Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 09-14

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/

First Session

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Justice: Public Trustee Anl. Rept., Hon. R. Landry 740
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
PSC: MCP/AS - Classification, Hon. F. Corbett 740
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 366, Mi'kmaq History Mo. - Support,
The Premier (By Hon. G. Steele) 743
Vote - Affirmative 744
Res. 367, LWD: Carbon Monoxide Detector - Install,
Hon. M. More 744
Vote - Affirmative 744
Res. 368, Fam. Serv. (East. N.S.) - Anniv. (40th),
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 745
Vote - Affirmative 745
Res. 369, World Teachers' Day (10/05/09): Teacher - Congrats.,
Hon. M. More 745
Vote - Affirmative 746
Res. 370, Health - Spouse & Significant Others Assoc.,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 746
Vote - Affirmative 747
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 371, PSC - Members: Contribution - Congrats.,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 747
Vote - Affirmative 747
Res. 372, Bentley, Morley: Minister Emeritus - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 748
Vote - Affirmative 748
Res. 373, Durnford, Mark/Little, Wayne - Lions Club Appts.,
Hon. R. Jennex 748
Vote - Affirmative 749
Res. 374, Learning Disabilities Mos. (10/09) - Recognize,
Ms. K. Regan 749
Vote - Affirmative 750
Res. 375, Boyd, Sarah - Fundraising Efforts,
Mr. C. Porter 750
Vote - Affirmative 751
Res. 376, Robinson, Viola - Order of Nova Scotia,
Ms. L. Zann 751
Vote - Affirmative 751
Res. 377, Reid, Jono/Skiffington, Teddy - Can. Games Achievement,
Mr. A. Younger 751
Vote - Affirmative 752
Res. 378, Coal Shed Music Fest.: Organizers - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 752
Vote - Affirmative 753
Res. 379, South Shore Ex.: Pres./Bd./Staff - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Ramey 753
Vote - Affirmative 753
Res. 380, MacCormick, Peter: Cancer Research - Fundraising,
Ms. K. Regan 754
Vote - Affirmative 754
Res. 381, Finnegan, John & Betty/Bras d'Or Lakes Campground -
C.B. Auto Show, Mr. K. Bain 754
Vote - Affirmative 755
Res. 382, Mental Illness Awareness Wk. (10/04-10/10/09) - Acknowledge,
Ms. D. Whalen 755
Vote - Affirmative 756
Res. 383, Can. Post: Road-side Delivery - Reconsider,
Hon. C. Clarke 756
Vote - Affirmative 756
Res. 384, Drover, Jack: Mount A - Contributions,
Mr. L. Glavine 757
Vote - Affirmative 757
Res. 385, Harrison, Pam - Rotary Club Award,
Hon. M. Scott 757
Vote - Affirmative 758
Res. 386, CIBC Run for the Cure: Participants/Vols. - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 758
Vote - Affirmative 759
Res. 387, Pryor, Robert: Vol. - Dedication,
Hon. K. Casey 759
Vote - Affirmative 759
Res. 388, Northside Baptist Church: Satellite Ministry - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 760
Vote - Affirmative 760
Res. 389, Muise, Terry - Emerg. Serv. Exemplary Serv. Medal,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 760
Vote - Affirmative 761
Res. 390, Noiles, Brenda: CCA Prog. - Graduation,
Hon. M. Scott 761
Vote - Affirmative 762
Res. 391, Foulds, Joella/Busch, Earlene - Women in Bus. Awards,
Mr. K. Bain 762
Vote - Affirmative 762
Res. 392, Thibeau, Frank & Sharon - RCL Award,
Mr. C. Porter 763
Vote - Affirmative 763
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. L. Glavine 764
Hon. M. Scott 767
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 3:21 P.M. 771
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:32 P.M. 772
ADJOURNMENT, The House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 6th at 2:00 p.m. 772
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 393, C.B. Dodgers Big League Baseball Team - Success,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 773
Res. 394, Mahone Bay Scarecrow Fest.: Town/Comm. Vols. - Thank,
Ms. P. Birdsall 773
Res. 395, Veinot, Rex/Fam. Woodlot Owner of Yr.,
Ms. P. Birdsall 774

[Page 739]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2009

Sixty-first General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We'll bring today's proceedings to a start.

Honourable members, before we begin, I just want to take a moment - some of you probably read in the newspaper that a former member for my riding, the honourable Harvey A. Veniot, passed on this weekend.

Mr. Veniot was a Speaker of this House, as many of you are aware, during the 1960s and a former minister under three different Premiers. He served well in this House from 1956 to 1974. We want to express our condolences to his family. I certainly got to know Mr. Veniot quite well over the years, having first appeared on the ballot with him in 1974, a few years back. (Interruptions) I was only young at the time, indeed. Also, in the real estate business, he was well-known in the Pictou County area for a number of properties he had. He certainly worked hard for his constituents and was an honourable member for all that time. Later in his career he was a judge on the circuit in Pictou County and I think also in Cumberland County. So our condolences to his family and I would perhaps ask the members to rise in a moment of memory.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. We'll start the daily routine.

[Page 740]

739

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce the Public Trustees Annual Report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased to inform the House about a new classification and pay system for the 1,800 provincial government managers and administrative support staff who are not represented by collective bargaining agreements.

The Public Service Commission has been working toward this new classification structure for over two years now, Mr. Speaker. The system it replaces is more than 25 years old and very much out of date. The structure of government, the nature of work and classification practices have evolved significantly during this time period.

Mr. Speaker, this new classification system for MCP and AS employees provides a better framework for the future. It has fewer job levels, it will result in a more efficient classification of positions, and decrease the number of classification appeals. It will provide more flexibility in temporary assignments and transfers, and will improve succession management. Where there are recruitment and retention challenges, it will help us to attract and to hang on to these excellent employees.

In time, and as money permits, we will move to the Atlantic Canadian public sector average but we can't go there today, Mr. Speaker. All members of this House know what our fiscal picture looks like. The economic downturn has hit Nova Scotia hard. Provincial revenues are down by tens of millions of dollars, and the economic and financial projections for the years ahead aren't looking much brighter either. As my colleague the Minister of Finance has said, we have to make tough choices or we'll have no choices left at all.

[Page 741]

As a result, the province's 1,800 excluded employees will not receive an economic adjustment this year. Instead, government is allocating 1 per cent of payroll to this employee group this year. That 1 per cent will be used to move employees into the newer system. The majority of employees moved to their new job ratings at the same rate of pay, nobody will see their salary drop. A very small number of employees will see an increase of more than 1 per cent in order to move them to the minimum level of the range for their position in the new system.

[2:15 p.m.]

Next year, government will also provide a 1 per cent payroll increase to adjust salary bands. Let me sum this up - the province's 1,800 non-bargaining unit employees will see an average increase of 1 per cent this year as we transition into a new pay structure. They will not receive the 2.9 per cent payroll adjustment already provided by the bargaining unit employees. Next year, there will be a 1 per cent payroll adjustment.

Mr. Speaker, we wish we could do more. These civil servants work hard every single day for the people of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has been on an unsustainable path. Everybody will have a part to play in helping us to live within our means. The introduction of this new classification system will enable us to correct a number of inequities. It will allow us to preserve and to take advantage of the enormous amount of work preparing for this new system.

Most important of all, it will lay a foundation for a more efficient, fairer, and more competitive classification of these pay systems. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, let me thank the minister first for an advance copy of today's ministerial statement.

Let me summarize what the minister just told everyone in this House. If you are a public servant in this province and you're not in a union, your pay raise just went out the window. Happy Public Service Week, public servants. Hope you have a merry one, because you're no longer getting the increase that you deserve. The minister says out of one side of his mouth that public servants are hard-working individuals, and out of the other side of his mouth - oh, by the way, no pay raise. Not because you're not hard-working, but because you don't belong to a union. Our union buddies we gave a 2.9 per cent increase to, but because you don't belong in a union you don't get an increase.

Mr. Speaker, can you think of a better way of setting up two classes of individuals in this province than by breaking it into that, by breaking it down into individuals who are either in a union or not in a union? The irony of it all is that this comes on the first day of

[Page 742]

Public Service Week in Nova Scotia. Happy Public Service Week, public servants. You are no longer getting a pay raise.

As a matter of fact, it has been the tradition in this House for some time - since I've been here - to issue a release saying exactly that. Public Service Week - congratulations, public servants, for working long and hard. No release today. No release today except the ministerial statement that says 1,800 of our Public Service workers are in a different classification now, a classification that does not enable them to get the same increase as their colleagues that they work with in the Public Service who belong to a union will get.

Again, it sets up. Then to use the excuse - well, to use the language, first of all - they didn't call it a pay raise, they called it an economic adjustment this year. An economic adjustment is what you get now, not a pay raise, but an economic adjustment - except if you're not in the union. Then you don't get an economic adjustment, you get an economic nothing from this government.

They also said they'd be - again, the excuse comes out from the Finance Minister that these are tough times, work hard every single day, we're going to put Nova Scotia - it's on an unsustainable path right now, but we all have a part to play. You have a part to play because you're a public servant in this province - oh, wait now, you have a special part to play, you're not a unionized public servant, so you don't get a pay raise. If you're a unionized public servant, you get a pay raise.

Mr. Speaker, the hypocrisy of the New Democratic Party of Nova Scotia. That's exactly what this is, and if this isn't an example, changing a classification system which they say had to be changed - 25 years old, and it ending up with 1,800 employees who are not going to receive a pay increase that bargaining unit employees already received. Happy Public Service Week, public servant in Nova Scotia, from your NDP Government. Thank you.

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I stand to speak on behalf of my honourable colleague, the Critic for the Public Service Commission, the member for Cape Breton West, in response to the ministerial statement by the Deputy Premier.

Mr. Speaker, as was very eloquently pointed out by the member for Glace Bay and succinctly, that while this is on one hand a good move and a good measure, and I will compliment moving in that direction, we see it as an appropriate measure to move forward on. Likewise, as my colleague, you look at the other aspect of the choices that could have been made and haven't been made for 1,800 dedicated employees of the Province of Nova Scotia. When we look at some of the language that couches the rationale and reasoning why

[Page 743]

this New Democratic Government will go forward, well, I can tell you there are 1,800 working families wondering where the fairness is from this government.

There are 1,800 workers, Mr. Speaker, who all they've heard is the double standard and doublespeak of the Minister of Finance. I believe it was my honourable colleague, the member for Argyle, when he said, you know, in response to the Financial Measures Act, it's just more of the Rhodes Scholar gobbledegook looking at the stuff that he has presented. They, as a government, come forward and say there's no money on one hand, but then we have slush funds built in by deficit financing before this House.

So the real issue, Mr. Speaker, is they've made choices, they're prepared to make choices, and they're prepared to spend on certain things but they don't have their priorities straight for Nova Scotians and by Nova Scotians. This will speak while they on one hand will say we're moving forward and in all practicality is a reasonable move, and the other way they're penalizing people in the same vein. So, again, I would just say as we go forward we're going to see again, as was indicated, the hypocrisy that's being brought forward, the double standards. Doublespeak that we've been hearing in the last number of days will continue to be echoed and Nova Scotians have taken note of this. More importantly, there may be 31 members of them but there are 1,800 employees who won't forget what they're doing here today.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 366

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

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia recognize the Mi'kmaq contribution to the province's history, culture and economy and the month of October is designated Mi'kmaq History Month to acknowledge and celebrate these valuable contributions; and

Whereas Mi'kmaq History Month was first established to commemorate the peace and friendship treaties signed in 1752 between the Mi'kmaq and the Crown so they could live in harmony and peace, and Grand Chief Donald Marshall, Sr. proclaimed every October 1st as Treaty Day and people continue to gather throughout the month of October to celebrate Mi'kmaq history, culture and accomplishments; and

Whereas 2010 is the 400th Anniversary of the baptism of Grand Chief Membertou at Port Royal, Nova Scotia, and by accepting the common faith of most Europeans, Grand Chief Membertou laid the foundation for peaceful relations with Europeans;

[Page 744]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support Mi'kmaq History Month and recognize the significance of the 400th Anniversary of the baptism of Grand Chief Membertou.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 367

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

Whereas October 4th to October 11th is Fire Prevention Week; and

Whereas carbon monoxide can be a serious risk to individuals who heat their home with wood, heating oil, propane, or natural gas and/or have an attached garage; and

Whereas carbon monoxide detectors are a simple and reliable way to protect against the odourless and colourless gas;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature encourage Nova Scotians to protect themselves and their loved ones by making sure their carbon monoxide detector is working and properly installed.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 745]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 368

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

Whereas Family Service of Eastern Nova Scotia provides a wide range of programs and services for individuals and families, and has continued to evolve to meet new challenges to meet the needs of their clients; and

Whereas Family Service has a vision to be leaders in strengthening families and communities by being innovative, dynamic, and fully involved in the communities they serve; and

Whereas the Department of Community Services is proud to play a role in the support of Family Service that they provide to the people of eastern Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Family Service of Eastern Nova Scotia on its 40th Anniversary and the contributions made every day to serve and support eastern Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 369

[Page 746]

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

Whereas education is a fundamental building block required for a just and prosperous society; and

Whereas teachers play a pivotal role in guiding children, youth, and adults through the lifelong learning process; and

Whereas October 5th is World Teachers' Day, a day that celebrates the important, challenging, and rewarding work teachers do on a daily basis;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House offer our sincere congratulations to all of the province's teachers on World Teachers' Day for the significant and many contributions they make to the lives of their students and to the lives of all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 370

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

Whereas Nova Scotians of all ages have undergone major surgeries which result in a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy; and

Whereas the Spouse and Significant Others Association is a volunteer organization of caregivers that demonstrates human compassion, understanding and personal support for the ostomate to remain active, vibrant, productive and contributing members of society; and

Whereas this government has proclaimed Saturday, October 3rd , to be World Ostomy Day in Nova Scotia;

[Page 747]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the selfless work of volunteers and caregivers of the Spouse and Significant Others Association who help maintain the quality of life of those in need.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

[2:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 371

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

Whereas there are over 10,500 public servants working in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas our public servants perform essential services in meeting the needs of people across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas today marks the beginning of Provincial Public Service Week;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate all members of the Public Service of Nova Scotia for their important contribution to the well-being of all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 748]

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 Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 372

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

Whereas Morley Bentley is a well-known and well-respected United Church minister who has given many years of faithful service to the church and community; and

Whereas Morley retired in 1990 but continues as organist for the Tatamagouche parish, organist every second Sunday at Bayhead United Church and Director of the Northumberland Chorale; and

Whereas more than 200 people attended a service at the Sharon United Church in Tatamagouche on September 20th to celebrate the minister's 49 years of service to parishioners in the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Morley Bentley for being named Minister Emeritus, a title given to retired ministers who have offered years of service to their community and their church.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 749]

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 373

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

Whereas Coldbrook Lions Club member Mark Durnford was selected as N2 District Governor at the May 2009 Lions Club convention; and

Whereas Coldbrook Lions Club member Wayne Little was selected as the N2 District Council Secretary-Treasurer at the May 2009 Lions Club convention; and

Whereas the Coldbrook and District Lions Club hosted the District N2 Lions cabinet meeting for Lions from across Nova Scotia on October 2nd and October 3rd;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize and congratulate Lions Mark Durnford and Wayne Little of the Coldbrook Lions Club on their new positions with Lions Club District N2, and wish them well throughout their term.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 374

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 month of October has been designated Learning Disabilities Month; and

[Page 750]

Whereas for different reasons many Nova Scotians have difficulty learning and the Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia has worked to bring these challenges to the forefront and worked to help those in need; and

Whereas the Learning Disabilities Association works with families to assist and guide them through the process, from diagnosis to actual treatment;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize that October is Learning Disabilities Month and congratulate the Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia for their hard work and commitment to families facing this challenge.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 375

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

Whereas Sarah Boyd, the Manager at Hants Aquatic Centre, has recently completed a successful fundraising campaign in which she set out to install an Access Lift to enable those with limited mobility to enjoy the facilities as well; and

Whereas Sarah also volunteers her time with SMILE, a program established by Acadia University that offers free, accessible recreation programs and it was there she met Charbel Rouhana, a fellow Windsor resident who became paralyzed in a car accident and it was from his story she was compelled to act, to ensure the disabled had the same opportunities as everyone else; and

Whereas Sarah's tireless efforts on behalf of those who are disabled and less fortunate is a true reflection of the character and heart of this wonderful citizen;

[Page 751]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly give thorough and heartfelt congratulations to Sarah on her successful fundraising efforts and pay tribute to her heart and compassion.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 376

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

Whereas Viola Robinson of Greenfield has been a long-time advocate for the Mi'kmaq people and for bringing Native and non-Native peoples together; and

Whereas Viola has worked continuously for the advancement of Aboriginal treaty rights in Nova Scotia and across Canada; and

Whereas Viola Robinson's persistence helped lead her to having been named to the Order of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Viola Robinson has now been named to the Order of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Viola Robinson upon her being named to the Order of Nova Scotia and thank her for her efforts on behalf of all Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 752]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 377

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

Whereas the Canada Games are the country's largest amateur multi-sporting event; and

Whereas our Nova Scotia sailors received medals in all four sailing events at the 2009 P.E.I. Canada Games; and

Whereas Jono Reid and Teddy Skiffington, both from Halifax, received the gold medal in the men's double-handed 29er;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Jono Reid and Teddy Skiffington for their achievements in the Canada Games.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 378

[Page 753]

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

Whereas the Coal Shed Music Festival, an event organized to help support the Yarmouth Food Bank, was recently held on the Yarmouth waterfront; and

Whereas the five-day event had over 50 acts and attracted a record $7,000 in food and donations to the Yarmouth Food Bank; and

Whereas this year's event was the festival's biggest to date and not even poor weather could dampen the spirits of those involved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the organizers of the Coal Shed Music Festival on the event's continued success, and thank them for their tireless efforts on behalf of those who are less fortunate.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 379

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

Whereas the South Shore Exhibition is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in Canada, having run continuously since 1891, with the exception of 1939, when the grounds were commandeered to muster the soldiers of the West Nova Scotia Regiment; and

Whereas attendees to this well-known fair come from across Canada, United States and other countries to take part in the celebrations; and

[Page 754]

Whereas this edition of the exhibition broke the previous one-day attendance record for the fair with a total of 12,841 attendees passing through the turnstiles;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the President of the South Shore Exhibition, Ms. June Hanrahan, her 13-member board and her hard-working staff for a job well done.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 380

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

Whereas Peter MacCormick of Bedford, rode 4,500 kilometres, from Halifax to Austin, Texas, for the 2008 Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Challenge Ride; and

Whereas on October 12, 2009, Peter will join fellow riders in support of cancer research on a 5,000 kilometre ride from Vancouver to Austin, Texas, for this year's event; and

Whereas Peter has raised over $16,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society, Ovarian Cancer Canada, Craig's Cause and the Lance Armstrong Foundation Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the tremendous success Peter MacCormick has had in raising much-needed funds for cancer research and wish him success on his cycling endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 755]

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. 381

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

Whereas Bras d'Or Lakes Campground recently played host to the first annual auto show put on by the Cape Breton Antique & Custom Car Club; and

Whereas the event drew large crowds, and nearly 60 antique cars and trucks were on display for the impressed onlookers; and

Whereas countless hours of effort go into the restoration and maintenance of these truly impressive vehicles from days gone by;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate campground owners John and Betty Finnegan for a successful inaugural auto show and wish the event continued growth and success in the years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 382

[Page 756]

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

Whereas October 4-10, 2009 is Mental Illness Awareness Week; and

Whereas the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health coordinates this week which includes a public education campaign as well as the Champions of Mental Health Award celebration in Ottawa; and

Whereas Mental Illness Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness of the level of mental illness in Canada and to reduce the negative stigma about mental illness;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly acknowledge October 4-10, 2009 as Mental Illness Awareness Week and commit ourselves to ensuring there are adequate resources for mental health programs and services here in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 383

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

Whereas Canada Post has begun an assault on rural mail delivery in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Canada Post is pushing ahead on changing a characteristic of rural Nova Scotia by eliminating delivery to mail boxes and replacing it with delivery to large communal mail boxes; and

[Page 757]

Whereas the decision is not based upon any concerns from local postal delivery people with Canada Post, but as a means of reducing services and costs;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in urging Canada Post to reconsider this decision and maintain its traditional mail delivery system to individual roadside mailboxes.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 384

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

Whereas Jack Drover recently was presented with the Bubsy Grant Award for 35 years of service to Mount Allison University as coach and athletic director; and

Whereas Jack was hired in 1974 and will be remembered by hundreds of athletes for his 15 years coaching soccer, 25 years with the men's hockey team, seven years with the women's hockey Mounties; and

Whereas Jack was highly regarded for his dedicated service to all athletes at Mount Allison, he was especially committed to giving Atlantic Canadians every opportunity;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jack Drover for his outstanding contributions to Mount Allison athletics and offer best wishes for his retirement years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 758]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 385

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

Whereas Pam Harrison of River Hebert, Cumberland County, recently received one of Rotary International's most prestigious awards; and

Whereas Harrison, now a member of the Springhill Rotary Club, was presented the Citation for Meritorious Service by Rotary International President, John Kelly, of Scotland; and

Whereas the award is determined by the Rotary Foundation trustees and only 50 are presented worldwide each year whereby it recognizes significant and dedicated service by a Rotarian to promote the programs of the foundation;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Pam Harrison on receiving this outstanding award and wish her all the best in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 759]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 386

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

Whereas the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; and

Whereas it is estimated that one in eight Atlantic Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, with 1,740 women being diagnosed in 2009 alone; and

Whereas on Sunday, October 4, 2009, the 18th Annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, took place in five communities throughout Nova Scotia, raising over $1.2 million for breast cancer research;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly extend our appreciation to the participants and volunteers of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure for yet another successful event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:45 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party

RESOLUTION NO. 387

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

Whereas since 1976 Robert Pryor has been a volunteer member of the Valley-Kemptown District Fire Brigade; and

[Page 760]

Whereas Robert, one of the 58 original charter members, has had a wide range of experiences in his volunteer job; and

Whereas Robert is now retired and spends his days doing repairs and keeping fire trucks in order;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House applaud this dedicated volunteer who has given so much of his time and talents to aid the safety of his community and the people who live there.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 388

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

Whereas at a time when congregations are seeing numbers diminish, the Northside Baptist Church in Sydney Mines, under the leadership of Pastor Jason Homan, is setting up a satellite ministry in Sydney River; and

Whereas the Northside Baptist Church has served the community for the past 30 years with community events and bible school; and

Whereas the Sydney River congregation will be known as the Harbour Light Baptist Church;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Northside Baptist Church on their journey of faith and service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 761]

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. 389

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

Whereas Terry Muise of Yarmouth was recently presented with the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal by Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis; and

Whereas being a paramedic requires hard work, long hours, and the ability to remain calm in the face of crisis situations; and

Whereas the truly vital work of first responders all across this country makes the difference between life and death, and often does not get the recognition it deserves;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Terry Muise on his service medal and thank him and all paramedics for their truly heroic work.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

[Page 762]

RESOLUTION NO. 390

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

Whereas while most students are preparing to go back to school, High-Crest Springhill Nursing Home was graduating its inaugural class; and

Whereas realizing a demand for Continuing Care Assistants, High-Crest opted to refine its resources and create a classroom environment that allows students to immerse themselves in their education and place of work in February 2009, when they started their CCA program, and those qualifying for High-Crest's own bursary system had 70 per cent of their tuition knocked off in exchange for a one-year commitment to work at the nursing home following graduation; and

Whereas Brenda Noiles was one of those graduating from the CCA course with honours and was also valedictorian, doing her classmates proud in its delivery and content;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Brenda Noiles in graduating from the CCA program and wish her all the best in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 391

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

[Page 763]

Whereas six of Cape Breton's outstanding businesswomen were honoured this past May by the Cape Breton Partnership and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation at the second annual Women in Business Awards Gala; and

Whereas Joella Foulds, artistic director of Celtic Colours International Festival, was the winner of the Arts and Culture Achievement Award; and

Whereas Earlene Busch, owner of Chanterelle Country Inn and Cottages of North River, was the recipient of the Innovation Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature congratulate Joella and Earlene on having this honour bestowed upon them and wish them every success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 392

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

Whereas Frank and Sharon Thibeau recently received the life membership award at the Annual Honours and Awards Banquet at the Hants County Royal Canadian Legion Branch 9; and

Whereas the Legion's mission of serving veterans and their dependents to promote remembrance and to act in the service of Canada and its communities is a noble commitment which the Thibeaus embrace; and

Whereas a recognition provided by an organization which serves veterans is an accomplishment that should hold extra significance in light of their sacrifice and valour in defence of the country and freedoms we hold dear;

[Page 764]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Frank and Sharon Thibeau on the award they received and express gratitude for all they have done for Royal Canadian Legion Branch 9.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise in my place today and speak about the graduate tax retention program. I know there were many students in my riding during the campaign who said wow, when they saw that there was going to be a $15,000 tax saving for students in university.

When it was brought to my attention from the perspective of a former student of mine who raised doubts about supporting me because they also mentioned, you had always been there for students through your years, however, this proposal by the NDP is very important

[Page 765]

to me, being able to get $15,000. So I said give me your e-mail and tomorrow I'll get back to you with the real advantage of this program, if there is any.

Once we did a little bit of calculation on what a tax credit is going to mean, it's going to mean about $1,250 to $1,300 over a six-year period. That's what it will, in reality, put in a student's pocket. Of course they saw it only as the big 15, and not that it was a tax credit over a six-year period. So it was an opportunity for me to distinguish between what a campaign promise really means and what the reality is for students.

We all know that since it has been brought forward in the most recent budget, we have heard from the Federation of Students, we have heard from the Alliance of Student Associations, and those are very concerned people in regard to post-secondary in Nova Scotia. They, in fact, have been wonderful contributors to policy development for all three Parties. They meet with the Education Critics and sometimes the Leaders on a regular basis. Over the years they have provided us with very sound, well-thought-out positions that we need to be advancing.

So, the reality is that we need to be attacking the debt that students come out of university with. This is the one thing that most students are still raising with MLAs, with Education Critics, and a discussion piece among students at university, that our tuitions - while some improvement was made with a freeze on tuition and the former government provided a $500 grant to Nova Scotia students, these were good, positive measures that have been implemented and that are benefiting students in our province. However, again, we are still not at the national average when it comes to tuition in Nova Scotia. All we have to do is look to our neighbour to the east and I think some of this whole business of a graduate tax retention program can really come at us, I think, from a reality perspective.

Newfoundland and Labrador has the second lowest - I believe still the second lowest - tuition rates in the country, now attracting over 1,000 Nova Scotia students every year. For them that's what they're talking about, that when they leave university, they will have considerable less debt on their plate and there isn't that absolute urgency that they get into the job market. As we know, students in Nova Scotia leave with an average debt of $30,000 - you know, they can't stay around Nova Scotia if a job isn't available for them immediately. They have to move on and that's why so many move out West and move to provinces where the economy is better.

That's really where we also see now many of our Nova Scotia students who go to Newfoundland and Labrador appreciate the fact that they end up with a very insignificant debt overall. They have a vibrant economy and, in fact, it was during the campaign that I came across a number of families of former students of mine in the Kings West area who go to Memorial and a number who have stayed in Newfoundland and Labrador because they've been able to get jobs there. This really was all about getting a big number out in front of students without telling them the real picture of what was taking place.

[Page 766]

We know that in Nova Scotia as governments we need to be talking accessibility to our post-secondary institutions because the cohort that is now moving through our school system is going to be offering less students, a less number, who will be able to apply to post-secondary. So if we take a look at a document that again is well-researched from the Council of Maritime Premiers, it talks about approximately 30 per cent of Nova Scotians who are capable of going to post-secondary but who just do not have the economic means to look at and give consideration to going to post-secondary.

So this is a group of students now that government has to reach out to if we're going to put students in our 10 degree-granting universities. Also to some degree our community colleges although that is less of an issue because their tuition is considerably less than university. I think, you know, the present government had that catchy $15,000 as a tax saving during a campaign but it really delivers very little. It will not be an enticement to Nova Scotians to stay here and, of course, we all know that you have to have a job, you have to be working, you have to be filing taxes to get this benefit.

[3:00 p.m.]

So I just don't see it as a mechanism whereby retention of some of our best and brightest young Nova Scotians are going to remain in our province and start to carve out a career, start to develop a future. I would appeal that in the coming years, the Minister of Finance doesn't seem to be talking too strongly about multi-year funding in the future and developing MOUs of a three-year nature. But if it is just one year, of course, of funding to

universities - I think part of it is in the context of an MOU - I think accessibility has to be the real question that is going to be addressed in the coming months and years. Over my time in the classroom and dealing with students graduating, this was an area that I always found very disturbing. We had young Nova Scotians who had the ability to go on to post-secondary - a number of students who lived in homes of not much more value than the cost of a post-secondary education.

Many students said to me over the years, and especially teaching in a rural part of Nova Scotia, that no, our parents never saw it as affordable and never saw it as a possibility for us so therefore it was something that was put aside. Every now and then, we do see a young Nova Scotian who does overcome their economic circumstances and are able, through number of means, through scholarships and I know of a couple of our universities that, in fact, do have programs in place to assist low-income Nova Scotians.

I think this is the area now that we need to move more strongly toward - capturing a group of students who, in many ways, have been left behind from the value of a post-secondary education.

I do think that the graduate tax credit, which is about a $1,250 offering for community college students - if I remember correctly - will get some good pickup because

[Page 767]

we do know that this is an area of post-secondary that is thriving in our province because the connection of our community college and the job market has grown together very strongly under the leadership of, first, Ray Ivany and now Joan McArthur-Blair. So our 13 community colleges are doing very well and they're putting graduates in the workplace and we keep hearing of statistics of around 90 per cent. So for those students, there will be a small tax break for them as they move through the first six years of their careers.

However, just to go back and to summarize, for our university students, this is not a retention program and this will not keep students here in our province. While the programs in Manitoba and New Brunswick are still only a number of years old - I think about three years old in the case of New Brunswick and going into its fourth year; it was something brought in by the Graham Government there. The statistics to date are not very strong in terms of attracting and keeping New Brunswick graduates in the province.

Mr. Speaker, this was a campaign piece but not a good piece of public policy for the post-secondary. I hope that the NDP Government is much more responsive to the Federation of Students and the Alliance of Nova Scotia Students and will revisit some of their comments after this came forward in the Speech from the Throne and actualized in the budget, because their voices are not supportive of this approach. We always have the ability to improve and to move forward with a retention program that I think can be much more based in accessibility and in lowering tuition rates. There is that sense that, yes, this is what our province is doing for us and then a commitment back to the province, I think is much stronger.

We've had programs in the past, as we wanted to get a significant number of teachers in the workforce in the 1960s and 1970s, to help with tuition and I know some of the members, a few of the older members may remember those days. It was a real retention program that was brought into practice in our province. In fact, very few had to leave to find jobs because it complemented the workforce with also this incentive piece that you got $500 towards your tuition. At that time, in the 1960s and 1970s, of course, tuition was much lower.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I certainly welcome the opportunity to take a few moments going into Supply to talk about a few issues that affect my community. I won't have any one specific theme but there are several things I want to bring before the House today that I think need to be discussed and mentioned.

I don't want to let the Minister of Justice down, I want to make sure I talk today about correctional facilities and I know I've got his undivided attention. He's paying very close attention, I appreciate that. In fact, I made a request to the minister to come to Springhill to

[Page 768]

meet with the mayor and councillors of Springhill, and he graciously accepted - in fact, he took some time to come and attend that meeting, to talk about correctional facilities for northern Nova Scotia.

When I went into the Department of Justice in the year 2006, the plan at that time was to close two facilities in northern Nova Scotia - one in Antigonish and one in Cumberland - and to build one facility to address all the issues in northern Nova Scotia somewhere between Antigonish and Cumberland. Members can decide themselves where they think that may have been. That didn't sit well with myself at the time as a minister, it did not sit well with the Premier at the time.

It did not sit well with the member for Antigonish who fought very hard to ensure that Antigonish would continue to have a correctional facility in that community. In fact, he was very successful, the minister at the time - Minister MacIsaac stood up for the constituents of Antigonish. He ensured that when the facilities were being discussed, where they would be replaced that, indeed, there would be one built in Antigonish. The government made a decision at that time that we would stand by that decision and, in fact, we're well on the way in regard to replacing that facility with a new one in Antigonish.

Of course, everyone in the House knows the one in Cumberland County, like the one in Antigonish, is over 100 years old. It has had some money spent on it but it's an old-style jail from the previous century that has out-lived its usefulness. Again, the decision was made by the previous government to replace that facility with a new one in Cumberland and, as you've heard in the House before and I think you'll probably hear many times in the future from me, the decision was made to build that facility in Springhill.

I can't tell you the disappointment - I've talked to a lot of people in my own constituency over the last week and the disappointment that people are feeling right now towards a new Premier and a new government in regard to not keeping its word. It was printed many times in the media, on live news, which the Deputy Premier would be well aware of in his previous career, how important it is that people get to state the facts through the media and to share with the people in the province their plans and to stand by that. (Interruption)

Yes, the great media in this province and how disappointed they must be, as well, when you have someone who espouses to be a new Leader and Premier of the province to come out and say that he and his government, if elected, will stand by the commitments of a previous government - commitments that were made in regard to construction facilities, infrastructure would be maintained, only to find out, when he becomes Premier and a new government takes over, the first thing they do is dash the hopes of a community that waited so long for this announcement.

[Page 769]

To even go so far as to say in the Speech from the Throne that they would commit to ensuring that almost all of those commitments would be honoured, that's not what was said during the campaign - not almost all, not some, not a few, all. We have it in print, in writing, that's exactly what the now Premier has said, and unfortunately going back on their word. So in my mind, and I believe in the minds of the people I represent, it really brings into question the credibility of anybody who would do that, particularly a new government that would break that type of a commitment to the people of the province, to not fulfill commitments made during a campaign.

Mr. Speaker, it further erodes the confidence that people in our province have in politicians. You know, with Democracy 250 being celebrated and monies spent in going out and talking to people, there was a three-Party committee talking to people, particularly our young people in schools whom I talk to all the time, and we are trying to find out why they are deciding not to vote, why they don't have faith in politics or politicians, why they think that it's useless to cast a vote.

There's a clear indication here today, when you want to become Premier of a province, you would say that you would honour commitments of a previous government and then when the election is over, what happens? Well, that was then and this is now so I'll commit to ensuring that I'll do almost all of it, but that's not what was said. In fact, the young people in these schools know exactly what was said themselves. They can figure it out. They know what's going on. They've seen it and they're questioning the new Premier and the new government. I would think that if I was sitting on the Opposition benches, I would be wondering about that myself.

You know, Mr. Speaker, we have a chance sometimes to talk amongst ourselves and we may be in different Parties here in the House but we're all members elected here to represent communities and represent areas. I can tell you there are some people on the opposite side today who are questioning some of the commitments that were made, that may have possibly been made, that may not happen now. Unfortunately, they have to sit there and not say too much, I understand that, they're afraid the Premier would have them under order to make sure they don't talk to anyone across here about those issues, but I can tell you those things are happening now because I've heard them myself.

Mr. Speaker, that should cause the Premier concern as well because here we are only a few months into a new government and we have (Interruption) Well, the honourable member for Yarmouth says name a few. No, I'll let them, they'll have the opportunity to stand themselves in the House and share their thoughts with the people in the House but, you know, Nova Scotians are questioning politics and politicians all the time and I think this is a clear example of how people become so disenfranchised when it comes to voting and with politicians.

Mr. Speaker, the Attorney General and the Premier have said that they're reviewing the case of correctional facilities as they promised they would do. They haven't shared with

[Page 770]

us many things. What's that review comprised of? Who's doing it? What's it costing? Is it underway now? Whom are they going to put in place? Whom did they give the authority to review that? Are they going to take the word of the people in the Department of Justice who have already made the commitments and made the decisions or are they going to go to someone else who would maybe give them a different opinion and a different response? They haven't told us any of that but I'm sure that over the next few days and few weeks they'll be questioned on that and they'll have ample opportunity to share with us what their plan is.

Now, Mr. Speaker, last week the mayor and council of Springhill - in fact a new young councillor, Norman Rushton - moved a motion to invite the Premier to come to Springhill to explain to them, to the mayor and council, why they're not moving on a commitment made by a previous government. That's a valid request and I'm going to be asking the Premier, the first chance I have, to honour that request made by this young councillor. He's a good, young guy. He has a young family in Springhill. It's his first time as a councillor and he wants to know why. He wants to know why a government was elected, made commitments and promises, and now are backing away from it and, you know, I want to be there to hear the answer because many more like Councillor Rushton - I think there are other elected people around the province who are newly first-time elected people who would probably like to hear the answer as well.

[3:15 p.m.]

So, Mr. Speaker, I'm going to ask the Premier, at the first opportunity, to respond to that request favourably and to come to Springhill and meet with the mayor and council. Maybe he'll tell them, maybe he'll shed some light as to why he has made the decision to change his mind and to do something differently now than what he promised to do during the campaign.

Mr. Speaker, the previous government was criticized on a regular basis by the then NDP Opposition about bed space for facilities in this province, how the demand was so high for additional beds based in correctional facilities, that we should be doing more regarding Justice, we should be doing more regarding safety for officers and those incarcerated. The previous government was a long way along the way to ensuring those things were happening. Whether it was additional police officers, whether it was programming - we called it Boots on the Street - the process was well unfolding and I can tell you it was in the correctional facilities as well.

Nova Scotians are watching and seeing what this government has been doing the last few months, which hasn't been a whole lot, but - that Deputy Premier isn't sure whether he agrees or not. I think he probably does, he doesn't want to say. I will say that Nova Scotians will judge this government very quickly; in fact, some are judging already. I believe credibility is everything. In my previous career - as I'm sure the Attorney General would agree, someone who doesn't have any credibility - particularly in law enforcement or

[Page 771]

anything to do with the justice system, really doesn't have a whole lot to offer. People are questioning the credibility of individuals but particularly the government at this time, and I think that when you go back on your word people will not forget.

I know people in my area won't forget. They're talking about it now, and I can tell you, it means a lot to them. It meant a lot to me. Today, people are questioning the credibility of this government already, with only a few months under its belt.

Having said that, there's a couple of other things I want to talk about - how much time do I have?

MR. SPEAKER: You have about five minutes.

MR. SCOTT: Just for the information of the Minister of Health, there's been a lot of questions over the last couple of weeks with regard to the in-home support program and who qualifies and who doesn't. In my own area, we've heard from individuals who have aging parents who require help to keep them home and they don't want them to go in the nursing home. Their parents are in their own home at this time and want to stay there.

A good example are Mr. Harold and Yvonne Adams of Westchester. Mr. Adams had an assessment done. He's paralyzed, he has problems with his speech. He has many health problems that he's realized over the last number of years. If he wished and the family wished, would probably be a good candidate for long-term care - but that's not what the Adams want and it's not what his children want. They went through the process and had an assessment done. I believe the required level is five - determined by the Department of Health - that's required to receive the $400 per month support. Unfortunately, Mr. Adams was determined to be a level four, so he's out.

I can tell you, Mr. and Mrs. Adams are very upset, and their family is upset as well. By the way, Mr. Speaker, they gave me permission to bring their names forward here in the House today - I would never do that without their permission. I'm going to be passing the information along to the minister, and I'm going to ask her if she will have her department review the Adams' file to determine what's happened and see what may be done to help them. They live in a very rural area where there are very few services with regard to health. They have the VON - they do a great job, and they're very appreciative of the in-home support they have now from the health care providers.

Mrs. Adams basically spends 24 hours a day with her husband to provide services he needs and they're very disappointed they were turned down, so I will be passing that along to the minister at a later date and asking her to have staff reevaluate the situation to see if there is anything she can do to help Mr. and Mrs. Adams.

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Mr. Speaker, there are just two things I want to point out while I have a moment on my feet. This year, the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Everyone would know in this House that Anne Murray is a world-renowned singer and it doesn't matter where I travel. As soon as people hear I'm from Springhill, they'll ask me about one of two things - they'll either ask about the Springhill mines or Anne Murray. We're very proud of Anne and very proud of the centre - 20 years later, it continues to provide a great service to the community, offering the opportunity for young people to have summer jobs. It also offers the opportunity, obviously, for tourists to come to Springhill and share their dollars with a community that very much needs it. So I just want to publicly say congratulations to Anne Murray and the Anne Murray Centre.

The other thing I wanted to mention is, this will be the 25th Anniversary of Ship's Company Theatre in Parrsboro. The MLA for Truro-Bible Hill was there with me a couple of times this year and we attended the gala openings, and I know the people appreciated her attending. (Interruptions) Yes, our previous government invested very heavily in Ship's Company Theatre - a new building and some ongoing programs - even this year, with regard to their anniversary. Pam Halstead, who is the executive director, is leaving this year, she's moving on. I just wanted to publicly say as well that we appreciate very much what Pam has done for Ship's Company Theatre, for Parrsboro, for Cumberland County, and for all the Province of Nova Scotia.

I see my time is drawing near to the end so, Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to mention those few things about my own constituency, and something that we're very proud of. Just to reiterate, I'll be back on my feet in the House over the next few days and weeks, and months, to talk about a correctional facility that is much-needed in Springhill and to remind the Premier and the Deputy Premier and his Cabinet that they should honour their word and build that correctional facility, as they said they would prior to the election. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, member.

The motion is carried.

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

[7:32 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Charlie Parker, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply reports:

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, that now concludes the government's business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. After the daily routine and Question Period, we'll be going into Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 7:33 p.m.]

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NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 393

By: Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay)

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Dodgers baseball team won the Canadian Big League Championship in Windsor, Ontario, advancing to the Big League World Series in South Carolina, U.S.A.; and

Whereas team members were Jonathan Boutilier, R.J. Barrett, Greg MacKinnon, Kenny Routledge, Dave Stubbard, Cal McNeil, Dan Lewis, Brett Rudderham, Matt Leonard, Nathan Brewer, Johnny MacLeod, and Jeff Conn; and

Whereas were under the guidance of manager Henry Boutilier and coaches Tommy Sheppard and Billy Gillis and executive Allan Cathcart;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the success of the Cape Breton Dodgers Big League baseball team and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 394

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 Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival was started in 1996 and is now in its 13th year of celebration as a major tourist event for the Town of Mahone Bay; and

Whereas many hard-working volunteers, residents, businesses, and participants come together to create a festival that celebrates the change of season, the beauty of Mahone Bay, and invites visitors to experience the Magical Pumpkin Path featuring 150 carved pumpkins, live music, antique fairs, quilting demonstrations, and the many creative scarecrows; and

Whereas this marks the first year of The Best Nova Scotia Pie Contest, recognizing the talents and tastes of Nova Scotia;

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Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Town of Mahone Bay, the Scarecrow Festival Committee, and all the volunteers who work hard every year to bring delight to visitors and residents alike.

RESOLUTION NO. 395

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 Nova Scotia Woodlot Owner of the Year Award recognizes and rewards landowners for outstanding stewardship of their woodlots; and

Whereas this year's recipient, Mr. Rex Veinot, has shown effort and commitment to setting and meeting sustainable goals for his land, improving his knowledge and understanding of the forest land, improving the condition of his woodland, using integrated resource management, and considering values such as wildlife habitat protection and recreation; and

Whereas Mr. Rex Veinot will receive the Woodlot Owner of the Year Award on Saturday, October 3rd at the Veinot's maple syrup and Christmas tree farm woodlot in Maplewood;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly extend our warmest congratulations to Mr. Rex Veinot and his family on receiving the Woodlot Owner of the Year Award.