Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 09-5

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

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR: Crosswalk Deaths - Licence Revocation, Hon. W. Estabrooks 140
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Health - Prov. Adviser on Emergency Patient Care,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 140
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 77, Ryl. N.S. Intl. Tattoo: Bd. Of Directors - Congrats.,
The Premier 143
Vote - Affirmative 144
Res. 78, Calder, Dr. John H. - Prov. Geologist Medal,
Hon. J. MacDonell 144
Vote - Affirmative 145
Res. 79, N.S. Assoc. of Reg. Dev. Authorities - Value,
Hon. P. Paris 145
Vote - Affirmative 146
Res. 80, Shelburne Bashers - Mosquito B. Trophy,
Hon. S. Belliveau 146
Vote - Affirmative 147
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
Bill No. 12, Elections Act, Mr. C. Porter 147
Bill No. 13, Sales Tax Act, Mr. H. Theriault 147
Bill No. 14, Judicature Act, Hon. R. Landry 147
Bill No. 15, Beneficiaries Designation Act, Hon. R. Landry 147
Bill No. 15, Beneficiaries Designation Act, Hon. R. Landry
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 81, Special Olympics World Winter Games - N.S. Teams,
Hon. S. McNeil 147
Vote - Affirmative 148
Res. 82, Busch, Earlene/Chanterelle Country Inn -
Natl. Geographic Recognition, Mr. K. Bain 148
Vote - Affirmative 149
Res. 83, Sask. NDP/Leader - By-Election Victories,
Hon. F. Corbett 149
Vote - Affirmative 149
Res. 84, Middleton's Relay for Life - Congrats.,
Hon. S. McNeil 150
Vote - Affirmative 150
Res. 85, SNSMR - Charity Licence Plate Prog.,
Hon. M. Scott 150
Vote - Affirmative 151
Res. 86, Forbes Real Estate Team - Play on Ball Hockey Tournament,
Ms. B. Kent 151
Vote - Affirmative 152
Res. 87, Griffis, Ronald - Minister of Veterans Affairs: Commendation,
Mr. L. Glavine 152
Vote - Affirmative 153
Res. 88, ER Closures - End,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 153
Res. 89, Shankel, Alexander - Athletic Awards,
Ms. V. Conrad 153
Vote - Affirmative 154
Res. 90, Can. Games (2009): N.S. Athletes - Congrats.,
Hon. W. Gaudet 154
Vote - Affirmative 155
Res. 91, Natl. Forest Wk. - Participation,
Mr. A. MacLeod 155
Vote - Affirmative 155
Res. 92, Hammonds Plains A's - Baseball Championship,
Mr. M. Whynott 156
Vote - Affirmative 156
Res. 93, FUSION Hfx. Sustainability Action Team - Congrats.,
Mr. A. Younger 156
Vote - Affirmative 157
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 94, RCL: Branch 9 (Windsor) - Efforts Commend,
Mr. C. Porter 157
Vote - Affirmative 158
Res. 95, Starratt, Cameron/Cicarelli, Rob/Farlinger, Chris -
Give-to-Live Tour, Ms. K. Regan 158
Vote - Affirmative 158
Res. 96, Fountain, Fred - Red Cross Humanitarian Award,
Hon. K. Casey 159
Vote - Affirmative 159
Res. 97, Hanse Soc. - Children's Wish Fdn. Fundraising,
Mr. H. Theriault 159
Vote - Affirmative 160
Res. 98, Health: Medical Equipment - Reprocessing,
Hon. K. Casey 160
Res. 99, Kinsman, Mike: Berwick Sports Hall of Fame - Induction,
Mr. L. Glavine 161
Vote - Affirmative 161
Res. 100, Batherson, Kay - Dockside Ceilidhs,
Hon. C. Clarke 162
Vote - Affirmative 162
Res. 101, TIR - Paving Plan, Hon. W. Gaudet 162
Res. 102, Dockside Ceilidhs - Funding,
Hon. C. Clarke 163
Res. 103, Dart. East Commun. Ctr./Partners - Green Bldg. Techniques,
Mr. A. Younger 164
Vote - Affirmative 164
Res. 104, Electronic/Telephone Voting - Implement,
Hon. M. Scott 165
Res. 105, Dalton, Richard/N.S. Paddlers - Congrats.,
Ms. K. Regan 165
Vote - Affirmative 166
Res. 106, Musee Acadien et Centre de Recherche: Culture - Presentation,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 166
Vote - Affirmative 167
Res. 107, Martin, Bruce: Nat. Res. Panel - Appt.,
Mr. H. Theriault 167
Vote - Affirmative 168
Res. 108, Mitchelmore, Kelly - RCL Mural,
Mr. C. Porter 168
Vote - Affirmative 169
Res. 109, Talbot House - Anniv. (50th),
Mr. K. Bain 169
Vote - Affirmative 169
Res. 110, Donkin Mine Proj. - Support,
Mr. A. MacLeod 170
Vote - Affirmative 170
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 1, Prem: NDP/PC - Budget Process,
Hon. S. McNeil 170
No. 2, Prem: NDP Plans - Civil Serv. Response,
Hon. K. Casey 172
No. 3, Prem.: Gas Regulation - Costs,
Hon. S. McNeil 173
No. 4, Com. Serv.: Bryony House - Funding,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 174
No. 5, Prem.: Gov't. Spending - Reduction,
Hon. K. Casey 176
No. 6, Health: ER Adviser - Mandate,
Ms. D. Whalen 177
No. 7, Educ.: Universities - Funding,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 178
No. 8, LWD: Chignecto-Cent. Reg. Sch. Bd. - Strike Prevention,
Ms. K. Regan 179
No. 9, Prem: Budget (2010-11) - Commitment,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 180
No. 10, Health: Nurse Practitioners - Support,
Mr. H. Theriault 182
No. 11, Environ. - Blue-Green Algae Pollution,
Hon. W. Gaudet 183
No. 12, TIR: Trunk 4 - Repaving Proj.,
Hon. M. Scott 184
No. 13, Agric.: Incredible Picnic - Cancellation,
Mr. L. Glavine 186
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY TO THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE:
Mr. Mat Whynott 188
Ms. K. Regan 197
Hon. M. Scott 204
Adjourned Debate 221
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Nat. Res.: Irving Land - Purchase,
Mr. L. Glavine 222
Hon. C. d'Entremont 224
Hon. J. MacDonell 227
ADJOURNMENT, The House rose to meet again on Wed., Sept. 23rd at 2:00 p.m. 230
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 111, Pettigrew, Kelly - Oxford Prom Queen,
Hon. M. Scott 231
Res. 112, Mattinson, Emma - Oxford Prom Princess,
Hon. M. Scott 231
Res. 113, Bryne, Bryce - Oxford Prom Prince,
Hon. M. Scott 232
Res. 114, MacDonald, Jeff - Oxford Prom King,
Hon. M. Scott 232
Res. 115, MacDonald, Alexa - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 232
Res. 116, Jewkes, Sonya - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 233
Res. 117, Hunter, Lisa - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 233
Res. 118, Higgens, Kristen - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 234
Res. 119, Henwood, Kayla - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 234
Res. 120, Hawker, John Russell - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 235
Res. 121, Grant, Eden, Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 235
Res. 122, Gallagher, Luke - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 236
Res. 123, Forshner, Lee-Ann - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 236
Res. 124, Ellis, Matthew - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 236
Res. 125, Crowe, Lydia - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 237
Res. 126, Colwell, Mary Jean - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 237
Res. 127, Casey, Jonathan - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 238
Res. 128, Casey, Amanda - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 238
Res. 129, Blanchard, Cheryl - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 239
Res. 130, Baumann, Johannes - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 239
Res. 131, Baker, Dee Jay - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 240
Res. 132, Anderson, Timothy - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 240
Res. 133, Langille, Tyrell - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 241
Res. 134, Lees, Jonathan - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 241
Res. 135, Boyce, Katelyn - Academic Achievement,
Hon. M. Scott 241

[Page 139]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 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. Before we begin the daily routine, under Rule 55 the late debate topic is submitted by the honourable member for Digby-Annapolis:

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the importance of the historic and culturally significant properties located within property currently for sale in western Nova Scotia and urge the Government of Nova Scotia to examine all options for purchasing important parcels of this land from J.D. Irving Limited.

That will be debated at the moment of interruption.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

[Page 140]

139

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I take pleasure to table the following petition gathered by Mr. and Mrs. Pilkington of Dartmouth. The operative phrase is:

"We want jail time for drivers who kill people in crosswalks. We want drivers licences revoked as well. Fines are not the answer to this very serious problem."

I have affixed my signature and there are 80 signatures on this petition, including the good MLA for Dartmouth East.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, emergency rooms are a critical part of our health care system. They are a critical point of contact for many Nova Scotians with our provincial health care system.

Over the past 10 years it is clear that there have been growing problems affecting Nova Scotia's emergency rooms. There have been increasing numbers of temporary ER closures across the province. People arrive at their local ER looking for help only to find a closed door. ER closures have become a chronic problem in smaller rural hospitals.

At the same time, our larger emergency rooms in the Halifax Regional Municipality and other regional hospitals are under strain. Patients are enduring long waits. The problems in Nova Scotia's emergency rooms didn't develop overnight, they are long-standing and they won't be solved overnight.

One of the government's most important commitments to me, as Health Minister, and to the many other Nova Scotians who have experienced difficulties in our ERs, is our commitment to hire an expert adviser on emergency patient care. I am honoured today to fulfill this commitment, a critical step in our overall plan to keep ERs open in this province.

That's why I'm pleased to announce Dr. John Ross as Nova Scotia's first provincial adviser on emergency patient care. (Applause) Dr. Ross has the passion, experience and

[Page 141]

leadership necessary to help us tackle this challenge. Dr. Ross is with us today in the gallery and with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would ask that Dr. Ross please rise to receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

Dr. Ross is a respected emergency room physician who has worked in both large and small emergency rooms in Nova Scotia. He is committed to putting patients first. He knows the difficulties first-hand and is a proven problem solver. He will work with the district health authorities, doctors and other health care providers to ensure that emergency departments deliver the kind of health that Nova Scotians need.

This will include advising government on commitments such as opening beds needed to admit patients now stuck in emergency departments. As well, Dr. Ross will advise on the creation of an emergency department protection fund to hire doctors and keep emergency rooms running.

This is the first time Nova Scotia's system of emergency care has been evaluated in this way. Dr. Ross will spend the next year advising the Deputy Minister of Health on province-wide improvements. We want to ensure our emergency departments deliver the kind of health care that all Nova Scotians need. The problems in Nova Scotia's emergency rooms are long-standing, they won't be solved overnight, but we are confident the appointment of Dr. Ross will put Nova Scotia on the road to solving them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: I'm pleased to rise in the House today in response to the Ministerial Statement with regard to the hiring of a provincial adviser on emergency patient care. I would like from the outset to thank the Minister of Health for making an advance copy of this announcement available to me as the Health Critic for the Liberal Party.

[2:15 p.m.]

We are very well aware of the talent that Dr. Ross brings to our health care system, especially as it pertains to his expertise in emergency medicine. He has been outspoken and frank about the problems that are facing our province, and we hope that we'll hear more of the same in his year as the advisor to the government, or at least in this year while he's studying the issues. Publicly, we would like on behalf of the Liberal caucus to thank Dr. Ross for taking on this very immense challenge. We know that there's an awful lot of pressure on the system, that it's complex, and that the emergency room is just one part of a larger piece of the pressure in the health system.

It would appear from the statement today about emergency room closures that Nova Scotians will have a year to wait for the advice that's coming from the government and from

[Page 142]

Dr. Ross on what is to be done with emergency rooms. We don't know what the outcome of the year-long study and consultation will be. Who knows, in fact, whether the recommendations provided will require financial resources that will simply not be available, given the NDP's commitment to balance the budget next spring and again in the spring after that. So there are a lot of questions that will be looming in terms of the affordability and the kind of solutions that may be noted and arising.

It was also interesting to note in the minister's statement the comment that the new position - Dr. Ross himself will be consulting with DHAs, doctors, and other health care providers. There is no mention of consultation with community members, and I raise that today in my reply, Mr. Speaker, because the NDP tabled legislation last spring that actually called for consultation with community members around the closure of ERs. So let us hope that it was simply an oversight and that someone - whether it be Dr. Ross or perhaps the minister herself - will in fact be communicating and consulting with members in the community to see that their voice is heard, because often it is the people who are closest to the problem who have got solutions, who understand what resources are available, and can be a part of finding the right path forward. So I would ask that the minister keep that in mind as well.

The Emergency Department Protection Fund was alluded to in the statement, and that - again, we assume this will be a longer-term solution. We had, as a Party, suggested locums that operate in other provinces. We hope that that will be part of the solution. Setting up a register of doctors who will do locums, who will move in on a temporary basis to cover shifts in emergency rooms, is working effectively in northern Ontario and in the big cities in Ontario and, in fact, in other jurisdictions. As we have pointed out, there are Nova Scotian doctors traveling to these other provinces and, in fact, providing that very service there because there's a system set up and a roster in place that they can do so. We need an answer like that here in Nova Scotia and we can't let this opportunity go by without mentioning again that we believe that has the possibility of being a much more time-sensitive response. It's something we can do very quickly here in Nova Scotia. So we would like to see that.

In the minister's statement, there was no mention of the commitment to keep all emergency rooms open 24/7, and that is a commitment we heard during the election on advertisements and in other ways. So, Mr. Speaker, although there may have been a commitment to hire an expert advisor, there was also a commitment to keep emergency rooms open and we will be anxious to see how the government intends to do just that. With those few remarks, I would like to wish Dr. Ross well in his work ahead.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to stand today to make a comment on the minister's statement that we heard read just a few moments ago by the Minister of Health. First of all, I would like to congratulate Dr. Ross for accepting

[Page 143]

this position of looking at ER closures across this province, one that has been perplexing and difficult to find solutions for on a global scale.

Mr. Speaker, we need to look at this on a case-by-case basis. What works in Digby might not work in Shelburne. What works in Shelburne might not work in, of course, Cumberland North or Cumberland South. All these issues will be ones to look at specifically. I know that Dr. Ross has a lot of work to do over the next year, which brings me to the point that - what happens in the meantime? What happens in the short term when Shelburne has closed, I don't know how many times this month? I think it probably was closed more than it was open over the last few weeks. I know that Digby was closed more than it was really open over the last few weeks.

The minister did reference one issue of being advised on how many beds would need to be available to move people out of the log-jam in the emergency room. We know that ER closures and ER overcrowding are two very different issues, so what is this really about? Again, Dr. Ross has a monumental task before him to come up with solutions; we need to really understand that. We've said before the solutions are ones that are easy apparently, because in the last 10 years the NDP Opposition pounded the Progressive Conservative Government with tons of solutions - they had all kinds of solutions.

So today they stand - well we don't have the solutions so we have to hire somebody to do it for us. Mr. Speaker, this seems to be the method in which the NDP hide behind tough decisions, one that they will continue to do over the next number of months. I'm sure we'll watch it very patiently. Apparently they can't make their own decisions, so of course they hire someone to do it.

Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the minister for bringing this forward today. It took 95 days to get to this point - by the sound of it it's going to take another 365 days to come out with any kind of plan at all. So we'll be watching it very carefully over the next number of months.

Again, thank you to Dr. Ross for his part in this. We have a wonderful individual there who, I know, worked very hard in Capital District when he was the Director of Emergency Care at the district health authority here in Halifax.

So again, Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, member. Are there further statements by ministers?

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

[Page 144]

RESOLUTION NO. 77

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 the Board of Directors of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo has worked tirelessly to ensure the Tattoo is one of the world's premier cultural and entertainment events; and

Whereas the performances are dedicated to the men and women who face danger to protect and save people's lives, and is a tribute to the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and

Whereas the Tattoo brings thousands of people from across the world to the province to see our sights and to experience our hospitality;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Board of Directors of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo on another successful event, and wish them continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 78

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

Whereas the 2009 Provincial Geologist Medal, a national honour recognizing major contributions in the area of geoscientific research and geological surveys, was recently awarded at the federal Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference in Saint John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, this August past; and

[Page 145]

Whereas Dr. John H. Calder, of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, received this award for his many accomplishments, which include his leadership in the designation of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and

Whereas Dr. Calder has contributed significantly to geological advances in this province as an employee of the department for 31 years;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House take a moment to congratulate Dr. John Calder for being recognized as one of the country's leading geologists and on receiving the 2009 Provincial Geologist Medal.

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.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I'd like to do an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: You may do your introduction, member.

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the east gallery, I would like to introduce for all members of the House the recipient of that award - an employee of the Department of Natural Resources, Dr. John Calder. I ask him to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 79

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Association of Regional Development Authorities will host its annual general meeting and conference in Sydney, Cape Breton from October 13th to October 15th; and

[Page 146]

Whereas the conference is designed to celebrate local and international best practices in community development, enhance leadership and career-building opportunities, and ignite our passion for economic development; and

Whereas the conference will feature a stellar lineup of speakers and presenters who will discuss the latest trends in technology, explore the local, national and international dynamics at work in our economy, and how the regional development authorities can position themselves to identify and overcome barriers;

Therefore be it resolved that we recognize the value of the Nova Scotia Association of Regional Development Authorities leadership and hard work in communities across the province and celebrate our 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 Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 80

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

Whereas the Shelburne Bashers won the Mosquito B Trophy at the Yarmouth Seafest Tournament on July 19, 2009; and

Whereas the Bashers downed the Yarmouth Pirates 12-1 in the championship game for the trophy; and

Whereas Bashers player Drew Jacklyn was chosen tournament MVP while teammate Isaac deMoliter was chosen most sportsmanlike player;

[Page 147]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the Shelburne Bashers for winning the Mosquito B Trophy at the Yarmouth Seafest Tournament on July 19, 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 12 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 140 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Elections Act. (Mr. Chuck Porter)

Bill No. 13 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 31 of the Acts of 1996. The Sales Tax Act. (Mr. Harold Theriault)

Bill No. 14 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 240 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Judicature Act. (Hon. Ross Landry)

Bill No. 15 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 36 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Beneficiaries Designation Act. (Hon. Ross Landry)

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

[2:30 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 81

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

[Page 148]

Whereas the Special Olympics has been bringing one message to the world: people with intellectual disabilities can and will succeed if given the opportunity; and

Whereas Nova Scotia athletes had their best performance ever at the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Boise, Idaho, U.S.A. on February 7-13, 2009, capturing a total of eight medals; and

Whereas this four-member team included Eileen Ramsay of Annapolis County, who won two gold medals and a bronze medal in cross-country skiing; James Blood of Lower Sackville, who won an individual gold in Level 4 figure skating and teamed with Shyanne Dolliver of Dartmouth to win gold in pairs skating; and Alexander Shankel of Liverpool, who won two bronze medals in snowshoeing;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating this team for their outstanding accomplishments.

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. 82

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

Whereas Chanterelle Country Inn and Cottages, located on the Cabot Trail in the North River area of Victoria County, is one of two Cape Breton resorts featured among the best eco-friendly places to stay anywhere in Canada; and

Whereas Chanterelle was recognized this year in the April version of National Geographic Traveler Magazine; and

[Page 149]

Whereas owner Earlene Busch said earlier this summer that the recognition from National Geographic means a lot and further reinforces her marketing efforts towards building the inn's profile;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the diligent work of Earlene Busch and her staff at Chanterelle Country Inn and Cottages, and applaud their recognition by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

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 Deputy Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 83

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

Whereas yesterday, September 21st, the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party won two by-elections; and

Whereas Saskatchewan NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter in Regina Douglas and Danielle Chartier in Saskatoon Riversdale both won their seats with over 50 per cent of the vote; and

Whereas these two victories are a grand stepping stone for the new Leader of an invigorated Party;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Saskatchewan NDP and their new Leader, Dwain Lingenfelter, on their victories and wish them the best of luck in their new roles.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 150]

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. 84

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 Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is an opportunity to get together with family and friends to celebrate cancer survivors, to remember lost ones who lost to cancer, and to fight back in hope of finding a cure for this terrible disease; and

Whereas 130 survivors, 150 volunteers and countless spectators attended Middleton's Relay For Life held on June 5, 2009, and more than 1,600 luminaries were lit to honour survivors and those loved ones who lost their lives to cancer; and

Whereas this year's event not only met its short-term goal of raising $120,000, it reached a milestone as over the past seven years the Middleton Relay for Life has raised $1 million, a remarkable amount of money for a small rural town;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating this group and thank them for their dedication and commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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 151]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 85

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

Whereas many volunteer organizations throughout the province work tirelessly to raise funds for their specific causes; and

Whereas we believe that all Nova Scotians should do everything possible to assist these credible and worthwhile organizations; and

Whereas often Nova Scotians are looking for ways to help these organizations through new and creative ways;

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of Nova Scotia consider launching a specialized licence plate program so that individuals in this province may name, on their licence plate, the specific charitable organization to which they wish to contribute, which would be advertised on the plate and the monies over and above the administrative costs for these plates would go directly to the named organization.

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 86

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

[Page 152]

Whereas each year people come to Nova Scotia from all over Canada to play street hockey in a tournament called Play on Ball Hockey Tournament; and

Whereas this year on June 20th and 21st, there was only one women's team entered in the Play on Ball Hockey Tournament held on Cogswell Street at the Halifax Common; and

Whereas the Forbes Real Estate Team, being the only all-female team, competed in the men's division, competing strongly with their male counterparts, placing 13th out of 40;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the Forbes Real Estate women's team for their hard work and sportsmanship during the Play on Ball Hockey Tournament held on Cogswell Street at Halifax Common and commend them for their perseverance in being a strong role model for women in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 87

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

Whereas the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation was presented on May 18, 2009, recognizing veterans from across Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas the commendation formally recognizes the contributions of veterans, and some non-veterans, to the veteran community and those who represent commendable role models for their fellow veterans; and

Whereas Ronald Griffis of Berwick received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in honour of his contributions to the Canadian Association of Veterans in

[Page 153]

United Nations Peacekeeping; the Royal Canadian Legion; the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association; and the Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans Association of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ron Griffis for this distinguished honour and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 88

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 challenges 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 developing an emergency room plan to deal with emergency room closures; and

Whereas the NDP Government has been governing for a long 95 days;

Therefore be it resolved for the Premier to 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.

[Page 154]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 89

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

Whereas being a very successful Special Olympic athlete has put Liverpool resident Alexander Shankel's name on the sports pages many, many times; and

Whereas each year Sport Nova Scotia presents the IKON Award to an athlete based on their best performance of the season as well as for their athletic career, obstacles they may face and the level of their competition; and

Whereas each month Cleve's presents an award to a Nova Scotian athlete for outstanding achievement in sport;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Alexander Shankel of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, for having received the IKON Male Athlete of the Year Award and the Cleve's Athlete of the Month Award.

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 Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 90

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

[Page 155]

Whereas the 2009 Canada Games hosted by Prince Edward Island were a tremendous success for our Nova Scotian athletes who took home 52 medals; and

Whereas our paddlers took home 31 out of the 52 medals, beating a previous high of 28 set in 2005; and

Whereas all of our athletes were well prepared and performed to the best of their abilities;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate our Nova Scotian athletes for their success at the 2009 Canada Games and wish them continued success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 91

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

Whereas September 20th marks the start of National Forest Week, a week where Canadians are encouraged to learn more about their forest heritage and develop an appreciation for the vital link that this sector has with many communities across our province and country; and

Whereas forests are a precious resource which have supported Nova Scotian communities for generations; and

Whereas the aim of this year's celebration focuses on the need for innovation and knowledge-sharing which will ensure the sector will continue to effectively serve Nova Scotians long into the future;

[Page 156]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly encourage their constituents to actively participate in this year's events and to continue to build their knowledge and appreciation of this vital sector.

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 Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 92

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 Sunday, September 20, 2009, the Hammonds Plains A's AAA Mosquito boys baseball team won the Atlantic Championships; and

Whereas the team and their families travelled to Sherwood, P.E.I., to participate in this multi-game tournament over the weekend; and

Whereas they won the final game in an 8-0 sweep and celebrated with their coaches and families;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Hammonds Plains A's on their win at the AAA Mosquito Atlantic Baseball Championships and wish them well in all their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 157]

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. 93

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

Whereas today, September 22, 2009, is designated as World Car Free Day; and

Whereas the FUSION Halifax Sustainability Action Team was out earlier today in downtown Halifax rewarding individuals using alternative forms of transit; and

Whereas World Car Free Day serves as a reminder to all of us that we should be seeking ways to decrease our reliance on automobiles for the sake of both our environment and health;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature congratulate FUSION Halifax Sustainability Action Team for their initiative this morning and acknowledge that better support for alternative transportation options will lead to a greener and healthier environment for all residents.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[2:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 94

[Page 158]

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 commitment of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 9 is to remember those who gave their lives for peace and freedom and died in World Wars I and II, as well as the Korean conflict in the 1950s and the conflict facing our brave soldiers in Afghanistan today; and

Whereas last weekend Branch 9 in Windsor celebrated and recognized veterans from Windsor-West Hants as part of Branch 9's 90th Anniversary; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 9 in Windsor, Nova Scotia has been recognizing veterans in the Windsor-West Hants area for 90 years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly commend the efforts of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 9 in Windsor on an exemplary display of commitment to our veterans and to the memory of those no longer with us.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 95

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

Whereas Give to Live is a Nova Scotia-based charity, founded by Haligonian Todd MacDonald, which raises money for cancer-related groups; and

Whereas Cameron Starratt of Bedford spent 49 days travelling across Canada on his bike with Rob Cicarelli of Sarnia and Chris Farlinger of Owen Sound to raise money for Give to Live; and

[Page 159]

Whereas the 6,500 kilometre journey was a wonderful opportunity for these third-year medical students to give back to their communities and to raise over $7,000;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cameron Starratt, Rob Cicarelli, and Chris Farlinger on their successful tour and wish them every success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 96

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 Chancellor of Dalhousie University, Fred Fountain, was recently named the Canadian Red Cross's 2009 Humanitarian Award winner for Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mr. Fountain, in a Red Cross news release, is described as a noted community volunteer, philanthropist, lawyer, and business executive who can be found just about every day of the week supporting a charitable cause; and

Whereas Mr. Fountain has chaired or served in other capacities, including fundraising with the QE II Health Sciences Centre Foundation, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Scotia Festival of Music, National Arts Centre Foundation, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the IWK Health Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Fred Fountain of Halifax for being chosen the 2009 recipient of the Canadian Red Cross's Humanitarian Award for Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 160]

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. 97

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 staff of Upper Clements Park took part in the 4th annual Children's Wish Foundation's Wish-Nik fundraiser on July 11, 2009; and

Whereas more than 400 family members from the foundation received free bracelets and had a wonderful day of worry-free playing in the parks and were provided with a barbequed lunch served by park employees; and

Whereas a large cheque of more than $5,000 was presented that day to the Children's Wish Foundation, adding to in excess of $100,000 in cash and in kind over the last four years donated by Upper Clements Park;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize the Hanse Society, a non-profit organization of local volunteers who own and operate Upper Clements Park, as well as the management and staff of the park, for this wonderful fundraising event on behalf of the Children's Wish Foundation.

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 161]

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 98

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

Whereas Capital District Health Authority is hiring a company to reprocess medical equipment previously designed for one use only; and

Whereas one Halifax cardiologist has said an ultrasound catheter is an example of equipment that could be used more than once because it has the least chance of infection; and

Whereas Capital Health Authorities are not instilling a great deal of confidence in their patients by saying, "Health Canada would carry the liability insurance if anything happened to a patient";

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health immediately review this file and put an end to such a practice that could affect the health of hundreds 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.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 99

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, 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 local accomplishments in sport; and

Whereas Mike Kinsman was inducted in this year's ceremony as an athlete in recognition of his contributions to sport; and

[Page 162]

Whereas Mike was a dedicated athlete who excelled in hockey as part of the top Junior A team in the Maritimes and as an old-timer when he was forced to retire after 44 years, as well as a successful career in fastball;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Mike Kinsman for his 2009 induction into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 100

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

Whereas the vitality of the tourism sector is only as good as the people who serve the travelling public, especially dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas Kay Batherson has been operating the Dockside Ceilidh Performing Arts Series at Marine Atlantic for over two decades now, entertaining tourists and locals alike with outstanding local talent; and

Whereas this year the Dockside Ceilidh celebrated 23 years entertaining countless thousands, while at the same time providing Cape Breton youth with the opportunity to showcase their talent and skills;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kay Batherson on her achievements to enhance, expand and improve the cultural and musical talents of Cape Bretoners and the extraordinary job she does to highlight Cape Breton to countless thousands.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 163]

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 Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 101

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

Whereas the maintenance of our roads and highways is a tremendous task, one that takes countless hours and hard work from Nova Scotians; and

Whereas maintaining this infrastructure is a crucial and important public safety issue; and

Whereas in the Spring of 2009, government clearly stated that they would undertake a five-year paving plan, starting in our current calendar year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly urge government to begin this process immediately, show the members of this House exactly how they plan to develop our roads and improve public safety on Nova Scotia highways.

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 Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 102

[Page 164]

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

Whereas the Dockside Ceilidh's Performing Arts Series has operated for 23 years in partnership with Marine Atlantic, all three levels of government and the tourism sector; and

Whereas this year is the first year the Province of Nova Scotia has not provided support to this vital tourism initiative, entertaining countless thousands of visitors and locals alike; and

Whereas the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage has refused funding well into the operating season, forcing the organization to borrow money to make ends meet;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage re-evaluate the request for $5,000 to enable the Dockside Ceilidh to meet their obligations and prepare for the 24th season without this funding pressure.

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 Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 103

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 new Dartmouth East Community Centre has been designed to meet the high environmental and energy efficiency standards, which resulted in a significantly lower carbon footprint; and

Whereas the building provides an opportunity for residents and businesses to see green building techniques in action while people use the building for work and play; and

[Page 165]

Whereas the Dartmouth East Community Centre Society, along with the building steering committee, the Halifax Regional Municipality, and the Boys and Girls Club of East Dartmouth have shown a significant commitment to environmental sustainability;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize the commitment made by these dedicated groups on their work to promote green buildings in Nova Scotia and wish them continued success in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 104

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has seen declining voter turnout since the 1988 general election; and

Whereas Nova Scotia recently recognized 250 years of democracy in Nova Scotia, and part of that was to engage all Nova Scotians in our electoral process; and

Whereas Nova Scotia witnessed its lowest-ever voter turnout in this past general election;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House support the implementation of electronic and telephone voting for the next provincial general election, similar to that which was implemented in and for the municipal election in Halifax Regional Municipality in 2008 and most recently in a by-election in HRM.

[Page 166]

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. 105

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

Whereas the 2009 Canadian Sprint Canoe-Kayak Championships were held in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and our athletes won 105 medals including 38 gold, 28 silver, and 32 bronze, for a second-place finish overall; and

Whereas Bedford paddler Richard Dalton defended his national title in the C-1 200 championships, winning gold for the sixth consecutive year; and

Whereas in addition to his gold medal, Mr. Dalton took home a silver medal in the senior mens C-1 500 and the C-1 1,000;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Richard Dalton and all of Nova Scotia's paddlers for their success at the 2009 Canadian Sprint Canoe-Kayak Championships and wish them continued success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 167]

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 106

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

Attendu que le 20 mai 2009, l'Association Destination Southwest Nova a présenté un prix décerné au Musée acadien et Centre de recherche de Pubnico-ouest; et

Attendu que le prix a été remis en reconnaissance de la contribution du Musée à la qualité de l'expérience des visiteurs et a l'industrie du trousime en Nouvelle-Écosse; et

Attendu que depuis son ouverture officielle en 1979, le Musée a acquis une large sélection d'objets d'art qui met en vedette la vie d'autrefois et comprend les archives et la collection privée de l'historien local Père Clarence J. d'Entremont, entre autres;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de la Chambre se joignent à moi pour féliciter le Musée acadien et Centre de recherche, son directrice Bernice d'Entremont et tous les bénévoles pur leur vision et leur devouement à la préservation de la culture et du patrimoine acadien.

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

Whereas on May 20, 2009, Destination Southwest Nova Association presented an award to the Musée acadien et Centre de recherche located in West Pubnico; and

Whereas the award was presented in recognition of the Musée's contribution to the quality of the visitors' experience and to the tourism industry in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas since its official opening in 1979, the Musée has acquired a large selection of artifacts which showcases how life would have been in earlier days, and also houses the archives and private collections of local historian Father Clarence J. d'Entremont, among others;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Musée acadien et Centre de recherche, its Director Bernice d'Entremont and all of the volunteers for their vision and unwavering dedication to the preservation of Acadian culture and heritage.

[Page 168]

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.

[3:00 p.m.]

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 107

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

Whereas Bruce Martin of Bear River was among 12 Nova Scotians appointed on July 23, 2009, to guide the development of a new natural resource strategy for the province; and

Whereas a steering panel chaired by former Chief Justice Constance Glube recommended the appointments of 12 well-qualified technical experts for this second phase of the natural resources strategy process, where four panels will soon begin the job of consulting with stakeholders with their findings reported to the steering panel late this Fall; and

Whereas the panels will focus on the key components of the strategy: forestry, minerals, parks and biodiversity;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Bruce Martin on his appointment to this panel and wish him well in this important role.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 169]

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. 108

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

Whereas local artists plan an invaluable part of our history and heritage; and

Whereas Kelly Mitchelmore of Windsor, Nova Scotia, created a breathtaking mural capturing the true essence of what the Royal Canadian Legion stands for; and

Whereas this mural, entitled Cadence, will continue to be seen for generations to come as a reminder of those still fighting and those whose lives were lost;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the passion and inspiration of Kelly Mitchelmore, with her creation of this truly inspiring mural to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 9.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 109

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

[Page 170]

Whereas Talbot House, in Frenchvale, Cape Breton County, celebrated a significant milestone recently in the celebration of 50 years of service; and

Whereas Talbot House became operational in 1959 when the founder, Father John G. Webb, opened the facility; and

Whereas Talbot House, as their mission statement details, is a vibrant, caring, innovative and healing community created by individuals participating in long-term recovery from addictions through self-discovery and growth in a life-giving environment of faith, hope and courage;

Therefore be it resolved that all members in this House of Assembly reflect on the service offered by Talbot House while commending Father Paul Abbass and staff who do such an incredible job every day 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 Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 110

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

Whereas the Donkin Mine Project represents a major economic opportunity for Cape Breton Island and, indeed, all of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Nova Scotia is highly dependent on coal to generate power for the homes and businesses across this province; and

Whereas private enterprise has been the source of capital to bring this project to its current point;

[Page 171]

Therefore be it resolved that this government give their support to this project so Nova Scotians can enjoy electric heat generated by Cape Breton coal.

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

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 3:05 p.m. and end at 4:05 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: NDP/PC - BUDGET PROCESS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Last week we got a glimpse into how this government is going to handle the finances of our province. They're going to spend $278 million they don't have to pay a bill that isn't due until next March. When the previous government front-loaded their budget in the Spring, the NDP caucus cried foul. In fact, the Premier called it a "fudge-it budget". So my question to the Premier is, how is the NDP financial game any different than the Progressive Conservative shell game?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is quite right when he says this was a practice that was brought into the budgeting process by the former Progressive Conservative Government. They also signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with the universities and we felt that a budget which showed that there was little or nothing in it for university spending was not appropriate. We felt that the best thing that we could do is to ensure that the people who put that practice into place actually took responsibility for it, so we moved the funding for the MOU forward to reflect what the previous government had done.

[Page 172]

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, it was a practice that three months ago that Premier said was wrong, and all of a sudden today it's right. One set of rules for one government, another set of rules for this government. Borrowing money this year to pay a bill that isn't due until next year comes at a cost. The motivation is political; it's about trying to blame the former government for a decision that this government is making today, a decision that will cost Nova Scotians millions of dollars. So my question to the Premier is, how much is this latest financial trick going to cost the taxpayers of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the characterization by the member opposite is simply incorrect. The Leader doesn't understand the manner in which the financing for the province takes place. The Department of Finance doesn't do its budgeting on a per transaction basis. The Department of Finance says that this will be part of the ebb and flow of the financing they do, and the answer for him is, it's at no cost to the province.

MR. MCNEIL: Free, Mr. Speaker, it's free. Imagine how many Nova Scotians would like to borrow money free. This Premier said we have a $590 million deficit. That means this government must borrow that money; $278 million of that money will not be required to pay a bill for next year. It's not free, Mr. Premier, and you know it. It's a shell game you're playing - you knew it back in June, and you know it now. How much will this cost the people of Nova Scotia? You have the entire Department of Finance. They'll tell you, and they'll tell you without playing political games with it, the truth about how much this costs. What will it cost the people of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the answer that I gave the Leader of the Official Opposition is, of course, the answer that came from the Department of Finance. I'll tell you what we won't do. What we won't do is what the members opposite proposed, which was to add another $548 million to the books of the Province. Of course, I'd like to table the editorial from the Chronicle Herald called So, whose dog ate page 34? That was the editorial on the plan of the Liberals where they couldn't explain where they were going to pay for anything they promised.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

PREM.: NDP PLANS - CIVIL SERV. RESPONSE

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. In a wide-ranging interview with the Globe and Mail and their readers on July 13, 2009, the honourable Premier replied to a question from a Graham Stanley who wanted to know if the Premier felt that he might encounter some Civil Service resistence to NDP plans. The Premier answered, "I have always said we have a talented and professional Civil Service in Nova Scotia." My question for the Premier today is, if he has such profound respect for Nova Scotia's Civil Service, why did he feel it necessary to have an independent firm review the province's finances at a cost of $99,100 to taxpayers of Nova Scotia only to be given the

[Page 173]

same information that was already available to him through the Department of Finance, i.e. that talented and professional Civil Service?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I do have the greatest respect for the Civil Service in this province and the answer to the question is quite simply that we wanted to ensure, not just for our benefit but for the benefit of the people, that there was in fact an independent, arm's length review of the books so they could have confidence that we, internally, were not doing anything to manipulate the figures that they saw and that what they were going to get was a true picture of the state of the books, and in fact the sorry state of the books, left behind by that government.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that this caucus does trust the Civil Service and the Department of Finance but my question, my first supplementary - what information was contained in the Deloitte audit that was not already available from the staff of the Department of Finance?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what the Deloitte report did is look at, throughout the departments, the budget estimates that were done. They investigated whether or not the projections that were made were legitimate and what they found, of course, is that there wasn't a surplus - that there was a very significant deficit which the former government tried to hide. They also pointed out, as we did, that there was no accounting for university funding in that report and I would point out to the member opposite that that was Phase I of the report and we're looking forward to receiving Phase II by the end of the month.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I'm anxious to see what Phase II reveals that we did not know. My second supplementary - our PC Government stated that in order to balance the budget in 2009-10, it was necessary to redirect funding from offshore petroleum reserve. Your Party voted against this idea in May. My question to you is this, how do you face Nova Scotians today and tell them that your government is now considering an amendment to legislation that would achieve the same result, i.e. redirect funding from the petroleum reserve?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, that's where the member opposite misunderstands what happened in the last session of the House. What happened in the last session of the House is that we voted against an incompetent and inept government. That was why we voted against it.

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

PREM.: GAS REGULATION - COSTS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Gas regulation in this province has been an expensive mistake and it's about to get more expensive. This government has decided to pass the buck on gas pricing to the Utility and

[Page 174]

Review Board. This Premier has repeatedly said this will not cost the taxpayers any more money. It's free. My question to the Premier is, is he standing by his word that gas regulation will not cost Nova Scotia taxpayers any more?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what the member opposite should know and never seems to understand about gas regulation is that since gas regulation came into the province, we have been below the national average in gas pricing 45 out of the 52 weeks according to the survey done by the gasoline retailers. Before gas regulation, we were above the national average two-thirds of the time. I'm sure that even the member opposite can agree, even the Leader of the Opposition can agree, that would be a good thing for the people of the province.

[3:15 p.m.]

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, this government is well aware that the price of gas regulation is costing each and every Nova Scotian. In all, we are paying one million extra each year and it's about to cost more. The Utility and Review Board is advertising for two jobs to handle this new level of bureaucracy. My question to the Premier is, what is the true cost of punting this decision to the Utility and Review Board?

THE PREMIER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The gas regulations moving over to the Utility and Review Board - that was something that we promised during the election campaign and it's a commitment we're going to keep. It was also the substance of a question that I recall was asked by the Leader of the Opposition at one point in time in this House.

What he needs to understand is that the last report that was done on the gas regulation, they should look at - I think it was finding no. 12, that said the benefit of gas regulation was that the oil companies were not able to pass along all of their costs to the consumer. I hope he would agree that's a good thing for consumers.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier may not want to tell Nova Scotians the full cost of this bad decision but this weekend we got an idea - the cost of an advisor for petroleum products pricing is about $80,000 and the cost of an analyst is about $65,000. Those are the jobs being advertised by the Utility and Review Board. My question to the Premier is, how much more is this bad decision going to cost Nova Scotia taxpayers?

THE PREMIER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The answer to the member's question is, it doesn't cost any more. Not because it's free but because it is financed out of the same levy that was put in place originally and therefore, it is cost-neutral for the government.

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

COM. SERV.: BRYONY HOUSE - FUNDING

[Page 175]

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My question today is for the Minister of Community Services. On August 25th, Bryony House had to cut the position of its only outreach worker, thereby losing its outreach program. The transition house also had to cut back the hours of other staff, due to funding shortages. Bryony House's outreach program is crucial for women taking the first steps in leaving an abusive situation. It also allowed for one-on-one counselling, which is no longer available as a result of these cuts.

Bryony House has not had a funding increase for 13 years, Mr. Speaker, and cannot keep pace with rising costs, despite the valuable work it is doing. My question to the minister: Will the minister share her plans for addressing Bryony House's continuing funding shortfall?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the question from the honourable member. What I would like to inform the honourable member is with respect to Bryony House and all the transition houses, they're very important to us and they play a vital role in the Province of Nova Scotia and we support them.

With regard to the core programs that are offered at Bryony House, they are there so the women and children are protected and are receiving the important care that they deserve to receive. In fact, we made a commitment to the transition houses and we have fulfilled that commitment. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the minister supports the work of the transition houses, including Bryony House, but is not prepared to give them any additional money this year.

Mr. Speaker, before forming the government, the NDP called for further funding for transition houses. As Leader of the Opposition, Darrell Dexter said, quote: I believe there will continue to be a need for New Democrats in the House to stand up and say the services provided by transition houses are needed. They shouldn't be facing a constant lack of funding.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is simply this - why won't New Democrats now stand up in the House and say that transition houses shouldn't face a lack of funding and do something about it?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I guess the honourable member hasn't cleaned his ears this afternoon because the fact is, I just said that we are supporting the transition houses and we've made that commitment. We have come forth and we accelerated the funding. Thank you.

[Page 176]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, with statements like that it is obvious to me that the Premier should have put the member for Dartmouth East in that portfolio instead of her.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, Oh.

MR. SPEAKER: Member, do you have a question?

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: The member for Dartmouth North, I believe, genuinely cares about people in this province - and not that minister, with statements like that.

MR. SPEAKER: Your question, honourable member.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, during the last election the NDP promised $500,000 to all the transition houses and women's centres for just one year out of a four-year mandate. This money will not help Bryony House this year and the one-time funding promise for next year will come nowhere close to providing these organizations with the money they need to provide necessary services for Nova Scotia communities. My question to the minister is, will this government provide a meaningful funding increase to these organizations this year? Or if not, she should resign.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out several facts here. One is that we are halfway in our budget year without a budget and we are compelled to present a former budget of the former government. Let me say there is some very important and congratulatory news that we received today from the transition house. A month ago I spoke personally with the executive director of Bryony House and had a very constructive and positive conversation on the phone, and today I can proudly say that a press release has been submitted from Bryony House. I'm just going to read part of it: "The Halifax Transition House Association (Bryony House) welcomes the news from Department of Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse that the province is accelerating its $500,000 commitment to women's shelters . . ." They also mention in here that they have gone 13 years . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, minister. If you will table those, please. Table the documents.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

PREM.: GOV'T. SPENDING - REDUCTION

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. This government has been talking about a deficit of $590 million, saying that expenditures

[Page 177]

are steadily increasing. During the election campaign the Premier's solution to the steadily-increasing expenditures was to reduce 1 per cent of government spending. Will the Premier state to us in the House today how he plans to achieve the 1 per cent savings by cutting government expenditures?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as the Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party knows, the budget will be tabled on Thursday and her questions will be answered.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, the Premier should know that 80 per cent of government expenditures are salary and wages for our hard-working public servants. In a May 27th interview with the Springhill Record, the Premier himself cited Communications Nova Scotia as an example of a place to reduce government spending. I would like to table the article as it appeared in the May 27, 2009 copy of the Springhill Record. My question to the Premier is, are the non-unionized positions with Communications Nova Scotia being viewed by the NDP Government as a place to make cuts?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party for her question. I want to tell her that when we looked at expenditure management we decided that we would start where we should start, which was with ourselves. That is why we reduced the number of seats in Cabinet, that's why we went ahead with those items with respect to the number of EAs that we have, that's why we went ahead with the cancellation of the $45,000 retiring allowance. We took a number of very common sense steps in order to be able to make sure that we are pursuing expenditure management appropriately.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the folks at Communications Nova Scotia would be relieved to hear something like that. On my second and supplementary question, the PC Government was adamant that during these tough economic times the best way to stimulate the economy was to create jobs, not cut jobs. My question to the Premier is this, who is advising the Premier on which jobs he should cut - his expert economic panel or his union friends?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, you know, I think soon we'll be able to get to a point where they'll be able to put aside the rhetoric of the campaign and we can get down to the business of the House. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, just in the last few weeks I was pleased to be at Irving Shipyards where the government cooperated in providing a performance guarantee creating 150 new jobs for that yard. We introduced the manufacturing and processing tax credit which the Canadian manufacturers and exporters say is going to increase economic activity in our province. We introduced the home construction rebate to stimulate that economy - more jobs, more jobs for Nova Scotians, keeping more young, skilled workers here in our province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

[Page 178]

HEALTH: ER ADVISER - MANDATE

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. During the election campaign, Nova Scotians heard at length about the NDP promise to keep all emergency rooms open around the clock. Unfortunately, since this government came to power we've seen over 3,500 hours of ER closures. Today we have the news that Dr. John Ross has been named the new emergency room adviser and has been charged with providing advice to the government over the next year. My question to the Minister of Health is, has Dr. Ross been given a specific mandate to keep all ERs open, 24/7, as promised by the NDP Government?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for her question. This government made a commitment to keep ERs open and we said we would start by hiring an adviser. We're very pleased that Dr. John Ross has agreed to accept this position and we will see to it that Nova Scotians all across this province get the health care they deserve and the health care they voted for in the provincial election.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, some of the very people that Dr. Ross will consult with have already expressed doubts around the ER closure promise. Last week the CEO of the Cape Breton District Health Authority stated, "The adviser by themselves won't keep the emergency rooms open . . ." A year ago, the now interim Deputy Health Minister - in his capacity as CEO of the South Shore Health Authority - recommended that the only solution for Fisherman's Memorial ongoing ER closures was to alter its operation so it no longer offered 24/7 service.

Mr. Speaker, two of the very individuals that Dr. Ross will have to confer with have already expressed their concerns. So my question to the minister is, given that CEOs have expressed their doubts on ERs publicly, is there a likelihood that you are setting Dr. Ross up for failure from the onset?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, Dr. Ross has a mandate to consult broadly. We want to hear from all people in this province including CEOs but certainly not limited to CEOs. We'll be speaking with paramedics, people in other health care professions, nurse practitioners and communities. I am absolutely confident that at the end of the day we will have a stronger emergency room system in this province, which after all is what Nova Scotians want and it's what Nova Scotians voted for.

[3:30 p.m.]

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians were listening to the NDP Government when they promised to keep all emergency rooms open all the time. That was unequivocal, that was a commitment and that is what we'll hold you to. The minister's announcement

[Page 179]

today avoided mentioning the commitment in any way. Nova Scotians deserve to know whether the campaign promise you made was simply election rhetoric or not. My question to the Minister of Health is, is the government preparing to move away from its commitment to ensure emergency rooms in this province remain open and functioning fully as emergency care rooms on a 24/7 basis, yes or no, Mr. Speaker?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Yes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

EDUC.: UNIVERSITIES - FUNDING

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the Premier's front-loaded payments to universities this fiscal year in order to create an artificially large deficit. In March, the Progressive Conservative Government made the payments to the universities at the request of the Association of Atlantic Universities to respond to the opportunity to leverage matching federal money to address infrastructure problems. The $256 million at that time the PC Government paid universities was surplus dollars, not deficit dollars or borrowed dollars, as the Premier and his Minister of Finance are now doing. My question to the minister, why pre-pay $341 million to the universities now when your independent audit questions this move?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question from the honourable member. I believe that this would be the first question that he's asked in a Question Period during his time in the House and I look forward to many more.

The one thing that the member and I could probably agree on is that the previous government's practice of making two university payments in a single year was confusing and complex, so when we came into office we were faced with a conundrum about how to unravel the knot that had been tied by the previous government. We are simply restoring the basic principle of one payment in one year and what could be wrong with that?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the real reason that the Premier and his Minister of Finance are going further in debt on this one is that they want to make it look that they reduced or eliminated an artificial deficit next year, an artificial deficit that we're going to see on Thursday, I'm sure. The Premier is cooking the books of the province for nothing more than blatant political opportunism. The Minister of Finance has no pressure to make a $341 million prepayment to the universities for this fiscal year, especially when he says we're dealing with a $590 million deficit. My question to the Minister of Finance - with the challenges to address declining revenues and increasing expenditures, why create a financial problem by allocating $341 million to universities that this province does not have to spend?

[Page 180]

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, the previous government created a complex and confusing problem when it decided to make two university payments in a single year. By operating in the way that we have proposed, the universities now know exactly what to expect. We are restoring the basic principle of making one payment in one year, which is the most accountable way of approaching the province's finances and it helps the province to move faster to live within its means. In other words, it is more stable, it is more accountable and it is more responsible. What exactly is that member complaining about?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the NDP have always talked about being transparent to Nova Scotia's finances but they are not. They can't even answer whether there's a surplus or a deficit in 2008-09. I guess the Minister of Finance knows more about the accounting principles than the chartered accountants within the Department of Finance. The Premier talked about a better deal for Nova Scotians but I can tell you it sounds more like a raw deal. My question for the Premier, who wins with the better deal that you peddle to Nova Scotians - the political futures of the NDP or the financial standing of our province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, of course it is the financial standing of this province and that's why we are moving ahead, to ensure that the members opposite - the drafters of the budget of May 4th - actually take responsibility for the decisions that they made.

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

LWD.: CHIGNECTO-CENT. REG. SCH. BD. - STRIKE PREVENTION

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. Yesterday, hundreds of employees of the Chignecto Central Regional School Board voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action. As well, provincial negotiations begin next week with the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. Parents, teachers and children in that area could face the same problems that may face the Chignecto Central School Board. My question to the minister is, what is your government doing to prevent this strike from taking place and what can we expect from next week's discussions?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in the Chamber recognizes that the process of negotiating agreements is something that's put into legislation and that taking a strike vote is an important part of that process. Certainly, my government and my department are going to respect that process by staying out of it.

We know there are reasonable people on both sides negotiating and quite frankly, we have an enviable record when it comes to resolving workplace disputes before they lead to work stoppages in this province and so we'll await the outcome of this legislative process.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, if a strike cannot be averted, it leaves thousands of children without appropriate levels of hygiene at schools. With the ensuing danger of the

[Page 181]

H1N1 virus and concerns about infection spreading in our schools, this can pose a serious, hazardous environment for children and teachers. Government must be prepared for this situation. My question to the minister is, if a strike occurs, how will your government handle this matter?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, certainly we can't assume the outcome of these negotiations and we need to wait and see how both sides resolve this in their best interests. We have received copies of the plans for H1N1, lowering the risk for students and workers and teachers in all the school boards and they do have contingency plans in case there is a work stoppage. I think we need to trust our public health officials that they've given us the best advice. We need to trust our school boards that they have these contingency plans and they're working towards lowering the risk for workers, staff and students in the school system.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, a strike will disrupt the lives of countless parents who will have to find alternative ways to get their children to and from school everyday. Perhaps the minister and her government can take another page from the previous government and propose to bring in custodians and bus drivers from other provinces to transport the children. My question for the minister is, what is the government's plan to transport children should a strike, in fact, occur?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, there is a process and we're going to follow it. I trust that our school boards are prepared as employers to handle any eventuality, but I also trust the common sense of both sides negotiating. Certainly, they recognize that we live in very difficult economic times and whatever decision they come up with will be in their best interests and I'm sure the best interests of Nova Scotia. Thank you

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

PREM: BUDGET (2010-11) - COMMITMENT

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, much has been done by the NDP Government to put together a blue chip panel of experts on the economy. The four individuals who the Premier said he would be looking for to financial advice. The Premier has heard three of these panellists state that balancing the budget should not be done next year at the expense of programs pending. The NDP were elected upon their steadfast pledge to have a balanced budget, to live within their means, not to cut spending, not to raise taxes. This government was to be all things to all people. That being said, does the Premier still commit to a balanced budget in 2010-11?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House understand the value of balanced budgets; of course we're going to move forward to a balanced budget. We made

[Page 182]

a commitment to the people of this province to live within our means. We don't think that was an unreasonable commitment, and we're going to make sure that we deliver on it.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the Premier for that elusive answer. The Premier is now refusing to comment and make a promise on balancing the budget. He's saying we're going to live within our means, but the promise was very specific. In the Better Deal 2009 - and I can see on the back of the thing - it says "live within our means," balance the budget. Well, you've seen it before, I'm sure, so I'm just wondering, and my question to the Premier is, you promised genuine leadership to Nova Scotians. Are you breaking your word or are you being elusive?

MR. SPEAKER: Member, I would ask you to table that document.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I don't know how much clearer I could be. I told the member opposite that we're moving forward to a balanced budget. That, as I pointed out during the election campaign, is still the operating principle which I think all of us agree on. We lived through years and years of a government that wanted to move its commitments around in order to try and say that they were in surplus when they were in deficit. We believe in balanced budgets, and we think it's important that the province live within its means.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I still don't really know what that answer was. I know that when the Progressive Conservative Party was in government, we said we were going to balance the books. We did, and we did it seven times.

Last week the Finance Minister said that he would amend the province's balanced budget legislation to allow for deficit budgets. The Finance Minister then said it was not clear yet whether there would be a deficit in the Spring Budget. The Premier said there is no deficit and the Finance Minister is saying that there is a possibility. This is a key campaign promise of the NDP, and now this government is breaking their promises. My question to the Premier is, would the Premier now turn around and blame the Finance Minister when he delivers a deficit budget?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, on Thursday the Minister of Finance will deliver his first budget. It will be one that is, of course, largely what was done in May. The reason for that is quite obvious. Being almost halfway through this year, unfortunately, the previous government decided to be the last government in Canada to bring forward a budget. They brought forward one that was unacceptable, along with measures that were unacceptable to the House. It was defeated, and we're now bringing in a budget which we think actually reflects the state of the finances of the province. I'm sure that the member opposite will be satisfied when he has an opportunity in Supply to talk to the Minister of Finance.

[3:45 p.m.]

[Page 183]

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

HEALTH: NURSE PRACTITIONERS - SUPPORT

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. During the election this government spoke highly about the need for nurse practitioners and ensuring support is there for them so that they can deliver much-needed health care in this province. In some parts of Nova Scotia nurse practitioners have been delivering health care where doctors won't practise. Nurse practitioners are cost-effective and deliver high-quality health care - the two ingredients badly needed in our health care system. So my question to the minister is, does this government remain committed to ensuring nurse practitioners get the support they need to treat patients in this province?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: I want to thank the honourable member for his question. Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House have always recognized the intrinsic value of nurse practitioners to our health care system. I'm very pleased to say that I have received services myself, through a nurse practitioner, and I could not have had a more satisfactory experience with our health care system. I would encourage people, if you have an opportunity in your health centres to see a nurse practitioner, they have an ability to help people look at primary heath care, preventive health care, taking more responsibility for good health. Thank you.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I'm very glad to hear that response from the minister but the Islands health care centre functions in a walk-in clinic and has a total patient load of 1,500 people and it serves 20 to 30 patients per day, but not anymore. Budget cutbacks and reduced support for the nurse practitioner and the clinic now closes one and a half hours a day earlier in order to get the paperwork completed and appropriate patient referrals to be made.

Mr. Speaker, I've been told that the cost-saving from the reduction in support for the nurse practitioner amounts to about $100 per week. I don't think I need to tell you that if one person had to travel off that island to the Digby ER, and was lucky enough to find the ER open, that $100 would cost a lot more than it would if the nurse practitioner was getting it.

My question to the minister is, why is the minister standing idly by when patients of Digby Neck, Long and Brier Islands are forced to seek out more expensive health care all for the sake of a $100 per week saving?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, you know the Digby Neck-Brier Island clinic is a fine example of the kinds of innovation that we can bring to our health care system and the use of both paramedics and nurse practitioners in that area is something that we will seriously look at expanding into other parts of the province.

[Page 184]

With respect to the difficulties that the honourable member has just raised, this is the first that this has been brought to my attention, Mr. Speaker, and I would be very happy to hear more from the honourable member and have an opportunity to look into what we can do to support that clinic.

MR. THERIAULT: Thank you, minister, because that was my final question. Will the minister step in and reinstate the support needed for the nurse practitioner at the Islands health centre, so that we can truly create a more sustainable and cost-effective health care system in this province?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as I said, I'd be happy to speak further with the member and have my staff look into the problem that he has identified. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

ENVIRON. - BLUE-GREEN ALGAE POLLUTION

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Environment. Recently there have been issues surrounding blue-green algae polluting sections of waterways in western Nova Scotia. There is speculation that some mink farms in the area are not being properly maintained and that pollution is contaminating local watercourses.

My first question to the minister is, what is your department doing to rectify this problem?

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question today. First of all, it's an honour to stand at this historic moment in this House and I welcome the question. The first thing that we did was to go down and visit with the people there and have an understanding of the issues. One of the first things we did as the Environment Ministers talking about the water was to have a more thorough monitoring of testing done on that water source, the Carleton water source. We are working with the Minister of Agriculture and there is an ongoing process to review the legislation about that particular fur farm. Thank you.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my next question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Nova Scotia is the largest mink fur producer in Canada. This industry generates considerable economic development to the region. However, recently, the MLA for Yarmouth stated that a moratorium on future fur farm licences in the area is needed. The people of this area and those within the industry deserve clarification. So my question to the Minister of Agriculture, is your department planning a moratorium on new mink farms in Nova Scotia?

[Page 185]

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, no.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, the rules and regulations around this industry are antiquated and are in serious need of changes. Since the NDP Government so heartily campaigned on change, my next question to the minister is, what changes can mink farmers expect to these out-of-date regulations?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, like I say, certainly the member's question is appropriate. The legislation around mink farms, or fur farms generally, is somewhat antiquated. The Department of Agriculture has been working with the mink industry over the past year or so in developing new regulation for the industry. We're hopeful that that regulation would be available or ready by the Spring and we're not positive if it can be but we're hoping it will be.

I've asked my staff to look at the application process when you apply for a permit for a mink farm, which is in my view somewhat lacking. So what we're looking at is the possibility of legislation that could come to the House this Fall that would give, I think, more power to the minister in the short term to address some of these issues so that by Spring, hopefully, we'll have regulation that would bring the industry into the 21st Century.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

TIR: TRUNK NO. 4 - REPAVING PROJ.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. As the minister would be aware, a tender has been awarded for Trunk 4 through the Wentworth Valley from Route 368 to the Swallow Road. It has been awarded and work is underway today. Is the minister aware as well that this trunk is an overflow road in the event of problems on the Cobequid Pass which will see thousands of cars and trucks per day?

Mr. Speaker, it has come to my attention, and the members of the Wentworth Valley and community, that as a result of this repaving project the road itself will be significantly narrow, the paved portion. The turning lanes will be eliminated, the passing lanes will be eliminated, and the paved shoulder will be eliminated. This will compromise the safety of motorists in the community it affects. The community is very upset that no consultation from anyone from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal took place. My question to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is, why have you taken such a drastic position with no public consultation?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. I think the member is quite well aware of the fact that it is a road that I'm on regularly in the summertime and let me tell you, if the need arises this winter, if and when

[Page 186]

the Cobequid Pass is closed, the Wentworth Valley - Death Valley as it was called unfortunately for so many long years - the old No. 4 will be maintained up to the quality of roads that are in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I'm aware of the fact that I was proud enough to sign the tender that the eight kilometres around Mahoney's Corner was going to be paved. That was an important part of the recommendations that came forward in light of the fact that one of the difficulties last year when the Cobequid Pass was closed, the Wentworth Valley highway needed that work. Also I want you to know that part of the decision, of course, comes down to the fact that there was a suggestion that we would no longer be having passing lanes on the Wentworth Highway. That will not be the case. I've reviewed that situation with the staff and I want the member to reassure the people who live in that constituency, and the people who live on the Wentworth highway, that there will be passing lanes because if or when the Cobequid Pass is closed, it will be the need to make sure those trucks that are using that road are using a proper, upgraded road. I know from personal experience travelling that road in the past when it was the highway, it is a necessity that passing lane - trucks will regularly use this highway if the Cobequid Pass is closed. I thank the member for bringing it to my attention. Hopefully, this information will be passed on to his constituents.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable minister when I came through there yesterday, indeed, that passing lane was marked and they were in the process of getting ready to eliminate it at that time. The minister may want to make a phone call to stop that process.

In 2008, a safety review was done on the Cobequid Pass and several proposed changes were recommended. We received all those recommendations, in fact, we were implementing those changes at the change of government. At no time was there any suggestion of changing Trunk No. 4, as has been stated here today. In fact, enhanced service was recommended. My question to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is, is this government sacrificing public safety for dollars?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I know the member at one time had the honour to work with the people in the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department. As he well knows, we're dealing with professional people who very clearly look at the consequences when it comes to highway safety. I want the member also to know that during those first couple of weeks when I had the responsibility - and I thank him for his congratulatory note at that time - the absolute first question that I asked the deputy that first time we sat down together and had a coffee was, what's the situation on the recommendations for the Cobequid Pass?

One of those recommendations, of course, was that the Wentworth highway was to be maintained because it could be used in difficult times. Among those recommendations, there was no recommendation that the passing lanes would be eliminated. That was not one

[Page 187]

of those recommendations from my memory. My memory could fail me in this situation, but let me assure you, that is an important highway, and that highway will continue to be maintained. For example, over the Thanksgiving weekend - no reflection on Highway No. 104, no reflection on the Cobequid Pass - that's a highway of my choice and I'll assure you that I will make sure that sure it is maintained to the proper standards that Nova Scotians come to expect in this province.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary to the minister, I thank the minister for the answer. Mr. Minister, will you conduct a review of this decision regarding the tender for Trunk No. 4 and assure that Trunk No. 4 is maintained to the level of its current engineered design thereby ensuring the safety of the travelling public and the community of Wentworth and come with me to meet with the people in Wentworth and explain to them what changes have taken place and why?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I know the member, of course, has responded to the issues in the past when I sat on that side and invited him to my community. I welcome the opportunity to go anywhere with any members opposite and members on this side of the House. I compliment the members opposite who have come to my office and made sure their points of view are known.

I've been in Wentworth before, of course, on school issues and that's of course the initiative from the member for Cumberland South. And, any time it fits in with our schedule, with the exception I suppose of Monday evenings, I'd be willing to very clearly look at what the situation is on the Wentworth Highway, whether visiting in their school or whatever. I know that member is concerned about the safety of that road, that road will be safe this winter, hopefully it will be safe this Thanksgiving weekend when I use it again. It's an important part of the highway structure of this province, it is going to be maintained in a safe fashion with proper turning lanes, proper shoulders and proper passing lanes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

AGRIC.: INCREDIBLE PICNIC CANCELLATION

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. On August 30, 2009, the weather across our great province was incredible. The sky was clear, the sun was shining brightly - it was a perfect day to get out with friends, family, neighbours and enjoy great local food and fun in Nova Scotia. One might say it was the perfect day for a picnic and yet, there was no picnic. The picnic was called off by government and they cancelled the food, the music, the promotion of growing and processing local food for all Nova Scotians to have a fine August day. My question to the minister is, why was the Incredible Picnic cancelled?

[4:00 p.m.]

[Page 188]

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear to the member asking the question that there is the old adage, better safe than sorry. My staff came to me and I want the member and all members of the House to be clear, this initiative of the Incredible Picnic was an important initiative of my department, make no mistake. When my staff came to me with concerns for cancelling the Incredible Picnic for the second time, I can tell you that was not an easy request on their part but they were concerned. So, Mr. Speaker, we thought that in the best interests, with the impending storm that was coming, that for all people concerned the best thing would be to cancel the picnic.

MR. GLAVINE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This initiative was put forward by the previous government that really had a positive effect on local food production. It is an exceptional way, in fact, to promote local agriculture products, provide Nova Scotians with a sense of the hard work and dedication that goes with producing food for our province. While potential bad weather must be taken into account, many locations were left with no alternate indoor venues to turn to if the weather became bad. My question to the minister is, why did your government not arrange for all the picnic venues to have an alternate, indoor location?

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, it's called the picnic, so as much as it was possible to have the event in the outdoors and in Nova Scotia we like to think as much as possible that we do have good weather. I would say as someone who has tried to make hay the last three or four years, we've had wet summers, so I'm well aware.

Look, we planned this weeks ahead so you have to take the weather as it comes. I would say that, I would take it under advisement in the future to try to have inside venues. I'm thinking that may be difficult but to use it as a backup plan, I could see that it may cause some problems for our producers but we'd be glad to take a look at it. The initiative was designed to be a picnic that people could be outdoors with their families and enjoy local Nova Scotia produce, Mr. Speaker.

MR. GLAVINE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, Mr. Minister, for that commitment. I'm sure if funding keeps coming to keep our arenas open, that could be one possible place.

Last week, in the Speech from the Throne, there was little mention of agriculture as a priority for this government. In fact, Mr. Speaker, there were only two sentences devoted to an important sector of Nova Scotia's economy. I suppose we can expect this to be the status quo when it comes to this government's plan for agriculture.

Mr. Speaker, many producers involved in the picnic supplied goods at their own expense. Some farmers may not return. Future contributors could be deterred from participating in future provincial events. My question to the minister is, what will you do to ensure that farmers and producers continue to take part in future Incredible Picnics?

[Page 189]

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Look, I can only guarantee the member that we are still interested in pursuing the Incredible Picnic next year. We don't have any intention of trying to control the weather. The producers who participate in this will be doing this on the idea that they are trying to advertise their own products and if it turns out that the weather doesn't show up as helpful, they may have to have an alternate plan for themselves as well. But as much as it is possible to mitigate against disaster, we'll see what we can do, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture had promised during the election campaign $2 million that the previous government had put up for the Cattle Farmers Association. My question to the minister is, where's the $2 million?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker . . .

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

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 member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, it is certainly an honour here to stand before all the honourable colleaguesfor the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I do congratulate you on your election as the Speaker in this historic Chamber and I'm sure that with all the deliberations that happen here in the House, you will certainly bring the wisdom and the decorum needed to have proper deliberations here in this Chamber.

It is certainly an historic election win for the people of the province here in Nova Scotia as the first NDP Government in Atlantic Canada's history. It was certainly a

[Page 190]

wonderful night to see and the people of the province know that they can count on this Party and this government to follow through on its commitments that were laid out in that election.

Many people in our Party have certainly waited a long time to see the day come and I know that they were very happy to see it as well. I'm sure that a lot of members in the Chamber here today, certainly on this side of the House, remember when the Party didn't have any seats in the Legislature. Certainly going from the one or two that used to happen in the 1980s, going to 31 is certainly a great day for the people of the NDP and the people of the province.

I do want to say thank you to the people of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville for bestowing upon me the great honour that it is to stand in this Chamber because - as the honourable Premier mentioned yesterday - in fact, I am the youngest person ever to be elected in the Chamber. (Applause) No question, as I said, it is a great thing to be able to stand here today in front of all of you (Interruption) And the Whip, exactly.

It's interesting to note, as I stand here, I remember way back when, a couple of years ago, when I first ran in politics in 2006, and coming within 500 votes or so of beating the then Cabinet Minister. I remember taking the advice of honourable former MLAs such as John Holm, and also the honourable MP, Peter Stoffer. They were certainly two people who I listened to, took the advice of, to get out, knock on as many doors as I possibly could, meet the people, listen to their concerns and bring their issues to the floor of this House. I remember going out door-to-door and I'm certainly sure that any member of the Chamber here whose constituency falls within the riding of Sackville-Eastern Shore certainly hear constantly that, Peter Stoffer, he gets back to me. One of the things that Peter Stoffer always said to me was, call back your constituents. I certainly know that the member for Timberlea-Prospect also gave me that advice.

I do want to recognize you, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker. Certainly great to see another Cape Bretoner in the Chair. I know that you will also bring wisdom and decorum to the Chair as the member for Cape Breton Nova.

When you hear from the former members and obviously there's lots of advice going on around here from members who sit here as well as MPs, it's one of those things that I know that constituents want to hear from their MLA or their elected representative, and I know that I will certainly do my best to call back my constituents as much as possible.

I want to acknowledge some of the campaign team that worked on our election in the riding of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville. One person I do want to recognize is a gentleman by the name of Wayne Copeland, he certainly brought the needed expertise to help us organize, to help us get out our vote, and certainly to have the constituents of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville know who Mat Whynott is - and that's one of the things that happened.

[Page 191]

Also, Aaron Short, who is a fantastic campaign worker - he's a young person who lives in the riding of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville and he's certainly a great support to our team.

A woman by the name of Mary Shultz. Mary Shultz was one of three people who approached me to run in 2006. Mary is the type of person who never wanted a penny to help out on a campaign, whether it was provincial or federal, and I thank her for that and for all the skills that she brought to the job.

Also as we all know, sitting in the House today, we couldn't do it without our official agents - they are the people who handle the money for our campaigns and all of the official recognitions that take place as a candidate running for office. Sandra Jones said to me on election night that finally we see the day that a member of the NDP is holding the seat of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville and it's a good day for the people of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

I do also want to recognize my family - as we all know, they play a very important role in our lives as we sit here in the Chamber. Of course, my partner, my fiancée, Charlotte Killen, who is my rock and helps me out in anything I endeavour to do. She's actually the bravest of them all because she's actually marrying into politics, whereas sometimes (Interruption) she's marrying me, yes, exactly, she's marrying into politics and she's certainly brave to do that. As we know, sometimes when people get into politics late in life their spouses are already there with them.

I also want to acknowledge my parents, Terry and Joyce Warner - and especially my mom who is an inspiration to me in my life, always putting my brothers and me first in everything that we have done in our lives. She is a very hard worker, and actually works for the Department of Health and is a fantastic health care worker, dedicating a lot of her time to this province.

I do want to acknowledge and congratulate the other candidates in the election in Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville; it was a well-run and clean campaign. We saw many of their workers out on the doorsteps trying to get their message out - and that's one of the things that is important in democracy, getting out your message and getting out and knocking on as many doors as you can. We also saw a great thing in our Liberal candidate, Patrick Doyle, who used his bicycle to get around instead of using his car, which is one of the green initiatives that is very important here in the province.

Mr. Speaker, after the 2006 election, when I first put my name on the ballot, I made a commitment to myself and to the Party that I would indeed put my name on the ballot again in 2009. I worked for two and a half years straight, getting out, going to events, knocking on doors, raising the money that was needed and finding a dedicated team to get the NDP message out. It's certainly one of those things that I think Nova Scotians and the people of

[Page 192]

the constituency that I represent now want to see in a politician, getting out and seeing the politician not only during an election period. That's certainly one of the things that we try to tell our members, that we have to continue to do that work, that on-the-ground work needed to have the confidence of the people who we represent.

[4:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, the people I spoke with during the campaign, they wanted genuine leadership from our Party, they wanted fresh ideas, they wanted a leader they could trust and they wanted a better deal for themselves and their families. We know that Nova Scotia is a great province to live, to work, to play, to raise a family, and to do business. We want to make sure that we continue to do that and as we've seen in the Speech from the Throne and through other speeches, yes, in fact, we should be the place where people want to come to live because of those various things.

One of the things that we talked about in this campaign, and we've talked about for a very long time, is removing the provincial portion of the HST from home electricity costs because, Mr. Speaker, I remember speaking with a woman by the name of Susan Fredericks, a single mother of two, who had an average Nova Scotia income, and taking the provincial portion of the HST off her electricity bill will give her extra money to put food on the table and that is exactly what we committed to and we are going to do it on October 1st for the people of the province. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I also spoke with a gentleman by the name of James Dunsworth. He is a small business owner. He puts a lot of his own money into his small business and because of taking the HST off his home electricity costs, he will be able to invest more money into his business and support the much needed funds for various community groups and organizations within our constituency. That is exactly what this Party pledged to do, and committed to do, and this Party is going to follow through with that commitment on October 1st.

Mr. Speaker, when I first put my name on the ballot in 2006 I was 20 years old and it was certainly an honour to have your name on the ballot, but at that point I had no idea that we would come as close as we did. As I said before, I committed to myself and to the Party that I would put my name back on the ballot in 2009 and here we are today. (Interruption) We won, that's right, absolutely.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on an introduction.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, welcome to the Chair. I draw attention to our galleries and the visitors we have here today. We have Madonna MacDonald, a resident of Bedford and a constituency assistant for the member for Bedford-Birh Cove.

[Page 193]

We have Harrison Regan who is present today and we have my Member of Parliament for Halifax West who's present. I welcome them all. Oh, yes, Mr. Geoff Regan is here today. I welcome them all to the House and I'm sure they're going to be here for an interesting speech or two during the next couple of hours. Maybe they could stand and we could recognize them at this time. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: A warm welcome to the House and I hope you enjoy the proceedings.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville has the floor.

MR. WHYNOTT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and certainly a warm welcome to the family of the member for Bedford-Birch Cove and, as well, to the Member of Parliament who actually overlaps some of the constituency that I represent and my soon-to-be MP because I'll be moving into Lucasville, so there you go.

Mr. Speaker, one of the very important pieces in my life, in the way that I've grown up, is the United Church of Canada. I've been involved with my local church for many years, and it's certainly the support and the friendly environment and the stewardship that goes on there that has moulded me into the person I am today. (Interruption) Good or bad, exactly. (Laughter)

Knox has served the community of Sackville for over 118 years. It was the original Presbyterian church. It was built in 1891 and served as a church home to about a dozen people. Now, Mr. Speaker, all those many years later, the church serves over 600 families and is continuing to grow year after year.

In 1925 the congregation followed the action of Bedford Presbyterian church and entered into the United Church of Canada, becoming Knox United Church. Mr. Speaker, unfortunately I just gave up the position of chair of the church council but it was certainly an honour to have served that role and to the congregation of Knox. Without that congregation of Knox I don't think I'd be standing here today because those people knocked on doors, they distributed the leaflets, they made the phone calls. It was because of a lot of those people that I am standing here today.

Mr. Speaker, the riding of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville is a very diverse one. We have some of the highest income thresholds in the province and we have some of the lowest income thresholds in the province. It doesn't matter if you drive or walk through the subdivisions in the constituencies such as Millwood, the subdivisions of Highland Park, the subdivisions of Kingswood, the subdivisions of Glen Arbor, the subdivisions - if you go into Fenerty Road - Springfield Lake, the various subdivisions up to Upper Sackville, you know it doesn't matter where you go, the people of those individual small communities are proud to live where they do because in the past 10 years, unfortunately, there has been a lack of

[Page 194]

planning. There has been a lack of vision to put the infrastructure needed there such as sidewalks, such as water and sewer, such as transit.

Mr. Speaker, the great thing that this Party has committed to, and we're following through on our commitments, is establishing what we call the Suburban Priorities Team. What that will do is bring together the various departments to discuss the issues that face suburban HRM. It is one of those things - you know, you could talk about health care, you could talk about the much-needed community services, you could talk about environment needs, you could talk about the various needs for municipal affairs, all of those things will be brought together and a vision and a plan will be made for the suburban communities of HRM.

Mr. Speaker, we also have a very diverse community because we have two very distinguished African Nova Scotian communities, Lucasville and Upper Hammonds Plains. It certainly is a wonderful thing to get up and visit those communities and be a part of those communities. The first event I attended as the MLA was in Lucasville. The Lucasville United Baptist Church celebrated its 170th Anniversary as a congregation. (Applause) Exactly, yes. My fiancée and I have purchased a house in Lucasville and we're looking forward to moving there and being part of the community.

Mr. Speaker, the people there in Lucasville certainly appreciated the fact that their MLA came and celebrated the day with them, they certainly enjoyed it. Actually, the Honourable Mayann Francis was there as well. She brought words and a great speech as well.

The other African Nova Scotian community in Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville is in Upper Hammonds Plains, also known as Pockwock. They, too, have celebrated a milestone in the community and that's 164 years of their United Baptist Church. (Applause) They certainly are proud of their community because, Mr. Speaker, I would say only seven or eight years ago they had a very small congregation upwards of maybe 20 or 30 or 40 people on any given Sunday. Now they have over 300 people attending church. That is because of that community coming together, because of the great talents of Pastor Leonard Anderson who has, in fact, been in Maclean's Magazine, right on the cover a couple of years ago, and certainly understands the need and importance of involving the young people, involving the stewards of the church and being very inclusive to anyone who wants to come to their church. It is certainly a testament of his leadership and the ability of the volunteers of that community.

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that takes place in the constituency of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville - and, in fact, it only started three years ago - is a little concert we would like to call Weir Rockin'. That takes place on Weir Field and this year, in fact, Trooper and Harlequin came to the field and you know what? It was interesting to note - because it's these types of events that really bring a community together - a couple of days before the event itself they had, oh, I'd say about 800 tickets sold and they were quite

[Page 195]

nervous that maybe it wasn't going to take place. In fact, the day of the concert was the day of our first hurricane here in the province, it was actually a couple of hours later, and the show went on.

The people that day - there were over 1,500 tickets sold at Ticket Atlantic and it was because of the great work of the volunteers of the Springfield Lake Rec Centre who helped put this event on, and of course all of the sponsors and the community who came out to see the show, because it was a great show. Next year I will invite all the honourable members here to come on out and we'll see if we can get you in to make sure that you can enjoy the presentation that is before us. The committee is working tirelessly to get a wonderful act for next year's concert.

Mr. Speaker, one of the other great community groups in Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville - in fact, it serves the various communities of Beaver Bank, Lower Sackville, Fall River, Timberlea, Hammonds Plains - is the Sackville Seniors Advisory Council and the Silver & Gold club. They meet on a regular basis. They have programs going on in the Sackville Heights Community Centre every single day of the week, whether it is from basket weaving, to computer lessons, to cards, to dance lessons, all these various things. You know what? Again, it is those types of activities that really bring various age groups together and one of the other great things that happens with the Silver & Gold club and the Sackville Seniors Advisory Council is that they reach out to our young people. They are model citizens and are certainly role models for our young people in the surrounding areas. (Interruption)

They do put on meals and they put on meals probably every Thursday and they have over 100 to 150 people who come out every Thursday, so again, another great event. They also serve a great purpose by driving our seniors to the medical appointments needed, to get to their health day care sessions that are needed for them to ensure that they are mobile and continue to lead a healthy and active life. It is because of those people who drive those seniors around that they can get out and give back to the community that they serve.

[4:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I wouldn't want to miss out on another great community group in our community, the Legion. Every single one of us knows how important the Legions are in our various communities and the role that they have played and the sacrifices they have made for us. I am very proud to support the Calais Branch Legion in Lower Sackville, it serves a very diverse group of people. I know the Minister of Economic and Rural Development comes out to various dinners there and also helps support them, as well as the member for Sackville-Cobequid, he also is very supportive of that Legion. They do wonderful work by selling poppies, they support our youth when they need to go places around the world. They have such wonderful wisdom and they're great people to learn from. I certainly can attest that, as a young person myself, they teach you a lot and I certainly need to listen to them as much as I can.

[Page 196]

Mr. Speaker, we also have very notable personalities in the constituency - none other than Brad Marchand, who was the Boston Bruins draft pick last year. He has certainly been a model young person for constituents and Nova Scotians all around and even right across the country. He is one of those people who is dedicated to his sport and we're all very proud of him. As well, James Sheppard who is now an NHL player for the Minnesota Wild. Unfortunately, James has moved on, they no longer live in Sackville, they actually live in the riding of Chester-St. Margaret's, but still a very important role model in our community.

We also have Charles Fenerty. You can go way back to the inventor of newsprint made from wood pulp. Believe it or not, Charles Fenerty right from Middle Sackville and we are very proud to say he is from our community.

We have two very prominent fire departments in our community - one being the Upper Hammonds Plains Volunteer Fire Department, run entirely by volunteers. They've built from a small number of members to a very robust and exciting group of people.

One of the great avenues of representing Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville is the community groups and the volunteers that come together every year to celebrate the Sackville Volunteer of the Year. Every year in the Spring, various community groups nominate a Volunteer of the Year and then we have an overall Volunteer of the Year for Sackville. It's great to see so many people giving back to the community they grew up in. Again, we're very proud to see that come forward.

The community of Sackville is growing. It grows year after year and over the past number of years we've seen an increase in population of over seven per cent. The community of Sackville is served by Sackville Sports Stadium - a great place to go and work out and do the needed physical activities for the people in the surrounding area. Also, a couple of years ago, the great work of the Sackville Rivers Association and the community abroad as well have brought together what they call the Bedford-Sackville Connector Greenway. It's a crushed gravel walkway that connects all of Sackville right down to Bedford. It's a great walk and I encourage all members, if you're in the vicinity, to stop by when you pass by Highway No. 101 in front of the old Cobequid Centre and take a walk on the trail.

I do want to talk a little bit about the Speech from the Throne. It's one of vision, one that Nova Scotians voted for in the past election and as I mentioned, in the past our Party was committed to making life more affordable for the people of the province, and our Party is committed to making the province a better place to live, to work, to do business, and to raise a family.

Mr. Speaker, as we outlined in the Speech from the Throne, we're committed to creating the secure jobs that the Nova Scotia economy needs, we're committed to keeping ERs open and reduce the health care wait times, and ensuring that more young people stay and build a life here in Nova Scotia because, as I know, there are young people right across this province who were leaving Nova Scotia. I know that this Premier and this government

[Page 197]

will make sure and help to entice young people to stay here and build a home because it is home. They shouldn't be going out to Alberta or going out West to start a life because of the debt burdens that they may have. They should be doing it right here in Nova Scotia to help the Nova Scotia economy grow.

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to fixing rural roads and keeping communities strong because we all travel all over Nova Scotia. We travel the roads, and we know that there was a lack of vision by the previous government and now we know that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in this government will have a plan to fix rural roads.

Mr. Speaker, I've already talked a little bit about the launch of the suburban priorities team to strategically address the challenges facing suburban Nova Scotia, suburban HRM, and suburban communities right across the province. We want to give seniors the options to stay in their homes and communities as long as possible, because that's where they want to be - they want to live as long as they can in their communities that they have helped to build - because they deserve a government to look after them when the times are tough.

Mr. Speaker, I'm certainly glad to see in the coming months the opening of the Northwood Nursing Home that will be servicing Hammonds Plains and the various communities, the outlying communities - and in fact I took a tour there the other day and it is absolutely beautiful. I'm certainly proud to see that that has gone forward and I know that they want to continue to expand that facility and I'm certainly looking forward to working with them to go there.

The other great thing to see as well is that the government will be living within its means. You know, Mr. Speaker, we committed to an independent audit to determine the true state of the books, and that's what we did. We reduced Cabinet from 12 to 18 . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: From 18 to 12.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: That's what I meant, from 18 to 12. Thank you, sir, yes. Put the Legislature back to work and that's exactly what we're doing here today and doing an expenditure review process. I look forward to working with my fellow colleagues and for the people of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville because I'm committed to working with them every day, every week of the year.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to address you and my fellow colleagues here today and, again, I look forward to speaking in the future. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North on an introduction.

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the east gallery where we have a young visitor here, Mr. Brandon Walker, who has been

[Page 198]

a member of my constituency association and also volunteered in my last two successful elections, so would the House give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Welcome and I hope you enjoy today's proceedings.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I would like to congratulate all members on their election to the House and I wish to congratulate the Premier on his victory in the election. I wish him wisdom and compassion in the years ahead.

I also wish to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on your appointment as Speaker - Deputy Speaker. I have no doubt that you and the Speaker will conduct the proceedings here with an even-handed fairness. I'd also like to say I look forward to working with all members of the House, from all Parties, on projects and initiatives that will make the lives of Nova Scotians better.

I have already enjoyed the contact with the members from the ridings that border Bedford-Birch Cove: Halifax Clayton Park, Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and Sackville-Cobequid. I look forward to continuing and increasing our productive working relationships.

As the first member to be elected from the renamed riding of Bedford-Birch Cove, I'd like to thank the people of Bedford-Birch Cove for having faith in me, for sending me to this historic House as their representative. I'd like to thank the members of the Bedford-Birch Cove Liberal Association, some of whom approached me about a year before the election and asked me to consider running for the nomination. They had faith in me even before I did.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my campaign team. We were mostly rookies, many of us had volunteered on other campaigns but few of us were doing the same jobs we had done before. I'd like to thank my two campaign managers, Darren MacDonald and Kathie Swenson. They put their lives on hold for our campaign but I'm pretty sure they have recovered now.

I'd like to thank my official agent, Bryan Duffy. Bryan was actually one of the few of us who was doing the job he had done before but it had been a few years since he had been involved. Together we had a volunteer team that made thousands of phone calls, knocked on thousands of doors, put up nearly 1,000 signs. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I may have had the most diverse volunteer sign team ever assembled in the province. It was headed by a family doctor and staffed by a brain surgeon, a lawyer, a retired Mountie, a business consultant, a retired business mogul and an aerobics instructor.

[Page 199]

The sign team was typical of the very diverse crew of people who helped on our campaign. We had elementary school students and retirees, teachers, a bus driver, insurance salesmen, high school students, soccer moms, pharmacists, hockey moms, former politicians, business owners, university students, civil servants and tech geniuses. Some of the volunteers were actually people I had worked with decades ago and it meant a great deal to me that they came out and volunteered to get me elected all those years later. These people and about 170 others gave up their lives for the better part of six weeks to help send a Liberal to this House from our riding once again.

Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to thank my Leader. The member for Annapolis talked me through what was, for me, a daunting decision. He was determined, decisive and persuasive. He knew just what to say to me to move me along the road to my decision and I'm very happy today that he refused to take no for an answer. I'd like to thank my mentor, the member for Halifax Clayton Park. She was always available to talk to me and she has continued to be a source of advice and inspiration.

Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to thank my family. My daughters Caitlin and Nicole insisted that if I were to be a good role model, I couldn't back away from this challenge and they insisted that the people of Nova Scotia were not getting the government they deserved. They thought I could help change that. My daughters expressed their support in the best way possible, they came out to work. Although they are university students, they donated to my campaign, as did many other generous souls.

[4:45 p.m.]

My 12-year old son, Harrison, who is up in the gallery today (Applause) - isn't he cute? (Laughter) Harrison delivered literature and learned to look after himself much more than he had ever done before because he thought what his mom was doing was important. My mother-in law, Carole Regan, fed us for the first two weeks of the campaign, and then she fed the campaign team. My father-in-law, Gerry, raised money. My parents, Doug and Delores Smith, fed us, did our laundry, came to rallies, and helped take down lawn signs after the election, even though my dad was PC for many years of his life. I hate to tell you guys, but sometimes old dogs can learn new tricks.

Mr. Speaker, 16 years ago when I was a young widow and the mother of two preschoolers, Geoff Regan asked me to marry him - but before I made my decision, he wanted me to know what I was getting into. He warned me ad nauseam about the life he was considering. He told me politics wasn't glamorous. He told me it was hard work. In fact, he made it sound pretty unattractive. Maybe he was trying to get out of that proposal, but he also told me it was a deeply satisfying life, a life of meaning and purpose, and he was right. So I was blessed in this last election when Geoff lent me the wisdom of his years in office and the sweat of his brow. He gave me the best Mother's Day gift ever, a day spent erecting big signs all across the riding. He donated money to my campaign and he knocked on doors for

[Page 200]

me, just as he knocked on doors for all of the Liberal candidates running in ridings within Halifax West.

I'd like to tell the House a bit about Bedford-Birch Cove. This riding resulted from the marriage of two very distinct areas. The Birch Cove portion of the riding is part of the former City of Halifax. The Bedford portion of the riding was once its own town and remains fiercely independent in spirit. Both ends of the riding have been intimately entwined in the history of this province. Long before European settlers arrived, the Mi'kmaq fished, hunted, and camped along the waterways and the shoreline of what is now known as Bedford Basin.

When Edward Cornwallis arrived at Halifax in 1749, he determined that roads would need to be cleared, he said, from the head of the bay to the town. He hired some of the few French families living along the basin to complete the task. These were the families that were the remnants of the ill-fated French force that had landed at Rockingham just outside the borders of Bedford-Birch Cove three years earlier.

Cornwallis also recognized that the so-called back entrance to the harbour was vulnerable to attack, so he commanded that a fort be built at the head of what was then called Torrington Bay. He ordered Captain John Gorham to build the structure, which he called Fort Sackville, and from which a nearby river took its name.

Now, Governor Cornwallis had little use for the Acadians and even less for the Mi'kmaq. He placed a bounty on the head of every Mi'kmaq and the native populations withdrew to an area behind the Sackville River. Today, if you know where to look, you can find petroglyphs carved into the rock there in Bedford.

In 1767, Colonel Joseph Scott built a house just beyond the walls of the fort. He was quite a contrast to Cornwallis and Gorham, inviting native peoples to meetings at his house and even asking to be buried with them. His house still stands today - the oldest building in Bedford. It is also believed to be the only two and a half-storey gambrel-roofed colonial structure in Canada.

Then in 1794, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent - future father of Queen Victoria - arrived to take command of the British forces of Halifax. The Duke was a stickler for military precision and set about making improvements to the settlement. He built a country estate for his lady love, Julie de Saint-Laurent, along what is known today as the Bedford Highway. The music room from that estate still stands today, its distinctive gold globe glistening in the sun. During this time, Edward developed a form of semaphore that he used to communicate back to the fort in Halifax.

Over time, those communities of Birch Cove and Bedford developed into going concerns. The riding had its own power generation, a fish hatchery, woollen mills, chocolate factories, lumber mills, grist mills, a shipyard, hotels, inns, and cottages.

[Page 201]

As the last of the mills closed in the 1960s, the nature of the community was changing too from a self-supporting community to a residential area. We continue to this day to support a number of major businesses, and where we once had woolen mills and fish hatcheries, today we have Clearwater and Fisherman's Market. We still have a lot of hotels and motels but we have a lot of companies that build places for people to live permanently, like Cresco and Greater Homes. Where once we had the activity of lumber mills, we now have Research In Motion - RIM. Now we have Pete's Frootique, Farmer Clem's and all kinds of restaurants, led in seniority by the iconic Chickenburger.

Mr. Speaker, Bedford-Birch Cove is the product of an electoral marriage presided over by Elections Nova Scotia. Like most good relationships, these two ends of the riding have much in common, but there are differences as well to keep things interesting. For example, each part of the riding plays on the water. The Maskwa Aquatic Club has presented canoeing, kayaking, and swimming on the waters of Kearney Lake for decades. Similarly, the instructors at Bedford Basin Yacht Club have taught generations of Bedfordites how to sail and provided a social centre for much of the riding.

Both ends of the riding have their own historical societies. The Rockingham Heritage Society has a robust membership of well over 100 members, and the members get together, reminisce and provide programs to inform the community about the area's past - if you would like to learn more about the Dakin and Dixon families, for example, there's a walk scheduled on October 4th.

In Bedford the Fort Sackville Foundation administers the Scott Manor House, open to the public during the summer months with teas, scones and berries served in the tea room every day during the summer. Every year they hire students to conduct historical research on the community and, in fact, one of those students is working here as a Page this session, right, Nicole? Both Bedford and Birch Cove are served by their own community newspapers, and each part has its own high school - the students of Birch Cove go to Halifax West High School in the very fine riding of Halifax Clayton Park and the students of the Bedford portion go to Charles P. Allen High School. In the centre of the riding, our Acadian students attend École Beaubassin, and now in Bedford another French high school is under construction.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if you look at the early telephone books of the riding, say back around the 1920s, you'll see a lot of the same last names that have been very common across Nova Scotia, but today Bedford-Birch Cove is a model of diversity. Many Lebanese, particularly from one village in the north of their country, Diman, have moved into the riding, put down roots, raised families, and worked very hard to nurture their businesses. The community is such a success that they've built their own community centre, the Diman Centre, which overlooks Kearney Lake. The Diman Centre has provided a place to meet and celebrate, not only for the Lebanese community but for the wider community as well. The riding has also benefited from a large influx of people from India, from Pakistan, from across the Middle East, from Asia and Africa.

[Page 202]

Bedford-Birch Cove has seen explosive growth over the last 10 years and much of that has been from immigrants who have arrived from around the world. That diversity has presented challenges, for example in the school system, where students arriving often need ESL instruction. In any given classroom there may be students speaking four or five different first languages - some of them at various levels, requiring different levels of assistance.

Now, while the two ends of the riding have a lot in common, they're also different and the issues I heard about on the doorsteps were different. Mr. Speaker, the number one comment I heard on the doorsteps in the Birch Cove part of the riding during the election was that the residents did not feel like they were part of the riding - they told me they hadn't been communicated with and I took their concerns to heart.

After the election I became concerned abut how residents would be able to access me when we're here in the House and that's why my first MLA's mobile office hours will be in Birch Cove at the Howard Johnson Bluenose Inn on Wednesday, October 14th, at 7:00 p.m. Residents will be able to access their MLA in their own community, simply booking their appointment by calling Madonna at my constituency office.

Mr. Speaker, in the Bedford end of the riding the number one issue I heard about on doorsteps was a lack of infrastructure. All of the riding has seen massive growth over the past 10 years but Birch Cove has benefited from the many new facilities completed or under construction in Clayton Park. In Bedford, however, I heard a different story. Facilities have simply not kept pace with the growth. Over the past decade some big promises had been made, projects had been announced, usually at election time, but they had not been completed.

Mr. Speaker, imagine for a second schools that are not wheelchair accessible, schools that don't have gyms, schools where if a child has an injury and is on crutches, he or she can't go to the library, to the computer lab or get to the French immersion classes because there is no elevator and there is no ramp. Imagine schools that can't have computers in the classroom because their wiring can't handle more than one computer per room, schools that are so jammed that people move out of the catchment area because there's no place for children to receive resource assistance. Imagine, with one exception, those schools that do have good facilities are filled well beyond their capacity.

Mr. Speaker, these are not imaginary situations, this is education in Bedford-Birch Cove. In fact, doing the Halifax Regional School Board's Imagine Our Schools process, the CPA family of schools was identified as one of the few areas of HRM that has grown and will continue to grow in the next 10 years. That process identified the need to build or replace up to 15 schools in the C.P. Allen catchment area over the next 10 years.

Mr. Speaker, imagine a community with more kids registered for hockey than on the whole of peninsular Halifax but with only one rink to supply it. That's where my riding was at election time. Imagine in Bedford, no community centre, no facilities for the arts or soccer,

[Page 203]

no public indoor swimming pool. In fact, just about every area of HRM is better equipped than Bedford.

Mr. Speaker, that's why we were so excited when HRM decided to locate its quad rink in Bedford. When the federal government decided it wouldn't fund its share of the project under the federal stimulus infrastructure program, and when it used as its first excuse a bunch of trumped-up half truths it had cribbed from the Web site of the former Tory MLA for the riding, people were rightly upset. That's why we're anxious to see this government announce its share of the rink project.

People in Bedford-Birch Cove want to know that this government is going to fulfill the promise its candidate made, as he went door to door during the election. People in Bedford know the rink project will serve people in their riding, in Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, in Halifax Clayton Park and beyond.

Mr. Speaker, this is a good project that will see real access for disabled athletes. One of the four rinks is specifically set up for sledge hockey. This is a project that is good for all HRM and for the province.

We were first promised another rink for Bedford back in the late 1970s. We are still waiting. That's why we want to see progress made now on the new Bedford high school, we don't want to wait 30 years. When the previous member waited until the eve of the election to announce the project - I predicted the school would not be ready for September 2012. Sure enough, this weekend an official from the school board confirmed to me that the earliest possible date for the opening of the new high school is now January 2013.

We could have been well along the process if the past government had just announced the project when their member began telling parents that was what he was going to do. Instead, we lost precious months, all because of a political strategy.

Mr. Speaker, people from all across Bedford-Birch Cove want to know exactly what will be done to minimize the traffic disruptions along the Bedford Highway once the reconstruction of the Fairview overpass begins next month. Residents from Birch Cove, from Larry Uteck Drive, from Kearney Lake Road, from Bedford, we want to know, how are we going to get to work when the inbound traffic over the Fairview overpass is reduced to one lane? Is this government going to introduce reversing lanes? Is it going to help HRM rent buses to cover peak hours? Is it going to encourage companies to allow their workers to work flex hours? Is it at least going to let the people of Bedford-Birch Cove know that this traffic disruption is coming so that maybe they could consider carpooling? We want to know, what is the plan?

[5:00 p.m.]

[Page 204]

The Bedford Highway was the first provincial highway to be paved in this province and sometimes it feels like it's being paved for the last 50 years. I'm hearing from business owners, frustrated that people are not coming into their shops because they know it will take forever to get back on the road and forever to get to the other side of town. We've endured a summer of traffic disruptions, of blasting for the new Larry Uteck interchange, of closures, and we just want to know that everything possible will be done to make sure we don't spend yet another season lined up for hours on Bedford Highway.

Mr. Speaker, there are many challenges facing this government today. I urge them to think about the effects of their decisions, I urge them to look carefully at their conclusions. I urge them to be fair to Nova Scotians, not to pit one region against another. In the days and weeks ahead I'll have ample opportunity to press the government on education, on labour and skills development, on the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, but I would like to take this opportunity today to briefly ask, how can the government justify an advanced payment to universities simply to inflate the deficit this year and reduce the deficit next year? It's a political trick not worthy of the government or the Minister of Finance.

How can the Minister of Community Services face the abused women of this province and tell them there is no money for them this year when we know this advance payment to universities has a cost, millions of dollars that could have helped transition houses restore outreach programs? If the test of a government is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, then what does this say about this government?

Why does this government persist in maintaining the fiction that a tax break after graduation will help disadvantaged students even make it into post-secondary education? With student debt at an all-time high, with universities struggling to keep up enrolment, how can the government justify a back-end program? It will do nothing to help students whose families are living in poverty take that first important step to a better life. It will do nothing to encourage the enrolment from under-represented parts of our population, the Mi'kmaq for example.

Mr. Speaker, we need those workers of tomorrow or we will not be able to pay for our social programs. Studies into the effectiveness of programs that pay graduates to stay in the province show these programs simply pay people to do what they were going to do anyway, they do not affect the outcome. They may sound good in practice but they just don't work. Surely we can provide more effective help than this.

I urge the minister to reconsider the program, to replace it with one that will have the desired effects, opening up post-secondary education to more students, to students who might never have considered post-secondary education, because we're going to need them.

I thank the members for their indulgence this afternoon. It has been a privilege speaking here in the House and I look forward to working with all members to improve the lives of Nova Scotians. Thank you. (Applause)

[Page 205]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I want to congratulate the Premier and the incoming government. They received the support of the people of this Province of Nova Scotia. It's a huge undertaking, it's an awesome responsibility. I know that those members take it very seriously and Nova Scotians are looking forward to the coming months and years. I tell you that we as a caucus want to work with the incoming government, that they're willing. We believe there are some tremendous opportunities to work together. I think we have good suggestions from all sides of this House, from my experience in the last almost 12 years, and I'm hoping the new government will actually listen to members on this side, because there are some great ideas on various fronts.

Mr. Speaker, to yourself and to the Deputy Speakers, as well, I want to congratulate you. I was reminded once that very few Nova Scotians have the opportunity to serve in this House. If you look at the number over the years, how many have actually served here, it's not a very large number. But I can tell you the opportunity for those to be Speaker is even smaller. As my son reminded me one night, when you go down those stairs and I had the opportunity to sit in that chair for six and a half years, I can tell you it's one of the most respected and one of the most worthy positions in this House. I congratulate you and the three deputies and I look forward to working with you as well, to ensure the passage of good legislation and good work experience in this House, Mr. Speaker.

I want to say that it's truly an honour for me to return to this House for the fifth election and I want to welcome back the returning members and I want to welcome the new members as well that are here for the first time.

AN. HON. MEMBER: Doesn't matter how many votes you won by?

MR. SCOTT: It doesn't matter, every vote counted. To me, the first vote cast is just as important as the last one cast. People in my area know that, that I respect each and every one of them and regardless of how many votes you win by, it's a true honour to be here and much appreciation to the electorate.

Cumberland South is a riding that encompasses quite a large area geographically. It covers the communities of Oxford, River Philip, Collingwood, Westchester, Wentworth, Springhill, River Hebert, Joggins, Minudie, Lower Cove, Parrsboro, Advocate, Southampton, Mapleton, and all the communities in between. A vast amount, a large area and a lot of communities, but I can tell you I am so proud of those communities and so proud of the people that make up those communities.

Some of the people that were on my team that I want to mention - Mr. Doug Dobson, who is the deputy mayor of Springhill, and Mr. Les Nash, who is the president of the Nova

[Page 206]

Scotia/Nunavut Command, have been my campaign managers for five straight elections. They have done a tremendous job, putting aside their lives to work with me and my family. I owe a great deal of gratitude to both those gentlemen.

My brother-in-law, who owns a business, is very busy himself but took on the task of the official agent. We all know that's an enormous task with the new regulations that have been put in place through the elections office. It's a big commitment and very time-consuming, but a very awesome responsibility as well, and I want to thank Allan for his commitment.

Two other people, a gentleman named Mr. Russell Fisher, who was actually my cub leader in my earlier days in our church, and a retired teacher in Springhill, Brendan O'Brien - they were the two people who encouraged me to get involved in politics. Although at the time I discouraged the offer, I did accept after a while and I can tell you it's been a true life experience for myself and I wouldn't have given it up for the world at this point.

Of course, every campaign has many, many volunteers and I don't think I'd ask the indulgence of the House to list them all because it would be in the hundreds that were involved in one way or another in my area - whether raising money, putting up signs, holding fundraisers, arranging meetings, cooking, selling tickets, and it goes on and on and on. I can tell you that I appreciate each and every one of them. I know that they have given tremendous support to myself and my family, and I want to publicly thank them as well.

Some other people in my constituency that deserve mention here today - Holly Rushton and Karen Barkley, who have worked in my office in Springhill, and Zena Foster, who works in my office in Parrsboro. I'll give you Ms. Foster as an example: we have a lobster fundraiser every Spring in Parrsboro and it's usually a sell-out crowd, a couple of hundred people, and this lady on her own can move over 100 tickets. Quite an effort for an individual on their own to be able to accomplish that, and I want to thank her publicly as well.

Two other people that are very young - 90 years  old - Margaret and Elmer Ling, have been involved with our Party since long before I came along and I'm sure will be here for many, many years. Elmer and Margaret Ling, both in their 90s, both very involved in the community, the heritage society, the Lions Club, and it goes on and on. These two never say no, it doesn't matter what they're asked. They're there for me and my family and I want to say thanks to Margaret and Elmer as well, and to all the other volunteers that I know each and every one of us rely on during election campaigns and throughout the year. For some reason, they'll put their lives aside to support us and help us. It could not be done without them.

In my community - like all communities, I'm sure - we have very strong fire departments, legions, search and rescues, churches, museums, and the list goes on. One thing I've become so well aware of is that at any of these functions whether they're for myself or

[Page 207]

any of these organizations I just mentioned, you could usually go to a meeting they have and look around the table and see the same faces. It's the same people who come out and support us who supports all those organizations. I truly believe that we're blessed here in Nova Scotia with the level of volunteerism that we have compared to the rest of this country, because I think per capita, Nova Scotia leads the way. (Interruption) The member for Dartmouth says Nova Scotia is number one, and so are these volunteers, Mr. Speaker. They are tremendous, tremendous support to us, for our communities and they deserve our support each and every day.

Mr. Speaker, that leads, in a moment, when I talk about volunteers and I really thank the House for passage today of an issue I brought before you in regard to license plates and I want to talk about that in few moments - when I see a tremendous opportunity for organizations here in Nova Scotia. But back to my comments, I want to talk about some of the communities that I represent and how unique they are in regard to their own being. For example, Springhill, as everyone would know, first of all is known for its mining history. This past year we had a Remembering 1958 where the community and people from across the country came together to remember those men and boys who were killed in the mines of Springhill in 1958. In fact, the Leader of the Official Opposition at the time, the now Premier, Premier Dexter, came and I know he was well received there and we as a community appreciated him coming and paying respects along with the rest of the community and the province with regard to those who mined in our communities.

Mr. Speaker, as well, Springhill would be known for Anne Murray, who is a world renowned singer who celebrated an anniversary this year in regard to the Anne Murray Centre. I can tell you, culturally, in regard to heritage, the communities that I represent are alive and well. I know that the member for Truro-Bible Hill has attended Ship Company Theater in Parrsboro, we have been there together and I can tell you that the communities - from Dartmouth as well - I can tell you that I'm very proud of those communities and they are as well of their heritage and their history as we should be, because I know we are in each of these communities that we represent.

Mr. Speaker, with regard to Springhill, it has been a long climb back for the community. They have faced many challenges and it's been documented and written about in various publications worldwide about this community that had such a struggle, mine disasters, fires that have basically just leveled Main Street on a couple of occasions, a bump, an explosion. I can tell you this, the Community of Springhill is well known for something else and that's for its men and women in uniform. Whether it is correctional officers, whether its police officers, whether it is paramedics, whether its firefighters or, especially, those who serve in the military. Springhill is well known for those who have stepped forward to represents their community and their country and to stand up for what's right for Springhillers, Nova Scotians and Canadians. I don't remember the numbers exactly but I know that in the first and second World War, our community was the highest per capita in the country in one war and second in the other war - it was first for the second or second for the first, whichever, I'm not sure. I know, well-represented was our community in uniform

[Page 208]

and that tradition continues today. It continues on many fronts and one of them is the correctional service which I'm going to talk about in a few moments again, further on in my comments.

Mr. Speaker, the community has a brand new community centre and I want to say here today that, as an outgoing government, I want to pay respect to former Premiers Hamm and MacDonald - their support, their efforts, their encouragement and their commitment to my community in regards to funding for a community centre. It was a number of years ago the rink in the community actually collapsed while a group of minor hockey players were in the building. Just a few more seconds, without the quick action of an employee, and I'm afraid it would have been another tragedy for that community. Fortunately it was averted, and those young children and their parents - approximately 100 escaped the building before the whole thing collapsed and we were thankful for that. That left the community with another real challenge and that was to either replace this centre, this rink with another sized rink that they had - but the community wanted something bigger and better for itself. They wanted to move forward, and the community decided they wanted a building in excess of $6 million.

[5:15 p.m.]

Now for a community that doesn't have a lot of business-base, for a community that has had many challenges over the years, Mr. Speaker, that was quite a task for the community to take on but they did. I am very proud that Premier Hamm, through the government and the then-Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage - later to become Premier MacDonald - committed $1.75 million. One and three-quarter million dollars was contributed by the province to the community for that centre. I tell you, Mr. Speaker, today that centre is operating and it hosts a very lively Junior B hockey team that is filled to capacity. I believe the league it is probably known as being the most attended games that happens anywhere in that league.

The minister for Timberlea-Prospect, who has an opposing team I know, has had his players in my area and I've been down to his and I want to just mention that last year this team actually took the provincial title, which I'm sure they'll do again this year. (Interruption) Yes, the MLAs played there as well and I'm trying to remember who won. The MLAs put a team together and we actually played the military team from Gagetown.

Young Mark Joseph actually organized that. In fact, I just got an e-mail from Mark in the last few days - he's now in Afghanistan so I'd ask everybody to keep Mark and his family in their thoughts and prayers because this young man has been there before. He's over in Afghanistan again. He's a great young guy, in fact he played hockey for me many, many years ago. I'd like to think that his success today is a bit attributable to myself and that I had some influence on that young man's life.

Mark is a great young man and we're very proud of him and many, many more from my communities that I represent that are actually in Afghanistan today, representing our great

[Page 209]

country. Standing up for the things that we take for granted each and every other day, trying to ensure that the people in other parts of the world have those freedoms as well. Especially women and children who, when you talk to some of these young men and women who are going there, will tell you the way that women and children are treated in those countries is just horrible. They're fighting for them to be able to have some freedoms and some rights that we have, for example, in schools and in the community. That young girl that's been over there actually babysat my two kids, Carla Penney her name is. Her name was Carla Harroun, her maiden name. She's been there at least on a couple of occasions and again it goes back to what I said earlier about the tremendous commitment of people from my communities in regard to the military and what they do for our country.

Back to the community centre, Mr. Speaker - so this community centre is used on a regular basis. We were there Saturday night. CIBC had a fundraiser for cancer, very well attended. The events go on and on.

Mr. Speaker, the reason I bring the issue of the community centre up is that previous to this community centre being built, there was no place in my community to hold and to host such activities as these. I can tell you, from weddings to you name it, they happen in that community centre and we are very appreciative of all those who committed monies. There were people who volunteered, there were businesses. To raise $6 million in a community the size of Springhill was no small feat but in the true fashion of rural Nova Scotia, they came together and there we have it today, it's a very successful centre.

Mr. Speaker, the community as well has been the recipient of a new water system. Monies were provided by the municipality, by this province and by the federal government which has been a real concern for the community of Springhill for many, many years. I'm sure you'd appreciate when you can't offer good infrastructure, it's pretty hard to attract business to a community. Now this community has a very modern sewage system, a very modern water system and now, as I just mentioned, the community centre that can host many functions.

Mr. Speaker, when I do talk later about the correctional services in Springhill, Corrections Canada have been using the community centre of Springhill to provide core training for new recruits for correctional training throughout Canada, Atlantic Canada. So that community centre is being used for many reasons and it is going to support what I'm going to bring to this House very shortly.

Mr. Speaker, we've committed to and underway right now is a number of years ago the school board tried to convince our communities that they should give up their high school, Springhill and Oxford both, and look at building a new school somewhere between Oxford, Springhill and the main highway. Well, I can tell you Springhillers and people in Oxford would have no part of that. They fought that and I can tell you I'm very pleased to say that today there's a $7 million renovation underway at the Springhill High School and we look forward to the completion of that.

[Page 210]

As well, Mr. Speaker, we announced $4 million for the renovations to the elementary schools in Springhill, so there will be some public consultation to decide how that moves forward but very well received in Springhill.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we've heard a lot of criticism over the last number of years in regard to long-term care and our government wasn't moving fast enough and that we should be doing more in regard to long-term care. I'm very pleased to say that a new addition has been built to High-Crest Nursing Home in Springhill, 20 additional beds to the 50 that they presently have now. Those beds are to open any day now. In fact, I think some of the residents have started to move now.

Mr. Speaker, as well at High-Crest there is a veterans wing where those who have served, and who are deemed to be in need of that type of care through Veterans Affairs Canada, can find themselves lodged in that facility. These veterans receive superb care and I want to say congratulations to staff and the owners of High-Crest for the excellent service they're providing to the men and women who are patients there and especially to those who are in the veterans wing at High-Crest.

The other community is Oxford, which is not too far from Springhill, and its well has been the recipient of a new water supply, something that has been in demand and in need for many years. In fact, everyone here would have heard tell of Oxford Frozen Foods. One way or another the owners of Oxford Frozen Foods probably touched a thousand people in Cumberland County with regard to employment and we would be devastated in Cumberland County if we lost that facility.

One of the concerns I had over the years was the quality of water and I can tell you I worked very hard with the previous mayor, Mac McConaghy, in Oxford, and with the government, and we were able to install a new water treatment facility for the Town of Oxford. That has meant tremendous success for the community, and especially for Oxford Frozen Foods who then, as a result of that new water system, embarked upon a huge expansion. They now own and operate the largest freezing tunnel in North America, in Oxford, Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, an almost $80 million expansion, 50 per cent of the tax base in one business and I can tell you, it's so important to Oxford, so important to Cumberland County, so important to Nova Scotia.

We all know how healthy blueberries are and I hope everybody's getting their good dose of blueberries these days because, as you've seen, blueberries will make us all live longer. We all want to be here for Question Period and be able to be good and strong and be able to answer questions when called upon - especially blueberry juice, as it's been talked about lately, the benefits of that. Oxford and Oxford Frozen Foods, the blueberry community in my area, are playing a large role in the world stage in regard to health and I look forward to expansion of that industry as we know it.

[Page 211]

As well underway today, in the Town of Oxford, I mentioned a moment ago that there were some suggestions about closing the two schools in the community and build one in the centre. I stood in this House, even when my own colleague was the Minister of Education, to talk about that school in Advocate, Nova Scotia. These small schools - and I've heard it from members opposite when they were on this side of the House and I hope they remember that when these issues come before you and you're making decisions - these small schools are vital to our communities. Larger is not better. Whether it's the ability to have one-on-one instruction, whether it's the young people who have challenges that they're facing in school, whether it's security issues, violence, I don't think there's any question - it's been proven, the outcome of small schools far outweighs building larger schools to simply accommodate funding issues on behalf of communities.

Mr. Speaker, that fight that we undertook in regard to Advocate, that fight we undertook in regard to Springhill, River Hebert, Oxford is paying dividends. This coming January, thereabouts, I'm hoping that the Minister of Education will be coming to Oxford and I want to be there with her as we stand and unveil, cut the ribbon for a brand new P to 12 school that's under construction in Oxford right now.

You can imagine if that decision had been different and actually had been an agreement to move the school from there, that whole community would have been busing their kids out of the community to another school, which I don't believe is the answer. In fact, I believe today there are people who are buying homes, building homes, moving to Oxford as a result of the fact there's a new P to 12. In fact, I know there are, I've been told that. The enrolment is way up and the number one reason is because next year our new P to 12 will be open to the community of Oxford. That shows how important decisions of government are and what a vital role they play in regard to the future of our communities, so I'm looking forward to opening that new P to 12 in Oxford.

I'd like to thank the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and I will get a chance to do that and especially the deputy minister. When this new school opens this coming winter, there is a concern in the community that we were putting all the children in the new P to 12 and that means the majority of elementary children who were now on one side of the river in Oxford would have to walk to the new P to 12. We heard from bus drivers, heard from the community, I heard from the mayor and council, we heard it from teachers, we heard it from students - they were concerned about what that would mean to go across this particular bridge and how dangerous it probably would be for youth.

So we're in the process now of building a new footbridge across that river in Oxford. In fact, it was put in place last week and I'm sure over the coming weeks it's going to be finished. I just want to congratulate the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and the deputy minister, Mr. David Darrow, for coming forward on that commitment that we made in regard to that footbridge because what we may never know is how we've ensured the safety of children by having that bridge in place, and that means a lot to the community and I'm glad that's happening.

[Page 212]

Mr. Speaker, we've talked about a lot of communities. A couple communities I'm very proud of are River Hebert and Joggins. It was mentioned here today about the fossil cliffs and about the national recognition in regard to world heritage - and that happened last year. There's a new interpretive centre that has been opened in Joggins and that was with the support of the three levels of government to the tune of $10 million. There are people from all over the world already who are coming to Joggins, who are reading about it on the Internet, they're reading about it in publications, they're hearing it through their friends and family, through education, and they're coming from all over to see the Joggins fossil cliffs - and they're not disappointed.

It's amazing, some Tuesday mornings when I'm down there I go through the parking lot and look at some of the licence plates that are from across our country, from throughout the U.S. It's quite a story to be told - 300 million years, and I can tell you the people of that area are very proud of what they have to offer and I think the centre has really exposed Joggins to the world. I want to thank all those who were involved in that as well.

Mr. Speaker, one of the other schools that has been debated in this House, we've gone to school board meetings - the school board again attempted to bus high school students out of a community to transfer them to an adjoining community. Well, the students did not want to go, the parents didn't want them to go, the community didn't want them to go, and I didn't want them to go. We've held many, many meetings in the community and outside, we've called the school board and had public meetings.

I'm pleased to say that the previous government made a commitment to keep that school there - in fact, we announced a $6 million renovation to close the elementary school in the community and to turn the present existing community into a P to 12. That means taking off an older part of the school, spending the $6 million and renovating that to a P to 12, so these kids will know and the community will know that they will have their children receive their education in their community where they want to for many, many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the community for that happening because there were a couple young students, one was Chris Terrio and one was the late Tanya Proctor, who were instrumental, I believe, in regard to saving their school. They were vice-chairs of their student council. They brought a lot of attention to the community by contacting the various media outlets.

I'll never forget the day I received a call from this young Tanya Proctor and she said I want to talk to you about my school. I said, yes, well, you know, I'll look at my schedule to see when I can get there. She said, no, no, I want to see you today and I have to see you today and I will see you today. We got together that day and, I tell you, I formed a real close bond with this young girl. She was a tremendous young person. Unfortunately, she's no longer with us, but I know in her community she lives with that community forever because every time people talk about that school and we talk about the fact that children can now be

[Page 213]

confident they'll remain in their own community, they'll think of Tanya Proctor and Chris Terrio. To their families I want to say thank you for all they've done for their home community.

Mr. Speaker, down in Advocate is another very small community that I stood in this House and questioned our Minister of Education at the time about supporting that school because there was talk, again, about busing some of those students out of the community. Now, I don't know how many here have been to Advocate, but if you haven't I would encourage you to go there. Advocate is a beautiful community; it's a beautiful community. I heard someone say that they thought they represented the lobster capital of the world, and maybe they do, but Advocate is right up there with them - beautiful lobsters out of the Bay of Fundy, beautiful scallops, but more than that, wonderful, wonderful people.

Mr. Speaker, they deserve, as well, attention. They're a small community, and it's easy for a government to forget these small communities because they're out of the way, and maybe they don't holler as much as some communities, the bigger ones, and maybe they're not as organized as communities in Halifax would be because it's easier access to us and all that, but I can tell you they're a very, very organized community and very proud.

[5:30 p.m.]

If you would look at the results of the students who graduate from Advocate - and I believe this past year they had four or five graduates - if you look at the results of their marks, I would put that up against any other graduate in Nova Scotia. No disrespect to anybody else, I'm just saying that that shows that one-on-one instruction in those communities, and they were so proud of that. These small communities, whether it's Advocate Harbour or wherever it is in Nova Scotia, represented by members throughout this House, they deserve to have the opportunity to keep their schools and I hope the members opposite who supported all those initiatives when they were on this side of the House will support those initiatives now, because you're in the position now to make those decisions and we will be looking to the government for support of these great initiatives.

With regard to Advocate, Mr. Speaker, I do want to ask the Minister of Health - and I will be over the next few days in Question Period and in Estimates - we committed to the care centre in Advocate almost $1 million for renovation and expansion for various services in that centre, and I'm hoping that the Minister of Health and those responsible for the budget in regard to capital with that announcement that had been made there will ensure that that will happen.

Mr. Speaker, the community of Parrsboro is well known for many things, but what I think is going to put Parrsboro on the map is tidal power. I was very pleased this past week to see the Minister of the Environment agree to the environmental process to let the next step happen. I know that there are three pilot turbines, hopefully, that will go in the water. I understand one for sure this Fall; I'm not sure about the other two.

[Page 214]

I just want for a moment to mention someone who has been working tirelessly on behalf of the community there and that is Mayor Doug Robinson. Mayor Robinson has been the mayor for a number of years and he has worked very hard for his community, for his people, but the one thing that he has worked tirelessly on is that tidal power project. Unfortunately, Mayor Robinson has health issues right now; in fact he has leukemia and I know he's struggling with that, but he so dearly wants to see this tidal power project become a reality. I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago and I know that even though he has some health issues to deal with he still, for his community, wants to see that happen. I know that it has moved along now that, from what we've been told, I'm sure he is going to see that become a reality in the very near future. So we look forward that.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Environment, also the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, will ensure the fishers in my area will have their concerns heard. They do have concerns with regard to what impact this may have, but I believe that the bay can accommodate both. We will be dependent on coal, as read by a resolution today from the honourable member for Cape Breton West, we will be dependent on coal for many years to come but there are some tremendous opportunities in my own area with regard to tidal power, to wind power and, as well, around geothermal.

In Springhill, the geothermal issue, even though the mines have taken many lives and they have not been operating for many years, but one of the things that the Town of Springhill has been trying to do over the last number of years is to encourage businesses and community organizations and homes to take advantage of the geothermal energy. For example, Mr. Speaker, Ropak a plastic plant, one of the biggest employers in Springhill, has reduced their energy consumption by about 40 per cent as a result of using geothermal. I know that a few weeks ago the Minister of Justice, the Attorney General, was in Springhill with me - and I appreciated him coming and meeting with the community and talking about an issue that is very near and dear in my heart, which we will be hearing about shortly - we talked about energy and about the opportunity of Springhill to take advantage of geothermal.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, there is tremendous opportunity, and the community has worked very hard to develop that and I'm glad to hear this government talk about alternative use of energy, one which was geothermal and I look forward to working with the Minister of Energy and the government with regard to further developing geothermal energy in Springhill.

Mr. Speaker, another commitment that was made - and I believe there's an RFP out now and I think it closes at the end of September - was a long-term care facility for the western part of Cumberland South, for 25 beds. So we in our communities, like many communities that are represented in this House today, are seeing our seniors having to say goodbye to loved ones, having them transferred out of the community to a long-care facility - not only outside the town but outside the county as well and sometimes to other parts of the province. For seniors this is extremely, extremely difficult. So a real need has been identified for the 20 beds that I just mentioned in Springhill, but a need as well for those other 25 beds

[Page 215]

and the RFP is out and I'm hoping that this government will honour that RFP, and that they will make an announcement very soon, that this long-term care facility will be built somewhere between the communities of River Hebert and Parrsboro that will greatly suit the needs of people of the western part of Cumberland County.

It's a commitment that we made and from comments I've heard from the Premier during the campaign and since then, we'll be calling upon this government to honour those commitments that were made previous to this government taking power.

There have been many, many, for example, paving projects - how much time do I have, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: You have 27 minutes.

MR. SCOTT: Well, I'd better hurry up so I can get this all in then.

MR. SPEAKER: The end of debate will be 5:58 p.m.

MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There are many paving projects throughout Cumberland South that have been either completed or have been initiated and are partly underway now. I will say, when I first became elected in Cumberland South - I probably should knock on wood, I don't want to jinx myself - when I became the MLA for Cumberland South, the majority of phone calls I got were with regard to roads. You could almost be sure that half of the phone calls in my constituency office will be about roads, related to transportation.

I believe that roads in my area, probably like in many, were ignored for many years. There's no question, it's an expensive proposition to repave or rebuild a road. When it's let go for so long, the work that's required is awesome. It doesn't matter who the government is, doesn't matter who the minister is. I'm proud to say today, since becoming elected as the MLA for Cumberland South, we have seen a tremendous amount of paving in my constituency; yes, Mr. Speaker, a tremendous amount.

For example, from Springhill (Interruptions) no, before I became minister, from Springhill to Southampton, done; from Southampton to Athol, done; from Oxford to Collingwood, done; from Oxford to Callbeck, done; from Oxford to Amherst, done. But when you look at my riding, and some of the rural members will look at my riding, the number of kilometres of roads compared to many, I think I'm fifth in the province geographically.

Mr. Speaker, we initiated many projects that need to be completed. For example, last year we saw the first portion from Rodney to Windham Hill, which was a very small section of highway, there are many farms on that road; we committed this year to completing that and I will be bringing it forward to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

[Page 216]

because it has not been called this year and I'm expecting that (Interruption) I'm hoping Mr. Speaker, there's time left yet for the minister to call that this Fall. I'm hoping that he will honour the commitment made by the previous government and that he will call that tender.

I brought up in the House today that repaving just started this past week with regard to Trunk No. 4. We're all aware of the issues around the Cobequid Pass and last Fall it brought it to the attention of many, many people who were unfortunately stranded. But, I stood in the House and took full responsibility for it, I didn't try to blame anyone in the department, I didn't try to blame anyone else in government. I took full responsibility.

We initiated a safety review of that highway and I'm pleased to say when the review was done, many recommendations were made to me and to the government and we accepted all the recommendations and we said we would move forward on them all. In all fairness, some of those recommendations can be done within weeks and months, some may take years. I understand that a lot of times it's money, but I would encourage the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to ensure those recommendations that were adopted be fulfilled.

There's a tremendous opportunity there to assure the public has a sense of safety when they travel that highway. Even more important, when that highway is closed - it's not just closed during snowstorms, it's been closed on occasion because of accidents, it's been closed when there was an accident at the Pass that actually took out one of the booths and by the grace of God the toll booth worker's life was spared and I'm glad today that he has recovered from that.

There are 20,000 vehicles a day - trucks, transports, cars, you name it - going through that highway. When the highway gets closed, sometimes for days on end, those vehicles go through Wentworth Valley. Earlier today the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal referred to it as Death Valley, and yes, it was unfortunately called that. I will say the previous Liberal Government made the decision that right or wrong, to divert that traffic out of that community and to put it through, over the Cobequid Mountain, and thank you, Mr. Speaker.

One thing I have to admit that moving the highway did was save lives. I want to say thank you to the previous government for that because although there's a large controversy in the community, a huge controversy over tolls, of which I was part of, Mr. Speaker, I will have to admit that moving that highway saved lives and that's what is most important, it really is. It is the most important thing for us.

Mr. Speaker, by diverting that traffic through the valley, you can imagine a highway that basically has been allowed to deteriorate since the new highway opened - puts a huge challenge in that community. When I brought the issue forward today I said to the minister that making changes, engineering changes, in the design of that highway is wrong; narrowing

[Page 217]

the width of that pavement is wrong; doing away with the shoulders is wrong; doing away with the turning lanes is wrong; doing away with the passing lanes is wrong.

Mr. Speaker. we're going to put all that heavy traffic back through the Wentworth Valley. It could end up being weeks, months, we don't know, in the community. By the way, that highway goes within feet of an elementary school, it is not fair to that community. The community is really, really concerned about what impact these changes in regard to this paving are going to have on their community.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to say again, I appreciate the answer I got today from the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. He guaranteed that the passing lanes will not be eliminated so I've already made the call and told the folks that. They're half-happy.

Well, the other thing, Mr. Speaker, I also told them that the minister agreed today that he would assure that that highway would be safe year-round, not just in the winter and we've very happy with that. He agreed, as we all heard today, to come to meet with the community. We're going to have a public meeting and we're going to introduce the minister to the community. We're going to show him the Trunk No. 4 and the changes, the changes that have been made and let him see for himself. Because, I think, once he sees what is happening there, I think he'll agree with me that we have to restore that back to its engineering design that it was last week, before they started to eliminate those things that I just talked about. I do thank the minister for assuring the House today and the community of Wentworth that the passing lanes will not be eliminated. That's a good first step, minister, and I really do appreciate it.

Mr. Speaker, I mentioned earlier when I talked about Springhill and I talked about the hardships that community has faced, the federal government, and I can't recall which government was in place, but back in the 1960's, the federal government saw fit to build in that community a federal correctional facility. Now many communities across this country don't want correctional facilities within their boundaries and there are probably lots of reasons why. I know this, a community like Springhill that fought back all those things I talked about, fires, mining disasters, we saw people leave the community in droves back in the 1950s, basically a community that was brought to its knees. As strong as it is, without some economic opportunities, it is very difficult for a community to survive.

Mr. Speaker, the federal government put first of all a minimum security facility there and then they saw fit to increase that to a medium facility. So I can tell you that Springhill, as I mentioned earlier, being a uniform community, a community that is very proud to wear a uniform of all types, adapted very well to becoming a correctional community. In fact, not only did a lot of people in the area apply and get jobs there, the community embraced it. They were involved, they have inmates there involved in all kinds of things.

[Page 218]

My own church burned a number of years ago in the early 1970s and the inmates at the institution had their hand in building those pews. They have been involved in the golf course, they have been involved in many, many facets of the community of Springhill.

Mr. Speaker, the other thing as well is that Springhill correctional officers and the Springhill community are well-known across Canada for the very credible services offered there. I believe the federal government of Canada and Corrections Canada hold Springhill up on high because of how that community has embraced the correctional facility and what they have been able to do there. Today, with hundreds of employees and hundreds of inmates - in fact it is a clearing centre for Atlantic Canada, so if you receive federal time in Atlantic Canada you go to Springhill and you are processed there and it is determined there where you go to serve your time.

Mr. Speaker, that didn't happen just because they needed a place to do it, it was because of the credibility of the staff who worked so hard. As I said earlier, they are even doing core training. I think it's probably unheard of in this country. The federal government, Corrections Canada, are doing core training for their staff at the community centre in Springhill.

Now, Mr. Speaker, you know they just didn't do that because they have been looking for a spot to do it. I can tell you they're doing it because this is a correctional community that's embraced the opportunity to have a correctional centre there. So that brings me to provincial correctional facilities. When the government of today was on this side of the House, they criticized myself and they criticized the former Minister of Justice from Cape Breton about beds and about correctional facilities and the high demand and need for correctional facilities, for adequate space in Nova Scotia. I agree, and it all comes down to where do you find the money to do these things - health, education, corrections, so on, roads? For all kinds of reasons it was decided that the last two remnants of the last century's - in fact, the 19th Century's - jails, is what they were then - needed to be replaced. The sooner they can be replaced the better, for all kinds of reasons, so we embarked upon looking at where we would build these facilities. Well, I can tell you that staff in Justice - one gentleman who is retired now, Fred Honsberger, who I have a lot of admiration for and is well respected in the corrections community across this province - identified a possible site in Springhill for a new corrections facility in Cumberland County.

Mr. Speaker, back when those jails were built, they could be built anywhere because as long as there was space to put the building up it didn't matter what else, but today with buffer zones, with issues around security both for inmates and for those who work there, for all kinds of reasons you can't just build on the space of the footprint of the building. In this case, the province acquired 33 acres from the Town of Springhill at no cost to the province. The land was transferred to the province for, I believe, a dollar. The province paid for surveying, there was some geotechnical assessment done on that property. There was a right- of-way required for water access and whatnot, there were a lot of issues that the province bore the cost.

[Page 219]

Keeping in mind, as well, that there's a tremendous opportunity here when it comes to alternative use of energy and geothermal. Any business, any individual, any organization that can tap into Springhill mines will find water that's a minimum of 15 degrees warmer than groundwater. Huge savings can be acquired by tapping into geothermal energy in Springhill. Remember as well, that same energy in the warmer summer months gives you air conditioning, so it's a win-win all the way around for all kinds of reasons. (Interruption) Geothermal - that's right, the Deputy Premier recognizes that and I appreciate that. He comes from a mining community and - a tremendous opportunity. We all should support (Interruption) That's right, in Springhill, the only community centre - as I talked about earlier, the only one that's heated geothermically and the ice cube machine (Interruption) in North America. We should all - no matter what side of House we're on - support these former mining communities, stand together, remember the people who gave their lives; put everything else aside - politics aside - and do what's right for these communities.

There's something else here that needs to be explored in regard to this correctional centre for Springhill. I talked about the history of the community, I talked about corrections credibility across the country, I talked about the federal government doing training in the local area, I talked about geothermal. We have a community college that per capita-wise has seen the highest rate of student enrollment over the last and three years in Springhill; they're bursting at the seams. We have - as I pointed out to the Federal Minister of Public Safety at the time, Mr. Stockwell Day, on two occasions - I met with him in Ottawa about the correctional for Springhill - we have an armory in Springhill that's owned by the federal government that has classrooms, that has an underground range, Mr. Speaker - every reason in the world to build this new correctional centre in Springhill.

I didn't just want to talk to you about the history of the community and leave it at that. I want people to know, and this government, that this community is dependent upon the Premier honouring his commitment that he made during the campaign. We'll talk about it in the next couple days, but the Premier said that he would honour Tory commitments. Now, I was a little disappointed to read in the Speech from the Throne when it was read that he said, almost all. That's not what Nova Scotians were told during the campaign. They didn't say, almost all. They didn't say, some. They didn't say, let's pick and choose the ones we like and the ones we don't like. He said commitments were made. Now, if anybody in this House, if the Premier with all due fairness and respect would stand here and tell me that he doesn't think a commitment was made to the people of Springhill, he would be the only one in Nova Scotia who would believe that. Because I can provide documents, I can provide designs, I can provide statements that were made by ministers representing the government with the permission of the Premier.

So, Mr. Speaker, see, it's pretty obvious already. They're going to try, I'm going to choose my words, try to relinquish on a commitment but this is very clear to me. This decision is about one thing and you better hear this. It's about credibility and I mean that. Springhillers are watching what this government does. Springhillers are paying very close

[Page 220]

attention to what was said during the campaign. Sprinhillers know what they were promised. Springhillers know what they deserve. This community has been down and out for many, many years. Various governments have tried to help them. Finally a commitment was made by the previous government, by the Premier, by myself, by the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal at the time, what was going to happen.

Well, Mr. Speaker, you know, I hear some comments across the way. I'll give the honourable member time, I'll sit down if she wants to take some of my time, if she has something to say. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, you know, people can smile about this and think it's a - this is not a humourous issue. This is about the survival of a community. I can tell you, during campaigns - I've had five - and you can talk to people in my constituency, the only promise I ever made to anybody in my riding was to do the best I could for them. But I will make a promise here today that if that commitment by the previous government is not honoured, if this government and the Premier don't honour it, I'm going to tell you, I will spend the next four years, every chance I can, on my feet in this House, reminding the Premier and this government and this Cabinet that they've knocked the knees out of a community that has been knocked down for a long time. Every chance I have to stand here I will remind the Premier, the Deputy Premier and every Cabinet Minister. Whether it's in here or outside through the media, that a community that desperately needed your help, that finally saw some light, that thought finally they were going to get something that was positive for the community had it dashed and by who? By the NDP Government.

I will remind - not only here in this House but every day of my life I'll tell you, as long as I'm here, and in the further elections. . .

MR. SPEAKER: Five minutes.

MR. SCOTT: That's all right. As the member for Digby-Annapolis said one time, I'll be back for another day; remember he said that, and he has been back many times, to his credit. I want the House to know, Mr. Speaker, that if there's a community in Nova Scotia that needs the help of a government and the support of a Premier, this is it. We know what was said during the campaign. We know what he said publicly. I know what he has told people, others who may have run for other than my Party. I can tell you that we're going to hold this government accountable. I intend on making that my goal if this government doesn't honour that commitment because it was promised.

Mr. Speaker, there are a couple of other commitments - you said about five minutes?

MR. SPEAKER: Four minutes.

MR. SCOTT: Four minutes. Mr. Speaker, there are several things I want to talk about and I'll save them probably for estimates or Question Period - gas tax. No one likes paying

[Page 221]

tax and, you know, I've watched over the last number of months, I never ever thought I would see anybody who wanted to be a leader in this province, I thought our goal here was to bring communities and people together, not divide. I can tell you right now that people up my way are starting to question how anybody could suggest that somebody who lives in Nova Scotia could pay a different tax in one community than they could in another community.

Now, Mr. Speaker, yes, there's a problem. There's no question about it. People who cross the border into Moncton and Sackville and so on from Cumberland County, it is having a tremendous negative impact on business in Cumberland County. But by putting a boundary up in Cumberland County, or between Cumberland and Colchester, wherever you're going to do it, is only going to create a further problem for businesses somewhere else in Nova Scotia. I plead with this government not to do that - find a way. If you're going to reduce the tax on gas, so be it, but do it for all Nova Scotians.

You know people up my way might say, you know, I should just be standing up for people in Cumberland South. Well, maybe I should and maybe the decisions of URB, where I understand you're going to put the decision off to - and I'll be there, by the way. To suggest that you're going to put neighbours against neighbours. We have people who live in the country who travel to, for example, Amherst to buy their groceries, you know you're going to put community against community, you're going to put family against family, you're going to put individuals against individuals and it's not fair. There has got to be a better way.

Mr. Speaker, drawing that imaginary line within our province is wrong. I'll tell you, you may think you're going to save a business in one community but you're going to drive somebody else out of business. It's going to cause someone else to go out of business because of that.

Mr. Speaker, there's so much more I want to talk about - teachers' assistants. You know I've heard over the years a lot of comments on this side of the House and I agree with them. My wife is a teacher for 36 years and she told me when we have full inclusion in classrooms, those teachers are being tasked with so much - they need our help. Right now we're facing a reduction of over 30 just in my area and it's going to have a negative, negative impact on classrooms in my area.

Mr. Speaker, I'll plead with this government to not allow school boards to do that. Provide them with the resources they need to give teachers the support that they so desperately need.

Mr. Speaker, I have some other comments I want to talk about but I'm going to save them for another day. I do thank you for your indulgence here today and I thank the House for listening. I look forward to bringing some of these issues back another day.

Mr. Speaker, on that note I move adjournment of debate.

[Page 222]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion for adjournment has been made. Is the House ready for the question?

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That ends the government's business for today and I move over to the House Leader of the Official Opposition to announce business for Opposition Day tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable House Leader for the Official Opposition.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Tomorrow the House will meet from the hours of 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we'll be calling Resolutions No. 65 and No. 36.

I move that this House now adjourn until 2:00 p.m tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion for adjournment has been made. Is the House ready for the question?

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

The motion is carried.

With that, we've arrived at the moment of interruption. The adjournment debate has been chosen and announced earlier and won by the honourable member for Digby-Annapolis:

"Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the importance, the historic and cultural significance of properties located within the property currently for sale in Western Nova Scotia and urge the Government of Nova Scotia to examine all options for purchasing important parcels of this land from J.D. Irving."

[6:00 p.m.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

[Page 223]

NAT. RES.: IRVING LAND - PURCHASE

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker and thank you for reading the motion to be debated in late debate today. This particular motion goes well beyond what you have addressed in terms of important cultural and historical lands. In a very short period of 10 minutes, I do hope to outline how significant this is to Nova Scotians and why the NDP Government now in office, who I stood shoulder to shoulder with, and a couple of hundred people who wanted a better day for the J.D. Irving lands - it will be one of those issues on which this government is judged as we go down the road of the next four years.

This is a very, very significant landholding in our province, 170,000 acres in Digby, Annapolis and Yarmouth Counties. The area includes critical wildlife habitats, old growth forests, rare plant sites, a variety of animal species, historical community and, of course, an important forest resource, a significant recreation and hunting area that this area includes.

There are three main areas. The lands are divided really into three main parcels and I thought it was important to put these on the record. I'm not sure in some of the Question Periods of last year if we actually even outlined these parcels of land - Weymouth Timberlands in Digby County, 128,000 acres, including most of the Sissiboo River drainage area, Long Tusket Lake, Silver River, and historic New France.

The second parcel is Tusket River Lakes in Clare and Yarmouth County, 28,000 acres, including Barrio Lake, Barrio Falls and the east bank of the Tusket to North Kempt; and the third parcel of land is Carleton River Lakes in Clare and Yarmouth County, 17,000 acres, including the east and south sides of Ogden Lake and the east bank of the Carleton River to Lake Fanning.

This area is twice the size of Kejimkujik National Park and I know there are many in this House and many Nova Scotians who have a sense of how large and how significant Kejimkujik is to our province and, in fact, to the national park system. There are many people, in fact, who have probably gone to some of the backlands of Keji and have some sense of this particular area and what a gem and a pristine area that it is.

It's one-third the size of Digby County; this is how significant these lands that become available to Nova Scotians are. It includes the watersheds of the Bear River, Sissiboo River, Tusket River, Silver River and Carleton River. It encompasses two of Nova Scotia's largest hydroelectric systems, feeding over 12 hydro-related dams - again a very unclear picture as to what the future will be if these go into private hands and this is the very likelihood as I will point out as I go along this afternoon.

It spans 16 kilometres of frontage on the historic Tusket River. It includes over 250 kilometres of lake frontage on 69 underdeveloped lakes and this is the area that's probably of the greatest concern - these 69 underdeveloped lakes. We know what has already happened in a number of the lakes here in Nova Scotia. I can relate to this in terms of

[Page 224]

Aylesford Lake, Lake Paul, Torment Lake, these ones that are in Kings County and the kind of development that has taken place. It includes 600 kilometres of trail system, a 300- kilometre road network, and this trail system is very, very significant to our ATVs, our snowmobilers, our snowshoers, and our hiking community because if these get broken up by a whole number of private holdings, there is no guarantee that, in fact, they will be available to Nova Scotians and to those who come here especially wanting eco-tourism and wanting to see the back country of Nova Scotia.

This entire region could turn into exclusive use accessible only by private firms or individuals. People would not be able, as I say, to log, hike, bike, bird watch, use their ATVs, go camping, cross-country skiing, photograph nature, silviculture work and timber resources in this area. This could end access to traditional hunting, fishing and trapping. When I attended the Kings County Nature Trust and Outdoor Society meetings last year, this was one of the biggest concerns that was brought to my attention as to what is going to happen to these 170,000 acres in western Nova Scotia. So, traditional hunting, fishing, trapping access could be denied to numerous rivers and lakes and would also limit access to blocked-in Crown lands and the Tobeatic.

Currently, there is limited environmental protection, so there's no guarantee that the lands and the waterways will be protected if put into private, foreign lands. One of the areas that has been purchased is a 4,000 hectare block of woodland in Nova Scotia's Digby County. This has been purchased by Farhad Vladi. His plan - he's a Nova Scotian, of course, he's been here since 1978, so he has a different appreciation for these 4,000 hectares - he plans to use it and build a retreat on these lands. But, again, it limits certain access for sure. Negotiations are on the go with many parcels, and Irving hasn't given much comment on what has been sold.

There are no safeguards in place, and it would mean a lack of control over tourism, culture, and historically significant areas. Electric City - some perhaps know a bit of the history of that particular area, one that has enormous potential for redevelopment or even visiting that historic site in our province.

This could be the first in a series of pull-outs by large timber resource firms, creating a domino effect with no mechanism for the Crown to control the divestitures. The previous government did little to prepare for this situation, waiting until the last minute before offering a proposal to Irving. Irving turned down the offer in July, 2009. Our leader met personally with J. D. Irving officials in March, while the current government sent a letter expressing concern about the situation. The land is still up for sale and we await action now from this government.

There was also another parcel of land purchased, and I know one of the members opposite is familiar with this. A German family purchased 4,000 hectares near Lake Edward in Yarmouth County. What were the results? Ruthless clear-cutting, selling, and then gone

[Page 225]

with the wind. It's something that even Farhad Vladi, who purchased 4,000 hectares, was in absolute disgust over.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is still waiting to hear about their offers to buy several other large tracts of land. The province put forward a proposal to buy 8,000 hectares near New France, a very significant community in Digby County, for the province to at least try to hold onto. This is a magnificent opportunity for the new government to bargain tough, to bargain hard, to try to add to the 12 per cent that our province needs to conserve and place for future generations of Nova Scotians.

There's a great opportunity with this block of land. With that, I take my place.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to stand this evening on behalf of the Progressive Conservative caucus and speak to the issue at hand.

"Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the importance of historical and culturally significant properties located within the property currently for sale in Western Nova Scotia."

Why I find it important for me to stand and speak today is because a number of these lands are held within my riding, and within the County of Yarmouth in the honourable member for Yarmouth's riding. Of course, the member for Clare would also have a big piece of that, the member for Digby-Annapolis would have another big piece, and as you continue to go around the ridings in Southwest, I can see huge, huge holdings here; 170,000 acres is really a hard number to quite understand.

Most of us, when we're lucky in the country, you might have half an acre, an acre lot in order to have your house on. I know personally I live in about three-quarters of an acre, so if I tried to multiply that by 170,000, it's a big piece of land, I think equal to the size of Kejimkujik National Park and I think somebody was joking about the size of P.E.I., that you could take P.E.I. and sort of stick it in there. I know the now Minister of Environment was with me when we met in front of a public meeting one day and talked to the folks of Buy Back Nova Scotia, which the member opposite, I believe, mentioned during his speech.

Let's have an idea, really, of what this cultural significance, what this ecological significance is for this land. You really have to have an idea of why Irving owned this piece of property in the first place. Of course it's a wooded land, lots of lakes and a lot of the land is not actual forestry land, there are pieces in there that of course Irving would want or before that Bowater would want. I believe they had purchased it from them previously, it's not just for forestry. So what did the communities do with this property? Where did they travel from to utilize the lands that are up behind Weymouth, that's sort of how our folks talk about it.

[Page 226]

The people from Wedgeport in my riding have some pieces and I forget the name of the block that they go hunting in. For a generation or two, the - no, it's actually in this parcel block of land for sale that Irving has. Year after year they go in there to go deer hunting, they go in there to go rabbit hunting, they have some cottages in on that property. So that's why they go there. You talk to the paddlers association and Mr. Andy Smith, who was my Grade 10 English teacher, a large group of individuals go and canoe from lake to lake, down the rivers and utilize that piece of property on a regular basis, including the Tobeatic that does adjoin a lot of that.

So, Mr. Speaker, a number of months ago when I was lucky enough, as a part of government, I had the opportunity to represent our caucus and our government at a meeting and, like I said, the Minister of Environment was there at the time representing his caucus. I can say it was a long meeting with a lot of folks representing different organizations, whether it's the paddlers, whether it's the hunters and fishers, whether it's the ATV users, we could go on with the number of individuals who were interested in this piece of property being protected from some kind of offshore ownership and that offshore ownership could be anybody.

This 170,000 acres subdivided by three - because I think originally the offer that came up from Irving was that this had to go in large parcels. You couldn't just say, well, listen, I want to protect Electric City or I want to protect New France, you had to say, I'm protecting New France and probably 80,000 acres in and around that. I was very happy to bring that information back to the Minister of Natural Resources at that time, the Honourable Carolyn Bolivar-Getson and work with our Cabinet, our caucus, to come up with some kind of offer.

The challenge of 170,000 acres was the price that Irving was asking for at the time. Irving was asking for somewhere close to one thousand dollars an acre. It's a huge amount of money for any government to sit and look at that offer. It's like, oh my goodness, we'd love to have this land, we would love to protect it, we would love to make it to our protected land base that we talked about. What's our number, 15 per cent or whatever it is. (Interruption) 12 per cent of land holdings, but it was just so undoable that we had to look at the option of saying, let's take a chunk of this, let's offer a chunk of this in order to take it on. Unfortunately, after much deliberation over a long period of time, Irving decided to turn down the offer that we had made at that time.

If I remember the meeting really closely, the Minister of Environment at the time was very eloquent in his speech, in his address to the people who were there. At the time he said we have to protect this piece of property. Unfortunately, we can't protect it all so we had to figure out what the heck to do and, of course, being in Opposition again, you can pretty much say anything and ultimately he echoed what the people at the community college said, which was to find a way to protect all these properties.

[6:15 p.m.]

[Page 227]

What I really want to bring forward today is that it's time for the next offer to come from this government. It's not often that a project like this or an opportunity like this gets a chance for a do-over. That's kind of what we've got here, that you have a new government, you have a new ideology and you have a new opportunity to put a new offer on that piece of property.

What is that offer? Is it going to be a monetary offer or are we going to look at maybe a legislated way in order to get that piece of property in the hands of the government? That was brought to me by Buy Back Nova Scotia on a couple of occasions - why don't you legislate, or why don't you legislate foreign ownership in properties in Nova Scotia? You know, have some kind of cap where a foreign person or a foreign company cannot own more than a certain amount of acreage in the Province of Nova Scotia.

So what is that? That's why I look forward to hearing the comments from the Minister of Natural Resources who I believe is going to be speaking in a few moments to this. I know that there is a huge number of people, a large number of people who are waiting for that answer. I believe that we sat with Buy Back Nova Scotia - it's over a year now or somewhere close to a year, it would have been in the Fall, I would imagine, of last year when this really came down. So we need to have an answer. Okay, we tried one thing, here's the opportunity to try something else. I'm not going to say that we had the best idea here but it was the best one we had at the time and we tried it out. So the ball is really in your court to give it a second go for these properties.

The unfortunate part is that there are a number of parcels that are sold, which is kind of contrary to what we were originally told from the start, where we could only buy large tracts of property. Right now I'm seeing Cedarwood Lake Forestry Investments has 10,859 acres; Green Bear Woodland Development has 10,917 acres; Brazil Lake Enterprises, 394 acres; Pure Nature Developments, 236 acres and, of course, the member for Kings West mentioned Vladi Private Islands, which is 172 acres. So we're starting to lose a little ground here of having the opportunity to protect the whole thing.

If it falls down - and, by the way, I'm quoting from Buy Back Nova Scotia's Web site which is buybacknovascotia.ca, so if anyone wants some further reference on that, that's where I am quoting that from.

The time is now, we need to make that move, we need to find a way to protect a lifestyle, a lifestyle of being able to go into the woods and do some hunting, enjoy the nature that is in that area. I hate to admit that I have never had the opportunity to visit there. I have talked on a number of occasions about New France and the Electric City and to see exactly what was established in that area. You know if I could ever get a ride into there, I probably would but I don't own an ATV and I don't plan on owning one. So I'm going to have to borrow one or maybe - I don't know if the Minister of DNR has a wheeler but I'm sure the department does, just like they have helicopters, so we might have the opportunity to get on in there at some point.(Interruption) Maybe a horse might work.

[Page 228]

Ultimately, Mr. Speaker, we do need to move. I'm very glad that they brought this issue forward and I look forward to seeing the response from the Minister of Natural Resources. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise and speak on this resolution this evening. The sale of large amounts of forestry land, including the Irving lands, is important to Nova Scotians living across the province. Large portions of the Irving lands have been used for generations by hunters, anglers, hikers, campers and those who made their living from the forest. The land has significant ecological, recreational and heritage value to Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, Crown land is held and managed in trust for all Nova Scotians for their use, enjoyment and protection now and for future generations. A portion of the province's Crown land has already been set aside to meet protection goals and many Nova Scotians want more of the province's land mass protected.

Mr. Speaker, our government will protect at least 12 per cent of the total landmass of Nova Scotia by 2015. (Applause) To meet this goal it is important that we secure additional lands and that we work with the Mi'kmaq and with other stakeholders, including the forestry industry, local citizens, and local communities to achieve this goal.

With our conservation partners, we're making very good progress. In fact, last Thursday we officially designated the Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Area. Nova Scotians have a new protected wilderness area to explore, study, and enjoy near the Eastern Shore of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The designation by the province of Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Area helps protect the environment, gives today's families a protected place to experience nature, and will bring a variety of economic opportunities to the region.

As we work to identify additional lands for protection, we will ensure that the views and concerns of the Mi'kmaq, stakeholders, and public are heard and taken into consideration. Through protected areas, we are ensuring that the valuable natural heritage of our province is maintained to the benefit and enjoyment of current Nova Scotians and future generations.

Mr. Speaker, House members will recall from the Speech from the Throne that this government committed to establishing the community land trust to enable Nova Scotians to participate in the purchase of lands that could be used for conservation, wildlife and fish habitats, forestry, and outdoor recreation. Our province must focus on ways to secure important lands as identified through the Colin Stewart Forest Forum process and

[Page 229]

government review. While the Irving lands are one part of those, they're not the only ones with land on offer or land of great need.

The Environmental Goal and Sustainable Prosperity Act legislates the province's land protection goals at 12 per cent of the provincial land mass by 2015. The province has committed to meet international standards for land protection. As it works toward meeting this target, not just any land can be designated for protection. The province is trying to protect representative areas of all Nova Scotia landscape and areas with outstanding natural features, Mr. Speaker.

To help us meet the target of 12 per cent protection, the Colin Stewart Forest Forum - a cooperative science-based process involving the forestry industry and non-governmental organizations - was established to review the province's Crown land and the lands of five major forestry companies to identify lands of high conservation value. The forum, which was assisted by representatives from the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, was also asked to recommend mitigation strategies to deal with the impacts to the forest industry if their lands or Crown lands they currently harvest were to be protected as part of the 12 per cent goal. Using the information from the Colin Stewart Forest Forum as a foundation, the province is starting a comprehensive review process to identify the lands which should make up the 12 per cent protected areas.

Mr. Speaker, this review includes internal government review and stakeholder consultation, including input from the Mi'kmaq, to consider other government interests and economic land use priorities such as mining, forestry, recreation, wind energy, and municipal and urban development, as well as Aboriginal interests.

There has been a dramatic decrease in production from both the forest and in mill production that affects every aspect of our province's forestry industry. Reductions and closures are the result of the general economic state. However, we are confident that our industry will rebound when price and demand improve. We are working with the forest industry to ensure its stability for the future, and it's important to recognize that Nova Scotia has escaped major mill shutdowns, notwithstanding the recent difficult news at Bowater.

Our government wants this mill to continue to be a viable part of our economy and return to higher employment levels as the economy rebounds in the coming months. We have committed funding of $2.5 million through the Community Development Trust to support the addition of book rate paper to the company's manufacturing process, which will help it diversify its markets, remain competitive, and continue to be a viable part of our economy.

The $34.9 million fund was established in 2008 by the federal government to help communities in sectors experiencing economic challenges. The priorities of the fund are to enhance sustainable prosperity; diversify economic and trade opportunities; improve productivity, innovation, and training; assist communities with transition planning; and help workers facing adjustment challenges.

[Page 230]

Mr. Speaker, the company has good access to global markets, a good reputation for high-quality products, and is adjusting its production and producing different product lines. The company is key to the forestry industry in Nova Scotia - it supplies sustainable wood fibre, as well as goods and services to serve the community and its employees.

Bowater is an important employer and an asset to Queens County, and we're working with the company on solutions as the company is managing through a difficult time. We want to see the mill continue to be a viable part of the economy and return to higher employment levels as the economy rebounds in the coming months. We see that with the co-operation of the company, its employees, suppliers, customers, and various governments, this mill can continue to be an important part of our economy and return to higher employment levels as the economy rebounds in the coming months.

Mr. Speaker, the issue that was raised which is a concern for J.D.I. lands - the speakers for both the Liberal and Progressive Conservative caucuses have indicated some of the higher-profile parcels of that land and I think that it probably would be unrealistic to think that the province is going to buy the whole 170,000 acres. When the member for Argyle indicated about his own property, three-quarters of an acre and what 170,000 acres would look like, he's right - it's a big piece of land. I think at one point I actually knew what percentage of the 12 per cent that would be, and I'm thinking it is about 0.3 or something - and I might be wrong on that.

I want the members on the Opposition side, as well as members on the government side, to be aware that the province has not backed away from looking at the J.D.I. lands - we are still in the process. To compound that a bit, we're also looking at other significantly large parcels and trying to identify the most significant parts of those that we can capture for the people of Nova Scotia, those that would be ecologically significant. If we can't buy the whole parcel, we certainly would want to ensure that those most significant parts are the ones that the people of Nova Scotia get to enjoy in perpetuity.

So with that, I want those members to know that the government is committed to hitting their target of 12 per cent. We're willing to look at almost any avenue to ensure that we do that, and as much help as Nova Scotians, where they want to offer in getting us there, we would be more than happy to accept it, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I want to thank all the honourable members tonight for an excellent debate.

The House stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 6:29 p.m.]

[Page 231]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32 (3)

RESOLUTION NO. 111

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas children were thrilled when a mini-prom was announced in June, 2009, to be held for them at the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas the children enjoyed a little dance for Primary to Grade 5 and had spot dances, the limbo, and many other fun activities to finish off the school year, including announcing the Royal Family prom queen, king, princess and prince; and

Whereas Keely Pettigrew was named prom queen;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Keely Pettigrew on being named prom queen and wish her all the best in the 2009-10 school year.

RESOLUTION NO. 112

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas children were thrilled when a mini-prom was announced in June, 2009, to be held for them at the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas the children enjoyed a little dance for Primary to Grade 5 and had spot dances, the limbo, and many other fun activities to finish off the school year, including announcing the Royal Family prom queen, king, princess and prince; and

Whereas Emma Mattinson was named prom princess;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Emma Mattinson on being named prom princess and wish her all the best in the 2009-10 school year.

RESOLUTION NO. 113

[Page 232]

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas children were thrilled when a mini-prom was announced in June, 2009, to be held for them at the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas the children enjoyed a little dance for Primary to Grade 5 and had spot dances, the limbo, and many other fun activities to finish off the school year, including announcing the Royal Family prom queen, king, princess and prince; and

Whereas Bryce Bryne was named prom prince;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bryce Bryne on being named prom prince and wish him all the best in the 2009-10 school year.

RESOLUTION NO. 114

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas children were thrilled when a mini-prom was announced in June, 2009, to be held for them at the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas the children enjoyed a little dance for Primary to Grade 5 and had spot dances, the limbo, and many other fun activities to finish off the school year, including announcing the Royal Family prom queen, king, princess and prince; and

Whereas Jeff MacDonald was named prom king;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jeff MacDonald on being named prom king and wish him all the best in the 2009-10 school year.

RESOLUTION NO. 115

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

[Page 233]

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Alexa MacDonald received the IODE Cobequid Chapter 50th Anniversary Bursary, the Aliant Telecom Pioneers Bursary, Pythian Sisters Star Temple No. 8 Bursary, Youth Health Centre Bursary, the Natasha O'Handley Memorial Fund Bursary, Ross Anderson Pharmacy Bursary, the Springhill High School Yearbook Committee Bursary and the Springhill High School Cafeteria Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Alexa MacDonald on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 116

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Sonya Jewkes received the Jones Funeral Service Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Sonya Jewkes on her outstanding achievement and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 117

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

[Page 234]

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Lisa Hunter received the Dr. Mark Dickson Bursary, the High Crest Springhill Bursary and the D&J Hardware Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Lisa Hunter on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 118

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Kristen Higgins received the Springhill Firefighters' Association Bursary and the Royal Canadian Legion Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kristen Higgens on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 119

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Kayla Henwood received the Springhill High School Spirit Bursary;

[Page 235]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kayla Henwood on her outstanding achievement and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 120

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas John Russell Hawker received the CIBC Bursary, the Springhill Rotary Club Bursary and the Murray Scott, MLA, Cumberland South Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate John Russell Hawker on his outstanding achievements and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 121

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Eden Grant received the Springhill Community Pharmacy Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Eden Grant on her outstanding achievement and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

[Page 236]

RESOLUTION NO. 122

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Luke Gallagher received the Town of Springhill Bursary, the Nova Scotia Amateur Radio Association Bursary and the Springhill Police Association Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Luke Gallagher on his outstanding achievements and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 123

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Lee-Ann Forshner received the Springhill Community Pharmacy Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Lee-Ann Forshner on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 124

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

[Page 237]

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Matthew Ellis received the Cumberland County Cool Blues Bursary, Carson Schlosser Fund Memorial Bursary, the SHS School Advisory Council Bursary, the Ralph Mitchell Bursary, the Classique Class Rings Principal's Award and the Royal Bank of Canada Scholarship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Matthew Ellis on his outstanding achievements and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 125

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Lydia Crowe received the All Saints Local of the N.S. Nurses Union Bursary, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union Bursary and the HN Bragg Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Lydia Crowe on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 126

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

[Page 238]

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Mary Jean Colwell received the Community Credit Union Bursary and the Royal Canadian Legion Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mary Jean Colwell on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 127

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Jonathan Casey received the D & J Home Hardware Bursary and the Springhill High School Cafeteria Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jonathan Casey on his outstanding achievements and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 128

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Amanda Casey received the West End Memorial Home and School Association Bursary;

[Page 239]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Amanda Casey on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 129

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Cheryl Blanchard was rewarded for her hard work and was presented the Springhill Community Pharmacy Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Cheryl Blanchard on her outstanding achievement and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 130

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Johannes Baumann was rewarded for his hard work as he was presented with a scholarship from Canada Post;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Johannes Baumann on his outstanding achievement and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

[Page 240]

RESOLUTION NO. 131

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Dee Jay Baker was rewarded for hard work and dedication by being presented with the Springhill Community Pharmacy Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dee Jay Baker on his outstanding achievement and wish Dee Jay continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 132

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Timothy Anderson was rewarded for his hard work with the Bob Mullins Memorial Scholarship, the Dr. Randy Ryan Inc. Bursary and the Hicks Lemoine Barristers and Solicitors Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Timothy Anderson on his outstanding achievements and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

[Page 241]

RESOLUTION NO. 133

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Tyrell Langille received the Chamber of Commerce Bursary and the HS Terris Self-Esteem Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tyrell Langille on his achievements and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 134

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Jonathan Lees received the Springhill Golf Club Bursary and the Royal Canadian Legion Bursary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jonathan Lees on his achievements and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 135

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Cumberland South)

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

[Page 242]

Whereas hard work and dedication of students paid off as they finished their final school year at Springhill Regional High School; and

Whereas friends, family, faculty and students gathered to watch the graduating class of 2009 receive their diplomas and embark upon their future lives; and

Whereas Katelyn Boyce was presented the H.S. Terris Self-Esteem Bursary, Springhill High School Cafeteria Bursary, Katie MacLeod Memorial Bursary and the Carrie Gilbert Achievement Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Katelyn Boyce on her outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

[Page 243]