Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 06-3

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Cecil Clarke

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/

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

First Session

FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS :
TPW: West River East Side Road - Pave, Mr. C. Parker 25
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2, Estimates: CWH on Supply - Referred, Hon. M. Baker 26
Res. 3, Election 2006: Candidates/Vols - Congrats., The Premier 27
Vote - Affirmative 27
Res. 4, Francis, Ms. Mayann: Lt.-Gov. - Appt., The Premier 28
Vote - Affirmative 28
Res. 5, Agric.: Camp Rankin - Recognize, Hon. B. Taylor 28
Vote - Affirmative 29
Res. 6, Les Jeux de l'Acadie: Participants - Contributions,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 29
Vote - Affirmative 30
Res. 7, MacLean, Don: "A Little Thing I Tied Myself" -
Publication, Hon. R. Chisholm 31
Vote - Affirmative 31
Res. 8, World Harmony Run: Participants - Congrats., Ms. K. Casey 31
Vote - Affirmative INTRODUCTION OF BILLS: 32
No. 1, Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, Hon. M. Scott 32
No. 2, Labour Standards Code, Mr. D. Dexter 32
No. 3, Environment Act, Hon. M. Parent 32
No. 4, Motor Vehicle Act, Mr. D. Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 32
No. 5, Degree Granting Act, Hon. K. Casey 32
No. 6, Education Act, Mr. D. Dexter 32
No. 6, Education Act, Mr. D. Dexter
No. 7, Registered Nurses Act, Hon. C. d'Entremont 33
No. 8, Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, Mr. K. Deveaux 33
No. 9, Municipal Government Act, Hon. J. Muir 33
No. 10, Protection from Illegal Drugs Act, Hon. M. Scott 33
No. 11, Licensed Practical Nurses Act. Hon. C. d'Entremont 33
No. 12, Education Act, Hon. K. Casey 33
No. 13, Safer Needles in Healthcare Workplaces Act, Hon. C. d'Entremont 33
No. 14, Public Service Act, Hon. M. Baker 33
No. 15, Municipal Government Act, Hon. J. Muir 33
No. 16, Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day Act, Hon. M. Scott 33
No. 17, Criminal Notoriety Act, Hon. M. Scott 33
^No. 18, Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord
Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act, Hon. M. Parent 33
No. 19, Personal Information International Disclosure
Protection Act, Hon. M. Scott 34
No. 20, Public Utilities Act, Hon. M. Parent 34
No. 21, Justice Administration Amendment (2006) Act, Hon. M. Scott 34
No. 22, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. A. MacIsaac 34
No. 23, Wills Act, Hon. M. Scott 34
No. 24, Agriculture and Marketing Act, Hon. B. Taylor 34
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 9, Daye, Buddy: Street Naming - Applaud, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 34
Vote- Affirmative 35
Res. 10, Canada Day - Celebrate, Mr. M. Samson 35
Vote - Affirmative 36
Res. 11, Canada Day: Celebrations - Join, Mr. E. Fage 36
Vote - Affirmative 36
Res. 12, Barton, Ferne: E. Hants Mun - Shining Star Award,
Mr. J. MacDonell 36
Vote - Affirmative 37
Res. 13, Paul, Chief Terry: Re-election - Congrats.,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 37
Vote - Affirmative 38
Res. 14, Chief Scout Award-Recipients, Ms. J. Massey 38
Vote - Affirmative 39
Res. 15, Clare, Le Transport de - Anniv. (10th), Mr. W. Gauget 39
Vote - Affirmative 39
Res. 16, Food Insecurity/Child Poverty - Acknowledge, Mr. T. Zinck 40
Vote - Affirmative 40
Res. 17, Smith, Ali/Chisholm, Riley - Lt.-Gov.'s Medal, Mr. P. Paris 40
Vote - Affirmative 41
Res. 18, Metcalfe, Melissa, Joanne - Lt.-Gov.'s Medal, Mr. L. Glavine 41
Vote - Affirmative 42
Res. 19, TPW - Roads: Queens - Improve, Ms. V. Conrad 42^^
Res. 20, Covell, Katherine/Howe, Brian: Research funding -
Congrats., Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 43
Vote - Affirmative 43
Res. 21, Educ. - Hfx. Citadel: Sch. Closures - Moratorium, Mr. L. Preyra ~ 43 ~
Res. 22, Gov't. (N.S.) - Gas Regulation: Introduction - Stop,
Ms. D. Whalen 44
Res. 23, Fish - Soft-Shelled Lobster Issue: Comm. - Strike,
Mr. S. Belliveau 45
Res. 24, Digby-Annapolis: Graduating Students - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 46
Res. 25, Ryan, Troy: Coaching Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 46
Vote - Affirmative 46
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY:
Mr. M. Samson 48
Mr. C. Porter 57
Mr. S. Belliveau 58
Mr. K. Bain 62
Mr. P. Paris 63
Mr. T. Zinck 66
Mr. L. Preyra 69
Adjourned debate 73
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., July 4th at 1:00 p.m. 73
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)
Res. 26, Davison, Cody Richmond: Contributions - Recognize,
Mr. L. Glavine 74

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HALIFAX, FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2006

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

9:30 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition concerning the paving of the West River East Side Road in Pictou County. The operative clause reads as follows:

"WE, the undersigned residents and users of the West River East Side Road, hereby petition the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation & Public Works to pave the aforementioned gravel road from Highway #4 to Miller's Bridge, a distance of 5.2 kms."

25

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It is signed by 252 residents of the area. I, too, have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 2

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

(1) read and table the message from Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor, transmitting the Estimates of Sums required for the service of the province for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, for the consideration of this House;

(2) table the Estimate Books;

(3) table the Crown Corporation business plans;

(4) table the Estimate and Crown Corporation business plan resolutions;

(5) table a Budget Addendum document;

(6) deliver an update to my Budget Speech; and

(7) move that the Estimates of Sums required for the service of the province, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, being Supply to be granted to Her Majesty, and the Crown Corporation business plans be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

Mr. Speaker, for the information of the House, the budget will be presented on Tuesday, July 4th, of next week.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice only.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 3

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

Whereas in 52 constituencies across this province, candidates came forward from many occupations and backgrounds to let their names stand for one of four provincial Parties on June 13th; and

Whereas while only one can be chosen in each constituency, the quality of candidates was exceptional, showing that voters had a significant choice to make; and

Whereas in addition to the candidates, it takes a phenomenal number of volunteers to run campaigns, and workers and volunteers to make the electoral process work on election day, a huge force to whom we all owe a great deal;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate and thank all candidates who took this significant step, thank also former colleagues and friends of this House who chose to retire prior to the provincial election, who will be missed, and salute all those who participated in the electoral process, especially our hundreds of volunteers who contribute so much to the democratic system we enjoy here in Canada.

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 Premier.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4

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

Whereas Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced the appointment of Ms. Mayann Francis to the position of Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas while we will miss her leadership in her role as the CEO and director of the province's Human Rights Commission when she embarks on her new duties, we are so proud to have her step into this new leadership role on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this announcement means the departure of Her Honour Myra Freeman, the current Lieutenant Governor, who for six years encouraged interest from all Nova Scotians, especially our youth, in Canadian heritage, volunteerism, leadership and public service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Ms. Francis for accepting the role of the Queen's representative in Nova Scotia and salute the service of our departing representative as she concludes her very successful term in office and prepares to enjoy some well-deserved time with her family.

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 Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 5

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

Whereas for the last 34 years, the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and the Richmond County 4-H Leaders Council have provided a positive educational program and a memorable Summer camping experience for all Nova Scotia 4-H members; and

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Whereas beginning July 2nd, Camp Rankin will host a five-week long camp, including sessions on healthy living, leadership and skills development; and

Whereas Camp Rankin is a fantastic opportunity for 4-H members to participate in traditional camp activities and creative programming with experienced camp counsellors;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House recognize the wonderful work of the Camp Rankin counsellors and wish all the 4-H members attending Camp Rankin a great experience.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 6

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

Attendu que la finale des Jeux de l'Acadie a lieu à Campbellton (Nouveau-Brunswick) cette fin de semaine; et

Attendu que de jeunes athlètes acadiens et francophones du Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) à l'échelle de la province ont travaillé très fort pour se rendre à cette finale annuelle et ont passé d'innombrables heures, avec des bénévoles et des entraineurs, à se préparer pour la finale des Jeux de cette année; et

Attendu que l'Office des affaires acadiennes appuie les jeux interrégionaux en raison de leur contribution au développement des jeunes athlètes acadiens et francophones ET ainsi au développement de la communauté acadienne et francophone;

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Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de l'Assemblée législative reconnaissent la contribution de ces jeunes et de leurs entraîneurs, et leur souhaitent un grand succès dans cette compétition amicale.

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

Whereas the finals for the Regional Games, les Jeux de l'Acadie, are being held in Campbellton, New Brunswick this weekend; and

Whereas young Acadian and francophone athletes from the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) across the province have been working very hard to make it to the yearly finals, and have along with volunteers and trainers invested countless hours preparing for this year's final games; and

Whereas the Office of Acadian Affairs has been a supporter of the inter-regional games because of the contribution they make to the development of young Acadian and francophone athletes and as a consequence towards the development of the Acadian and francophone community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contribution of these youngsters and their trainers and wish them luck as they head off to this friendly competition.

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.

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[9:45 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 7

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

Whereas sport fishing is an important recreational activity in our province; and

Whereas sport fishing contributes roughly $85 million annually to our economy and adds cultural richness to all regions; and

Whereas a member of the department is not only an excellent employee and a passionate sport fisherman, but an author of a book on sport fishing in our province;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Mr. Don MacLean on the publication of his new book, A Little Thing I Tied Myself.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 8

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

Whereas students in Nova Scotia, indeed across the country and around the globe, are participating in the World Harmony Run, a relay promoting international friendship and understanding; and

Whereas the World Harmony Run visited Junction Road Elementary and West End Memorial Elementary in Springhill; Douglas Street Elementary and Alice Street Elementary

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in Truro; New Minas Elementary School; Bedford Academy School, and Westmount School in Halifax before extinguishing the torch at Peggy's Cove; and

Whereas at each stop in the journey young people shared their thoughts and dreams to make the world a better place;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the students of Nova Scotia who took part in the World Harmony Run and encourage world leaders to hear their wishes for a safe and friendly world for the youth of today.

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. 1 - Entitled An Act to Make Communities and Neighbourhoods Safer. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 2 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 246 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Labour Standards Code. (Mr. Darrell Dexter)

Bill No. 3 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Environment Act. (Hon. Mark Parent)

Bill No. 4 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Mr. David Wilson, Sackville-Cobequid)

Bill No. 5 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 123 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Degree Granting Act. (Hon. Karen Casey)

Bill No. 6 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act. (Mr. Darrell Dexter)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

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HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, if I may just do a quick introduction before I introduce my bill. I would like to welcome Ann Mann and Albert MacIntyre from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses; as well, Paula Prendergast and Marie Dauphinee Booths. They are both at the College of Registered Nurses. They are all in the gallery, and I would ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

Bill No. 7 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Practice of Registered Nurses. (Hon. Christopher d'Entremont)

Bill No. 8 - Entitled an Act to Make Communities and Neighborhoods Safer. (Mr. Kevin Deveaux)

Bill No. 9 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 10 - Entitled an Act to Combat the Production and Use of Illegal Drugs. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 11 - Entitled an Act Respecting Licensed Practical Nurses. (Hon. Christopher d'Entremont)

Bill No. 12 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act. (Hon. Karen Casey)

Bill No. 13 - Entitled an Act Respecting Safer Needles in Healthcare Workplaces. (Hon. Christopher d'Entremont)

Bill No. 14 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 376 of the Revised Statues of 1989. The Public Service Act. (Hon. Michael Baker)

Bill No. 15 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 16 - Entitled an Act Respecting a Memorial Day to Honour Police and Peace Officers. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 17 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Profits of Criminal Notoriety. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 18 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1987. The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act. (Hon. Mark Parent)

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Bill No. 19 - Entitled an Act to Protect the Personal Information of Nova Scotians from Disclosure Outside Canada. (Hon. Murray Scott)

[10:00 a.m.]

Bill No. 20 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Utilities Act. (Hon. Mark Parent)

Bill No. 21 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Administration of Justice. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 22 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Hon. Angus MacIsaac)

Bill No. 23 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 505 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Wills Act. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 24 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Agriculture and Marketing Act. (Hon. Brooke Taylor)

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 9

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

Whereas Delmore Daye, better known to all as Buddy, was one of the best known and loved members of the African Nova Scotian community in the North End of Halifax and a major figure in the civil rights movement in Nova Scotia, as well as the proud and loving father of nine children; and

Whereas during his full life Buddy was both the Canadian Junior Lightweight Boxing Champion and the first African-Nova Scotian to be Sergeant-at-Arms in this House and was the first Black person to hold such a post in Canada; and

Whereas the memory of Buddy Daye was honoured recently on Thursday, June 22nd, when Halifax Regional Municipality renamed a street in the North End of Halifax as Buddy Daye Street, so that he will be remembered forever in his community;

[Page 35]

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize and applaud the latest honour accorded to Buddy Daye, with the naming of Buddy Daye Street, and send congratulations and best wishes to his family.

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. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 10

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

Whereas this weekend our country will celebrate its 139th birthday; and

Whereas Nova Scotia was one of the original four provinces in the Dominion of Canada having a proud and distinguished role in the creation of our great country; and

Whereas Canada is recognized as one of the greatest countries on the globe due to our multicultural heritage and our ever-increasing endeavours to make this a better world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly celebrate Canada Day on July 1st and wish all Nova Scotians a happy and safe holiday.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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.

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The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 11

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

Whereas on July 1, 2006, the people of Cumberland North will be celebrating Canada Day with events in Amherst, Pugwash and surrounding areas; and

Whereas people throughout Nova Scotia will be observing this day with great patriotism; and

Whereas a proclamation on June 20, 1868, issued by Governor General Lord Monck, enjoyed and called upon all Her Majesty's loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the Dominion of Canada on October 27, 1882, and July 1st, which was known as Dominion Day, became Canada Day;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in celebrating this great nation's 139th birthday.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 12

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

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Whereas volunteers are the movers and shakers that make communities good places to live; and

Whereas Ms. Ferne Barton of Elmsdale gives so much of her valuable time working with outreach programs through her church providing needed clothing and necessities to those in need; and

Whereas on April 28, 2006, Ferne Barton was recognized by the Municipality of East Hants with a Shining Star award for her outstanding contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Ferne Barton on her strong sense of community duty and on receiving this esteemed 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 Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 13

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

Whereas Membertou Chief Terry Paul was re-elected on June 13th for an unprecedented 12th term; and

Whereas Chief Paul has been chief of the Membertou community for the past 21 years and collected 441 of the 481 votes cast in the recent election; and

Whereas under Chief Paul's leadership, Membertou has experienced exceptional growth and is the first aboriginal government in the world to be certified with an ISO 9001:2000 designation;

[Page 38]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Chief Terry Paul on his most recent election victory and the strong and effective leadership he has shown over the past 21 years as Membertou chief.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 14

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

Whereas on March 23, 2006 I had the pleasure of attending the Chief Scout Ceremony at which Mary Myketyn Driscoll, John Cahill Myketyn Driscoll, Daniel Hare, A.J. Francey, Roger Lunn and Jonathon Williams received the Chief Scout Award; and

Whereas this award is one of the highest awards in the scouting movement; and

Whereas these young people had to successfully complete outdoor leadership, personal development and citizen requirements in order to qualify for the Chief Scout Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislative Assembly congratulate the Chief Scout Award recipients on their outstanding achievements in the scouting movement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 15

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

Whereas on Saturday April 15th, 2006 Le Transport de Clare celebrated their 10th Anniversary; and

Whereas Le Transport de Clare was the first community-based transportation system in the province; and

Whereas Le Transport now logs approximately 140,000 kilometres annually in providing transportation to those with disabilities, seniors, and the disadvantaged, as well as others in need;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend its best wishes and congratulations to the Clare organization representing disabilities and its chairman, Claredon Robicheau, and the many volunteer drivers, dispatchers and the generous community supporters who keep Le Transport on the road and running smoothly.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

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RESOLUTION NO. 16

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

Whereas food bank usage in Nova Scotia is climbing; and

Whereas 62 per cent of people who used food banks last year were clients of Employment Support and Income Assistance; and

Whereas the highest number of users among these clients were lone parents responsible for feeding a total of 8,000 children;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Legislature acknowledge that food insecurity and child poverty are critical issues in Nova Scotia and resolve to work together to address them.

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 Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 17

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

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal is presented annually in our province to two students in each school who have performed at a high level of achievement in their studies; and

Whereas the medal is awarded to Grade 11 students who have been nominated by their school; and

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Whereas the 2006 recipients from Lockview High School in Fall River are Ali Smith and Riley Chisholm;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Ali Smith and Riley Chisholm for strong community and school involvement, showing leadership and achieving commendable marks in their courses, and congratulate these students on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education 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.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 18

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

Whereas Melissa Joanne Metcalfe has received the 2006 Lieutenant Governor Award recognizing her commitment to excellence in her achievements; and

Whereas Melissa has excelled academically during her time at West Kings District High School while being active in extracurricular activities; and

Whereas Melissa's involvement extends past her school activities, she performs with two youth bands at church, Stetsons and Spurs, the Truro fast pitch softball team which will compete internationally, and in addition, Melissa has been awarded both the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards and is now working toward achieving the gold award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House recognize the valued contributions made by Melissa Joanne Metcalfe and wish her continued success in her future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 19

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

Whereas one of the basic barriers to economic growth is the condition of our secondary roads and series highways; and

Whereas communities are connected through the infrastructure of secondary roads, and the well-being of communities depends on travelling without risk in safe and reasonable comfort; and

Whereas the deplorable state of our rural roads results from years of government neglect;

Therefore be it resolved that the residents of Queens expect this government to improve the condition of the roads and to do so in an expedient fashion.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 43]

RESOLUTION NO. 20

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

Whereas Cape Breton University faculty members, Katherine Covell and Brian Howe, have received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and

Whereas the funding will be used to assess the impact and implications of children's rights education developed by the Children's Rights Centre at the university; and

Whereas the children's rights education has been recognized and adopted by the Hamshire County education authority in England;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Cape Breton University faculty members, Katherine Covell and Brian Howe, for receiving funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and wish them success in their research project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

[10:15 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 21

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

Whereas the community of Halifax Citadel has been well served by our neighbourhood schools; and

[Page 44]

Whereas the province has agreed to spend $10 million to construct one large elementary school - with over 700 students - in the south end of Halifax to replace four existing elementary schools; and

Whereas a move to large big box schools will be bad for students and bad for the communities that will lose their schools;

Therefore be it resolved that the government will not close four elementary schools in Halifax Citadel, but will implement a two- year moratorium on school closures, undertake meaningful community consultation, and establish a committee to review the role of public schools.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 22

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

Whereas tomorrow the Government of Nova Scotia will implement gas regulation in our province, despite clear evidence that this move will cost individual consumers more at the pump; and

Whereas gas regulation will provide only an illusion of price stability because prices will fluctuate every two weeks and could be adjusted in the interim; and

Whereas Nova Scotians will now be in a lose-lose situation with the government's costly regulation model;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House use their judgment and call upon the government to stop the introduction of gas regulation before it begins to cost Nova Scotians more to fill up their vehicles.

[Page 45]

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 Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 23

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

Whereas the lobster industry is the backbone of the fishing industry and the main economic engine that drives the economy in many of our coastal communities in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas landings for lobsters are valued at over $300 million and account for almost half of the value of all fish landed in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas issues surrounding the marketing of soft-shelled lobsters require government leadership and immediate industry consultations;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Fisheries immediately strike a committee to meet with stakeholders in Southwest Nova to discuss the soft-shelled lobster issue and come up with meaningful recommendations for the industry before the next lobster fishing season is upon us.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

[Page 46]

RESOLUTION NO. 24

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 House of Assembly has gone back into session at an unusual time of June 28, 2006, because someone called a general election; and

Whereas the students of Digby High School, Island Consolidated High School, and the Digby Area Learning Association in Digby-Annapolis are graduating at the same time; and

Whereas some of the representatives of our ridings are far away and cannot be there at this special time in their lives;

Therefore be it resolved that this whole House of Assembly congratulate all the graduating students of Digby-Annapolis, as well as the rest of this province, and wish them all the best in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 25

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

Whereas Troy Ryan has been named assistant head coach to Team East for the inaugural World Junior A hockey challenge to be held in Saskatchewan November 6th to 12th; and

Whereas Troy Ryan is the head coach of the Pictou County Crushers hockey team; and

[Page 47]

Whereas Troy will also be coaching Team Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Troy Ryan on becoming part of Canadian hockey history in this first-ever event, and wish him best of luck in his coaching 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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: I'm just seeing if you're paying attention. (Laughter) The House is in good order.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I was paying attention, and I bet you there would have been a lot of others.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 48]

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to say a few words in the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, which was read yesterday. Allow me to start my comments by thanking the Lieutenant Governor, the honourable Myra Freeman, and her husband, Mr. Larry Freeman, for their six years of dedication to the people of Nova Scotia in the position of Lieutenant Governor. As was said yesterday in some of the accolades to the Lieutenant Governor, in my time here I don't believe I have seen a Lieutenant Governor who opened Government House so often to so many Nova Scotians, to so many organizations, and has been such a friend to Nova Scotians, especially - as was pointed out yesterday - to young Nova Scotians for their artistic achievements, scholastic achievements and life achievements in general.

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, the Lieutenant Governor has been a great friend to the Acadian community, along with so many other cultural communities here in Nova Scotia which she has embraced and which she has supported in their efforts to maintain their culture and maintain their identity. We will clearly miss her in that position. She was a friend to all members of this House, and we are sad to see her go. Yet, at the same time, allow me, on behalf of our caucus, to extend our sincerest congratulations to Mayann Francis.

Mr. Speaker, I remember sitting here in this House as a member of the Liberal Government, back in 1998, when we announced that Mayann Francis would be returning to Nova Scotia to work as the Director of the Human Rights Commission - I believe it was the honourable Robbie Harrison, Minister of Justice at the time, who made the announcement - so we were certainly pleased as a Liberal Government to bring a native Nova Scotian back to our province. I believe all members of this House would agree that Mayann Francis has done a wonderful job in bringing forward the concerns of the Human Rights Commission, and certainly educating and enlightening many Nova Scotians on the many issues facing Nova Scotians in the areas of discrimination, and I wish her well, on behalf of our caucus, as she assumes her new position as Lieutenant Governor.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our caucus, I want to extend our congratulations to the Premier on his re-election, not only in Inverness but on having formed another government here in Nova Scotia. I am sure he is pleased to see the 23 members and all that have been returned to his caucus, and I want to congratulate not only the returning members, but certainly some of the new faces who have joined the Conservative caucus and have joined us here in the House of Assembly. I wish the Premier well in the difficult weeks and months ahead as we continue to move forward as a province.

[Page 49]

I also want to congratulate the Leader of the Official Opposition on his re-election and on the election of 20 of his colleagues. Again, I want to congratulate the returning members and also some of the new faces as well who are in the NDP caucus.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Liberal Party, I also want to extend our thanks to all of the volunteers who worked so hard on our campaigns during the last election. It's becoming more and more difficult for all of us to be able to find volunteers willing to give freely of their time to work hard on campaigns - and I can tell you the multitude of elections we have been having certainly doesn't make that any easier. So, again, I certainly want to thank all of the volunteers.

Mr. Speaker, this may be my only opportunity to speak on the Throne Speech, so allow me to take a few moments to thank the good people of Richmond County who, once again, have put their confidence in me to serve as their MLA. I've had the honour of serving in this Chamber now for eight years - and counting. There are still a few of us left from the class of 1998 here in this Chamber, and those from the class of 1998 will join me in saying we've had enough elections because, for the class of 1998, this was our fourth election in eight years - that is an average of an election every two years. That is something that I believe all of our constituents, especially in the ridings of the class of 1998, said - don't come back anytime soon. Clearly, the message sent to us is to work together and to try to make minority government work.

I am certainly pleased that for the fourth consecutive time the people of Richmond have put their faith in me, and I want to thank my campaign team who worked again so hard - having worked four elections in eight years they continue to do a marvelous job. I was certainly pleased with the success that we were able to achieve and it was, once again, a pleasure to be able to go to the homes of the residents of Richmond County to hear their concerns and once again to be able to defend our record of having been a strong voice and strong advocate for the people of Richmond County. I look forward to continuing in that role for the number of years that lie ahead and I hope the people of Richmond will again continue to place their confidence in me as we move forward.

Richmond County, like so many other areas, is faced with many challenges, challenges that I've spoken about repeatedly here in this House and that I will continue to speak about repeatedly. At the same time I look forward to working with the government and all members of this House in achieving solutions to some of the many issues facing the people of Richmond County. Mr. Speaker, I also want to take this opportunity to thank my family, my wife, my parents, my siblings, and my large extended family who once again have worked so diligently and have been such a strength of inspiration for me again going through my fourth election campaign. I want to thank them for their continued love, commitment and patience, as life in politics is not always one that is easy on families.

[Page 50]

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest congratulations to my colleagues here in the Liberal caucus. We are nine returning members, nine members who are experienced, who are dedicated, and who are committed not only to advancing of their own constituents, but to advancing the needs of Nova Scotians. I'm pleased to have been elected as the interim Leader of the Liberal Party as we move forward. I can't imagine myself in a better situation with the experience that I have in this caucus and the commitment that we will bring forward. While our numbers may have been reduced, I can assure you that our caucus will continue to be an effective force here in this House and an effective force in moving forward the priorities of Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, clearly our Party would have liked to have seen more of our candidates join us here in the House of Assembly, unfortunately Nova Scotians made a different decision. While I'm pleased with the nine members who have been returned, we are certainly all saddened that our colleague, Gerald Sampson, the former member for Victoria-The Lakes, was not successful in joining us back in the House of Assembly and we certainly hope to see Gerald back here soon in the future. We all know that Gerald Sampson was a strong advocate for the people of Victoria-The Lakes, an effective constituency representative, and I am sure that he will hopefully once again look at serving the people of Victoria-The Lakes in the near future and rejoining us here in this Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity again on behalf of my colleagues to publicly thank our former Leader, Francis MacKenzie, for his dedication, commitment and the hard work he brought to the role of Leader. (Applause) Members who have served here for some time will know that being the Leader of a Party is always a difficult task. The time commitment required, the time away from family, the personal commitment, is one that is extremely difficult. I can tell you no one would have ever questioned the amount of time, the hard work or the commitment that Francis MacKenzie brought to the job of Leader of the Liberal Party. Unfortunately in politics, it can sometimes be cruel in the results and we certainly witnessed that as a Party and with our Leader, Francis MacKenzie. We want to take this opportunity to thank Francis, to thank his family and the many volunteers who joined our Party to support Francis, and we want to wish Francis and his family all of the success in the future in the days and months ahead of us.

[10:30 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, again, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers and the candidates who worked on behalf of the Liberal Party in the last election. We were blessed to have excellent candidates from one end of the province to the next. In some cases, people who had been nominated for over a year, who were working hard, were campaigning and trying to get the message of the Liberal Party out to their ridings. Unfortunately, as I said, the results did not give us the opportunity to have more of those candidates join us. I hope that they will continue to be involved in the political process and will certainly consider another run at politics.

[Page 51]

Mr. Speaker, I often remind those candidates that if they are to look at the 52 members who are here in the House of Assembly, many of those members on their resumé will have a defeat on that resumé because many were not successful in their first attempt to arrive here at the House of Assembly, but, by trying again - some repeated times - some were luckier on their second occasion, they were here and many have served for a number of years and a number of elections since then. I certainly hope that our candidates will keep that in mind and will look again at presenting themselves as candidates in the next election.

Mr. Speaker, the electorate in Nova Scotia has decided not to give any Party a full mandate. Once again, all three Parties are on probation. Voter turnout was at an historic low so the message I think all elected officials must take from this election is that we have to look at doing a better job in representing the interests of Nova Scotians.

No Leader has risen to the public expectation of what a Leader should be and there is a clear leadership void currently in Nova Scotia. Politics has become irrelevant to some 40 per cent of the electorate and that has to change. The Legislature must become more relevant and government must be more than just brokerage politics. While people expect us to co-operate, they also expect that politicians will make decisions that will build a better future.

Mr. Speaker, yes, the minority government from 2003 - 2006 survived, but that's all it did. It did not make any significant changes in the direction of our province. It did not bring in bold new policy initiatives that were going to change the course of our province. It managed to survive and the time for that approach has to change. We have been given a golden opportunity here to make significant changes that will better our province and I hope all three Parties are able to work together in making that happen and not just continuing to be in survival mode and not advancing the changes Nova Scotians are dearly looking for.

In the eyes of our caucus, there are three major issues which require real leadership and all three Parties must address these problems. While home heating prices, gasoline pricing and nursing home bed shortages all have to be addressed, Nova Scotians face three fundamental barriers to growth.

The first one is university tuition. University students, their parents and graduates are faced with the highest tuition and highest debt loads of any students in the country. It has become so bad, that many students can pay tuition plus board in another province and still pay less than someone who stays at home here in Nova Scotia. All three Parties have provided ideas during the last election, but what we need now is action and real action to address this problem.

Our caucus was heartened to see this issue raised in the Speech from the Throne. We certainly hope the government will be prepared to look at some of the initiatives that our Party brought forward. You will recall during the election that we advanced the plan that

[Page 52]

would reward students who remain in Nova Scotia after graduation while at the same time providing them with significant relief from their debt loads.

Most Nova Scotia students that I had the opportunity to speak with clearly liked the idea that was being advanced by the Liberal Party. I'm sure some of the members here from other Parties would have heard some comments as well about how the Liberal plan would have achieved two major objectives in keeping some of our young, brightest minds here in Nova Scotia while at the same time providing them with significant relief from their crushing debt load.

I hope the government's indicating an interest in this in the Speech from the Throne, will be an indication they are prepared to seriously look at the plan we have advanced. If there is any means of making it better or if there are other initiatives, it's time we all worked together to make this a reality rather than just speaking about it.

The second main priority that must be dealt with is health care spending. Former Premier John Hamm warned that the health budget would eat up all government expenditures by 2025. The Department of Health sent out a brochure informing Nova Scotians that at the current rate of spending, the Department of Health would consume the entire revenues of our province by 2025. That was last year.

When the budget was approved last Spring, the Premier stood in this House and said, I was wrong. Based on the near 11 per cent increase the Health budget has once again gone through last year, the Premier said, it's no longer 2025, the Health budget will now consume the entire revenues of the Province of Nova Scotia by 2020. Fourteen years from now, which is not a long way away.

If we do not do something, the Department of Health will consume the entire revenues of our province. What stronger message does the government need before it takes action? What Nova Scotians are wondering, while the former Premier gave us that information, what did he do about it? What new initiatives did he bring to the Department of Health? What sort of review or study was undertaken to look at spending in health care? Nothing. That can no longer continue.

It's unfortunate because, while our caucus has talked about the crisis in health care and the crisis in spending in the past, the government has refused to show leadership and the NDP has simply taken it as an opportunity to try to scare Nova Scotians, telling them this would mean cuts and closures rather than taking the issue seriously.

As a result of that, there has been a lack of political will on behalf of the government to deal with such an important issue. I would hope, now that the election is over, the government and the NDP will work with our caucus in trying to address some of the needs

[Page 53]

in the Health Department and in health spending so health care can continue to be affordable for us, our children, and our parents for years to come.

Right now, the road we are on, that will not happen. Change must take place and I certainly hope this election and the results we now see in this House will allow us to have the political will to do that.

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the problem with spending in health care is not going to go away by wishful thinking or because the Parties failed to address it at election time. Again, there's an opportunity for us to make significant change and to be able to change the course of our province for the better. I am certainly committing our Party to that effort and to working with our colleagues on both sides of the House.

The third main priority our caucus wishes to see addressed is rural viability. All three Parties have to commit themselves to rural development - not just jobs, but hospitals, roads, schools and recreational facilities. Nova Scotia is only as strong as its rural bases. We are pleased to see that Economic Development will now have a section dedicated to rural development.

While we would have liked to see a full-time minister, we clearly understand that with the current size of Cabinet, that would probably not have been possible. Again, we hope it's not just having this matter addressed in the Speech from the Throne, but with the Minister of Economic Development himself coming from rural Nova Scotia, he will appreciate the need for Nova Scotia Business Incorporated and through other agencies to be able to attract small business, medium business and large business to rural Nova Scotia communities.

I'm sure all members of this House, especially those in rural communities, would have been distressed in going door to door to learn how many of our constituents have been leaving this province for work. I can tell you in Richmond County, this is having a devastating effect. Since the last election, we are down 400 eligible electors. Had the census been done during the election you would see that number would have been much higher. How disheartening it was to go visit homes and visit with some of the mothers and their children only to be told the father was away working in Fort McMurray - had been away for months at a time - and to see just how many of our voters were going out. Nova Scotians who should be here working, here with their families are instead leaving for Fort McMurray to work out there due to lack of opportunities here at home.

That must change. I was pleased when I had the opportunity to meet with the Premier to be able to, once again, highlight with him some of the issues facing the Strait area. Nova Scotians know of the lockout that has taken place at StoraEnso and the devastating impact this has had on our local economy. Yet we're not out of the woods, we still await a decision

[Page 54]

by the company with regard to power rate increases, as to whether they are prepared to restart that mill.

The one message that came out of all this was that we've allowed our communities in the Strait area to become much too dependent on one company. How have we allowed one company to basically determine the fate of our communities? So much more work needs to be done. I believe the Premier recognizes that. I believe there is a spirit to change that and I am pleased that he is joined in Cabinet by the member for Antigonish and the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour and that together we can continue to work for the best interests of the Strait area, for example, and for the best interests of many of the rural communities throughout Nova Scotia, throughout Cape Breton and throughout rural mainland.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians have clearly given all three political Parties their marching orders. We must now work together to make sure their wishes are carried out. I pledge our Party's efforts and I look forward to continuing dialogue with the Premier and with the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Speaker, one thing in this Throne Speech rises above the others. We are pleased to see that the Premier is promising to strengthen the Ministerial Code of Conduct. We have tabled a bill that clearly sets out the procedure to be followed should a minister find themselves in a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest are a fact of life. They have happened in the past, they will happen again. Nova Scotians need to know that there is a clear procedure in place so they can have faith that when a minister might be in a conflict of interest they know what steps need to be followed to make sure that Nova Scotians are given all assurances possible that the minister was able to excuse themselves from any appearance of being in a conflict.

We have a bill that we tabled in the past, we will be more than happy to table that bill again. I certainly hope that based on the government's comments, they will be prepared to support that legislation and that we, as legislators, can do everything possible to give Nova Scotians a sense of confidence in the work we do here, in the work we do using their taxpayers' dollars and in our system of government. I think all Parties would support those initiatives and I certainly hope that the government has made the indication that they are prepared, as well, to support the better accountability that we are bringing forward.

Mr. Speaker, our Liberal caucus has clearly indicated to both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition that we are prepared to work together with all Parties to try to move Nova Scotia forward. Wanting to work constructively does not mean that we will abdicate our duties as an Opposition Party in this House. We have an obligation to uphold the responsibilities Nova Scotians have given us and to make sure that government is held to account on issues that face Nova Scotians.

[Page 55]

Mr. Speaker, gasoline regulation is one such measure. Our Party has been the only Party that has spoken out against gas regulation. Many of our comments as to why gas regulation is not good for Nova Scotians are the same comments that the government and many of their ministers were making last Fall when they received the report that they commissioned on gas regulation, which told them that gas regulation was not good for Nova Scotians; gas regulation would mean higher prices for Nova Scotians. While the Premier would tell us that Nova Scotians' main priority would be stability, Nova Scotians' bigger priority is lower gas prices. Right now lower gas prices are not going to happen under regulation.

[10:45 a.m.]

Why do I say that? That's the conclusion that came from the government's own report. The government knows this, I believe the NDP knows this. We realize it and Nova Scotians, unfortunately, are going to be the last to find out when they see that this Summer they are going to be paying more for gas than they would pay under a competitive market.

Mr. Speaker, ironically it is still not too late for government to put an end to the idea of gas regulation. Now suddenly, New Brunswick that was moving forward to gas regulation, is now looking for excuses to get away from it. Premier Bernard Lord is now saying if gas regulation leads to higher prices, he is going to abandon it. I'm curious as to whether our Premier is prepared to say the same thing. (Interruption)

Well, the Premier is saying he's moving forward on it and he is, but he has now said, to protect himself, if the gas prices go higher, I am going to review the whole concept of regulation and it may not be something for long here in our province. The question is, is the Premier ready to say here in Nova Scotia that if gas prices continue to remain high under regulation, more than they would have remained under a competitive market, will he put an end to this idea?

Mr. Speaker, we have the quotes from, for example, the new honourable Minister of Human Resources who, last Fall, gave all the reasons why gas regulation was bad and compared to the quotes before the election saying why gas regulation was good.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier is faced with credibility issues early into his mandate. Whether it's gas regulation, whether it's Sunday shopping, whether it's removing the provincial portion of the HST on home heating oil, flip-flops abound. I would hope that the Premier, now that the election is over, now that he sees that gas regulation did not give them a majority government - it cost him members and maybe not just that issue, but certainly gas regulation did not bring him a majority- I would hope that he would return to the common sense that he had last Fall, along with the former Premier and along with his colleagues when they said, based on the report they commissioned, gas regulation would not be good for Nova Scotians.

[Page 56]

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot say in the Throne Speech that they want to reduce red tape for business and then turn around within hours after reading that Speech from the Throne and introduce gas regulation, more regulation. So clearly the message being sent to business, the message being sent to Nova Scotians, is not a good one and I would certainly hope that the Premier would be willing to admit that he was right in the Fall when he said gas regulation was wrong and that he is wrong today by political reasons trying to say that gas regulation will be right.

The one question I would like answered in all this, Mr. Speaker, is that the Premier and his ministers have continually said we have to do gas regulation here because we would be the only province in Atlantic Canada without it. Now, I'm sure the Premier recalls making those statements, but the problem is each time he has made that statement, he has never told us why. He has just said if we don't do gas regulation, we'll be the only ones who don't do it. So what? Is there an argument as to why that's a bad thing? Is there an argument why we would have no choice?

He has just left it at that. His ministers left it at that. No one has ever gone the extra step of saying why, if we continue to have competition in Nova Scotia whereas there isn't competition in the other provinces, that would be a bad thing and maybe there is a valid argument, but let's hear it. Using just those kinds of statements is not good enough for Nova Scotians, especially when he has a report that he used Nova Scotians' money to commission, which tells him gas regulation means higher prices for Nova Scotian consumers.

The Premier has an obligation to better explain why he's doing gas regulation, why when he has said publicly that gas regulation will mean higher prices, more money out of the pockets of Nova Scotians, more hardship for Nova Scotia families, why is he following this route after all of the other statements that he has made?

Mr. Speaker, we believe that the Liberal caucus is on the right side of this issue. We believe the business community and Nova Scotians have said they don't need more regulation. The Speech from the Throne in one, as I mentioned, says they will cut regulation and they turn around 48 hours later and they will add in a whole new system of regulation. The messages coming to Nova Scotians and to the business community from this government so early in their mandate are not good ones.

Mr. Speaker, the main message that we have today is that the people have spoken and we will work in the people's interests. When critical, we will make suggestions. When we see government doing something right, we will be prepared to support them. If the NDP comes forward with a good idea, we will be prepared to examine it and we certainly hope that all Parties at the same time will be prepared to look at some of the positive initiatives that we were able to bring forward during the last election and that we have been advancing, as a Party, during the last number of months and years.

[Page 57]

Before I terminate, Mr. Deputy Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you in your new role as Deputy Speaker of this House. (Applause) Your former role as Speaker of this House of Assembly in the past will certainly give you the experience and the knowledge necessary to be able to continue in your role as Deputy Speaker during this minority Legislature.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate our returning Speaker, the honourable member for Cape Breton North. I was pleased to put forward his nomination and pleased to see that he received the full support of the House in returning in that position. The positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker will be vital as we try to make this minority government work for the best interests of Nova Scotians and I wish you well.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, let me say we have sent a clear signal that we are prepared to work constructively to make minority government work for Nova Scotians. The Premier should not be looking to make this minority government a survival government. Allow him to make this minority government one with bold initiatives, one that is prepared to bring forward new policies, one that is prepared to deal with long-standing issues in this province, one that is prepared to make a difference in the lives of Nova Scotians not only today or next year, but well into the future.

We are giving you the message today, Mr. Premier, that you have the opportunity to do that. Let's not continue to tread water as we have been doing for the last number of years. Our economy and our future cannot sustain more years ahead of just treading water and survival. You have a tremendous opportunity here. We are prepared to work with you in that regard. Nova Scotians have sent us here to work together, make a difference in their lives, and make a difference for their future. I'm proud of the caucus that I have here, we're looking forward to playing an important role in that regard, and I certainly hope that all members will commit themselves to working for a better future, a stronger future for all Nova Scotians and for all our constituents. Merci, M. le Président.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First of all I'd like to say that I am very pleased to be here today as my first time in this Legislative Assembly. I congratulate all the members on their achievements. I just want to take a couple of very short minutes to thank all the people at home who worked on my campaign and for all the constituents in our area for supporting me on June 13th. Also, I'd like to congratulate Mr. Ron Russell and his family on his retirement and to pay tribute to Mr. Russell for the many years and the support and great service he has provided to our constituents in Hants West. (Applause) Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

[Page 58]

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to say that it is an honour to be here and definitely a privilege. First of all, I think the people of Shelburne County would want to welcome all of you members to our community, and I hope you all have the opportunity to visit there in the near future.

Shelburne County, as you know, is the most southern part of Atlantic Canada. It is the second most southern part of Canada, and is home to the Cape light, which is what we locally call The Hawk. The lighthouses, and there are 52 among the lighthouse routes - from Chapel Hill, Shag Harbour, you can observe seven different lighthouses. One is the Cape Light, naturally Stoddart Island, Seal Island Light, Woods Harbour, East Pubnico, Candlebox Island, the Tusket Islands, and the most famous is Bon Portage Island, where Evelyn Richardson, author, grew up, and the school in the local area is named in her honour.

Shelburne County is known for its warm climate. In February, most years, you can visibly observe the ice, or, in some cases, the lack of it, in the lakes and the rivers on your drive to Halifax. Birders around the world have come to our shores off Shelburne County to watch the migration of ducks and birds each year near the end of March. Our sandy beaches are one of the best kept secrets in Nova Scotia, and I'm sure that will remain in these walls. Cape Sable Island and Lockeport are just a few that I encourage you to visit and come to enjoy these beautiful locations.

Our residents of Shelburne County are strong and proud people, they love the outdoors, nature, and many love to hunt and fish for recreation. However, the commercial fishery is the lifeline of our community. I am proud to stand here today and say these few words - and I repeat, the fishery is the lifeline of our community, helped me get elected.

The commercial fishery is the economic engine of Shelburne County and many coastal communities across Nova Scotia. We cannot overlook the boat-building industry, which a good number of the local tradespeople. They can withstand the weather of the North Atlantic and, most recently, the so-called Hurricane Alberto. I had a few friends out in that and they suggested that you may not want to be there, so these boats are built strong.

The waters off Shelburne County can be difficult to navigate at times. However, they are very protected harbours, such as the famous Shelburne Harbour; our local Mayor, Mr. P.G. Comeau, is in an attempt to secure a ferry system from Boston to Shelburne.

Shelburne County is also known for its summer festivals. Many communities on July 1st, which I believe is tomorrow, will be celebrating the fire departments, the events, and there are several exhibitions across our county each year. It is a great time to meet old friends and to make new. Like many communities across this great province, we, too, have concerns and other issues. This is why I chose to become an MLA for Shelburne County. (Applause)

[Page 59]

I am very pleased to hear the words in yesterday's Throne Speech, and I quote, "We will address the needs before the want". I feel strongly, given the time, Mr. Speaker, that I can clearly show to the members of this House, the need to point out the four topics that I campaigned on, that fall under the category of "need" or "being overlooked" for Shelburne County. The first one is health care, the lack of long-term beds; two, the fishery, remember the line, the lifeline of our communities; three, unfinished 103 Highways and a better paving policy for rural communities; and four, the economic development to ensure that jobs are available for our youth.

First I would like to point out the 30 years - I repeat, 30 years - of the need of long-term beds in western Shelburne County, starting with the paper trail dating back to the early 1970's, but first I would like to read a couple of personal stories. Mr. Speaker, one of the most moving stories of Shelburne County concerning long-term beds in western Shelburne County is about a person whose wife is in Roseway Manor, about 45 kilometres away, in the eastern direction, and his sister is in Yarmouth Nursing Home, some 50 to 60 kilometres away in the other, or westerly, direction. However, yesterday I noticed several speakers recognizing the efforts or the distance outside MLAs have to drive - in my case three hours - to fulfill their duties.

[11:00 a.m.]

Please, Mr. Speaker, I ask all members to redirect their sympathy to our seniors in Shelburne County. (Applause) For their trek - for my trek, it is in my job description and our seniors' trek is out of love for their family. As one of the residents of Shelburne County clearly points out, the Nova Scotia Government feels that residents should drive only up to 15 kilometres for a bottle of beer in rural communities; however, seniors are requested to endure great distances to visit their loved ones.

I have a paper trail here, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to read portions of and I am sure that over the next few weeks I will have the opportunity to make note of all the above. I also want to give notice that we have a document in the Municipality of Barrington, Brash Hill Manor, the blueprint for that, and I will give notice that I will bringing that forward and documenting that particular document because we have been waiting 30 years and that blueprint needs to get the dust off.

First of all, I want to take a look at historical information and documents on the need for long-term care beds in nursing homes in western Shelburne County, the Municipality of Barrington and the Town of Clark's Harbour. Second, the government announced that Bayside Homes would be replaced and a tender's plan had been drawn up in the construction of the homes in Shelburne, in Barrington, in 1974, understanding that two 50-bed facilities will be built, one in Shelburne and one in Barrington, both areas commenced plans in 1974 - I repeat 1974.

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Three, the letter dated January 8, 1975, approving sites for proposed homes for the aged in Barrington, signed by the Minister of Social Services; four, working proceeds on plans of new home, land is required, a well is drilled, detailed plans are prepared for architectural firms, temporary borrowing for starting up costs of $300,000, approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Five, at a meeting on July 15, 1976, the Deputy Minister of Social Services advised of a decision to shelve the plans for the construction of a 50-bed home for the aged in Barrington. The Shelburne project was allowed to proceed with an increase of 50 beds over the original approved 50.

June 8, 1983, a letter to the Honourable Edmund Morris, Minister of Social Services, requested approval to proceed with plans for a 40-bed home for the aged. In the Chronicle Herald, a news item dated June 9, 1983,was quoted as follows, "Social Services Minister Edmund Morris said here Wednesday his department will give serious consideration to the proposal to build a 40-bed senior home for the Barrington-Clark's Harbour area." April 3, 1984, in a letter to the Minister of Social Services, he requested an update on the department's position as it relates to our proposal. December 20, 1984, an official proposal was submitted to the Minister of Social Services based on a scaled-down plan for a 29-bed facility consistent with the report of the task group of Homes for Special Care. An engineering conceptual design was also submitted.

April 4, 1986, a written request made by the Minister of Social Services once again requested approval to proceed with plans for the home for the aged, 30 beds. In 1999 a long-term nursing care facility committee was formed by the Barrington Municipal Council and a citizens group. The committee proposed a 27-bed nursing home facility be constructed in western Shelburne County. Based on 2001 statistics, there were 47 residents in western Shelburne County residing in nursing homes outside of this area. Based on the statistics in the Spring of 2006, there are now 61 seniors from western Shelburne County residing in long-term care facilities elsewhere. It was also learned that there are 17 seniors in private nursing homes and in boarding homes, thus bringing the total number of seniors living outside of our area to 78.

The letter dated October 25, 2005, from Southwest Health Advisory, states that one-third of the acute care beds are filled with patients who are medically discharged and are waiting placement in long-term care. The number ranges from 30 to in excess of 40 patients. Letters of support for the need of long-term care facilities in Shelburne County were received from Shelburne County Community Health Board; Bayside Home Corporation; the Town of Clark's Harbour with a grant of $30,000; the Municipality of Barrington with a grant of $250,000; the former Cecil O'Donnell while MLA for Shelburne County; Francis MacKenzie, the Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party; Mr. Darrell Dexter, the NDP Leader; and a variety of community organizations. The letter of commitment, dated May 25, 2006, signed by the Honourable Chris d'Entremont, Minister of Health, for an additional 40 beds to the existing 20 beds at Bayside Home . . .

[Page 61]

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: A point of order, Mr. Speaker, and it is just for the benefit of the honourable member - I know he would not know how to appreciate this but he is not allowed, as we all know, to refer to an existing member of the House by their name, he needs to use their position. It is just a matter of a point of order for the benefit of the honourable member.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you for the point of order.

The honourable member for Shelburne has the floor.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I apologize and I hope I will be familiar with the rules as I go along.

I just want to bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker, some more information, so please bear with me - a September 6th news item - six special care units, six new homes for special care, extensions to five homes, and extended approvals for construction of seven more announced yesterday by the honourable Minister of Community Services. I will read a portion of it. Tentative plans have been drawn up for the construction in the homes of Glace Bay, Sydney, New Waterford, Chester, Riverton, Pictou County, in Shelburne County, and Barrington. Long-Term Care Facility Committee, dated 2001: "The Long Term Nursing Care Facility Committee of the Municipality of the District of Barrington proposes that a twenty-seven ( 27) bed nursing care facility be constructed in western Shelburne County to serve the needs of the residents of the Municipality of Barrington and the Town of Clark's Harbour. At the present time there are 47 people from Shelburne County currently residing in nursing homes. The breakdown is as follows: Roseway Manor - 29; Surf Lodge Nursing Home -7; Nakile Home for Special Care - 0; Tidal View Manor - 8; and others - 3."

The letterhead from the Municipality of Barrington, dated March 1, 2006. Our Continuing Care Steering Committee requests your attention to the urgent health matter, providing an expansion for Bayside Home, including the minimum of 50 beds, long-term care. As you are aware, the Municipality of Barrington's Continuing Care Steering Committee has already supported the need for Bayside Home, even as it currently exists, to be transferred to the Department of Health. At our last Continuing Care Steering Committee meeting, it was decided by local members, as well as the Department of Health and representatives, for you to discuss health needs within our community, with accurate infrastructure available at Bayside Home to meet even our most pressing needs for long-term care beds. The Council of the Municipality of Barrington feels strongly that this expansion

is necessary to address the complete lack of long-term care beds in western Shelburne County, that $250,000, plus land, required for the expansion of Bayside Home has been offered to the department also and that the Town of Clarks Harbour feels so strongly that this expansion is necessary for long-term beds that they have provided funding in the amount of $30,000.

[Page 62]

I could go on, Mr. Speaker, but the point I am trying to make here is that this particular community has been waiting for over 30 years. I can go at great length, and I think the paper trail will surely back me up - I think I did that in the last few minutes - so the best thing is to just "wing it", because there is need for long-term care beds right across this province, and as our Leader spoke about many times in the campaign, the need is for 500 immediately - not five years down the road, not four years down the road, but immediately. (Applause) There are areas that are in great need and I give you that reference of that one individual who is going to make that decision, do I go visit my wife 50 kilometers in one direction or do I visit my sister 60 miles in the other direction?

To me, the message was drove home yesterday when somebody had the sympathy for MLAs who travel from outside. To me, you just don't get it because our sympathies should be with our seniors across our communities, people who built and gave us our communities, who pay taxes in our communities, who are requested to move out and their loved ones are requested to travel. I think that is totally unfair, I think there needs to be immediate action in this House in the next coming months, not four years down the road. (Applause)

I'm going to conclude on this with the line, these same five words, and I hope you go back and reflect on these five words that were spoken yesterday in the Throne Speech by the Honourable Myra Freeman, "We will address the need" and I am going to repeat that, "We will address the need before long." Mr. Speaker, the people of western Shelburne County had the need for over 30 years and I humbly ask all Party members here to support the long care that is due for these particular projects for our seniors. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, let me say first how honoured and proud I am to have been chosen to represent the constituents of Victoria-The Lakes. Victoria-The Lakes is a very large rural riding and without a lot of teamwork, success would not be possible. I would like to at this time recognize those who have contributed to my campaign. My campaign co-chairs, Martin MacLean and Bob Greer; my communications chair, Tom Vickers; official agent, John McKillop; office manager, Michelle MacNeil; and everyone else who worked so hard and motivated me to do more.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we were presented the Speech from the Throne by the Lieutenant Governor outlining the objectives of our government in addressing Nova Scotia's priorities and recognizing our desire to work together for all Nova Scotians. I look forward in the days and months ahead to be helping our government meet these objectives and make the future better for the constituents of Victoria-The Lakes and all of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

[Page 63]

MR. PERCY PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I didn't know I was going to do this this morning, but things happen on short notice. As I start this morning, I would ask all the members to think in their own minds the first thing they noticed about me when I stood up this morning, and I'll come back and reference that a little bit later.

[11:15 a.m.]

The next thing I want to talk about is the riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank is one of the choicest ridings in the Province of Nova Scotia. It's probably one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, riding in the province. It probably has more lakes and waterways running through it than any other constituency in the Province of Nova Scotia. Also, to top this all off, it is probably one of the fastest growing ridings in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Unfortunately, the province over the years has suffered when it comes to the attention that the riding has gotten. Infrastructure - lack of, we still don't have adequate recreation facilities. The riding, despite all of the pluses, it still does not have an adequate transit system. The riding, with all of the pluses, still does not have economic development that it can boast about. The riding still has rising taxes, taxes are going up every year, seniors are losing their homes, we have no senior facilities to speak about. We still have to travel for miles, we have to get up at 5:00 a.m. and go to South End Halifax to coach our hockey teams. Recreational facilities are lacking, we have a new school - probably one of the nicest schools in the Province of Nova Scotia, Lockview High School - unfortunately the problem arising with Lockview High is that in a very few years it's going to be overcrowded. It's close to capacity now. We have roadway systems that are at capacity. This riding has real needs and the needs have been there for a long time.

I wanted to do that as a sort of preamble to the riding itself. I want to also bring out that I'm here today as the result of the hard work of a lot of individuals. Not so much myself because I just represented the individual, I was just the name. It was the volunteers who got me elected. Hard-working, dedicated individuals. It was the NDP caucus, elected officials that provided counsel to me, who came out and gave me support. It was family and friends. It was people that I didn't know, it was those people who made contributions to my campaign - whether it be in the way of food, financial contributions, there were so many ways, somebody who came in to help with the construction of a sign, to take a sign and put it on a lawn. There are so many people that I have to thank.

I want to go back to another point that I mentioned earlier about the first thing you would notice about a speaker that gets up in front of the House like this. I hope that when I ask that question, the first thing you notice is that I'm of African descent. If it wasn't, it should have been. One of the things I realized in this election which reaffirmed that racism is alive and well in the Province of Nova Scotia.

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Unfortunately, even though I stand in front of you today, coming from a riding that is not fully recognized and not fully complemented with respect to persons of African descent, I didn't win the election on the votes from the people of African descent. I could probably count on one hand the number of African-Nova Scotians that live in the entire riding. But, I can tell you this, during the course of the campaign, our campaign telephones, the calls we got that weren't so complimentary. The anonymous messages we received, how a black person could run in a riding such as this with so much wealth, so much to offer.

But, I had good people around me. I was supported by good people. (Applause) We would like to think the fact that I am in front of you today, that there would be no racism in the Province of Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, it still remains.

Mr. Speaker, it saddens me somewhat, I heard a name mentioned earlier this morning, a gentleman just had a street named after him and it's sad for us to think, as a person of African descent that represents some diversity in the Province of Nova Scotia, that we are paying tributes only now. We are way behind the times.

When I ran in the election, this last election, it was to me one of the most important elections in the Province of Nova Scotia. Not because Percy Paris was running, but because of the values of 2006 in some cases versus the values of 1956. (Applause) I am proud to say that I live in a riding such as Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. Over the course of just the last two weeks since June 13th, I've met so many new people in my life.

I went to the graduation ceremonies last night at Lockview High School. It was probably my first introduction as an MLA. As I sat there on the platform during the introduction, when I heard the applause when my name was mentioned - because we all have a bit of an ego I guess - my imagination thought my applause was louder than anyone else's.

It did me good as I looked around the Dartmouth Sportsplex and I saw the diversity of the crowd and I also couldn't help but notice the lack of diversity in the crowd, which reinforced to me again how important Election 2006 was to the people of Nova Scotia.

I want to add that during the course of the last two weeks the caseload- and it's like baptism by fire. I kind of chuckled to myself earlier this morning when I made a little bit of a flaw because of something that wasn't written on my paper which I trust I won't do again- but it is baptism by fire. In the course of the last two weeks, I myself and I'm sure I may be speaking for a number of other new MLAs, we have a caseload - certainly I have a caseload - that grows day by day. There's a message there and what that message to me is, there's a lot of work to be done.

Some things have been ignored in the riding, my caseload speaks of that, in the short number of days, that there's a lot of work to be done. I am still unable to get a constituency office because space is scarce. I live in a riding where economic development is low key,

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commercial sites are almost non-existent- very, very few- and it seems like those that are available want more rent than we do in downtown Halifax. It has become quite a practice in negotiation.

Mr. Speaker, I could probably stand here and talk about the good people in the riding as opposed to the bad people in the riding because I think no matter where we go you're going to find a blend of good and bad. I think my father probably put it best. My father is a very humble man and I should add that when I talk about Nova Scotia I think it's important for me to say that I am a sixth generation Nova Scotian. I've been here for a long time. My father fought in World War II, is a well-decorated war veteran, he's a well-known Nova Scotian and when you see him on Remembrance Day I'm amazed at how he stands up because he's so adorned with medals on both sides of his chest. Pretty soon he'll have to have one of his sons on each side of him just to prop him up as he goes out on Remembrance Day.

He reminded me- and it was reiterated here this morning by a colleague in the NDP Caucus- he said, Percy when you get in the House never forget who you are, never forget where you come from and never forget where you're going. I remember when I graduated from university and I had a job in the city of Halifax where I wore a suit and tie, I worked there for four years, I went on vacation and came back from vacation - it was a 9 to 5 job. My father worked for the federal government, my job was with government- I won't say at what level. He worked for the federal government for 30 years and he came with the attitude well, that's what it's about, you get that job, you work towards a pension, you get the house, the picket fence, you get yourself a dog, you sit down, you have all kinds of kids.

I worked for the government for four years at a certain level and one day I came in from vacation and I walked in and said I quit. The hardest part about me quitting my job at that time was telling my father. I called my father up and I said, dad, I just quit my job. He couldn't understand, he said, son, I respect you but you must be a little crazy because you had it made. I think at about that time he was ready to come down from Windsor and drive me over to the Nova Scotia Hospital. Later on that day my father called me back and he said, son, I want to apologize to you. I said well why is that dad? He said look one time when I was a young man I was scouted by a major league baseball team to go to try out at major league baseball. He said, I didn't go and ever since that day, son, I've been asking myself, what if? He said, son, don't you ever get yourself in that position that you're ever going to ask yourself, what if. (Applause)

So on that note, I probably came to the world of politics that way. When I was first asked to run, it took a couple of conversations with some different individuals for me to actually take that first initial step. Some people could be pretty persuasive and I know my first experience on the campaign trail, although it was a healthy one, a warm one and a friendly one, the end result in some people's eyes wasn't victory.

[Page 66]

However, I must say the next day after that election in 2003, when I got up and I went out and I walked down the streets in Beaver Bank, Fall River, Waverley, Wellington and Oakfield, just all over the place, it was like I had won and, do you know what, I felt like a winner that day. Maybe I didn't get as many votes as my opponent, but I was a winner. I felt like a winner. I could never imagine. I said to myself, well, if losing can feel this good, I wonder how good it's going to feel to win. (Applause) So I knew then I was going to have another go at it. So what I did is after 2003, the very next day, I started campaigning again. I was on the trail.

It has been a great experience. The campaign itself, I'm not saying I'm looking forward to the next one, I don't want anyone to misinterpret that. Hopefully, the next one will be years down the road, but I certainly feel somewhat overwhelmed to be up here. I never imagined. I can remember in years gone by sitting up in the gallery and sending notes down to different members here in the House, never imagining that some day I would be standing here in front of so many wonderful people, but here I am.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to reiterate the need in the Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank area for us to get a handle on assessments, for us to do something for our aging population. We've got an aging population throughout the Province of Nova Scotia, of which I'm not a member yet, but I'll soon be there. We certainly need some facilities not only for our aging, but for our youth and for people in general. On that note I want to thank everyone. I want to give special thanks to my NDP colleagues for their support, for those who have been around for a long time, and I know that without that support and that encouragement, who knows, I might have been home now saying, what if. So with that, I will take my seat.

[11:30 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour to be here today, to be amongst some of the people who have fought the battles on behalf of this province and the people of this province over the last several years. I think, as my colleague, the honourable member for Pictou Centre, said yesterday, I, too, indeed, follow in big footsteps and shoes. Former MLA Jerry Pye has risen to the challenge over the last several years, 20 years fully in politics representing the area of Dartmouth North. (Applause) Indeed I am honoured to assume that role and to fulfill the needs of this constituency. For a young man such as myself it is indeed an honour to know that so many people support you through an effort like this. I must say that when you first step out on the campaign trail, I guess the thing that really hits you is that you see your name on the side of a street or on someone's property, it's a wow factor, I am really out there. It's letting people know that you really and truly want to help people.

[Page 67]

Then you take that next step of visiting somebody and knocking on a door. In the early days it's kind of hectic and you are not sure what kind of result you are going to get. Early on some of it wasn't good, but once people spoke with you and gave you the time to understand that you truly do want to help, you want to listen to them and see their needs and get them what they truly want.

I have been blessed to be supported by a community over the years that has seen the initiative and energy and passion in my fight for people, as a community activist. I have been chairman for the District 9 Citizens' Association for the last two years. I have sat as vice- chair at the local community centre. I have been partnershipped in a business, I have managed a large corporation as well. Through these ventures this community has said to me in this last election that we know you truly represent the needs of this community, that you truly care and want to help the families and children and seniors of this riding.

I say this humbly, that I hope this is a long venture for me into politics and in representing this province. Dartmouth North over the years has received much credibility but a lot of negativity as well. I believe a lot of this is due to poor planning. Sixty percent of our community is comprised of multi-unit dwellings. We have older, established homeowners throughout the Tufts Cove area, the Wrights Cove area, Crichton Park area, areas in which families have flourished over the years. We are talking about homes and homeowners who have been there and built the foundations for 35, 45 and 50 years and, despite the negativity and the crime rates, they have chosen to stay there and put their holdings down. They have said, we love Dartmouth North, we just need help.

It is unfortunate that 60 percent of this multi-unit situation, as far as planning, allows or disallows a sense of community. We have several boarded-up buildings in the Pinecrest and Brule Streets areas which breeds both negativity, as far as crime rates, and the social feelings of those people who reside in and around those areas. I hope that one of my goals will be accomplished in the coming years, to rid ourselves of that situation, to bring a positive light on this community. It is a sore spot because unfortunately, throughout HRM and around this province, we are judged by that very situation of poverty and boarded-up buildings and the negativity that surrounds that social situation.

We have a unique community that has spoken out and has taken its time to let elected officials know that they want a change. We have one of the best Neighbourhood Watch programs; we have a local good newspaper, the Dartmouth North Echo, along with the District Nine Citizens' Association, which meets regularly on a monthly basis, to inform our elected officials as to what is going on and their ongoing concerns.

We have one of the largest industrial parks east of Montreal - the Burnside Industrial Park - many small businesses, large businesses and this area is growing with the new addition of Dartmouth Crossing, which I believe will finally put Dartmouth into the forefront of being a destination place in HRM. For many years much of our community has had to travel

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across the bridge for the bigger needs, the larger movie theatres, the larger retail shops. What Dartmouth Crossing will bring, again is a destination place not only for our community but for people who will travel across the province to see exactly what we are trying to accomplish.

In yesterday's Throne Speech there was made mention of the Commonwealth Games. Last November on behalf of District 9, I hosted a town hall meeting, along with MP Mike Savage, in regard to the Commonwealth Games. One of the things that had taken place over the years in Dartmouth North is that many programs, be it social, political, have been thrust upon this community without asking what the citizens actually want. We took it upon ourselves last November to bring the chairman, Mr. Fred MacGillivray, to bring Mike Savage, MP, to our community and ask our citizens do we need this, do we want this, and why?

I have to say that with the 150 people that night at our community centre, it was overwhelming, the response, that the people said we need these games. A large part of what will take place and what is required to host the Commonwealth Games will take place in Dartmouth North.

I must tell you that through my travels on the campaign trail, a lot of the subject was in and around youth, and not just youth crime. I'm a former national champion athlete with the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry baseball team and I can tell you, travelling across Canada one of the things that we lack is a sporting infrastructure, the facilities to host some of these national games, to bring people not only from across Canada and across this province, but from around the world. I think, indeed, we have to pursue this and make sure that all three levels of government are consistent in their efforts to host and support the people of this province in this venture.

I think Dartmouth North can only gain from the facilities. I look around, and as a young man growing up in Lower Sackville at the time when Sackville was growing so large and it was saying, I want to be a town, I want to be a city, and I look at all the facilities and infrastructure that I had around me - and I've been very fortunate, the coaching - I must tell you I'm a little dismayed at Dartmouth North right now and the lack of funding that has come into our area. I think the Commonwealth Games will bode well not just for our children, but our children's futures, my children's futures, and seniors as well. Four per cent right now of our population in Dartmouth North is comprised of seniors, and it's unfortunate because our seniors have no place to go any more.

One of the things that I said that night to Mr. MacGillivray and Mr. Savage was that some of the legacy that's possibly left over after these games will, indeed, be an opportunity for seniors' housing. With the new infrastructure that will come and take place in and around the Shannon Park area, with the new ferry service, the increased transit systems, I think it

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would be fabulous to see some of these sporting athlete facilities be turned into seniors' housing.

I must say that along the campaign trail, I was privileged to step on doorsteps and be welcomed into homes, and to listen to the subjects that came out of Dartmouth North really surprised me. A topic such as wind power, coming out of Dartmouth North, really intrigued me. It was on a weekly basis where I would have three or four phone calls, people wanting to meet with me and discuss wind power and the possibilities of benefits to local citizens and to businesses. I would only hope that the present government would look further into the advantages of wind power. It's unfortunate that I live in a community, and my constituency office is adorned by Nova Scotia Power that has created a monopoly. To those people, I will meet again and discuss further the possibilities of wind power in the coming weeks. I only hope I have an opportunity in this House to express the concerns and the benefits further on.

I must say that Dartmouth North, again, is a proud community. Yes, we have troubles, there are negatives, but it is a community that is growing. More and more people are coming into this community, more and more citizens, despite the fact that there is a lack of sense of community due to the 60 per cent multi-unit dwellings. We have people who care. We have people who have spoken out in the last few years in regard to development such as the Brightwood Golf Course. I join the Citizens for Brightwood in asking the developers in the planning department to simply sit with us and discuss the future of our communities. As elected officials, it is our role and responsibility to listen to those concerns. As the HRM Council saw fit, the development did not go ahead. I think the development didn't go ahead because the planning department simply lacked some foresight. The citizens saw the issues and it will come up again. That land should be developed but the citizens have spoken out and I along with them have said listen to our voices, we have a stake in our community.

We have a present situation as well with a local businessman who has come into our community on a loophole, on an outdated act of government. Mr. Javis Roberts and his efforts in establishing the Sensations Cabaret has been a thorn in our side, a slap in our face. Even though he got in on a technicality, again, more residents had formed another group to speak out. As an elected official in this area it gives me great pride to see that citizens do care, we do care, we have a voice in these concerns. As an elected official I am frustrated that loopholes such as these are created for businessmen who do not want or see the needs of a community, who only see that there is a tax dollar and monies to be gained.

Again, I hope that all levels of government and this current government can work together to better the citizens, to better this province. I've been fortunate because not only have I lived in Dartmouth North, I grew up in around the Peggy's Cove, West Dover area, I grew up in Lower Sackville and I've travelled throughout this province. Many of the faces that I have met here in the last couple of days I can relate because I've been in their areas. For someone as young and aspiring to continue in the political field, I think that it gives me great

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pride to know that I can sit and speak and be consistent in my efforts and be co-operative with fellow ministers and honourable members to accomplish the needs of this province.

Dartmouth North has provided me with an opportunity and for the last 12 years I have spent in the grocery industry and on June 7th, the ChronicleHerald called our campaign office and asked me a question and they said, you do not have a traditional background of a politician, and I said no I don't, I'm not a doctor nor am I a lawyer or a school teacher. The question was then posed to me, how do you feel you are at the same level as these few people and I stated simply that I was in the service industry. For 12 years in and around this community of Dartmouth North I have shown the people how hard I can work, the energy and the passion for causes. I want to continue that because they have given me the voice, they have allowed me and shown me through an election process that they need me to represent them.

I hope in the coming years I can broach and cross bridges to fulfill the needs of this community, the concerns and needs of this province. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for this time.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

[11:45 a.m.]

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Halifax Citadel. Well I seem to have fallen into the pit. Mr. Speaker, honourable members, in June 1968, my mother wrote a letter to the Toronto Star and columnist Sidney Katz published that letter and a 14-year-old boy, Donald Drutz read the letter and convinced his mother Evelyn to sponsor my father and she did and that's how my family of 12 found its way to Canada. Thirty eight years later I stand before you as the MLA for Halifax Citadel and perhaps the first Asian-Canadian elected east of Quebec. It is a great honour and a privilege to be here. I mention this fact more as a tribute to the self-sacrifice and vision of my parents who brought me to this place and also to the kindness and generosity of strangers who make Halifax and Nova Scotia such a wonderful place to call home.

I would also like to use this occasion to pay tribute to the great Nova Scotians who have sat in this seat before me. Robert Stanfield, Terry Donahue, Alexa McDonough, Danny Graham. In particular, I want to speak a bit about Danny Graham and the wonderful service he performed in such difficult times over the past few years. (Applause) Also, as his successor here on this first occasion to speak to this in this House, I would like to offer our condolences on the death of his wife, Shelagh and more recently, his mother Jean.

Also, to Peter Delefes, who, along with Alexa, laid such a strong foundation for social democracy in Halifax Citadel. I may not always follow in their footsteps, but I will seek what they sought - a better world, a better community in Halifax Citadel and in Nova Scotia.

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I would also like to acknowledge my opponents who ran in Halifax Citadel - Bill Black, Devin Maxwell and Nick Wright. Like the campaign elsewhere in Nova Scotia, I think they ran a campaign with a great deal of integrity, a campaign focused on values and I commend them for the campaigns they ran. I have a whole new respect for people who offer for public service and especially for those who lose and lose with a lot of dignity.

I also have to thank the Premier for giving us nine months to run that campaign in Halifax Citadel. It gave us a great deal of time to consult with the voters. I would like to take some of the time I have left to speak to some of the issues they raised during the campaign.

Throughout the campaign, I met with single mothers and people on low income who would like to go to university, who would like to get their degree because they know that is the only way out of their desperate situation, but they can't register because they are not allowed to enrol in programs that take longer than two years. I met a single mother last week who wanted to go to university, but she couldn't get a loan or a grant because her parents were supposed to contribute and they were just not able to do so.

I have spoken with student groups - the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, the Canadian Federation of Students, for example - and we get the same request from them, that we do something about access to post-secondary education. It's a shame that 40 per cent of our students who are qualified don't go to university or post-secondary education because they don't have the resources to get them there. We believe that access to education should be based more on merit and what's in people's heads and not just in their wallets. (Applause)

I met seniors who were waiting in hospital beds, seniors who are separated from their loved ones because we don't have access to long-term care, we don't have access to suitable home care. I applaud the Premier for saying that he is going to do something about that and I'm looking forward to seeing what concrete measures they have to offer. It's a desperate situation for our seniors in Halifax Citadel and we've had a lot of talk, but not enough action.

My constituency, Halifax Citadel, also includes one of the most beautiful places in Nova Scotia - the Northwest Arm. It's being destroyed by in-filling. It's being destroyed, in large part, because the province says below the high water mark is the responsibility of the federal government and above the high water mark is the responsibility of the municipalities. In other words, it's a complete abdication of responsibilities. We need to do something about it. We need to ensure that future generations have access to the shoreline, the things we have had for over 200 years on the Northwest Arm are not lost just on blind greed and the drive to privatize that beautiful space.

We believe that from Sable Island to the South End, that we are stewards of this great constituency and we have an obligation to protect it for ourselves and for future generations.

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Throughout the campaign, I met many people from the arts and cultural communities who were concerned about the destruction of the arts council as an arm's-length agency. We believe that the Premier has an obligation, as someone who has played a part in its destruction, to restore it as an arm's-length agency. We believe that grants should be based more on merit and artistic merit and not on political patronage.

Throughout the campaign we met young artists who were desperate for creative spaces, young and emerging artists who were doing wonderful work, who are leaving this province to go elsewhere because there is no space and no program to incubate and nurture the talent.

In Halifax Citadel we are very concerned about the preservation of neighbourhoods and communities. Earlier today we introduced a resolution asking the government to consider imposing a moratorium on school closures. We believe that these elementary schools are at the heart of these communities and closing them will destroy them.

We received complaints throughout the campaign from people who find that there is too much street racing. They believe that we need to do something about after-market mufflers and just the quiet enjoyment of their neighbourhoods, that too many heritage homes are being taken over by rooming houses and we need health and safety standards and we need enforcement so that neighbourhoods are not destroyed.

In the last two weeks we have heard numerous complaints throughout the campaign about home assessments, about the arbitrariness of home assessments, about the lack of the ability to appeal home assessments, that young families and seniors are being forced to move out of their homes because home assessments have no connection to the cost of living or the degree of services provided. It is particularly galling to these people that home assessments continue to rise and yet the province is starving these school programs of art and music and gym.

In short, Mr. Speaker, the eight months that the Premier has given us to campaign in Halifax Citadel has given us an opportunity to understand the needs of this constituency that has been without representation for a long time and these issues have gone on for too long.

In summary, I believe that my constituents are telling me that we have an obligation to respect our heritage and our obligations to the generations that went before and that we have to know where we are going and to respect our obligations as stewards for future generations. Again, I very much appreciate the opportunity to represent the people of Halifax Citadel in here. Like my colleagues on this side of the House, we intend to make this a very constructive and progressive session that will address - progressive but not necessarily Conservative - to address these needs, to make minority government work, and certainly first and foremost, to make Nova Scotia and our community a better place. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Mr. Speaker, I move the adjournment of debate at this time.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for adjournment of the debate.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I would now move that the House do adjourn until Tuesday, July 4th, when the House will meet from the hour of 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The order of business would be the Budget Address, responses to the Budget Address, the daily routine, Question Period, and of course potential continuation if there are further members to speak on the Speech from the Throne motion.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I move adjournment.

MR. SPEAKER: We stand adjourned until Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 11:56 a.m.]

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NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 26

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Cody Richmond Davison has received the 2006 Lieutenant Governor Award, recognizing his commitment to excellence in his achievements; and

Whereas for the past three years at West Kings District High School, Cody has excelled academically, in addition to his school bands, TADD, Safe Grad committees, student police, and the Rugby Team; and

Whereas Cory has also worked diligently to complete the Bronze and Silver requirements for the "Duke of Edinburgh Award" and is now working to reach the Gold requirements.

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the valued contributions made by Cody Richmond Davison, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.