this House - yet we're not given the opportunity to do that, Mr. speaker.

Instead, we're being asked to debate minor changes to legislation, which was previously passed in this Chamber, because Nova Scotians will want to know that the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act is not new. We've dealt with this in this Chamber in previous sessions. The bill that's being brought forward merely makes some minor corrections to that bill, yet it's presented as a stand-alone bill and, again, at the end of the session the Government House Leader will claim that this is another example of all the business that got done during the Fall sitting of the House.

Mr. Speaker, I don't think too many of us can go back to our ridings and say we certainly put in hard work in this Chamber when we are asked to deal with bills such as Bill No. 87. When one looks at some of the other bills brought forward - again, most of the Justice bills we've seen up to now have been of a minor nature, yet are justice issues of a minor nature in this province? I would suggest that they are not at all. There are great concerns about some of the crime that is taking place, some of the incidents of violence that we're hearing about, certainly here within the Halifax Regional Municipality. We hear again about damage being done on the weekend, fires being set, the challenges that we continue to face.

The question is, what steps are we taking, as a province, to deal with incidents of crime - more importantly, what are we doing in the area of crime prevention? Those are the issues I think we should be talking about here in this Chamber, and we should be telling Nova Scotians what our ideas are and how the government plans on tackling these issues.

Instead, there is no opportunity for discussion - it is important that Nova Scotians understand because those listening are probably wondering why don't you just bring it up and lead a discussion? Well, unfortunately, other than in Question Period, which is a very

[Page 4193]

structured format where you get very brief answers, if you get any answer at all - often people will remind us that it is called Question Period, not "answer period." I believe when these ministers of the new government were trained, I believe that message was clearly given to them as well, that it is Question Period, not answer period - other than for a few ministers who I do believe actually try their best to give an answer.

For the most part, instead, what we're getting is certainly not something that Nova Scotians would consider to be an answer to the questions. For example, when I asked the minister, and I continue to ask him, when did he find out about temporary absences, he still refuses to answer that question which, again, leads me to wonder why would he have any reason not to answer that question. Anyway, he'll have to answer to that for himself.

So other than Question Period, the other option available to the Opposition would be on Opposition Day, whereas if you look at the last number of weeks has been for maybe an hour and a half - two hours if we're lucky - and we usually debate two separate issues. So, Mr. Speaker, it is extremely difficult for an Opposition to be able to raise such matters of justice when we're talking about Bill No. 87, which deals with minor changes to the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act.

Again, as you know yourself, Mr. Speaker, under the British Parliamentary system, which we have here in Nova Scotia, it is the Government House Leader who determines the business of this House. So unless the Government House Leader decides to call a resolution for debate which deals with justice-related matters, really the only opportunity we have to raise these matters is on second reading, Committee of the Whole House on Bills and third reading - that's it. So if we don't raise them now, there really is no other opportunity for Opposition members to be able to raise their concerns.

Again, when a minister is closing the debate - and I've watched a number of the ministers on their bills - some have addressed specific concerns they heard during debate, which obviously points out two things, I believe: (1) they were listening, and (2) they actually noted the concerns raised by members of the Opposition. But many of the ministers, you'll observe, will stand up and say thank you for your comments and I now close debate on second reading - which leaves us to wonder, did they hear what we said? Are they going to take action on the concerns we raised? Are they going to provide some information, as requested? We are left to wonder.

I think that more important, not only us, but Nova Scotians should be left to wonder if this government is truly intent on providing a different way of governing, I would suspect that they would come forward and say, look, we've heard your concern, my staff has worked on it, here is the information you requested.

AN HON. MEMBER: A good minister would do that.

[Page 4194]

MR. SAMSON: A good minister, yes, a good minister would do that.

[5:15 p.m.]

I would suspect the Minister of Justice, after having the opportunity to spend a few minutes on his bills and some of the questions I raised and the requests for information, that he would stand in his place and say here you go, Mr. Speaker, and that he would table it, because I believe I have chastised him in the past about leaking documents to the media rather than tabling them in the House. One would suspect the Minister of Justice would say, I've heard the concerns, I take them seriously, here's the information that has been requested, and that's the way a well-functioning legislature would work.

Unfortunately, without wanting to be too critical, we haven't seen that yet, but there's still opportunity because, again, as I mentioned earlier, on closing debate on third reading, the minister could go up to an hour in addressing the very concerns that I have been raising. For example, giving us exactly what his plan is to put an end to temporary absences, which I think all Nova Scotians want to hear. I think certainly there's a role as well for the Opposition to work with him on defining what that plan will be, but unless we know what it is, and right now, as I said, to my knowledge it exists in his head only, it makes it extremely difficult for us.

I have asked him, for example, on justice related issues, to provide very specific charges that people were convicted of and then given temporary absences. Instead, right now, we've only been given a broad description. The minister has had an opportunity to provide information. Obviously his staff has gone through over 4,500 temporary absences since 2007, yet when we filed a Freedom of Information request for that, we received an invoice for $2,000 before that information would be shared with us. We're not asking for information that the department doesn't already have and hasn't been shared with the minister.

So again, when you think of how many times the NDP in Opposition complained about freedom of information costs to get information on behalf of Nova Scotians, one is left to wonder, now that they're in government, why would they not be more willing and more forthright in bringing forward that type of information when it has been requested?

One realizes that sometimes the request for information may be onerous, it may be difficult to go through the archives and everything else, so there is a cost associated with that, but when you ask for information, you get an invoice for $2,000 before it's given to you. We still haven't received it; we have to pay $2,000 first. Then a week later, the Minister of Justice, through his Deputy Minister, sends a letter to the Public Accounts Committee saying they've reviewed 4,500 of these temporary absences and gives a broad description of what categories they've fallen in. They've gone through the information, so why the need to tell

[Page 4195]

us we need to pay $2,000 for information the department has already gone through and has available to them?

I would submit to you, that I'm left to conclude that there is information there that is of an embarrassing nature to the government, that it is in no rush to share with us. That being the case, and I've suggested that before, and if I'm wrong, again, the Minister of Justice has the opportunity when he stands in his place to close third reading, to say, here is the information or commit to providing the information free of charge.

Why should taxpayers have to pay $2,000 for information that he already has? When you look at that and the Premier stands in this House and says, my government is transparent, we have nothing to hide, the two just don't seem to work together.

There is still opportunity, it's not all lost for the Minister of Justice to show that he's prepared to be open and transparent on justice issues, especially on this one. Yet, time is running out in this session and I would hope that the minister will take the opportunity to show leadership when talking about that very specific issue.

As well, you will recall that on debate on Bill No. 87, the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, I also raised the fact that, unfortunately, based on a decision made by this minister, Richmond County currently has no court services. None at all. It has been reduced over the years, continued reduction and now there are no services at all.

We have an historic courthouse, which is sitting. There are a few other tenants in that building but as far as court services there are none. Residents of Richmond County, which have very diverse and rich Acadian community, home to the Chapel Island First Nation, are now being told, you must leave your community and travel to Port Hawkesbury to have any justice matters heard.

Even Small Claims Court, which is supposed to be a very inexpensive court, a means of allowing Nova Scotians to have their matters heard in a cost-efficient way - there's not a requirement of having lawyers, there's not these onerous forms to fill out, there's not this strict process of being in front of a judge in a regular courtroom - instead it's meant to be a cost-efficient way of Nova Scotians having their matters heard. Now, in Richmond County, the cost has gone up because now you have to travel to Port Hawkesbury to have your matter heard, so it kind of defies the whole logic behind the Small Claims Court system when you have a county that doesn't have that service anymore.

The question that I have on behalf of the people of Richmond County, on behalf of the municipality which owns the courthouse and is now without any rental payments from the province and the Department of Justice, what is the plan moving forward? Again, this is one of the only opportunities on third reading or on second reading of a Justice bill that I can raise this, other than in Question Period . We know that I'll possibly get a response, that will

[Page 4196]

be 20 seconds, 30 seconds, maybe a minute in length, certainly not enough for the minister to be able to properly answer the question.

On this portion of the debate in our Legislature, here is a golden opportunity to raise these types of concerns. More importantly, the opportunity is there for the minister when he rises to close debate, to be able to address the concerns I've raised and take up to an hour to talk about what his plan is on restoring court services to Richmond County, for example, another issue which the minister could speak on. Yet, if he stands in his place and just says, "I now move third reading of Bill No. 87.", I'm left and the people of Richmond County are left to wonder, did he hear the concerns he raised? Does he care? Does he have a plan? What is it?

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, I believe we've been very proactive in the fact that we did have a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Justice and myself, along with municipal officials, in order to talk about possible plans and put forward some proposals as to how possibly we could return court services as soon as possible to Richmond County in a cost-efficient manner. Today we are left wondering if the minister is even aware of discussions that were held, if the minister has any reaction, has any thoughts of his own as to how this might happen. Or does the minister even have any intention of restoring court services to Richmond County? We haven't heard that yet.

That would be a good starting point, Mr. Speaker, if he could stand in his place, in closing on third reading, to say, yes, I want to see court services restored in Richmond County. Even better, if he could go on to say, here is when or here is how his government and his department plan on being able to do that. I'd certainly look forward to hearing those very comments, but again, as it stands right now, we really don't know where the government stands on this very issue. Even though I've raised it in the House and I've tried to do the responsible thing of raising it, discussing it, there has been no feedback in return, to give me any indication on behalf of the people of Richmond County that (1) we're being heard and (2) there actually is action that is going to be taken.

I do hope the minister is prepared, when he will rise to close the debate on third reading, that he will be able to give us a better sense of exactly what his plan is and some of the specific concerns I have raised here this evening and that I certainly think you'll recall, Mr. Speaker, I've raised on a couple of occasions during this session of the House.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I do look forward to comments from my colleagues, comments from the minister or even any other members on the government benches who may have some comments on this issue. I do know there are some members on the government side with legal backgrounds who I am sure are very in tune with justice issues and who may themselves want to take the opportunity to raise matters of concern that they have in their own ridings on these justice-related issues.

[Page 4197]

Again, Mr. Speaker, it is one of the few opportunities that Nova Scotians have for their Legislators to be able to stand in their place and raise the concerns of everyday Nova Scotians. As I said, Question Period is so restrictive with the time limits that are involved. Third reading, second reading, Committee of the Whole House, are our opportunities to be able to raise these concerns on behalf of our constituents.

With that, Mr. Speaker, as I said, I look forward to the comments from members of the House and certainly hope that as we move into the Spring session, that if the Minister of Justice has merely minor changes to make, that he will bring that in the form of a Justice Administration Act, rather than these stand-alone bills which are merely a couple of clauses, one page long. I don't think it's necessary, I think it's something that could be done much more efficiently and we would certainly be prepared to work co-operatively in being able to make that a reality. With that, I thank you for the opportunity to make those few comments this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: Before I go on to the next member, I'm going to recognize the honourable member for Dartmouth North on an introduction.

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where today we're joined by one of my constituents, Mr. Wes MacLean - Wes, if you would like to stand, please. Mr. MacLean has been an advocate for injured workers, their families and their children for a number of years, since the early 1980s, and he is also an injured worker himself. I want to welcome Wes and have the House welcome his as well. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome any and all visitors here with us this evening.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, in response to Bill No. 87, in terms of what my honourable colleague, the member for Richmond, has indicated, this is just an ongoing issue we're seeing in this session, or sitting, of the Legislature, with regard to the government's response to trying to deal with the optic of appearing to have an agenda, appearing to have work that is meaningful that would require Nova Scotians to pay thousands of dollars a day for us to come here.

I do believe it's something to the effect of somewhere of $15,000 to $20,000 a day in the operations for this House to sit, and so when you add up those costs and then you consider, for that kind of money, at a time when we should probably be dealing with some weighty issues that are facing Nova Scotians, here we are spending upwards of $20,000 a day to talk about what is in total two clauses and 60 words. So the government, as was indicated - and just to reiterate - the fact is that this is so people can count bills rather than the quality

[Page 4198]

of the bills that are brought before this House. This is a refrain we're going to hear as this sitting continues. It is something that we are going to be noting as we go forward.

One of the things, Mr. Speaker, to my colleague, the member for Richmond, I suppose it's a matter of perspective. I mean before, if there was a substantive issue in a previous government, you deal with other, what you consider, housekeeping matters and add it in. He's very correct with regard to his comments about minority government and wanting those separated. If people wanted to separate them out and to count more bills, at least that was on the discussion and, basically, the consent and consensus to do that, so that the heavier items in a bill would be there.

Now, ironically, that was moving from that, but as we've heard with regard to Bill No. 100, there may be other motives with regard to a bill with some level of detail, but as it relates to Bill No. 97, what we see is a bill with nothing versus Bill No. 100 that has tucked in a few other things that are raising eyebrows everywhere. So Bill No. 87, with its two clauses and 60 words, further speaks to what the minister is not doing and that is dealing with serious matters before the justice system. The minister is forgoing his responsibilities in a serious manner as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and is not representing the stakeholders within the justice system in a manner.

What we do know, since this minister has come in, is he has been quick to deal with retaliatory matters in terms of taking away resources, cuts and clawbacks due to a lack of leadership, and we know that from the "Boots Off the Street", the things that they're not talking about, again, that are very serious, and here we are with Bill No. 87 that they would choose to have us discuss.

The reason for getting up and responding to this, Mr. Speaker, is to highlight that at a time when Nova Scotians have many matters of concern before them, at a time when they're trying to come through a recessionary period, they would hope that they would have the security of knowing that things like crime prevention initiatives should be at the forefront, that we know during economic downturn that an investment in crime prevention is actually the pound of cure with regard to making sure outcomes are better and that the system is further enhanced.

Instead, we find ourselves here with Bill No. 87. We don't see the level of commitment by this government with community groups and justice partners to make sure that the strength and integrity of the system is strengthened at uncertain economic times. Instead, it's compounding the problems Nova Scotians face and that's where we find ourselves as we look at some of the more nebulous things the government would want to tie up the public tax dollars with.

[5:30 p.m.]

[Page 4199]

I can only think if we came in with some dialogue, if there were some consultation - I know with regard to bills from the Justice Department, there has been no effort by the minister or his officials to liaise and consult with the Opposition Parties. I know that in our case, we called looking to get a background or a briefing which was not provided or offered up.

It speaks to why if Nova Scotians are cynical with regard to this government's approach, it's because we within this Legislature would hope to have some dialogue, hope to see in advance of where we would be going into this session, that we could get in here and deal with matters that are most pressing. Rather than counting numbers of days, or how many weeks we sit, I'd be more interested in talking about the quality of the work that this Legislature was doing before we look at other jurisdictions that do count weeks. In fact, they count months in their sessions but may only put in a couple of hours a day, versus a session where we could put four, six, eight hours-plus in this Chamber.

Rather than counting the number of days you sit, what is the number of pieces of legislation? Now we have a government that's trying to get in and out of here as quickly as possible and try to put numbers out there as quickly as possible and trying to put frivolous things and measures in place to count bills. (Interruptions)

Yes, such as weighty matters as the Clothesline Bill and indeed, the government is hung up on something but it's not on the priorities of Nova Scotians. That's why when we talk about Bill No. 87 and the minister's lack of consulting, the minister can sit and he knows that's he's just trying to run a clock and we'll get through this and I'll get on with my day because that's what the minister has done since he came into this Chamber.

The member for Sackville-Cobequid over there - the fact of the matter is, the member for Sackville-Cobequid now has fewer police officers able to police his streets and deal with the impact of crime, deal with the issues that end up coming before the courts. If that member is now getting ready to vote . . .

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, Bill No. 87 does not contemplate that nor is that statement correct. I'd ask the member to withdraw it.

MR. SPEAKER: I would just remind members when they are up on third reading, it is to refer to the bill that is being spoken about at the time. It has to be relevant to the bill, it has to not be repetitive, but I certainly would allow some latitude on the issue. I'm going to say that's not a point of order at this point.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North has the floor.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to come before and have a discussion. What we have is Bill No.87, Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, when we have

[Page 4200]

things that are impacting the justice system that this government is creating; more importantly, things this government is taking away.

What we know is there are fewer police officers on the street, that it's "Boots Off The Street." When this government talks out of both sides of their mouth in terms of trying to say we're going to come in here, we're going to try to make government better. I remember, if you go to their propaganda document from the last election, they said they were going to put - they, the NDP - the Legislature back to work.

So, if Bill No.87 is about putting this Legislature back to work, well, it may put legislators to sleep and Nova Scotians to sleep, but the problem is the government has been asleep at the switch. The government wants Nova Scotians to somehow believe that Bill No. 87 is something of substance that they can, as was indicated by the member for Richmond, get up and simply refer to these are the number of bills we've put through the House. If the minister and this government were serious about putting the Legislature back to work, then there would be some consultation and dialogue, there would be an interest in looking at what it is that this government would like to do and seek, if they can, where consensus is, if there are issues or concerns that those things be brought forward, but that is simply not the case.

I can tell that the government gets antsy about these things, because the truth hurts, and the truth of the matter is that I know when the now-government was in Opposition, what they would comment about these two clauses in 60 words in Bill No. 87 - it would have been a lot more than 60 words, because we would know that they would speak and basically ridicule what they've tried to put forward here. Again, we all know that this is just a matter of time and they just want to try to go, as they did try earlier, without even wanting to see if there was some other debate, throw it through third reading and get it out of the House. That's what we saw.

Nova Scotians are becoming increasingly wary of how bills like Bill No. 87 are coming, and going through this Chamber and at the cost of Nova Scotians of upward of $20,000 per day. I wonder if Bill No. 87 is really addressing, at $20,000 per day, what we could have done with crime prevention. We look at $20,000 per day - that's a lot of money that could be going toward the solution for Holy Angels High School with regard to where the government is. In Bill No. 87 we see a government making changes to a system, or supposedly for the streamlining, when they themselves are impacting and further putting pressure on the justice delivery system for this province.

When we look at this, there is little credibility the minister and/or his government can have, to go before Nova Scotians and somehow suggest - even with a modicum of sincerity - that this is the serious way the issues of the people are looking to have addressed in this Chamber. We're going to see it with other bills and we'll be up to speak about those bills where this government, again, refuses to act in a responsible manner and work in a collaborative manner as their own literature (Interruption)

[Page 4201]

The Government House Leader can say, what's this got to do? Well, we all have to know the government said it was going to come into this Chamber and put the Legislature back to work. Well, it hasn't happened yet. I'm wondering if the minister, in responding to this, is going to show us a detail, what it is he plans to do. As he goes about to retaliate by taking away a police officer in New Glasgow, rather than doing the right thing and to complement that up because it was in his authority, he's pitting police forces against police forces who are supposed to deal with implementing aspects of Bill No. 87. What we have are fewer resources, strained police relationships, all of those things that are harming and hurting the administration of justice in this province.

They put this forward and say somehow that's going to make a difference, when we know that on the street, where the rubber is hitting the road, there is a real issue and the justice community and the stakeholders within it don't look with confidence on this minister or this government, don't look to Bill No. 87 to provide them with more resources, somehow strengthening the administration of justice in the Province of Nova Scotia. They look at this and say to themselves, what is the real agenda? All we know is we're told that cuts are coming, lack of resources. How is it these folks are supposed to try to deal with any changes to legislation when they can't even do their jobs to administer this? When the pressures on the system are getting compounded now instead of alleviated, the types of cost pressures that are on the government right now could be directed and improved and outcomes could be much different for the administration of justice, if this government would actually do what it said it would do in its own propaganda during the last election - to suggest that they were going to put the Legislature back to work, which would mean they would actually come here with meaningful legislation.

Bill No. 87, how does that relate to what the government said they would do versus what they're actually doing? At least they're consistent in how they're approaching most issues here, and I do reflect on the fact that - and the comments were made - there are some ministers who do take the time and have invested effort to work across those Party lines, to look at the issues of the day they have, who come in here during Question Period when topics are affected such that come out of the administration of justice, they would want to deal with these things. For those ministers, everyone in Opposition knows who the working ministers are, who the sincere ministers are who actually have an interest in making sure the integrity of their department is there.

The Minister of Finance can - you know, look at his eyes, because I am going to tell the Minister of Finance that Bill No. 87, as it relates to the administration of justice, is not with a minister who is or has been prepared, to work with critics, to work with caucuses, to take any constructive criticism, to look at the justice, the legislative needs, the resources that flow with those legislative needs. That is the reality.

[Page 4202]

So the government knows that it is just a matter of time before these things will come to a close; it also is just a matter of time before Nova Scotians will be able to have their say in response to what pieces of legislation, such as Bill No. 87, have to say to Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians will have their say at another time with regard to Bill No. 87, when it relates to how do they, how do you, Mr. Speaker, move forward and provide confidence. All the justice partners out there, their confidence has been shaken, the resources are being diminished so Bill No. 87 does nothing to help offset that, to make improvements.

It's all about outcomes that are positive - one would assume that the legislation brought forward would have positive impacts on the lives of Nova Scotians. Again, as has been indicated already, this is just a bill counting exercise rather than a bill quality exercise and something that means something to Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I found, especially when Opposition members indicate - and I know some ministers have, with regard to legislation, gone to consult with their critics, with the Opposition caucuses, to put out some of the things they would like to see brought in legislation and they have an open-door policy about going to their departments to consult on pieces of legislation. I can't say, when it comes to Bill No. 87, the Justice Department, it's one door they managed to keep locked these days and that is access to the government, access to information, access to what they said was a sincere agenda - and we're finding out it is anything but that. So the doors seem to be pretty locked when it comes to accessing dealing with the issues before the Justice Department, the issues where the administration of justice for Nova Scotians you would think would be better served.

Instead, Mr. Speaker, we find ourselves here, costing Nova Scotians a good deal of money and, at the same time, allowing these things to just whisk through this House without any comment is not fair either, because Bill No. 87 is indicative of what Nova Scotians need to know is really going on within this government. Bill No. 87 is all about what this government is not doing. Bill No. 87 is reflective of the depth of the agenda of this government and what they've seen is that they're trying to deal with a blur of items such as Bill No. 87, which could have been provided with other measures that we could have taken more seriously.

Mr. Speaker, instead what we have is Bill No. 87 that is just one more glaring example of how this government is falling very short of what it said to Nova Scotians it would do, what it would be, what the NDP would represent, in terms of dealing with this.

Again, when we talk about this housekeeping matter, for the lack of a better word, these two clauses of 60 words - what it does speak to is the lack of sincerity, I would say, with regard to actually making better outcomes in the administration of justice in this province. But, as all things, we will continue, we will make sure that matters such as these, as reflected through Bill No. 87, are highlighted to Nova Scotians. As the member for Richmond has done and in my job as Justice Critic, to make sure that the minister doesn't

[Page 4203]

somehow, as he will, try to go out there and pat himself on the back because he put so many pieces of legislation through this session, and then the big thing we will be saying is, what does it do to improve outcomes in the justice delivery system in this province? What does it do to reduce crime in the province? What does it do to take a burden off of already overworked individuals? What does it do to make sure that Nova Scotians know they're safe at home? Because what the government is doing, contrary to Bill No. 87, as I say, is cutting back, taking back and won't step up to do what they need to do to strengthen the Department of Justice.

[5:45 p.m.]

There are matters before the Department of Justice that are systemic, I do acknowledge that, some of the issues, I know the member for Richmond, and this is where I probably differ, would like to talk about certain issues, but I also know the previous Liberal Administration had to deal with systematic problems that are inherited by a government and the minister truly has some issues that have transcended many years and three different political administrations.

However, I would like to think that the previous administrations - and I know - would be at a time, that we're in currently, fiscally, and where we are with our society, with issues, and great pressures that are on the justice system, the minister before, when it comes to administration of justice, would also like to, when he first was elected, talk about the Mexican drug trade, I do believe, the member for Richmond would note that, and talk of all the impacts that were creating pressures on the system here - and it first sounded as though he was going to go down the road and the path of really trying to combat those things even though at first track through, one could look at that and say, well, what's that got to do with issues here?

But he did, at least, try to connect some dots about how global matters affect us here within the province, but what we have now is the minister not connecting back with Nova Scotians, and Bill No. 87 is part of that, because he is not attaching to this bill any of the outcomes that deal with any other bill we've seen that are going to provide the necessary resources and support, to strengthen the administration of justice and justice delivery here in Nova Scotia.

Those are the facts that we know. We have not heard, the minister chooses not to speak, and when he does, it is for the shortest period of time possible. I recall, when we've had matters of legislation, I have former colleagues - who aren't here but - when bills came forward, were prepared to speak to those bills and were prepared to speak to them at length, if required, here in the House.

We would appreciate, from an Opposition point of view, if the minister would be willing to articulate, if he could get up and speak, with any level of detail associated with

[Page 4204]

them and then he might try to legitimate why Nova Scotians are paying over, likely, $20,000 plus, today, for us to sit here in this Chamber. That is something that we have to be mindful of, in that if the minister doesn't care about the time he spends here in this Chamber, there are those that do, in terms of the outcomes and people will be looking to say, where does Bill No. 87 fit in? Because it will be part of the report card, it will be part of a process.

We can spend and tie up time here, and the government will have its way of getting through things, but I take great confidence in knowing that Nova Scotians will have their say and the hope is that - without too much more impact and negative outcomes than the ones we've seen such as those within the Department of Justice at this time and the impact we've seen within the matters as they hit the streets - I would hope that we would be more focused on the citizens we represent than the rhetoric we see within some of the literature of the government, but not in the outcomes of the legislation that they claim they were going to bring forward.

So with that, I'm sure the minister will provide, as the member for Richmond had indicated, and myself, that he'll have a chance to speak to what it is in detail and the rationale of why he is not reflecting on the wider and broader aspects of the Department of Justice. We only live in hope and we hope the minister will take time to rise now while we're in third reading on this nebulous piece of legislation. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize (Interruptions) The question has been called. (Interruption)

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, having been here 13 years, I'm sure you will recall that a minister on second reading stands, moves second reading, closes second reading, moves third reading, closes third reading, and then the question can be put. There is no question before the House, as we now stand, until the Minister of Justice stands in his place and closes debate on third reading. Then you have a question that can be put. Right now, it's the member for Cape Breton North who ended speaking and now the Government House Leader is hollering question. Well, question on what? We actually have to have the motion being made by the minister to close third reading, then you can put the question and I'm sure that's the way it has been now for many years.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, honourable member. My understanding is that the minister has the right to reply on the bill, but he doesn't have the duty to reply, it's entirely his option.

The honourable member for Richmond.

[Page 4205]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, he doesn't need to reply, he doesn't need to make comments. But he has to stand in his place and at least say, I hereby close debate on third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: No.

MR. SAMSON: Then the debate is closed, then the question can be put.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Any Minister of the Crown can move third reading on a bill. (Interruptions) Order, please.

The honourable Deputy Premier did move third reading. The question has been called.

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

The motion is carried.

I'm sorry, was there a call for a recorded vote? I've heard one member call for a recorded vote. (Interruptions) I only heard one, so it's not sufficient.

Ordered that the bill do pass, ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 93.

Bill No. 93 - Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I stand to move third reading of Bill No. 93, the Motor Vehicle Act. (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: The question has been called on Bill No. 93.

The honourable member for Richmond.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to rise to say a few words on Bill No. 93. I have to say I'm a bit disappointed that the minister has not stood to speak on this bill because you'll recall, on second reading, I raised what I thought were very valid concerns about the whole definition of what will be considered to be being on a highway and,

[Page 4206]

second, operating a motor vehicle on the whole issue of texting. I think it was a legitimate issue to raise. I believe a number of my colleagues indicated that they, as well, were curious as to how (Interruption) Is it? Oh, we're dealing with bikes. Well, thank you, my good friend, the member for Clare.

Mr. Speaker, it's my understanding this specific bill, and hopefully those comments will help the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal when the texting bill comes forward, to address the concerns that I raised, but I would be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to recognize my colleague, the member for Dartmouth East, who is the member in this House who brought forward legislation, I believe in a very unique fashion, by having some of his colleagues and those involved with the sport of biking in this province actually bike to the Legislature on the very morning in what can only be described as inclement weather, typical Nova Scotia weather for this time of the year, but it was certainly not the most favourable weather conditions. Still they made the journey here to the Legislature on their bicycles, which, I believe, gave even more weight to the bill that has been put forward by my colleague, the member for Dartmouth East who first proposed, in this Legislature, the creation of bicycle lanes in our province.

Mr. Speaker, as I did mention on second reading, this is an issue which I think all Nova Scotians are prepared to embrace. We are seeing more and more people taking up the sport of cycling. The fact that it gives Nova Scotians an opportunity to exercise and at the same time enjoy the beautiful outdoors of our province is, certainly, something that we want to encourage. Too many times cyclists are encountering issues with motorists, which makes it to the point that some - I know in my area - no longer want to bicycle around our community due to the fact that there are no bicycle lanes. You have a gravel shoulder in some areas, which is a low shoulder and the fact is, there seems to be a misunderstanding amongst motorists as to who really has the right of way on the road when they're encountering an area where a cyclist might be present.

I'm pleased that the government did bring the bill forward but I have to say, as well, that I'm disappointed, because if we're truly going to stand in this place and say that we're here to work together, even though this government has a majority government, I do believe that the responsible thing would have been to have called the bill by the member for Dartmouth East and make any amendments necessary that the government may have wanted to propose that legislation. I do find it unfortunate that after a member brought forward thoughtful legislation, that basically the government would turn around and bring a mirror bill with some minor differentiations from the one that was brought forward by the member for Dartmouth East.

At the Law Amendments Committee I have no doubt that the member for Dartmouth East would have been more than prepared to look at government amendments, which has been done in the past on Opposition bills. I can tell you, as someone who has had 11 Private Members' Public Bills passed in this Chamber, a number of them had government

[Page 4207]

amendments that were made and I certainly had no issue with that. I was pleased to see anything that could strengthen the bill. I think the member for Dartmouth East would have had that same approach. Unfortunately, here you had a bill brought forward by a Liberal member, which the government basically turned around said, we like the idea and we're going to try to take it for ourselves. That's what I find unfortunate here.

Quite ironically, I'd be remiss if I didn't say that this is a lament that we heard from Jack Layton for so many years saying, the Liberals are stealing all of our ideas and the Conservatives are stealing our ideas, only to see now that the NDP Government in Nova Scotia seems more than happy to continue the same practice instead with a different Party that they're now taking the ideas from.

As I mentioned before, to create bicycle lanes, it's certainly going to take an initiative from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, especially when new projects are taking place, to allow for these bike lanes to be built. Not having had the opportunity to read through the 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan, which was tabled by the minister today - on a side note, I was pleased to see that the word "Richmond" actually exists in the five-year plan, so I do commend the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for that and I'm pleased to see that we are going to be part of the five-year plan.

I'm not quite sure in this document if it actually does make reference to the creation of bicycle lanes as part of the five-year plan with new construction. I would certainly hope that it's going to be given consideration. I'm sure it's not every project that it will make sense to include a bicycle lane with that specific section of road, but obviously it's something that is going to require the initiative of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in order to make it a reality. I'm certainly hoping that future projects that will come to Richmond County and within the Strait area will have provisions to allow for these bicycle lanes.

At a time where our tourism industry is going through a difficult time, we are seeing more and more visitors to our province who want to be able to bicycle while they're here, whether it's through paths that are established on trails or whether it's along the roads of Nova Scotia. There is an opportunity here, I believe, in helping develop our tourism sector and being able to say that Nova Scotia is a bike-friendly province and that we are putting in infrastructure to make that a reality.

As well, as I mentioned on second reading, as a new parent I can certainly say how much of a challenge it is - especially in rural areas - to be able to take your child out in a stroller along the shoulders of roads, whether it be in Richmond County or whether it be in other communities, if we're going to encourage parents to be able to lead healthy lifestyles with their children, especially young children, I think the establishment of bike lanes will also help address some of these concerns, especially in areas where there are no sidewalks. In many of our communities that is exactly the case, so if this can, as well, allow parents to

[Page 4208]

be able to walk and to exercise in a safe area along our roads, then this is certainly something which we will be more than happy to support and I think will make a real difference.

[6:00 p.m.]

With those few comments, Mr. Speaker, I again thank my colleague, the member for Dartmouth East who first brought this forward, for continuing to push the idea, and certainly all of his colleagues in the sport of biking, who have lent their support along the way on the debate of this bill and on making sure that it does go forward. We are looking forward to when the government will proclaim this legislation and make it a reality here in our province.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make a few comments on Bill No. 93.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand on this and the first thing that comes to mind is - I'm not sure whether my biggest memory of the Legislature dealing with the bicycle issue will be a bike ride in the rain or the member for Argyle talking about wearing spandex next to tractor-trailer trucks. I've been horrified ever since that day in the Legislature, and I certainly hope that our medical plan has good psychological therapy coverage for that.

It was back in the Spring during Bike Week, the first week of June, when we first put out a press release saying that the Liberal caucus would move forward with legislation on this and suggest that to the House. Ironically it was around the same time that the member for Bedford-Birch Cove and I were both contacted by people and discussed this idea, something that was moving forward in the Ontario Legislature and, of course, that bill is still before the Legislature there.

As the member for Richmond noted, the minister did bring forward his own bill and I was glad to see that he agreed to the amendments suggested by HRM that I spoke about at second reading, because I noticed that in order to have the bill different, he added something - which we also supported - which was the prohibition of parking in bicycle lanes. Of course the way it was worded had, or could have had, some unintended consequences. Obviously we wouldn't know until it went forward.

I would like to thank the minister for agreeing to changes in the bill before third reading, to address some of those issues. Certainly it would have been very unfortunate had we ended up in a situation where the bill passed but actually caused municipalities in Nova

[Page 4209]

Scotia to restrict the construction and the painting and so forth of bike lanes because they were concerned about what might happen in terms of parking.

The member for Richmond did mention one issue when he talked about the five-year highway improvement plan the minister came out with today. At the press briefing the minister gave on this legislation, he alluded to the fact that he hoped that - and I hope I will paraphrase him correctly in doing this, it is not my intent to paraphrase him incorrectly, that's for certain - that he hoped the province in its construction projects would give consideration to bicycle lanes or widened shoulders.

I would certainly hope that we have this five-year list of projects here. It would be interesting to note from the minister whether certainly either widening shoulders, which is probably the least expensive option, or even painted lanes, is up for consideration on any of those projects. Of course one of the ones in particular would be the Burnside Expressway, which the minister will hear me now lobbying for, so it is on the record in Hansard for future years to come. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, as I say, if I had a napkin here I'd be certain to pass it over with it written on. Let me just say, it was unfortunate that when the province actually repaved the other end of Burnside Drive, which it has responsibility for - and this was before this minister's time, of course - it actually did not put in the bike connection from the bridge, which now crosses Highway No. 111, and the purpose of that bridge when it was approved and cost shared by the province and the municipality was actually to accommodate bicycles. Yet, the bicycles come off and they end up in a relatively dangerous situation. My hope is that the same thing won't happen on the other end of Burnside Drive where, of course, the Burnside expressway is intended to continue on.

Since both my bill has come forward and the minister's legislation, I have received a number of e-mails and calls and I know the minister has as well because we've both been the addressees on many of those pieces of correspondence from people all over the province involved in biking and so forth, who have pointed out that if the province works with municipalities, and also on its own highways, to ensure safe passage and try and promote that idea, what will happen is that they will be better able to promote Nova Scotia as yet one other eco-tourism option in terms of bicycle tourism and so forth.

I do believe that's a real option. I know I met with a very active group up there in the town of Baddeck, in Cape Breton, who cycle the Cabot Trail quite regularly and take very large groups, particularly from Europe and New England, on the Cabot Trail bicycling. This is the kind of thing that can make a real difference. The one thing I would leave the minister with is the need to not just pass this legislation but ensure that motorists are aware of this legislation. There is no point in having a piece of legislation on the books to protect cyclists or other users of the road, and in fact protect vehicle drivers as well, without making them aware of this.

[Page 4210]

Mr. Speaker, I would urge the minister for his department to get the word out to cyclists as this becomes proclaimed. With that, obviously, we support this legislation. Again, I am glad that the minister did include the amendments to the second part to make sure that the government did add a not parking in bike lanes and it works as intended. Thank you very much, I will now take my seat as I understand the member for Argyle wishes to tell us more about spandex.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to stand for a few moments to speak to this bill. I did talk in second reading and I promised not to bring up some of the issues that I did bring up during that one, but I will talk about cycling in Nova Scotia and the importance of the one metre rule and maybe the issue of being able to cycle from one end of the province to the other.

For many years we've been trying to work with local communities, work with municipalities, trying to support them in what they would qualify as being an active transportation plan. Within those active transportation plans, many aspects of it come into place. I can say, in the Yarmouth area, there's a great active transportation group, one that has a great plan to provide cycling avenues, cycling responsibilities, cycling opportunities for people in that neck of the woods.

Many times we've talked about being able to travel from Yarmouth to Sydney on a bike lane. As years go by, we're seeing some parts of that, we're seeing some paved bicycle lanes and other times we're seeing trails, and those kinds of things, crop up around our province. All we can say is that there's a tremendous opportunity in this as well, the opportunity to market our province as a true cycling destination for those individuals who have had the opportunity to travel in other parts of the world where cycling is a lot more accepted than it is here. People go there by the hundreds if not thousands to experience the scenery, the communities, by bike.

Joining us in the gallery today, I have two individuals I'll say hi to. First Nick Giacomantonio - Dr. Nick. Nick is the president of the Cycle Society of Nova Scotia and also has managed the Heartland Tour, which is the one that I participate in with the Minister of Justice as well. Joining him is Damon Goodwin, a good friend of ours. We were just talking a little earlier about certain cardiovascular issues.

Mr. Speaker, I know Nick had the opportunity to travel to, I believe, it was Italy this last time and to cycle around Italy. He got to see what real cycling is about. I know he has had the opportunity, and talks about it, in other parts of the world he has been able to visit. We have the most beautiful scenery here in Nova Scotia; we just maybe don't have the opportunity to see it.

[Page 4211]

I can also say that last year, when I had the opportunity to travel around the province during the HeartLand Tour, there was some wonderful scenery to be seen, whether it was going around Cape George in the Antigonish area, which is sort of the mini-Cabot Trail - I tell you, I swept my way up that hill and I got down it - but what wonderful scenery as it goes around that area.

We had the opportunity to go around the Little Bras d'Or into the riding of the member for Victoria-The Lakes and along the Bras d'Or Lakes. We have some of the most beautiful scenery for cycling of anywhere in the country, and I can tell you we probably have some of the most dangerous country as well, because of the way cyclists are treated, really, in this province. I know everybody in here can tell you of an instance where either they have been on a bike - I know many people here have been on a bike once or twice in their lives - and had the opportunity of near misses in this province. I've had near misses with bikes or trucks, or whatever, coming up beside you and scaring you or coming so close that it has made you wobble your way into the ditch. Mr. Speaker, this happens at an alarming rate here in Nova Scotia.

I think the opportunity to educate Nova Scotians about the safety or what we, as a cyclist, have to endure as we are cycling around our province, believing in a sport that we believe in and reaping the benefits of that sport, but there is a ratio there of being able to expire quicker, I think in some cases, depending on where we are in the province.

Mr. Speaker, I sat on my bike side-by-side with the Minister of Justice as we've travelled around - I think when we talked about it last we were on our way out to Peggy's Cove in the fog, and I can tell you that Peggy's Cove in the fog is a hard place to cycle out to. Again, it is one of the prettier rides that we have in the province, but I can tell you that it would be nice to have a little more of a shoulder to cycle on.

The metre is one thing - if the driver of the vehicle knows about the metre, that's one thing; in a lot of cases you don't get the metre. If you take the route to Peggy's Cove you know there is a high traffic area there, as people go in and out, either to see Peggy's Cove or even the population density in that area. It is a winding road, it is not just one big, long, straight road; it is in and out of these coves. Boy, it sure would be nice to have a bike lane going out there to see probably one of the prettiest places in the province.

Really what I'm trying to say here, Mr. Speaker, is that we did have the five-year plan presented by the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal today, one that I think is a very good basis in the future work here in Nova Scotia, but there was no real talk of bike lines in here that I've been able to find in my perusal through this document. It does talk about secondary highways, trunks and routes, more of an explanation of what those things are, but really no understanding, I believe, on adding a bike lane or being able to accommodate a cycling public.

[Page 4212]

Because Nick is in the gallery today, I do want to thank the MLAs who are here who did participate in some way or another with the HeartLand Tour. Mr. Speaker, it was good to see you at the parade in Pictou as we cycled on down the hill - it wasn't too hard and it wasn't too fast. It was really well-attended, there were thousands of people on the side getting the message of a heart-healthy community - not only hearing the words of living well, but actually participating in that.

[6:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I know the member for Kings South, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, did meet us at Acadia University to talk about cycling safety and cycling issues - it was great to see her out at that one. What we're going to try to do, I think, over the next bit, is see if we can get one or two more MLAs to participate - I think we need a Liberal MLA - to participate in the HeartLand tour. I know the member for Yarmouth is keen; I know the member for Kings West is keen; and I know the member for Dartmouth North is interested. Nick, I hope you're writing down the names of some of these MLAs to make sure that we have them along for this.

It goes to not only the heart-healthy communities but it's the safety of the cycling population, of being able to go out and do something that we love, to participate in an active lifestyle and to be able to do it in a safe manner.

I thank the minister very much for bringing this issue to the House, to acknowledge the cycling public who is out there, and hope that this is not the final discussion that we're going to have on cycling in this House of Assembly. I know there are many other tweaks that the member for Dartmouth East has talked about on a number of occasions, and I've brought forward the issue of two-by-two, and I talked about the single file issue the last time we were here. I think that needs a little more thought and maybe a bit of a change down the road. In a lot of cases, as I said during my second reading speech, the issue is that when you're all in one long line, if you have 30 people in a pace line, when the motorized group passes you by, they only pass you by about half and therefore try to merge into your lane in order to get past the rest. There are many times when you get pushed over by a vehicle and that's something that I really want to have maybe some further thought on.

There's always the issue of stopping at stop signs when you're clipped into your bike, which I don't know whether it's safe or not safe, but I think that maybe some further discussion around that one but, then again, that's for a later day. So again I thank the minister for bringing this forward and look forward to further discussion on this one at a later day.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

[Page 4213]

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I just want to comment a little bit on the third and final reading on Bill No. 93. As I've indicated on second reading, this bill amends the Motor Vehicle Act and it certainly will help to make our roads safer for our cyclists. Some people will say it's a start; some people will say it doesn't go far enough. I understand that the government did consult with the members of the cycling community before these amendments were brought in by the minister. As I pointed out, when you look at the bill, some, as I said, will indicate that the bill doesn't go far enough, that there should be a lot more in this bill.

As I pointed out in second reading, this is certainly a step in the right direction; it's a beginning. I hope that the government, the minister, will be able to work with the cycling community and build up on this bill.

As I've indicated, this bill will require drivers to leave a metre between them and the cyclists on our roads. Many drivers are already doing this, but also there are drivers who are not leaving a space between themselves and the cyclists when they're going by bicycles on our roads. When you look at the number of fatalities that are taking place on our roads, one is too many. Naturally, if we can make any changes on our roads to make it safer for drivers and make it safer for cyclists, then we need to make those changes.

One final thing before I take my seat - I think it's absolutely critical for the government, when this bill becomes law, we need to reach out to all drivers in Nova Scotia to make them aware of this one-metre rule. I know we will need a lot of reaching out. It's not just a couple of times and, you know, once the word is out, you expect to believe that all drivers are aware of this one-metre rule. I would encourage the government to repeat this exercise. We need to make drivers aware - all drivers - of this one-metre rule. If we can make our roads safer and prevent any fatalities, then at the end of the day, then I think it's absolutely critical.

So in closing, Mr. Speaker, this is a good first step. I certainly applaud the minister for bringing these amendments forward and I certainly will be voting in favour of this bill.

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

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in my place this evening to speak to the bicycle lane bill. I guess it was early last Spring when the member for Dartmouth East and I began getting letters on this subject from bicycle groups and we found that what they call, south of the border, the three-foot rule was being adopted by various U.S. States. We began to do some research. Coincidentally, it was around Mother's Day that I suggested that what I would really like to buy sometime was a bike. I meant a Vespa, but my husband decided to get me a bicycle for Mother's Day. So suddenly I rejoined the cycling community and after 30 years I found myself out on a bike on a Dartmouth road.

[Page 4214]

I have to say it was a fairly scary experience, going down a Dartmouth road where people are coming off a highway, basically, and whizzing by. That's when I decided that we needed a three-foot rule, because it was really pretty scary. Speaking of scary, I don't wear spandex when I bike. I just wanted to point out what a cost-effective, healthy way this is, for people to get about in the city. There are various communities in Nova Scotia where you see it more than others. For example, in Wolfville, it's a very popular way to get around town. You see a lot of bikes and people are using bicycles there the way they do in Europe, you know, you go to town to get your food from the market and everyone just cycles about.

I must say that on the day that the member for Dartmouth East tabled his bill, I was extraordinarily glad that we had decided that he should do it and not me because it was pouring cats and dogs and I thought it was most appropriate that he ride instead of me because he has a much shorter ride to work.

I did want to echo what the member for Dartmouth East said about eco-tourism. One of the things you see in Europe a lot are cycling tours and I think that if we make Nova Scotia a safer place to cycle in, then you're going to see some growth in cycling as a mode of transport for eco-tourism.

The member for Argyle suggested that perhaps the Liberals might want to join the Heartland tour and I've indicated to him that I'm quite willing to do this but only if I go tandem with somebody else, I'm on the back and they can do all the heavy cycling.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I do want to commend the minister for moving to bring in this bill, even though there was one previously tabled from our caucus, I do think it is a worthy endeavour and I do think that it is important that we provide augmented safety for cyclists because this is of concern. Anyone who has done any cycling at all knows that it can be pretty scary when a car is passing you by, or they're extraordinarily close, and when you're on a bike, you're basically naked out there, spandex aside, you don't have any protection like you do in a car. So I do think that this is a bill well worth voting for. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 93. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 94.

[Page 4215]

Bill No. 94 - Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: I move Bill No. 94 for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to speak on this bill. I know there were some concerns raised by a number of businesses in the province, the Nova Scotia Automotive Dealers Association being the prime one.

This bill is good in the sense that its goal is to protect consumers. That's important. It's also focused on allowing consumers to make decisions with all the information that they should have to make such decisions. I know that the Automotive Dealers Association had said themselves that Bill No. 94 raises the bar on used vehicle sales.

They did raise a concern, though, and that was that this bill - if we're going to put legislation forward we should be aiming to protect all consumers. They felt that and they gave some statistics. I know this was covered in the Committee on Law Amendments, but I'll just read them for the benefit of the House.

There are 200,000 used vehicle sales per year in this province and of those, only 82,000 are sold by dealers. Most sales - 60 per cent - are sold private individual to private individual. Of the 40 per cent the dealers are selling, of that 82,000, 53,000 are sold to a consumer - the others are sold to a dealer. To sum up, 25 per cent of used cars are sold from dealers to consumers, to individuals. They felt that if we were here trying to protect consumers, as a House here, we would want to expand the legislation to ensure that it included all sales. The way the legislation was originally written did not. They had proposed changing the word from "dealer" to "seller," so "seller" would obviously cover any individuals that were selling used cars to other people.

I guess we would concur that people, whether they be dealers or whether they be individuals, should be held accountable for disclosure of all information relative to the fair purchase of an automobile. I know they raised a couple of other points.

When dealing with trade-ins, the onus should be on the trader to report. I can think of a story one dealer told me. He said that he's a very experienced dealer in this province and he told me a dealer can be swindled by an individual off the street as well. It might be a stormy day outside and they might be selling a vehicle; there could be a car that's being traded on it and circumstances may not permit them to take a full look at the vehicle. There may be something wrong with the vehicle. I'm just expressing what he told me. At the end of the day, his point was that we need to protect all buyers.

[Page 4216]

It is possible - and I haven't discussed this with the minister - that dealers can protect themselves with this legislation by consulting with the registrar to see if a vehicle has been branded a lemon or non-repairable or rebuilt or salvaged vehicle. If that's the case and if that protects the dealers, then in turn that protects the other 75 per cent of consumers. If that's the case, that's positive - I hope that it is. The focus here should be on unscrupulous people. That, again, is not just dealers. It could be anybody.

With that, I do presume that the department will produce some literature for people, whether they be buyers or sellers, with respect to this new legislation, that will help people understand it, help people to comply with it and also help people who are buyers and what to watch for, what they should be watching for and how this legislation will protect them.

[6:30 p.m.]

I know some years ago, and I'm sure we can all attest to this, my own father bought a car one time that all the information wasn't disclosed on it. It was a private sale and there were some significant problems with the engine of that car and it cost him quite a few dollars to fix. When you are in small-town Nova Scotia, usually you assume you are dealing with honourable people, but the person who sold this car obviously knew something that they decided not to disclose. I think that is what this legislation is, the aim of it, is to protect people. In that case I don't know if it would make a difference, but we do appreciate the government trying to make a difference for people.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I will conclude my remarks.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I'll be quite brief on this. I think this is a very good bill. It does, indeed, help protect consumers from unscrupulous people, as my honourable colleague has just said. We know already that the reputable car dealers typically do this type of reporting now. Unfortunately there's always someone out there who decides they are going to try to make some money off something that maybe isn't as good as it appears to be. I think this law will definitely help disclose those problems so that individuals aren't going to be taken in by unscrupulous people. Typically, too, people who are buying a used car either buy it because they want cheap transportation or it is all they can afford. If you get somebody who buys something that is all they can afford and then find out that they have some serious problems with it, then they have to go buy another car or a huge amount of money in repairs. Indeed, it is very serious for a family in that situation.

[Page 4217]

I'm glad to see this bill is here. I'm pleased to see that the government is moving forward on this particular bill and indeed, it should make it better for Nova Scotians. With those few words, I'll close my remarks.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 94. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 95.

Bill No. 95 - Consumer Reporting Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 95.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 95. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill to pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 97.

Bill No. 97 - Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 97.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

[Page 4218]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I must say it is with disappointment that I rise to speak on third reading of Bill No. 97. As I mentioned earlier, I had hoped that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal would have provided some greater clarity regarding how the enforcement of these provisions are going to take place, because the wording of the bill very clearly states that it is an offence to be texting or operating a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle on a highway. That is not the specific language but basically it states operating a motor vehicle on a highway.

The question I raise on second reading is how does one define (1) "operating a motor vehicle" and (2) how will the definition of "on a highway" be enforced? As I mentioned on second reading, the definition of a highway is quite broad. My question is, on behalf of Nova Scotians who obviously wish to follow the law by not being on the road and trying to text or phone or check their e-mails or anything else while they're driving, and many Nova Scotians believe that if they pull over to the shoulder and they're off the asphalt portion that then they are respecting the law. The fact is that the definition of highway quite possibly would include the shoulder of the road. The last thing we want to see is someone who is trying to be responsible and pulling over to respond to a text or an e-mail or make a phone call, would actually be in violation because of the fact that under the legal definition they're still on a highway.

The other question that I raised was, what definition will be given to operating a motor vehicle? In that if someone is pulled over, even if it's not considered a highway, if they are pulled over and their vehicle is still on or it's still in gear and they just have their foot on the brake, will that be considered operating a motor vehicle? Again, most Nova Scotians would believe that pulling over in a safe fashion and being a safe distance on the shoulder of the road is acceptable. But without being given a better understanding of how those two specific terms will be interpreted by police enforcement, one is left to wonder exactly what do you need to do to respect this law?

There is no question that Nova Scotians are very concerned about the rate of accidents that have been caused due to texting and due to driver distraction, the rate of fatalities, the rate of close calls that have resulted from this. Again, I'm sure Nova Scotians want to be very clear on what they need to do to respect this law. That's why I raised it. I thought I was being responsible as a member of the Opposition to bring it to the minister's attention and his department's attention. Unfortunately, on third reading it was an opportunity to be able to address that concern and put on the record what the minister's interpretation is and what the intention of that exact wording is going to be.

Often, as I'm sure many members will know, when the courts have been asked to interpret a law, they'll look to the Legislature to see what the debate was and the exact intention of the government or the person that is proposing the legislation. This happened before. I actually was interested to see that on the case that went forward regarding the insurance cap that had been proposed by the previous administration, a number of members

[Page 4219]

of this House are quoted in the decision because of the fact that the judge who first looked at the appeal actually went through Hansard and read and quoted from members what the intention was of the cap on minor injury. That was part of his decision.

So this was an ample opportunity for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to stand in his place and say, here is what our intention is in passing this bill and here is how we anticipate it will be enforced. That way, if there was some confusion and someone had pulled over to the shoulder, had turned off their vehicle and were actually texting on their phone and were charged - they'd be able to go to the courts and the judge would be able to look back and say, well, what was the true intention of the government? By not having the minister put it on the record after such a concern had been raised, unfortunately the courts would really be left to try to figure out, on their own, what the minister's intentions were and whether the language in the Act is a proper reflection of that. Whereas if he stood in his place and said, based on what the member for Richmond raised, I want to say quite clearly as minister, here is what we feel and here is what our intention is with this and here is how we would see it being enforced.

Unfortunately right now that is not clear. I find that very unfortunate because I believe Nova Scotians want to respect the law. I think there is some confusion here. I can tell you that a number of years ago while going to university, I worked at the Examiner's Office at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and I saw people come in who had their licences suspended and in some cases it was a situation where they're in the backseat of their car, but because they had the key in their possession they were considered to be technically operating a motor vehicle.

That's why I felt it important to raise the issue to make sure, and to give the minister an opportunity to make it very clear as to what the expectations are and how this will work, so that there is no confusion here and that Nova Scotians trying to respect the law and follow the law are not going to be charged due to the fact that the language here doesn't appear to be specific enough. There may be a broad interpretation of both what is a highway and, number two, what is operating a motor vehicle.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I think it was a reasonable concern to raise. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to have been addressed or looked into. Possibly the minister still has an opportunity to rise in his place and maybe say a few words just on that matter so it is on the record and it is very clear - and not only to us here in this House, when we'll be asked by our constituents what are the new rules and how do I respect the new rules? As well, as I mentioned before, should there ever be court cases dealing with this, the judges will have an opportunity to reflect and look back on the words stated by the Minister of Justice when this very concern has been brought to his attention and they'll have that to rely upon.

I'm hoping that these concerns are being taken seriously and that the department and the minister are looking into it. I do hope that when I wrap up my comments, the minister

[Page 4220]

will rise to say a few words on that and not just have the Government House Leader shout out "Question" after my comments. So that is my hope, Mr. Speaker, and I guess only time will tell, but with that, I'm pleased to support Bill No. 97 and certainly hope that the concerns raised will be addressed prior to its final passage here in this Chamber.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, just very briefly I wanted to follow up on the member for Richmond's comments in a couple of ways. One, I think when the member for Richmond asked that question earlier, it happened that the officer who was working here that day from the Halifax Regional Police had been listening to some of that debate. His comment at the time was that they have been advised, at least for the purpose of liquor violations, for example, that as soon as you have the keys in your hands and are at the door of your car, they consider you to be operating a vehicle. Otherwise they consider it entrapment once you've entered it. Those are the instructions that HRP is giving their incoming officers for the phrase "operating."

So whether that is the case in this bill, I don't know, but obviously if it is, that becomes a lot more of a complicated situation. Not that someone is going to get ticketed for standing outside their car, I'm sure, but the member for Richmond talked about people pulled off the side of the highway. Of course, the definition of "highway" in the Motor Vehicle Act, which this adds to, says: "a public highway, street, lane, road, alley, park, beach or place including the bridges thereon, and private property that is designed to be and is accessible to the general public for the operation of a motor vehicle." That definition of a highway certainly is as broad as the member for Richmond would suggest that it is.

The last thing I would just like to comment for the record is, when we had looked at the bike legislation earlier, one of the things the minister had said was that the place for fines was in regulation and one of the issues he had with the wording of the bill as we had introduced it was that it actually set the fines out for violating the one-metre rule. Yet then not the very next day did the minister introduce this bill, and of course one of the things that it seeks to do is, in fact, set the fines for this and actually amend the fines - in exactly the same wording that we had in the previous one that the minister said shouldn't be done in a bill.

I would just like to point out the fact that on one day the minister said it was the inappropriate way to deal with fines under the Motor Vehicle Act and then the next day he introduced a bill that did exactly the same thing with pretty well exactly the same wording. So I too, like the member for Richmond, would just love to hear the minister speak ever so briefly, at least in terms of the issue of operating. Obviously, we support this. It's not to suggest that we don't, but we spend a lot of time in this Legislature - as I'm sure all Legislatures do, in fairness - dealing with housekeeping matters that come up because things

[Page 4221]

are interpreted in ways that we didn't intend them to be interpreted. Here we have situations that maybe could be avoided in the future if it becomes an issue.

[6:45 p.m.]

In fairness to the minister, this is obviously an issue - especially in those words that would pre-date him as minister and his government. I mean, this is something that goes on and on but no different than the Nova Scotia Museum Act, which we will deal with at another time. That is a similar situation where something has gone on for 16 years that we now find ourselves having to deal with.

With that, I would just echo the comments of the member for Richmond, and certainly with my colleagues I will be supporting this bill but hope the minister has addressed those issues with staff even if he's not prepared to talk about them in the Legislature.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and say a few words on Bill No. 97, the Motor Vehicle Act. As I pointed out on second reading, this bill is very important. These amendments that are before the House are extremely important to address some serious problems that are happening on our roads with regard to cellphones, texting and street racing.

I remember when the minister did his opening comments on second reading, he talked about there were 8,300 convictions against drivers using cellphones or texting while driving. We know that the government did bring in a law to ban the usage of hand-held cellphones back two and a half years ago. When I looked at the number of convictions that have come out in the last two and a half years and at the same time, every time that I'm driving, you're always seeing people driving with a hand-held cellphone. Of course, we have to recognize this 8,300, the problem is a lot bigger.

I hope with the amendments that are before the House - and especially now that the bill has come before the House in third reading - that this bill is on the eve of getting passed through the House. Again, as I pointed out earlier on Bill No. 93, once this bill becomes law, it's absolutely critical for the government, for the minister, to make our drivers aware of these changes. It's not just by advertising for one day or one week and you're hopeful that you're going to be able to reach out to all the drivers within that period of time.

This is very serious and I encourage the government, I encourage the minister, we need to get the word out but we need to repeat that message. If we're going to try to make our roads safer, and certainly address street racing on our roads, texting and using cellphones while driving, we need to - it's absolutely critical, if we're going to have success behind this

[Page 4222]

rule, these changes, these amendments, for the government to promote and make drivers aware of these changes.

There is no doubt when you look at the number of fatalities that we've had last year on our roads, everybody will agree that there are so many distractions when you're out there driving and adding a few more, especially when drivers you're meeting on the road are either texting or talking on a phone behind the wheel, it's absolutely critical for the government to make drivers aware, make the public aware. We've seen changes that were brought under the Motor Vehicle Act, government has done some promotion and then all of a sudden, you have to wonder what's going on.

Today on the way up, there were a couple of police cars, flashing lights on, on the side of the road and motorists just kept zooming by at about 105 kilometers, 110 kilometers passing those emergency vehicles stopped on the side of Highway No. 101 coming up, so obviously, as we've said before, when government brings changes, it is absolutely critical that we need to reach out to all our drivers in our province to make them aware of these changes.

At the same time, and I've said this before, when we have people and drivers coming in from outside Nova Scotia, driving on our roads, we need to make them aware at all the entries into our province. Usually we have posted signs at the border in New Brunswick - leaving New Brunswick and coming into Nova Scotia - know that, or in Yarmouth or in North Sydney. It is absolutely critical, Mr. Speaker, government has a responsibility here to make out-of-town drivers - drivers from outside of Nova Scotia - aware of these changes that are affecting drivers on our roads.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, once this Bill No. 97 goes through third and final reading and gets to be proclaimed law in Nova Scotia, that the government will take the opportunity to reach out to all drivers, not just once, but as many times as needed. I think, in order to make our roads safer, we need to reach out and get that information out, as I said, not to just our drivers in our province but also to drivers coming from outside our province and driving on our roads. We need to make sure that information is available. If it is available, there is no doubt that we will reduce the number of fatalities on our roads.

With those few comments, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take my seat.

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I wasn't going to get up and speak on this bill, Bill No. 97, but I stood in this House approximately two years ago and spoke on a similar bill with the cellphone. This time it is about texting. The next time we stand up here, in a year or two, it will probably be about reading a newspaper and we won't be able to do that. The next time we stand up it will be about drinking coffee in our car, and the next time

[Page 4223]

we stand up in here there will be another bill. There will just be bills and bills piling up on the little tiny things we can't do while we're driving a car.

Mr. Speaker, I have to repeat again what happened to me 41 years ago - 41 years ago I went to take a driver's test in Digby, Nova Scotia. I got into the car and I thought I was doing everything right. I was going down the road and I took one of my hands off the wheel, out of the two o'clock and 10 o'clock positions. I took one off and relaxed it. I made sure to put that hand back on that wheel in that two o'clock position. If not, I was going back to where we started and I would not receive a licence.

The only way I could take my hands out of that position was to put a blinker on with my left hand or, if a standard car, I shifted with this hand. Other than that, my hands never left the two o'clock and 10 o'clock positions. I always thought, for 41 years, that was the law in this province. I'm finding out it is not, I guess it is not, nobody can find this law anywhere. I was taught wrong, from day one, that my hands in the 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock positions on that steering wheel was wrong.

Here we are, going to go bill by bill in this House. What is going to be next? No newspapers, no putting makeup on in the cars, no opening coffee cups in the cars. Is it going to be going bill by bill? I want to get ready for the next bill that comes up in this House that I've got to stand up and say the same thing again, if I'm still around here.

There's got to be a law, I thought there was a law. So let's make a law, and let's put it in this bill, that if you hands aren't in the two o'clock and 10 o'clock positions on that steering wheel, when you meet an RCMP officer, you are going to jail, unless you are putting the blinker on or shifting a standard car. Mr. Speaker, that's all I wanted to say about that and it sounds like good common sense to me.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 97. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 98.

Bill No. 98 - Solemnization of Marriage Act.

[Page 4224]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 98.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 98. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 113.

Bill No. 113 - Clothesline Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: The Minister of Energy responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia, to be absolutely clear, Mr. Speaker.

First of all, I'd like to move second reading of Bill No. 113, and I'm pleased to bring forward a bill to prevent the prohibition of the use of clotheslines, which will allow homeowners in the province to use clotheslines regardless of restrictive covenants. This will apply across the province.

In researching this bill, staff spoke to several developers who indicated that, while they have covenants prohibiting clotheslines in the communities, they generally don't enforce them. You move into that particular development, however, it's there - but they don't enforce it. However, there are clothesline covenants in the province that are still in force - for example, a newer community located in the Annapolis Valley that includes clotheslines in restrictive covenants, and the developers indicated that they are enforced.

[Page 4225]

There is also confusion among homeowners who may have signed an agreement a decade or so ago when they bought a new home and they're not sure of whether it's still being enforced.

Nova Scotians should have clarity on this point, and as a province we need to send a clear message that we support Nova Scotians in their efforts to reduce their energy use. Nova Scotians want to know what they can do to save money and they want to contribute to a better environment. Line-drying clothes is a simple and effective way to do both.

We know that using clotheslines or drying racks for laundry can save up to 10 per cent of a home's residential energy, saving the homeowner money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is a change that we're proposing to help make life more affordable for Nova Scotians and, of course, to deal with the greenhouse effect.

In conclusion, before I wrap up, I'd like to emphasize that Bill No. 113 is a piece of legislation that will clarify confusion around the topic of covenants for homeowners. No longer will covenants include the prohibition of clotheslines.

I'd also like to compliment the many Nova Scotians, many who live in my community, who are conscious of energy and continuing environmental concerns as they make the deliberate choice of using clotheslines in their neighbourhood and in their community.

Finally, I've heard from Opposition members that this is one of a number of pieces of legislation that should be bundled together in enabling legislation in what is called omnibus bills. Having spent more than a decade on that side of the House, I know that I'm on the record with a number of patented, lengthy rants about such omnibus bills and the need to allow separate pieces of legislation to be judged on their own merit.

Private Members' Bills have a role in this Legislature. I heard the member for Richmond talk about it earlier. In fact, as an Opposition MLA, I introduced such bills. One in particular stood on its own and received the support of the government of the day, which resulted in the provincial park in Lewis Lake being renamed after Jerry Lawrence, a previous Progressive Conservative MLA and a Cabinet Minister from that area. This was a piece of legislation that stood on its own merit and was passed in this Chamber.

Now, two of my colleagues, the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island and the member for Halifax Chebucto, who you will hear from later, have introduced Private Members' Bills while in Opposition on the topics of yielding to buses and clotheslines, respectively. Such legislation stands alone as a Private Member's Bill in Opposition and they each deserve the same respect as government bills today. That's the basis of Private

[Page 4226]

Members' Bills on that side of the House, and when we get in government, as we are now, we have the opportunity for a government bill.

[7:00 p.m.]

To the members opposite who are trumpeting an omnibus bill enabling legislation, be careful what you wish for. I stood there and made the point on numerous occasions, this would be a good bill with a particular clause that I could support, but I'm not going to support an omnibus bill. I know you're playing the game. They're saying there are so many pieces of legislation that are going to be introduced.

This is a piece of legislation the member for Halifax Chebucto took the time to do a great deal of research when he was in Opposition. When I became Minister of Energy, one of the first things the member for Halifax Chebucto said to me was, could we please bring forth this clothesline legislation? It is a covenant of some consequence, it serves a useful purpose, and it's a topic of interest for homeowners in constituencies like mine across this province.

I look forward to members of all sides of the House supporting this legislation, a Private Member's Bill in Opposition, a government member's bill with the NDP in power. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I guess when you speak out against the convention centre, you don't get to introduce your own bill. (Interruptions) The thing is, I've got an hour, right? I can stand here and wait until it gets quiet enough to hear myself.

Let me start by saying that I don't think there is anybody, at least in the Liberal caucus, who thinks that covenants should be able to prohibit clotheslines. I really don't. Let me add that I live in a subdivision that prohibits clotheslines and I have one up anyway. Frankly, I don't really care what the developer says about it. The fact is that the vast majority of these covenants, regardless of what they are, aren't enforced anywhere.

I know the minister did mention some cases where they are. Interestingly, many of the ones that our researchers could find were actually in the riding of Kings South, where they have covenants prohibiting clotheslines, which is kind of intriguing. I'm not sure why there are so many covenants in Kings South prohibiting clotheslines, but apparently it was a major issue there.

I think, to some extent, the minister may misinterpret what has been said about the omnibus bills, especially as it relates to this and especially the enabling legislation. This was introduced the other day and trumpeted by this government as one of three bills that would lead the work of the Suburban Priorities Team, which it had appointed on that day. In fact,

[Page 4227]

this is a bill the member for Halifax Chebucto, by the minister's own admission, had done the work on in Opposition, had introduced in Opposition. The Suburban Priorities Team had nothing to do with it, yet this was one of the bills introduced - the so-called bills that the Suburban Priorities Team had created.

We all know the member for Halifax Chebucto is responsible for this bill, and it's a shame that the government wouldn't allow that member to bring this forward as a Private Member's Bill - it's not going to be part of other legislation - and let it go forward so it continues to have his name on it, as it should.

As a government bill - and here's why that matters, and why that should matter to many Nova Scotians who live in subdivisions with covenants. If you look at the covenants in my subdivision or the subdivisions of many members of this House, there are a number of egregious prohibitions in those covenants, many of which would not be enforced. But if the government wanted to truly deal with this, the reason why enabling legislation may have been more valuable is because there are many things that appear in covenants written by developers that probably shouldn't be there. Those things are going to differ from community to community in terms of what's appropriate.

Why wouldn't we allow - when a development is being considered - the municipality to deal with what should and should not be in a covenant? I do not believe that a covenant should restrict the use of clotheslines or - my wife calls them mushrooms, I don't know what they're really called - the ones with the pole, and they look kind of like a giant umbrella with strings on it. The fact of the matter is that, for example - and since we're going to get into the minutia of it here - there are a number of covenants in metro which prohibit the keeping of chickens. Well, we all know that despite the fact that regional council in Halifax has never once actually discussed the issue of chickens, the member for Halifax Chebucto's riding was the site of a big court fight last year over that very issue, yet there are many subdivisions that prohibit that.

Why wouldn't you have enabling legislation that allowed municipalities to deal with the issue of covenants and they can deal with those issues so they don't need to be dealt with here. Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that makes a heck of a lot more sense because there are things such as the placement of oil tanks, enclosed oil tanks, in fact, there are guidelines in downtown Halifax in some areas which prohibit the natural gas meters on the outside, which has been an ongoing problem. The municipality has the ability to deal with that and try to work it out without coming here.

I don't disagree with the minister or the member for Halifax Chebucto that there is a need for provincial legislation before the municipalities could actually deal with that issue, I agree with that, that is absolutely correct. The member for Halifax Chebucto did that research in Opposition and figured it out.

[Page 4228]

The problem is, and this comes down to exactly what the member for Digby-Annapolis was talking about just a few minutes ago when he said that every year it seems we come forward with another prohibition in the Motor Vehicle Act, now that we are prohibiting one thing in covenants, quite rightly, there's going to be another one that is going to come and say well, you know my covenants have this. My covenant doesn't allow vegetable gardens, for example. When we talk to the growing urban agriculture community, there are covenants in this municipality and others that wouldn't allow that sort of activity. Does that mean we are now going to have to come forward with another bill that will address that single issue? That is why enabling legislation makes more sense, because there are many more issues in covenants exactly like this that the minister and this government could have dealt with all at once. Instead, we are going to have a number of these come forward.

The minister stood up introduced this as an Energy bill through Conserve Nova Scotia and that's fine. I don't disagree on the merits and I'm sure the member for Halifax Chebucto is going to get up and talk about the merits of using clotheslines. Frankly, Mr. Speaker, I've experienced them myself. The reason I put it up was to save electricity and it has worked. I can see it on my power bills in the summer every year. You are absolutely right that it works.

It really comes down to the issue that if we're going to deal with the big issues in this House, let's deal with the real issue, which is covenants generally, because there's somebody with some land who decides to sell a bunch of properties in a subdivision and makes up whatever covenants they want and ties them to a deed. This is something that shouldn't be in them, but there's a lot of other things that shouldn't be in them.

Mr. Speaker, I hadn't thought about it this morning on the way over, but I was going to bring the covenants from my own subdivision and table them because some of the things that are in it are crazy. If you wanted to change your snow tires over yourself, you can't do that on your property under the covenants that we have. It goes from everything from that to if you wanted a home-based business, despite being allowed by the municipality, the number of cars that could show up in a day is restricted in the covenants. There are lots of ridiculous things in covenants. We need to be able to find a better way of dealing with them because I just can't imagine that the government wants to have every single one of those complaints end up on the floor of this Legislature every single time there's an issue with a covenant. That's really what it's about.

This isn't about - for me or for any of the other members of our caucus - whether clotheslines should or should not be allowed, because I think that most Nova Scotians, maybe all Nova Scotians, would agree that's a crazy thing to prohibit, but there are lots of other things in covenants that are crazy to prohibit, so why not create legislation that works for all situations and can allow this Legislature to deal with the broader issues and the bigger issues on a go forward basis instead of creating a situation where - this piece of legislation will pass, I don't have any doubt about that, it may very well pass with all-Party support, but

[Page 4229]

the fact is that the next thing we need to ban from covenants will be (Interruption) I'm not even going to say it because I just don't want to have that debate in this Legislature and the member over there knows. It may very well come from the member for Halifax Chebucto's riding since that's where the fight seems to always be. I don't know what it is about the member for Halifax Chebucto's riding that they seem to have all those little fights that make the news.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, it's not about whether banning clotheslines is the right thing, or banning the restrictions on clotheslines in conveyance is the right thing to do or not, it's about what is the appropriate use of time in the Legislature. There is an issue with covenants, there is absolutely an issue with covenants in every part of this province and in most subdivisions. But why don't we come up with a solution that deals with all the problems and let the communities decide what's appropriate in a covenant and what's not.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it's my honour to stand for a few moments to speak to this bill. I want to send a special congratulations to the member for Halifax Chebucto for his bill finally seeing the floor of the House even though it was stolen by the Minister of Energy to be brought forward. I thought it would be nice if the member for Halifax Chebucto would have been able to bring it forward.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would ask that the honourable member retract the word "stolen". (Interruptions)

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Borrowed, borrowed, I'll take stolen away and I'll say borrowed.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Thank you, I want to thank the Deputy Premier for, he was left out to hang and dry on this one, you know. Who says the Deputy Premier doesn't have a good thing to say sometimes?

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to agree a little bit with the member for Dartmouth East on this one, I will, I had to do it. I know the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville has trouble on us standing and speaking to some of these bills but it's my right as a member of this Legislature to spend up to an hour on a bill and to speak as long as I want really. I mean, how many words is this? This is not a lot of words - it's six clauses. Again, it's less than a sheet of paper. It's less than a sheet of paper.

Mr. Speaker, you know, we're trying to be green, I guess, is what we're trying to be. The member for Halifax Chebucto is really trying to be green in most cases but ultimately

[Page 4230]

we're trying to be green. Again, we're printing thousands and thousands of pages for bills when we could, you know, call it a smart Energy bill and put idling and clotheslines in it, or something like that. I know the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal had a good point. I don't know if it was the best point but it was a good point of when a good issue comes forward, we should have it in a separate bill, that we shouldn't hide things in omnibus bills. But ultimately, when they are only half a page, then maybe we should try to be a little more conscious of the paperwork that we create as we go through this.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am a rural person. I maybe am not as smart as some of our learned people in here but I think a clothesline tends to fit into that no-brainer category. If you want to put up a clothesline, go put up a darn clothesline because it is the most efficient way to dry your clothes - the most green way to do it. So this, in my mind, doesn't require a piece of legislation to be discussed and brought forward to this Assembly.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: It's a number.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much to the member for Cape Breton South, this is a number, it's a number, if we're going to wrack up all these bills - and I know that the Deputy Premier, the Premier, and whoever will be standing side by side in front of the media and say look at the good work that we did as a government, look at the good work that we did, we've put - I mean how many bills are we at now? Well, we're at 119 but, of course, we're not going to pass all of them but, you know, is it going to be 38, is it going to be 40, look at the good work that we were able to do.

We legislated common sense. Common sense is a hard thing to legislate, Mr. Speaker, and ultimately that's what they're trying to do, you know, taking a common-sense issue and making it into a piece of legislation and say that you must, or you shall therefore do, when the common folk would probably just say I'm going to put up a clothesline anyway. The member for Dartmouth East says he has a covenant on his property and he put up a clothesline.

[7:15 p.m.]

Now, here's a member of our Assembly, here is an ex-Halifax councilman and he was smart enough to put up a clothesline when he wanted to put up a clothesline. I think Nova Scotians are smart enough that if they want a clothesline that they're going to put one up. Now, maybe in Halifax Chebucto that doesn't happen regularly. Maybe the member for Halifax Chebucto needs to put up more clotheslines to hang all the mittens and the gloves that he's going to pick up over the next few months in winter. I'll help him out too, because I do find stray ones here and there, and maybe I'll find a couple of matches. Hey, I've got two kids and I can say - I think Anne, my wife, bought them each five pairs of mittens already and we don't have those five pairs anymore. I think we're down to two pairs each and I think they're actually odd pairs. Maybe the member for Halifax Chebucto needs a clothesline to wash his mittens as he goes down, so that's the point that I'm trying to make.

[Page 4231]

Again, it's the issue of a bill that is taking up our time. The member for Dartmouth East is quite right, this is a municipal issue. This is not a provincial issue. This is not one that we needed to talk about. This is not one that I really cherish standing and having to talk to, but it was brought to the floor and therefore I believe it requires some debate.

I don't have a covenant on my house. I'm lucky that I found the property that I found a long time ago and it had a clothesline on it already. I replaced it once already, but I can tell you, I put some good (Interruptions) Actually, I had rope first and the rope didn't last as long as I wanted it to, so I did put up some of that rubber-coated wire and that seems to be working really well. I can say that I, on many occasions, find myself putting clothes on the line.

As you know, as I said, I do have two children who aren't in Cubs or Scouts - I wish they were at times, but we don't have a Cub or Scout group close enough to home to be able to bring them to. (Interruptions) I'm here talking to clothesline bills, so it's really hard for me to spend the time being a Scoutmaster, as I was for a very long time. My 20 years in the Scouting movement helped me be at the floor of this Legislature and be able to distinguish what's wrong and what's right. Bringing something like this to the House is - I won't say wrong. Wrong is the wrong word. Does that make it the right word? Does that make the right word? (Interruptions) Makes it unnecessary - the point is that it's unnecessary to have this before us.

As we make our count of the bills that are brought forward and passed in this House, we're not going to count this one. This one is not on the count, just like many of the other ones are not on the count right now. There are two or three of them here that I can say are good debates, are interesting, are of merit, which will truly impact the lives of Nova Scotians. This one is just silly. Thank you very much for having the opportunity to speak to it today.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: I'm glad the honourable members are practising their applause, because I'm rising to make an introduction. Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the members of the House to the presence in the gallery of a troop of Scouts. This is the 36th Halifax Scout Troop, Saint Thomas Aquinas Church. There are 25 members of this troop, along with their leaders, Howard Donohoe - who many of us will recognize as a retired provincial civil servant - Jesse Horodyski, and Patricia Figueredo. I would like the members, now that they're in practice, to show the members of the troop a very warm welcome to our proceedings this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all visitors to the gallery; enjoy the proceedings.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

[Page 4232]

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, every once in awhile - perhaps I should say every once in every long while, and contrary to experience and expectation - something actually goes right for a change and this bill is an example. Bill No. 113, which shows the endorsement of this House for the use of solar-powered clothes dryers is exactly the kind of legislation that we would wish to see come forward and that I, personally, am happy to see come forward.

I have to say, I've been somewhat puzzled by some of the comments that I have heard, both here, formally, on the floor and outside this Chamber. One of the first comments that was made is that there were no real examples of such restrictive covenants or bylaws and there was a questioning of the need for this kind of legislation. Now, I've heard other comments, I've heard a suggestion that the legislation is too small an item really to merit the consideration, discretely, of the House, that we should concentrate on large issues. Then I've heard a suggestion that this is a municipal issue, perhaps not a provincial issue. Then I've heard a suggestion that perhaps all covenants should be addressed. Well, I'd like to turn to each of these points as we continue our discussion of Bill No. 113.

Let's remind ourselves of what it is that actually happened with this bill. It has its origins, as several members have pointed out, in a Private Member's Bill, which I introduced in 2007 when our Party was the Opposition. It had an interesting thrust at the time. It was a bill that was designed, I have to say quite frankly, to poke somewhat at Conserve Nova Scotia. It was designed to poke at an agency that had been created by the government in power at the time, which claimed that it was interested in serious measures of reduction of conservation in electrical energy, but wasn't actually doing a great deal.

This suggestion of negativing restrictive covenants and precluding municipalities from banning clotheslines by way of bylaw was one of several suggestions that were put forward in this bill that I introduced in 2007 to really try to suggest that Conserve Nova Scotia should probably take a more expansive view of what it is that it could do, itself and, indeed, to suggest to the government of the day that they should take a more expansive view of the Department of Energy portfolio and take seriously what is a necessary transformation of how we live our lives so far as our energy consumption in this province is concerned.

Because it was packaged together with a number of other small items, perhaps it was not seen as addressing the whole of the portfolio of the Department of Energy. Now, with a change in government, I'm very happy that the Minister of Energy, in our government, is backing this particular suggestion.

You know, it's not the only thing this government is doing on energy. You have to think about small items in the context of overall energy policy. There is a place for small items so long as the government doesn't limit itself to small items, so long as the government is taking the lead in putting forward a larger energy agenda, then, in fact, I'm quite happy to

[Page 4233]

see a discrete bill that deals with a small item, come forward, because I know that there's a context within which that small item operates that is in the appropriate context.

Let's remind ourselves that this small item comes forward in a context in which the government has pledged itself to reaching a target of 40 per cent of our electricity to be generated by renewables by the year 2020, that's a lead in our country, that is a standard that we intend to meet and that's an important step forward. (Applause)

Not only that, this is a province where we are taking important steps to advance research in tidal energy, which is going to be a great thing for our province when it reaches the level of commercial production. And there's more. DSM, demand side management, is an initiative, likewise of this government, and it has been put through the approval process in front of the Utility and Review Board and it's now about to go into place. That's something that's a real achievement that has gone forward and I'm happy to see it.

Furthermore, now we see across the province the actual installation of wind farms. In several places we're now up to 280 megawatts of installed electrical energy based in wind power. This is a real move toward renewables. It's within that kind of a context that I see a small item coming forward which is nonetheless important even in itself. (Applause)

And last week we saw the announcement - the joint announcement between the Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia - of their intention to go forward to bring some of the power, the Lower Churchill, by an undersea connection to our province. That is a great thing, and if that should come to fruition, that will also be a big step forward in terms of renewables, in terms of meeting our 40 per cent target here. And of course, it will be important for economic development.

It's within that context that I'm happy to see Bill No. 113 come forward. Although I've characterized it as a small thing, in households it's 6 per cent of the electrical consumption in a typical household. That's what using the dryer represents. That is no small thing. The same day, I think, that we saw this bill come forward last week, was the day the honourable Minister of Agriculture put, in front of this House, his report on agricultural strategy. If you look at the production numbers for the agricultural sector in Nova Scotia, our apple sector is only 6 per cent.

But 6 per cent is our apple sector, 6 per cent is a typical household consumption, through their dryer - that's something that's worthwhile paying attention to. That's how you put together a comprehensive strategy to get us to that 40 per cent level of using renewables or, in fact, reducing our electrical use, because reducing our electrical use is a much better way of going about doing our business. I think that's where we're going.

So, there are actual good effects that will come from this particular bill. Furthermore, the bill has the virtue of sending a good message. Many people aren't directly affected by a

[Page 4234]

restrictive covenant, and certainly I haven't actually found any bylaws in our province that would prohibit the use of clotheslines, but there are restrictive covenants out there. The vast majority of people are not affected by them and yet, when they see this bill come forward, people at large will remind themselves that they can use clotheslines and if they don't have them they should put them up and use them. That's the symbolic value that goes along with the real value of Bill No. 113.

The thrust of the bill is that it negatives any bylaws and it negatives restrictive covenants. We do know there are actual examples of restrictive covenants that say that. We do know there are subdivisions that have been built in our province, and in many other provinces, that actually do have included within them a prohibition against putting up clotheslines. For whatever reason, they're there.

We heard the member for Dartmouth East say that he lives in such a subdivision. I know that when I introduced the bill in 2007, as a member of the Opposition, I got e-mails and letters and phone calls from people all around our province saying that they were happy this bill had been introduced and was it the law now, they were asking. They lived in subdivisions where they were prohibited from putting up clotheslines and they didn't like it. They didn't like it. They understood that this was something that was contrary to the thrust that they would like to have had to do something that they would see as being energy efficient - and, I would also say, quite beautiful on their own property.

[7:30 p.m.]

I also know that I can give yet one other example that I wasn't previously aware of, and I want to thank my colleague, the member for Antigonish, for pointing out for me that just outside the Town of Antigonish there is a subdivision called the Mount Cameron subdivision which is, I understand, a subdivision of very nice, single-family homes. This is a subdivision that was developed with such a restrictive covenant - and there are examples from all around the province, so we shouldn't think that this is not a real problem when it comes to the existence of restrictive covenants.

There are movements in other provinces and in the United States to try to negative these restrictive covenants that prohibit the use of clotheslines. There are Web sites - there is what I would regard as a perhaps unfortunately named Web site called the Right to Dry. This is perhaps not the happiest choice of names for a slogan, but the thrust of the idea is that groups want to eliminate these restrictive covenants and it is endorsed, this idea, by the Sierra Club in the United States and in Canada.

[Page 4235]

This is something that in bringing in such a bill, it puts us as one of the leaders in North America on this particular small, but real, point. Now I want to turn to two of the other points that were made. The next one is this question that this is a municipal issue and it's not really something that is appropriate for the Legislature. If that's the implication, of course that's not correct. It's only the Legislature that can negative a restrictive covenant, the municipalities have no such power.

It is true that municipalities get to do detailed land use planning. That's what municipalities are there for and they have a wide array of powers, including a wide array of powers to deal with environmental, including energy issues, but they don't have this power; they don't have the power to negative a restrictive covenant. That's a question of property law that belongs in the Legislature; it's a question of property law that only this House can address. We not only set the legal context for municipalities, which we're doing by saying to them in this bill that they can't pass certain kinds of bylaws but we are taking the lead in coming to grips with this issue of a restrictive covenant and negativing it. That is something that can only happen here.

Let me turn to another point that was made, that if we're going to come to grips with the problem of a particular kind of restrictive covenant, maybe we should come to grips with all the restrictive covenants out there. Now restrictive covenants are an interesting device. They date back about 175 years and, in terms of the court's recognition of certain conditions that apply to when they can be valid and when they are not valid, there's a lot of jurisprudence that goes along with them, but the main point is that they predated detailed land use regulation by municipalities. If there were going to be some kind of restrictions on the use of land by private owners, then restrictive covenant was pretty well the main tool that existed before the regime of official planning and land use bylaw became commonplace and became as sophisticated as it is now.

There are a lot of restrictive covenants out there: some of them create rights-of-way; some of them talk about the fact that only single-family dwellings can be constructed in certain subdivisions; some of them give a dollar value to the kind of home that can be constructed; and some of them, amazingly, prohibit firewood from being stacked beside the house.

There's a long list of potential restrictive covenants. Some of them restrict the kind of use beyond residential, and say that other kinds of uses are not allowed. Interestingly, both restrictive covenants, if they're valid, and land use bylaws, as passed by the municipality, can have parallel legal effect at the same time. The way to understand that is that the most restrictive rule, if it's a valid rule, probably applies.

So if one's wondering what you can do with your property, the answer is not always totally found by going to the municipality and asking about the zoning. If there's a restrictive covenant, you also have to obey that, but the suggestion was made that we should negative all restrictive covenants through our legislation tonight. That's not necessarily appropriate,

[Page 4236]

because we don't know what the content of all those restrictive covenants might be. Furthermore, a mechanism actually does exist in the law right now for getting rid of a restrictive covenant that has outlived its usefulness.

The Real Property Act allows an application to be made to a Supreme Court judge to obtain a declaration from that judge that a restrictive covenant has outlived its usefulness and should be declared to be no longer enforceable. That would not be the route that we've chosen when it comes to clotheslines. There's no point in saying that in each and every subdivision that might have that restrictive covenant, someone in that subdivision should go to court, along with its attendant costs and uncertainties of result, and have to do it subdivision by subdivision - that's obviously not the right approach. So although we're not going to negative all restrictive covenants, it makes sense to negative this particular restrictive covenant.

A couple of other points were made - not, I think, in this debate, but in allied debates - in which some criticisms were made of the array of individual Statutes that have come forward from the government in this session. One was a suggestion with respect to some bills, that they could be done by regulation; another was a suggestion that some bills could accomplish their aims through education of the public. Well, first, of course, this bill is not something where the aim could be accomplished by regulation. There is no mechanism that exists to allow that; nor, indeed, is this something where the aim could be achieved by education - it's simply not an option. Education is important to go along with this, but it is in fact not something that would be efficacious the same way this bill is.

A few final points that I would like to make, Mr. Speaker. One is that there is nothing in this bill that talks about how a wash is to be hung out once you have a laundry line. I know this to be a contentious issue in many households. There is a phrase: Can you hang out a good wash? That statement is often made by neighbours about each other - do they hang out a good wash? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto has the floor.

MR. EPSTEIN: Neither when I was a member in Opposition, in the bill that I introduced there nor in Bill No. 113 is there any attempt to tell anyone whether their jeans are to be hung up by the waist or by the legs, or what is an appropriate item to be on the line, or what items are to be hung out together. This is purely a matter for the private choice of the good citizens of Nova Scotia; they will make up their own mind about this. What we are doing with Bill No. 113 is we are setting the context so that they can hang out whatever they want on their line, be it mittens (Interruptions)

As I understand, some people choose to do, it's worthwhile noticing that they can do it all year round if they wish, or only part of the season. That's their choice. We hope,

[Page 4237]

however, that the virtue of this is that once the legal context has been set, we certainly do wish to be on record as saying we encourage the newly-liberated residents of those subdivisions that have had these covenants to get out there and build and use their solar-powered clothes dryers. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Well, Mr. Speaker, after that last speech I am sort of lost for words. I've got to sort of collect my thoughts here. When you compare clotheslines to a tidal power project in the Bay of Fundy, it is sort of stretching it, I think, a little bit.

Anyway, we talk about clotheslines and I think clotheslines are a good idea. They do, indeed, save some energy and that's debatable how much they do save. You can't say clearly that it is 6 per cent or 10 per cent of your power bill because it depends on the amount of laundry you do, how big a household you have and how efficient your dryer is. Regardless of what the percentage is, you do save money by using clothes dryers. (Interruption)

My honourable colleague who lives in a subdivision that has banned clotheslines, which she has one in, knows that for a fact. In my area banning clotheslines isn't really an issue where I live, in a rural area, and indeed, it's not a problem but it is a problem in other areas.

The problem with this bill is, as my colleagues have said, this should be enabling legislation for all municipalities in the province so that they can allow the municipalities to control how these covenants are put in place or not put in place and would give the opportunity and responsibility really where it lies, with the municipalities.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto said how wonderful all this was and how windmills are doing a great thing. Then when you talk on the other side of what the municipalities have done - I spoke about it the other day - we've got a beautiful windmill up in Porter's Lake by the Superstore and the Superstore was going to put them in every Superstore they own, every one. It would help cut about 30 per cent of their total power bill, which is a significant power bill. The municipal government came along and banned them, they can't put them up any more. Why isn't the province eliminating that possibility with the municipalities so they can't do it anymore? No, they won't take the responsibility and do that. That would save millions and millions of dollars in energy costs and, indeed, would help many residents by, hopefully, lower costs at your grocery store.

It's a simple thing but yet they talk about a clothesline that will make some difference but so small that you're not going to be able to really measure it in the great picture of what's going on here. They're talking about, the other government, in 2020 to 40 per cent renewable. Are they going to do it one clothesline at a time?( Interruptions) Yes, must be,

[Page 4238]

one clothesline at a time. Well I'm telling you that we are going to have to shut off a lot of lights to make that happen.

In reality, this bill wastes a lot of time in this Legislature. We've got an economy that is in crisis, we've got a province that really needs more jobs and we're banning clotheslines, or eliminating the ban on clotheslines in some subdivisions.

Really these covenants, I can tell you from being a municipal councillor in the past, covenants are only as good as the people who enforce them. Typically the developer comes along, he puts all these wonderful covenants in place so he can sell places. Now his whole goal is to get the price up on a house and sell the place. Then what happens is, he fills up all the subdivision, sells all his lots, builds all the houses on it, he is gone and guess what? Nobody is there to enforce this after that. Some of these covenants - not this one, but other covenants - are really positive things in a community. Then, when no one enforces them, it is up to the residents and an individual resident can't do it, a residents' association can't do it - only the person who built the subdivision.

[7:45 p.m.]

When you look at these things, this bill borders on being what the chicken debate and the cat debate did that they had in the regional municipality, a lot of wasted time that was as they went through the whole process. If you talk to anybody about the cat bylaw in my riding, they're either furious they didn't put it in place or furious they talked about it. (Interruption) Like my colleague says, now they can hang them on the clothesline, but we wouldn't want to see that happen, definitely not.

When you go through this whole process, comparing the tidal project in the Bay of Fundy to a clothesline and indicating that all these wind farms are going in place, this government has done nothing to eliminate their aggressive municipal tax structure that's in place for windmills, nothing. There has been nothing done on that. When you check that, the last government made an attempt at it but unfortunately it only helped the existing people and it did cost the taxpayers of this province money.

The only way we're ever going to get total renewable energy in this province is to have a complete plan to do it, a proper plan. One of the ministers put a program forward, the regional municipality's going to do with the solar-heated hot water - that's not a bad idea and it will save some cost. But the payback, I think, is going to be way too long for what it is. Indeed, it's going to put a lot of stress on some people if circumstances change for them.

When you look at this whole issue of renewable energy, we've got to look at everything that's there and we have to make it easy for people, we've got to make it affordable for people to do these things and encourage them. That could be some interest-free loans from the government or low interest loans from the government. It could be some

[Page 4239]

subsidies on buying and installing this equipment. It could be improvements like they did years ago in the 1970s. I can recall an energy saving program that the federal government brought out, probably one of the best things they ever did. People insulated their homes, they put new windows and doors in and did a lot of things that really did help. I can tell you that made a difference in the long term.

The government is not looking at things like, how do we get our heating costs down in our homes, the simplest possible thing you can do. I did some work on my home this year and it has made an incredible difference in how easy it is to heat and I'm sure next summer, when it gets really hot, it will be even easier for the house to stay cool without air conditioning. You have to do those things. Before I did the renovations on my home, there was no way solar energy would have worked, it wouldn't have worked. Today, it will work.

I'll just give you an example. This morning I got up and our house was at 20 degrees Celsius. We normally run a wood stove and today we didn't light it. When I came home just before I came to Legislature at around 2:30 p.m., the temperature in the house had gone up two degrees just from the solar energy coming in through the windows. Last year, before the insulation was put in place, that wouldn't have happened. It would have probably gone five or 10 degrees lower, even though it wasn't a really cold day. These are the things we have to look at.

If we're going to do these things, let's do them right. Let's make sure that the municipality has the ability to do these things - all the municipalities, not just one - and look at these things and see if they're ridiculous or not. Not having a clothesline, I think, is ridiculous. I mean, it's common sense to have one and probably anyone that really does want one has put one in anyway, unless you live in a community that really frowns on everything.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto talked about wood piled outside of a house. I mean, that's been the history of Nova Scotia ever since it began. When you do these things, you have to use some common sense and in the past people haven't used common sense when they put some of these covenants in place.

I can remember a friend of mine telling me he lived in Ottawa and you weren't even allowed to have a half-ton truck on your street. He said that when you had to get furniture delivered, you had to get a great big moving van to bring furniture in. You weren't allowed to park a half-ton truck in your yard, ever, or on the street in front of your house. You talk about a ridiculous covenant - somebody who did that really wasn't thinking of the consequences of what that meant. If we did that in Nova Scotia there would be a lot less traffic on the roads because there would be very few half-ton trucks around, which are so badly needed for people to earn a living and also to move goods around.

When you talk about this clothesline bill, Bill No. 113, it makes you wonder why the government would bring something like this forward when there are so many things they

[Page 4240]

need to do. We've got to look at renewable energy, seriously look at it, not just do half a job on this thing, you've got to do a full job and you've got to really go forward on it. If you don't put programs in places to cut down the cost of heating homes, it might make more efficient the existing systems we have today and then really make it possible to use solar energy of all different types, either to charge batteries or to get direct heat from it, either way, or use windmills or wind energy to do this, you've got to have a building or a structure that is more efficient to use, because you have to do both sides of the equation.

It's really hard to believe that they put this clothesline bill in without making it global, for the whole province and also enabling the municipalities to control covenants in places so, if there's indeed a covenant that makes sense for a community that the municipality can put it in a bylaw, then it can be enforced by the municipality. If it doesn't make sense, don't put it in place or, if something is there that shouldn't be, like clotheslines or some other things like that, it should be eliminated.

With those few words I'm going to take my place. We'll probably support this bill as it goes through, not because it is really going to make a whole lot of difference in our overall energy picture but it is a tiny, little thing and tiny, little things all add up over time. Hopefully this tiny, little thing will spur some more sensible and more aggressive things that will really make some difference, a significant difference and a better, broader outlook on what really this is. This government needs some imagination, it really needs some direction here. I hope that they realize that by 2020 they won't be in government any more, so their 40 per cent renewable energy target will be met by someone else and probably exceeded by that time.

Anyway, it's been interesting to watch this clothesline issue. Again, I classify it the same as what the municipality went through with the cat bylaw and some of those things that really, over time, don't make a whole lot of difference. If the members opposite would like to hear me longer, they can make some more comments and I'll be glad to speak another half-hour or three-quarters of an hour, I have no problem with that. We can go on and on with this but I think it's about time that this bill is finished and see what happens.

I couldn't clearly hear the member for Halifax Chebucto, I've just got to comment on it. Was he really saying, he was talking about how you are going to hang your clothes out on the clothesline, the proper way? Well, this really, really gets to a point of being ridiculous. (Interruptions) A lot of practice hanging mittens out. Anyway, the idea is that your clothes get dried and hopefully that won't be in the next bill that's coming forward, how you hang your clothes on a clothesline. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, oftentimes I am asked in my constituency office, as an Independent MLA, when do I have the opportunity to actually speak and

[Page 4241]

participate. You know I left my office this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. and informed everybody to tune in, either watch it on their computer or TV, because I figured Bill No. 113 would be called and I have to take the opportunity to speak on it.

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday I was unable to attend the opening day of the session. I was at a funeral in the Premier's area. When I left the funeral, a number of seniors and community members in the Cole Harbour area approached me and asked the question, what is going on in the Legislature? We don't see anything that is impacting people's lives, that is making changes in people's lives. We don't hear anything in the media.

Lo and behold, Mr. Speaker, I go home that night and I see a wonderful photo-op of the New Suburban Task Force. Well, I can tell you, Friday morning, my day began with a number of phone calls, a number of constituents coming in and they had one question on their mind. I know it's hard for the government to hear this but it's a reality I hear every day, unfortunately, since they've taken their term in government - what are the NDP thinking? What are the NDP's priorities in regard to the lives of Nova Scotians? What is really impacting Nova Scotians' lives?

That is the question I had to field all day Friday, Mr. Speaker, so I'm glad to take my place tonight and, like I said, I know it's difficult. I want to congratulate the member for Halifax Chebucto because as legislators, when we spend our time here, at the end of our run, there's those individuals who will say to us and judge our impact and our career by how many pieces of legislation we had passed. I know the former member for Dartmouth East took great pride in bringing in legislation and having it pass and that's what she marked her career by.

Well, there are 52 of us in this House and we have over 900,000 people's lives in our hands. In a week and a half, where we've seen 600 jobs lost in this province, we see a government that's come out and introduced a bill such as this. That's not to negate the importance of it and the importance of it in the realm of the energy plan that the government has. But, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are looking at the timing of this bill, not that it's going to be effective or ineffective, but they're looking at what message this government is sending to people.

I can tell you, the honourable member for Richmond went on a rant the last two Mondays and here we are again on a Monday night, 7:56 p.m., and the member for Richmond went on a rant about Bill No. 87 and the importance of it, or lack of importance of the real issues that we should be here talking about as legislators. Again he talked about Bill No. 88, there's another opportunity.

I guess what people are expecting of us is that we have a full understanding of what impacts legislation actually plays in Nova Scotians' lives. Again, I will not say that this is not an important bill to that individual member, or individuals who might want to have a

[Page 4242]

clothesline, but as we heard from the member for Dartmouth East, he put one up. He's not supposed to, but he put one up and nobody policed him. As an MLA who grew up in a rural area, I can tell you, when we came home from school and we saw the bed sheets hanging out on the clothesline on a nice windy day, we knew we were going to have the best sleep possible. There are all kinds of benefits, other than just energy savings.

But when you're dealing with issues of over 600 job losses, and those individuals from the Larsens plant or TeleTech who are going to have to line up for unemployment insurance and wait six to eight weeks to have money funneling in to feed their families - and then when those benefits run out, if they don't have a job in place, they have to come to the Department of Community Services. What kind of rigmarole are they going to go through for that?

Job loss, Yarmouth - we still have no plan for the Digby ferry. I went down to Chester three months ago and I talked to a woodlot owner who was selling his woodlot because of this government's policies. I stopped into a local restaurant and an individual told me he saw less than 25 U.S. citizens come across and visit his business because of lack of tourism.

But today we're talking about Bill No. 113 and whether we hang our clothes the right way or wrong way, we have to really look at what we're doing here. That's the question. We've talked about covenants and all that's important, but I can tell you that in my eyes - and the e-mails I get and the phone calls I get, they want to know that we know what's going on in everyday people's lives in Nova Scotia. At the end of this session, as the member for Richmond said, they'll stand in their place and they'll recite all the bills and the great pieces of legislation we brought in during this session, but I'll tell you, the message this government needs to know is that Nova Scotians are paying attention. In due time, they will be held accountable.

I want to say one thing. This is what they expect. Where's the good NDP legislation? Not to say this is not a piece, but how much impact is this going to play in the roles of Nova Scotians' lives, especially those 600-plus people who just lost their jobs? Where's the better deal for today's families? I know that come January - in my discussions this week with Nova Scotia Power who are being inundated by the churches calling them already, saying, we're out of money - I know in January, those people are going to be coming to me saying, I can hang out my clothes but I can't feed my family and I can't pay for the roof over my head. That's what Nova Scotians want to know that this government understands.

Bill No. 113 - I'll support it, congratulate the member, he'll go away in due time knowing that he finally has this passed. (Laughter) But what Nova Scotians are out there saying right now is that this government - I heard them once in Opposition say the former government was out of touch. Let me tell you, Bill No. 113, when it was announced last week and this suburban task force was put forward, the question's what's going to be next?

[Page 4243]

Are they going to tackle youth crime? Are they going to tackle graffiti with the municipality? What is this suburban task force going to do? What's important to Nova Scotians' lives? We have an injured worker up in the gallery.

[8:00 p.m.]

These are the issues that we should be talking about but I'll support Bill No. 113 but I would be remiss - and I know, again, it's difficult - but I have an obligation to the people in my community to speak to the inadequacy of the piece of legislation that's before us now as far as carrying a huge impact on Nova Scotians' lives. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, it's certainly an honour today to stand and introduce the House to a good friend of mine, Gregor Ash and his daughter Imogen. Gregor is the NDP candidate for Halifax West and the next MP for Halifax West. I'd ask him to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all visitors to the gallery and hope you enjoy the proceedings.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and hark the herald, the dippers sing. Here they are again, the NDP songbook being sung out across the land and I can tell you, with regard to this bill (Interruptions)

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

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, indeed, I have a lot of respect for the honourable Minister of Energy and know his long history in this House and the community. I suppose when coming to government there are certain obligations you have to try to fulfill to appease certain members of your caucus and what we see, as a result of that, is Bill No. 113. As we have witnessed and know, at the end of the day while we are talking about hanging clothes out, as I say, it's really Nova Scotians who have been hung out to dry thus far in this session and that's what we've seen from this government with its actions.

To try and get up here and talk with regard to a clothesline bill, I mean, really, what have we brought ourselves to in the sense of what this House should be doing? The truth of the matter is, why wouldn't the minister or the government bring forward a bill and just cede

[Page 4244]

these things over to municipalities and they can make their decisions on a community by community basis, rather than having to feel there is going to be a need to cherry-pick?

What we do know that maybe this is one of those things that the new glee club that was established by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is going to have those five members to do because they're going to go out and hang up clotheslines now as part of their endearing themselves to the people of metro Halifax. The glee members are going to be out there doing their routine and trying to woo the masses, thinking that clotheslines are what's going to get them re-elected in Nova Scotia, but you know, that ain't cutting it and Nova Scotians know it.

I'll tell you, we're talking about clotheslines and the member for Halifax Chebucto - and he's literally had his airing of his issue - finally got a piece of legislation on the floor. He finally has an opportunity to suggest that he has done something so wherever he goes, indeed, he'll be able to say, well look at the great things we're doing and we're reducing our environmental footprint. I can tell you, I'm sure the uptake is going to be so massive, I'm sure he's thought through how he's going to get all the clothes props. I mean, they're going to take down an urban forest to get all these clothes props to go with their clotheslines they're going to put out?

The other thing is, I look at it from the point of view of soon they're going to do this and there are going to be clotheslines everywhere because the glee club that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations has established, they're going to be out there putting them up. Then the next thing you know, they're going to have to bring in new covenants and amend the legislation because people are being offended by unmentionables being hung out to dry - so that small children and people over 80 shouldn't see them. Is that what we're reducing ourselves to here with these bills? That's what the NDP is talking about.

Then, it's not just starting with your clothes dryer because the washing machines are next. The member for Halifax Chebucto will have us down to the river to wash soon and make sure that he's getting a full - because washing machines are using up too much energy as well. I mean, where is the line drawn when it comes to this government? It's not just the ones who are hanging Nova Scotians out on. It's a reality that this NDP Government is willing to tie up good, valuable time to the tune of $20,000 a day, to have us come and talk about the former Opposition member's ability to say, I got something done and that will appease me so I don't have to speak for the next little while, because I haven't been able to to this point.

That's the reality because, you know, when you get up and deal with these issues, someone has to look at, what are the details. The member talked about all the great things they're doing. Well, you know, tidal energy - a previous government's work on putting forward and did the co-operation regionally with the tidal energy projects that moved forward that the current government likes to pat themselves on the back and say that they've done.

[Page 4245]

When they talk about DSM, the demand side management aspects that have all been put in and he wanted to say that this was just a slight to the Conserve Nova Scotia efforts and that this was just a joke before to try to diminish, but all of a sudden it's a good idea now and if it was, then I would hope that the government would have packaged things with regard to an urban or an energy package, or a government bill that actually brought all these matters together if they were truly serious. But they had to piecemeal it so someone could have credit for this bill and someone would get credit for that bill, rather than doing what was necessary.

We talked about wind power. Well, you know, if the member was that convinced that we should be more environmentally enthusiastic, well, why isn't the wind tower up on Citadel Hill now, but I guess that would impact the view of the hill. So, therefore, that would be an issue because, my heavens, green energy from Citadel Hill being generated but it isn't within the confines of what the "view of the hill" folks would think is there, but you could put a clothesline up on Citadel Hill. I'm sure the garrison is going to have clotheslines strung out and all the uniforms will be fully on display and not just marching around Citadel Hill according to this.

I'm sure the glee club will get together and find a way to go out and amass the people of the city to get out there and start stringing things up, like Whoville at Christmastime, the lines will go left, right and centre. That's what we're coming to and, you know, I'm just waiting for Dr. Seuss, Chairman Dexter, to decide how he's going to start conducting, what song, what theme song?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Honourable member, I reminded you last week that it's the honourable Premier. I will ask you to retract that, please.

MR. CLARKE: Well, Mr. Speaker, I haven't had to retract Chairman Dexter before although you don't like it being used.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, you will now.

MR. CLARKE: But, however, I'm sure that the Premier will figure out the theme song to what the glee club because they're going to have to go out and string songs, too, because it helps for those working songs, just like back in the milling frolics, I'm sure there must be a glee club frolic coming so that the NDP, when they're sitting around the caucus table, will have a new milling song.

Maybe the Minister of Gaelic Affairs can come up with a Gaelic milling song for the clothesline glee club members to go around metro and not only help them understand the new advantages to the green energy outcomes they're going to have, but they'll actually learn a little bit more about cultural diversification so that if everyone puts out a clothesline, we won't have to have windmills on the top of Citadel Hill so the view of the Citadel will be

[Page 4246]

maintained and we've seen now very much a conspiratory theorist with regard to what you have to do to get a bill forward in the House and what the outcomes are that this government wants.

Mr. Speaker, we talk about solar power. We've had a bill before the House and some of these things have great merit and, again, part of the cause is that this government is disconnected, if not dysfunctional, on how they bring things together and people wonder why, the public is wondering what the heck is going on, and they wonder about people's confidence.

We can make light of things but I know they talked about Lower Churchill. Well, I remember back to the energy days when we were dealing within the portfolio and dealing with Newfoundland and Labrador and other colleagues, back in the time when very much the Lower Churchill was under development, at that time the code word was it was the Anglo-Saxon route, you know, that was it, anything but coming through Quebec and people were looking at that. The province was talking about would they like to partner and at that time Newfoundland and Labrador was looking at all of its options and finally an outcome has come, but that has been longstanding with regards to dialogue.

I'm glad that things could come forward and get to a modern state because there are substantive things and much larger issues. Lower Churchill does speak to the types of things we should be discussing here, the types of projects, the types of economic development initiatives that should be on the floor of the Legislature for discussion, but instead we're talking about a clothesline. Well, my grandmother could have told the member opposite that common sense would allow government to do common-sense things without tying up the time of this Legislature when regulation and the Cabinet's ability to do things is there before them but instead they need some photo op, they needed some optics to put out there. Instead, we're not talking about the real needs of Nova Scotians, we're not talking about the fact that this government has driven up unemployment rates in southwest Nova Scotia and Yarmouth, they're not talking about the Nova Scotians who are working, they are not talking about the broken commitments they've made to the people of Springhill. Mr. Speaker, they couldn't even keep the Ship Hector afloat. That had to be sold off and what the heck is next?

This government has not dealt with the things that are important to Nova Scotians, as we know. Walk away from any commitment, take investments out of the Justice portfolio, take police officers off the street, take opportunities away, pit urban against rural Nova Scotians, that's what we are doing. But what are we doing on those issues that should be talked about here? We're talking about a clothesline, because a member needs to have some sense that I got something out of this government before I'm gone from government. That's what we know.

Yes, you know he wasn't even allowed to introduce his own bill. Maybe because it was a Private Member's Bill I guess you know where it was going from there. We all know

[Page 4247]

that we all maintain and still have, a very high level of respect for the Minister of Energy so if we bring it in as an energy bill, we're not going to want to dump Bill's bill because we're going to want to respect a member who has had a good tradition in this House and who is respected, I believe unilaterally around the House, and, at the same time, will provide a buffer for another member with a frivolous matter that should have been dealt with outside this House. It should have been dealt with, not tying up the time of this House.

As I said earlier, Mr. Speaker, with regard to other bills brought forward, it's not that we want to be standing up here talking about a clothesline bloody bill, we want to be standing here talking about the issues that are important to Nova Scotians and we want to make sure that the real issues affecting Nova Scotians are being talked about and we're trying to highlight the fact that it's a sad day when we have to be here in a session of the Legislature during an economic downturn, we're trying to get recovery, we have people bringing in clothesline bills. That's the reality we have when this government knows it could have acted unilaterally, could have done it from the Cabinet Room, could have patted themselves on the back but they wouldn't be satisfied with a press release because they needed to count bills and they needed to appease people to say they got legislation through.

That we know as a fact, that is the reality of where we are. That is why we are now part of a day that is costing taxpayers over $20,000 and in the ensuing days will cost taxpayers and hoping that frivolous matters like this, although the outcome not being frivolous, the way it is being presented is frivolous. We cannot be against reducing energy costs. We cannot be against allowing people to have access to a choice, if that's what we're going to do, but we can be against a government that goes at it in a bull-headed way, that goes at it from a perspective that is not one that is the normal process, not one that they couldn't have done elsewhere.

The government knows that, the members know that. That is why we are here at almost 8:13 p.m. and here we are, a day that is costing Nova Scotians valuable money and the lights are on here. You know they are not energy-efficient lights in this building, Mr. Speaker. You know the lights aren't on in the government caucus, I can tell you that. They went out a long time ago and there isn't any energy-efficiency bulb, or any incandescent one that is going to help them have the lightbulb come on and realize that what they are doing as a government is harming the fundamental fabric of Nova Scotian society, is not doing anything to serve the interests of Nova Scotians, is not doing anything to improve legislative outcomes in this Chamber, is not doing anything to improve relations with our municipalities around the province other than but a small group of people.

You know we've talked about restrictive covenants, that was brought up. I'll tell you there will be one restrictive covenant, it is called the next election because Nova Scotians are going to restrict that lot's ability ever get to government again because they're going to make sure that whatever is the choice in the next election, it is not going to be a government that

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brings forward about clotheslines and clothes props and all these other frivolous things that should be dealt with in more efficient manners, through other processes that don't tie up valuable resources at a time when we should be dealing with other things.

Mr. Speaker, it's very clear to us that if we wanted to talk about energy, if we wanted to talk about the demand side advantage, if we wanted to talk about renewables, it would be a great thing to talk about but when the government reduces itself to clotheslines and they reduce themselves to forming a glee club so they can go about hanging these clotheslines, putting in solar panels, they are going to be very busy. They must be doing training from the Beaver pack. The Boy Scouts who were here today, at least they're constructive. They're trying to find out and learn, and they go out to do things and do good deeds. If the government committed themselves in the same manner as the training of the young individuals who were here today, we'd probably be better.

[8:15 p.m.]

We had a bunch of young people come in and be introduced and yet we're talking about a clothesline and they're wondering about their future. They're wondering about the debt that this lot is compounding for them. Those young, resourceful Scouts are going to have to put their Scouting techniques to work to try and find new ways to grow an economy that these people are reducing. Find new ways to create jobs that these people are destroying. Find a new way to deal with legislation that will provide them a future that they can have and the covenant should be by this government to make life better for those young Scouts that were here today. Instead, we're making it less and we're reducing it. We're putting a cost on them that is coming as a result of frivolous things done for very petty, political reasons, rather than for substantive reasons and having a full debate about renewable energy and about the economy of this province and how we can move forward but that's what we're down to.

With that, I'm sure the minister when he gets his bill through will have a great day of proclamation and the glee club will be there with their pompons to cheer on the Minister of Energy and to hoist the member for Halifax Chebucto up on their shoulders and give him the line to string yet another line out to Nova Scotians. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not take my place to say a few words on Bill No. 113, appropriately named the Clothesline Act. I was elected on March 24, 1998 at the same time as the member for Halifax Chebucto and I recall in this House in 2007 when he brought in a similar piece of legislation and may actually have been named the same, the Clothesline Act. I remember at that time that we thought as a Private Members' Bill that this was something that was of interest and was of concern to the member for Halifax Chebucto and that was the appropriate place to bring it in. As a Private Member's

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Bill it was something that he had obviously researched and he had some information on. I think he said tonight that he received emails, he received phone calls and obviously there was some follow-up to this.

When you have an issue such as this, the place for it is a Private Member's Bill. If the government had allowed the member for Halifax Chebucto to introduce this legislation as a private member and tonight would have called it as a Private Member's Bill, I think the discussion tonight would have been significantly different because it was an issue of concern to the member. I believe we had a Private Member's Bill for the member for Halifax Atlantic dealing with the merging of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, or something of that nature, and that's appropriately a Private Member's Bill.

Instead, the government took the member for Halifax Chebucto's bill from 2007 and said, we feel it's so important, we're going to make it government policy and bring it in as a government piece of legislation. That is where I believe you see where the debate has gone tonight and the fact that we're now entering into the realm of being ridiculous and the ideas that this government is bringing forward at a time when there are so many other issues facing Nova Scotians.

One has to ask, a majority government with one of its own members who had introduced legislation, why would they not allow him to re-introduce and call it as a Private Member's Bill? I think it had a pretty good chance of being passed considering this government has a majority so one has to ask, why would you not do that? I would suggest to you, as others have suggested, it is because unfortunately I believe the member for Halifax Chebucto is still not in the good graces of this government due to some of the statements that he has made. I believe when he stood up and he started his comments by saying it's not often governments have good ideas but this is an example of a good idea, I think he was sending a message to the front benches and sending a message to his colleagues. (Interruption)

No, the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island said it's a stretch; I don't consider it a stretch. The member stood there and said, it's not often that there is a good idea and he hasn't seen much but this was one so how can you not interpret that as a shot directly at the Minister of Finance, at the Minister of Justice, and at others on the front bench, that he's not overly impressed with what they've been doing to date? I have to say, I kind of share his opinion when it comes to that. I have not been overly impressed either.

Again, if we were having this discussion as a Private Member's Bill, I think most people would have seen it for what it was, as a small local issue. What was embarrassing is to read about the bill briefing where the Minister of Energy presented this piece of legislation, talking about all Nova Scotians throughout the province who couldn't put up a clothesline, and when the media said give us an example, he didn't have one. Tonight, fortunately, his staff obviously did some research and they gave him an example of a community in the Valley so he could use that in his statement tonight.

[Page 4250]

I'm sure the Minister of Energy went back after that briefing and said, what happened? Why am I introducing this bill as government policy, talking about Nova Scotians who can't put up clotheslines, and no one even gave me an example to give? Had it been the member for Halifax Chebucto bringing it as a Private Member's Bill, I think it's quite clear tonight he could have rhymed off a number of examples of where he saw that Nova Scotians might not clearly have been permitted to put up a clothesline.

I believe in many ways the actions of the government have backfired on them in the way this has been brought forward. I'm sure Nova Scotians who are watching tonight and those who will be following this Legislature are really shaking their heads to believe the government has brought in government legislation to deal with clotheslines.

I recall in this House, for example, when I talk about Private Members' Bills and how they're treated a bit differently, I believe we had a bill declaring a certain rock to be the official rock of Nova Scotia. We had a certain bill dealing with naming a flower as the official flower of Nova Scotia, the official dog of Nova Scotia, the horse - the official horse of Nova Scotia. Each and every one of those bills came in as private members' bills, which was the appropriate place for them.

Tonight I would suggest to you that bringing in a clothesline bill as government legislation will, I believe, truly prove to be an embarrassment to the government at the end of the day when they'll return to the ridings and tell their constituents, what did you do this week? Well, we debated having a clothesline bill in the province.

The discussion tonight has proven that there are few Nova Scotians who are prevented from being able to put up a clothesline or do have concerns that they might be violating some restrictive covenants. Yet it's being brought in as government policy. Usually with such matters, you'd have a petition. A petition signed by Nova Scotians about an issue of concern to them, that they are asking the Legislature to address on their behalf. Yet there are no petitions about people not being able to put up clotheslines. The Minister of Energy gave us one example of a community where this was the case. We're left to wonder, is this an issue of concern to Nova Scotians, from Sydney to Yarmouth, that we should be debating here in this House? I would suggest to you it is not.

One of the other issues I want to touch on is comments made by the Minister of Energy with regard to whether legislation should come in as an omnibus bill, meaning it would be a collection of different bills being changed under one piece of legislation. I do fear that the Minister of Energy may have misinterpreted my comments in that regard. It's quite possible he's thinking of comments made by others, but my comments were regarding justice bills that were making minor amendments to existing legislation.

[Page 4251]

I would not suggest that this bill should come in as an omnibus bill, as part of another package. I would suggest to you it should have remained as a Private Member's Bill. Putting in a Justice Administration Act that makes minor amendments to legislation that's already been passed by this House - in fact, legislation passed last session - that is where I believe it's appropriate, that those could have been merged together. I do hope that helps the Minister of Energy better understand my concerns, because he complained that I complained about bills being put together that had no relation, that were new legislation, and may not be clearly understood by Nova Scotians. I would not have suggested that this bill come in as part of a package, but again, I would certainly suggest it should have remained as a Private Member's Bill

I would be remiss as well if I did not make some mention of the new suburban dream team that has been put together by the government and I know the member for Cape Breton North has come up with, I believe, a very thoughtful and appropriate term himself. I know it's a very popular show today and Nova Scotians will certainly relate to it as it appears this committee would meet some of the same objectives as that show. What was striking to me when I talk about why the government would not have called this as a Private Member's Bill introduced by the member for Halifax Chebucto is the obvious absence of who is not on the suburban team. The member for Halifax Chebucto has been left out.

So this is a suburban team dealing with matters affecting the HRM, the Halifax Regional Municipality. Yet they have left out a member who is a professor at the Dalhousie Law School dealing with municipal law, a former municipal councillor, someone who obviously has a significant depth of knowledge on suburban issues, yet he is left off that team. Which leaves me to wonder why would you take who's probably your most experienced member and knowledgeable on these issues and you leave him off the team?

I'm sure many Nova Scotians are wondering the same. I'm sure the residents of Halifax Chebucto are probably wondering why would their member not be included on this to share his knowledge, share his experience? Right now I would believe that the member for Halifax Chebucto probably has some time that he would be prepared to dedicate to this team and some suggestions that he would want to bring forward and I don't think they would be limited to how to hang clothes. He told us that he wasn't going to tell us how to do that but I'm sure he has other ideas that he could have shared.

Yet that's the first thing, when I saw the team, I started reading it, I was waiting for the name - and I can't say his personal name here, but the member for Halifax Chebucto, I said the obvious choice, he probably should be the chair of this committee, he's obviously going to be on it, yet he's left out. When we suggest that the government may not be having the best of relations with the member for Halifax Chebucto, they get very upset at us for making that suggestion. That's unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, because Nova Scotians were told that the NDP would be different when they're in government but we're seeing more and

[Page 4252]

more old style of governing and when a member on their side speaks out, there's a punishment that comes as a result.

I believe the way the government has brought in this bill is an example of that punishment. I believe being left off the suburban team is an example of that punishment and I think it's unfortunate because we all got sent here to do our job, I think we all have a role to play. Having had the opportunity to be in government, starting off in the backbench and then working my way to Cabinet, I can tell you what a difference it makes, the ability to be in government and how much can be achieved. I believe it's unfortunate that the government has decided rather than allowing their members to speak freely - something the NDP used to stand for - that when one of their own members chooses to do so, there are repercussions and there's discipline that comes as a result. Nova Scotians were told this government would do things differently. Instead what we're seeing is some of the same old politics just by a different colour.

Mr. Speaker, again as I've mentioned on a number of the justice bills, I believe there are many pressing issues that we should be debating here in this Chamber, issues that affect the daily lives of Nova Scotians, and this is not one of those issues. Had it been brought in as a Private Member's Bill, I certainly would have had much more respect for the government for allowing one of their own members to bring forward an issue which they had been pursuing that affects a small group of Nova Scotians. Bringing this in as government policy - I know the member for Halifax Chebucto did his best to try to link this as part of an overall energy strategy, I want to commend him for being creative in doing so. He kept a straight face while doing so. As challenging as it was to haul in a clothesline with the Fundy tides and with the hydroelectricity deal with Newfoundland and Labrador, it was very creative. I do have to give him that.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are practical people. They are a people who are very resourceful. Suggesting that a government policy has to help Nova Scotians because they can't put up clotheslines and that is something that we should champion in this Chamber as part of our deliberations and dealing with the issues facing our province, I think is a disservice to those who have sent us here, in the way it has been presented.

Again, had it been presented as a Private Member's Bill, I certainly would have not had the issue that I have in seeing that other government priorities are being set aside in order for us to be dealing with a Clothesline Bill. Mr. Speaker, at the end of the day, it is Nova Scotians who will have the ultimate say and the ultimate judgment on this government's decision of putting a clothesline as part of its priority in this Fall session. Merci.

[8:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate.

[Page 4253]

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: I can close debate in a very efficient way and I can assure you that I am not going to take the time of the House. I am rising to close debate on Bill No. 113. I look forward to it going to the Law Amendments Committee and I thank the members opposite for their comments, believe it or not.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 113. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 114.

Bill No. 114 - Anti-idling Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to move second reading of Bill No. 114, the Anti-idling Act. Our government introduced this bill because we recognize the importance of protecting the environment and the role we have in setting the right example for all Nova Scotians. We are demonstrating true leadership and, more importantly, protecting the health and the prosperity of our province.

Mr. Speaker, this bill proposes actions that will help us reduce the environmental impact of our transportation operations and move us towards our targets set out in the Climate Change Action Plan in the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. By taking action, this government will help reduce harmful exhaust emissions which, as we know, pollute our air and affect people's health.

Mr. Speaker, I think you and all the members of this House will see that this bill is one of the many actions we are taking to reduce harmful air emissions. Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to place hard caps on greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions in the electricity sector, an initiative that won us awards at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen.

And the ecoNova Scotia for Clean Air and Climate Change program, a $42.5 million fund, helped Nova Scotia businesses, community groups and municipalities reduce air emissions. With the support from this program, over 140 projects in communities all over the province are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 300,000 tons and air pollutants by more than 750,000 kilograms each year.

[Page 4254]

This government is further reducing greenhouse gas emissions through projects such as the construction of green buildings, LED Roadway Lighting pilots, efficiency upgrades to public buildings and greening initiatives for school bus carriers. Mr. Speaker, these projects support our EGSPA commitments, which for this year include sulphur dioxide reductions and the adoption of Canada-wide standards for fine particulate matter and ground level ozone. These are important air quality goals and we are committed to achieving them.

Mr. Speaker, with this legislation we are taking yet another step to improve the quality of life for all Nova Scotia families. We will create a government-wide policy that makes all motor vehicles and motorized equipment used for government businesses subject to new anti-idling rules. Our efforts to be green are not the role or the responsibility of one department. We recognize that some departments, such as the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, already have a policy in place. However, our plan is to multiply the benefits by ensuring all government employees comply with the corporate approach.

This legislation is about showing leadership and educating about the benefits of anti-idling. We recognize education is a key to behavioural change and that we have addressed some of the more common issues straight on. We have made a fact sheet on idling available through the department's Web site that clearly illustrates the benefits of turning off the ignition. These facts include such things as, idling decreases the operating life of an engine oil by 75 per cent. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine, and drivers don't need to warm up their car engines before driving on a cold day.

Every step we take to green the government and high emission industries brings us closer to achieving our environmental goals and showing our citizens that making green choices does pay back. Nova Scotians are passionate about protecting the environment for our own enjoyment and for the future generations. We want to protect it and our way of life, despite the economic challenges.

We are confident that more Nova Scotians and Nova Scotian businesses will follow suit by reducing their own idling, a small change with a big impact. Their participation will demonstrate the socially, economically and environmentally responsible behaviour that Nova Scotians are admired for and result in more money in their pockets.

We are leading by example, taking action to further protect our environment and health of Nova Scotians while finding even more ways to live within our means. To me, all these reasons combined make for good legislation that everyone can support.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 4255]

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, when I heard that the minister's department sort of notified us the day before that they would be introducing anti-idling legislation, I was actually quite interested. I had actually expected they would follow the Wolfville model just as they had followed the Wolfville model with some other - I can't remember which piece of legislation it was, but I believe there was a piece of legislation earlier in one of the other sessions that they had modelled some of their attempts on so I was a bit surprised that when I got the bill that - once you get past the definitions - consists of 43 words, one clause covers only departments and agencies that according to Idle-Free Nova Scotia already have policies in place. I'm sure there's some little exception to one but they couldn't come up with one, Idle-Free Nova Scotia, so we talked to the Ecology Action Centre today, they couldn't come up with anybody that's covered by this bill that actually doesn't already have a policy. In fact, the Ecology Action Centre actually said something really interesting to me. They said that the minister's staff, when they expressed concern that this required just a policy and there was no action and didn't actually cover very much, they were told that's okay because we're going to amend it before third reading.

I'm just interested to know what amendments the department's staff is suggesting to the Ecology Action Centre that they're going to propose to strengthen this bill. Because it sounds like they've already made that commitment to other organizations. I know that the Ecology Action Centre is coming to the Law Amendments Committee - or is registered to come to the Law Amendments Committee - on this bill with the expectation that the bill will be strengthened and they commented on strengthening it in the press release that they put out. I called them just to find out because I often speak - as I'm sure the minister does as well in his department - with the centre just to find out their position and their perspective and they are under the full expectation that the government intends to strengthen this prior to final reading so I'm interested to see where that's going.

Now, maybe they misinterpreted the comments and I'm certainly not suggesting for a second that the minister said that to them, but obviously that was an impression they got from somebody in the department.

I agree with much of what the minister said in his remarks. He went through a number of initiatives that the government is doing to reach their climate change emissions requirements. Of course, none of that has very much to do with the bill. In fact, at the press conference the minister also said some things that are quite right. He talked about the savings that can be generated in the trucking industry by reducing idling and he mentioned the lobster fishing. Of course, they're not covered by this bill either.

The thing is that this is a bill I have to - you know, I completely agree that idling is an issue. Not only is there an emissions issue, but reducing the amount of idling can save money for everybody. It doesn't matter what you drive - even if you're like the Minister of Finance and drive a hybrid vehicle, I'm sure it can still save you money in certain circumstances. I'm sure there are times his vehicle, if it's idling, uses gas as well.

[Page 4256]

When we look at public transit systems, obviously the largest one in the province is in HRM, and they already have an anti-idling policy for their whole unit. Pretty well every provincial government department is listed on Idle-Free Nova Scotia as having a policy. Ambassatours here, which would be an example of a private business covered by this, they have an anti-idling policy in place. So I'm just trying to find out, why is this legislation here? It only covers organizations that pretty well all have them. It is something that - we can debate a lot of things, whether it can be done through regulation or Cabinet orders and bills. I agree with the members opposite, that there are some things sort of in that grey area, maybe they can, maybe they can't be.

I'll go back to a bill I mentioned earlier. The Nova Scotia Museum Act that the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage has brought forward is one where people thought it could have been done by Cabinet order. It turns out that it can't. It now has to come by legislation, so fine, there are examples, but my goodness, Mr. Speaker, this is certainly one that could have been done by Cabinet order or a letter. He talks about education. Well, I'm reasonably certain that there is no legislation on the books currently prohibiting the minister's department from doing education on anti-idling, and I would encourage him to do that. I very much would, because I think it's important.

The member for Hants West and I recently were out with Clean Nova Scotia doing some driving things and measuring fuel consumption. Oh, the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville was doing that, too. It is important, and I think that all of us learn there are driving techniques and idle-avoidance techniques that can reduce the amount of fuel used. It is important. I don't disagree with the minister that it is important, but I'm not really sure what the point of this legislation is. The problem here is that you are talking about school buses - again, listen, not everybody with an idling policy in Nova Scotia is listed on Idle-Free Nova Scotia's Web site, by any stretch, yet most of the school boards are listed here already for their school buses. Most of the tour bus companies have signed on. In fact, they were the first ones, for the very reason that the minister pointed out: they are going to save money. They may not even care about the emissions issues. Their concern is that it was costing them money to have those buses idle.

When we look at this, it suggests that the one clause that actually has any effect, that isn't definitions, is "The Government of the Province and every person who owns, operates, manages or controls a public passenger vehicle shall establish in writing on or before October 1, 2011, . . ." it doesn't matter that they all have them anyway, ". . . and thereafter maintain in effect an anti-idling policy that promotes the reduction of unnecessary idling." The problem with that is all you have to do is have a policy, a written piece of paper that says you won't idle when it's not necessary.

[8:45 p.m.]

[Page 4257]

I remember speaking at a Sierra Club event a number of years ago and we were talking about idling and somebody asked about police cars at the time. Of course, police cars aren't covered by this bill, but somebody asked why the police cars idle all the time. Depending on who you ask, there are some police officers who won't idle and there are some that say they need to idle because the computer equipment drains the battery quickly. I don't know which is the truth. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. But, is that unnecessary idling if that was a passenger vehicle? Is warming up the school bus before leaving unnecessary idling?

It's really a very wishy-washy statement at best. The part of the minister's remarks that, respectfully, I disagree with is that he suggests this is about education and promoting anti-idling. But I'm not sure that this does that. This doesn't say that people shouldn't idle, it doesn't say the policy has to require a reduction in idling, it doesn't say that the policy is enforced through some kind of penalties or that it'll be checked. It doesn't say it will be a condition of a motor carrier licence for tour bus operators. It doesn't say any of that.

It doesn't say that for the Province of Nova Scotia departments, it doesn't say that there will be performance benchmarks. None of that. It doesn't say what a policy would be. In fact, in a page of definitions, policy isn't even defined. Is a policy a paragraph just saying that we agree in principle that idling is bad?

I would challenge anybody in this Legislature to suggest that unnecessary idling is a good thing. I think we all agree with that. But it strikes me, the only thing idling is the NDP's agenda. It's a way to put something in place. A number of people have commented on having another bill and having another bill - promoting private companies in the government and tour bus operators and school bus operators, even individuals, to have a policy on anti-idling and to think about anti-idling is very, very important. But there is absolutely no reason why you need to do this through legislation. There's no reason at all. There's nothing.

My first reaction was there's nothing in this that has to be by legislation, that couldn't be done by a letter or by Cabinet order, a directive, or a statement by the minister's department. I've since talked to a number of other organizations and said, am I missing something here? Is there something that there has to be legislation to accomplish this? I've yet to find anybody who could give me a reason why this has to be in legislation to do what is done in this bill.

If you were going to do more than this - as I say, getting back to how I started this one, I received the call saying the minister tomorrow will introduce a bill promoting anti-idling. I said, all right. I was expecting something that was actually going to have an effect and we would have had a substantive debate in this Legislature on this issue of whether that is appropriate at this time, whether it's the right way to go. And we would have had a debate about that and there would have been different opinions of how to do it. But this is about

[Page 4258]

writing a policy. It's about organizations which, for the most part, all have the policies already and have signed pledges long before, most of them, before this government was even in power.

It's frustrating, Mr. Speaker, because I listened to what the minister said and I agree with everything he said. I applaud his department for some of the initiatives they've taken on, some of the environmental initiatives, I honestly do. When I listened to the minister speak at the press conference, I listened to him talk very passionately about how the trucking industry and all these industries and individuals can learn so much by avoiding idling. I thought what he said was from the heart, it was very passionate and he was absolutely right in all the things he said in that media briefing and in the House.

But this bill doesn't do any of the things he talked about in the media briefing. It doesn't cover any of the organizations that he said would save money by anti-idling, such as the lobster industry and the trucking industry and so forth. It doesn't even require them to have a policy and yet those are the ones that he talked about, real benefits. I agree there are benefits, I really do agree with that.

I just really believe that this is a case where I think that we all would have complimented the minister for coming out and having an education program on anti-idling, and I hope he'll still do that. We would have complimented him for doing that, and on a go-forward basis we will, but 43 words to pass a bill that has no practical effect, it just has to make me wonder.

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, here we go again, here we go again, another unnecessary bill at a time when it's necessary for this House to be debating the important issues before Nova Scotians and issues within the Department of Environment that one would hope that would be more pressing and important. The minister knows in his briefing books there are issues that Nova Scotians have as pressing matters and I don't believe that the minister awoke before the session and went into Cabinet and said, hang on, this has got to get through, this has to be done.

I suspect the department was trying to desperately come up with something and say, minister, here's a bill we think we can do. It's not going to matter and it's not going to mean anything but it's a bill because you folks are looking for bills and, as the only environment bill, we've got to have something to say about the environment rather than something to really do that will improve the environment. Because we do know that between the various ministries, whether it's the Minister of Education when it comes to school buses, no problem there, that's a directive. When it comes to passenger vehicles, no problem there - either Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal or Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations in terms of licensing, no problem to do that.

[Page 4259]

That can be done as a matter of regulation and I just hope that government members are not naive to think that this stuff is being sold to them as legislation that is paramount to good public policy because it's not. I'm not going to go into this, Mr. Speaker, because there's not much to go into that hasn't already been said. It's just unfortunately another round of the legislative circle here at the House this sitting that is unfortunately not serving the best interests of Nova Scotians. It just again highlights the fact that the government's policy and legislative tank was empty. Some people scrambled to put some bills together to desperately try to say they had something to offer up in this need to count bills and mark time here at the House.

The government goes and extends the hours for today because I actually thought we had some important things to discuss. My constituents, as every person here has constituents with real issues, and you ask yourself should we have been here from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. versus dealing with the real issues of real people in the constituencies. One could ask that about most of this session because we all have no shortage of people with matters that are important. You get in your car, you drive four and a half to five hours here to Halifax, because there are important weighty matters the government has lined up for this sitting of the Legislature that are going to really matter to the people - in my case Cape Breton North, and every other of the 51 additional constituencies. We find out we have a piece of legislation that yet again ministers or Cabinet, by directive and regulation, could have easily handled this. They know that. We know that. Nova Scotians who may not understand the process may not know it and actually might think that this is something.

Again, it's always interesting, Mr. Speaker, by title how it's very difficult to argue with the title of these bills, how to argue with the principle of what a bill might suggest, but the practicality of the matter and the issue is that government could have handled this in a much better way. Government could have been more constructive with their time, could have dealt with this. What we have found was we probably could have had a legislative session that maybe lasted 10 days based upon the content of legislation. But at $20,000 a day, what does it matter when you're racking up a deficit of over $1 billion of their own making, but that's what we find. Money has no matter over there because they don't seem to be concerned about who has to pay the bills. They just keep spending. They talk restraint and this is all about proper restraint of habits and actions but we have a Minister of Finance who won't exercise restraint, won't take recommendations for restraint, yet I can think of 299 young women at Holy Angels High School who are wondering if they're going to have a future, students by the dozens in various high schools throughout the Cape Breton-Victoria District School Board who are wondering if they have an education choice for next year, that's the anti-idling they're waiting for. They're waiting for this government to stop idling on the matters of importance and deal with the matters that affect them and their lives and their future.

[Page 4260]

The young women of Holy Angels High School have this government idling this House because the lights are on, the bills are being paid by virtue of deficit and debt financing of this out-of-control Minister of Finance who doesn't understand, talks one thing, does another, that's what we've seen. He probably could tell and probably preached to the young women of Holy Angels High School about what would they cut for them to have their school. That's what he'd do, he'd go in and say to these 299 young women, well listen girls, what would you cut? I can tell you right now, they'd cut him and some 30 other members of government, that's the first cut that would make sense to them and the best cut that would help their future and for them to be contributing members of society, yet, we have an anti-idling bill.

They're wondering if they're going to have a school bus available to them, or a transit bus, and I'm sure those 299 young women would love to have a choice of being helpful and help educate their drivers not to idle their busses, if they had a school to go to next year, but this government won't commit to that, but they'll commit themselves to bringing in parliamentary fluff, and smoke and mirrors, and continue to do this. It is incumbent upon us to make sure Nova Scotians know that tying up this Legislature, spending needless resources - again, this is just one more piece of legislation that highlights and has to be discussed to show that this government is so out of touch with reality, out of touch with the priorities of working families and of our youth and of our communities.

This government is more concerned about how they go about (Interruptions) Yes, the glossy brochures and the fancy consultants, those are on the top tier. You've got Agent Orange doing all that stuff and being paid a king's ransom to talk about ER closures, to produce a report that the minister knew the outcome of before she even started. Yet, the minister doesn't mind idling on the matters that take leadership, the government doesn't mind holding up, costing Nova Scotians, wasting their time, when they're concerned about these things.

I can tell you, if we really want to serve Nova Scotians, we'd be addressing the issues that are important to them so again, it's another opportunity. I know that if the government is sincere and wants to stop idling, they'll show up Friday night for the vigil for Holy Angels High School. They'll show up because those young women, as students, their family and community have to resort themselves to a vigil so that they can go and gather, wondering if this government will stop idling on making a true decision that is going to affect their future, that this government will invest in young women to have the best education, that when there is a best model available in this province for the only public girls school east of Montreal, with a 125-year history, this government can't make up their mind. Because do you know what? We know it's in a non-government riding. We know it is in an area where those young women, who are being told what their bus drivers are being dictated by virtue of Bill No. 114, that the Minister of Education over there knows, she could have done, that the other ministers could have provided their leadership . . .

[Page 4261]

[9:00 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I just wish to remind the honourable member that we do have Bill No. 113 before the House - sorry, Bill No. 114. Thank you.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, the girls at Holy Angels High School want to know what Bill No. 114 means for them. The girls at Holy Angels High School want to know why it is there isn't a police resource officer available to protect their neighbourhood because this Minister of Justice has cut them back. The girls of Holy Angels High School are wondering, when it comes to Bill No. 114, what the Minister of Education is doing. The girls of Holy Angels High School want to know what the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is doing with regard to the capital plan for their school. The girls of Holy Angels High School want to know what Bill No. 114 - what the Minister of Finance is doing to finance their school. The girls of Holy Angels High School, when it comes to Bill No. 114, are wondering why it is a school for Liverpool has been approved. The Premier's got a notice out to approve a school for Yarmouth, yet he can't approve a school with Bill No. 114 for Amherst (Interruptions) what did I say? Yarmouth? Amherst. Well, he won't approve a ferry for Yarmouth. I mean, cripes almighty, now everyone's under the Dexter bus when it comes to Bill No. 114 all of a sudden.

I'll tell you, the girls of Holy Angels High School care about the people from Yarmouth. They actually care about the students in Liverpool having a better education, care about the students in Amherst, they care that Bill No. 114 should mean something to them but the government doesn't think that they mean anything to them.

That's what Bill No. 114 is doing. The Minister of Finance has said one thing, does another all the time and he says, the buck stops with him. Well, he just passes it when it comes to asking about the prudence that's necessary. I'm sure that when it came to Bill No. 114, the Minister of Environment was saying this is a great thing, because, I don't want the girls of Holy Angels High School being affected from the noxious gas from a bus that's idling needlessly and costing taxpayers' dollars the money we need to keep Holy Angels High School open.

I'm sure, and I'm positive, the Minister of Community Services is going to want to go and deal with Bill No. 114 with the young women of Holy Angels High School, is going to want to talk to them, that they are on the Community Services caseload. She's going to say, I want you to get the best education at this best practices, all girls, only public high school east of Montreal, that she's going to want to improve their outcomes. Because their families are on Community Services, because I know it, because I live on the ground and I'm sure that Minister of Community Services is going to speak up for the young women of Holy Angels High School. Because Bill No. 114 means about what it means for their future.

And I know that minister is not going to mock those young women, is going to stand up for those young women because Bill No. 114 should be all about, what they deal with.

[Page 4262]

And the Deputy Government House Leader will speak for Bill No. 114 and Holy Angels High School about the importance of this Government stepping up and dealing with the real issues.

Because tonight in Cape Breton, there's young women and their families looking at Bill No. 114 and saying, what the heck does that have to do with the issues that are important with us? Because what's important to us is our education - not a bus they know shouldn't be idling outside of Holy Angels - but there isn't going to be a Holy Angels if this lot is left to their measures of the day. But we know, and I know, the Minister of Health knows that Bill No. 114 is worthy of making sure that Holy Angels High School has an anti-idling policy so that those young girls at Holy Angels High School have the best health outcomes they can have. They do want a bus that won't idle in front of Holy Angels, so I know the Minister of Health is going to step up to the plate and make sure that Holy Angels High School is there.

I know the Minister of Economic and Rural Development knows that Bill No. 114 is important to the people of Holy Angels High School because the economy is contingent on people understanding that anti-idling policies of the government affects the outcome of young women that could be contributors and leaders to the businesses of the future, of the economy of Nova Scotia.

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage understands that future operators of inns, of tourism businesses, their livelihood is affected by Bill No. 114 . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONNELL: Before the member from Cape Breton North gets to me, could you ask him to get back to the bill at hand please? (Interruptions)

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

MR. CLARKE: Before that interruption, how much time do I have left Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: About 36 minutes.

MR. CLARKE: And I want, over the next 36 minutes, to remind the Minister of Natural Resources that when I'm finished with the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, that he will have a better understanding of what Bill No. 114 is doing to the young women of Holy Angels High School. That he'll understand that the best natural resource is those younger women contributing to their province and the future of this province because they get the best education possible.

The Minister of Natural Resources doesn't know that, because he's gone down to Yarmouth County, doesn't deal with the issues there. Bill No. 114, if the Minister of

[Page 4263]

Tourism, Culture and Heritage, if the Minister of Economic and Rural Development doesn't recognize that Bill No. 114 should be placed in context with the future of the young women of Holy Angels High School and that their vigil on Friday night, he should be there along with the whole Cabinet.

We know that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations would have had the most enthusiastic glee club in Nova Scotia, 299 young women who would support her and this government if they did the right thing for and by the students of Holy Angels High School.

But Bill No. 114 - I see the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations waving her hand and saying, sing me a song. Well, you know what? I've got more respect, obviously, for the young women of Holy Angels High School than that minister has to diminish what the importance of their education is, because she'll sit here and support this kind of drivel and idle like the rest of the government on Bill No. 114. I can tell her I'm seeing why she has a new immigration standard, and wants to double immigration, because we're going to lose 299 bright, young women from our province because she keeps being part of a government to drive them out. That's what's happening because of bills like Bill No. 114. That's why their immigration strategy - we have to import them because we're throwing them out.

We're soon going to have to have Pier 21, have a ship to take them away, because they're driving them out. That's what Bill No. 114 is talking about and I know if the Minister of Immigration truly cared about anti-idling, she would step up to the Cabinet table and deal with Bill No. 114 and say, the young women of Holy Angels High School are worth us and stop the stalling and start the investing in the true priorities.

Those are the issues that people in Cape Breton Island, those are the issues - I'm sure that every county in this province - they'd like this government to deal with, but instead they'll hang out the young women of Holy Angels on the line because now they have a Clothesline Bill, so they have an official entitlement to hang them out to dry, because we passed legislation to that effect. That's the government's policies and programs.

The Minister of Natural Resources is out there trying to suggest that we talk to this bill. Well, I'm going to tell the minister, maybe he should spend some time and invest in a few more trees that could happen to put in some plain paper, that could be written on, that maybe one of our mills could write paper for this government and that minister to put the guarantee that Holy Angels High School will be treated more importantly than Bill No. 114.

Maybe the Minister of Agriculture will stop producing manure that could fertilize, maybe the Minister of Agriculture could deal with the biosolids issue and help people educate. I know that anti-idling, of course, will reduce emissions in the air so that when he's dealing with other things, with the agriculture community, he'll know that Bill No. 114 is

[Page 4264]

something that he's prepared to commit to so our future generations will know the merits and benefits of all the things he's dealing with within his department. He's not prepared to deal with those issues.

We get down the line and then we see where the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, has brought this forward. I can tell you, from what I know of that good minister and that member of the House, he wouldn't come up with this sitting at home. He wouldn't come up with it, they're not down at the wharves in Shelburne, telling him, by gosh, minister, get that Anti-idling Bill in, our future, the fishing industry, has many more pressing concerns than Bill No. 114.

If that minister was concerned about the fishing industry, he'd do what's within his authority, he'd issue a directive. He'd go to the Cabinet Table and say, I need a regulation because this is important and we have to stop - anti-idling. That minister knows that. He knows - just like the last bill we had on clotheslines, was something we needed to appease somebody somewhere, but not deal with the pressing matters and the issues that are affecting Nova Scotians.

Then we have The Premier. The Premier talked about all these great things. Minister, you're saying he's not here? The Minister of Community Services is saying the Premier is not here. Well, where is he? I can tell you minister where he's not, he's not down in Sydney talking to the young women about Holy Angels. He's not going to any vigil, and if anybody needs a vigil in this province, it's the Premier of Nova Scotia for doing what he's doing to those young women and not stepping up and providing the leadership that's required. That's the reality.

I know the member for Halifax Chebucto knows that if he had a chance to continue to support and tell people the only public girls' school in Nova Scotia is more important than Bill No. 114, I'm sure he'd do that. I believe he would put people ahead of the politics with what we see with this drivel before the House. That's reality.(Interruption)

Oh, it's whose bill? Oh, the member responsible for horses is saying this is the member for Halifax Chebucto. Well, I'm not surprised, at the same time, but even still I would think the member responsible for horses would think that the 299 young women at Holy Angels High School are more important than this bill, if you had priorities of what this House should be debating tonight. But I'll tell you, you talk about anti-idling, so we're wondering where the Premier is going to be, because I know the member for Truro-Bible Hill, if she had a choice to pick the future of 299 young women over an anti-idling policy - that the Minister of Education or the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal or the minister for consumerism for vehicles could have done that - I'm sure she would pick the young women of Holy Angels High School.

[Page 4265]

I know the member for Pictou East, with a great history in Cape Breton and who goes down there to Louisbourg for those young women who are going to Holy Angels High School today, that he would say, you are more important than Bill No. 114 and I should be talking about you in the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia. I should be talking about your future, your investments that are needed for your education to contribute to be future women leaders, because you know what? I know that member would say we need to have a young woman with the foundation that Holy Angels can provide to be a future Premier of this province, future Cabinet Minister, future leader of our economy. I know the member for Pictou East would say that - at least he would say it in Cape Breton, if he was wise.

I know that our honourable colleagues from Cape Breton on the government side care about Cape Breton, but somehow the government agenda, Bill No. 114, doesn't seem to factor in the importance of Holy Angels High School. I'll tell you, Mr. Speaker, you talk about anti-idling, if the Minister of Finance wants to get up and talk about another bill, it can come another time, because right now the importance of Bill No. 114, in context with what the government's agenda is, must be something we bring forward.

I know the members from the South Shore of Nova Scotia - I know if those members had a choice to pick Bill No. 114 over the girls of Holy Angels High School, I know the girls of Holy Angels would have their voice, to say you are important and we need to invest in you, your school is important, it is part of the fabric of the community of Sydney, it contributes from all the other schools that come in there. Of the 299, 172 are from the Sydney area. The rest come in from all the outlying communities. That's why it is important.

I know if the board is talking about things, we've gone before the school board there, in terms of ways we can make improvements, and one of the things we can do is get rid of some of the physical infrastructure that is not a priority. There are all kinds of things we could be talking about in this House, Mr. Speaker. I can tell you that Bill No. 114 should be ranked up there and will now have ink in Hansard to hopefully illustrate how this is a bill relative to the other pressing needs of Nova Scotians.

I know when Friday night comes at 6:00 p.m., there's going to be a whole host of government members who are going to want to go down to Sydney to Holy Angels and talk about how Bill No. 114 is more important than they are. Bill No. 114 is more important than their dreams and aspirations. Bill No. 114 somehow has greater weight to be talked about in this Legislature than this thing about idling that should not have even had to be a bill. That is what we are coming to.

You know, any more of these bills that come forward, we're going to be talking about the other relevance, that it goes back to the bills themselves and this government is going to hear about it time and time again because it is time that this charade is brought to a close, that this government, if it wants to say they have no agenda, just say it. We can respect them for that. If they've only got a couple - well, they are bankrupt in ideas, I'll give you that - if they

[Page 4266]

have only a couple of things to bring forward, bring forward a few things of substance for Nova Scotians and let us get back to our offices where we could have been today, dealing with constituents' needs, dealing with their interests, dealing with the young women from Holy Angels who want to make sure this government understands the business case that means everything to their future.

Mr. Speaker, that is what we should be dealing with Bill No. 114, but instead, here we are in the House of Assembly - $20,000 later they'll spend on this, Bill No. 114, but not invest in the future of those young women. That's what we face.

I know the member for Antigonish, which is part of a community that has one of the institutions of this province that everyone is very proud of, St. Francis Xavier, would understand that if he had to pick Bill No. 114 or the young women of Holy Angels High School, I know he would pick the education of those young individuals at a one-of-a-kind institution with a proud, long history in this province. It's something he'd want to invest in because Holy Angels is right next door to Little X's property, as he would know, down in the north end of Sydney, that Bill No. 114 is of no relevance down by Holy Angels.

Why is it of any relevance here? It's not, because it didn't have to be. You know what? We are paying more time to this than to Holy Angels. I know the good people of St. F.X. if they had a choice, would want to keep Holy Angels open because they would see a school that has excellence in outcomes, should be something we would uphold and want to invest - something you would want to go and expand elsewhere in the province.

[9:15 p.m.]

I know, Mr. Speaker, at Memorial Composite High School in Sydney Mines, the only composite high school in the province - I'm very pleased and proud of having, again, a school, the only one of its kind, from trades training right up to honours academic, all under one roof. Students come from throughout the board. We talk about it as being a model for the province. We're not talking about the investments that are needed there where those students could be part of talking about the future of Nova Scotia and reducing emissions, dealing with education and standards, because they would want to deal with the education of the fact that they have nearly 1,000 students going there. The buses are coming, they don't want buses idling, I think I can agree with that.

So you have the support, I'm sure, of the students of Memorial Composite High School, minister, because you would have it anyway because you could have done this, as you know, if you wanted to, or the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, or the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, or especially the Minister of Education, but she seems to want to be spending more time as Minister of Education talking about an anti-idling bill than dealing with the issues at Holy Angels as those people try to

[Page 4267]

deal with a future - making sure that 299 students are being taken care of and they're worthy of discussion in this House but not worthy of consideration of the government.

Now, that is something that the government has to stop idling on and start dealing with, Mr. Speaker. I can tell you as well, as we kind of focus as we move forward and what I would hope is that all members, when they're in caucus, that they're going to stop and step back and say, what is this session about, what have we come to that we are now dealing with matters of this House? I'm sure the Minister of Finance has got a bill to come up next that he would feel would have importance and have legitimacy for consideration here at 9:15 p.m. But do you know what? The Minister of Finance, aside from wracking up a record deficit in the province and spending his time on that, has been part of a government that's in the House talking about Bill No. 114 as a bigger priority than the bill the minister would like to talk about this evening.

The minister is not talking about the 299 young women of Holy Angels and how they're important and worthy of his investment because he has seen fit to cut cheques for almost everything except the young women of Holy Angels. He's probably going to cut the cheque to cover the cost of us spending time on this bill here tonight but not cut a cheque to support the future of Holy Angels remaining in the community of Sydney, remaining as an institution within the area. I know the people of Sydney are saying Bill No. 114, or Holy Angels High School, where do we want our tax dollars spent, where do you want our Legislature - what topics do we want our Legislature talking about ? I think they would want us talking about Holy Angels and talking about education in general, and talking about the future, talking about the realities.

If we need to talk about a bill to reduce costs and we need to talk about the environment, let's talk about it in the House. Let's talk about what our future capital plan is going to be for schools. If we have to deal with tough issues, let's deal with them holistically. But so far they've been cookie-cutter, they've been cherry-picked by this government. Somehow in the process of trying to appease some government members with rushing announcements out the door to save some backbench ridings, we instead are willing to take an Opposition riding and a school that's an institution in this province and throw it aside and say that the people of Holy Angels don't matter and Bill No. 114 is more important.

Well, no, Mr. Speaker, because I know when I was on the government side, if there was an issue that the NDP didn't like, we heard about it. I remember the Deputy Premier now, when he was on the Opposition side and wanted his dissertations, said a pox on all their houses over there, to the Tories. He did, it's in Hansard. His arms were flailing and saying a pox on all their houses that they deal with these things. Here we are with a government that will bring forward, and the Deputy Premier as Government House Leader called Bill No. 114 to talk about anti-idling legislation needed.

[Page 4268]

Well, we need to have in the Cabinet Room anti-idling legislation that will stop them from stalling on the issues that are important to Nova Scotians such as Holy Angels High School and the future of 299 very good, young, well-rounded women who want a future, who are worth investing in, are worth attending a university. Whether it's Acadia University in the Valley, I know that they would choose the future of the lives of the 299 young women of Holy Angels over Bill No. 114.

The Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, I'm sure, is very proud of that academic institution as well as her colleagues. But they also would say why, minister, are you talking about these types of things instead of the future of Holy Angels High School? Instead of those individuals who matter, those people whose lives are being affected by the choices you're making, those people that the deficits you're wracking up don't even include an investment in them, that they could give you a return for in the future, to mitigate the financial mess that the Minister of Finance is creating, and continues to create, and manifest. He won't invest in those young women who would be leaders of the future, to create an economy, to get the dollars and grow things to the point that the revenues would come in and at least start paying back some of the mess that the Minister of Finance has been responsible for racking up.

You know, here we are, now, at 9:20 p.m., talking about Bill No. 114 and it does nothing for the priorities, but I know on Friday night at 6:00 p.m., I'll be at Holy Angels High School (Interruption)

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

MR. CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, I know you want to hear clearly that Bill No. 114 does nothing for the young women of Holy Angels High School and that the young women of Holy Angels High School appreciate somebody standing up and speaking up for them when bills like this do nothing to deal with their future.

You would think that the Minister of Health would want to deal with health and wellness and health promotion and making sure the investments are being made in the facility there so that 299 young women have a good healthy future, a prosperous future built on health promotion and protection, but I don't think we're hearing that. So she's idling on Bill No. 114 rather than dealing with those issues.

We have, from one end to the other, a Cabinet that has so many important things to deal with and yet they bring Bill No.114 to the floor of this Legislature, and yet they will have the lives of 299 young women put on hold, dozens more students not aware if they can have Holy Angels High School as a choice, to have it as an institution to carry on that great tradition of Cape Breton.

[Page 4269]

Again, what we have is a government that is prepared to tie up the time of Nova Scotians, as I say, on drivel like Bill No. 114, and they're more fixated on making sure - and I can tell you, the Minister of Natural Resources, I know, wants to make sure that he can have specialists within his department in the future that have the basis of an academic foundation like Holy Angels High School can provide, so he can get better advice on bills to come forward, better than Bill No. 114. I know he wants to continue on that and I'm sure when he goes back to the Cabinet Table, the Minister of Natural Resources will stay focused on what his real priorities should be rather than trying to interrupt and talk about bills like Bill No. 114 and suggest that we move on and deal with other topics.

I can tell you, the Minister of Natural Resources wants to know that the young women of Holy Angels High School are counting on him, in his role as the Minister of Agriculture, to stand up and to reflect. I know as the Minister of Agriculture there have to be students who come from the Cape Breton farming community, who attend Holy Angels High School, expecting the Minister of Agriculture to place more value on their education than on Bill No. 114.

I know the Minister of Agriculture will want to continue that because of the 4-H community, members of Holy Angels High School who have a great tradition of the 4-H, that Minister of Agriculture will say, you're more important than Bill No. 114 and I'll stand up for you and make sure you have a future and stop the foolishness of this Legislature from tying up time that otherwise could be going into important topics such as your future, instead of this drivel and I apologize. I'm sure the minister will go to Cape Breton and apologize to the young women, saying, I'm sorry for standing up in the House and saying that this bill should be talked about rather than your future. I know that minister, when he goes to Cape Breton will do it.

I know the Minister of Environment definitely knows that the young women of Cape Breton, at Holy Angels High School - if he had to make a choice, if Holy Angels High School was in Shelburne, he'd be standing up for them, he'd being saying, you're worth more time in the Legislature than the bill I brought and I want to apologize to you for bringing in a bill that I didn't have to bring in, the government didn't have to bring in. I'm sorry we wanted to count bills rather than count futures and the futures of young women that are going to be negatively impacted because this government is sitting on their hands and spending time on bills like Bill No. 114 and clothesline bills and foolishness that could be put into more practical means than tying up this Legislature. That's the reality.

I'm sure that the Minister of Education will be the spokesperson for all of Cabinet when she goes down to apologize to them for sitting in this House and saying that Bill No. 114 merited more time than Holy Angels High School future. I'm sure that when she was in Cape Breton and toured that school, she saw a school that was clean, that was well-respected in terms of how it was maintained, that the students respected the school. I'm sure that she saw that they weren't idling in the hallways doing graffiti, that they love the school they're

[Page 4270]

from and they respect the school they're from and they respect the fact that they're more important than Bill No. 114.

I know the Minister of Education will take more time and she will go down there and say, I'm sorry that our government has wasted the time, and she will bring a message from the Premier to say we should have spent more time thinking of the future of students than the foolishness of bills that are irrelevant for consideration of the House of Assembly, that she is going to apologize for spending another $20,000 here when she could have invested $20,000 in the future, in purchasing Holy Angels High School for the school board. Instead, the school board is looking at Bill No. 114, saying, wow, $20,000, at least it's a start, tomorrow's $20,000 and that's $40,000. That's all this government was investing in Holy Angels to lease it for a year - not the equivalent of an FTE, but will spend the equivalent of an FTE to hold up this House, Mr. Speaker, on Bill No. 114.

I think this government needs to seriously reflect on what bills like Bill No. 114 truly mean and that when the government sits at their legislative process and they go to the departments, they should be issuing a directive saying we need more quality, we need to be talking about the issues that matter most to Nova Scotians, such as Holy Angels High School and the futures of young women who can be productive, contributing members of society, instead of sitting back watching Legislative Television, saying what is the NDP Government doing - why aren't they speaking up for us? Why aren't they dealing with our future? Why are they squandering money needlessly, though deficit and debt financing - why aren't they investing in us? Why don't they believe that we will make better choices than they will make because we've got a better education. Obviously no one over there has gone to Holy Angels, because I know they would be speaking up and saying Holy Angels is worth the investment, it is worth saving.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes knows that Bill No. 114 pales in comparison to his time on the school board. The member for Victoria-The Lakes knows all the details of trying to make a very large area, urban and rural, work for a school board. Mr. Speaker, those are the things that the member for Victoria-The Lakes would like to have us discussing here on the floor of the Legislature, the types of discussion where the board has been told by the minister, go make your numbers work, without offering any support, with saying we'll support you, but all you have to do is provide us with choices of reducing or negating your services to the area.

That's not an outcome and no different than any outcome we're going to get from Bill No. 114, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Education knows that she - I would think she would want to consult with someone who was a long-standing member of the Cape Breton-Victoria School Board, who worked across political lines, worked with all Parties to make the school board work and function for the betterment of the students and knowing they want a better education, not to have to look in the history books at Bill No. 114 and ask why did they want

[Page 4271]

to tie up the time of this House and its precious resources than give us a better foundation in education - but that is what this House has been reduced to by this government.

I can tell you that Bill No. 114 is serving no purpose for any students across this province, let alone the ones for Holy Angels High School, but because they can't be senior, because they can't get on a bus every day and travel to Halifax, because they had to spend their own resources - and some of us helped pitch in to try and provide some of the cost for them to come up and say, excuse me, Mr. Premier, excuse me, Madam Minister, excuse me, government members, but we're more important than your bloody Bill No. 114. That's the reality, Mr. Speaker.

Those students can't come here every day, because if they could they'd be here every day. That is why Bill No. 114 is probably not going to rank at their vigil on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. at Holy Angels High School. I would like to say that I would hope that everyone who can go will go to Holy Angels High School at 6:00 p.m. this Friday evening and go and support the young women who think more of the future of Nova Scotia than the government does in Bill No. 114. That is something that is worth talking about in this House.

Mr. Speaker, those are the things that the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board would like this government to be talking about, that's the formula funding, not the cutbacks of the Minister of Finance. They're talking about what are the key investments, strategic investments, the value-added investments such as in the future of 299 students who deserve a future with a government that will stand with them and recognize the return on investment will be fortyfold, fiftyfold, hundredfold, because we're investing in the future that will sustain this government and people we have to rely on to try and eradicate the debt that is being driven up needlessly by a Minister of Finance and a government that doesn't care about the bottom line, doesn't care about the basic line of education, but will put things like Bill No. 114 before the House.

And I know the Minister of Natural Resources wants to make sure that he is paying attention at the Cabinet Table so that in the future he'll say, stop wasting valuable trees on paper such as Bill No. 114 and let's start investing in futures such as that of Holy Angels High School and the 299 students who are there and the dozens more and hundreds more in the future who would like to go there.

[9:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, they'd like to know the paper is being printed that have words that recommend and support them, but instead what they have is a government that is pushing them aside with a committee that they hope will be able to defuse things until they get out of this Chamber and hope that things like Bill No. 114 have brought more attention than their needs and their future.

[Page 4272]

Well, that's not happening, as you can tell. If we're going to be here, then we're going to start talking about these issues and relating every bill back to the very core priorities that Nova Scotians have. So that people like at Holy Angels will know that we're spending time talking about their priorities rather than a government agenda that's driven by counting numbers rather than counting people as their priority. That's what we have. Counting numbers rather than counting people as priorities in this province. That's what Bill No. 114 has come to. That's the reality of what we're dealing with.

I would hope that over the course of the next few moments that I have left - I have how much left?

MR. SPEAKER: You have almost 20 minutes left, member.

MR. CLARKE: Oh, well, thank you. I want to thank the member for Sackville-Cobequid for encouraging me and putting his finger up because I know he's saying he supports young women of Holy Angels High School and he says that Bill No. 114 isn't as important as them. That's what the member for Sackville-Cobequid, I'm sure, is indicating here this evening.

The member for Sackville-Hammonds Plains, or, what is it called? What is it now?

AN HON. MEMBER: Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. CLARKE: Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, yes - every election it changes over there, it seems. He, as a young Page in this House, that learned about the institutions now went out and put his name on a ballot and democracy, he would know that the young women of Holy Angels High School are worth investing in so that they have a good foundation of an education. He appreciates in this House that we should be spending time as a young person supporting other young persons to have a foundation and be worthy of investment, rather than time on things such as Bill No. 114.

That is something I believe to be true for the member for - what is it? Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville. I mean, it leaves such a memorable impression, he doesn't get to speak, I'm sorry, you don't get to speak very often, but I wish you would speak about Bill No. 114 in relation to Holy Angels High School.

As the Deputy Whip - oh, and you're chair of the glee team, so I hope you're cheering for Holy Angels High School. There must be a cheer in there for the new chair of the glee club that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and while they're putting up clotheslines will speak positively of Holy Angels High School and why that should be having more time spent on it than putting clotheslines up around Halifax right now.

[Page 4273]

The member will understand that bills such as the Clothesline Bill and now this bill with regard to anti-idling, are not the priorities of average Nova Scotians, of sincere Nova Scotians that think this Legislature is going to spend time and effort on outcomes that are going to make a difference, a real difference. But again we have to add numbers rather than adding up our priorities and that's a sad day here.

When a government, in the manner in which it has, can go and put bills like this forward, when the ministers know that they have the authority and the ability to do this. I know the minister responsible for housing in Nova Scotia knows that Bill No. 114 is taking up valuable time and money and resources that could otherwise go into housing units for those students that might go to Holy Angels and need better quality housing, need investments that go to the core of their community. That's what that minister, I'm sure, is aware of, because I know that young women should be more important than Bill No. 114 as window dressing. I know the minister would never go to Cape Breton and tell those students that they're less important than Bill No. 114, couldn't be, she wouldn't. I don't think she would, I know she wouldn't.

But I know she's part of a government that thought it was okay to bring in bills such as Bill No. 114 and think you could get away with it and they'll go through and they'll take credit for it. That's what has happened. They actually thought that Nova Scotians wouldn't pick up on this numbers game they're running here and doing things that they never had to bring to the floor of the Legislature, doing things that never required having to come here, doing things that they could have communicated to the stakeholders there.

At the same time they're not doing things like they should be doing. Instead they spend time on Bill No. 114 rather than priorities and problems and a crisis at Holy Angels High School. That's what we have. When 299 young women are left at the curbside - the Dexter bus can stop idling. I mean, the Dexter bus, apparently that's one that they can shut off for good. They can just shut her down, take the wheels off her, put her on the blocks. The Dexter bus has already caused enough damage. Take her off, I don't care if it's diesel gas, it's caused a lot of problems, it has taken too many victims. Now there is a bus worth stopping forever. The Dexter bus has wreaked enough havoc, yet we have bills like Bill No. 114 that tell everyone else trying to do good work what they should do when they already know common sense would do what this bill is saying, that a directive, that a policy would do what this bill is saying.

You know, I understand about putting laws in place. The Minister of Justice does not need to have bills and laws in place. He's cutting back on policing and authorities to enforce, who is going to enforce it? The glee club? Are they going to start enforcing for the Minister of Justice? Maybe that's where they're getting money for the expense accounts for the glee club because they're taking the "Boots Off the Street" and bills like Bill No. 114, they're going to go out and they're going to start doing pressure.

[Page 4274]

They're going to go do it to tire gauges and make sure the tires are at the right gauge or are the engines running or not? They'll give them stethoscopes just so they can listen to make sure the engines are off, that they can make sure that the time that they're prepared to waste, as a government, is really going to true effect and that the wasteful measures such as bills like this are equally paired with wasteful activities of a government rather than the rightful thing of supporting people like the students of Holy Angels High School, their future and education of young people who are expecting that they are going to be given wisdom and knowledge from this Legislature, that they're going to have a foundation of understanding that bills before this House mean something to them, mean something to their families, mean something to their communities.

The only thing mean right now is the government. The government is being mean to the students of Holy Angels High School, to the families that send their children to Holy Angels High School, to the community businesses that rely on Holy Angels High School, the local convenience store that has been, quite frankly, their livelihood, but the government doesn't care because Bill No. 114 is more important than small business because I know the Minister of Economic and Rural de-Development or "undevelopment" or "nondevelopment", whatever he wants to call himself now, is not prepared to invest and recognize that local communities have to be part of a diversified and varied base that ensures that they have the type of vitality in place.

We don't see that at Holy Angels High School and we definitely don't see that coming out of Bill No. 114. That's what we've now found that this government has reduced themselves to and this Legislature to. As we go forward, if the government wants to bring more bills before this House, we're going to be up and it's going to be a long session. It's going to be a really long session, because after a bill like this, maybe a serious matter is going to come up. Why haven't we dealt with the serious matters at the front end of this session? Why hasn't the government, instead of Bill No. 114, brought the priority issues that Nova Scotians thought we were coming to this sitting for, and deal with them? They haven't. They've thrown bill after useless bill into this House, done things they never had to do, wasting valuable taxpayers' resources.

The minister gets up and says, we're tying up time or, they're filibustering. We're speaking out against this government's wrong-headed initiatives, what they're bringing forward to this House. Bill No. 114 does nothing to improve what should have been a long-standing tradition of this House, of thoughtful debate, of second sober thought so they could deal with these things. You would think that the government would want to have that type of dialogue.

You would think that the government, rather than Bill No. 114, would want to talk about the future of all of Nova Scotians, deal with the financial pressures, put ideas for economic development, get consensus, get support for government agenda, but instead they'll tie up time with Bill No. 114. Instead, they'll deny young women at Holy Angels High School a future, or access to a future, but they'll tie up this House, they will hold up the

[Page 4275]

future of Nova Scotians because they have a political agenda that says, we're right and everyone else is wrong and if we're not going to have a chance to come back, we're going to put every bloody bill we possibly can through, to appease every special interest we possibly can, and that's what they're going to do because there's a chicken in every pot.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I have to remind the honourable member for Cape Breton North that the word "bloody" is unparliamentary and if he could remove it from further (Interruptions)

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I do recognize that when you deal with the issues of such concern and passion to the people of Cape Breton, such as Holy Angels High School, the wrong word may come out, but the mess this government has made, the utter mess, the disastrous mess, the debt-ridden mess this government has created after a balanced budget it voted against, the debt they brought in, and now the structural debt that the Minister of Finance wants to say he created and takes credit for now, and I'm glad to see he's doing that, I'm glad that their own auditors have confirmed that Bill No. 114 paled in comparison to other issues they should be dealing with.

I'm glad that the Minister of Finance knows that Deloitte had said, their own auditors that they went out and spent another king's ransom on, verified at the Public Accounts Committee that what they were talking about was wrong, that their numbers were wrong - that their numbers were wrong, that in fact there was a balanced budget, that there was no cooked books in the Province of Nova Scotia, and that in fact we should have been proceeding with a balanced budget to move forward so issues such as those before Holy Angels High School, instead of Bill No. 114, would be a priority of this government.

Instead, what did we do - $120 million and counting invested in dirt rather than people. That's the reality and here we have Bill No. 114 talking about idling rather than the ideologies that should be coming forward, the consensus that should be brought, Mr. Speaker, so that issues such as Holy Angels High School staying in the north end of Sydney where it is and being improved upon should be the priority of discussion and debate here, talking about the curriculum. The Minister of Education should be talking about the future curriculum that's required for those students and talking about things rather than Bill No. 114 that she herself could have put in her own directive to have dealt with this but she wanted to distract away. The Minister of Education wanted to distract away from what she's not doing rather than what she should be doing for the students of Holy Angels High School.

At the vigil on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. in the north end of Sydney at Holy Angels High School, community, family and students shall gather and, you know, the candles that are burning won't be Christmas candles and they won't be candles of joy. They're going to be candles of hope - hope of 299 students, their family, community and businesses, hope that

[Page 4276]

this government will see the light and stop doing things like Bill No. 114, and start dealing with the real priorities such as their education, as a foundation for the other young women in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board who are looking for a foundation that others have benefitted from, others who have come up and said, you know, if it wasn't for Holy Angels, I wouldn't be the woman I am today. That's what people have said to me, in very successful careers.

That's what they're saying, Mr. Speaker, but now we have a current generation where that's in peril. We have a future generation of students who are wondering if that could even possibly be the case and a government that wants to bring before this House Bill No. 114 and tie up this House and, more importantly, highlight the negative things that are happening. I can tell you those students expect more from this government. They thought they were going to get more from this government because that's what they sold in their propaganda in the brochures. They promised the moon and the stars. They promised they would honour commitments.

But do you know what? Apparently a commitment to quality education was like other ones, like the jail and supporting the ferry service in Yarmouth, and dealing with priorities of Nova Scotians, they thought that they would actually honour those commitments and honour a fundamental commitment to do the right thing but instead a vigil is being held on Friday night, not about Bill No. 114, they're not going to be worried about a bus idling because they know they may not have a bus in front of their school to idle, but a vigil on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. will be held for people who are going to be calling out for this government to have a heart and to do the right thing and be what they said they would be for Nova Scotians.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, we were down on the ground in Cape Breton and supported the honourable member for Cape Breton South in his support as the local MLA for that school in his constituency. We stood there across Party lines and, you know, Bill No. 114 wasn't part of the priorities and the discussions of that day. The discussion was about these young women and the community and the strength of a community that's being weakened by this government. It's being hurt by a government that will bring bills like Bill No. 114 before this Legislature, by a government that will not sit at the table with the Cape Breton-Victoria School Board and work sincerely with them, be forthright, and be clear on what it is.

[9:45 p.m.]

If the member for Sackville-Cobequid wants to get up on his feet there, you know, he can get up, Mr. Speaker. There will be a chance to debate and if the member for Sackville-Cobequid wants to do the right thing, in caucus he would say we should do the right thing for and by Holy Angels High School instead of Bill No. 114, but he doesn't care because he's sitting over there and he's worried about being, you know, he's in here and he can't upset the

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applecart too much because he is this close, he thinks, to Cabinet. So he has just got to be so careful not to say anything to offend Cabinet, he'll say yes, Bill No. 114 is good, good, I'm the Deputy House Speaker and I'm going to make sure that bill gets through if the House Leader is not there. You know, it's like Odie - he's just there, he's panting the whole time. Am I doing a good job? Can I get that bill through?

He's not over there talking about Holy Angels High School like we are. He's not over there saying what a priority and how misguided the government is in its priorities for Nova Scotians, such as Holy Angels High School. He's not talking to the Minister of Education about what she should be doing and the Minister of Finance for the ill-headed things they are doing against proper investments in this province and expenditures that make a difference and have a return on investment. A return on investment, Mr. Speaker - education, we all know, is one of the best things.

The Minister of Justice might cut back in the justice system, take "Boots Off the Street," create more issues in terms of safety on the streets, but we know the fundamental thing to a good economy is a good education and that you cannot be - and in this modern age have a diversified economy if you don't have one of the best-educated and well-rounded and diversified people. The people that need an education, that know enough to look at Bill No. 114 and say this ain't nothing, Mr. Speaker, this isn't worth the paper it is written on because the government could have saved that paper, done the right thing, implemented these things, and got on with spending time in this Legislature dealing with important issues, such as the education of the young women of Holy Angels High School.

I know the members for Lunenburg and district would know if they had a choice to pick Bill No. 114 over Holy Angels High School, I'm only suspecting they would pick Holy Angels High School. I know when the Lunenburg Academy needed investment, when we were on the government side, we understood you make the investment. An historic institution in that community that needed some resources, the resources were provided. The members stood up and no one was saying that that investment was wrong because it went to the quality of education and provided for safety and security and the proper environment for an old building that needed modern amenities to operate within the code.

Those things were fine. Those weren't the types of things that would be in Bill No. 114. We thought that this government, when it came to power after its glossy election propaganda brochures said that they were going to do, put the House back to work - Bill No. 114 breaks a government promise, breaks a commitment the Premier said he would do, because in their brochure it said, we are going to put the Legislature back to work. Well, my gosh, we might as well be a chain gang collecting garbage. We'd do more for the environment than this bill is going to do right here. We'd have more value going along the highways picking up some cans and recycling them. At least people would benefit. I'm sure the buses we would be on to go do that wouldn't idle - but instead we are talking about Bill No. 114 instead of other priorities, such as Holy Angels High School. That's what this

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government reduced themselves to because they said they were going to put the Legislature back to work.

Well, if you call this bill work, this bill is a government bill. It is not an Opposition bill, it is not a private member's bill - it is a government bill that they own. If they don't like the commentary in this House in response to our democratic right to stand up here as duly-elected members of this Legislature on behalf of the people, to say that Holy Angels is more important than Bill 114, then I don't care if they don't like it because the people of Holy Angels and across Nova Scotia don't care that they don't seem to care about the priorities of Nova Scotians. What they care about is this government getting back to work. If this government was truly committed to doing what they said in their brochure, they'd stop the petty politics of bills that just don't add up to the priorities of Nova Scotians, such as Bill No. 114.

I'll tell you, Mr. Speaker, if this Legislature wants to get back to work, it could get to the serious issues at hand. The Minister of Finance could step up to the plate and start being forthright with Nova Scotians and start making the investments that matter the most to Nova Scotians - could start doing the right thing, could start working across Party lines and say there are issues that can get consensus. Instead, we are talking about bills like Bill No. 114 and bloody clotheslines.

MR. SPEAKER: I remind the honourable member that the word "bloody" is unparliamentary - if he could remove it from further presentation in the House.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North for his final 10 seconds.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, again on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia, I retract the word "bloody," but I want to emphasize their passion that this government and this Legislature get back to work on their behalf. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order.

The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, with all the excitement we had this evening, I thought it would be great to stand and speak for another 10 minutes or so on this one until, of course, our time expires. I'm going to be very happy to speak to Bill No. 114. I need to thank the member for Cape Breton North for his impassioned speech and for his protection of his area and the individuals therein, including the people of Holy Angels High School and the injustice that they are feeling at the hands of this NDP Government.

I'm going to speak on the other end of the province where this government has been more than successful at idling something, at shutting the down the idle of The Cat ferry, the

[Page 4279]

ferry service that travels from Yarmouth to New England. They're really good at that one. They didn't need a bill to do that, just like they don't need a bill today to talk about the idling of, I believe, school buses and other buses, transit buses and tour buses and those kinds of things. This requires a policy. The member for Dartmouth East spoke very eloquently about this a little earlier, on the things that are actually already being done in the Province of Nova Scotia insofar as anti-idling policies or anti-idling requirements.

I remember walking into the car dealership that I deal with here in Halifax, a Volkswagen dealership, Hillcrest Volkswagen, and they've had an anti-idling policy there for as long as I've owned a car. This is something that private industry, that bus industry, that other people have brought forward and have been more than happy to discuss and bring forward to the public in Nova Scotia. Why is this showing here today as Bill No. 114? This should be no more than a policy that the Minister of Environment, that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, the Minister of Community Services, the Minister of Education should be putting forward as a policy within department.

I can say right now that I'm going to try my best as an MLA, as a member of this House, that I will not idle my car more than I have to. I wonder, how many people in this House actually have car starters, who, every morning when it's cold outside, start their car up and wait until it warms up in their parking lots? Why don't we outlaw things like that? Why don't we talk about idling boats? Why don't we talk about idling trucks? All those things are really causing far more CO2 emissions than anything that we're talking about here tonight. That's the issue of this bill before us today.

The member for Cape Breton North spoke, I think, very well in his support for his community and I'm going to speak to mine. We should be talking about important things to Nova Scotians and that is the economy, that is health care, that is jobs. They have been successful, once again, in idling probably what, 800 cars? How many jobs have gone missing in this last number of months under the watch of this NDP Government? What was the last number? I think it was like 800 - or something like that - people have lost their jobs in the last few weeks. Well that's 800 cars, really, that are not idling. They're sitting in their driveways not being used because people have lost their eye on the ball of what's important to Nova Scotia, what's important to what needs to be happening.

Bill No. 114, I mean, my goodness, how short a bill can we possibly do? This is a good idea. On face value, you would look at this and say, great, we're talking about anti-idling legislation in Nova Scotia. I know the Minister of Environment is agreeing on face value, but what does the bill really mean? I know I can't go clause by clause on that in this House, it's not something that I can do, but it wouldn't take me very long to go clause by clause on this because this is a nothing bill.

This goes to what we've been saying all along, that there is no legislative agenda for this House of Assembly, for this government. They should be talking about, again, the important things, bringing them forward for wholesome discussion in this House of

[Page 4280]

Assembly. They should be talking about, what's the future for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia? What's the future for southwestern Nova Scotia when it comes to their economy and the tourist industry there?

They idled The Cat. They put her down. They shut it down. There's been no talk up to now, except for a quick discussion that apparently the Premier had or the mayor brought forward the possibility of a new ferry for Yarmouth. But again, Bill No. 114 really doesn't speak to that, nor does it speak to the member that was probably impacted just as much as the member for Yarmouth or Argyle or Clare - that's the member for Shelburne, the honourable Minister of Environment. Why isn't he talking about idling The Cat in this one? He should be. He's been affected.

Just recently the Queens council was talking about the hit to their economy, to their stats of, I believe, almost a 15 per cent drop in tourist visits in southwest Nova Scotia in the Queens County area alone. I believe it was 61 per cent - thank you very much to the member for Yarmouth for fixing the number on that. It's a heck of a lot bigger than what I had been estimating.

We should be talking about things that are substantial to Nova Scotia, things that are important to Nova Scotia. Talking about something that could have been done by ministerial decree is not something that should have been before this House of Assembly. No different than the clothesline bill that was before it or anything else we're talking about here tonight.

I know the glee club will probably do its best to talk about what's important for suburban Nova Scotia - this might be one of them. Maybe they'll go and knock on windows as people are idling on the freeway, trying to get home to suburbia. I'll provide stickers. I will use my expenses. I'll provide some stickers - maybe you can provide a little summary offence ticket to the people as you're walking your way down to Sackville or Beaver Bank or to all those areas that people need to get out to.

We should be talking about transit policy. That would be a great idea to talk about tonight. There should be talk about buses, light trains; there should be talk about ferries. There's all kinds of things we could be talking about instead of an anti-idling policy for the Government of Nova Scotia. This is well within the capabilities or the legislative right of the Cabinet to create a decree, to create a policy, to make sure that this doesn't happen with the buses and the infrastructure that we do have in the Province of Nova Scotia.

I would love to talk about this a little bit more. I will take my time tomorrow or the next day when this is brought up, but at this time, I would really like to adjourn debate on Bill No. 114.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 4281]

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Did you vote on adjournment?

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is to adjourn debate of Bill No. 114. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, with that settling debate, that closes the government's business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again to morrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m. The House will sit until 8:00 p.m. The order of business will be bills for second reading. We will be calling Bill Nos. 88, 114, 115, 118, 119, 120.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House rise to meet tomorrow at 2:00 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.

[The House rose at 9:59 p.m.]

[Page 4282]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2502

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas all Nova Scotians will achieve better health and a sense of achievement through active participation in recreational sport; and

Whereas the Milton Dambusters competed in the Summer Swimming Provincials held in Bedford in August; and

Whereas Cheyenne Harrison, 11 years old, placed 54th in the 50-metre Breast, 66th in the 50-metre Free, 55th in the 50-metre Fly, 59th in the 100-metre IM, and 58th in the 50-metre Back;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Cheyenne Harrison for her wonderful accomplishments at the Summer Swimming Provincials tournament.

RESOLUTION NO. 2503

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas North Queens Rural High School student Elijah Lem Hunt has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Elijah Lem Hunt has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to his community while maintaining good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognizes and congratulates Elijah Lem Hunt on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at North Queens Rural High School.

[Page 4283]

RESOLUTION NO. 2504

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Paramedic Long Service Award is based on years of service to Nova Scotians by paramedics and others who provide emergency health services; and

Whereas it is important that we take the time to recognize and thank these men and women for their hard work and dedication and for the contribution they make to our health and public safety; and

Whereas Gary Gehue of Liverpool, Queens County, received a medal in recognition of his years of service to Nova Scotia in the area of health;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognizes and congratulates Gary Gehue of Liverpool, Queens County, on having received the Paramedic Long Service Award recognizing his years of service as a paramedic.

RESOLUTION NO. 2505

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas all Nova Scotians will achieve better health and a sense of achievement through active participation in recreational sport; and

Whereas the Milton Dambusters competed in the Summer Swimming Provincials held in Bedford in August; and

Whereas Graham Muise, 18 years old, placed 4th in the 100 metre Breast, 5th in the 100 metre Free, Bronze Medal in the 50 metre Fly, 4th in the 100 metre IM and Bronze Medal in the 100 metre Back;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Graham Muise for his wonderful accomplishments at the Summer Swimming Provincials tournament.

[Page 4284]

RESOLUTION NO. 2506

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas all Nova Scotians will achieve better health and a sense of achievement through active participation in recreational sport; and

Whereas 20 years ago a tribute to Hank Snow, native of Queens County, was put together on Summerville Beach so people who liked Hank's style could have an arena for their particular interests; and

Whereas in August of this year the Hank Snow Festival welcomed over 200 musicians to the stage in Bridgewater; and

Whereas the volunteers and workers provided many hours of work to provide a wonderful weekend of entertainment and recognition of Hank Snow;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the volunteers, musicians and workers at the 20th Anniversary of the Hank Snow Tribute held in Bridgewater for presenting a wonderful weekend of entertainment.

RESOLUTION NO. 2507

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Farm Credit Canada recognized five women in Canada for their leadership and commitment to the Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry with an FCC Rosemary Davis Award; and

Whereas Jeannie van Dyk, one award recipient, is a dairy and crops producer, volunteer, mentor, teacher and native of Caledonia, Queens County, is a pioneer in the Nova Scotia agriculture industry; and

Whereas the award recognizes demonstrated leadership, community involvement and making a difference in agriculture by displaying passion for the industry and a clear vision of the future;

[Page 4285]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize and congratulate Jeannie van Dyk, native of Caledonia, Queens County, on receipt of the FCC Rosemary Davis Award for her leadership and commitment to Canadian agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2508

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Liverpool Regional High School student Joel Thomas Smith has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Joel Thomas Smith has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to his community while maintaining good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize and congratulate Joel Thomas Smith on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at Liverpool Regional High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2509

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas North Queens Rural High School student Katelyn Dawn Mansfield has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Katelyn Dawn Mansfield has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to her community while maintaining good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize and congratulate Katelyn Dawn Mansfield on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at North Queens Rural High School.

[Page 4286]

RESOLUTION NO. 2510

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas making a provincial team is quite the accomplishment in the world of sport in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Kristen Gordon, of Queens County, will play for the Nova Scotia Female Under 15 team; and

Whereas Kristen played in a tournament in New Brunswick, which regroups the best players from the Atlantic Hockey provinces in an annual best-on-best competition, and is looking forward to the Atlantic Skills Challenge in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize and congratulate Kristen Gordon, of Queens County, for making the Nova Scotia Female Under 15 hockey team and wish her well in future hockey endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2511

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Liverpool Regional High School student Megan Lynn Himmelman has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Megan Lynn Himmelman has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to her community while maintaining good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize and congratulate Megan Lynn Himmelman on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at Liverpool Regional High School.

[Page 4287]

RESOLUTION NO. 2512

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas volunteers are such an important part of the Queens County Music Festival, which takes place each Spring; and

Whereas Pauline Spence, a retired Liverpool school teacher has been volunteering at the music festival for over 30 years; and

Whereas this year the music festival presented Pauline Spence with an honorary life membership in recognition of her volunteer work over the years;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognizes and congratulates Pauline Spence for her many years of volunteer service at the Queens County Music Festival and being in receipt of an honorary life membership from the festival.

RESOLUTION NO. 2513

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the clients of Queens Association for Supported Living of Queens County take a camping trip during the summer; and

Whereas the funds required to support this trip are raised through a painted chair auction; and

Whereas the local hardware store, Home Hardware, provides the paint and community artists provide their talents to decorate eleven chairs and two tables for this worthy cause;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes Home Hardware and the community artists for donating their paint and talents for a fundraiser to sponsor a yearly camping trip for clients at Queens Association for Supported Living.

[Page 4288]

RESOLUTION NO. 2514

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas most of us think of hockey as a winter sport but in the summer a very successful ball hockey tournament was held in Queens County; and

Whereas 14 teams registered for this tournament from all over the south shore; and

Whereas physical activity is important to the health and well-being of all Nova Scotians and the Sobey's South Shore Wild were instrumental in being sure this tournament took place;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognizes the Sobey's South Shore Wild for the organization of the very successful ball hockey tournament held this past summer.

RESOLUTION NO. 2515

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the newspaper that serves Queens County, The Advance, has come through a transition over the past few months; and

Whereas The Advance has welcomed Nick Moase, news editor and Kelly Brooks, reporter; and

Whereas with the editorial changes to the newspaper, the stories on the streets of Queens County will be reported weekly in The Advance;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize Nick Moase, news editor and Kelly Brooks, reporter to their new roles on the Queens County Advance weekly newspaper.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2516

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas all Nova Scotians will achieve better health and a sense of achievement through active participation in recreational sport; and

Whereas the Milton Dambusters competed in the Summer Swimming Provincials held in Bedford in August; and

Whereas Zach LaRocque, 8-years old, had all personal bests and placed 11th in the 25-metre Free, 6th in the 25-metre Breast, 13th in the 25-metre Fly and 10th in the 25-metre Back;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia recognize Zach LaRocque for his wonderful accomplishments at the Summer Swimming Provincials tournament.

RESOLUTION NO. 2517

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the new Best Western Plus Bridgewater Hotel and Convention Centre in Cookville celebrated its grand opening on November 18th with an open house; and

Whereas the Best Western Plus boasts pristine guest rooms, special storage space for sports teams, a convention centre room that can accommodate up to 300 people and a swimming pool that is currently being used by Elderfit programs within the community; and

Whereas the Best Western Plus has drawn on the talents of students from the Nova Scotia Community College Lunenburg Campus' Hospitality Program, creating community collaboration;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Best Western Plus Bridgewater Hotel and Convention Centre in Cookville on its grand opening this month and wish them many years of success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2518

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the honourable Sterling Belliveau, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, recently announced funding to Lunenburg County boat builders through the province's Boatbuilders' Marketing Assistance Program; and

Whereas the investment is part of the Community Development Trust Fund, focussing on boat building companies that are export-ready and have export marketing experience, or are recognized boat building industry associations; and

Whereas Covey Island Boatworks, Norse Boat Limited, The Dory Shop and ABCO Industries Limited of Lunenburg, as well as Mahone Bay Boatworks of Mahone Bay and Lutwick's Boat Building and Repair of Indian Point have all received funding through this program;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Covey Island Boatworks, Norse Boat Ltd., The Dory Shop, ABCO Industries Ltd., Mahone Bay Boatworks and Lutwick's Boat Building and Repair for receiving funding through the Boatbuilders Marketing Assistance Program to help local boat building companies improve marketing and promotions efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 2519

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) is committed to representing the best interests of the industry, enhancing and supporting the development of a competitive business environment, advocating on issues critical to the industry's success and, most importantly, leading Nova Scotia's most promising economic sector; and

Whereas TIANS presents the Nova Scotia Pineapple Awards, a celebration of our pride and service and a recognition of the individuals who go above and beyond what is expected to enrich a visitor's stay in Nova Scotia; and

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Whereas Cheryl Corkum, manager of the Lunenburg Board of Trade's Visitor Information Centre, is being awarded the Pineapple Award at the 2010 Crystal Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax on November 30th;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Cheryl Corkum and the Lunenburg Visitor Information on receiving the TIANS Pineapple Award and commend Ms. Corkum for promoting tourism in the Town of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 2520

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Cookville's Best Western Hotel is partnering with the Clean the World Foundation, in Florida, to sort and process room-discarded hygiene items such as shampoo bottles; and

Whereas the discarded and unused portions of soap and shampoo products are sent to developing countries in an effort to reduce waste; and

Whereas the Clean The World Foundation estimates that distribution of donated hygiene products can prevent millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses through the program;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Best Western Hotel, in Cookville, and its staff for their participation in this program to reduce waste and improve their environmental performance.

RESOLUTION NO. 2521

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Kirsten Tomilson and Mark Capello, of Fourth Monkey Media, created an ethical online game company that focuses on anti-cyber bullying and teaches children about Internet safety; and

[Page 4292]

Whereas the Lunenburg company is one of the small local businesses in the Province of Nova Scotia to be awarded vouchers from the Department of Economic and Rural Development in order to develop more business prospects for the young company; and

Whereas the $15,000 voucher awarded to Fourth Monkey Media under the province's Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program will allow them to team up with experts from Saint Mary's University to develop a marketing plan to promote their product throughout Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Kirstin Tomilson and Mark Capello, of Fourth Monkey Media, on receiving the province's Productivity and Innovation Voucher to develop markets for their product throughout Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 2522

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Best Big Idea competition was launched in August by the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council in partnership with the Department of Community Services, Affirmative Industries and the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network, to bring to light the best entrepreneurial ideas in the province, particularly encouraging women, persons with disabilities, young people and immigrants; and

Whereas the new competition received 118 entrepreneurial idea submissions, with three finalists being chosen; and

Whereas Fourth Monkey Media owner Kirstin Tomilson, of Lunenburg, was recognized as runner up for her work with the Truro police to develop an online, interactive video to inform and educate youth on the dangers of Internet activity and cyber bullying;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Kirstin Tomilson and Fourth Monkey Media for being one of three finalists in the Best Big Idea Award and commend her for her work to combat bullying.

RESOLUTION NO. 2523

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

[Page 4293]

Whereas the Lunenburg Community Christmas event, which was started in 2008, has been extremely successful with two sold out events in a row, providing an opportunity for people to come together in their community in a meaningful way on Christmas Day; and

Whereas organizers are gearing up for the 3rd Annual Lunenburg Community Christmas at the Lunenburg Community Hall on December 25th, with 70 to 80 volunteers getting involved to make the event a success; and

Whereas several local businesses, such as Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters and the Tin Fish Restaurant, have already jumped on board to contribute in the form of donations of products and services, with many people calling spokesman Graham Pratt to request one of the 150 tickets available for the event;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the Lunenburg Community Christmas and all the volunteers who give of their time during the Christmas season and wishes them a success for their third annual event.

RESOLUTION NO. 2524

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg Yacht Club, located on Heckman's Island in Lunenburg County, has completed Year One of their fundraising campaign for upgrades and expansion needed for the growing yacht club; and

Whereas volunteer and community support has contributed greatly to the fundraising efforts of the Lunenburg Yacht Club, with members raising over $400,000 in donations and volunteers contributing many hours to the work that is required for site preparation for the new septic system, repairs to the old rock walls and the development of an outdoor classroom and lunch area; and

Whereas the club has already reaped the benefits of its first stage of expansion by offering more programs and seeing record numbers of students enrolled in its Learn to Sail programs and future stages of expansion will see increased storage areas for boats, as well as water and electricity hookups on the wharf;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates the Lunenburg Yacht Club on their successful fundraising initiatives with the help of volunteerism from the community and wish them success as they continue to improve the facilities available at the club.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2525

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the building at 493 Main Street in Mahone Bay, the Town Hall, was built in 1865 and is about to become a registered heritage property; and

Whereas the building was sold for use as the Town Hall in 1934 and part of its heritage value lies in its continuous use as a public building since that time; and

Whereas the Mahone Bay Town Hall is one of the four five-bay Georgian structures in the town, with architectural features characteristic of the neoclassical-Georgian and late- Victorian styles;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the Mahone Bay Town Hall as a heritage property and congratulates the Town of Mahone Bay on this designation, which will be recognized by a ceremony to designate the building as a heritage property at a later date.

RESOLUTION NO. 2526

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas over 150,000 one-pound propane cylinders are sold in Nova Scotia each year, containing residual propane gas when they are presumed empty, creating challenges for disposal; and

Whereas RavenStar Resource Recovery was approached by the Nova Scotia Resource and Recovery Fund Board to find a solution to the difficult disposal of one-pound propane tanks and RavenStar Resource Recovery owner David Cameron developed a system for removing the propane gas, making the propane tanks safe to recycle; and

[Page 4295]

Whereas the system is one of more than 140 clean- technology projects to receive financial assistance by the Province of Nova Scotia through the ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the important innovation created by RavenStar Resource Recovery to allow for safe disposal and recycling of one-pound propane tanks in the Province of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 2527

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas TecBox International Ltd., a custom-made shipping solutions company based in Rhodes Corner, Lunenburg County, has been in operation for 15 years under the ownership of Rainer and Margit Bressmer; and

Whereas TecBox International Ltd. is marking its second major expansion to accommodate the increasingly diverse shipping-crate size needs of their client base; and

Whereas TecBox International has branched into cardboard shipping crates, based largely on the needs of a key customer, Composites Atlantic in Lunenburg, allowing them to better meet the needs of their clients at home and around the world;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates TecBox International Ltd. and its owners, Rainer and Margit Bressmer, on their recent diversification of specially manufactured shipping containers and recognizes this economic growth within the rural community of Lunenburg County.

RESOLUTION NO. 2528

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas award-winning author William Gilkerson of Martin's River was one of five writers to be short-listed for the 2010 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award; and

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Whereas Mr. Gilkerson was nominated for his book A Thousand Years of Pirates, which through words and drawings records the history of pirates on the high seas, dating back to the Vikings and on through to the Golden Age of Sail; and

Whereas A Thousand Years of Pirates, written and illustrated by Mr. Gilkerson, is the author's follow-up work to his first fictional venture, Pirate's Passage, which earned him the Governor General's Award for Children's Literature in 2006;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates award-winning author William Gilkerson on being short-listed for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for his latest book, A Thousand Years of Pirates.

RESOLUTION NO. 2529

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas over the past three years, Brooke Murphy, a member of the Girl Guides of Canada, has received awards for Lending a Hand and Religion in Life Badge; and

Whereas Brooke finished her Guiding program by being presented with the top award that a Girl Guide can achieve, the Lady Baden-Powell Award; and

Whereas the earning of badges involves dedication, volunteering within Brooke's community, and helping with the young levels of Girl Guides;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Brooke Murphy on being an outstanding member of our community and for receiving her Lady Baden-Powell Award in the Girl Guides of Canada Program.

RESOLUTION NO. 2530

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas McNabs and Lawlor Islands are jewels of the Halifax Harbour which are rich in heritage and culture of the Eastern Passage area and, indeed, of HRM, Nova Scotia; and

[Page 4297]

Whereas these islands are protected provincial and national parks that offer Nova Scotia citizens beautiful trails, landscapes, ocean views, history, and educational opportunities; and

Whereas the Friends of McNabs Island Society has been stewards of the island and celebrated its 20th Anniversary this year by hosting a picnic that welcomed over 400 Nova Scotia visitors in recognition of Canada Parks Day;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the Friends of McNabs Island Society on the celebration of its 20th Anniversary and wish them many more years as stewards of the island.

RESOLUTION NO. 2531

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Miles Leahy has been clowning around the Maritimes as Milo the Clown for more than 20 years before taking up residence in Eastern Passage area; and

Whereas Milo can be found pedalling a 1950s 3-wheel bike, festively painted and sporting a variety of doodads and noisemakers at many Nova Scotia community events, street parties, parades, festivals, campgrounds, and corporate events; and

Whereas Milo has won several Canadian awards and an international award in England in 2005 for his act;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Milo the Clown, Miles Leahy, on his prestigious career as a clown and wish him many more years of putting smiles on Nova Scotian faces.

RESOLUTION NO. 2532

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas 18-year-old Taylor Shupe of Cole Harbour, an avid lacrosse player and assistant coach for the Dartmouth Bandits Junior Girls team, was named Athlete of the Week in a local community paper; and

[Page 4298]

Whereas Taylor has been a member of the Dartmouth Bandits box lacrosse teams and played field hockey and ice hockey for her high school team; and

Whereas Taylor was named 2010 Provincial Field Hockey Player of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Taylor Shupe of Cole Harbour for being named 2010 Provincial Field Hockey Player of the Year and wish her every success in her sporting endeavours in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2533

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Canadian hero Terry Fox began a cross-Canada run in 1980 to raise awareness of cancer and the need for support for research to find a cure; and

Whereas the community of Eastern Passage has been hosting local Terry Fox events for over 30 years, exemplifying support for this cause and highlighting the Terry Fox Legacy; and

Whereas Hazel Joyce, Elsie Johnstone, Pat and Tom Harmes, Eva York, and Ed DeYoung have taken part in the Terry Fox Run for over 30 years, and Pat and Tom Harnes had the honour of meeting Terry personally on his visit to Dartmouth as he passed through Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly commend the entire community of Eastern Passage, and indeed all Nova Scotia communities, for their ongoing show of support of the Terry Fox Run and celebration of the great Canadian citizen, Terry Fox.

RESOLUTION NO. 2534

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

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

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

[Page 4299]

Whereas Sherbrooke & Area Volunteer Fire Department provides invaluable emergency services to their community; and

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

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2535

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

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

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

Whereas Seven Communities Recreation and Volunteer Fire Department provides invaluable emergency services to their community; and

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

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2536

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

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

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

[Page 4300]

Whereas Seashore Volunteer Fire Department provides invaluable emergency services to their community; and

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

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2537

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

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

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

Whereas District 6 - Municipality of St. Mary's Fire Department provides invaluable emergency services to their community; and

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

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate District 6 - Municipality of St. Mary's Fire Department on applying for and receiving funding from the Emergency Services Provider Fund to assist with updating and purchasing important equipment to keep our communities safe.

RESOLUTION NO. 2538

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

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

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

[Page 4301]

Whereas Liscomb Volunteer Fire Department provides invaluable emergency services to their community; and

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

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2539

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

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

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

Whereas Hazel Hill & District Fire Department provides invaluable emergency services to their community; and

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

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2540

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

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

Whereas the Olympic Flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, on October 22nd; and

[Page 4302]

Whereas the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay began on October 30th in Victoria, British Columbia; and

Whereas Karey-Beth Delorey, of Larry's River, Nova Scotia, was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on Day 19, Tuesday, November 17, 2009 in Tracadie, Nova Scotia, in memory of her late skating coach Connie Frazee;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature join me in congratulating Karey-Beth Delorey on being chosen to carry the Olympic Torch.

RESOLUTION NO. 2541

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

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

Whereas the Olympic Flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, on October 22nd; and

Whereas the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay began on October 30th in Victoria, British Columbia; and

Whereas Shantel O'Neil, of Boylston, Nova Scotia, was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on Day 18, Monday, November 16, 2009 in Sydney, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature join me in congratulating Shantel O'Neil on being chosen to carry the Olympic Torch.

RESOLUTION NO. 2542

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

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

Whereas the Olympic Flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, on October 22nd; and

Whereas the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay began on October 30th in Victoria, British Columbia; and

Whereas Nicholas Dort, of Boylston, Nova Scotia, was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on Day 18, Monday, November 16, 2009 in Sydney, Nova Scotia;

[Page 4303]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature join me in congratulating Nicholas Dort on being chosen to carry the Olympic Torch.

RESOLUTION NO. 2543

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

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

Whereas Guysborough Academy Blue Eagles hosted an invitational basketball tournament in December; and

Whereas the tournament consisted of four boys and four girls teams competing in a round robin tournament; and

Whereas the Guysborough Academy Blue Eagles male basketball team won the boys division;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Guysborough Academy Blue Eagles basketball boys team for winning the invitational basketball tournament and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2544

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

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

Whereas Guysborough Academy Blue Eagles travelled to Baddeck to attend the Annual Red Bob Memorial Basketball Tournament; and

Whereas the tournament consisted of four boys and four girls teams competing in a round robin tournament; and

Whereas the Guysborough Academy Blue Eagles male basketball team won the silver medal in the boys division;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Guysborough Academy Blue Eagles basketball boys team and their coaches for winning the silver medal at the Baddeck Annual Red Bob Memorial Basketball Tournament and wish them continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2545

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 studies show that students who participate in school activities are less likely to be discipline problems, more likely to exhibit good attendance behaviour, more likely to graduate, and more likely to be successful in later life; and

Whereas 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation reinforces the significant role that interscholastic athletics play in education by annually organizing the Celebration of School Sport to recognize the best male and female athlete and teacher-coach from each junior and senior high school in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Malcolm Campbell from West Colchester Consolidated School in Bass River, Colchester North, coach recipient of the 2009-10 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Sports Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2546

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 Pippa Moss, at age 18, used her first paycheque to sponsor a child named Ndungu, in Africa; and

Whereas Moss, who is a child psychiatrist, her husband Christopher and son Thomas moved to Tatamagouche, Colchester North, in 1986 and spent the next five years working to help Ndungu in Kenya keep his daughter Pippa alive because she had contracted the HIV virus in the hospital; and

Whereas Moss helped Ndungu and his wife open an orphanage for AIDS children named Pippa's Place in honour of their own AIDS child who is now eight;

[Page 4305]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Dr. Pippa Moss for her hard work and dedication to improve the lives of AIDS orphans in Kenya and for the excellent example she sets as a role model for helping those less fortunate.

RESOLUTION NO. 2547

By: Mr. Mat Whynott (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas 13-year-old Bedford resident, Logan MacGillivray, was recently awarded by the Red Cross the Young Canadian Humanitarian Award for the work that he has done in support of children living in Sierra Leone; and

Whereas through his local community, Logan MacGillivray has raised more than $36,000 to send two containers filled with an estimated $57,000 worth of donated supplies to Sierra Leone and has recently completed a documentary entitled Listen to the Children - A Journey of Sharing detailing the lives of children in the impoverished country and the work that he has done in their support; and

Whereas this is an excellent example of how our local youth are demonstrating that they can make a significant impact on international issues and the lives of those living in poverty;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank and congratulate 13-year-old Logan MacGillivray from Bedford on the work that he has done for children in Sierra Leone and wish him the very best of success with his future projects.

RESOLUTION NO. 2548

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Lois O'Brien was honoured for her dedicated service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary; and

Whereas Lois O'Brien has given five years of service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary and is dedicated to being there to support the fire department and the community; and

[Page 4306]

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Lois O'Brien who give so unselfishly to make their community a better, safer place;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Lois O'Brien on five years of service to the Oxford Fire Department's Auxiliary and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2549

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Tiffany Lawless was honoured for her dedicated service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary; and

Whereas Tiffany Lawless has given five years of service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary and is dedicated to being there to support the fire department and the community; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Tiffany Lawless who give so unselfishly to make their community a better, safer place;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Tiffany Lawless on five years of service to the Oxford Fire Department's Auxiliary and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2550

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Tracy Rushton was honoured for her dedicated service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary; and

Whereas Tracy Rushton has given five years of service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary and is dedicated to being there to support the fire department and the community; and

[Page 4307]

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Tracy Rushton who give so unselfishly to make their community a better, safer place;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Tracy Rushton on five years of service to the Oxford Fire Department's Auxiliary and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2551

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Rouie Rushton was honoured for her dedicated service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary; and

Whereas Rouie Rushton has given 40 years of service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary and is dedicated to being there to support the fire department and the community; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Rouie Rushton who give so unselfishly to make their community a better, safer place;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Rouie Rushton on 40 years of service to the Oxford Fire Department's Auxiliary and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2552

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Elizabeth Stewart was honoured for her dedicated service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary; and

Whereas Elizabeth Stewart has given 40 years of service to the Oxford Firefighters Auxiliary and is dedicated to being there to support the fire department and the community; and

[Page 4308]

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Elizabeth Stewart who give so unselfishly to make their community a better, safer place;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Elizabeth Stewart on 40 years of service to the Oxford Fire Department's Auxiliary and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2553

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Brian Pyke was honoured for his dedicated service to the Oxford Fire Department; and

Whereas Brian Pyke was named Firefighter of the Year for 2010 for the Oxford Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Brian Pyke;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Brian Pyke on being named Firefighter of the Year for the Oxford Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2554

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Ken Hickman was honoured for his dedicated service to the Oxford Fire Department; and

Whereas Ken Hickman was named Firefighter of the Year for 2010 for the Oxford Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Ken Hickman;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Ken Hickman on being named Firefighter of the Year for the Oxford Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2555

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas David Ellis was honoured for his dedicated service to the Oxford Fire Department; and

Whereas David Ellis was named Firefighter of the Year for 2010 for the Oxford Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like David Ellis;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank David Ellis on being named Firefighter of the Year for the Oxford Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2556

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas David Weagle was honoured for his dedicated service to the Oxford Fire Department; and

Whereas David Weagle has given five years of service with the Oxford Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 20th to show their appreciation for volunteers like David Weagle;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank David Weagle on five years of service to the Oxford Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2557

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Adrian Dobson was honoured for his dedicated service to the Westchester Fire Department; and

Whereas Adrian Dobson has given 15 years of service with the Westchester Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 27th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Adrian Dobson;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Adrian Dobson on 15 years of service to the Westchester Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2558

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Edwin Jones was honoured for his dedicated service to the Westchester Fire Department; and

Whereas Edwin Jones has given five years of service with the Westchester Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 27th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Edwin Jones;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Edwin Jones on his five years of service to the Westchester Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2559

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Jason McNutt was honoured for his dedicated service to the Westchester Fire Department; and

Whereas Jason McNutt has given 15 years of service with the Westchester Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 27th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Jason McNutt;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Jason McNutt on his 15 years of service to the Westchester Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2560

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Douglas Gilroy was honoured for his dedicated service to the Wentworth Fire Department; and

Whereas Douglas Gilroy has given 35 years of service to the Wentworth Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 7th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Douglas Gilroy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Douglas Gilroy on his 35 years of service to the Wentworth Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2561

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

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Whereas David Ogilvie was honoured for his dedicated service to the Wentworth Fire Department; and

Whereas David Ogilvie has given 30 years of service with the Wentworth Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 7th to show their appreciation for volunteers like David Ogilvie;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank David Ogilvie on his 30 years of service to the Wentworth Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2562

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Jeremy Tattrie was honoured for his dedicated service to the Wentworth Fire Department; and

Whereas Jeremy Tattrie has one year of service with the Wentworth Fire Department and is dedicated to keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas family, friends and dignitaries were on hand on November 7th to show their appreciation for volunteers like Jeremy Tattrie;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Jeremy Tattrie on his first year of service to the Wentworth Fire Department and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

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