Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 06-13

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

MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Cape John Rd.: Repaving - Prioritize, Mr. C. Parker 673
Bill No. 219 - Enact, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 674^
STATEMENTS BY MINSTERS:
Military Relations Portfolio - Creation, The Premier 674
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION :
Res. 396, RCL - Poppy Campaign, The Premier 677
Vote - Affirmative 678
Res. 397, Phillips, Dr. Wayne L.: Accomplishments - Recognize,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 678
Vote - Affirmative 679
Res. 398, Skilled Trades Day (10/30/06) - Recognize,
Hon. K. Casey 679
Vote - Affirmative 680
Res. 399, Mi'kmaq History Month (10/06): Significance -
Recognize, Hon. M. Baker 680
Vote - Affirmative 681
Res. 400, Cross, Henry Sinclair (Curly): Commun. Efforts -
Recognize, Hon. R. Chisholm 681
Vote - Affirmative 681
Res. 401, Can. Career Week (10/29-11/04/06) - Initiatives,
Hon. K. Casey 681
Vote - Affirmative 682
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 58, Justice Administration Amendment (Fall 2006) Act,
Hon. M. Scott 683
No. 59, Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act, Mr. D. Dexter 683
No. 60, Retail Business Holiday Closing Act, Mr. M. Samson 683
No. 61, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. A. MacIsaac 683
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 402, Educ. - Tuition Cuts: Min. - Congrats., Mr. D. Dexter 683
Res. 403, Francis, Hon. Mayann E. - Lt.-Gov.: Selection - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Samson 684
Vote - Affirmative 685
Res. 404, Rankin Family: Return - Congrats., The Premier 685
Vote - Affirmative 686
Res. 405, Energy - HST Relief, Mr. D. Dexter 686
Vote - Affirmative 686
Res. 406, Graham, Premier Shawn/N.B. Liberal Gov't. - Recognize,
Mr. M. Samson 686
Vote - Affirmative 687
Res. 407, The Valley Today: Newspaper Launch - Applaud,
Mr. C. Porter 687
Vote - Affirmative 688
Res. 408, Beckwith, Charles: Editorial Efforts - Congrats.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 688
Vote - Affirmative 689
Res. 409, McKinnon, Danielle - Dressage: Dedication - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Colwell 689
Vote - Affirmative 689
Res. 410, C.B.-Victoria Reg. Sch. Bd. - Fire Marshal Award,
Mr. K. Bain 690
Vote - Affirmative 690
Res. 411, Dart. Gen. Hosp.: Healing Garden - Congrats.,
Ms. J. Massey 690
Vote - Affirmative 691
Res. 412, McKendry, Karen: Young Naturalists Club - Founding,
Ms. D. Whalen 691
Vote - Affirmative 692
Res. 413, Joyce, Vincent: Pictou Co. Military Museum - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 692
Vote - Affirmative 693
Res. 414, Gillis, Tammy/MacKinnon, Cindy: Nat'l. Tourism
Certification Prog. - Completion, Mr. C. Parker 693
Vote - Affirmative 694
Res. 415, Autism Awareness Mo. (10/06) - Recognize,
Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 694
Vote - Affirmative 695
Res. 416, Drader-Murphy, Lisa: Success - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 695
Vote - Affirmative 696
Res. 417, Vol. Firefighters: Dedication - Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 696
Vote - Affirmative 696
Res. 418, Valley Drug Mart Health Care Shuttle: Drivers - Thanks,
Mr. S. McNeil 696
Vote - Affirmative 697
Res. 419, Four Sisters Crew - Cormorant Crash: Heroism - Commend,
Hon. R. Chisholm 697
Vote - Affirmative 698
Res. 420, Young, Ruth Elizabeth - Birthday (90th), Mr. P. Paris 698
Vote - Affirmative 699
Res. 421, Bay Ferries/Governments: Agreement - Recognize,
Mr. H. Theriault 699
Vote - Affirmative 699
Res. 422, Bristol, Dick: CD Release - Congrats., Hon. E. Fage 699
Vote - Affirmative 700
Res. 423, Roberts, Elinor Selig: Book Launch - Congrats.,
Ms. V. Conrad 700
Vote - Affirmative 701
Res. 424, Cdn. Breast Cancer Fdn. - Support, Ms. D. Whalen 701
Vote - Affirmative 702
Res. 425, Billard, Lewis / Dart. Hist. Assoc.: Book Launch -
Congrats., Ms. M. More 702
Vote - Affirmative 702
Res. 426, McIntyre, Stewart: Retirement - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 703
Vote - Affirmative 703
Res. 427, Rector, Catherine: NSSSA - Presentation,
Hon. M. Scott 703
Vote - Affirmative 704
Res. 428, Five Bridges Jr. HS - New Sch.: Transition - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 704
Vote - Affirmative 705
Res. 429, Elliott, Sharon: RCMP Seniors' Safety Prog. - Congrats.,
Mr. S. McNeil 705
Vote - Affirmative 706
Res. 430, Can. Day Celebrations - Pictou Co.: Vols. - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 706
Vote - Affirmative 706
Res. 431, Jenkins, Mayor Lloyd - UNSM Award, Hon. M. Scott 706
Vote - Affirmative 707
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 17, Criminal Notoriety Act 708
Hon. M. Scott 708
Mr. D. Deveaux 708
Mr. M. Samson 711
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 712
Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 715
Mr. W. Estabrooks 717
Ms. D. Whalen 719
Mr. D. Dexter 721
Ms. M. Raymond 725
Hon. M. Scott 726
Vote - Affirmative 727
No. 21, Justice Administration Amendment (2006) Act 727
Hon. M. Scott 727
Mr. K. Deveaux 727
Mr. M. Samson 731
Mr. H. Epstein 731
Ms. D. Whalen 735
Adjourned debate 739
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 31st at 11:00 a.m. 739
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 432, Carter, Fire Chief Leo: Commun. Efforts - Congrats.,
Mr. A. MacLeod 740
Res. 433, Two Rivers Wildlife Park - Fright Night Fundraiser,
Mr. A. MacLeod 740
Res. 434, Donkin / Port Caledonia: Commun. Efforts - Commend,
Mr. A. MacLeod 741
Res. 435, Louisbourg Seafoods: Business Diversity - Congrats.,
Mr. A. MacLeod 741
Res. 436, Hemford Fire Dept.: Vial of Life Promotion - Recognize,
Mr. A. MacLeod 742

[Page 673]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2006

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

7:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: We will now begin the daily routine

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of a number of residents of Cape John in Pictou County and the operative clause reads as follows:

"We, the undersigned residents (both permanent and summer) of Cape John Road, River John, wish to bring to your attention the appalling state of the Cape John Road, and request that it be placed at the top of your priority list for pulverizing and repaving as soon as possible . . . We ask that you give our request serious consideration when making your list of future road improvements."

It is signed by 120 residents of the Cape John area and I too have affixed my signature.

673

[Page 674]

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition in which the operative clause says:

"We the people of Nova Scotia, the undersigned, request that the government of Nova Scotia make Bill 219, as presented to you by the Honourable Darrell Dexter in May 2005, law in this province by the end of the next sitting of the House."

Mr. Speaker, this petition has been signed by 40 people and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD (The Premier): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Since our first contributions as part of the nation of Canada, Nova Scotians have played a significant role in our military and, of course, have held a tremendous respect for our men and women in the military.

For most of this century we have felt great pride in the many positive contributions our personnel have made in so many corners of the world. We have also felt the pain in the human losses associated with the campaigns around the globe. But our connection is far from historical. The winds this past weekend remind us of the damage wrought when Hurricane Juan tore through our province. We came through this as a province, but a great deal of the hard work undertaken to get our province moving again was tackled by our forces. These men and women are always ready to help their neighbours here, at home, or in countries like Afghanistan where the dangers are great but the basic needs of its citizens are immeasurable.

You don't have to drive far from this place to recognize the economic impact either. There are about 14,500 military personnel, reservists and civilian employees in

[Page 675]

our province. The Canadian Forces spend more than $1 billion each year on salaries, operations and facilities in Nova Scotia.

The members of the military and their families are our neighbours. When they lose a family member, our entire province mourns with them. Just since the summer session of this House, we have lowered the flags in honour of three fallen soldiers who were part of our Nova Scotia community: Corporal Christopher Jonathan Reid and Warrant Officer Frank Robert Mellish, both of Truro; and Sergeant Darcy Tedford of Earltown, a heavy blow to one county and to one province.

By recognizing today the province's first Minister responsible for Military Relations, we recognize these ties - historic, social and economic. As noted this morning, the minister will oversee the province's Defence Forum, an interdepartmental committee of provincial staff who promote and support relationships with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. The goals of the forum are to build our province's capacity to deal with military issues and opportunities, sustain a strong relationship with Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence, and help Nova Scotia work towards a stronger military presence in the province.

[7:15 p.m.]

General Rick Hillier, our country's Chief of Defence Staff, said that any initiative which "supports our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen who work so diligently every day to ensure that Canada and Canadians continue to be safe and secure both at home and abroad" is welcome.

With this new role, accepted willingly by our Minister of Justice, we will have a direct link to both the Department of National Defence and military personnel in our province. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to say a few words about the importance of this responsibility to our minister and the importance of our military. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the Premier and the minister responsible for a copy of the ministerial statement made today. I would like to first inform the House that I intend to serve as the critic for this ministerial responsibility, in part because I hope that it says something about the importance with which we view the creation of this particular ministerial responsibility. It also says something about my own personal interest in matters respecting the military.

I served in the Armed Forces. I would also point out that in my family, my father served, both my brothers, my sister served, and just recently my niece's two sons, one

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served in Iraq - these were both in the American Armed Forces - and in Afghanistan. These are matters, I think, for many people, like myself, that touch very close to home. The fact that we have, throughout our history, and as much today, a close relationship with those who serve in the Armed Forces.

I'm pleased to congratulate the Premier on this appointment, and although I have said that I intend to hold this critic portfolio myself, I hope that there is very little to criticize and much that I can work with the minister on. Thank you. (Applause)

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I, too, am pleased to rise in response to the ministerial statement with regard to the creation of the Minister responsible for Military Relations. As Nova Scotians, we have the utmost respect for the men and women who have dedicated themselves to such a courageous career and calling. The creation of this portfolio is a positive step in building and fostering relations within the military community.

Mr. Speaker, there are about 14,500 military personnel, reservists and civilian employees in our province, on which the Canadian Forces spend more than $1 billion each year, with salaries, operations and facilities. These military personnel and all Nova Scotians would be interested to have more information pertaining to the mandate of this portfolio and also to make available the details of how this will facilitate the future goals of the members of the military, their families and Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, all members of this House must realize that many of the members of the military who serve here in Nova Scotia are not native to our province. Many are from other provinces in the country, who get transferred, which presents special challenges for them. Adequate housing, education and government services are some of the challenges which they face.

Mr. Speaker, I can speak personally of my own knowledge of a lot of the military personnel, for example, who come to this province from Quebec, where their children have very special needs, and I'm certainly pleased to see that over the years our province has been working to address those with the establishment of Acadian and French-language schools within the Halifax Regional Municipality, which continue to grow.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you another example is many of the military families, when they arrive here, one of their first tasks is to change over their driver's licence. I can tell you, having worked one summer at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, it was very difficult because many of them could not speak English. Yet, there were no dedicated services at those government agencies to deal with military personnel arriving here in our province. Once again, there has been significant movement made through the co-

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operation of all members of this House to establish government services in the French language, in designated areas, which I'm sure the Minister of Acadian Affairs will keep in mind the importance of having those services available not only for French-speaking Nova Scotians but, certainly, especially many of the members of our military and RCMP, for example, who are brought into our province who may not have an easy grasp of the English language when they first arrive.

So, Mr. Speaker, this is a good-news announcement, and being that the Leader of the Opposition announced who his critic would be, I'm pleased to announce that the member for Cape Breton South will be our critic. Many members of this House will know his long history with the military, especially with the Sea Cadets and the fact, like the previous Government House Leader, Ron Russell, also has the CD designation here in this province, and I'm sure he'll be proud to be critic and I'm sure he'll be more than happy to work with the minister responsible to address the needs of the military community here in our province.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, if I might introduce some of our special guests.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as we all know, we just came from receiving our poppies just about in the last hour. I want to introduce our special guests who did the presentation for us. I would ask them to rise in their place as I say their name: Mr. George AuCoin, Command President; Steve Wessel, Command Chairman; Jack Hatcher, Command Treasurer; Dianna Blackburn, Command Secretary; and Tom Waters, Commander of Zone 14, Halifax area. I would like to welcome our very special guests here to Province House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 396

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

[Page 678]

Whereas each November since 1922, poppies blossom on the lapels of millions of Canadians as a promise never to forget the brave men and women who sacrificed their youth and their lives so that we can enjoy freedom; and

Whereas the annual Poppy Campaign is the primary source of funding that allows members of the Royal Canadian Legion to serve veterans and their dependents, promote remembrance and perform other important work in our communities; and

Whereas earlier today, all members of the Legislature were honoured when members of the Royal Canadian Legion presented them with poppies outside the Chamber;

Therefore be it resolved that all representatives of this House thank the members of the Royal Canadian Legion for their selfless dedication to our communities and wear our poppies as a solemn pledge that we will never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

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. 397

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

Whereas family doctors are invaluable in the delivery of quality primary health care to Nova Scotians in health clinics, hospitals, community settings, nursing homes and patient homes throughout the province; and

Whereas every day, dedicated family doctors like Wayne L. Phillips, this year's Outstanding Family Physician and Reg L. Perkin awards recipient, deliver exceptional personal care to their patients, share knowledge with their colleagues and medical

[Page 679]

students, and make great contributions to the health and well being of their communities; and

Whereas the ongoing efforts of family doctors to diagnose and treat illness and injury, promote disease prevention, and coordinate quality care is appreciated and makes a tremendous impact on the lives of Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dr. Wayne L. Phillips on his leadership and meaningful accomplishments, and recognize the week of October 30 to November 5, 2006, as Family Doctor Week in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 398

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

Whereas today, October 30, 2006, is Skilled Trades Day in Canada; and

Whereas skilled trades careers are important to Nova Scotia's economy and they are an excellent career path for Nova Scotians; and

Whereas it is estimated that our province needs thousands of skilled tradespeople, and our education and apprenticeship system helps ensure Nova Scotians have access to the training and experience they need to take advantage of opportunities in the skilled trades;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize October 30th as Skilled Trades Day in the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Department of Education's efforts in that area.

[Page 680]

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 Aboriginal Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 399

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

Whereas October is Mi'kmaq History Month, which provides Nova Scotia's First Peoples an opportunity to display their history and culture; and

Whereas this year our Office of Aboriginal Affairs worked with the Mi'kmaq to inform Nova Scotians about their history through a film entitled Wabanaki: People of the Dawn; and

Whereas many people have seen the film and have sought more information about Mi'kmaq history and culture;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly take note of the significance of Mi'kmaq History Month and congratulate those involved in the preparation of this film which has won an Atlantic Gemstone 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.

[Page 681]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 400

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

Whereas Mr. Henry Sinclair Cross, better known as Curly, of Peasbrook, Guysborough County, is a dedicated volunteer in his community and fisheries organization; and

Whereas he has donated the proceeds of his snow crab operation over the last number of years to various fire departments in Guysborough County; and

Whereas he recently donated part of his commercial lobster licence of about 100 traps to the Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen's Association to support their lobster science research initiatives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the tremendous efforts Mr. Cross has made for the betterment of his community and the industry.

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. 401

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

[Page 682]

Whereas October 29th to November 4th is Canada Career Week, and the Department of Education has many programs and resources to educate youth about the many career opportunities that exist in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas one of the many initiatives underway is to help students plan for their careers, show them their options, and help them understand today's world of work is a partnership between the Department of Education, Nova Scotia Business Inc., and Skills Canada-Nova Scotia to provide students with a full understanding of the range of choices in the growing IT industry; and

Whereas this government is committed to ensuring youth get the education skills and opportunities they need to build meaningful careers and a bright economic future for themselves, their families, and our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the work of many departments to ensure youth are aware of the career opportunities that exist for them right here in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, before I introduce my bill, I would like to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. SCOTT: I'd like to bring to the attention of the members of the House, in the east gallery, a lady from my constituency, Councillor Kathy Redmond, who is a councillor for the Municipality of Cumberland. Kathy represents the Wentworth, Westchester and Collingwood area. She's conducting some business in the area and came to visit the House while she's here, and is living proof of the great choices people make in Cumberland County for their politicians - wouldn't you agree? I would ask Councillor

[Page 683]

Redmond to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause) A wonderful choice.

[7:30 p.m.]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 58 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Administration of Justice. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 59 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 402 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act. (Mr. Darrell Dexter)

Bill No. 60 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Holiday Closing of Retail Businesses. (Mr. Michel Samson)

Bill No. 61 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Hon. Angus MacIsaac)

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

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce to the House, the Alliance of Nova Scotia Students' Association reps in the gallery. Mike Tipping is the chair of ANSSA. Ezra Edelstein is the president of the Dalhousie Students' Union and Emeka Chinabu is an international student and the vice-president of the Saint Mary's University Student Association. Emeka, I hope I've got your name pronounced correctly. I notice also in the gallery is Danielle Sampson who, of course, many members of the House would know from CFS - the Canadian Federation of Students. I would ask the House to show all the students the approbation of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 402

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

Whereas this year's tuition increase at Nova Scotia universities was a cause of great concern, because fees here were already the highest in Canada; and

[Page 684]

Whereas the gap with other provinces has grown so much that university tuition in Newfoundland costs less than community college tuition in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas thousands of students and parents have recently affirmed their support for an immediate fee cut, recognizing that young Nova Scotians need affordable higher education;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Minister of Education and her colleagues for making an immediate cut in the 2006-07 tuition fees.

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 Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 403

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

Whereas teaching is often the most rewarding of careers and can influence the lives of thousands of children, helping to carve a path in whatever future they choose; and

Whereas fighting for human rights and helping those who cannot help themselves is a task few take on in this world; and

Whereas on Thursday, September 7, 2006, the Province of Nova Scotia swore in a new Lieutenant Governor, who exemplifies both of these esteemed positions - teaching and aiding the people of our fair province for many years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate and recognize the Honourable Mayann E. Francis on her selection as Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and wish her success in her tenure.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 685]

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 404

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

Whereas the music of the Rankin family has entertained Nova Scotians and the world for years now; and

Whereas while the family disbanded in 1999, just recently we have learned that Cookie, Raylene, Heather and Jimmy Rankin are reuniting to record and perform for the first time in seven years; and

Whereas, having grown up in Mabou, the family's music has drawn inspiration from the beauty and warmth of the people, community and region by which they were surrounded, a key to their international success and a testament to their love and pride of their heritage;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Rankin family on their return to the spotlight as a group, and wish them all the best with their new venture.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 686]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 405

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

Whereas Nova Scotians expect the government and Legislature to ensure a better deal for today's families; and

Whereas Nova Scotians also expect that the three Parties in this minority Legislature will co-operate for the sake of the common good; and

Whereas starting HST relief on home heating this Fall was part of the NDP's Better Deal 2006 platform in the recent election;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Premier and his colleagues for demonstrating the co-operation required to make the Legislature work for Nova Scotians by announcing today that HST relief will start in the Fall of 2006.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 406

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

Whereas on Monday, September 18, 2006, New Brunswick held a provincial election; and

[Page 687]

Whereas the New Brunswick Liberal Party presented a new vision to the people of New Brunswick with the slogan, "People for a Change"; and

Whereas the people of New Brunswick elected a new Liberal Government under the leadership of Shawn Graham;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize and applaud Premier Shawn Graham and his new Liberal Government in New Brunswick, and wish them well in their new mandate.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 407

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

Whereas The Valley Today is a brand new daily afternoon paper serving the four counties of Annapolis Valley, with the first edition having been published on October 16th; and

Whereas The Valley Today's Chairman Hugh Roddis, President and Publisher Jim White, and Managing Editor Julie Carl recognize that people want to read about local news and sports within hours; and

Whereas The Valley Today, besides The ChronicleHerald, is Canada's only second independently owned newspaper, with a daily circulation of 10,000 papers in Hants, Kings, Annapolis and Digby counties;

[Page 688]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the efforts of all staff at The Valley Today for wanting to make residents of the Annapolis Valley more cognizant of everyday affairs surrounding 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 Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 408

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

Whereas a free and investigative press is crucial to a healthy democracy; and

Whereas editors of newspapers have a long and distinguished reputation of serving the public with their editorial efforts; and

Whereas Mr. Charles Beckwith, of the Weekly Press, is leaving after four years of writing editorials for the Hants East local paper;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Charles Beckwith on his tenure as editor of the Weekly Press, and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 689]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 409

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

Whereas Danielle McKinnon, from Porter's Lake, Nova Scotia, is just 18 years old, and at the age of 12 developed a passion for the horseback riding sport known as dressage, which Danielle describes as a ballet for horses, and six years later she became known as one of Canada's top four junior riders, which she attributes to constant training and a dedication to the sport; and

Whereas Danielle McKinnon has travelled this past August to Lexington, Virginia, in the United States, to strut her stuff in the North American Junior Youth Riders Championships with her 15-year-old Polish Warm-blood horse named Noma Tender, who she has been riding for the past two years; and

Whereas Danielle McKinnon is building her international experience towards her goal of competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Danielle McKinnon for her dedication to her sport and wish her the best in her ongoing competitions.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 690]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 410

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

Whereas the administration, staff and students of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board have been recognized for their commitment to fire safety and planning in the region's schools; and

Whereas the board is the recipient of the 2006 Fire Marshal's Partner Award, handed out each year to the school board that best meets its responsibility to ensure fire safety in the schools; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Fire Marshal Bob Cormier congratulated the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board on its award acknowledging the high degree of knowledge and preparedness by all schools in the board;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their thanks and congratulations to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board for its dedication towards fire safety. May we use this opportunity, particularly in light of recent events in Queens County, to remind ourselves about the importance of fire safety within all Nova Scotia schools.

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. 411

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

[Page 691]

Whereas on October 19, 2006, I had the pleasure of attending the sod-turning event for a new healing garden at the Dartmouth General Hospital to mark the 30th year Anniversary of the hospital; and

Whereas healing gardens provide a tranquil and contemplative environment where patients and their families can lose themselves in positive distraction and release worries and concerns; and

Whereas through 30 years of community support for the Dartmouth General Hospital and a collaborative effort by the hospital, the auxiliary and the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation, the garden will become a reality;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate and thank the hospital, the auxiliary and the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation for all their work in providing a new healing garden for the Dartmouth General Hospital

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 412

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

Whereas while completing her Master's Degree in Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, Karen McKendry has organized the Young Naturalist Club for children aged eight and above; and

Whereas the YNC provides an opportunity for young people to learn about the natural history surrounding HRM through monthly meetings and guided field trips; and

[Page 692]

Whereas local experts provide leadership during both the meetings and field trips, enabling the youth to expand their knowledge and become champions of our natural environment;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Karen McKendry on the founding of the Young Naturalist Club of HRM and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 413

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

Whereas the Pictou County Military Museum celebrated its official grand opening in July of this year in New Glasgow, the lifelong dream of president and curator Vincent Joyce; and

Whereas Mr. Joyce combined his efforts with a small army of volunteers to honour Pictou County veterans who served at home and abroad; and

Whereas the museum is filled with artifacts donated from veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War and various UN peacekeeping missions, all artifacts are well- researched and beautifully displayed;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Mr. Joyce and his army of volunteers for their hard work towards recognizing the supreme effort of the Canadian military. Such recognition comes at an important time as the present generation of military personnel continue to make sacrifices for the benefit of all Canadians.

[Page 693]

[7:45 p.m.]

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 Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, can I get permission to do an introduction first?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. PARKER: In our west gallery, I would like to introduce a couple from New Glasgow, Ken and Gail Langille. They're visiting the city here today and they're business people from that town; Ken is a former councillor in the Town of New Glasgow. I'd like to ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 414

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

Whereas Tammy Gillis, supervisor of the Nova Scotia Provincial Visitor Information Centre, located at the Pictou rotary, and Cindy MacKinnon, office manager with Pictou County Tourist Association, recently completed a nationally recognized Tourism Supervisor Certification program; and

Whereas this National Tourism Supervisor Certification program consisted of an eight-week study group class with the certification being recognized throughout Canada; and

[Page 694]

Whereas this program will allow Tammy and Cindy to continue to offer first-class service to all tourists visiting the area;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Tammy Gillis and Cindy MacKinnon for being the first to complete the National Tourism Supervisor Certification program in Pictou County and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 415

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 the Autism Society of Canada is a national incorporated non-profit charitable organization founded in 1976 by a group of parents committed to advocacy, public education and information about autism; and

Whereas once thought to be rare, autism is now recognized as the most common neurological disorder affecting children and one of the most common developmental disabilities; and

Whereas approximately 190,000 Canadians suffer from this disorder;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize October as Autism Awareness Month and pledge our continued support for the Autism Society of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 695]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 416

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

Whereas Lisa Drader-Murphy, a top graduate from the Form and Function Design Academy in Calgary in 1990 and now the owner of Turbine Fashion Design Studio and Café in Falmouth; and

Whereas Ms. Drader-Murphy presently works as a consultant to the Canadian Garment Manufacturing Industry, while being a specialist in the design of technical performance and industrial clothing, while also having designed and produced numerous products and lines for a variety of sectors within the fashion industry; and

Whereas Ms. Drader-Murphy was a keynote speaker at an event for young entrepreneurs, entitled Success Summit, held in Truro in mid-October and believes you do not have to move away from rural Nova Scotia to have a successful business;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly commend Ms. Drader-Murphy for her exceptional talent and belief in a vibrant Nova Scotia business community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 696]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 417

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

Whereas on Sunday, October 15, 2006 was recognized as Volunteer Fire Service Recognition Day; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters responded to an ever-increasing variety of situations where more often than not, fire is not a part of the incident at all; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments are among the best equipped and best trained organizations available to respond to the needs of the community;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the volunteer firefighters of today for their dedication and commitment in making our community a safer place to live and to work.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 418

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

[Page 697]

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of our community and it is through their selfless contribution of time and talent that they succeed in making their communities a much richer place; and

Whereas close to 100 volunteers, over the past 20 years, have taken time out of their busy lives to help the residents access the health care they require; and

Whereas the Valley Drug Mart Health Care Shuttle, through the efforts of these volunteer drivers, has been transporting patients to and from appointments with specialists in Halifax, thereby easing the stress of travel during this very difficult time;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislative Assembly join me in thanking all of the volunteer drivers who have enabled this essential service to be offered to Valley residents for the past 20 years and in wishing 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?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 419

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

Whereas a tragic accident off Canso in the early morning hours of July 13th killed three members of a Cormorant helicopter crew during a Canadian Coast Guard training operation; and

Whereas the crew of the Four Sisters of Canso, acting in their capacity as members of the Auxiliary Coast Guard, participated in rescue operations; and

Whereas the crew of the Four Sisters received a commendation from the Canadian Coast Guard and the Auxiliary Coast Guard;

[Page 698]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the Four Sisters crew: Fred Munroe, Addison Underwood, William Bond and Ken Snow, all of Canso, for their skilled and heroic actions following the crash on that tragic July night in Canso.

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. 420

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 longevity of one's life cannot be measured by the years lived but by lifestyle; and

Whereas a healthy lifestyle and ongoing commitment to family and community promotes a healthy and happy life; and

Whereas Ruth Elizabeth Young of Windsor Junction has lived such a life, celebrating her 90th birthday on October 18, 2006;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Ruth Elizabeth Young for her life's achievements, healthy lifestyle and for celebrating her 90th birthday.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 699]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 421

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 residents of Digby are hard-working individuals and they work to support their families as well as the greater good of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas rural economic development plays a significant role in the vitality of our province, no matter if it is fishing, forestry, tourism or transportation; and

Whereas today an agreement was finalized to ensure that the Princess of Acadia will continue to run between Digby, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick, keeping this important part of Nova Scotia's history and economy alive;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Bay Ferries Ltd. and all three levels of government for working together to save this fundamental element of western Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 422

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

[Page 700]

Whereas Mr. Dick Bristol, an Amherst businessman and musician, was encouraged by friends and fans to make a CD of his favourite songs for their listening pleasure; and

Whereas Mr. Bristol decided to fulfill the request and recently released his first CD; and

Whereas Mr. Bristol, being a generous person, publicly performed at a local fundraiser and his popularity and fame were instant. Mr. Dick Bristol continues to support community events, having particular interest for those less fortunate than he;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Mr. Dick Bristol on the release of his first CD and thank him for sharing his talent to benefit others.

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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 423

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

Whereas Elinor Selig Roberts was born and brought up in Port Medway; and

Whereas Elinor Selig Roberts left Port Medway to see the world by travelling to many countries and living in the United States of America; and

Whereas Elinor Selig Roberts has returned to Nova Scotia and has written a book that talks about growing up in Port Medway and telling stories of people, places, and things from her childhood;

[Page 701]

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize Elinor Selig Roberts on the launch of her book, Dis is How It Was . . . And Dat's Dat, at the Queens County Museum on October 18, 2006.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 424

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

Whereas the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is the leading national volunteer-based organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer; and

Whereas breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women, and in this year alone, over 22,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer; and

Whereas October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to focus efforts on fundraising and research to combat this deadly disease;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize the women and families who face this illness, and support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in their continued struggle to overcome breast cancer.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 702]

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 South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 425

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

Whereas the Dartmouth Historical Association continues to research and publish highlights from the history of this community; and

Whereas the association will launch its 12th publication, a hardcover book highlighting 37 colour photographs, entitled Dartmouth in Recent Memory, this Thursday; and

Whereas community historians Harry Chapman, Carmen Moir, Joan Payzant, and photographer Lewis Billard, have all played key roles in this publication;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Lewis Billard and the Dartmouth Historical Association on the launch of Dartmouth in Recent Memory, and thank them for preserving our rich heritage and priceless memories.

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 Glace Bay.

[Page 703]

RESOLUTION NO. 426

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 Mr. Stewart McIntyre was a firefighter for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality for over three decades; and

Whereas Mr. McIntyre was stationed at the Glace Bay firehouse for 25 years, then transferred to the Sydney firehouse for his remaining 11 years of service; and

Whereas Mr. McIntyre retired from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Fire Services on Thursday, October 26, 2006;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mr. Stewart McIntyre for his 36 years of dedicated service and devotion to the job as firefighter for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 427

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

Whereas Catherine Rector, a Grade 12 student at River Hebert High School, provided a very important message to her classmates during an informal presentation on behalf of the Nova Scotia Secondary Schools Students' Association; and

Whereas Catherine represents the NSSA as a public relations director, and sends the message that everyone has the ability to make a difference in the world; and

[Page 704]

Whereas Catherine attended a conference at Acadia University, with over 600 students attending, that was formulated around a neutral environment where the students were made to feel welcome, and all those who attended were non-judgmental of their fellow participants, discussed areas of leadership and how leadership skills can be applied to make a difference in the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Catherine Rector on her role in this very important council and wish her continued success in the future.

[8:00 p.m.]

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 428

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

Whereas students and staff at Five Bridges Junior High School in Hubley had a successful start to the school year at their new facility; and

Whereas Principal Betty MacLeod and all involved have made this transition in a thoroughly professional manner; and

Whereas the parents of students enrolled at Five Bridges much appreciate the effort of the teachers through these changes;

Therefore be it resolved the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate and thank Principal Betty MacLeod, teachers, students, and parents at Five Bridges Junior High with best wishes for a successful school year.

[Page 705]

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 Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 429

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

Whereas the Annapolis RCMP Seniors' Safety Program is celebrating 10 years of successfully enabling seniors to live safely and independently in their own homes; and

Whereas through this program, seniors can receive information on personal safety and home security, consumer frauds and scams, health and medication safety and Internet safety, free of charge; and

Whereas this program, which started out of the RCMP detachment in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia was the first Senior Safety Program in Canada and a model adopted by many other provinces as well as other areas of this province;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House join me in congratulating Program Coordinator Sharon Elliott and her team for a job well done, and wishing her and the program continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 706]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 430

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

Whereas the Town of Westville has organized the public celebration of Canada Day in Pictou County; and

Whereas this celebration has been organized by the citizens of Westville on a voluntary basis with outstanding leadership, like that of 2007 Chairperson Morris Campbell; and

Whereas this celebration has taken place for a continuous 100 years;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly commend and congratulate the many citizens of Westville who volunteer their time and energy in this committed and dedicated effort to bring Canada Day celebrations to the entire County of Pictou.

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 431

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

[Page 707]

Whereas Oxford Mayor Lloyd Jenkins was recently rewarded for his 20 years of dedication to the principles of municipal government; and

Whereas the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities awarded Mayor Jenkins the gold scroll of recognition for significant contribution and commitment to the philosophy and goals of UNSM; and

Whereas a plaque was presented to Mayor Jenkins during the 101st annual conference of UNSM, October 19, 2006.

Therefore be it resolved the members of this House congratulate Mayor Lloyd Jenkins on this prestigious award, and wish him many more years of service to his community and its residents.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy on an introduction.

HON. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, in the east gallery tonight I'd like to introduce the newly married councillor of District No. 3, David Hendsbee and I would ask the House to congratulate David and his bride Susan.

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, congratulations and welcome to the gallery Mr. Hendsbee.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

[Page 708]

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 17.

Bill No. 17 - Criminal Notoriety Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to move second reading of Bill No. 17, Criminal Notoriety Act. We have introduced several bills directed at making it more difficult for people to engage in criminal behaviour in this province. We also want to ensure that those who do are prevented from profiting by exploiting the notoriety of these crimes. The Criminal Notoriety Act will prevent criminals from making money by selling their stories and the memorabilia from their crimes.

With this bill, Mr. Speaker, we will join other Canadian provinces that have already enacted this type of legislation. As more provinces adopt similar legislation, it will help to ensure that criminals cannot profit simply by launching sales in jurisdictions without this kind of legislation. This Act outlines significant fines for any criminal, their agent or appropriation who contravenes the Act. It also allows for any profits that result to be directed to Victim Services programming.

Mr. Speaker, this is part of our efforts to discourage criminal behaviour in this province, both with strong prevention and a strong response. With these comments, I move second reading of Bill No. 17, Criminal Notoriety Act. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to have an opportunity to speak on Bill No. 17, a bill with regard to criminal notoriety. I guess, in a nutshell, since we're dealing with this in principle, our caucus is glad to see this bill move forward to the Law Amendments Committee to hear what has to be said with regard to this bill. I suspect there won't be a lot of intervention; this is much like apple pie and motherhood. It's hard to argue with the fact that people shouldn't make profit off their crimes.

I think, as a caucus, we would say that that's something that we would obviously like to ensure doesn't happen, but - and it's a large but, Mr. Speaker - this House should be dealing with a lot more substantive issues around justice, around addressing the issues of justice, around the need to ensure that, let's not worry about shutting the barn door after the horses leave. Let's not worry about stopping them from making money off the

[Page 709]

crimes they commit by selling books or rights to a movie. Let's worry about stopping the criminals from committing crimes in the first place. (Applause)

Why are we spending time in this House debating a bill about whether or not criminals should have the right to earn money or make profit off their crimes when, really, we should be debating bills, Mr. Speaker, talking about the fact that this province has an issue with violent crime, has an issue with safety, has an issue, since they have come into power in 1999, with Halifax now being considered, statistically, the most violent city in Canada? That has happened on their watch. If they want to stand here and debate a bill on whether or not criminals should be able to profit from their crimes, I would argue that we need to be spending more time talking about legislation, not only about preventing crime but preventing the causes of crime.

Mr. Speaker, I've talked about this once, I've talked about it a thousand times in this House, and I will continue to talk about it until I see the day that this government stands up and addresses legislation that actually addresses some of these issues. Today, we have two bills introduced, and I'm not going to talk about those until they're called for debate, but I find it very interesting that while we are here debating a bill on criminal notoriety and profiting from their crimes, we have bills being introduced the same day that have to repair bills that were passed in this House in 2005 that were not legally able to stand on their own feet. So we have to introduce new bills to fix those bills.

At the same time, by fixing them, we're actually providing criminals the opportunity to reduce their sentences with regard to drunk driving offences, so that they can go from a 12-month suspension down to, potentially, a three-month suspension. That's what we're doing on the same day that we're talking about a bill about profiting from criminal notoriety, Mr. Speaker.

This is a House that should be talking about the issues that Nova Scotians are concerned about. I can assure that in my riding, and as the Justice Critic for my Party, I hear it on a regular basis, people are concerned about safety. They're concerned about communities. They want their communities to be such that they feel that the youth have something to do, that the youth have positive alternatives so that they can go out and accomplish things. That means investing not only in health promotion, but investing in issues involving drop-in centres and activities for youth.

Mr. Speaker, today I had a chance to meet with some HRM staff. We were talking about a drop-in centre for my community in Eastern Passage. I found it very interesting because what interim staff told me - and if I stand to be corrected then I'll be glad to hear from the Minister of Justice at the end - is that the money allotted for youth-oriented or activity-oriented - it used to be Sport and Rec, now I guess it comes under Health Promotion - is allotted across the province into regions equally. So HRM, which is 40 per cent of the population of Nova Scotia, gets exactly the same amount of money

[Page 710]

as, for example, three counties in another part of the province. I don't begrudge the other counties getting the money that they get. At the same time, is it not right that given Halifax, given the nature of what's happening in Halifax, given the nature of an urban centre, that there should be more money focused in this area, based on a per capita basis, so that we have an opportunity to get that funding?

Why are we here debating an issue of criminal notoriety and whether or not criminals should be able to profit from their crimes when we should be debating issues around how we can address the causes of crime and how we can address the issues involving criminal activity? That's what this House should be doing. Instead, this government has a tendency to introduce bills that seem to skate around the issue, seem to want to talk about - they sort of nibble at the edges, for lack of a better description. They like to talk about an issue, and it's always reactive. Don't you notice that, Mr. Speaker?

MADD Canada comes out with a report that makes this province - has a report card that it has dropped significantly, that it's disappointed in what this province has done with regard to drunk driving offences. Quickly, we see legislation being introduced to repair legislation that was introduced a year ago, instead of talking about a vision for this province with regard to justice issues, with regard to how we can ensure there is funding for our youth so that they have activities that are positive for them, how we can ensure that we're providing services and providing safety in our communities.

This government ran during the election, Mr. Speaker, and talked about more police offices, which I believe was just a trickle-down from a report that was in the budget of the federal government. Far be it for this government to actually add more police officers than the federal government is willing to fund them on. The question becomes, why are we not here debating that issue? Why are we not here talking about where those police officers are going to go? Why are we not here talking about the role that those police officers will play, instead of talking about those proactive issues about how we can provide both officers to ensure that crimes are not being prevented and how we can also ensure that services are being provided to address the causes of crime.

Mr. Speaker, we are here debating a bill on criminal notoriety. I would argue that this House has a lot of other things that need debating. I was hopeful that in this House we might begin to see a vision for this province with regard to violence in our province, with regard to safety in our communities. I don't see that.

Mr. Speaker, I was hopeful but, unfortunately, I don't see it. I'm disappointed and maybe someday we will actually see this Minister of Justice introduce legislation that will have a permanent impact on violence in our communities. Thank you.

[Page 711]

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As Justice Critic, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak on second reading of Bill No. 17, an Act Respecting the Profits of Criminal Notoriety. We all realize that this bill is a bit of preventive medicine for our province because we haven't heard too many cases of people in Nova Scotia trying to take advantage of criminal activities to be able to profit from it afterwards.

Mr. Speaker, we've heard the stories, mainly from the United States, but even more recently we've heard the stories here in Canada - not in our province but in other provinces - where notorious criminals have talked about writing books and making movies and trying to glamorize and sensationalize some of the horrendous acts they have been convicted of. So this is a means of trying to make sure that we don't get into that situation here in Nova Scotia, but it's also important to again remind the Minister of Justice of the work that we need to do, as a province, and as legislators, to deal with the issues of crime here in our province. I realize that the Minister of Justice attended a conference of his colleagues in Newfoundland and Labrador, and again called for strengthening of the new Justice Act and for a number of other changes. In a sense, that's okay, but creating more offences and more ways of charging people again does not deal with the problems of crime in our province.

[8:15 p.m.]

We need to go to the root cause of why we are seeing crime; why it is that there are certain communities in our province that ironically seem to be under difficult economic times, see a rise in crime in their areas. What is it that the province is doing to be able to address that, to deal with it immediately?

I've spoken frequently about the problems of youth crime, and while the former Minister of Justice as well tried to see more offences for some of our youth who might be using a vehicle for joyriding or to commit an offence, the question comes down, again, to why young people in our province are getting in trouble with the law in the first place. Can we, as a province and as legislators, say that we are doing everything we possibly can to offer the services and support in our communities so young people don't get in trouble with the law or, if they do, how is it we can deal with them?

This province has made some strides in that regard - some of the referral services that are used in the alternative justice society allow our young people to be able to make amends for their activities, rather than facing incarceration, by participating in the community through volunteer activities and trying to give back to their communities. So there are some initiatives taking place, but our question comes down, again, to what is going to be the overall vision for dealing with justice issues here in our province.

[Page 712]

Unfortunately we keep seeing pieces of legislation which deal with - I would have to say, in many cases - minor issues without dealing with the root cause of why we have such an issue with crime here in our province and what we can do to address that. Mr. Speaker, as I said, this is preventive medicine - it may never be of use in this province, and it may be of use very soon, but again this doesn't map out what the plan is for dealing with justice issues in this province.

What's interesting is that one of the items in the blue book of 1999, which had a very strong justice element to it, was the new government was going to bring a heavy hand to justice issues. We realize that didn't happen. There were minor bills along the lines of what we have here, but certainly not the number of initiatives they indicated - ironically, one of those was to make parents responsible for any damages caused by their children in the commission of a crime.

Now we had not heard of this issue in six years, almost seven years, until one of the councillors of the Halifax Regional Municipality decided to revive the idea. The last time, prior to his comments, was in the blue book of 1999. So it will be interesting whether the Minister of Justice wishes to inform this House - is this still a priority of the government, the Progressive Conservative Government, on that kind of front, to try to make parents responsible for the activities of their children rather than, again, trying to deal with the root problem and the supports? I will be curious to see - is this something the government is moving forward with or will the Minister of Justice indicate today whether they have abandoned that idea? Or are we going to see legislation dealing with that as well?

Again, Mr. Speaker, this is a bill we may never need, but I guess it'll be there just in case. But we're certainly looking forward to a much more significant legislation from the Minister of Justice to make our community safer and make sure Nova Scotians continue to have a safe environment to live in, regardless of what community they might find themselves in. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm very happy to have an opportunity to stand in my place for a short period of time to speak to this bill, and also speak to a concern that is very prevalent in our community with respect to people who are victimized in the process of crimes being committed, and the lack of attention victims receive when they are the objects of criminal acts.

I think the previous speakers have made the point, and they've made the point quite well, that there's probably no member of this Legislature who would stand up and argue that anyone who commits criminal acts should be able to continue to sort of re-victimize their victims and the community by profiting, by publicizing the aspects of

[Page 713]

those acts in a way that they would financially benefit. As was said previously, this tends to be a feature of what we've seen in probably more recent times, particularly in the American society where the news networks are extraordinarily competitive. One of the ways that they have really competed for market share is to provide all of the really horrendous and gory details of some really significant atrocities that have been committed. So nobody here would have any qualms with a piece of legislation in our province that would prohibit people from profiting from their crimes, re-victimizing their victims and re-victimizing our community by the retelling of those stories.

I know, Mr. Speaker, as you know and we all know, the Minister of Justice is a person of integrity who is very concerned about the prevention of crime, sending a message to the people in our community about how strongly certainly he feels about reducing crime and not tolerating crime in our province, but I'm really looking forward to that minister bringing forward into this legislation some really hard-hitting legislation with teeth that will provide some compensation to the victims of crime, that really pays attention to those people who are victimized in the process of crimes being committed.

Mr. Speaker, the minister will be aware that I've actually written asking him to consider re-instituting the Criminal Injuries Compensation Program this province had until sometime around 2000 or 2001 that was eliminated by the Hamm Government when they went through a process of looking at programs they didn't feel were necessary or desirable in our community. I think that program that eliminated compensation to victims of crime was a very serious loss in terms of the programs that should be available to victims of crime.

Mr. Speaker, this summer, this Spring, during the time when this House was in recess and we were all out campaigning for re-election in our constituencies, I got up one morning to read the newspapers to find out that a very well admired and very well respected member of my constituency, an elderly lady, had been assaulted, swarmed by three individuals in a parking lot outside her home in the north end of Halifax. She wasn't the only person who was assaulted that evening or mugged. There was another couple who were involved during the same time frame, but this lady had her shoulder crushed. The result of that assault has left her, no doubt, with a permanent disability from which she will never recover.

Before the assault this lady was completely independent in terms of driving herself around to events and activities, taking care of her own grocery shopping, doing her own cooking and cleaning, all of these kinds of things, and personal care as well. Having a crushed shoulder didn't only place her in a hospital bed in this province for, I don't know, five weeks or so, perhaps more than that, it meant that after she returned home to her condominium she was unable to drive anymore to get herself to appointments, including health care and rehabilitation services. She's unable to wash her own hair, which meant that she had to acquire those services by forking out a fair amount

[Page 714]

of money to do this. She's unable to cook and clean. She has to have these services provided for her and she tells me that it's no exaggeration that these additional costs to her have been at least $10,000 in the past three to four months when she has had to deal with the impact of having been a victim of crime.

So, Mr. Speaker, what does this government provide my constituent in terms of real caring and compassion and compensation for having been a victim of crime? Well, they'll arrange for her to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Frankly, this lady, there is absolutely nothing wrong with her state of mind. The assault that she went through has left her mad as a hatter, which would be the position that any of us would be in. But I think the thing that has upset her even more is knowing that her government once had a program that would compensate victims of crime so that they would not be left in these horrendous situations and it was taken away, and all of the talk that this government has about their concern for victims and their concern about crime and their views that they're going to come to this Legislature and do things to improve the situations for victims of crime - we see very little of substance that is tangible, that will make a fundamental difference for someone, particularly someone who has suffered a permanent and life-altering disability or injury as a result of a criminal act.

So, Mr. Speaker, I think this is something that I would like the minister to really reflect on, with his colleagues. This isn't the first time I've raised it with the minister and I can assure him it won't be the last time I will raise it either.

I've had an opportunity to look and see what other provinces in Canada do. Even the small Province of Prince Edward Island continues to have a Criminal Injuries Compensation Plan. They will compensate victims of crime financially if they have suffered a serious assault or crime, particularly if it leaves them with a permanent disability. We have seen so many members of our community in this situation. I remember the Leader of the Opposition, I believe, bringing to the floor of this House the case of the cab driver from Dartmouth who was - I think he was stabbed- and has become permanently disabled. He was a person who was self-employed, he now lives with a permanent disability and is unable to return to the labour force. This particular fund was eliminated before this individual was in that situation, and certainly we have seen many others in our community who have been affected by some of the most violent acts of criminal behaviour that the entire province and community doesn't condone.

Mr. Speaker, in other provinces, provinces like Ontario, not only will they provide some compensation for people who suffer permanent disabilities, they also assist in their compensation plans with the cost of funeral arrangements because sadly sometimes victims of crime don't live to benefit from any fund and their families then are often left bearing an extraordinary burden. Not only have they lost a loved one due to a criminal act but, financially, perhaps they've lost a breadwinner or a significant part of the household income, and on top of that they bear the expenses. I'll tell you, if

[Page 715]

anybody has been through the funeral process you know what those costs are like, they are horrendous. What has our government put in place to assist those folks who are in those terrible situations where they are the victims, and victimized by crime?

[8:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, it's fine to bring forward bills like the one in front of us. It would be hard to argue that people should benefit from their crimes financially, but really we have to ask ourselves what powers does this government have to support the real victims of crime in their time of need, which is following the criminal acts that are perpetrated upon them?

Mr. Speaker I wanted to take an opportunity to raise this matter here on the floor of the House. I would be very interested in hearing from my colleagues on all sides of the House with respect to their ideas around this situation.

The former program, I think the criminal injuries compensation program was probably a piece of legislation introduced in the Province of Nova Scotia sometime in the 1980s. This was a movement in provinces across the country. The funds that went into a pot to pay for the compensation for victims of crime actually came, as well, through the justice system in terms of fines that were being laid against people for violations of various Statutes. We all know that there is a substantial pool of money, bills, annually into this fund through the fine program. We know that some of that money is being used to hire the psychiatric and psychological services that victim services offer to people for the psychological trauma that people do experience when they are victims of crime, in some cases - not everybody is traumatized by the crime that occurs. A lot of that depends probably on their own state of mind, as well as the kinds of support they might have from friends, family, and the community in which they reside.

So I would encourage this government to go back and revisit that decision that was made back in the early part of 2000 or 2001, and I would very much look forward to standing here in my place and supporting the government if they did the decent thing and reinstituted the criminal injuries compensation plan. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I wasn't actually going to rise and speak on this bill, but when I thought about it for a few minutes - and I don't like to think any bill that comes before this House is not important, every bill that comes before this House is important and has a certain level of importance, I guess, as we deem fit. In this particular case I would have to say I can't remember the last time that I heard any of the constituents of Glace Bay say to me that we have to prevent criminals from

[Page 716]

financially exploiting the notoriety of their crimes. In other words, this may not be a top priority of anyone in this province, in particular the people from my riding.

What I can recall people from my riding tell me - and we've had a recent spate of vandalism in Glace Bay, pretty nasty incidents of vandalism, which took the community to come together. The overwhelming number of calls that I got on that one subject, and over the years on the subject of crime in general, have given me one opinion: if you want to stop crime in this province, you put more cops on the street. It's as simple as that, Mr. Speaker.

This bill is basically kind of like closing the barn door after the horse is already out. We have crime in this province from one end to the other, from Yarmouth to Glace Bay, and we have increasing rates of crime all across this province. It's bad in HRM, it's bad in Glace Bay, it's bad in New Waterford, it's increasing everywhere. Despite the cause of this crime, Mr. Speaker, and you can draw - and there have been direct correlations drawn between poverty, between unemployment and the crime rate and the high crime rate in this province, and it's not hard to do. The point I'm trying to make here is that what I'd like to see, and I agree with some of the previous speakers, I'd like to see some of the real issues addressed in this province about crime.

Mr. Speaker, the Justice Minister is a former police officer. He knows full well what crime is, he knows full well what it is at the street level, and he knows how to deal with it. I'm sure if you took the Justice Minister and had a chat, one on one, with him, he would tell you, yes, one of the answers, certainly, is that we have to add more cops. We have to put more police officers on the street in this province, and it's something that that government, the previous government and the government before it - because they're all the same - promised in 1999, to put more police officers on the streets of Nova Scotia.

This bill, just reading through it quickly, Mr. Speaker, is a bill that addresses the issue afterwards. There are fines, there are rather hefty fines, and you're dealing with the issue, and as one of the previous speakers said, no one wants to see any criminal profit from crime in this province. Again, when you're at the point, as we are in this province, when you have seniors who are afraid to walk their own streets, from one end of the province to the other, we know we have a serious problem with crime.

We know we have to do something about it. We know people are worried, that people are concerned, and I know the people of my community have told me to take that message to this House. They want to see crime - no one ever expects to see crime eliminated, but they certainly want to see it reduced. As they see it - this, Mr. Speaker, is to a person who has contacted my office or talked to me - one of the solutions, one of the key solutions, one of the first solutions for this problem is to put more police officers on the streets in our province. That would help solve the problem. Later on, we might be

[Page 717]

able to deal with such issues as benefiting from or exploiting the notoriety of their crimes.

Mr. Speaker, we know, as our Leader has indicated, that hasn't happened in this province. It could very well happen, and certainly we need legislation to possibly deal with that. But, again, the real issue here is whether or not we can deal with the problem now, and dealing with that problem now, again, and the overwhelming majority of people from my area who have contacted me about serious problems, whether they be vandalism or even worse crimes, their solution - and I tend to agree with this - is that we have to do that, we have to add more police officers on the streets, dealing with it at a street level in this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I stand in my place this evening to talk about a topic of huge concern, not just in the constituency of Timberlea-Prospect, but across this province. First of all, I know the Minister of Justice is well-intentioned, and I know of his background, because of a shared past which we have; he, of course, with his career in the Town of Springhill, and the connections that I have as the son of a Dorchester Penitentiary guard. Let me tell you, when it came to problems in Dorchester, they were all on the hill, because, as my father used to say, there'll be problems in the streets of Dorchester because you know what the punishment is if you ever have to go up that hill. Probably that's part of the issue that I'd like to address.

I compliment the minister for bringing forward this bill, and I hope he won't be offended by this but it's a lot more window dressing. There are things here, of course, that are of some consequence. I know I've heard many times how criminals spend their time in jail, figuring out what their next crime will be or how they're going to get a movie made about their next crime, but that's not the issue here. The issue I want to speak of is from the fact that today I had a wonderful conversation with a mother who called me because of a recent incident in the community that I represent. You know when you pick up the morning paper, you don't want to see that in your new well-received high school, Sir John A. Macdonald High School - as the Minister of Education can tell you - that there was a student who brought a shotgun to school. There it was, front-page news, Sir John A. student brings gun to school. The result, of course, is that there is an investigation, and the RCMP are involved. In fact, two young men took it upon themselves to disarm this student.

I happen to know that that wouldn't be the advice that I would give them, but having been through this once before in another school, not in the community that I represent but in Sackville High School, I have been in a situation where a student - actually he wasn't a student, he had departed earlier in the year - decided to bring a gun to school. I guess he wasn't one of my fans and he certainly has never been one of my

[Page 718]

voters. Let me tell you, what are we doing with young people bringing guns to our schools? Then, when you see the reaction, and you see how the court system deals with this - I mean this is not a hanging offence but the lesson has to be there for other children, other young men, other young women in the school as they saw this thing unfold right in front of their eyes, a dismissal at the school.

There is another significant event that unfortunately will have a first anniversary coming up, that has changed forever the community that I represent. It was last Christmas holiday that Paula Gallant, a young teacher in our community, was found in the trunk of her car at Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Elementary School. That crime remains unsolved. That's where we're going with crime, and the questions that are being asked in the community that I represent. There is absolutely no way that Timberlea-Prospect will ever be the same again. Having been in that school numerous times, having seen some of the young people recently in the school, the very first thing they will always ask me is, what are you doing, Mr. Estabrooks, about Ms. Gallant's murder? The young people who were in Paula's class, the community, the parents, are not going to forget that incident. It is stuck deeply in their minds.

Last Monday I went to my office early, Mr. Speaker, and I found the windows smashed out at our rec centre. The windows actually in my office were not damaged but the windows in the rec centre were smashed out. The HRM department is there replacing the glass, the vandalism is continuing, young people, unfortunately, are pointed at because of the problem.

I also have a number of friends who are cab drivers. In fact, I have a prominent student who graduated from Sackville High School who is a well-known cab driver. Whenever I hear of these violent incidents, I said to him recently, don't go into certain areas of the city. He said, well, that's unfair - I'm called, I go; I need a fare, I go, whatever time of the night.

We are now looking at a violent society, and I think, although I don't always agree with the member for Glace Bay on many topics - just put more cops out there? That's not the answer. Absolutely, that's part of the solution, but that's not the answer. When you're dealing with young people in particular, there has to be a lot more help there for those young people. There have to be interventions much earlier. My good friend, the member for Cape Breton Nova, invested many long years in his community working with young people. We need more people like the MLA for Cape Breton Nova, who will take time to go out of his way to set young men and women in his community straight, to keep them busy, to keep them out of trouble, to keep them occupied, to provide a positive role model for them.

I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, that there are seniors in the community that I represent who are extremely nervous about going out in the evening. This is in a

[Page 719]

residential community. This isn't Detroit, this isn't Los Angeles - not that we should be categorizing or stigmatizing big cities in the United States - this is in a growing community where seniors are very uncomfortable about walking over to the local Needs store after dark, where they're looking at some of the difficulties that they could be confronted with.

[8:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, this Bill No. 17 is a bill which will have the endorsement of this caucus. It will proceed through the House, there will be press releases when the bill goes through but what is it really going to do to address the issues of which I speak?

We all have cases, some of them hopefully not as extreme as the Paula Gallant case, nor the recent shotgun in your new high school, but if we as legislators in this province are going to deal with the issue, we have to take the issue on upfront, we have to deal with it. This piece of legislation is not really going to assist when it comes to that problem.

I thank the minister for bringing the bill forward. It's a piece of legislation that will serve a purpose, but will it make the streets in my community safer? Will it provide the young people in my community with more to do? Will it help seniors as they go to and from a Needs store in the evening to pick up a loaf of bread? Will it help the students in Paula Gallant's class, who are now in Grade 4, say that murder has been finally solved? The answer to those questions is no, all the way around. Thank you for your time.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to talk a little bit about Bill No. 17, which we are debating this evening, an Act Respecting the Profits of Criminal Notoriety.

When I look at this, I think again it is an important thing, undoubtedly, to have a bill like this passed and on the books of Nova Scotia in the event there is a crime of the nature that people would be profiting from telling their stories or from the notoriety they achieve by their criminal activities. It's undoubtedly an important thing that we look at it.

But I agree with many of the speakers here this evening who are pointing out this is not something that is going to fundamentally change the way we feel in our communities, living in a city or in a small town here in Nova Scotia. It's become ever more evident that throughout Nova Scotia, and particularly here in the HRM which now has a reputation as the most violent city per capita in the country, that we are looking for

[Page 720]

really practical ways that are going to make people feel safer and our communities to be safer so we can enjoy our life in what is a very fine province and a good city.

So, we're looking for ways that we'll know that young people are being encouraged to participate in positive activities, and that everybody can go about their business feeling comforted that the province is on the right track in terms of this.

That is not the case tonight. This bill, as I say, I would be interested to see it go to the Law Amendments Committee to hear what any other Nova Scotians have to say about it, and the people that are most directly engaged in justice and criminal alleviation, shall we say.

In fact, my concern, at a community level, relates a great deal to what we can do to help divert people from a path of crime. A lot of that has to do with the services we offer in our community. Are we offering enough to people with mental illness? Are we helping people with poverty so they find themselves with alternatives and options in their lives? And, for young people, are we offering recreation, are we offering services where they can enjoy positive and healthy activities?

Speaking from experience in Clayton Park West, I live in what I would say would be the most densely populated part of the city; if you look at the population per acre, particularly in parts of the riding where we have one after another of multi-unit buildings. In fact, in a small area of the Clayton Park riding which I can walk around in just a few hours, we have 160 multi-unit buildings. They tend to be grouped in clusters altogether and if you look around those buildings, you won't find open space or a playground handy for the families.

Those kinds of things are very important - a soccer field or an open space where people can play or kids can go out, that's not available. So, as the children get older, it seems to be that there is nothing to occupy them and as other speakers this evening have said, vandalism, petty crime, thefts from cars is so prevalent there's not a person living in Rockingham, Clayton Park, I'm sure, that hasn't had it happen in their cars or on their property or the one next door. During the election, which has just passed in June of this year, I was amazed that in every corner of the riding, homeowners were reporting to me about property thefts, particularly from their cars if they were left unlocked, or that the cars have been broken into and things have been stolen out of the cars, also things on their property. Although there are also more serious crimes such as theft of cars and breaking into homes, the most prevalent things are these more petty crimes that make people feel uneasy in their own neighbourhoods. It was coming up even in the quietest streets that you would think would be out of the way and it certainly happens on my street and has happened in our own family. So, if you don't lock your car at night, you can be virtually guaranteed that somebody will have rifled through it and taken whatever coins or CDs they could find.

[Page 721]

It has become more than a nuisance because of its prevalence, it has become a real worry for many, many people. I know we've heard others talk this evening about people being assaulted, crimes going unsolved and again, in our neighbourhood, which is a very new one, we also have an unsolved murder. Over a year ago a young man lost his life on Dunbrack Street and Radcliffe, Clayton Park West and that remains unsolved as well. Those things, again, contribute to the overall sense of unease and concern and worry that people have and the fact that women can't go out at night, that you don't feel safe after dark.

Those things are things we should be discussing here in the Legislature and trying to find solutions to them. Some of it may be policing, some of it a heightened awareness or organization in our own communities. A lot of it though, Mr. Speaker, requires a commitment to education, a commitment to recreation and spending on those recreational facilities. They are not a frill, they are basic to our health and the justice and the safety of our communities as they look after people of different ages and of different needs in our community.

With that being said, Mr. Speaker, I would like to again just close saying that this bill is an important step undoubtedly, every jurisdiction should have a bill that prevents people who've committed crimes that are notorious or have hurt people - which all crimes do, even the small crimes I've mentioned that are plaguing our communities - all of those are damaging but we need to move on as well and I hope that the Justice Minister will also be looking at many other bills and steps that we can be taking to strengthen the safety in all of our communities in Nova Scotia. With that, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to say thank you.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I too appreciate the opportunity this evening to join in the debate on Bill No. 17. I have been listening intently to the speeches of the various members who've taken it upon themselves this evening to speak on this bill. I wanted to take the opportunity to speak because I think this is an important piece of legislation brought forward by the Minister of Justice, one that does touch on what I think is a very important topic and I want to deal with that in particular, but I also wanted to- if I may just shortly- deal with what was also said in the Chamber.

I think the points that were made by the member for Halifax Needham with respect to the victims of crimes compensation is an important issue. It addresses some of the fundamental unfairness around what happens when people find themselves to be victims of crime. I would recommend the course of action that was set out by my colleague, the member for Halifax Needham, to the minister for his consideration and I would hope that he would see that everything that the member has said about this not

[Page 722]

only makes infinite sense, it makes good public policy. It is the right position for the government to adopt in respect to these matters.

I also listened to the member for Timberlea-Prospect and he makes a good point about the causes of crime. We often hear many people say you have to be tough on crime and you have to be tough on the causes of crime and that has become kind of part of the mantra of politicians these days when they talk about crime - and it is absolutely true, and I've heard many police officers say that you can put a police officer on every single street corner and you're still not going to solve all the problems associated with criminal behaviour because many of them have to do with the socio-economic position that many people find themselves in.

A lot of people have given up hope; they are desperate. They don't find there are the programs or services in place that are going to allow them to escape the position that they find themselves in - and I think that is, you know, part of trying to deal with the causes of crime. I think you would find poverty at the root of much of the crime that we have in our communities. You will find people who don't have the ability to lift themselves out of that poverty. So part of what my colleague, the member for Timberlea-Prospect, was saying is that you're going to have to start to deal with those kind of broader aspects of society, of governmental intervention in order to be able to deal with criminal behaviour. So we have the causes of crime, and in this particular case violent crimes that have been committed, and then we have a third very distinct group which is the consequences of crime and that's, in part, what the victims of crime compensation aspect that my colleague explored is about - it's about dealing with the consequences of crime.

This is where I differ somewhat from what we heard from the member for Glace Bay, because he said this is about kind of closing the door after the horse is out of the barn. Well, not so. This is a distinct part of that equation of crime. It is dealing with the consequences of crime, and unfortunately it is true that there are those people who would try to benefit from the notoriety of having committed a heinous, violent crime - and by the way that's not necessarily the individual who committed the crime. I had an opportunity to read through the bill and you will see that they identify a whole list of people, or organizations or corporations, who potentially could benefit from the retelling, for profit, of the circumstances of a violent crime.

I have to say I very much agree that this should not be allowed and that there are good public policy reasons for not allowing that to happen. I'm sure the minister has had an opportunity to discuss with his officials in the department some of the history around notoriety for profit, around some of the original legislation that came forward with respect to these kinds of bills. The minister may know and, Mr. Speaker, you may know, that some of the original legislation dealt with the Son of Sam - in fact many of these pieces of legislation actually became called the "Son of Sam" laws - to deal with David

[Page 723]

Berkowitz, who was a psychopath who terrorized parts of New York State back in the 1970s. Part of the problem around Mr. Berkowitz was this whole question of whether or not there was going to be profit made as a result of him signing on to contracts for which he could profit.

[9:00 p.m.]

Interestingly enough, I believe it was in the late 1970s that New York State brought forward its original legislation and it was very specific with respect to the ability of those who committed violent criminal acts not being able to profit from that notoriety, or from contracts entered into with other individuals, with corporate entities such as those promoters of books or movies or other kinds of broadcasting with respect to the circumstances surrounding the crimes that Mr. Berkowitz had perpetrated.

I believe that it was not long after the implementation of these laws in the State of New York that many other states in the U.S. followed suit. I am not exactly sure, Mr. Speaker, maybe the Minister of Justice knows better than I do, but I think there were more than 40 states and the federal Government of the United States that decided that they were going to follow the example set out in New York State and implement these kinds of laws.

The legislation has a kind of mixed history because my recollection - and I know there are others who have an interest in this particular area of law as well - is that in the early 1990s the Supreme Court of the United States struck down some of the legislation. The case that I recall was, I think, a case called Simon & Schuster - which is a book publisher - versus the New York, I think it was called the Victims of Crime Compensation or Victims of Crime Services Board. Don't go looking up that citation because it is not perhaps as exact as it ought to be but that is kind of my recollection of what happened with respect to that piece of legislation.

What happened, of course, was that simply because the legislation was struck down in that format, the lawmakers in the United States then, of course, went to work to try to rework the law so that it would be acceptable to the Supreme Court. Oh, by the way, I should mention that the reason why it was struck down was because it was seen to be a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution right to free speech. That was the interpretation of the court. They said that it was overly broad and that that created a problem in reaching beyond what the law needed to do in order to deal with notoriety for profit.

So, as I said, the lawmakers in the United States set to work at redrafting much of the legislation. I am not sure, I believe that to date most of those have managed to survive contests. Perhaps when the minister closes debate on this he will be able to indicate whether or not he knows if legislation in other parts of this country has been

[Page 724]

challenged. Oftentimes, Mr. Speaker, these pieces of legislation of themselves make so much sense that there aren't a lot of challenges that come forward. So I am not sure whether or not the minister is aware whether or not there have been challenges to legislation from other jurisdictions in this province.

I note that in this particular legislation it defines who can actually be affected by the legislation, whether they are a resident in the province or whether the contract was signed in the province. Those are all jurisdictional considerations, of course, that the drafters of the legislation, I assume, considered as they were looking at this kind of legislation.

Because I think it is an important piece of legislation, I just wanted to try to put what happens in this kind of legislation into some kind of framework for people to understand that this is about controlling, from a public policy perspective, one of the possible consequences of a crime, and that is that those who committed that violent crime will attempt to gain financially, in all likelihood, while they're incarcerated and that benefit isn't necessarily flowing just to them. I noticed that the legislation deals with the whole question of who is a presumed agent of the offender. They can include spouses or former common law spouses. They would include people who have directly signed a contract or indirectly entered into a contract for the retelling of the circumstances of the offence. All of this is to say that I think this is a perfectly valid purpose for this legislature to explore, to try to foreclose the possibility of that happening and it is the kind of public policy purpose that we would expect the Minister of Justice to bring forward legislation on.

I think it was the member for Halifax Clayton Park who pointed out that at this point what we're really doing in terms of talking about this bill is just making introductory comments about the bill and that from here it's going to move on to the Law Amendments Committee and there's going to be an opportunity for input from interested parties in the public and I'm looking forward frankly to seeing what will come forward from that. I said I'm also hoping that perhaps the minister is kind of considering my very brief and somewhat muddled recollection of this kind of legislation and it's history at least in the U.S.- I'm looking forward to hearing from him a little bit about the context he sees this bill fitting into.

Mr. Speaker, what I've said so far would lay the foundation for a much greater argument with respect to the reasons why we might want to have this legislation, but I'm not going to further engage in that this evening, instead I'm going to take my place and see if there are others who would like to comment on the bill. I thank you for your indulgence.

[Page 725]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this bill; I wasn't actually intending to so I will be very brief. I'd like to commend this as a signal, primarily, of something that is a broader phenomenon. Why in the world do we even need such a bill? Why is there such an interest in the notoriety raised by these activities? Why does anybody want to know? I think all of us, not only those who are victims, but all of us who actually see and hear and are obligated to see, hear, and perhaps watch our children and the colleagues - the people who surround our children - being forced to see and hear the retelling these crimes.

We are all victimized, we are in fact victimized as a society and the more that happens, the more there is an interest in it taking place. I think this is why it is particularly disturbing that a bill like this should need to come forward. Why do we really need to stop people from being able to profit, to put themselves into a market which is obviously such a profitable center of interest? Yes there is a normal human interest in cautionary tales, but we've developed it into a science and it seems to me that when we are day in and day out watching, hearing, reading - although that's sometimes more of an activity of choice - the stories of the various horrors that are promulgated around us then we are in fact participating in a market which many of us would never have expected, would never consciously participate in. This bill is a very good thing in the sense that it says here is a market and we are going to stop a certain part of the participation in this market.

A lot of the world of this retelling of horror stories is in fact a cause of more of the horror stories. It seems to me that those who are angry for a whole variety of reasons, which may be poverty, they may be financial poverty, they may sometimes be poverty of experience, poverty of a lack of empathy, a lack of experience that has caused people to realize that, in fact, causing human suffering, causing animal suffering is a part of a world which we all can share not only as actor but, in time, also as patient.

Those who are angry and poor, whether they are financially, whether they are poor in experience, or some might say perhaps even poor in spirit, poor in empathy, the telling of these tales - and I should say that it's not always the telling of factual tales but often the telling of fictional tales - gives a vocabulary to that anger. We need to accept a responsibility if as a society we are going to continue to teach the words, the phrases, the sentences with which to express such anger.

Maybe what got me up just now to speak about this is the fact that tomorrow is Halloween. Tomorrow is this great celebration of the inflicting, frequently, of suffering. I read in the paper recently that it's an archaic thing that certain animals and animal shelters should not sell certain animals around Halloween because it's a fun thing to

[Page 726]

inflict suffering on them. There were, in fact, cases in this province around Halloween some time ago where terrible suffering was inflicted around this.

Why Halloween? Halloween has become a thing of entertainment. If you look at the newspaper today, there are amused stories about a parent watching her children cut up their stuffed animals and teddy bears and stitch them all together to look as grisly as possible. Some of us remember teddy bears and stuffed animals as objects of love, as places to practise affection, to practise empathy, and to practise the learning, gaining the experience of humanity, not to practise taking away humanity. I should broaden that, it's not just humanity, it's animal existence; I mean, animal in the sense of spirit.

The making of profit on this seems to me a dreadful thing in so many ways, to be selling fake blood, and pictures of people with various parts, ways to disguise yourself as a maimed or injured person. Why are we doing this? What are we training people for? What are we training children for? Why, in fact, should we need to make a law that would prevent anyone who has actually exercised those skills from wanting to teach those skills to others? We shouldn't need to make this kind of law, but since it would appear that it's a step along the way, then I commend it and I look forward to it coming forward. Thank you very much.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the members opposite for their comments and their suggestions, particularly those around this bill. The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition mentioned whether other types of this legislation across the country have been challenged. I'm sure the folks who drafted this and the folks in the department would be well aware of that. It's certainly something that we'll take into consideration.

As well, I'd like to thank the members who have made suggestions around other things outside of this bill. Mr. Speaker, someone mentioned whether this legislation was worthwhile in this province or not, and I would say it definitely is. As we indicated last week at the announcement of our rewards program, if we solve one crime as a result of that rewards program it was well worth it. If one person is prevented from benefiting from their acts of violence, breaking the law in this country, whether it's in Nova Scotia or Ontario, if one person is prevented from benefiting from that, then this legislation is well worth it. I look forward to the support of the members opposite passing this through the Law Amendments Committee and on to third reading.

So, Mr. Speaker, with that, I move to close debate on Bill No. 17, Criminal Notoriety Act, and have it move on to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

[Page 727]

[9:15 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 17. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 21.

Bill No. 21 - Justice Administration Amendment (2006) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to begin second reading of Bill No. 21, Justice Administration Amendment (2006) Act, an omnibus bill. This bill covers several amendments. For example, there are a number of housekeeping amendments to the Assessment Act, designed to remove uncertainty in assessment applications to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Another amendment removes references to the former County Court, and deals with the destruction of records and the electronic exchange of information between property owners and the Assessment Services Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

Mr. Speaker, we're also amending the enforcement of the Court Orders Act to allow the Registry of Motor Vehicles to suspend the driver's licence of someone in default of payment under this Act. Other administrative amendments cover the Land Titles Clarification Act, the Public Archives Act, the Land Registration Act and the Vital Statistics Act.

Mr. Speaker, we look forward to comments from members opposite today on this very important bill. With that, I move second reading of Bill No. 21, Justice Administration Amendment (2006) Act. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to have an opportunity to speak on Bill No. 21. This is a bill that's introduced on a regular basis, which is basically an omnibus bill addressing justice issues in this province. At least once a year, if not once every session, we see a bill come forward that addresses a wide range, a motley crew of different pieces of legislation within Justice that need to be addressed. Indeed, on the

[Page 728]

same day that we're debating this one that was introduced this summer, there's a new one that was introduced today as well, and has been tabled before the House. I don't know the number of the bill, but it was also introduced today.

I want to speak about some of the things. Because this is a bill that deals with justice generally, therefore it deals with the principle of justice, I want to talk about something that should be in this bill, something that I believe, as a principle, should be addressed, and something that I believe last week in the media the Minister of Justice said they were looking at, and that is mental health courts. This is, I believe, an opportunity, when we introduce an omnibus bill to address justice to also look at the need to address what I think, again, is an ongoing concern, something we've heard about in this province on an ongoing basis over the past two months, consistently, though I would argue it has been happening more quietly, sort of below the radar.

Mr. Speaker, that is the issue of people who are mental health clients, who have mental health issues, who are appearing before the courts on criminal charges where the criminal charge is a symptom of a bigger problem, which is not receiving the services and the support they need in the community to ensure that they're addressing their mental health needs. That is what we need in this bill.

That's what the people of Nova Scotia are demanding when they see the problems that they're facing in the court system, and they see people, as has been in the media, as we're all well aware, Mr. Speaker, who have been before the courts, consistently, repeatedly, because of the problems they have faced, because this government has failed to provide the services they need to ensure they're able to sustain a reasonable life in society, in our communities, without a threat of violence to themselves or others or committing criminal acts.

It's a shame that this Minister of Justice in the media last week said, they must be reading our minds, we're thinking about putting in a mental health court. Yet, here we are, with a justice administration bill that does not have this. The minister could have gotten up in his second reading motion and said, we intend to amend this at the Law Amendments Committee to address it. The bill he introduced today, Mr. Speaker, could have had a clause in it as well. Yet, again, much like the last bill we just debated, this government wants to talk about tinkering with, nibbling around the edges of justice issues, but is not talking about the issues that Nova Scotians are talking about in their coffee shops, in their homes, in their workplaces and, in this case, the one I'm talking about is the fact that we have people who are suffering from mental health issues and they are not receiving the services they need in the community.

It was last year that the member for Halifax Needham fought a vigorous battle with regard to what I think is called the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act, an Act that specifically said, we're going to close more beds in hospitals, we're going to put

[Page 729]

more people into communities, without any guarantee of the services that are required. We warned at that time that what you were going to get is a situation where people, potentially, are going to be at risk of offending, at risk of danger to themselves and others, potentially committing crimes, Mr. Speaker.

Yet this government, through that Act, has not provided the supports and services, whether through that Act or otherwise, that are needed for people like that in our communities. People and families that suffer from mental health issues are desperate for that support, desperate for that help, yet this government ignores it. They ignore that problem until it becomes so big a problem, such a problem that a criminal act is committed, they are dragged before the courts and the courts are unable to deal with it.

What have they done? Well, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Community Services know full well what is being done. Is that the right answer? You know what - I would argue that judges are frustrated. Years ago, as a Crown Attorney, I used to see this very point. People who would be coming to court day after day because they had mental health issues that weren't being addressed, either because they weren't taking their medication or because their medication wasn't appropriate or because the supports weren't in place. You particularly saw it over the Christmas holidays where maybe they didn't have the support of family or maybe the support staff weren't available but generally speaking, it was not uncommon to see it on a regular basis. These people would come into court four, five or six days in a row until finally there was something done, but the resources of the courts, the resources of the police, the resources of the communities were being dragged into having to address this problem in a reactive manner instead of in a proactive manner and we still have the problem today where the government is failing to provide those services, failing to provide those supports. I think they are called action teams in the Voluntary Psychiatric Treatment Act. I think there is one in the province right now, an action team.

Mr. Speaker, we need more, we need to see that as a way of saying, here are people who we are going to be putting into our community who have mental health issues, they need our help. They need assisted living, housing, and social workers. They need people who are willing to work with them to ensure that they can live a successful life, however you define that, that they can ensure they are going to be able to live life to the fullest. Maybe that is working, maybe that is working part-time, maybe they are not able to work but they are still able to have an effective and successful life. The fact is that it takes an investment from the government to ensure that happens. When we don't have it what we end up getting is people who end up running into the law, committing crimes, showing up in court, and the courts are not equipped to deal with the issue of people who are before the courts because of mental health issues.

Yes, a crime has been committed and the court sees - it is the old story that justice is blind. Anyone can show up in the court who commits a crime - public mischief,

[Page 730]

damage to property, theft under $5,000, something more serious even. Mr. Speaker, the court sees these people and they say, we take the individual who shows up before us and we deal with them. If they understand the difference between right or wrong, then we are going to try them in court and if they are found guilty, we will provide them with a punishment like we would anyone else. That might be jail, that might be probation. The problem is that when you have mental health issues that are the underlying, root cause of the problem, it isn't enough to just try them and punish them because the fact is that we are probably not going to send them to jail. Jail is probably not appropriate for them in those circumstances. They can be back out on the street and again without the supports, they are going to be back again and reasonably soon.

That is what this government has failed to do and what we've seen with regard to those well-known cases in the past month and a half or two months, Mr. Speaker, that is the tip of the iceberg. Those are the two that the media have caught on to. I would suggest to you that for each one of those cases, there are thousands more every year that the judges and the Legal Aid lawyers and the prosecutors and the police are seeing. They are seeing it because they are frustrated with the lack of support they are getting. We even saw that in the Crown Attorney in the most recent case, a week and a half ago. You saw the Crown Attorney say, I don't have a problem with bringing someone here to explain what they're going to do - in this case it was the Minister of Community Services. They did that because he was frustrated as well, he is seeing it on a regular basis. The people involved in the system are seeing a lack of support for these people, a lack of proactive intervention and help in housing and guidance and support that is needed to ensure that they are able, as individuals, to lead a life that is successful, again no matter how you define that.

Mr. Speaker, this government fails to do that and they wait until there is a problem, and then we seek why this justice administration bill should include a clause that actually has a mental health court in it. It is important that justice administration is more than changes to the Condominium Act or changes to the Vital Statistics Act; justice administration should be about a system administering justice that works for all Nova Scotians. That is what this government has failed to see, not only in this bill but in the legislation that they bring before this House now and that they've brought before this House in the last seven years. Yet while they stand and introduce legislation here that tinkers with that, or changes this, or because a bureaucrat says we need to amend this so that we can go ahead and do what we need to do, the real problems that are facing Nova Scotians fail to be addressed. Here again is another example of a bill that frankly is irrelevant to 99.9 per cent of Nova Scotians and the problems that we are facing in our justice system are ignored by this minister and this government.

[Page 731]

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, as Justice Critic, I wish to speak very briefly on Bill No. 21, An Act Respecting the Administration of Justice, version 2006, A, B or C - I'm trying to remember which one. Since 1999 we've repeatedly seen these Justice Administration Acts. As was mentioned by the previous speaker, they used to show up about once a year. Then it became once a session and in this case, I believe, we've had one each session which is three in this case. So I believe this might be a third one and today a new one was announced. So I think we actually have the possibility of seeing up to three justice administration bills on the order paper all at once.

Mr. Speaker, it does beg the question of how this Legislature can pass legislation and, within a matter of months, have to be back with a bill to amend legislation that was passed here. It begs me to question as to whether we're rushing our way through some of these bills. Whether we're not allowing the Committee on Law Amendments process to be used in a more efficient matter in such a way that we're better posting notice of these bills and we're allowing ourselves better chances to review the implications. This is not a critique of the hardworking civil servants who work on this legislation or Legislative Counsel but, clearly, this is becoming a matter that obviously needs some consideration, the fact that we're doing it each and every year and the fact that it's coming so shortly after legislation has passed in this House.

So I would hope that the Minister of Justice would turn his mind to this matter as to is there something that we can do to improve the legislative process here in the House of Assembly so that if there is new legislation, that we catch any possible faults with it during the process here in the House rather than having to have amendments being brought in at a later date. With that, the minister has already indicated some of the relatively minor changes taking place under this legislation. I think there are at least two more Justice Administration Acts to go, possibly this session. So I'm sure we'll have much more opportunity to speak at that point as those bills continue to move forward, and we certainly look forward to seeing what comes out of the Law Amendments Committee and whether there are any changes to the Justice Administration Act that need to be done in fixing previous legislation.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, the honourable Minister of Justice in speaking to his bill, Bill No. 21, characterized it as having several amendments. He said it was a housekeeping bill. I take it by that, he's suggesting that he has found some dusty corners and has attempted to make them clean.

Mr. Speaker, I'm a fellow who admires housekeeping. I'm a fellow who goes in for it myself. I wash dishes, I fold the laundry and I hang up my clothes. The object of

[Page 732]

this, not just in my domestic arrangements but in this Chamber, is to try to bring some clarity, some cleanliness I suppose, to follow through on the honourable minister's word, to the state of the province's overall laws. I have to say that I find myself in serious doubt, having read Bill No. 21, that we're actually going to accomplish that through this particular bill. If the object is to clean things up somewhat, then I'm very much afraid that we may be creating just a little bit more mess.

[9:30 p.m.]

When I look at an omnibus bill like this that tries to cover off odds and ends in half a dozen Statutes, I have to wonder whether there's some theme that emerges. Why is it we have to ask ourselves that these particular six Statutes are focused on? Why is it that these particular parts of these Statutes are focused on? At this point when we're looking at the principle of the bill we have to ask ourselves, is there something that can characterize the bill as a whole? The minister said, it's just housekeeping but I wonder if we might not just think about something else that tends to characterize this bill; you know it's not, unfortunately, this bill alone. When I look back on several of the bills that have come forward in this House from the government opposite over the last year or two I'm struck by something that seems to me not to be a desirable characteristic of legislation.

The problem is that the bills have tended to place increased reliance on the regulatory powers of the Governor in council rather than to come to this Legislature with a full range of specifics that say in understandable detail what the bill is about, what the full ambit of the legislation is, how we are to understand it, how the public is to understand it. Why are we nudging government more in the direction of decision by the Cabinet? Clearly, this is something that's convenient for a government that's in a minority position. What it means is that if it can persuade a majority of the members of this House to grant it wide regulatory-making powers then those powers can be exercised by the Cabinet, by the Party that even with a minority is the Party in power.

Really when you look at the kind of legislation that has come forward from the government it hasn't really, in some measure, mattered to the government that it is a minority, not very much anyway. It's not as if the government had a vision for the positive transformation of Nova Scotia society that it wanted to put forward in legislative form. Essentially for this government, being the government is about occupying chairs around the Cabinet Table, it's about appointing people they know to agencies, boards, and commissions, and it's about passing regulations - some of them contractual in form, some of them otherwise. For that, if that's the agenda, being a minority is an inconvenience and not much more.

Once a year it's true, a budget has to be passed and adopted but, apart from that if the essence of the government that they are giving Nova Scotians is a government from

[Page 733]

the Cabinet Table then we should look somewhat askance and very suspiciously at bills that come to us and invite us to give a lot of regulatory-making power to the minority Cabinet. In place after place in this Statute that's what we find; what we find is an attempt to give more regulatory power to the Cabinet. Now to the extent that I can understand the various provisions that are in Bill No. 21, they don't for the most part - with one exception that I'll get to in a moment - appear to be of a hugely serious consequence. It looks as if the ambit for exercising this increased regulatory power is not necessarily going to be open to a huge amount of abuse but, at the same time, we have to look at it and ask ourselves, is this the direction in which we want our government to move?

We read frequently, with respect to the federal government, critiques from professional political scientists of how Cabinet government which is supposed to be responsible to the Legislature, to Parliament at the national level, is becoming more and more like the United States federal government, with presidential powers. There's talk about the centralizing of powers in the PMO or the PCO. Is this something we wish to see replicated here?

Unfortunately, we've already gone some distance down that road. When we see clauses that essentially give a regulation-making power to the Cabinet that says that it can define any term that isn't otherwise defined in the Act, or that it can exercise powers that really don't seem to be limited by any very precise criteria, then I think you have to ask yourself, what is it that we're being asked to nudge our government towards? Does it make sense to have a regulation-making power that says, "The Governor in Council may make regulations (d) respecting any other matter the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Part."? You couldn't imagine broader words than that.

Imagine, at some point, a regulation that might be challenged in court. Now, if that is challenged, what is a plaintiff going to say if that's the regulation-making power? Well, the Governor in Council failed to take into account relevant considerations or relevant facts. The answer of the government is going to be clear, we could take into account anything we felt like because the Legislature told us we could. Don't tell me we had to apply criteria, don't tell me we had to be objective, don't tell me we had to do some investigation and arrive at some finding of fact. This is an astonishing kind of power.

Now, it may be that tucked into the Public Archives Act, it's not going to do a lot of harm. But this is not the only place that this kind of provision shows up. I wish, really, to sound an alarm, and I think perhaps not for the first time in this Chamber with respect to this point. I want to put on record that this is not a desirable way to go, that we should think long and hard before this Chamber, where the majority of votes are not on the

[Page 734]

government side of the divide, we want to think long and hard about whether this is the kind of power we wish to see exercised by a Cabinet.

As I say, the honourable minister is telling us this is housekeeping, and that it's just going to clean things up. Well, I have to say, this doesn't look to me like folding the laundry and washing the dishes and hanging up the clothes.

Now I have a second point (Interruptions) I have a second point about this bill. The problem, again, is not something that's confined to this bill. It's something that we see in many pieces of legislation that come in front of this House. It has to do with what are titled Explanatory Notes. Mr. Speaker, there are, I believe, about seven members of this Legislature who hold law degrees, five of them happen to be in our caucus. One of the things about reading bills is that you shouldn't have to be a lawyer to read the bill. Most of the members of this House are not lawyers, nor do we expect them to be. (Applause)

One of the aids for non-lawyers, when it comes to reading legislation, is meant to be the Explanatory Notes that go along with the bills. I'm not attempting to speak on behalf of all the non-lawyers in this House, but I would be surprised, since I am one of the lawyers and I read the Explanatory Notes and I'm no further ahead, I would be surprised if all the non-lawyers were able to read the explanatory notes and find themselves to have a firm and detailed grasp of what this bill is all about, and it is not just this bill.

This is a problem with a whole variety of the Statutes that we find coming across our desks. I am particularly worried when it comes to something like the disposal of Crown lands. There is included in this omnibus bill a section that has to do, under the Land Titles Clarification Act, with ungranted Crown land. When I read the 2.3 lines that are offered to us in explanation of what then follows on two full pages of the bill, I am no further ahead. It just doesn't tell us what is going on, nor have I heard an explanation from the honourable minister that would give us examples of how he expects this part of the bill to be applied. Indeed I have to say that when I read a piece of legislation in which a structure seems to be put in place to allow the Cabinet to move to grant Crown lands, to what is called "facilitate the economic and efficient reconciliation of the Crown's interest in certain ungranted land; - reconciliation - I have to say I am a little bit worried.

I ask myself, I ask the members of this House, I ask the minister, are we being asked to put in place some kind of mechanism that will facilitate some particular land transfer in some particular part of the province that we may come to regret some day? If not, could we have, please, a solid example of how it is that the minister imagines that these clauses are going to be used? What is this power for? What does it do?

[Page 735]

The explanatory notes don't tell us. The so-called explanatory speech, or what should have been from the minister, doesn't tell us. I am left here scratching my head and I would be surprised if other members didn't do the same.

Now again, if this is going to be a housekeeping bill cleaning up some dusty corners in an efficient way, I'd like to know how. I really would like some explanation that tells us what is it that we are being asked to do. We have the power, we have the votes, we are the ones who are being asked to say yea or nay, as the case may be, with respect to this bill.

The government has control, even in a minority position, of the legislative agenda. They can decide what bills they want to introduce and what bills they want to call, four days a week. All we can do is try and understand what it is that they are asking for and try and make a judgment as to whether it is in the best interests of the people of Nova Scotia. I don't think that is too much to ask. In fact, I think it is the neat, appropriate, housekeeping way to go about dealing with bills when they come before us.

Now, I am prepared to suspend judgment until I get more information. I am asking for information, but I am mindful - and I think it was 1913, the American writer, Ambrose Bierce in his wonderful little book, The Devil's Dictionary, defined a lawyer as one skilled in circumventing the law. What I don't want, Mr. Speaker, is to adopt laws that will make it even easier for lawyers to circumvent them. So really, I'm puzzled and I'm left with just these two points, but I think they're solid points about the bill. I hope that no serious harm will be done if we adopt this bill, but I worry, and I don't think in good conscience we really should in the end finally adopt this bill when it becomes before us at third reading unless we really understand it.

[9:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to place my concerns on the record and I hope they resonate with some other members of this House whom I think are really, like me, minded to undertake thorough housekeeping. Thank you very much.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it's certainly a pleasure tonight to speak on Bill No. 21, which is called An Act Respecting the Administration of Justice. I think it is important that we look at this. I would like to really follow up on the previous speaker's comments to some extent because it's quite true that if you looked at the title of this bill, you would never imagine what sort of items are covered within it. You would assume that it's something from the Minister of Justice relating to justice and, you know, again I'm not one of the lawyers in the House, but I'm certainly able to read with great care and going through this was quite a surprise to see areas that I would have thought

[Page 736]

would be under other departments - the Department of Environment and Labour, or Natural Resources for Crown land, or assessments under Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

I didn't hear in the explanation or preamble, or in the Explanatory Notes, anything that would really let me know how broad-ranging this bill is and, as you know, Mr. Speaker, in the House, where we each have our own or sometimes many areas that we cover as critics here in Opposition, it's easy to assume when you see a bill that's entitled the Justice Administration Amendment (2006) Bill that perhaps it has nothing to do with the areas that we are responsible for, but certainly going through it I saw a number of areas that I question as well why they're there. It's unfortunate that the way we go about passing legislation and debating legislation, there isn't more explanation of what it is all about.

Because of a personal interest in the riding of Clayton Park that I represent, I was certainly drawn to the area about Crown land because I have quite frequently raised in the House the issue of Crown lands in my riding that are known as the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes. It's a large parcel of 1,750 hectares that lie between the Clayton Park riding, Hammonds Plains and Timberlea. It's a wilderness area at present which I have asked the House to look at. I've asked the government to look at it to be preserved under the Wilderness Protection Act.

In the method that we currently use in the province, anything to do, any purchase or sale or trade of Crown land, the decision takes place at the Executive Council or the Cabinet level. I've often spoken that that should be a much more public process and the reason for that is that wherever we live in the province, if there's Crown land in your vicinity, you should have some say on its disposal or the change of use that would go with that Crown land. In this bill they talk about its historical use. In talking about ungranted land under the Land Titles Clarification Act, they do talk about what it has historically been used for, whether or not it has been used by the public as Crown land and so on.

What concerns me at present is that all of these decisions are made through Orders in Council and the only way the public can find out about them is after the fact by combing through the many Orders in Council that are, after a period of time, made public on the Internet and I'm sure you can go in in person and see the records of those Orders in Council. As you go through, there are numerous land changes that are referenced all over the province and sometimes they're very insignificant and small and perhaps wouldn't have a big impact on the community, but other times they can be very major. If you are like many people in the province watching land in your vicinity, in your community, and trying to protect it, or see something done with it, you have to watch very vigilantly to see if something has been changed in the ownership of those lands.

[Page 737]

I don't believe, Mr. Speaker, that it's correct that the citizens of Nova Scotia, who are in fact the holders of this public land which is there for the use of the public - and we like to use the term Crown land, which makes it sound more like it's owned by the Crown but it's land for public use - really we should, as members of the public, and here in the Legislature as those who represent the public, be making it a more transparent process so that if there is a compelling reason to change the ownership or trade because it is advantageous to the province or to the people of Nova Scotia, then that should be made public and we should have no problem taking that through a public process before the decisions are made.

That concerns me because as the member for Halifax Chebucto mentioned a moment ago, certainly we wonder when you have a bill that includes everything but the kitchen sink, which happens occasionally with these omnibus bills - the Financial Measures Act is another good example, one never knows what might be found in the Financial Measures Act, as the Finance Critics well know - it's concerning that there could be things included here that we have no explanation for. In this section dealing with ungranted land it talks about the province having the right to sign off its interest in such lands.

Now I'm aware that when the province went the new digital system of registering properties, there was some confusion - at least here in HRM - about what lands were Crown and what were not - that may be, in fact, what's behind this whole section. What had become clear is that when some people were using this new system that had just gone online, they were finding that their properties which they had duly purchased some time gone by were actually showing up in the database as Crown land. That meant that each time a property sold and any swath of that land that appeared to be Crown land, it would require Cabinet approval to let this land be sold. It was sort of an anomaly, but I gather it was land that had never been properly registered as being sold.

There was a big swath of it in Clayton Park West that went up through Rockingham from the Bedford Basin, and I understand up Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth was listed as Crown land initially - areas that have been settled for a considerable length of time and those properties are clearly in the hands now - and have been for many generations even in some cases - of private landowners. It created some difficulty in terms of the lawyers who were arranging those transactions and sales. Perhaps this is the government's response to that almost anomaly that had occurred that hadn't been noted previously when we were using land deed searches and so on by legal assistants, so maybe that's it.

When there is no explanation - and on that section, Part II, which deals with ungranted land, there is absolutely no footnote or explanation and I don't believe any of us have any idea exactly what the difficulty is that they are trying to correct by adding this entire section into Bill No. 21. It does raise those questions and, again, if you're not

[Page 738]

a lawyer or you haven't had the opportunity to be fully briefed on what that's about, I think it raises a level of concern among members of the Opposition.

Again, we certainly don't feel comfortable being told that it's simply housekeeping amendments and things that government bureaucrats are suggesting would make things more correct or appropriate for the work that they are doing, because it's written in a format that is very difficult to understand what the underlying reason is for making these changes. I think that the footnotes are, in fact, really quite inadequate in describing that. In the footnote which should be the explanation for this entire section under Land Titles Clarification Act it says, "Clauses 11 to 14 add a new Part to the Land Titles Clarification Act respecting the reconciliation of ungranted land that exhibits current or historical usage and has never been acknowledged as Crown land."

Well, that doesn't make very much sense, I don't think, to the average reader. It certainly doesn't explain what the problem is that the Province of Nova Scotia, the Government of Nova Scotia, is now trying to correct. I really think there is a call here, I guess, that we ask that those explanations be a little bit more clear. They are really as obtuse as the bill itself and I think we could do a little bit better describing that for the average reader - in fact it isn't for the members of the Legislature alone, but any Nova Scotian should be able to understand those explanatory notes and know what the bills are about. That's just one section of this bill, which includes quite a few others.

I'm curious as well about Part 1, which is the Assessment Act itself. These are little amendments apparently around the Assessment Act and a clause in this one says that it's going to - what does it say? - it talks at the very end that it's going to be something between property owners and the Assessment Services Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. My understanding is that in this very Fall sitting of the Legislature, we will be looking at changing the structure of the Assessment Services Division and that it will no longer be part of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, it's going to become an agency under the administration of the municipalities of Nova Scotia.

I'm a little surprised to see some amendments that are housekeeping amendments to that Act, when in fact we should be seeing some major fundamental changes around the assessment services and the assessment structure. That again just begs the question of what it's doing there today and again a better explanation, or perhaps an opportunity for a little bit better briefing, would help members of the Opposition support things that perhaps have very good explanations, to be brought forward and introduced as law.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to adjourn the debate this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate on Bill No. 21.

[Page 739]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 11:00 a.m. The House will sit until 3:00 p.m. The order of business on the morrow will be Public Bills for Second Reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn until 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. The House will sit tomorrow between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

We stand adjourned until 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

[The House rose at 9:57 p.m.]

[Page 740]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 432

By: Mr. Alfred MacLeod (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas Louisbourg Fire Chief Leo Carter was recently awarded a certificate of recognition for his work in the community; and

Whereas Chief Carter was honoured in conjunction with the opening of the new Louisbourg Volunteer Fire Station and adjoining Joseph Trimm Memorial Community Centre; and

Whereas Chief Carter was appointed Fire Chief after the death of former chief, Joseph Trimm. Chief Trimm worked tirelessly for years towards the completion of the community centre that now bears his name;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their sincere appreciation to Chief Carter for his efforts. May we also recognize him for continuing the hard work of his late colleague, Joseph Trimm, who secured the existence of the centre that is fittingly named for him.

RESOLUTION NO. 433

By: Mr. Alfred MacLeod (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas the Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Marion Bridge recently held its annual "Fright Night" fund-raiser, a popular event in the Cape Breton community; and

Whereas over 6,000 people attended this year, making it the most successful "Fright Night" to date with volunteers from all over the community including schools, businesses and past and present park employees; and

Whereas the event featured such attractions as live music, fortune tellers and a "Howling Hay Ride" making it a unique and creative approach to securing financial support for the park through the community;

[Page 741]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their congratulations to the Two Rivers Wildlife Park on their most successful year yet. Such an event is a fine example of the kind of community spirit that exists in Nova Scotia and what that spirit can yield to benefit us all.

RESOLUTION NO. 434

By: Mr. Alfred MacLeod (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas the communities of Donkin and Port Caledonia combined resources recently to build a playground for the area's children; and

Whereas the Donkin-Port Caledonia Development Association organized the initiative and helped the communities raise close to $20,000 over the past year and secured additional funding through municipal and provincial governments; and

Whereas members of the community helped put the final pieces of the park together in October and made way for the close to 100 children to start playing on the new equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House praise the communities of Donkin and Port Caledonia for their co-operative approach to community building. Such forward thinking, in light of the possible re-opening of the Donkin mine, exhibits dedication and hard work at an exemplary level.

RESOLUTION NO. 435

By: Mr. Alfred MacLeod (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas Louisbourg Seafoods has secured clients for two little-known fish species; and

Whereas the Cape Breton company found customers for American Eel and also for Hagfish, or "slime eel". The contracts ensure nine extra weeks of work for some of the fish plant's employees; and

[Page 742]

Whereas Project Officer Dannie Hansen said that Louisbourg Seafoods has struck a deal with a German company to buy 4,500 kg of American Eel, while a company based in Maine has agreed to the sale of the same amount of "slime eel" for the Korean market;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their congratulations to Louisbourg Seafoods for persevering in an obscure market. The Cape Breton company can be held up as an example of the diverse business opportunities that exist within the traditional seafood industry, for which the province is already internationally renowned for.

RESOLUTION NO. 436

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Minister of Immigration)

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

Whereas having quick access to medical information is essential to saving lives; and

Whereas fire departments are frequently first responders to those in need; and

Whereas the Hemford Fire Department, along with Emergency Health Services Paramedics, introduce the Vial of Life - which is a small plastic container with a magnet attached to place on the fridge. The vial holds a sheet of medical information such as name, medical history, allergies, medications, blood type and contact person, just in case the person is too ill or unconscious to give the information themselves;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the Hemford Fire Department for promoting the Vial of Life in their surrounding communities.