Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 09-3

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

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR: Bear River, Dangerous Intersections - Concerns,
Mr. H. Theriault 25
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3, Can. Summer Games (2009): Athletes - Congrats.,
The Premier 26
Vote - Affirmative 27
Res. 4, Estimates - CWH on Supply,
Hon. G. Steele 27
Res. 5, Queen's Printer (N.S./Counterparts) - Acknowledge,
Hon. F. Corbett 28
Vote - Affirmative 28
Res. 6, Talbot House - Anniv. (50th),
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 28
Vote - Affirmative 29
Res. 7, Cdn. Deep Roots Music Fest.: Vols./Staff/Performers - Thank,
Hon. R. Jennex 29
Vote - Affirmative 30
Res. 8, Assemblée Parliamentaire de la Francophonie - Welcome,
Hon. G. Steele 30
Vote - Affirmative 31
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
Bill No. 1, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. W. Estabrooks 31
Bill No. 2, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. W. Estabrooks 32
Bill No. 3, Health Act, Hon. S. McNeil 32
Bill No. 4, Engineering Profession Act, Hon. R. Landry 32
Bill No. 5, Halifax Regional Municipality Act, Hon. R. Jennex 32
Bill No. 6, HRM by Design Act, Hon. R. Jennex 32
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 9, Shubenacadie Canal Commun. - Canoe Championships,
Mr. A. Younger 32
Vote - Affirmative 33
Res. 10, Richard, Shane/Little Wonders Child Care - Green Technology,
Hon. K. Casey 33
Vote Affirmative 33
Res. 11, Truro Curling Club Senior Ladies Team - Congrats.,
Ms. L. Zann 34
Vote - Affirmative 34
Res. 12, Bedford Rink Complex - Funding Commitment,
Ms. K. Regan 34
Vote - Affirmative 35
Res. 13, Indian Sluice Bridge/Saint Joseph's Parish - Anniversaries,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 35
Vote - Affirmative 36
Res. 14, Musquodoboit Hbr. Terry Fox Run - Commend,
Mr. S. Prest 36
Vote - Affirmative 37
Res. 15, Gillis Dr. Bill: Death Of - Tribute,
Mr. S. Prest 37
Vote - Affirmative 38
Res. 16, Paul, Chief Terry - Serv. (25 yrs.),
Mr. A. MacLeod 38
Vote - Affirmative 39
Res. 17, West Nova Scotia Regiment - Reunion,
Mr. G. Ramey 39
Vote - Affirmative 39
Res. 18, Connolly, Pat: Serv. - Thank,
Hon. S. McNeil 39
Vote - Affirmative 40
Res. 19, Bill C-42 - Support,
Hon. M. Scott 40
Vote - Affirmative 41
Res. 20, Russell, Allison: Every Time I Die - Publication,
Mr. B. Skabar 41
Vote - Affirmative 42
Res. 21, L'Arche Halifax - Funding,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 42
Res. 22, Catherine E. Harvey Realty - Anniv. (40th),
Mr. K. Bain 43
Vote - Affirmative 43
Res. 23, Springfield Lake Recreation Assoc./Weir Rockin' - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Whynott 43
Vote - Affirmative 44
Res. 24, Educ - University Assistance - Details,
Mr. L. Glavine 44
Res. 25, Martin, Nathan - Archery Medal,
Hon. K. Casey 45
Vote - Affirmative 45
Res. 26, Kentville Marlins Swim Team - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Morton 46
Vote - Affirmative 46
Res. 27, Health: Care Plans - Accountability,
Ms. D. Whalen 46
Res. 28, ER Closures - End,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 47
Res. 29, Parkview Educ. Ctr. Boys Basketball Team - Congrats.,
Ms. P. Birdsall 48
Vote - Affirmative 48
Res. 30, Seaview Lands - Plans,
Hon. K. Colwell 48
Vote - Affirmative 49
Res. 31, Educ.: Teaching Assistants - Provide,
Hon. M. Scott 49
Res. 32, Guysborough Co. Older Adult Games: Organizer/Seniors - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Boudreau 50
Vote - Affirmative 50
Res. 33, Digby Gen. Hosp.: ER Closures - Address,
Mr. H. Theriault 51
Vote - Affirmative 51
Res. 34, Prosper, Aaron - Natl. Historica Fair,
Mr. A. MacLeod 51
Vote - Affirmative 52
Res. 35, Upper Musquodoboit Pastoral Charge - Anniv. (40th),
Mr. G. Burrill 52
Vote - Affirmative 53
Res. 36, Amherst: Gas Tax - Reduction,
Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 53
Res. 37, MacInnes, Joan/Bethune, Jocelyn - Baddeck & Area Historical Soc.,
Mr. K. Bain 54
Vote - Affirmative 55
Res. 38, Transition Home: Assistance - Plans,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 55
Res. 39, Educ: Universities - Infrastructure Funding,
Ms. K. Regan 56
Res. 40, Fish.: Gov't. (Can.)* Policies - Challenge,
Mr. H. Theriault 56
Vote - Affirmative 57
Res. 41, Day Care: Shortages - Address,
Mr. A. Younger 57
Res. 42, Ignatieff, Michael/Lib. Party of Can.: Stance - Praise,
Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 58
Res. 43, ER Closures: Ineffectiveness - Acknowledge,
Ms. D. Whalen 58
Res. 44, Gov't. (N.S.): Irving Land (Digby Co.) - Retain,
Mr. L. Glavine 59
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY TO THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE:
Hon. S. McNeil 60
Hon. K. Casey 66
Adjourned Debate 71
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Sept. 21st at 7:00 p.m. 71

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HALIFAX, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

Sixty-first General Assembly

First Session

10:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We'll begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I beg leave to table a petition from residents in Bear River, Digby County. They are expressing their concerns with regard to dangerous intersections at the corner of Riverview and Lansdowne Road and also at the corner of Pleasant Street and Lansdowne Road. It is signed by 173 residents and I've also affixed my signature to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: There is a request for an introduction.

The honourable Minister of Health.

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25

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to draw the attention of members of the Assembly here to - is that the east gallery, Mr. Speaker? I would like to introduce members of the Canadian Fabry Association who are visiting today from across the country. I would ask them to stand as I read out their names: Durhane Wong-Rieger, Darren Bidulka, and Marlene and Ed Koning, who are from Ontario, B.C. and Alberta respectively.

I would also like to introduce a member of the Fabry Association from Nova Scotia, Mr. Graham Crouse. I would like to thank you for your work in support of people with Fabry disease and thank you for being here. I would ask the members to extend a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome them and all our visitors with us here this morning.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 3

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Nova Scotian athletes participating in the 2009 Canada Summer Games had their best performance ever; and

Whereas over 300 athletes and artists from across the province participated in the games, representing the best in youth competitive sport; and

Whereas young Nova Scotian athletes sacrifice time with family and friends to train to be the best at their sports;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the athletes of the 2009 Canada Summer Games on their showing at the games, their work ethic and their commitment to healthy living.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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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 Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 4

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall:

(1) read and table the message from Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor transmitting the Estimates of Sums required for the service of the province for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, for the consideration of this House;

(2) table the Estimates Books;

(3) table the Crown Corporation business plans;

(4) table the Estimates and Crown Corporation business plans resolutions:

(5) deliver my Budget Speech; and

(6) move that the Estimates of Sums required for the service of the province, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, being Supply to be granted to Her Majesty and the Crown Corporation business plans be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, for the information of the House, the budget will be presented on September 24th, which is Thursday of next week.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Communications Nova Scotia.

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RESOLUTION NO. 5

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

Whereas members of the Queen's Printers Association of Canada gathered in Halifax in September 2009 for their 58th national conference and annual general meeting; and

Whereas these individuals work with the respective federal and provincial governments to see to it that such critical items as the Speech from the Throne, the Royal Gazette, and dozens of other documents are printed and handled according to government standards; and

Whereas the conference gave its members the opportunity to share information on what Queen's Printers can do to embrace environmentally friendly and sustainable practices;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge the staff of the Nova Scotia Queen's Printer and their counterparts from across the country for their ongoing efforts to help protect our environment.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 6

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

Whereas Talbot House provides support and guides the addiction recovery and rehabilitation of men from across Nova Scotia; and

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Whereas Talbot House has a long-standing history of serving the most vulnerable, offering men across our province acceptance and place of belonging; and

Whereas Talbot House provides hope to men who come to its doors seeking to move beyond their addiction and challenges;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Talbot House on its 50th Anniversary and the contributions made every day to help men reclaim their lives and their pride.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[10:15 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 7

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

Whereas the Canadian Deep Roots Music Festival in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, celebrates Nova Scotia's rich and diverse musical traditions; and

Whereas the 2009 edition of the Deep Roots Music Festival will take place on September 25th to September 27th; and

Whereas the festival brings together some of the finest folk and root singers, songwriters and musicians in the world for a weekend of concerts, workshops and celebration;

Therefore be it resolved that this House offers its thanks to the volunteers, staff, and performers at the Canadian Deep Roots Music Festival, and wishes them continued success and a memorable celebration this year.

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Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Acadian Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 8

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que la 25e session de l'Assemblée régionale Amérique de l'Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie aura lieu en Nouvelle-Écosse du 16e au 20e septembre; et

Attendu que l'objectif principal de l'Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie est de renforcer la présence et l'accessibilité de l'information parlementaire en français; et

Attendu que des parlementaires de toute l'Amérique du Nord discuteront des sujets tels que les services en français en Nouvelle-Écosse, la préservation du patrimoine culturel et le niveau de bilinguisme aux Jeux Olympiques et paralympiques d'hiver de 2010 à Vancouver;

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de l'Assemblée législative souhaitent la bienvenue aux parlementaires et reconnaissent l'Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie pour ses contributions à l'amélioration des ressources en français pour la Nouvelle-Écosse.

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

Whereas the 25th session of the Assemblée régionale Amérique de l'Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie is taking place in Nova Scotia from September 16th to September 20th; and

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Whereas the primary objective of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie is to strengthen the presence and accessibility of French-language parliamentary information; and

Whereas parliamentarians from across North America will discuss topics such as French-language services in Nova Scotia, preserving cultural heritage, and the level of bilingualism at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly welcomes the parliamentarians of the APF and recognizes the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie for their contributions to increasing French-language resources for Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could introduce a few visitors who are in your gallery today.

MR. SPEAKER: By all means.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Thank you. In your gallery today, there are a number of important men and women who serve Nova Scotians daily. From MADD Canada, we have Margaret Miller and Susan MacAskill. We also have, from the fire service and police service, the following individuals: Chief Frank Beazley, Chief Miles Burke, Deputy Chief Roy Hollett, Superintendent Frank Foran, Chief Bill Mosher, and other staff also present from fire services. In the same gallery, we have paramedics John Bessonette, Albert Bahri, Ken White - Ken has his son and wife with him - and from EHS, Krista Beck.

These folks are here to recognize the fact that we're going to introduce a couple of important pieces of business here in a moment. I ask them to stand and the House to recognize these important Nova Scotians. (Applause)

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INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 1 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act, to Increase Safety for First Responders and Others. (Hon. William Estabrooks)

Bill No. 2 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act, to Increase the Penalties for Impaired Drivers. (Hon. William Estabrooks)

Bill No. 3 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 195 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Health Act. (Hon. Stephen McNeil)

Bill No. 4 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 148 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Engineering Profession Act. (Hon. Ross Landry)

Bill No. 5 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008. The Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

Bill No. 6 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 41 of the Acts of 2008. An Act to Implement HRM by Design. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 9

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

Whereas the 2009 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships held in Dartmouth this summer was noted as the largest sporting event ever held in Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas the championships were hosted on Lake Banook, part of Nova Scotia's historic Shubenacadie Canal, and received overwhelming support from the Shubenacadie Canal Commission; and

Whereas the members of the commission played a key role in helping to make the event an international success;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Shubenacadie Canal Commission on its support and involvement in the 2009 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships.

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. 10

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

Whereas Little Wonders Child Care Inc. will be celebrating their official opening on Monday; and

Whereas Little Wonders is a new infant centre, the only one of its kind in Colchester County; and

Whereas owner Shane Richard has designed the new child care using green technology, along with geothermal heating;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the entrepreneurship of Little Wonders Child Care owner Shane Richard for launching this infant care centre in an environmentally conscious way.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 11

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

Whereas the Truro Curling Club has been in operation since December 22, 1875, when only outdoor curling was available; and

Whereas the Truro Senior Ladies team of Colleen Pinkney, Wendy Currie, Karen Hennigar, Susan Creelman, and coach Judy Burgess, won the 2009 Canadian Senior Ladies Curling Championship in Summerside, Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas the Truro Senior Ladies team will be representing Canada at the World Seniors Curling Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, from April 16-24, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Truro Curling Club and its Senior Ladies team on their national success and wish them well in the world championships in Russia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

[10:30 a.m.]

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RESOLUTION NO. 12

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

Whereas after much hard work, discussions and deliberation, plans were finally set in motion for a four-rink complex in Bedford; and

Whereas due to the unexpected withdrawal by the federal Conservative Government, the rink's future was thrown into jeopardy; and

Whereas despite this hasty retreat, the Halifax Regional Municipality has decided to continue with this development, which will provide economic development for the area, attract tourism, and encourage sport and healthy living;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly urge government to announce their funding commitment for this project immediately and work to persuade the federal government to reconsider their decision.

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. 13

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le 15 août est reconnu comme la Journée nationale des Acadiens à travers la province de la Nouvelle-Écosse; et

Attendu que le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas comme parrain pour cette célébrations en Argyle, a choisi cette année pour commémorer le centenaire du pont du Sault-Indien aussi

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connu comme le pont l'Île-des-Surettes et du 150e anniversaire de l'Eglise Saint-Joseph dans la paroisse de I'Île Surette; et

Attendu que la journée a débuté par une promenade sur le pont pour commémorer l'anniversaire du pont, suivi d'une messe tranditionnelle Acadiens, qui a été suivie d'un souper à la râpure et d'une chaudré aux fruits de mer servi à la salle communautaire;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de la Chambre se joignent à moi pour féliciter les résidents de I'Île Surette sur ces deux évenement marquant l'histoire de la communauté et à remercier les nombreux bénévoles qui ont fait ce jour possible.

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

Whereas August 15th is recognized as National Acadian Day throughout the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas, sponsor for this event in Argyle, this year chose to commemorate the centenary of the Indian Sluice Bridge and the 150th Anniversary of Saint Joseph Parish in Surette's Island; and

Whereas the day began with a walk across the bridge to commemorate the anniversary of the bridge followed by a traditional Acadian Day Mass, which was followed by a dinner of seafood chowder and rappie pie served at the community hall with musical entertainment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the residents of Surette's Island on these two milestones in the community's history and thank the many volunteers who made the day possible.

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 Eastern Shore.

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RESOLUTION NO. 14

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

Whereas on September 13, 2009, Musquodoboit Harbour hosted a Terry Fox Run, which helped raise over $4,000 for cancer research; and

Whereas dedicated participants and volunteers make this annual event successful; and

Whereas local businesses in the community of Musquodoboit Harbour came together to make the 2009 Marathon of Hope a memorable experience;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature commend the participants and volunteers who made the Terry Fox Run successful in Musquodoboit Harbour.

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. 15

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

Whereas on August 15, 2009, the residents of Antigonish and, indeed, all Nova Scotians, lost a true and dedicated servant of the people with the passing of Dr. Bill Gillis; and

Whereas Dr. Gillis' distinguished 28-year career in politics saw him hold the offices of Deputy Premier, Minister of Mines and Energy, Finance, Justice, Agriculture and Marketing, Social Services, Municipal Affairs and Education, as well as Interim Leader of the Official Opposition; and

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Whereas his ethics, commitment and dedication to public service will remain forever ingrained in the minds of all members of this House as we strive to meet Bill's commitment to our constituents and, indeed, all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly extend our condolences to Dr. Bill Gillis' family - his wife Joan, his son John and daughter Amy - and honour his memory through continued dedicated public service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Thanks you Mr. Speaker and before I begin, may I congratulate you on your election as Speaker and wish you all the best as we move forward.

RESOLUTION NO. 16

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

Whereas Chief Terry Paul of the Membertou First Nation was recently honoured for 25 years of service to his people; and

Whereas Chief Paul led Membertou First Nation through impressive economic growth during his tenure, which provided hope and opportunity for so many in his community; and

Whereas the people of Membertou are better off as a result of his service, as well as his tireless dedication to his community and people;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chief Paul on this impressive milestone and also thank him for all he has done for the Mi'kmaq people of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 17

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

Whereas the West Nova Scotia Regiment is one of the oldest regiments on Canada's Militia List; and

Whereas the West Nova Scotia Regiment has garnered over 32 combined battle honours earned in the First and Second World Wars; and

Whereas the West Nova Scotia Regiment has contributed soldiers to UN peacekeeping tours in countries in Europe and the Middle East;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the contribution made by the men and women of this fine regiment, both past and present, to the preservation of Canada's freedom and offer them congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of their reunion to be held in Bridgewater on September 19th.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

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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. 18

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

Whereas on August 7, 2007, Pat Connolly announced his retirement as the official and distinguished voice of the Halifax Mooseheads; and

Whereas Pat's 60-year career in journalism and broadcasting also included his service as the public voice of the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, the Nova Scotia Oilers and the Halifax Citadels; and

Whereas this evening, Friday, September 18, 2009, the Moosehead franchise will honour Pat for his many years of dedicated service to sports in our community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly extend our appreciation to Pat Connolly for his dedicated service and wish him the very best as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 19

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

Whereas federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has introduced legislation aimed to curtail white-collar crime in Canada; and

Whereas this includes serious consequences for criminals convicted of fraud, stiffer sentences for offenders and the requirement that courts consider allowing the victims financial compensation; and

Whereas people across Canada have been affected directly or indirectly by the greed, corruption and misdeeds by a select few financial advisors;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the federal Bill C-42 in order to give the justice system more teeth when dealing with white-collar crime and encourage the federal Minister of Finance to establish a federal securities regulator in order to strengthen regulatory and criminal enforcement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 20

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

Whereas with the publication of her first novel, Every Time I Die, Allison Russell is an example of the Town of Amherst and the riding of Cumberland North's vibrant arts and culture scene; and

[Page 42]

Whereas at a young age, Ms. Russell has taken it upon herself to write and publish a wonderful novel for young adults, taking her place in the great tradition of world renowned Canadian literature; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia is encouraged by our young people staying to build a life here in Nova Scotia, be it through literary pursuits or otherwise;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend our congratulations to Allison Russell on the publication of her first novel, Every Time I Die, and offer its best wishes and support for Allison's future work.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 21

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

Whereas L'Arche completed a home in Halifax for those with developmental disabilities last June; and

Whereas L'Arche Halifax has been unable to open its doors to the individuals waiting to move into the home; and

Whereas the Department of Community Services has failed to negotiate a reasonable agreement to employ the workers at L'Arche, allowing it to open;

Therefore be it resolved that this government explain why it will not support reasonable funding to L'Arche Halifax to serve persons with developmental disabilities and their families.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 43]

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.

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 22

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

Whereas Catherine E. Harvey Realities Ltd. will be celebrating its 40th year of operation in 2010; and

Whereas broker Cathy Harvey has an office which includes herself and three sales associates in Terri Brewer, Elizabeth (Betty) Menzies and Cheryl MacDonald; and

Whereas Harvey Realities is a member of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors and a member of the Nova Scotia Real Estate Appraisers Association;

Therefore be it resolved that all members in this House of Assembly take a moment this morning and acknowledge the terrific efforts of Cathy, Cheryl, Betty and Terri in the real estate business and wish them every future success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 44]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 23

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

Whereas on Saturday, August 22, 2009, the Springfield Lake Recreation Association in Middle Sackville in conjunction with Weir Rockin' hosted their third annual outdoor rock concert with over 2,500 people in attendance; and

Whereas the community welcomed world-renowned rock bands Trooper and Harlequin for an outdoor rock concert; and

Whereas this event continues to be an important element of the community and is enjoyed by everyone;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Springfield Lake Recreation Association and Weir Rockin' and extend very best wishes in their future concert series.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 24

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

[Page 45]

Whereas the NDP promised to be more transparent and accountable in government; and

Whereas the Minister of Finance announced this week he will shift next year's funding for university assistance to this year, thereby creating a deficit almost twice as large as it should be for this fiscal year; and

Whereas the shifting of university assistance funding makes it artificially easier to balance the budget in 2010-11;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Finance practise what the NDP preaches when it comes to being more open and accountable and admit publicly that they are doing nothing more than playing a shell game with the numbers, to benefit no one but themselves.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice, and I expect no applause.

[10:45 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 25

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 Canadian National 3-D Archery Tournament took place recently in Quebec; and

Whereas North Colchester High School student Nathan Martin brought home a silver medal from the 2009 national competition; and

[Page 46]

Whereas Nathan confronted heavy rain in the competition, but steady shots and consistent scores earned him the silver medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Nathan and acknowledge the tremendous accomplishments of this North Colchester High School student.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 26

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

Whereas the Kentville Marlins Swim Team helps young athletes develop fitness, maturity and skills; and

Whereas the team recently competed in the Summer Swim Provincials in Windsor; and

Whereas members of the team collected 30 top-ten finishes and 13 medals at the meet;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Kentville Marlins Swim Team on its support to young athletes, on its exciting results at the 2009 Summer Swim Provincials in Windsor, and extend best wishes for continued fun and success in its programs.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 47]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 27

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

Whereas on Monday, September 14, 2009, the Minister of Finance stated "we know we have to find a way to deliver health services to Nova Scotians differently"; and

Whereas the Minister of Finance, also speaking on health, was quoted as saying "change is at hand and it will not always be popular"; and

Whereas when the Premier was in Opposition his comment was unequivocal around a different model of health care delivery, in the form of Scotia Surgery, which he said was "not a win-win for the province";

Therefore be it resolved that government clarify its mixed messages with regard to health care delivery and urge the real Minister of Health to stand up and be open and accountable to Nova Scotians about the future health care plans for our province.

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. 28

[Page 48]

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 Premier made the bold campaign promise of keeping all emergency rooms open, knowing the challenge we face in finding doctors and nurses to fill all emergency room shifts; and

Whereas the government has yet to fulfill the major NDP campaign promise of implementing an emergency room advisor to deal with emergency room closures; and

Whereas the NDP has been governing for 91 days now;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier act and put an immediate end to all emergency room closures as per the Premier's campaign promise.

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 Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 29

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

Whereas 14 members of Park View Education Centre boys basketball team will be embarking on a 15-day tour of Europe in November 2009, representing Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Park View team will be the sole North American team to take part in this international basketball tournament; and

Whereas this invitation offers more than a chance to compete, but also a life-changing, international educational experience;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Park View Education Centre boys basketball team for qualifying for an international tournament and wish the team the best of luck during the competition in November 2009.

[Page 49]

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 30

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

Whereas the Africaville Genealogy Society has developed a proposal to recognize the historical significance of Africville; and

Whereas the Liberal Party believes Nova Scotians have a responsibility to secure a place for Africville in our collective history and move forward in a spirit of understanding; and

Whereas this project is one initiative that should be taken to recognize the historical significance of Africville;

Therefore be it resolved that this government be open and accountable and inform the Legislature of their plans for the rejuvenation of the Seaview look-off lands.

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 50]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 31

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

Whereas teaching assistants throughout the Province of Nova Scotia provide a very valuable service to children and as well to the teaching staff of the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas many children who enter the educational system have very special needs and challenges and they require one-on-one assistance in the classroom; and

Whereas teachers are being asked on a regular basis to provide more and more services as they provide such a professional and dedicated service to the students in our communities;

Therefore be it resolved that this government commit to ensure that teaching assistants are in place in each and every classroom across Cumberland County where they are required to provide assistance to special needs children with various health-related issues and challenges that require them to have specific help.

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 32

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

Whereas on Tuesday, August 25, 2009, the Guysborough County Older Adult Games was held at Liscombe Lodge, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the games; and

[Page 51]

Whereas Philip Hochman and his recreational staff have been organizers of the event for the past 20 years and helped to develop the games with the encouragement of the seniors of the area; and

Whereas there were approximately 80 participants at this year's Older Adult Games from all areas of the Guysborough-Sheet Harbour riding;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Older Games organizer, Phil Hochman, and the seniors of the Guysborough-Sheet Harbour riding on the 20th Anniversary of the Guysborough County Older Adult Games, with the very best wishes for future success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 33

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

Whereas in 2009, the Digby General Emergency Room has been closed for a total of 1,453 hours; and

Whereas there have been occasions where ER closures at Digby have occurred at the same time as closures at the Annapolis Community Health Centre, which results in huge pressure on our regional hospitals; and

Whereas despite the fact that in 2009, Digby General has been closed 1,000 hours more than the emergency department at the North Cumberland Memorial Hospital;

[Page 52]

Therefore be it resolved that this government honour its commitment to be a government for all Nova Scotians and start addressing emergency room closures at our Digby General Hospital.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 34

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

Whereas 13-year old Aaron Prosper of Eskasoni was recently selected to attend the National Historica Fair in Ottawa to showcase his project on powwows; and

Whereas Aaron was the first Mi'kmaq youth to represent Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board on a national fair level at this prestigious event; and

Whereas Aaron was also asked to drum all delegates into this event, which was established to help students learn about their country and their cultural background, singing a traditional Mi'kmaq honour song;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Aaron on his impressive and historic achievement and also thank him for increasing awareness of the proud Mi'kmaq people and their traditions on a national level.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 53]

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 Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 35

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

Whereas the Upper Musquodoboit Pastoral Charge, a shared ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the United Church of Canada, comprising the three congregations of Higginsville United, St. James United and Sharon Presbyterian in the Upper Musquodoboit Valley, celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its co-operation on September 13th, 2009; and

Whereas this is the only inter-denominational ministry of its kind in eastern Canada; and

Whereas the churches of the upper end of the Musquodoboit Valley have, since the late 19th Century, been deeply integrated within the fabric of their communities and have experienced strong support for the congregations' social justice mission, especially through the Arimathea Funeral Co-operative and the Sharon-St. James Credit Union;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend its congratulations to the people of the Upper Musquodoboit, Dean and Higginsville churches on the 40th Anniversary of the shared ministry of the Upper Musquodoboit Pastoral Charge.

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 54]

MR. SPEAKER We're going to ask the member for Digby-Annapolis to read the operative clause once again, please, on his resolution.

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Therefore be it resolved that this government honour its commitment to be a government for all Nova Scotians and start addressing emergency room closures at the Digby General Hospital.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed? (Interruptions)

Okay, I guess that resolution had been previously passed so it's now in Hansard.

I'm going to recognize the member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, on an introduction please. In our west gallery today joining us from back home in Cape Breton, a councillor with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Mr. Derek Mombourquette. If the House would give him a warm welcome, please. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 36

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

Whereas during the election campaign the member for Cumberland North committed to lowering the gas tax in Amherst; and

Whereas the Premier has claimed he will be Premier to all Nova Scotians and not just Premier of Amherst; and

Whereas a reduction to gas tax in Amherst does nothing but create an artificial border within our own province;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier recognize that the reducing of the gas tax in Amherst represents a better deal for some families but not all families.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 55]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 37

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 Baddeck and Area Historical Society will be holding their founding meeting on Wednesday afternoon, September 23rd; and

Whereas two individuals who understand and have studied the history of Baddeck, Municipality of Victoria archivist Joan MacInnes and Jocelyn Bethune, whose recent book is entitled History of Baddeck, are spearheading the founding meeting, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. at the Baddeck Courthouse; and

Whereas Joan and Jocelyn are both hopeful the founding meeting will lead to a group of people interested in history who will help collect and preserve artifacts from Baddeck and surrounding area;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly take a moment this morning and acknowledge the efforts of Joan MacInnes and Jocelyn Bethune in their zeal to establish the founding meeting of the Baddeck and Area Historical Society on September 23rd.

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 56]

[11:00 a.m.]

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 38

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

Whereas transition houses provide vital services for citizens throughout the province; and

Whereas funding for transition houses has not increased for over a decade, causing recent program and staff cutbacks; and

Whereas transition homes will not receive any new funding this year because the NDP has decided to help these organizations for just one year out of a four-year mandate;

Therefore be it resolved that this government share their plans to assist transition homes outside of their one-year pledge for additional funding.

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. 39

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 universities are facing a massive infrastructure deficit estimated at more than $500 million; and

Whereas our province's post-secondary students are paying the highest tuition in the country while having to learn in deteriorating classrooms and lab facilities; and

[Page 57]

Whereas this infrastructure deficit is hindering the ability of our province's universities to attract students from across the province, the country, and the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly commit to matching infrastructure dollars promised in the last federal budget to ensure universities are able to begin to address this infrastructure deficit so they are competitive and sustainable well into the future.

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 Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 40

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 fishing industry in Nova Scotia has been the lifeblood of many families for hundreds of years; and

Whereas the steady and relentless decline of this vital industry has resulted in hardship for thousands of Nova Scotians; and

Whereas in the Spring of 2009 the current government campaigned on challenging the federal government to ensure its fishery policies reflect the needs of independent fishermen;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly push for government to move on this matter immediately to avoid any more suffering for our shellfish and groundfish and all of our fishing industry.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 58]

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. 41

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

Whereas the Dartmouth daycare's pending closure has affected more than 50 families directly and caused longer waiting lists for many more families seeking daycare across HRM; and

Whereas the families of children attending the daycare centre have continued to not receive timely and accurate information regarding the closure;

Therefore be it resolved that this government share its plans to address the daycare shortage across the province and prevent closures such as the one at Dartmouth daycare.

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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 42

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

[Page 59]

Whereas today in our nation's capital, the unthinkable will happen when Conservatives, socialists and separatists unite to keep a secretive, hypocritical and dangerous government alive; and

Whereas on September 16, 2009, the New Democrat Deputy Leader stated, "The NDP will continue to back the government on other confidence votes", thereby ensuring the life of a dictatorial Conservative Government; and

Whereas if this trend continues, flip-flops may become required footwear for the New Democratic Party;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly praise Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada for standing up to a Conservative Government that is ineffective and hazardous to our great nation.

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. 43

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

Whereas on October 11, 2007 the NDP claimed they had a solution for emergency room closures when they launched their campaign, Shorter Wait Times for Healthcare: Options for Action; and

Whereas on November 27, 2008, the then Leader of the Opposition, now Premier, stated that "a fundamental requirement of government is to ensure that people who need health care will receive it"; and

Whereas despite having solutions and a commitment to keep all ERs open 24/7, Nova Scotians have endured 3,633 hours of ER closures since the NDP has formed government;

[Page 60]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health acknowledge that since taking power, the NDP has been ineffective at curbing the unacceptable practice of frequent ER closures.

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 Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 44

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

Whereas as we speak, one-third of Digby County is still up for sale; and

Whereas the former government waited until the moment of crisis before acting on this important issue; and

Whereas even though government has changed hands, we still see no action, no decision on this land that includes historic and culturally significant areas, countless acres of natural resources and Nova Scotian land that belongs to Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly press government to meet with J.D. Irving Ltd. and ensure that this large section of land remains in the hands of Nova Scotians.

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.

[Page 61]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move that the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be now resumed.

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

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you Mr. Speaker. May I do an introduction before I begin?

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. MCNEIL: I'd just like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where my daughter, Colleen, is here today. Colleen was here yesterday and she spent much of the election campaign, which I'm sure many of you remember, travelling Nova Scotia with me and we're going to head for Inverness this afternoon, so Colleen I hope you enjoy the afternoon here. I want to ask the House to welcome Colleen here today. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today as the Leader of the Official Opposition to continue my response to the Speech from the Throne on behalf of the Liberal caucus and on behalf of all Nova Scotians, because they deserve a strong and active Opposition to hold this government accountable for the promises it made. That is our duty and it is one that we take very seriously.

I'd also like to introduce the new members of our caucus. Make no mistake, the member for Bedford-Birch Cove is a quick study. Her determination to make a positive impact on the lives of others is rooted in her deep values - her deep Liberal values. She is conscientious and committed and has already proven herself as a valuable member of our team.

I'd like to welcome the member for Dartmouth East. He truly defied the odds to be here. He's added so much because of a strong record of delivering for the people of his former district. He brings insight, creativity, and ideas to the table and I have absolutely no

[Page 62]

doubt that he will continue to be a strong and effective legislator here at Province House. I look forward to working closely with both of our new members and the returning members of our caucus.

I'd also like to congratulate the Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. I wish her all the best in her new role. The member for Colchester-North and I may differ in our philosophies, and we may differ in our approach, but I've always enjoyed working with her and I look forward to continuing to do so during this session. I appreciate her humour and her good nature and I respect her commitment to the people of this province.

Apart from acknowledging the new faces and new responsibilities, I'd like to take a moment to remember our friends and former members of this House who have left us in the past year, leaving behind an obvious void but also a rich legacy of delivering for the people of our province. We should all be thankful for the lives and accomplishments of Dr. Bill Gillis, Guy Brown, Ed Lorraine and Michael Baker, and their many, many contributions to Nova Scotians.

I look forward to working with the legislative staff, the library staff, the Pages, and all those employees who support us and enable us to do our jobs on a daily basis.

Finally, a warm and heartfelt thank you to the people of Annapolis for their steadfast commitment to me and their belief in me and their tireless work on my behalf. They are the reason I entered public life and it is a good day for me when I can help a constituent - no matter how big or small the issue. That, to me, is the essence of an elected official. That is why we are here. We are here to advocate for people. We are here to help them. We are here to ensure that government is fair, that decisions are transparent, that people always come first.

I have travelled this province speaking to Nova Scotians about their hopes for the future, and their expectations are modest but reasonable. They want the best possible opportunities for their children; a health care system that works; and a government that helps, not hinders, the daily efforts of hard-working Nova Scotians. They expect politicians to keep their promises. They want to be part of the decision-making process. They are looking to government to offer a plan to strengthen our economy so that we can protect and expand the programs and services that we value. Nova Scotians expect to see a plan.

Not just for today or next year or four years from now, Nova Scotians need benchmarks - projects that unite us and goals that will inspire us. So I'll be listening to this government, examining the budget and asking at every opportunity: Do we have a road map for future prosperity? Does it build the foundation for a thriving and competitive Nova Scotia? Does it help restore our reputation among the Atlantic Provinces? Does it position us to emerge as the leaders that we ought to be?

[Page 63]

I recognize that our success as a province depends on how we handle the current fiscal situation and the challenges that are before us. But it also hinges on our collective ability to look ahead, to predict the opportunities that will exist, to build a foundation for success.

I'd like to share with you a short story, one the member for Bedford-Birch Cove used in her nomination last year. She shared a personal story in her acceptance speech. It was a story that struck me because it captured how I feel about Nova Scotia. She talked about how she chose to move to Halifax from Ontario because at the time, Halifax was a leader - we led the pack in Atlantic Canada; things were happening. It was an exciting time and she wanted to be part of the energy of this great city.

That was then, but we have fallen behind. I've heard the Premier say many times that Halifax is the epicentre of this region and we need to cultivate and capitalize on the energy and the ideas of Haligonians, and I couldn't agree with him more. This potential exists not just for Halifax but for the entire province, from Sydney to Yarmouth and beyond. We have leading education institutions, the brainpower, a rich cultural heritage, natural geographic advantages, and the tradition of entrepreneurship.

I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to get an education, run a business and raise my family right here in Nova Scotia, and I want those opportunities for every Nova Scotian.

We all know that we can do better. We can be stronger in working together with a clear plan for the future. Accountability in government means taking responsibility for the promises, actions, policies and decisions, and providing transparency in decision making. Liberals are committed to holding this government accountable.

The current government ran a campaign on change - they promised to do things differently; they promised a new way of doing business.

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, so far we haven't seen anything new. On Monday, the Finance Minister told guests at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon that, in fact, Nova Scotians have a deficit, and this deficit is more than twice what they were predicting - a whopping $590 million. That was a far cry from the prediction of the government-commissioned Deloitte report.

[11:15 a.m.]

At close observation, we determined that the NDP had taken a page directly from the former government's playbook - they decided to pay a bill ahead of schedule. They decided to spend $278 million that they don't have. This government has chosen to make an advance payment to universities on a commitment that is due next year. That is money that the

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government has to borrow and at a cost of $10 million, that is the equivalent of 170 teachers and 140 nurses, Mr. Speaker.

This government will claim that the upcoming budget rests at the feet of the previous government. Mr. Speaker, let's be very clear- half of that deficit belongs directly at the feet of our current government. This is a political manoeuvre with the single purpose to shift the blame back on the Progressive Conservatives for the deficit. When the former Progressive Conservative Government tried the same trick of paying in advance, Premier Dexter called it a "fudge it budget." He said it really is a strange way of going about budgeting for a province - now he's doing the same thing.

It is becoming very clear that this government has a different standard for themselves than they had for the previous government. It's not all right for the government to say, trust us, we're new, we're different than the others. Government must earn that trust, Mr. Speaker. They must be forthcoming with taxpayers, they must conduct business in a transparent manner, and they must tell Nova Scotians how they intend to reach their goals.

During the campaign, the NDP committed to balancing the books without using the offshore offset payment, without making program cuts, and without raising taxes. On top of these promises, they failed to offer a real plan on how to stimulate economic growth. The reality is that this is a deficit budget - Liberals knew it, Nova Scotians knew it, and the NDP failed to acknowledge it. Instead, they attempted to mislead Nova Scotians.

There were clear political motivations behind commissioning the Deloitte financial review. The parameters of which, Mr. Speaker, were, what would happen if we continued to spend at the rate that the previous government was spending, with revenues falling through the floor? I don't believe any Nova Scotian would have needed to commission a report - they could simply tell you it would drive us in deeper, deeper deficit.

Now they intend to amend the Finance Act to allow for a deficit budget. Once again, a move they opposed in Opposition, a move that contributed to the defeat of the former government. This is another case of saying one thing and doing another. If the NDP intend to balance the budget next year, they must be prepared to tell Nova Scotians exactly how they intend to do that. Even members of the Premier's Economic Advisory Panel are cautioning against the promise of balancing the books next year. One member was recently quoted as saying: Is it doable? I suppose it's doable if you want to cut a few universities, a few hospitals and increase taxes.

Once again, accountability in government means taking responsibility for the promises and providing transparency in decision-making. Accountability is about taking responsibility for these decisions, Mr. Speaker. There appears to be an interesting trend developing with this government. The Deloitte report, an economic advisory panel, hiring an ER advisor, passing the buck to the Utility and Review Board on decisions of gas

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regulation - that's not genuine leadership. Government is about making tough decisions. It's about taking responsibility for those decisions.

The Liberal caucus is committed to our new role as Official Opposition and we will hold this government to account and point out inconsistencies. We will recommend improvements and we will continue to be constructive in our approach. Our caucus will be introducing legislation this Fall that falls under three general categories: accountability, fairness and advocacy for those Nova Scotians who need their voices heard. It is not all right for government to say, trust us with health care, we're new, we're different than the others. Government must earn that trust.

Let's look at accountability in health care, Mr. Speaker. The NDP promised Nova Scotians that emergency rooms would remain open 24/7 and a provincial coordinator would be in place to deal with the issue. The province's emergency rooms have been closed a total of 7,760 hours in 2009 alone. Where's the ER advisor? To arrive at an ER and find it locked with a note on the door is simply not acceptable. Emergency health care is an essential service and we can do better.

Liberals have offered a short- and long-term solution to the ER crisis. In fact, we provided information to the government shortly after the election on a proposed locum service. The implementation of the locum service for doctors willing to service ERs is an effective, creative way to help ease the staffing problems. We know of doctors who are willing to travel and provide that service. Some Nova Scotian doctors are actually traveling out of province to cover ERs in other provinces. Unfortunately, there is no central registry to link those doctors with the hospitals that need their services in our own province. Our collective goal should be quality health care for all Nova Scotians where and when you need it. Every family in Nova Scotia should have access to quality health care. Every family should have access to a doctor.

Mr. Speaker, a lack of doctors has contributed to a host of problems, including delays in diagnosis and clogged emergency rooms. Our caucus has pushed hard to make this a reality to ensure that there is a steady supply of physicians for underserviced areas in our province. We succeeded in working with the previous government to designate five medical seats at Dalhousie University for those students who are willing to make this commitment. The government would pay for their tuition in return for five years of service in an under-serviced area in Nova Scotia. We will continue to advocate for 20 medical seats a year until we have 100 doctors working where they're needed - serving families in their own communities. This is a practical solution. It is a constructive solution to a serious challenge.

To me, fairness means good public policy in the best interests of all Nova Scotians. Liberals know we need to live within our means and invest taxpayers' money wisely in a manner that is transparent and sustainable. We are committed to strengthening our economy so we can secure and improve the programs and services that we all want and value. The

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Liberal caucus has been offering very specific measurements to grow the economy and make sure we are competitive. These ideas are designed to benefit all Nova Scotians equally. We believe in fairness in taxation, have advocated for reducing the tax burden on small business. This would assist small business, have a significant economic impact, and help improve the lives of every Nova Scotian.

We also are in favour of eliminating the expensive and ineffective gas regulation. Nova Scotia taxes gasoline at the second-highest rate in Canada. High gas prices place a heavy burden on Nova Scotians. It creates significant competitive disadvantages for businesses operating in our province, and what's worse, it is inherently unfair that government plans to adjust the gas tax rate in communities along the border in New Brunswick, a province where gas prices are consistently lower. This idea is fundamentally flawed, Mr. Speaker. The government believes in setting an artificial border between Cumberland County and the rest of the province.

Liberals believe that Cumberland County belongs in Nova Scotia. Creating an arbitrary border will only serve to divide Nova Scotians and move the problem somewhere else. This is a new deal for some Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker. The Liberal caucus is committing to being a force for positive change in the lives of Nova Scotians. As elected officials, we are here to help, we are here to advocate for people and we must never lose sight of this objective.

In previous sessions our caucus has introduced legislation to help diabetics, mental health consumers, firefighters, seniors, students, working families, and those who are struggling with poverty. In the upcoming session we will not abandon our commitment to help those who need our help the most. We will continue to be a strong advocate for poverty reduction, fairness in taxation, access to health care, and a sustainable energy development that benefits all Nova Scotians.

Liberals believe in the great potential of Nova Scotians. We know this is a province of vast resource, immense talent, and unlimited possibilities. As the Official Opposition, we are committed to holding this government accountable for the promises they made to Nova Scotians. We know that government can benefit from the voices and opinions of others, and that's why we'll continue to be constructive - because, quite simply, we seek the best for all Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker. I look forward to a productive session. Thanks so much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, respected members of the Legislature, and fellow Nova Scotians, I am honoured to be here today to deliver the Progressive Conservative response to the Speech from the Throne.

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My first words in the House as Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party are to the people of Colchester North for continuing to believe in me as their MLA.

Mr. Speaker, my appreciation of the people in Colchester North is profound. They have entrusted in me the responsibility to listen to their concerns and to share in their successes. I am indeed grateful. They have given me overwhelming support in my positions as MLA, as Cabinet Minister in Education and Health, and my current role as Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. They are proud of my accomplishments.

On behalf of my Progressive Conservative colleagues, I want to thank their constituents for returning their MLAs to their rightful place here in the Legislature. Our presence here today demonstrates a grassroots level of commitment to the communities we serve and, more importantly, to the road ahead.

In addition, there are a few people I would like to acknowledge for always putting our province first and for maintaining the integrity of their office. I would like to thank Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor Mayann E. Francis, for continuing to enhance and enrich the lives of all Nova Scotians through her hard work and her progressive efforts.

To you, Mr. Speaker, congratulations on being chosen Speaker of the House. I was quite comfortable with our previous Speaker, but I understand and I know that you will do the best you can and I wish you well. I have come to recognize the importance of your role. It comes at a time when we must all work together to build a future for those we serve.

Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would like to extend my congratulations to the Premier, Darrell Dexter, and to all of his Cabinet colleagues for their victory in June. You have assumed a great responsibility to the people of Nova Scotia, and I trust that you have accepted that in the best interests of democracy.

Also, I would like to congratulate the Leader of the Official Opposition for his efforts in guiding his Party at a time when they needed his leadership. I look forward to working with both gentlemen in the coming days, weeks and months.

To the Legislature staff, thank you for your continued service to all MLAs. One former member who will be missed dearly is Art Fordham. We will always remember the important role he played as Assistant Clerk of the Legislature. And, let us not forget the Honourable Michael Baker who was an invaluable resource to our government, to our caucus and to our province. It is not the size of his shoes that we remember, it's the man we remember. (Applause) He was a tireless worker on behalf of all Nova Scotians and a true friend of all members of this House, regardless of political affiliation. I want to thank our Premier and the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council for bestowing upon Michael the highest honour that a Nova Scotian can receive - the Order of Nova Scotia.

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To our former Premier, Rodney MacDonald, and those members who served with him over the last 10 years in the pursuit of a better Nova Scotia, I am grateful for their guidance and the ability to see the bigger picture when tough decisions had to be made. I want to thank them for the commitment to the greater cause and for making Nova Scotia a better place in which to live, work and play.

As the new Legislature gathers, all of us share a great privilege - we have been placed in office by the voters of the people we serve, which is why we have an obligation to make this government work. The Progressive Conservative caucus, while leading this province for 10 years, worked with both our NDP and Liberal colleagues to introduce and implement legislation and design policies that we believed would help all Nova Scotians. It is now the mandate of the Progressive Conservative caucus to hold this government accountable, and we will accomplish this goal by calling attention to the issues that matter most to Nova Scotians.

[11:30 a.m.]

Over the past two weeks, I provided Nova Scotians with an opportunity to speak to me as their Party Leader and that will continue over the next few months. I am listening to what is important to them and I'm learning from their messages in much the same way as they assisted that great gentleman from Truro, the Honourable Robert Stanfield, as he helped to rebuild the Progressive Conservative Party more than 50 years ago. Nova Scotians will help our Party become, once again, the Party of choice and one of which they can be proud.

I welcome the Premier's agenda, although I believe we are at a unique crossroads in our province's history. My greatest concern is that while our economy is mending, while Nova Scotians continue to look for jobs, and while students and young professionals look for ways to build their career and their families here in Nova Scotia, that this government has yet to define a vision or course of action for this province. Charting a course is imperative. We need to see more action, hear less rhetoric and be presented with a detailed plan for now and for the future. I cannot imagine this province moving forward for the next four years without such a clear path. Nova Scotians expect to see it and we certainly did not see it in the Speech from the Throne.

Mr. Speaker, since this government was elected in June, they appear to have already broken some promises made to the people in Nova Scotia during the campaign. First, they introduced a plan designed to be an incentive for new home construction. This was designed to stimulate the economy during a difficult time in our province. It was to do this by encouraging first time homeowners to build and to keep our tradespeople employed. This had an honourable purpose, but implementation fell short of the intended purpose.

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Instead of generating new home construction, the plan was actually and is actually rewarding those who had already begun or completed their construction. The intent to initiate any new home construction was defeated once that incentive was gone. With a projected 2,400 new homes in Nova Scotia during 2009-10 and with a limit of 1,500 rebates on a first-come, first-served basis, it is difficult to understand, Mr. Speaker, how the intent could ever have been achieved.

Secondly, and perhaps the biggest promise - and we've heard it already today and we'll continue to hear it - was to keep emergency rooms open across this province. Nova Scotians, myself included, are anxious to see how the government and the Premier can deliver.

Mr. Speaker, it was in May of this year that, while Leader of the Official Opposition, this Premier openly criticized me in my role - yes, you; yes, me - in my role as Minister of Health by saying, and I quote, that I had a "casual attitude to the closures of many emergency rooms" and that I was "in no rush to release a provincial plan". Now here he is as Premier, he has had more than four months to implement a plan, and we continue to see emergency room closures across this province. This Premier even committed $100,000 to hire an emergency room adviser who would address the problem.

Well, Mr. Speaker, in my role as Minister of Health, I stated emphatically that the best approach to fixing emergency room closures was to understand that each situation was unique. My plan was to work with individual district health authorities to implement a strategy that would best work for them in their communities. This was my strategy, it was our government's strategy, and it was working. For example, beginning in January 2009, meetings were held in DHAs 2, 4, and 5 as we began to resolve the emergency room closures, and each presented a different set of circumstances. For example, during April, May, and June of 2009, Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital in Tatamagouche experienced 320 hours of emergency room closures. Through a cooperative effort between the Department of Health and DHA 4, a plan was developed and implemented. This translated into Lillian Fraser experiencing zero hours of closure in July, zero hours of closure in August, and zero hours of closure in September.

The solution to the problem was found within the existing human resources of DHA 4, and there was no need for an emergency room adviser to be hired. This was a plan that worked and it continues to work.

But on the other hand, Mr. Speaker, on July 24th the new Deputy Minister of Health announced that there had been a solution found to emergency room closures in DHA 5. The details of the plan are not clear, but one thing is clear: the plan is not working. Since the plan was announced on July 24th, North Cumberland and South Cumberland hospitals have experienced more than 500 hours of closure.

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Mr. Speaker, on April 30th of this year, while a member of the Official Opposition, this Premier introduced a Private Member's Bill entitled an Act to Keep Hospital Emergency Departments Open. In the document it says, "The purpose of this Act is to ensure that emergency departments are kept open and to provide . . . accountability to communities with chronically closed emergency departments."

Mr. Speaker, if Cumberland North and Cumberland South are the benchmark of his intention to keep emergency rooms open, then I must say that I, along with thousands of Nova Scotians in small rural communities, am truly disappointed. Once again, it appears it's easy in Opposition but what is said in Opposition by the NDP and what they deliver as government are significantly different.

Third, the Finance Minister continues to skirt questions on matters of fiscal importance. Just last week the Finance Minister gave a briefing where he indicated he didn't know if we were in deficit or surplus. As is often the case, a new government will claim its predecessors left them in financial distress. In August and, most recently last week, the government went through an exercise of continuing to blame the previous government. But in times of reality, Mr. Speaker, in times of declining revenue, a government does have limited options to use to present a balanced budget. Our government was very much aware of those limited options, and those options are simple: raise taxes, cut programs, or reduce jobs and lay people off.

However, in Nova Scotia, we are fortunate to have one more option. Thanks to hard-fought victories on the Atlantic Accord by Premier John Hamm and then, later, the Crown Share Agreement by Rodney MacDonald, this province has the option to redirect offshore revenues in the short term, so that the drastic measures of a tax increases, program cuts, and worker layoffs do not materialize.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, in order for the PC Government to exercise that option, legislation was required. It was that legislation that was not supported by the NDP Government and forced the June 9th election. However, we recognized and the Finance Minister acknowledged that the previous government had run a surplus. It was also clear that the Deloitte audit - an audit commissioned by the NDP - provided information that was already available to staff at the Department of Finance. This government has stated that it will present a balanced budget in 2010. Without accepting the recommendation in the Deloitte audit to change the Provincial Finance Act, this government now has only three options. Which one will it choose?

We have laid out a plan. As a Progressive Conservative Government, we told Nova Scotians what we needed to do - that we needed to redirect offshore revenues in order to balance the budget and we were prepared to make the tough decisions in the best interest of

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Nova Scotians. The people of Nova Scotia, I believe, Mr. Speaker, will remember what the Progressive Conservative Government did. (Interruption)

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Wait for it. It's a long list.

MS. CASEY: I have several pages, Mr. Premier.

We introduced eight consecutive balanced budgets; were on target to pave more than 2,000 kilometres of road; provided $2.5 million for niche marketing initiatives; approved 250 new police officers for the streets; developed the first Family Pharmacare Plan for those Nova Scotians who did not have a basic drug plan; developed and implemented a plan to bring Nova Scotia tuition rates in universities to the national average by 2010; invested more than $19 million to make high-speed Internet access available to every Nova Scotian; invested more than $425 million in building and updating new schools all across the province; introduced healthy food policies in our schools; adopted a province-wide school security plan to protect our students; introduced a new age-of-entry policy for Grade Primary students; increased the gradual tax credit for university and college graduates; signed a new funding agreement with universities; froze tuition at the current level for three years; provided a $66 million student bursary program for university students; and approved and funded a province-wide TeleHealth initiative.

Mr. Speaker, putting aside partisanship is in the best interests of all Nova Scotians. During the election, the Premier was quoted as saying "if they" - referring to us - "had made a commitment to a community, then we will honour it". And we did make several quality commitments to communities across Nova Scotia and we expect the Premier to live up to his word.

It was also during the election that the Premier stated that he would honour all infrastructure commitments made by the previous government. But it concerns me, Mr. Speaker, that in the Throne Speech yesterday that is now "almost all" of those commitments. The NDP majority government has a responsibility to lead our province over the next four years, and I can only say that this Progressive Conservative caucus is prepared to work in the best interest of Nova Scotians.

The Speech from the Throne delivered by Her Honour Mayann Francis was filled with general statements. It lacked specifics and contained no detail. The programs mentioned did definitely have potential to benefit Nova Scotians but they also have the potential to drive up taxes and increase deficits. I fully expect that the budget document that will be delivered next week will have those details and those specifics.

Mr. Speaker, I wish this government well with the responsibility that they have been given and I will reserve any further remarks for another day in the House. I look forward to debating the issues, to hearing the budget, and now I would ask that the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be adjourned. Thank you.

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MR. SPEAKER: There has been a motion to adjourn the debate.

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 Government House Leader.

[11:45 a.m.]

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I ask that the House do now rise to meet at the hour of 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Monday. After the daily routine we will again be calling the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn until 7:00 p.m. on Monday. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 11:46 a.m.]