Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 09-28

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Charlie Parker

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

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

First Session

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Health - Nurse Practitioner: Long & Brier Islands - Reinstate,
Mr. H. Theriault 1691
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Nat. Res.: Spruce Bark Beetle Action Plan - Status,
Hon. J. MacDonell 1692
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 798, Poppy Campaign (2009) - Support,
The Premier 1692
Vote - Affirmative 1693
Res. 799, Natl. Sch. Library Day (10'26'09) - Recognize,
Hon. M. More 1693
Vote - Affirmative 1693
Res. 800, Vingoe, Mary - Portia White Prize (2009),
Hon. P. Paris 1694
Vote - Affirmative 1694
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 801, N.S./Nunavut Command: Poppy Presentation - Thank,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 1695
Vote - Affirmative 1695
Res. 802, RCL: Commun. Work - Thank,
Hon. K. Casey 1695
Vote - Affirmative 1696
Res. 803, Glen Haven Manor (New Glasgow) - Anniv. (40th),
Hon. R. Landry 1696
Vote - Affirmative 1697
Res. 804, Fish. & Aquaculture Min.: Commissioner - Re-Examine,
Hon. S. McNeil 1697
Res. 805, Vingoe, Mary - Portia White Prize (2009),
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1698
Vote - Affirmative 1698
Res. 806, Condon, Stefanie: Pancreatic Cancer Research - Fundraising,
Hon. S. McNeil 1698
Vote - Affirmative 1699
Res. 807, Knox Presbyterian Church (Ross Ferry) - Anniv. (122nd),
Mr. K. Bain 1699
Vote - Affirmative 1700
Res. 808, Affirmative House - Co-operative Futures: Residence -
Official Naming, Mr. A. Younger 1700
Vote - Affirmative 1701
Res. 809, Agric.: Beef Plan - Table,
Mr. C. Porter 1701
Res. 810, Clearwater Seafoods/MacDonald, Colin - Top 15 Employers (2010),
Ms. K. Regan 1702
Vote - Affirmative 1702
Res. 811, Robinson, Gary: Death of - Tribute,
Hon. M. Scott 1703
Vote - Affirmative 1703
Res. 812, Digby FD: New Fire Truck/Equipment - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 1704
Vote - Affirmative 1704
Res. 813, Walker, Charlie & Kim: Breast Cancer Research - Fundraising,
Hon. C. Clarke 1704
Vote - Affirmative 1705
Res. 814, Small Business Week (10/18 - 10/24/09) - Recognize,
Mr. A. Younger 1705
Vote - Affirmative 1706
Res. 815, Ripley, Bill: Vol. of Wk. - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 1706
Vote - Affirmative 1707
Res. 816, Graham, Julian & Barbara: Commun. Support - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 1707
Vote - Affirmative 1707
Res. 817, Redden, Richard "Dick": Death of - Tribute,
Mr. C. Porter 1707
Vote - Affirmative 1708
Res. 818, Trihedral Engineering Ltd. - Top 15 Employers,
Ms. K. Regan 1708
Vote - Affirmative 1709
Res. 819, Health - Long & Brier Islands: Nurse Practitioner - Hire,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 1709
Res. 820, Prem.: Commitments - Honour,
Hon. M. Scott 1710
Res. 821, Beal, Todd/Att. Geocaching Assoc. - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 1711
Vote - Affirmative 1711
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 39, Uranium Exploration and Mining Prohibition Act,
Hon. J. MacDonell 1712
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 1712
Mr. A. Younger 1714
Hon. C. Clarke 1715
Hon. J. MacDonell 1717
Vote - Affirmative 1718
No. 24, Pipeline Act, Hon. W. Estabrooks 1718
Hon. W. Estabrooks 1718
Mr. A. Younger 1719
Hon. C. Clarke 1720
Hon. W. Estabrooks 1721
Vote - Affirmative 1721
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 45, Canning Library and Heritage Centre Exemption Act,
Mr. J. Morton 1721
Mr. J. Morton 1721
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 1723
Mr. C. Porter 1723
Mr. J. Morton 1723
Vote - Affirmative 1723
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY TO THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE:
Mr. G. Ramey 1724
Mr. S. Prest 1739
Adjourned debate 1746
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 27th at 2:00 p.m. 1747
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 822, Harper, Charlotte: House & Garden Farm Efforts - Commend,
Mr. C. Porter 1748
Res. 823, Helliwell, Patricia/Watkins, Geraldine:
W. Hants Fam. Resource Ctr. - Contribution, Mr. C. Porter 1748
Res. 824, Snook, Coach Roy/Hfx. West Girls Soccer Team (2009-2010) -
Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont 1749
Res. 825, Johnstone, Asst. Coach Lawrence/Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball
Team (1971): Berwick Sports Hall of Fame - Induction,
Mr. L. Glavine 1749
Res. 826, Prall, John/Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team (1971):
Berwick Sports Hall of Fame - Induction, Mr. L. Glavine 1750

[Page 1691]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 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 will start today's proceedings and, as always, we'll start with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents of Digby Neck, Long and Brier Islands. These residents are applauding the dedication of the nurse practitioner who has served in their communities but was released by the South West Nova District Health Authority. They're requesting that the Minister of Health intervene to have this nurse practitioner reinstated.

It is signed by 502 residents of those areas and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

[Page 1692]

1691

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to table the Spruce Bark Beetle Action Plan. The member for Victoria-The Lakes and the member for Cape Breton West asked me questions on that. I made a commitment that I'd table it, so I do so.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier on an introduction.

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I would like to introduce to the House members of the Legion who are here with us in the House: Mr. Blanchard, Mr. Nash, Mr. Waters and Mr. Hatcher. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our special guests here this afternoon to the Legislature.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 798

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

Whereas by wearing a poppy every year, Canadians remember the effort and sacrifice of the brave men and women who served the country; and

Whereas the poppy is the international symbol for those who died in war and was officially adopted in 1921; and

Whereas the importance of Canadian unity is felt on Remembrance Day and always in the hearts of those who remember by wearing a poppy;

[Page 1693]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House support this year's poppy campaign, and pay tribute to Canadian soldiers who fought for freedom and democracy.

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. (Standing Ovation)

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 799

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's library professionals and library volunteers are very important and valuable to public education; and

Whereas school libraries play a fundamental role in fostering literacy and encouraging a love of learning and reading; and

Whereas October is Canadian Library Month and today, October 26th, is National School Library Day;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize October 26th as National School Library Day, and the many library professionals and volunteers located throughout this province who are committed to promoting and sustaining literacy.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1694]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 800

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

Whereas representatives from Nova Scotia's diverse arts and cultural community gathered in Tusket on Saturday, October 24, 2009, to celebrate achievement at the annual Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's most important arts award, the Portia White Prize, was presented at the awards gala to a Nova Scotian artist who has made significant contributions in their field; and

Whereas distinguished actor, director, and founder of Eastern Front Theatre and Ship's Company Theatre, Mary Vingoe was chosen from three finalists as the recipient of this year's Portia White Prize;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Ms. Vingoe on winning the Portia White Prize for 2009, and recognize her accomplishments and contributions to the world of theatre and the overall excellence of artistic and cultural expression 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 1695]

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

[2:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 801

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

Whereas since 1921, the poppy has stood as a symbol of remembrance and a visual pledge to never forget those young Canadian men and women who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms that we enjoy today; and

Whereas today, Monday, October 26, 2009, representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command honoured members of the Legislature by presenting poppies to mark the beginning of the Legion's annual remembrance poppy campaign; and

Whereas monies raised from the annual Remembrance Day poppy campaign are used to promote remembrance throughout communities and to serve veterans and their dependants;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature wear our poppies as a pledge to never forget those individuals and their families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and extend our appreciation to all members of the Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command for their tireless efforts and dedication in communities throughout our province.

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 Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

[Page 1696]

RESOLUTION NO. 802

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

Whereas the act of remembrance is the greatest honour we can bestow upon the men and women who have fought for our freedoms; and

Whereas for the next few weeks, leading up to November 11th, the Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command will be conducting their annual poppy campaign; and

Whereas today, October 26th, the Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command presented members of this House of Assembly with the first set of poppies of the season;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank the Royal Canadian Legion for the work that they do in our communities daily and for bestowing this honour upon us again this year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice. Let us not forget.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 803

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

Whereas the Glen Haven Manor is a residential home that is committed to upholding the dignity of its residents and tenants; and

[Page 1697]

Whereas their mandate is to provide exceptional individual quality care to the residents and tenants in a safe environment by many dedicated and hard-working staff and volunteers; and

Whereas Glen Haven Manor is celebrating its 40th Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize the important work that the Glen Haven Manor does in New Glasgow and congratulate them on their 40th Anniversary.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 804

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

Whereas the Official Opposition has requested the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to re-examine the sale of the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture's lobster boat and licence, and the possible conflict therein; and

Whereas Section 9 of the Ministerial Code of Conduct states that a request of the Executive Council may call upon the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to investigate a complaint under code, a request the Premier did not rule out publicly on Thursday; and

Whereas the government has steadfastly claimed that there has been no wrongdoing on the part of the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House unanimously endorse this resolution, thereby requesting the Executive Council to call upon the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to investigate the complaint under the code.

[Page 1698]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 805

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

Whereas the fourth annual Creative Nova Scotia Awards was held in Tusket in the beautiful constituency of Argyle on Saturday; and

Whereas the event hosted by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership showcased both veteran and up-and-coming artists; and

Whereas a key highlight of the event was the presentation of the 2009 Portia White Prize, which was presented to the well-known actor, director, playwright and founder of Eastern Front and Ship's Company Theatres, Mary Vingoe of Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Mary on winning the 2009 Portia White Prize, but also to all local organizers in the Tusket area who made this gala such an overwhelming success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 1699]

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 806

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

Whereas pancreatic research remains one of the lowest research-funded cancers with less than 1 per cent of research funds available to Canadian researchers even though 3,800 Canadians are diagnosed each year with pancreatic cancer, 3,700 of whom will not survive; and

Whereas Craig's Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society was founded by Stefanie Condon in memory of her dad, Craig Schurman Condon, who passed away three years ago only eight weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; and

Whereas Craig's Cause is one of two organizations in Canada providing research grants to Canadian researchers and providing current information, education, awareness, and support to pancreatic cancer patients;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Stefanie and her team of volunteers not only for the organization of the inspirational The Last Lecture Luncheon held on Thursday, October 22, 2009, but also for all their fundraising efforts which total more than $160,000 for pancreatic cancer research here in Halifax.

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. 807

[Page 1700]

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

Whereas the rich history of Knox Presbyterian Church, Ross Ferry, began on October 30, 1887, when Big Bras d'Or contractor Bill Old completed construction at a cost of $3,300 to allow the building to open its doors for the first time; and

Whereas the church hosted their 122nd Anniversary service on Sunday, October 25th; and

Whereas the church continues to have good community outreach to serve whoever is in their community, not just whoever is in church;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislative Assembly congratulate Knox Presbyterian Church in Ross Ferry on their 122nd Anniversary, thank them for their continuing community outreach, and wish them the very best in future years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 808

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

Whereas Affirmative Industries has built a 10-unit residence on Lakecrest Drive in Dartmouth for Nova Scotians successfully dealing with the challenges of mental illness and now in the workforce; and

Whereas the residence was made possible by co-operation between all levels of government, mental health consumers and the local community, and was the recipient of the 2008 Canadian Institute of Planners Award of Excellence; and

[Page 1701]

Whereas on October 23, 2009, the residence was officially named, marking an important milestone in the recognition of the project as a leading Nova Scotia example of housing for mental health consumers;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate and recognize Affirmative Industries and the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council on the official naming of the building, Affirmative House - Co-Operative Futures.

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. 809

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

Whereas the Minister of Agriculture said in this House of Assembly on October 13th

that his government had a plan to help Nova Scotia's beef industry; and

Whereas the Minister of Agriculture also said it was his hope to spend some dollars and also his hope to soon announce the plan; and

Whereas the Minister of Agriculture must be abundantly clear today with Nova Scotia beef producers who are losing about $200 every time one of their animals goes to market, and also review the comments from beef farmers such as Larry Weatherby who raises 350 head of cattle near Harmony, Colchester County, who believes the government is doing too much talking while beef farmers continue to lose money;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly demand the Minister of Agriculture step forward with his plan for Nova Scotia beef farmers so they will

[Page 1702]

finally know when he uses the words "hopes to" beef producers will understand he is committed to helping them and not still trying to convince his Cabinet colleagues that money should be injected into the industry.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 810

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's Top 15 Employers were selected from applicants to the national Canada's Top 100 Employers competition, as determined by editors at Mediacorp Canada Inc.; and

Whereas Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership, a deliverer of premium seafood, was selected as one of the province's top 15 employers; and

Whereas Clearwater was selected because this Bedford company supports ongoing training and education, it also supports older workers by helping with retirement planning, and it provides a compassionate leave top-up payment for employees caring for family members at home;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership and CEO Colin MacDonald on being named one of Nova Scotia's Top 15 Employers for 2010 and wish the company, its owners, and its employees every success in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 1703]

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.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, after I read this resolution, I'll be asking for the concurrence of the House to rise for a moment of silence in memory of the late Mayor of Parrsboro, Doug Robinson.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

RESOLUTION NO. 811

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

Whereas after a brief battle with leukemia, Parrsboro Mayor Doug Robinson passed away this morning; and

Whereas Mayor Robinson dedicated many hours and much hard work to the community of Parrsboro as mayor, and also through many volunteer organizations such as the Masonic Lodge, the Royal Canadian Legion, Parrsboro Historical Society and his church, just to name a few; and

Whereas Mayor Robinson will be missed by the residents of his community and especially by his family, who have stood with him throughout his battle with leukemia;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature pay tribute to Mayor Doug Robinson for all he has done for the Province of Nova Scotia and to his family as we keep them in our thoughts and prayers at this time.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1704]

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

The motion is carried.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 812

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

Whereas the Digby Fire Department received a new $460,000 fire truck in September, funded by the Municipality of Digby, which will carry all their rescue tools, Jaws of Life, breathing air, generators, and other equipment; and

Whereas the Digby Fire Department also received a $40,000 grant from the Emergency Measures Organization, which will go toward purchasing equipment like a 15,000-watt generator, radios, laptops for the trucks, and other equipment; and

Whereas the fire department now has 35 volunteer members and is hoping to attract more volunteers to ride in the new fire truck;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Digby Fire Department on their new fire truck and equipment and wish them well in the recruitment of new volunteers.

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 1705]

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 813

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

Whereas Charlie Walker and his wife Kim of the Northside came up with the idea of Breast Buddies, a new calendar to support breast cancer; and

Whereas 12 local businessmen from North Sydney and Sydney Mines have bared all to raise money in their new beefcake calendar; and

Whereas the Walkers are hoping to sell 1,000 calendars in order to reach their goal of $20,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Foundations's CIBC Run for the Cure;

[2:30 p.m.]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the efforts of Charlie and Kim Walker along with the local businessmen who bared all to bring awareness and raise funds for breast cancer research.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 814

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

Whereas small business is the cornerstone of business in Nova Scotia and October 18th to 24th is Small Business Week in Canada; and

[Page 1706]

Whereas small businesses employ half of all Nova Scotians and contribute 50 per cent of the province's GDP; and

Whereas companies located in Nova Scotia have a proven ability to attract and retain the best and brightest from all over the world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the efforts of all Nova Scotia small business owners on their commitment to Nova Scotia and recognize their contributions to strengthening our province's economy and officially recognize Small Business Week 2009.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 815

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

Whereas Bill Ripley has been a member of the Truro and District Lion's Club for 27 years and is a past president of the club; and

Whereas his outgoing and friendly nature makes him an asset to the organization, it is his desire to help whatever event is happening that makes him such a valuable volunteer; and

Whereas Bill has helped with fundraising events, conventions, the blood donor clinic, and the distribution of bingo cards to businesses for sale to customers each week;

[Page 1707]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend congratulations to Bill Ripley for his commitment to helping others and for recently being chosen as Volunteer of the Week.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 816

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

Whereas the long driveway in Clementsvale looks to be leading to an ordinary farm but instead it is a rescue centre for more than 30 animals; and

Whereas Julian and Barbara Graham moved to Clementsvale in May 2005 from Richmond, Virginia, where they started a foundation for abused animals called All God's Creatures; and

Whereas Julian understands the economy is tough and because he has the equipment, he has started a new project called The Helping Hand, offering to help people with small projects such as fixing doors and windows, cutting trees, or moving objects, all free of charge;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Julian Graham and his wife Barbara for the outstanding contributions they are making to the animals, the elderly and others in need of support in that community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 1708]

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. 817

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

Whereas former Hants Exhibition arena manager and Windsor businessman, the late Dick Redden, was honoured Friday evening in a special pre-game ceremony prior to the Windsor Royals Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey League season home opener; and

Whereas Dick passed away earlier this summer after a short illness and was truly missed Friday evening, as it didn't matter whether it was minor hockey, his grandsons' hockey games or Windsor Royals hockey, Dick could always be seen somewhere in the rink intently watching the play; and

Whereas the Windsor Royals presented Dick's three grandsons and the Redden family with a puck and an engraved picture of Dick on the puck;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize individuals such as the late Richard "Dick" Redden, who was a genuine community person who loved local hockey while also helping out in the community in whatever way he possibly could.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 1709]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 818

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's Top 15 Employers were selected from applicants to the national Canada's Top 100 Employers Competition, as determined by editors at Mediacorp Canada Inc.; and

Whereas Trihedral Engineering Limited of Bedford, which develops software for mission-critical industrial monitoring and control, has been named one of Nova Scotia's top 15 employers; and

Whereas this industry leader received its award for its generous vacation allotments, and because it extends family and spousal coverage gratis to employees, provides tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions, and lets employees bring their spouses with them on company-paid business trips;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the 47 programmers, engineers, and salespeople at Trihedral on winning this award, and wish them much more 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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 819

[Page 1710]

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

Whereas the Minister of Health said in this Legislature last Wednesday afternoon, October 21st, that the DHAs must have an accountability to the communities they serve, and that she has made sure; and

Whereas while the minister may believe this herself, residents who require services in the Digby Neck Health Clinic find it hard to see where the minister is coming from with such a statement, as she continually refuses to step in and find a solution for the vacant nurse practitioner's position; and

Whereas the NDP talked repeatedly, almost incessantly, during the Spring election campaign about ensuring that ERs are always open and that all individuals have available health care;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health begin showing direct leadership and immediately find a nurse practitioner for the 1,500 residents of Long and Brier Islands so that those residents can go about their daily lives without the constant worry about how long their health centre will be without a nurse practitioner.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 820

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

Whereas during a recent election campaign, the then-Leader of the Official Opposition, Darrell Dexter, stated that he would honour commitments made by the previous Tory Government; and

[Page 1711]

Whereas Nova Scotians need to believe that when someone would aspire to be Premier of this province, it is crucial for that person's credibility and the new government that statements and promises made be kept; and

Whereas the Premier now needs to step up to the plate and honour commitments made by the previous government such as a correctional facility in the Town of Springhill, a long-term care facility in the western portion of Cumberland South, and additional long-term care beds and renovations to the Bayview Memorial Health Centre, along with numerous transportation projects announced by the previous government;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Nova Scotia Legislature encourage the Premier to honour his word as a result of statements made by him during the recent election campaign so Nova Scotians will know that when he makes a statement or commitment, his word is good.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 821

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

Whereas Todd Beal of Clayton Park is the president of the Atlantic Canada Geocaching Association; and

Whereas geocaching is an outdoor scavenger hunting game which uses a GPS receiver to hide and seek geocaches; and

Whereas the new sport of geocaching is catching on and introducing people to a healthy lifestyle by promoting hiking and orienteering;

[Page 1712]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Todd Beal and the Atlantic Canada Geocaching Association, and wish them well 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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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. 39.

Bill No. 39 - Uranium Exploration and Mining Prohibition Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I'm extremely pleased to have this opportunity to speak in support of Bill No. 39, to legislate the ban on uranium mining. It has been a long fight for Nova Scotians and their efforts to ban the mining of uranium. In the late 1970s, exploration was permitted and the action of some prospectors - like trespassing and damaging rural properties - led to public outcry. This occurred especially in Hants and Lunenburg Counties.

One particular community under the watchful eyes of mining companies was the community of New Ross, which is in my constituency of Chester-St. Margaret's.

[Page 1713]

Landowners quickly learned that they could not legally stop any mining company from coming on their land to explore for uranium. Therefore, people knew they needed to form a coalition against exploration for uranium. As people came together, they involved experts and became more aware of the environmental and health hazards from uranium mining.

The effects of uranium mining are disturbing as it releases radon gas for thousands of years from massive tailing piles from ponds which contain 85 per cent of radioactive elements that are exposed. We cannot think that the dangers are isolated in the communities where the mining takes place. The gases travel long distances and cause cancer and birth defects decades later because human bodies store and accumulate the undetectable low levels of radiation.

It is impossible to contain the leaking of radioactive water so, eventually, the tailing ponds leak or spill. When these ponds spill, the contaminated water courses through the water table for thousands of years. Watercourses travel for miles, spreading the contamination to many communities. It took 12 years of dedication and persistence from individuals and organized groups until the government took action. Public pressure pushed the Progressive Conservative Government to establish a uranium inquiry in 1982, headed by Judge Robert McCleave.

The inquiry was set up into three phases. Phase one was overwhelmed with public input. There were 242 briefings presented at 44 public hearings; 211 opposed the uranium mining, 26 favoured it and five were neutral. The inquiry was suspended after 87 per cent of the organizations, including the Medical Society - now known as Doctors Nova Scotia - testified along with the hundreds of other individuals against uranium mining.

Based on Judge McCleave's recommendations, he endorsed the moratorium that was actually put in place in 1981. The moratorium was extended for another five years in 1990. The moratorium was never officially renewed in 1995, but a tenuous de facto ban on uranium exploration has been in place ever since. For those fighting the uranium battle over the years, that was not enough because with a stroke of a pen, a government Cabinet could lift the moratorium. That is why it is necessary to legally ban uranium mining and finally get rid of the dark cloud of uranium mining that has been hanging over the heads of Nova Scotians.

An argument that has been put forth to allow uranium mining in our province has been based on helping the economy through employment. This is really a myth because only multinational mining companies will really benefit financially. They will make money and leave us with radioactive waste and destroy our environment.

Who will end up paying for cleaning up the waste? The taxpayers, because the Canadian Government heavily subsidizes the uranium-nuclear industry. Nova Scotians will pay through taxes and their health and that is not a fair trade for the limited number of jobs that it creates.

[Page 1714]

I am very proud that it is my government, the NDP Government, that is taking a stand on this issue and making environmental history. Reaching this point in creating history is the result of dedicated persistence and hard work by many organizations and individuals, groups such as the South Shore Council of Canadians; the Sierra Club of Canada, Atlantic; the Ecology Action Centre; and Friends of Nature.

[2:45 p.m.]

I'm extremely proud of the fact that the original battle against uranium mining was initiated by residents from my constituency of Chester-St. Margaret's, Mr. Martin Rudy Haase from Chester and Mrs. Bea Larder from New Ross. Mr. Haase, who many know as he is a renowned environmentalist, called me with excitement and appreciation the day that he heard the government was presenting this bill and that a lifelong dream of his will finally be fulfilled.

Mr. Speaker, there are other Nova Scotians who deserve recognition for continually advocating for the ban on uranium mining. I wish to thank them and express my appreciation for making politicians aware of its environmental and health hazards.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak on such an important bill that truly will contribute to a better and safer life for all Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I'm just going to take a couple of minutes. I had intended to wait until third reading to comment, but just a few comments that I wanted to make after listening to the Minister of Community Services speak on the bill.

I think the minister and I both agree that it is important that this be addressed, although the comment I would make is that this is not a ban, it actually allows mining up to 100 parts per million, which is more than what the moratorium allows. The moratorium actually required encasing of any deposits that were found and this removes that limitation. So, Mr. Speaker, for the record, the way that this bill is currently worded is actually more permissive to uranium mining than the moratorium that this is replacing. So that, obviously, is of some concern.

This is something that I think needs to be looked at, and discussed, and decide where one goes when it comes to the Law Amendments Committee, because it is important to know what this bill does and does not do. If you compare it to the moratorium, the moratorium is completely restrictive and required encasement and there was no 100-parts-per-million limit. As a matter of fact, there are some uranium mines which operate under limits which are less than the 100 parts per million that this actually allows. I find that kind of intriguing, why that would be permitted in this bill.

[Page 1715]

Mr. Speaker, I think we're going to probably hear some interesting comments when we get to the Law Amendments Committee from different parties, including some people from the minister's own department who have expressed an interest in speaking on a personal basis, so that ought to be kind of interesting.

The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day it is important that we go - I completely agree with the government that this is an important issue and certainly needs to be addressed.

There is one other issue, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to see either in this bill, or the government come forward with a plan for, and that's identifying where these uranium deposits are. I'm not sure how the government would feel best to go about that. For example, the member for Kings West was telling me a little while ago that there are outcroppings in his own riding that are uranium and actually are potentially dangerous in and of themselves, being there, yet the public does not know where these are and they are not identified.

The other two elements to that are, of course, in Nova Scotia we have an awful lot of bedrock and I think we all know that when we see every subdivision or highway that's built, it's done through blasting. I would be interested to know how the government is proposing that we deal with the dangers that are inherent in going through high uranium areas and then have them build a highway or a subdivision and they blast the whole thing down right through the uranium, which at the moment isn't covered at all and is allowed, and how the minister would propose to deal with that, as well, where it comes in agriculture activities, a similar issue because of the kind of geology we have in Nova Scotia. So, Mr. Speaker, I think the Law Amendments Committee is going to be interesting on this bill.

Certainly I understand why the government is bringing the bill forward. I think there is a lot of merit in looking at it, but I think it's important that we understand what the bill actually says compared to the moratorium and understand that the way it is currently worded, it is actually weaker than the existing moratorium. So I'm unclear whether that was intentional, or perhaps unintentional, but if it was unintentional, then it probably needs to be cleaned up.

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to get up to speak regarding Bill No. 39, having gone through the experience of mining activity in my own area, and very contentious mining activity. The one thing that we also know is that sometimes when we have prohibited certain types of activity in this province like, for instance, we in Nova Scotia have legislation on the books that prohibits nuclear energy here in the province. A lot of that, at the time, if you look at the history, was more to protect the coal industry and a coal-fired power generation than it was the nuclear issue and concerns. However, it is on our books.

[Page 1716]

So the reality is, as we know more, as technology moves forward, as people see the merits of certain aspects of energy generation and/or the utilization of a resource, it is something we have to bear in mind. As this is considered, I do know in my own area on Cape Breton Island we've seen where strip mining has been extremely contentious versus conventional mining and, quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, I was supportive of both. I'm on the record as being that, but the difference being there was a plan about looking at how our resource development and utilization of near-surface coal resource could be used at a time when it could support the railway, when it could also support Nova Scotia Power and getting domestic coal, but the longer term objective, of course, was realizing the Donkin Mine and the interest that had come forward. I know those corporate interests would extend into the Sydney coalfield.

However, I will note that some of the issues around strip mining haven't been necessarily some of the mining practice but the corporate practices of individuals who have been involved with the industry and who have done a great discredit to their industry. I've seen and witnessed, in my own region and within my own constituency, two simultaneous strip mining operations, or proposals that came forward, one highly contentious, very vocally opposed and another that had little or no public outcry and/or during the course of mining concerns directly in the Village of Florence itself versus, as we know, over in Point Aconi, the Pioneer Coal project there, and there were other applications, the point being is that you have to respect.

I remember going over to Port Morien, the community meeting there with a few hundred people, and when you're the Energy Minister of the day trying to defend this with a company that basically has let you and the community down, you can't defend the defenceless when they haven't done due process, where intimidating people and going around the system can't be tolerated, and the people sought the resolve.

I know my honourable colleague, the member for Cape Breton West, as well as my colleague, the member for Victoria-The Lakes, have shared a common position and concern on that but I also know - and I respect it and I appreciate it because at the time that should not have been approved and wasn't - there's no desire to have strip mining in those communities because of the experience that they had even though when we looked at it, the benefits of remediating old mine workings, being able to clean them up in a modern context because our regulations and the environmental processes today are much different, but I do respect what the decision of the community was.

Part of the issue in Point Aconi was dealing with an uncertain process. We had people who looked at what was happening in and around the Stellarton area and the new generation of mining activity and what that meant. So as we go forward, I have an appreciation of what these types of legislation represent. I know my colleague, the member for Hants West, introduced a Private Member's Bill here with regard to prohibiting uranium exploration in

[Page 1717]

his specific area and leading the charge. I might disagree with the honourable Minister of Community Services, it isn't an NDP-only initiative, it really was something that was echoed by a colleague here.

We also have to recognize, and the member for Hants West was leading the way for his community on what they deemed to be - but the member at the time also recognized from the mining industry, we are a resource-based province. We are dependent and one of the things when I look at any of these types of legislation is to say, where are we when it comes to our economy? Where are we when we look at when you prohibit something, does it potentially send a message for those that otherwise would invest and do legitimate good development here? Not to take away in any way, shape, or form the concerns that have been raised by individuals in the province, but more importantly is through the Law Amendments Committee process as this moves forward, it's up to the industry to come in - the mining industry to have their perspective. I do know in Canada the uranium mining sector has some very good success stories of effective stewardship of mining work, and do it very well.

At the same time, there are concerns - and I think the Minister of Natural Resources has brought this forward - reflective of the types of concerns and the impact and has probably weighed out the real economic value versus the potential societal impacts. The one thing that I've said is - in no way trying to hold up this bill - I definitely want to make sure that through the Law Amendments Committee, which is unique for Nova Scotia, that the industry and/or other people can come and have their say. I'm sure there will be individuals coming to herald this legislation and thank the government and want the members of the Law Amendments Committee to bring it back to the Chamber, but at the same time, I think it's also fair that the industry be heard. We will listen to it. Are there other aspects about the regulations or other sub-tier, as the member for Dartmouth East has indicated? If there are other residual activities, what will that mean, and the utilization of the resource and the management of it as well?

With that, I just would recognize that this is not an easy topic, having weathered a very visceral process myself, but more importantly, it is about standing up. Once you do it, you have to stay the course, and what I'm proud of in Nova Scotia is, we have improved our laws and our regulations, that those that are going to mine for a resource are going to have to do it as good stewards, not just of industry but of the environment, and recognize that any type of development has an impact, resource-wise. We do know people can do things better. There is a new expectation. The bar has been raised, and I believe our society will be better for it, so I look forward to the comments that come forward. I'm sure the Minister of Natural Resources has heard clearly from individuals, and with that, with no intent to hold this up, but to make sure everyone's had their say on this matter, and I thank the members for their indulgence.

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

[Page 1718]

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I thank all the members who have contributed to this debate. A couple of points that I do want to make - I referred to Justice McCleave's Inquiry back in 1982-83. That wasn't the final say, I guess, as much as I can go there. More recently, the Government of Nova Scotia had two public consultations on which uranium was discussed: the energy strategy consultations in late 2007 and the Natural Resource Strategy in 2008. These two consultations were not designed to be uranium consultations, but they were opportunities which the public made use of to still let it be known what their ideas were around uranium mining. I want to make the point that they were very clear in their opposition to uranium mining.

I can't let the member for Cape Breton North - although I always say that he does have a gift of gab. (Interruptions) Well, I said a gift. I can't let him get away with saying that the member for Hants West took the lead on this. These were members of a government that was in place for 10 years, and to think that the member for Hants West introduced a bill days ahead of us - actually, my colleague, the present Minister of Finance, introduced a bill in 2007 which actually affected the whole province, or would have affected the whole province, but at least the writing of the bill was for the Province of Nova Scotia, not for one particular constituency.

I want to address the issues raised by the member for Dartmouth East, reasonable concerns. What I want him to know is that you can't mine uranium. You can find it. The 100 parts per million is the limit above which you cannot go. In other words, when you are mining for other things, or exploring for other things - you can't explore for uranium and you can't mine uranium, but when you're exploring and mining other minerals or metal, as long as that body of which you extract does not have uranium above the 100 parts per million, you can extract the other substances but you can't extract the uranium. You cannot mine uranium under this legislation.

[3:00 p.m.]

That was a concern for the mining association - that exploration that found uranium in their cores would have to be sealed and they couldn't continue to explore and they couldn't mine. This legislation would at least allow them to explore for other minerals and to possibly mine them, as long as they don't go above that limit for uranium, but the uranium has to stay, you can't mine it.

So, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of all the members and I look forward, as well, to what comments will come forward in the Law Amendments Committee process and I am pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 39.

[Page 1719]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 39. 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. 24.

Bill No. 24 - Pipeline Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is with great delight that I take the next few moments to make some comments on Bill No. 24 - An Act to Amend Chapter 345 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Pipeline Act.

Before I speak with some detail, I should explain that this bill will simply allow us to introduce and publicly consult around new regulations in the future. It is key that we understand that from the start and I urge members opposite, as this bill proceeds through the House and over to the Law Amendments Committee, to contact appropriate staff and in Energy they will be available during the law amendments process.

Again, I explain that this bill will simply allow us to introduce and publicly consult around new regulations in the future. The proposed amendment before the House today does not change pipeline regulations in any way. Pipeline regulations in any way will not changed, I repeat. It simply allows us to change them at a future date.

I can assure you that any draft regulations go through a public consultation before any changes are made, as is the case with any good legislation, public consultation plays a key role in such legislation.

So why are we making these changes? The Department of Energy hired a consulting team to take a look at our legislation and regulations, and make sure that they were up-to-date with best practices around the country. Some comparative study on such important pieces of legislation and regulation is always a win-win for all involved. Our existing Pipeline Act was drafted in 1989. We wanted to bring our oversight in line with other jurisdictions and we wanted to give the URB the proper tools to do its job. Currently the board's only clout - it's only stick, if I can use that terminology - is to shut down a pipeline when there's a problem.

[Page 1720]

The changes to the Pipeline Act would, and I list them here: include giving the board broader power and flexibility, it would clarify the obligations for companies that operate pipelines, it would also ensure that our legislation remains tied to the most up-to-date safety standards; and allows for innovation as technology changes.

I am speaking about future regulations, Mr. Speaker. For now the bill before us will simply allow us to design that regulation and put it through a public consultation process. Energy staff look forward to being available to all members of the House, Opposition members on this particular piece of legislation. This amendment is comparable to turning the first sod before the real work begins.

With those few comments, I encourage members opposite to participate in this debate on changes to the Pipeline Act. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the minister for his comments on this. The Pipeline Act goes back to 1989 and so it seems appropriate that we would now see some changes. I always kind of have to laugh, every time the government stands up, it is a consultant that has come up with them and that is almost the first thing the minister said.

The fact is, I think these do need some changes. This is an Act where really, in all honesty, Mr. Speaker, the devil will be in the details and will be in the regulations that come forward. I note that the minister has suggested the draft regulations will be expected to be shared for public comment in the Spring, if these amendments are passed. So I'm hoping that while obviously the Legislature will not necessarily get to vote on the regulations, that the minister will be open to commentary from members of the Opposition on those regulations when they go for public comment.

I don't think - I can see what happens in the Law Amendments Committee, but at this point I can't see any major issues with the amendments as proposed. As I say, the devil is in the details when it comes to the regulations. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I, too, am pleased to rise with regard to Bill No. 24. The minister is aware that we would have been working, as a previous government, with regard to this and as he talked about, it has a history from 1989. From time to time, of course, any of these regulating matters have to be reviewed, they have to be taken into consideration. On that, I am very supportive of this bill and want to see it moved through.

[Page 1721]

Through you, and to the minister, I appreciate his willingness to have a consult with his staff on this matter as we go to the Law Amendments Committee on some of the technical aspects, because I recall when it came forward before as a draft piece of legislation, the one item, not into any of the regulatory aspects with concern, it really came down to the Governor in Council and ministerial authority. The minister may have had this as part of this process, where there was some discussion and recommendation brought forward on the expropriation authority, that it should be removed from the minister and the Governor in Council and transferred to the URB. I recall at the time I was vehemently opposed to anything that would not only go down a road that it would move away from a precedent and the authority of the Governor in Council when it came to expropriations.

The other thing with this, Mr. Speaker, that came in was dealing with not only the expropriation authority but also transferring to the URB the ability to decide on compensation with regard to an expropriation, which again would be setting a precedent that I believe would not be a good one, what is truly an authority that should rest and lie within the Governor in Council. It is something that Cabinet has to look at and the minister has to deal with.

The other thing that came up as part of this recommendation was really to take away that decision making because of potential conflict of the minister being the person to enforce and to do oversight and it wasn't held. So with the minister, I'll be looking between now and the Law Amendments Committee, just to confirm that he - and I say I believe the minister should maintain that authority, the minister should have that oversight and that Cabinet, through the Governor in Council, should be making and maintaining the maintenance of those types of decision making and that it not get watered down.

In some ways, Mr. Speaker, it may have seemed to be convenient to move it over to the board, but I do believe it would have opened the door for other precedents with regard to expropriations that would not be appropriate, so that's really where my concern is with this bill, and as we analyze it - and I know you've already offered to consult with your staff, and I thank you for that, but that's the point I'll be looking to have clarified as we go to the Law Amendments Committee. Otherwise, I want to compliment the minister and the government for bringing forward this legislation.

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

The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Dartmouth East and the member for Cape Breton North for their comments, and I can assure you as the process goes through we will make sure that staff is available for all of those types of questions, specifically the one the member for Cape Breton North introduced. Again, I thank

[Page 1722]

you for your interventions and I look forward to this bill going through our process in the House and going to the Law Amendments Committee.

Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 24.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 24. 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 the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 45.

Bill No. 45 - Canning Library and Heritage Centre Exemption Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. JIM MORTON: Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to rise this afternoon to speak about this bill. I'd just like to give a little bit of background about why we're here to speak about this. In the early 1990s, a group of citizens in the Canning area who became known as the Canning Library and Heritage Centre Association began to raise funds for the delivery of a heritage and library service in their community. They were doing a great job and raised a considerable amount of money, but at that time weren't incorporated, and so in a collaborative way the Village of Canning and the commissioners who make up the village agreed to take responsibility for the purchase of the property that has since become an active part of community life in Canning.

For the interest of the members of this House, the Canning Library and Heritage Centre Association houses a number of important programs in that community. It has a library, which operates independently and has 1,600 card-holding members who can borrow books from both Canning and surrounding communities. It houses the kind of organizational activities of what's known as the Fieldwood Heritage Society and contains a heritage museum on the second floor above the library itself. There's a Wilf Carter Centre, which has

[Page 1723]

memorabilia dedicated to the memory of the music of Wilf Carter. In fact, one of the ways the society raises funds is to regularly hold Wilf Carter concerts in that community, which draw people from far and wide - in fact, all over the world.

Using that facility, the society has also done a number of other projects. One has been to restore a Canning lighthouse on the banks of the Cunard River, which was once a shipping harbour, and many people have become involved in that project - senior citizens and students in local junior and senior high schools. In the future, the society has an interest in renovating a heritage home which is located across the street from the particular building we're talking about.

The issue at hand is that in 1993, because the heritage society was not incorporated, the Village of Canning purchased the building with full intent to turn the responsibility of ownership back to the society at an appropriate time, and it was determined that one of those times would be when the association was financially capable of accepting that responsibility and when it was actually incorporated. The Canning Library and Heritage Centre Association was incorporated, in fact, on May 30, 1996. So this decision is perhaps overdue.

[3:15 p.m.]

I think overall, Mr. Speaker, this is a bill which is a story about collaboration and partnership. It's a story about the responsible stewardship of the heritage association and it's a story about the development, in one part of Nova Scotia, of an historical memory and creating an interesting tourism opportunity for citizens who come to our province. I don't think I need to say more other than we need this bill to actually enable the society to take ownership of this building. The Municipal Government Act, as it's currently worded, does not allow for the transfer of ownership, so an exception is required, and that's what this bill is about. So with that I'll take my place and look forward to seeing this project move forward.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the explanation. As we in the Liberal caucus understand Bill No. 45, it in effect exempts the Canning Library and Heritage Centre from Section 446 of the Municipal Government Act. Indeed, I would caution the member though, this is a Private Member's Bill so you may want to work on your own caucus over there because Private Members' Bills don't have a good history of going through the House of Assembly and the Legislature. So I'm sure you've done your lobbying effort.

I would also say that I'm not making this part contingent on our support here, Mr. Speaker, but he might also want to check if the library in Canning has a copy of my book.

[Page 1724]

(Interruptions) As I said, that's not part of the deal to get our support. But certainly, we in the Liberal caucus here would be willing to lend our support to the member and his Private Member's Bill, and thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I too just want to take a moment and commend the honourable member for raising and bringing this bill forward. It's important that we work with historical societies and the nature of this bill, and certainly with our communities, stakeholders and so on that are affected by this - so just a couple of very short minutes and comments I wanted to get on the record in support of this bill for a good Valley community.

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

The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. JIM MORTON: Mr. Speaker, I so move second reading of Bill No. 45, an Act to Enable the Village of Canning to Transfer Certain Lands to the Canning Library and Heritage Centre Association.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 45.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 Private and Local Bills.

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 the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be now resumed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. GARY RAMEY: Mr. Speaker, it's my distinct pleasure to rise in my place to respond to the Speech from the Throne delivered by Her Honour in this House on September

[Page 1725]

17th. Before doing so, however, I would be remiss if I did not offer my most heartfelt thanks to the constituents of Lunenburg West. It is these folks who put me here and I'm most appreciative of the trust they've placed in me and the support that they've accorded me.

Lunenburg West has been a riding that has consistently been held by either Progressive Conservative or Liberal members throughout its history. In the June 9, 2000 election, that pattern ended and history was made when I became the first New Democratic Party member ever elected in this riding. (Applause) This didn't happen by accident. The people voted for change and change they will get. They're already seeing some of that now, Mr. Speaker.

My purposes this afternoon in this, my inaugural speech in this historic Chamber, are threefold. First I wish to pay tribute to some very special family members and friends who have had a profound influence on my life over these many years. Secondly, I'd like to present the honourable members with a vignette, or a small picture, of the place from which I come and the people whom I represent. Thirdly, I'd like to explain why I'm here and what I hope to accomplish during my tenure. If in some small measure I accomplish any of these things, I'll consider that I've achieved at least a measure of success.

A good number of people contributed to my electoral win and I'd be remiss if I did not acknowledge the significant contribution that they made. I'd like to thank my campaign manager, Gord Landriault, as well as my official agent, Jeff Brett and the dedicated group of men and women who formed the core of my campaign team. I'd like to recognize the selfless contribution of Murray Manzer - sadly no longer with us - who toiled tirelessly for the NDP all his life and was a very strong supporter.

Other key members of my team included his wife Mary Isabelle Terry, Don and Janet Calhoun, Wolfgang and Brenda Ziemer, Lloyd Knott and his wife Linda, Angela Conrad, Leitha Haysom, James Horstman, Tiffany Murray, Greg Boyd, Jason Dorey, Jennifer Fancy, Margaret Parsons, Jim Whelley, Janet Clarke, Judy Whynot, Russell Miller, Dean White, Sylvia Lonergan, Stan Stevens - I have a lot here - Harry Covert, Ralph DeMone, Margery DeMone, Brian Wentzell, JoAnn Cook, Dave March and many others. (Interruption) The voters list of Lunenburg County.

I'm very proud that these dedicated men and women represent a variety of age, gender and ethnic groups and I'm equally proud of how they all worked together to help elect a government that has as its focus, the most important social unit in the world - the family. (Applause)

I also feel it is very important, at least for me personally, to pay tribute to a deceased friend, mentor and relative - George Crouse, Q.C. George was educated in the same one room school that I attended for the first six grades of my schooling in Crousetown, a village about 16 kilometres southwest of Bridgewater.

[Page 1726]

In the late 1920s, he attended Dalhousie University and after winning the Langdell Scholarship, he went on to study law at Harvard from which he graduated in 1933 with a Master of Law degree. For a short period of time he became a law professor at Dalhousie, but he longed for the country life, like many of us do, myself included, and so he returned to the South Shore and opened a law practice in Bridgewater.

Before long, he ran for town councillor and he was elected and then was later elected mayor, in which capacity he served for 11 years. But, George was always a staunch supporter of the CCF in the early years, and in later years an advocate for the NDP. He was, unfortunately for me, very old when I was very young. He had a love of language and a sharp sense of humour and my earliest recollections of him have him sitting in his garden regaling me with his versions of nursery rhymes - there is a point to this. He used to do "Hickory, Dickory Dock, the rodent ascended the chronometer", that was one of them. Or, his version of three blind mice, "three incapacitated rodents".

From him, as silly as that may sound, I learned to have a love of, and a respect for the power of language. I learned from him that words can be a transforming medium for good or evil. And I learned that the adage, "Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you" is a travesty. Of course they can and they do, and that's why it's so important to speak in a measured way. (Applause)

In any event, George was a character never to be forgotten. He was an intellectually astute individual with a wide variety of interests, but his most outstanding quality as far as I'm concerned was his wisdom. He had the ability to spin an extremely good yarn to illustrate any point he wanted to make. For instance, he once told me that two of the worst things that ever happened to folks on the South Shore related to the phasing-out of the up-and-down sawmill from logging operations, and the demise of the ox team as a means of transport.

Mr. Speaker, as some in this House may know, the up-and-down sawmill was a common sight in many communities in my region in bygone days and no doubt in those of the members opposite as well. It was powered by water so what happened was that the saw went up and down rather than in a rotary motion - you could literally light a pipe and lean on the log for some time, while it worked its way slowly forward to be sawn.

Similarly - and I think most of you have seen this - anyone who has seen an ox team in action knows that speed is not associated with this breed. George, tongue-in-cheek, but with a core of seriousness, would argue something like the following - and this could explain how I ended up the way I am, I don't know - what he would do is, he would say something like this: To think well it is important for one to have time for reflection; reflection is necessary if wisdom is to be attained. Then he would argue that contemporary lifestyles, with multi-tasking and fast-paced schedules, force one to rush about too much, which stifles reflection, therefore preventing an individual with such a lifestyle from attaining wisdom.

[Page 1727]

So when teaming oxen on trips out of the woods at the end of the day, or while waiting for a log to slowly make its way through the up-and- down sawmill, it was possible for one to have time to listen to the rushing water or, at this time of year, observe the changing foliage, ruminate on the love of one's family or solve problems big or small.

These artifacts from our bygone days caused us to slow down, which fostered reflective thought, which subsequently led to the attainment of wisdom. Mr. Speaker, to this day it is my belief that in this homespun philosophy, George definitely had a point.

When I was a teenager, he predicted that one day I would sit in this House as a member of the NDP - even though at the time nothing could have been further from my juvenile mind.

So George was a scholar, a teacher, and a lawyer, but, more importantly, a gentleman who definitely fought for justice and equality. His favourite quote, which he oft-times cited, came from Jean Jaurès, the great French social democrat and was the following: "Take from the altars of the past the fire - not the ashes." He felt that that quote best summed up how he felt about democratic socialism.

Well, George, you were a huge influence on my life and I made it - and I couldn't be happier that your prediction came true. As George's dear wife, Loie, is also no longer with us, I'd like to convey my warmest regards to his daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Dave Church, back in Bridgewater, and acknowledge George's grassroots philosophy and powers of prediction - perhaps, based on what happened, I should add clairvoyant to that list as well.

Mr. Speaker, all members of this House know that a fine intellect or strength of character - although great attributes in their own right - are not sufficient in and of themselves to propel one into this House, but that in addition to a number of important cognitive and personality traits it takes hard work, an organized team, and many dedicated folks behind the scenes to make it happen. So, today, I thank them for their hard work, their support, and their wise counsel.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank my wife, Debbie, for her abiding love and support for the past 32 years and, in particular, for her tolerance - everybody is certain to appreciate that - as I enter this new and hectic phase of my life. I also want to thank my sons, Stefan and James, for being not only supportive and loving toward their mother and me at all times, and particularly as we pursue these new challenges, but for the social consciousness and the genuine love and respect that they show toward everyone whom they encounter. It is these traits of their characters about which I am truly the most proud.

My older sister Pat - not much older, in case she is watching or listening to this - was always a strong supporter of every positive endeavour in which I have been engaged over the

[Page 1728]

years, as well as fairly harsh critic when she felt I was moving in the wrong direction, particularly in my formative years. I appreciate her efforts for helping to keep me on the straight and narrow so that I could arrive at this place where I am today.

[3:30 p.m.]

AN HON. MEMBER: A work in progress.

MR. RAMEY: A work in progress.

Finally, from a family perspective, I wish to thank my parents Anita and Bill, who sadly are now deceased, and I'd like to acknowledge the love and support of my mother-in-law, the now matriarch of our family, Agnes Northover. Agnes, who is 91, was born in Saskatchewan on the prairies in a place that had no name - her birth certificate just has latitude and longitude co-ordinates, seriously. (Laughter) The daughter of immigrant parents from Austria-Hungary she knows well the struggle of families coming to a new land, fleeing persecution in a foreign land. Hailing from the West, she is also fully aware of the accomplishments of great men like C.S. Woodworth, Tommy Douglas, Stanley Knowles, A.A. Heap and how they contributed to building the social fabric not only in Saskatchewan but also in Canada as well.

Aside from providing me with my wife of these many years, she also attended every major event during my campaign and has been at the Cunard Centre, in the Red Room, in the gallery, at all the ceremonies related to the investiture of this current administration. So I salute her and her late husband, Jim, who have been a second pair of parents to me. They have been a second pair of parents to me for lo these many years.

Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to thank Her Honour for all the very good work she does in serving Nova Scotians in her official capacity as Lieutenant Governor of this beautiful province. I'd like to offer my congratulations too, to you, Mr. Speaker, to the Deputy Speakers and all members on both sides of this House. It is my hope, as a new member of this august institution, that this session of the Legislative Assembly will be a productive and collegial one and that much good work will be accomplished for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.

I consider it a great honour and privilege to be a member of this House, an honour not accorded many, as was noted some days ago earlier on by the member for Cumberland South. Of course, as I have already stated, I would not be here without the support and trust of my constituents. So with that in mind, I guess I'd like to tell you next a bit about the constituency of Lunenburg West and its people.

Mr. Speaker, Lunenburg West is a sprawling riding on the South Shore which, aside from the Town of Bridgewater, is essentially a rural riding. It includes, for the most part, all of Lunenburg County to the west of the LaHave River, so hence, its moniker. Its boundaries

[Page 1729]

are the LaHave River to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the constituency of Queens to the west and the constituency of Annapolis to the north. Some 20,000 folks live in the riding but the greatest concentration of population is in the Town of Bridgewater.

Mr. Speaker, it is agreed by many in the province that the Town of Bridgewater is a town on the move. With a population of about 7,600 and growing, the town is anchored by a large Michelin tire plant employing approximately 1,300 workers, from Bridgewater and the surrounding communities. It has also become a business centre for the South Shore, drawing many folks from communities up and down the coast, well beyond the boundaries of the riding.

Mr. Speaker, Bridgewater is an educational centre with two large high schools - Bridgewater Junior Senior High and Park View Education Centre - a large elementary school and a campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. Former graduates from the area schools, like Donald Sutherland and Allan Blakeney, have gone on to distinguish themselves in fields as diverse as acting and politics. Of course there have been many more, covering a wide variety of vocations and occupations but time does not permit an exhaustive list here.

Also in the riding are three very good elementary schools - Pentz, Hebbville and Newcombville. These schools feed Hebbville Academy, a middle school which, in turn, feeds Park View Education Centre, one of the high schools. The area schools are top-notch, Mr. Speaker and those in the region accord them high praise.

The town is also home to the Michael Baker Justice Centre. On the 17th, in her response to the Speech from the Throne, my colleague from Lunenburg spoke of the significant contribution the Honourable Michael Baker has made to the people of Lunenburg County and, in a broader context, to the people of this province. I, too, would like to acknowledge Mr. Baker's record of public service to all Nova Scotians and offer my best wishes and warmest regards to his family. (Applause) The state-of-the-art justice centre named in his honour and officially opened in July of this year, makes the town a centre for jurisprudence on the South Shore as well.

Bridgewater is also home to the South Shore Regional Hospital, making it a regional health centre. The dedicated doctors and nurses who serve at the South Shore Regional Hospital daily earn my admiration and respect. As ministerial assistant to the honourable Minister of Health, I look forward to working with medical staff to make health care in my region work. The appointment of Dr. John Ross as emergency adviser, the Patient Access Registry for Nova Scotia, and the 811 call-in help line to acquire diagnostic information are but three of the many important initiatives already taken by my government to benefit not only my constituents but all Nova Scotians.

There are also some fine long-term care homes in the region, like Hillside Pines and Cook Villa, which provide excellent long-term care for our aging population. As well, there

[Page 1730]

are a number of comfortable senior apartment complexes like Drumlin Hills and Ridgewood. Currently Shannex is constructing a major facility in the area as well.

The Town of Bridgewater is also home to a number of regional government departments and is the commercial and retail centre of the South Shore. It is not unusual these days to see construction cranes at many locations around the town, and folks who have been away for a decade or so who return to the area to meet old friends and renew acquaintances never fail to be amazed by the meteoric growth of this South Shore town.

Mr. Speaker, Bridgewater is home to Branch 24 of the Royal Canadian Legion, of which I am a proud member, as was my father before me. Branch 24 recently hosted the 60th reunion of the West Nova Scotia Regiment, an occasion that was marked by a resolution that I put forward in this House on September 18th and which was supported by all members, for which I am truly grateful. The West Nova Scotia Regiment has a proud tradition in the Canadian military. The only year the South Shore Exhibition was not held during its proud history was in 1939 when the Exhibition grounds in the town were commandeered to muster the regiment for its overseas campaigns, in which its members served with distinction. My father served with this regiment in both World Wars, as a Vickers machine gunner in the First World War and in the Air Force in the Second. He will always be my hero, and I honour all veterans in my riding and across this province who sacrificed so much so that we could enjoy our freedom. (Applause)

I think, Mr. Speaker, it's particularly poignant on this day when Mr. Nash and his comrades came here to present us with poppies - a very significant day for me, and I'm really pleased that I'm able to speak today.

As I mentioned, Bridgewater is home to the South Shore Exhibition, one of the oldest and perhaps one of the most famous agricultural fairs in the province. The fair has been running annually without interruption - except 1939 - since 1891. Many folks travel great distances each year to enjoy this agricultural showcase. This year's edition broke all previous one-day attendance records when 12,184 people passed through the turnstiles in one day. So I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ms. June Hanrahan, President of the South Shore Exhibition, her 13-member board, and her staff for all the hard work they did to make that happen. The Big Ex! (Applause)

In summer, the Farmers' Market is a place of bustling activity in the town centre on Saturday mornings. I'm pleased to support this market, which showcases locally-grown food produced in the outlying communities. Those who operate and run the market are to be congratulated for a job well done. It is yet just another fine example of how we can grow and support our local economy.

[Page 1731]

Mr. Speaker, we're blessed in our community to have the Bridgewater Fire Department, a highly-skilled group of volunteers who provide fire service to a very high standard, and their extremely talented and musically-adept band, which performs in a highly professional manner and can be seen and heard at just about every community event in the area. As a musician myself, who understands the intricacies of orchestral playing, I have the highest admiration and respect for their professionalism and greatly appreciate their service as an integral part of the community.

In the community surrounding the town there are also 12 community fire departments which supply excellent fire services to the citizens of the region. They include departments in Chelsea, Hebbs Cross, Hebbville, Hemford, Italy Cross, LaHave, Lapland, Midville Branch, Newcombville, Pleasantville, Conquerall Bank, and Wileville. In addition, there are countless organizations such as the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Scouts, Cubs, 4-H, the United Way, and numerous other groups that do excellent work to make our area a better place to live, work, and play. Mr. Speaker, volunteerism is alive and well in Lunenburg West, and is one of the fundamental building blocks of the region.

Of great interest to many constituents in my riding is the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre. We call it the LCLC. This proposed facility, which will consist of two NHL-size ice surfaces, a 25-metre six-lane pool, a home to the new Bridgewater Library, and additional community and cultural space constitutes a much-needed component to the recreational options available to the citizens of my riding.

As ministerial assistant to the Minister of Health, I now will understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Part of this government's goal in making health care affordable is to promote healthier lifestyles, thus keeping folks fit and out of our hospitals. It is one of the most important components in our health care plan. A facility like this also makes it easier to attract health care and other professionals to the region.

A few days ago the member for Argyle suggested in this House that backbenchers on this side of the Legislature have no say in the conduct of affairs of the current administration. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Mr. Speaker, we have an open caucus where all views are valued and where all opinions are respected. On this side of the House, being on the backbench simply refers to where one physically sits in this House. (Applause) With regard to the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre, I'm proud to say that our government listens to all its members and that this government is financially committed to the construction of this facility which will benefit all in my riding. It is a partnership between the Municipality of Lunenburg, the Town of Bridgewater, the Nova Scotia Government and the federal government.

Mr. Speaker, for several months we have been waiting for final approval from Ottawa before moving forward. I'm pleased to say that on Friday, October 2nd, approval was granted and this $32.7 million project was given the green light. It serves as an example of how all

[Page 1732]

levels of government and politicians of different political stripes can work together to foster change that benefits all.

To the honourable member for Yarmouth, who stated in this House recently that South Shore ridings get nothing, I beg to differ. Not only have we just landed one of the biggest projects my riding has seen in some time, Mr. Speaker, but thanks to the honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, a number of highway paving and improvement projects are currently underway, as well, in Lunenburg West, bringing much-needed upgrades to our roadways. (Applause) I would like to thank the honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection and the honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, as well as my colleagues in caucus, for hearing me out on these projects and supporting these much-needed improvements in my riding.

Rimming the town are a number of beautiful smaller villages and hamlets. Their number is prolific and their names reflect our rich heritage. They include the LaHave Islands, Crescent Beach, West Dublin, Dublin Shore, LaHave, West LaHave, Pleasantville, Mount Pleasant, Conquerall Bank, Conquerall Mills, Crouses Settlement, Lake Centre, New Cumberland, Hebbs Cross, Hebbville, Wilevile, Newcombville, Cheslea, Bakers Settlement - (Interruption) It's coming - West Clifford, East Clifford, Waterloo, Laconia, Lapland, Colpton, Nineveh, Simpsons Corner, Hemford, Branch LaHave, Upper Branch, Lower Branch, Midville Branch, New Canada, Middlewood, Italy Cross, Cookville, Auburndale, and Camperdown. If this sounds a bit like the old Hank Snow tune I've Been Everywhere, I make no apologies.

You see, Mr. Speaker, the names of these beautiful communities and hamlets have a great deal to say about our heritage. Many of my constituents are elderly, some are disabled, and as you can probably tell from the place names I've just outlined from that chronology, many people live in rural areas. Recently a troubling event occurred in my riding. Canada Post chose to inform many of my constituents that they will no longer be getting mail delivery at mailboxes at the end of their driveways. The reason given for this change was cited as safety concerns. On hearing of this development on August 12th, I wrote a letter to Ms. Moya Greene, CEO of Canada Post Corporation, to get a copy of the safety report for all four Atlantic Provinces.

You see - and I'm going back to my friend, George, here - my thinking was that if I received the data from these four provinces with similar topography and geography, I would be better able to make a judgment on the efficacy of this policy. Recently I received the information I requested and it indicated that major safety incidents occurred in Ontario and the Prairie Provinces, causing me to ruminate as to why rural mailboxes in my riding are under attack. Canada Post also chose not to attend a public meeting on this issue held at the Oak Hill Fire Hall on September 9th which was attended by the MLA for Lunenburg, the MLA for Queens, as well as the mayor of the Municipality of Lunenburg, representatives of

[Page 1733]

the postal union, and myself. There were by various accounts about 300 people in attendance at this meeting.

[3:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, it was unanimously agreed by all parties present at that meeting that no change should be made to rural mail delivery in Lunenburg County, of which my constituency, of course, is a part. As I've already noted, many of my constituents are elderly or disabled, many do not drive and many do not own, or care to own, computers. Their connection to commerce, their social interactions and their connections to family are controlled by mail delivery to a box at the end of a driveway.

Any change to this regimen can produce only hardship and sorrow for my constituents. Any change which forces my constituents to receive mail at a group box, or any change forcing residents to travel to the Town of Bridgewater to collect their mail, the two options that were offered by Canada Post, raises significant safety concerns for my constituents and enlarges the environmental footprint, which members on this side of the House, and members like my colleague, the member for Dartmouth East, are interested in reducing.

Although rural mail delivery is under federal jurisdiction, I raise the matter in this House, because if this policy is being pursued in Lunenburg West and other parts of Lunenburg County, and you are a member representing a rural Nova Scotia constituency, it will soon be coming to a community near you. I believe the member for Cape Breton North has similar concerns. I hope all members of this House will join the honourable member and me in vigorously opposing this ill-conceived policy. (Applause)

The residents of my constituency have a rich and colourful history as I noted earlier when I delivered a chronology of some of the names of the villages and hamlets in the riding. The village of LaHave, named after the river that bounds my riding on the east is the oldest settlement in Canada. Samuel de Champlain, de Razilly and others, sailed into Green Bay in the 1600s and founded the settlement. They built a fortification and named it Sainte-Marie-de-Grâce, which is known today as Fort Point.

The adjoining settlement came to be known as LaHave after the last visible place these settlers saw when leaving France, which happened to be Cap de la Hève, hence the name to this day. De Razilly was obviously pleased with this newly discovered area because he wrote the following, "The lakes are filled with all kinds of fresh water fish, the sea is paved with turbot, sturgeon, salmon and a thousand other kinds. The heads alone of these fish, although they are thrown away could feed so many poor people over there . . ." - he's referring to his native land - ". . . who are reduced to eating bread made of bracken and acorns."

[Page 1734]

Champlain and his cohorts eventually moved from LaHave to St. Croix and, after a disastrous winter in this location, on to Port Royal. However, this settlement was actually the capital of New France for a time. As always, some folks remained behind and this established our French heritage in the area. Surnames indicative of this group include Langille, Pernette, Veinotte, LeGay and LeBlanc.

Of course, the original settlers were the Mi'kmaq. These sturdy folk plied the waterways, including the LaHave River and other rivers and streams in the region, moving from their wintering grounds at Kejimkujik to the summer camps along the coast of my riding. Many of the lakes in and around communities like Chelsea, Lapland and Hebbs Cross have beautiful Mi'kmaq names like Minamkeak, Milipsigate and Molega. The Mi'kmaq were excellent stewards of the land and certainly put their stamp on the part of Lunenburg County on which I reside. These First Nations people of Nova Scotia deserve our admiration and respect, and I am pleased that our Premier is establishing policies that acknowledge and promote their best interests in our time.

Many of my constituents' ancestors came from countries in what is now the United Kingdom. Place names like West Dublin and Dublin Shore testify to our Irish heritage, while surnames like Bell, Bagot, Bush, Smith, Watson, MacLean, McCarthy and Stewart indicate our English and Scottish heritage. By far, our biggest influx of immigrants were of German descent. I guess the name of the county is the giveaway there, Lunenburg County.

The settlers who founded the beautiful Town of Lunenburg in the mid-1700s were largely foreign Protestants, about 2,700 in all who came from the Upper Rhine. They came from the French- and German-speaking Swiss cantons and from the French-speaking principality of Montbéliard. These settlers soon fanned out from there, to occupy lands in the surrounding countryside. That legacy today is obvious when reading the phone book and checking the surnames in the Bridgewater and LaHave exchanges. It is filled with names like, of course, Aulenback, Bachman, Beck, Bolivar, Clattenburg, Conrad, Crouse, Dagley, Eisenhauer, Eisnor. Feindel, Frelick, Himmelman, Hebb, Herman, Hynick, Joudrey, Kaulback, Knickle, Meisner, Naugler, Oickle, Publicover, Rafuse, Rhodenizer, Schnare, Slauenwhite, Wamboldt, Weagle, Whynot, Wile, Zinck and Zwicker. (Applause) I can do it with place names or I can do it with names of towns.

Mr. Speaker, the unique blend of English speech, or dialect, that developed from this melting pot of cultural influences led to what is commonly known as the Lunenburg County twang. Some of us have lost it through travel and living in other places, many of us thankfully still retain it. This dialect, unique to our area, has led some folks to refer to us as Dutchies. With the deepest respect for the folks from Holland, the term originated from Deutsche, the word for German in that language and so prevalent is this linguistic description of my people that the greatest Canadian blues man, originally from Lunenburg County, the Prime Minister of the Blues, Dutchie Mason, used it as his stage name throughout his performing career. If there is a blues heaven, Dutchie's there and his legacy of course lives

[Page 1735]

on with his enormously talented son, Garrett. We in Lunenburg County will always claim Dutchie to be our own and we certainly do not mind being referred to as Dutchies.

The heritage I have just outlined is well preserved in a number of fine museums, large and small, in the region. The DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater has an extensive collection of artifacts and material while the Dean Wile Carding Mill Museum on Victoria Road in Bridgewater and the Fort Point Museum in LaHave give us important glimpses of our developing culture and our rich heritage.

We must be ever cognizant of the fact that most of us were the sons and daughters of immigrants. With the exception of the original people, the Mi'kmaq, we have all come from immigrant families. We should always remember this and especially now that our government embarks on welcoming more immigrants to build our province and grow our economy. We must provide a warm and nurturing environment to integrate these new arrivals into our society with a generosity of spirit and the kindness of manner for which we are internationally renowned. (Applause)

The founding residents of my constituency helped to build the economy of this province, largely by working in the primary resource industries. In the days of wood, wind and sail, the economy boomed. Those who populated the coast, mainly fishers, needed material to build their ships and vessels. They would contract with lumbermen and sawmill owners to go into the hinterland and harvest the material needed for the fudiks, knees, masts, beams, and planking to construct their vessels.

The material would be hauled to yards in Conquerall, the Dublins, LaHave Islands and other yards where shipwrights would fashion these materials into works of art, like our beloved Bluenose, for which our province is famous. Legend has it that when one of these sawmill owners was looking for a place to construct his mill, he found a significant set of rapids on the Petite River where he knew he could build a flume which would accelerate the water to run the wheel which would propel his up-and-down sawmill. He's reputed to have said, "This place conquers them all." As a result, the place to this day is named Conquerall Mills.

The forests have long been kind to the folks in my riding. Indeed, my own father and his brothers were running the Ramey Mill when I was a boy and it was there that I learned the value of a hard day's work and not to be a whiner. My father believed that if you injured yourself and the body part that you were complaining about was still attached, then there really wasn't an issue. Most of the adults I worked with in those formative years held a similar view and that it was this sense or spirit of rugged individualism that carried the day even then as it does now.

Simply put in the tradition of John Calvin, it was believed that hard work was a noble calling and would be rewarded in heaven. This tradition still persists today and so it should

[Page 1736]

come as no surprise that the Michelin tire plant in Bridgewater, staffed by workers from my riding, is one of the most productive in the world and a centre for testing new technology and innovation for the company. We live by the credo, if it can be done, we'll do it.

In winter, many of the constituents in my riding enter the forests to harvest Christmas trees as they have for generations, earning the county the title of Christmas Tree Capital of Canada and bringing millions of dollars into the local economy. It should not be surprising to members of this House then that sustainable forestry practices, which our government will implement during its mandate, will be very important to the constituents in my area.

As one moves away from the coast and proceeds inland, the topography changes to rolling hills and gentle valleys. It's here on these drumlins, left by the glaciers, where the dairy, beef and poultry farms that form the base of the agrarian economy are located. Here again, sustainable practices, new markets and innovative farming methods, including organic farming, are key to growing and sustaining this valuable driver of our local economy.

In beautiful inland communities like Chelsea, Baker Settlement, Colpton, Simpson's Corner, Hemford, Camperdown and New Elm rivers, lakes and streams abound and the forests team with wildlife. In the Spring and summer, many of my constituents fish for salmon, trout and bass in more recent years, while in the Fall many hunters take to the woods to hunt deer.

For folks who enjoy hiking, snowmobiling or riding their ATVs, a number of approved trails allow these enthusiasts a wide range of recreational choices. Whether it's an ocean vista viewed from a beautiful sandy beach, or the solitude of a quiet lake at sunset, Lunenburg West has it all, making it a great place to spend a family vacation.

Mr. Speaker, inshore fishing has long been a mainstay of the local economy of Lunenburg West. Fishers from the LaHave Islands, West Dublin, Dublin Shore and LaHave have long plied the oceans, harvesting both wet fish and lobsters. Policies that support and sustain local fishermen are important to my constituents and are crucial to growing and strengthening this important sector of our local economy.

Also in the constituency are a host of small businesses offering services to the residents. These include plumbers, electricians, machinists, carpenters, heating and ventilation companies, lands-keepers, car dealerships, saw mills, construction companies, realtors, retail outlets both large and small, restaurants, cleaning companies, building supply dealers and a host of other businesses that meet the needs of the approximately 20,000 constituents that I outlined before.

Perhaps the biggest feature that my riding has going for it is lifestyle. Many of the folks living there, from my age group, and there are a significant number who fall into that

[Page 1737]

category, were brought up like me and so by extrapolation, I guess, have similar values and characteristics. Like me, they were taught for at least a bit of their education in a one-room school. Like me, they were part of an extended family. Most in the early years attended Sunday school and later, church.

In the 1960s, when I was a teenager, most of the residents worked in the community. In this very nurturing environment, there were many mothers and fathers for their children because you could enter virtually anyone's home and be treated like their own son or daughter. If this description sounds a bit like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting or something, it is.

There, young people like me in those days learned the value of a hard day's work, we learned not to complain, we learned to respect our elders, we learned to be quiet while others spoke, we learned to remain silent if we didn't have anything constructive to say and we learned that saying something louder or faster didn't necessarily make it sound any smarter. Mr. Speaker, having sat through only a few Question Periods since being elected to this House, I would suggest that these are lessons that could be of value to many members. (Applause).

In my formative years we were taught to help others and not to expect remuneration of any kind for doing so. If there was a need, we were expected to try and meet it. It was certainly implied, though not specifically stated, that the family was the most important social unit in the world. Nothing eclipsed love and duty to family. Good parents were a gift and a blessing, grandparents a bonus. I was fortunate to have both in Anita and Bill, Bob and Ellie. Although not unique to me, I read with interest an article about the terrific mom with whom the Leader of the Official Opposition was blessed. I do think that because of my parentage as described, though, it would not be difficult for the honourable members of this House to understand why I would want the focus of my short or long political life to be centered on the family.

Mr. Speaker, I have always been interested in politics. Raised in a family where my parents were Progressive Conservatives, my grandparents Liberal - remember, we lived in an extended family, we lived together - elections were interesting times. Debate raged not only at home but in the two local country stores. In high school I took a course, I remember it well, called Modern World Problems - I don't know if any of you remember that - from a teacher by the name of Mr. George Joudrey, a valuable teacher and a valuable mentor of mine as well. That continued fanning the flames of my political interest and I later studied history and political science at Mount Alison University, where one of my academic colleagues was the honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, I might add.

[Page 1738]

All of these things fired my interest in politics as a study and shaped me into what in today's terms might be called a political junkie, although in the early years I never contemplated running for public office. What compelled me to do so was partly explained by my colleague from Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley a few weeks ago in his response to the Speech from the Throne, when he spoke eloquently in his place about egalitarianism, vision and a sense of history. I appreciate that, honourable member. (Applause)

[4:00 p.m.]

Over time, I had come to believe that we should be able to present a kinder, gentler landscape in which our citizenry could manoeuvre through their lives. I got tired of hearing about the elimination of poverty but not seeing much progress on that file. I heard much talk about ordinary people, but always believed that we are all ordinary. What happens is that some people do extraordinary things. Many people hearing this often think of someone like Albert Einstein or John Kennedy or Pierre Trudeau or Tommy Douglas or Frederick Banting or perhaps Nelson Mandela, all great figures in their own right.

I prefer to think a single mom with two children, trying to acquire an education to make a better life for herself and her children, while at the same time endeavoring to maintain some semblance of family life, is an extraordinary person. Indeed, that person, in my opinion, is truly extraordinary.

There were other reasons, too, that compelled me to seek political office at this time in my life. I felt that being positioned near the United States, with a population of over 300 million souls, we should be able to have a more robust economy. I felt that living in a province with the third best natural harbour in the world should place us more solidly in the world shipping market. I felt that living in a province that's one of the best locations in the world for wind power, and one of the best for tidal power, should result in us becoming producers and exporters of green energy. I thought that having a highly intelligent, skilled, and talented workforce should make us bigger players in the science, technology, and knowledge-based industries. I felt that living, in the words of Shakespeare, in "this precious stone set in the silver sea, which serves it in the office of a wall (Or as a moat defensive to a house)," with its glorious vistas and equally glorious people, should make us leaders, not followers.

In the past, I had been asked by other Parties, both federal and provincial, to consider being an electoral candidate, but my desire to do so was never really galvanized into action until the run-up to the 2009 provincial election. Even then, I did due diligence. Simply put, I interviewed the now-Premier on two occasions, one for a considerable length of time measured in hours rather than minutes. He may recollect that grilling, but he passed with flying colours, so I guess it's okay. After that, I met with the caucus of the day and again liked what I saw and heard, and that's why today I'm proud to stand in my place and say that with this Premier and with this government I know my constituents are in good hands.

[Page 1739]

You see, we practise what we preach. We support today's families in this province, but internally we operate like a family as well. We know the whole is more important than the sum of its parts. We know that it is our duty to look after one another, as well as our constituents; we know that everyone is an equal at the table, and we know that united behind our Leader we will build a kinder, gentler, more equitable Nova Scotia that treats all with dignity and respect, while growing the economy and returning Nova Scotia to its rightful place within the confederation of our sister provinces in this country.

During the campaign, we were criticized by some for producing a pamphlet that the average citizen could actually decode and understand. It was not an unreadable tome, just seven basic goals laid out on the front with a report-card-like four-year plan, which allowed the reader to check off the goal when it was accomplished. All these goals were aimed at making life better for Nova Scotian families and putting money where it can best be utilized to make life better for them. A number of these goals have already been achieved. The people are watching and the people will decide. Bombastic rhetoric, mean-spirited debate, or truculent behaviour will not carry the day. The people of Nova Scotia on June 9th left that in their wake and they chose a different path.

In 1972 I was accepted at Dalhousie Law School, and at that point was forced to make a choice: would I pursue studies in law or follow a career path in education? I chose education, and I've never regretted that decision. As an educator who has taught in university, college, and secondary school systems, I have met some wonderful students of all ages, and in this profession I have always reaped more than I have sown.

On Sunday, September 27th, I attended the nomination of Gordon Earle for the riding of Chester-St. Margaret's. The guest speaker was a young lady by the name of Keya Joseph, just days away from her 18th birthday. Keya is a full-time IB student at the Park View Education Centre in my riding. She is the treasurer of the Student Council, a member of Youth for Social Justice, belongs to the math league, the band, the choir, the improv team, the track team, and helps organize the Knowledge Festival. Outside of school she is Co-Premier of the Nova Scotia Secondary Schools Association, social co-ordinator for Move Your World, a volunteer with United Way, the youth rep on the board of the Folk Harbour Festival and she still finds time to be a student of boxing.

The topic she chose to speak about was why, until this year, she was uninterested in politics and politicians. She indicated she was one person, but had many friends in her age group with similar opinions. This is what she said young people want; first of all, they want a change. They are tired of the same Parties "constantly at each other's throats" - her quote - promising change and not delivering. Although not a member of any Party, she indicated that young people at her school actually became engaged in the 2009 election, openly discussing it, and reading the newspapers on a daily basis. She said that youth don't feel targeted by

[Page 1740]

political messages and that the vast bulk of them are totally turned off by negative messaging.

She concluded that Parties that take the high road will do better with the voters of tomorrow. She and her compatriots are our tomorrow. We must not alienate them. We must not disappoint them. We must engage them and we must reinvigorate them.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have been part of a Party that took the high road in the election campaign and I'm proud to belong to a Party that will continue to do so in this House. I look forward to working with the Premier, the Cabinet Ministers, my caucus colleagues here and all members of this House who care about effecting change for Nova Scotia's families. I congratulate all members of this House on the unique opportunity that they've been provided, and afforded, to work toward building a better Nova Scotia and I pledge to do my part to hasten this result.

Mr. Speaker, M. le Président, on behalf of the founding peoples of my riding, as well as my current constituents, merci beaucoup, Danke schön, wela'lin, thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Eastern Shore.

MR. SIDNEY PREST: Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker, colleagues, friends and Members of the Legislative Assembly. At this historic time in the political history of our province, I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to the Speech from the Throne and to introduce myself and my constituency, the beautiful Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, to the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature.

It is an honour and a privilege to represent the good people of the Eastern Shore and I welcome the opportunity to speak on their behalf. At the very beginning I will take the opportunity to thank my constituents for their support last June 9th and for the confidence they have placed in me. I will work very hard to ensure I deserve that confidence and that my constituents receive the strong voice and diligent representation they deserve.

I also wish to thank my wife, my family, campaign workers and the many, many volunteers, without mentioning any names, on their behalf. I want to acknowledge our Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Mayann Francis, and to thank her for representing Her Majesty the Queen, with grace and dignity. I also wish to congratulate all newly-elected members of the Legislature, as well as you, Mr. Speaker, on your new position.

Mr. Speaker, like all Nova Scotians, the people on the Eastern Shore want and deserve good government. We understand responsible, disciplined, decision making. We understand the concepts of accountability, transparency and we fully support the elements of good government and common sense contained in the Speech from the Throne.

[Page 1741]

During these tough economic times making life affordable is a priority for all Nova Scotians. Whether through HST tax relief, energy upgrades or incentives for increased energy efficiency, we welcome any proposal that will allow ordinary families to afford the necessities of life. In addition, a Poverty Reduction Strategy and an increase in the child tax credit threshold are laudable goals for all. Our government's intentions and initiatives to adopt policies that will assist seniors in our district and across this province are initiatives we all embrace.

New home construction rebates will help stimulate the economy and put up to $7,000 in the hands of new homeowners. Any initiative that will help to keep tradespeople working will increase the likelihood that our citizens will be able to remain in their own communities to live and work and bring up their families.

In addition, infrastructure funding commitments made by the previous government for this fiscal year will be welcome. Nearly $100 million is needed in infrastructure projects which will stretch from one end of the province to the other.

Other initiatives to assist business, whether the equity tax credit, the manufacturing tax credit or our commitment to invest in infrastructure - each of these will directly or indirectly improve the business environment and influence the lives of ordinary people.

Mr. Speaker, as the Speech from the Throne indicates, a modern economy is, in fact, enriched and strengthened by diversity. We will create and sustain a culture that will attract sustained immigration, ensure that women and minorities have a strong voice and equal opportunity, from one end of the province to the other.(Applause)

Mr. Speaker, in a world increasingly concerned about the environment and the future of our planet, our government will put in place the first caps on greenhouse gas emission and air pollutants and set aggressively new targets for renewal energy. We're very proud that our government will introduce legislation in 2010 that will promote the development, transmission and use of clean energy sources, investigate full potential of the renewal energy and protect at least 12 per cent of total land mass in Nova Scotia by 2015. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to be part of a government that has a goal to create one of the cleanest and greenest environments and most sustainable and thriving economies in the world. On the Eastern Shore in particular, we welcome any initiative that will provide incentives to keep our young people at home. A graduate tax incentive, tuition fee freezes, enhanced capacity at the Nova Scotia Community College and subsidized day care will contribute to all this ambition.

Nova Scotians want a health care system that serves them now and into the future. As part of our commitment to keep ERs open, the appointment of an emergency room

[Page 1742]

adviser - congratulations to Dr. John Ross - working with the district health authorities will provide leadership for the province and communities to improve care.

Fostering such initiatives such as HealthLink, Patient Access Registry, a new travel and accommodation policy, support for individuals with mental illness and their families, community- focused living bungalows developed to provide appropriate and respectful care for individuals coping with mental illness, the first mental health court will open and will help people who need counselling and treatment instead of being held in custody. Mr. Speaker, all of these are welcome initiatives to the good people of the Eastern Shore and to all Nova Scotians.

Public safety and business opportunity will be enhanced by initiatives such as a capital plan for new highway construction, paving bridges, bridge and truck inspections, improving secondary roads and increased resources for secondary road resurfacing by 50 per cent. Our government will work with the forest industry to sustain a modern economic infrastructure and skilled workforce, which will be this province's advantage as markets improve.

Mr. Speaker, we will do everything we can to further encourage Nova Scotians to buy local. A farmer's market has been established in Musquodoboit Harbour and is promoting and selling produce every Sunday morning. Our government will focus on the fishery of the future. We will work with our federal and provincial counterparts to ensure the industry has a long and sustainable future.

We will promote agriculture as a positive economic, social and environmental force and will help farm families maximize market opportunities.

[4:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, the people of the Eastern Shore strongly agree that "strong communities are safe communities." We will continue to work with communities to find effective crime prevention strategies and build on a partnership with municipalities from Cape Breton to Yarmouth to build stronger, healthier, safer communities in Nova Scotia. In the coming months, first responders will be able to locate callers dialing 911 from cellphones and we will respond to the recommendations of the Domestic Violence Prevention Committee, because everyone should enjoy the quiet comfort of their home in peace and security.

In the next fiscal year, we will increase funding for transition houses to support vital work they do in communities. The Speech from the Throne provides a road map - a way forward for all Nova Scotians. I want to assure the members present that initiatives contained in the Speech from the Throne are welcomed and receive my unequivocal support.

[Page 1743]

Next I want to talk a bit about my constituency, but by way of introduction I will take only a couple of minutes to tell the members a bit about myself and then I will introduce my constituency to you, complete with a current description and analysis as well as my hopes, expectations, and aspirations for my constituents.

From the beginning I should point out that for me, it's about the future. My having the opportunity to contribute to good governance now will result in opportunity and prosperity for our children and grandchildren - an opportunity for all young people to remain in Nova Scotia and work and live in communities that offer a sense of belonging and well-being. In this regard, on the Eastern Shore, families do, in fact, deserve a better deal.

Mr. Speaker, because Nova Scotians believe in traditional values, including that notion that wisdom comes with age, and that age should be respected - as I am the oldest of all caucus members assembled here today, clearly you should pay attention. (Applause) I was born in the Village of Mooseland, the youngest of 10 children and, along with my wife of 42 years, Nancy, I still reside in our family home in Mooseland. We have raised three children, all of whom attended Duncan MacMillan High School in Sheet Harbour before attending and graduating from various Maritime universities. I graduated from Musquodoboit Rural High myself and spent my formative years in Mooseland where I attended a one-room school to Grade 6.

In 1961, I joined the family-operated lumber and forestry business where I was employed until 1983 when I went to work with the Municipality of the County of Halifax. During the 20 years I worked with the municipality, I served in various departments including Planning and Development, Community Services, Bylaw Enforcement, and Environmental Management. This extensive experience, as well as my involvement with a range of community-based projects, has allowed me to know, value, and appreciate citizens throughout Halifax Regional Municipality.

I have had the opportunity to serve as chairman of the board of trustees at Duncan MacMillan High School, I have been an active member of the Mooseland and Area Community Association as well as Citizens on Patrol, and I have served as vice-president of the Provincial and Municipal Law Enforcement Officers Association. I have also worked tirelessly since 1993 to ensure a protected area designation for the Tangier Grand Lake Wilderness Area. Always a believer that it's far better to get involved than to sit on the sidelines and complain I have been engaged in affairs of municipal, provincial and federal politics for the past 40 years. (Applause)

My connection with government and community development has always been focused on families, improving the quality of life for the children and grandchildren of the citizens of the Eastern Shore - I have six grandchildren of my own. My vision for improvement includes community based economic development, ensuring the availability

[Page 1744]

of adequate health care and educational resources, preservation of the values and benefits of rural Nova Scotia and environmental protection.

One resource in particular holds a special interest for me. I have spent a large part of my life working in and around the forestry industry. I have come to understand and appreciate the true value of Nova Scotia's forest, values that include not only the economic and industrial benefits but also broader issues related to water quality, wildlife habitat, biodiversity and recreation.

Like the residents of my constituency, I realize the key issue related to the ongoing value of the forest is sustainability - the preservation of a healthy forest ecosystem for the benefit and enjoyment of this generation and the next. (Applause) I have specific ideas related to vision, priority setting and balance that will ensure the sustainability that will benefit all residents of the Eastern Shore and all of Nova Scotia.

I've always had a strong sense of public service and I believe that serving the people of the Eastern Shore is a privilege and that the people of the Eastern Shore deserve to clearly understand and participate in decisions related to the issues that may affect their lives. I am an ordinary Nova Scotian who wishes to represent the people of the Eastern Shore in that context. Like my constituents, my disposition and temperament are rooted in traditional values of rural Nova Scotia where hard work, honesty and common sense are held in high regard. (Applause)

Over the past 40 years working closely with a wide range of citizens, I have learned a great deal about negotiation, compromise and working for the common good. It's easy to imagine how attending a school all day with Grades P-9 in a single room, and later taking my place at the dinner table with nine older siblings, might contribute to my negotiation and resource allocation skills.

The Eastern Shore constituency - the riding extends from the suburban communities around Ross Road, Porters Lake and Lawrencetown, the proud French Acadian Chezzetcook communities to the more rural fishing communities of East and West Jeddore, Little Harbour and Ship Harbour, and it includes the expanding community around Musquodoboit Harbour. It is unique and diverse. In rural areas, forestry, fisheries and ecotourism are the backbone of the economy. Note that the trend in population on the Eastern Shore increased 13 per cent in 1996-2006. In the eastern part of the constituency is a more aging population, fewer single families and very little mobility in the eastern part of the riding.

In the recent history, the riding has been represented by Garnet Brown, Tom McInnes, Keith Colwell and Bill Dooks, until the NDP broke through as we did in so many other areas of the province on June 9th. (Applause) As anyone knows who has spent any time there, the remarkable natural beauty of the Eastern Shore is matched only by the energy and resourcefulness of the people who live there.

[Page 1745]

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Eastern Shore is that it is Nova Scotia's best kept secret. It may not be as commercially developed as the South Shore, perhaps not as popular a tourist destination as the metro area or Cape Breton - something we're going to change - but it's resources, natural beauty and resourceful people are unsurpassed anywhere in the province.

The riding contains a medical clinic, a hospital, a nursing home in Musquodoboit Harbour and six schools located from Ross Road to Oyster Pond. It contains three of the finest beaches in Nova Scotia including Nova Scotia's longest sandy beach at Martinique; Nova Scotia's most famous surfing beach, Lawrencetown; and the beautiful Clam Harbour beach, famous for its annual sand castle contest. I'd like to point out the sand castle contest taking place on that beach attracts up to 20,000 people, and all you have to bring are your tools to work with. Mother Nature has provided the landscape for you to do your work and have fun family entertainment. When you walk away you take your tools, and after two or three tides Mother Nature will put it all back in the same condition, and not one bit of expense to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.

Because of the suburban and rural nature of the communities, the residents are often concerned about job opportunities near home, transportation issues, economic development and the availability of public services, transportation, and equal access to medical and community services, especially for the elderly.

Next, I would like to speak about some specific resources and some of the issues concerning them. The potential for the development of the forestry industry on the Eastern Shore is immense. Forestry is an issue near and dear to my heart, and part of our family business for more than 60 years. When dealing with issues related to the forestry industry, certain principles must be kept in mind. All solutions must include the concepts of balance and interconnectedness. Economic interests must be balanced with environmental interests and must include the recognition that all aspects of the forestry industry - wood products, recreation, tourism, water quality, hunting, fishing, mining, coastal development, et cetera - are intimately connected.

The mistake would be to assume that these are competing interests. The NDP believes that all Nova Scotians have a stake in our woodlands and that the entire forest industry can be developed in an economically viable and an environmentally sensitive manner, mutually beneficial to all.

I would like to point out a few of the highlights: promote and adopt forest management policies that take a long-term view, ensuring sustainability and benefits to our children and grandchildren; improve silviculture programs with a focus on economic adaptation, sustainability, and focus on better-quality, healthier forests; move the forest industry further up the value chain, adding more value to forestry products in Nova Scotia

[Page 1746]

and creating jobs for Nova Scotians; assist the forest industry in responding to current economic conditions - changing markets, the value of the Canadian dollar, export restrictions, et cetera; provide improved market information systems and training programs that would ensure viability and sustainability; and support companies undertaking upgrading certification such as that provided by the Forest Stewardship Council.

When it comes to managing our forest resources, we must focus our attention on quality over quantity, particularly the quality of certain species. I'll just focus a little bit on the species, and I like to refer to taking a healthy red spruce tree or a yellow birch or an oak and devaluing it by putting it into wood pellets or energy sources. Nobody in this Chamber would agree that we would take lobsters or scallops and make cat food out of them and devalue it, so why should we take our forest resource and devalue it?

The Nova Scotia fishery is vital to a healthy economy, and if managed properly, will provide a livelihood for families in coastal communities for many generations to come. Government has a responsibility to preserve fishing as a way of life in rural Nova Scotia. A few points that I would like to establish: a task force to help the lobster industry through its current crisis, similar to that adopted by Maine to keep coastal communities strong; assist the industry with the development of new markets and strengthening existing ones; provide stronger leadership representing the interest of fishermen in Ottawa; work with communities and stakeholders to establish short-term deferral programs for loan board loans; re-examine employment insurance hours and support programs for crew members; examine new opportunities in processing and marketing; and protect Georges Bank fisheries.

[4:30 p.m.]

On the environment, the NDP has consistently demonstrated the strongest commitment to environmental concerns including the development of a comprehensive environmental policy framework, built on the principles of community involvement, health protection and government safeguards. The environment is connected to all human activity and all government departments, sustainability concerns must be integrated into all government decision making. The government would bring new energy to our environmental concerns. The greening of economy is completely compatible with economic development. We should work closely with the Ecology Action Centre, as well as other organizations committed to a healthy, natural environment.

We should act immediately, not waiting for more studies and, which we have done, ban uranium mining. We should work with the Colin Stewart Forest Forum and make real progress towards a 12 per cent wilderness protected target; unify the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; create a commissioner for the environment to provide ongoing accountability related to environmental goals; ensure that the municipal public drinking standards are met for all municipalities; initiate a green procurement policy, including locally-grown foods in all government institutions; reduce cosmetic pesticides;

[Page 1747]

develop a coastal protection agency; ensure provincial regulations that would prevent natural bodies of water contaminated by tailing ponds; ensure that the proposed provincial investments in infrastructure work towards a greener economy and consult with the construction industry to include energy-efficient provisions in the building codes.

Onto tourism. Tourism is a vital industry to the Nova Scotia economy with room for tremendous growth, particularly in rural communities and in particular, tourism has a large, untapped potential along the Eastern Shore. This government is committed to improve infrastructure and enhance marketing in support of the industry; develop the infrastructure necessary to attract tourists and grow the tourist industry; develop tourism routes and particularly the Eastern Shore; ensure easy access to beaches and coastline attractions and promote the underutilized beautiful beaches on the Eastern Shore; provide predictable, stable funding to regional tourism associations; work with TIANS, Coastal Communities Network, et cetera, across government departments to meet tourism goals; develop and implement a comprehensive, long-term tourism plan; regulate the quality of tourist accommodations; provide festivals and local events with an adequate level of funding; support tourism-based niche markets, golf eco-tourism, et cetera; improve and promote the technology needed to move the tourism industry forward, on-line booking, Internet promotions, et cetera.

On energy, all new energy policies must include provisions that will ensure reduction of consumer costs; reduction of usage and increase the use of renewable energy sources; remove the provincial portion of HST from basic home electrical use; establish a strategic heating oil reserve for Atlantic Canada; remove the tax on tax of fuel at the pump; remove the government involvement in setting gas prices and move this responsibility to the URB; review the fairness and effectiveness of the current funding formula; ensure the availability of competent specialists, teachers and other professional support staff so that rural Nova Scotians are not disadvantaged; involve all stakeholders - business, labour, et cetera, as curriculum advisors ensuring that students graduate with the skills they need; implement a province-wide student information system; provide school boards with budget information in a timely manner, avoiding layoffs and contributing to decision-making in the best interests of students.

On to transportation. Infrastructure generally and public roadways in particular, have a significant impact on economic development, competitiveness, tourism, rural business opportunities and everyday lives of ordinary Nova Scotians: develop a comprehensive plan to provide public transportation to rural Nova Scotia, a comprehensive plan that will make local roads a number one priority and ensure necessary maintenance on public roadways is completed as soon as possible based on fair and transparent criteria; ensure Nova Scotia gets a fair share of the federal gas tax; work with municipal districts and increase the funding necessary to ensure road maintenance; review the current vehicle inspection policy to determine if it actually contributes to the safety of Nova Scotians; publish an annual report providing public accountability on progress and road maintenance.

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In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the Eastern Shore has unsurpassed natural beauty, rich resources, a hard-working industrial population, and huge economic potential, but like all areas of rural Nova Scotia, we must tackle the challenge and impediments that might encumber our progress. We must meet these challenges directly and in a timely manner. As our Leader has so eloquently stated, "the seats in this Legislature belong to the voters not political Parties". Nova Scotians granted us the privilege of governing this province because of who we are and what we do. It is an honour and a privilege to be part of that government.

(Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. After the daily routine tomorrow, we will be calling Public Bills for Second Reading: Bill Nos. 14, 17, 20, 28, 30, 38, 48 and 49. The hours tomorrow will be from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. I move that the House do now rise.

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 4:38 p.m.]

[Page 1749]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 822

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas farming has been a way of life in many cultures for thousands of years, beginning with people taking wild grasses and using the seeds for food and planting for the next year's food; and

Whereas Charlotte Harper, owner of Horse and Garden Farm located in Windsor, Hants County, has undertaken the task of revitalizing an old farm and turning it into a place where volunteers wishing to work on a farm in exchange for free food, board, and a chance to learn about organic farming are welcome; and

Whereas being a part of the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms organization provides a unique occasion for those interested in organic farming with a chance to travel while working on a variety of farms around the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members in this House of Assembly commend the efforts of Charlotte Harper and wish her all the best with her plans for expansion and growth.

RESOLUTION NO. 823

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas there will be a tree planted and a commemorative plaque placed in Victoria Park in the Town of Windsor, Hants County, in memory and thanks to two very special ladies who supported, worked, and embraced the West Hants Family Resource Centre; and

Whereas Patricia Helliwell and Geraldine Watkins dedicated countless hours to the Family Resource Centre and the families of the Hants West area with their kindness and caring pouring into the lives of so many; and

Whereas Patricia and Geraldine should be remembered as people who had their hearts in the right place and took special care of those who visited the centre;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members in this House of Assembly commend the many years of contribution that Patricia Helliwell and Geraldine Watkins gave so graciously to the families of Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 824

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont (Argyle)

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

Whereas the Halifax West Senior Girls Soccer Team had their four and a half year regular season soccer winning streak snapped Friday, October 16th, as they lost 1-0 to Sir John Andrew; and

Whereas this winning streak by the Halifax West Senior Girls Soccer Team encompassed 52 amazing games and through this nearly six-year time period they won three provincial senior high school soccer championships while getting a silver and two bronze medals in three other provincial championship tournaments; and

Whereas the Halifax West Girls have an incredible record of 95 wins, nine losses, and four ties over the past six years;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Coach Roy Snook and his entire team of superb athletes for having such an outstanding soccer team in 2009-10, while also acknowledging Roy's coaching prowess in maintaining that 52 game regular season undefeated streak.

RESOLUTION NO. 825

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas the annual Berwick Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place June 6, 2009, celebrating locals' accomplishments in sport; and

Whereas the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team was inducted in this year's ceremony in recognition of their accomplishments on the field; and

Whereas Lawrence Johnstone contributed to the success of the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team as the Assistant Coach;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Lawrence Johnstone of the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team for his induction into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

RESOLUTION NO. 826

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas the annual Berwick Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place June 6, 2009, celebrating locals' accomplishments in sport; and

Whereas the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team was inducted in this year's ceremony in recognition of their accomplishments on the field; and

Whereas John Prall contributed to the success of the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team as a player;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate John Prall of the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team for his induction into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.