Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 07-47

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/

First Session

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Agric.: Strategy - Create, Mr. S. McNeil 4125
Educ.: Middleton Reg. HS - Commitment Keep,
Mr. S. McNeil 4126
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2402, MacDonald, Frank - Dublin Literacy Award:
Nomination - Congrats., The Premier 4126
Vote - Affirmative 4127
Res. 2403, Com. Serv. - The Voice: Contribution - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Streatch 4127
Vote - Affirmative 4127
Res. 2404, Air Canada - Anniv. (70th), Hon. L. Goucher 4128
Vote - Affirmative 4128
Res. 2405, Nat. Res. - Land Services/Reg. Services: Commitment -
Recognize, Hon. D. Morse 4128
Vote - Affirmative 4129
Res. 2406, TCH - Cdn. Tourism Hum. Res. Coun.: Employers of
Choice Awards - Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 4129
Vote - Affirmative 4130
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 175, Education Act, Mr. W. Estabrooks 4130
No. 176, Gaming Control Act, Mr. S. McNeil 4130
No. 177, Video Lottery Terminals Moratorium Act, Mr. L. Glavine 4130
NOTICES OF MOTION:^
Res. 2407, Seafoam Sch. - History: Publication - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Parker 4131
Vote - Affirmative 4131
Res. 2408, Big Brothers & Big Sister (Pictou Co.): Fundraising -
Congrats., Mr. P. Dunn 4131
Vote - Affirmative 4132
Res. 2409, Christmas Full of Caring Dinner: Comm./Participants -
Congrats., Ms. J. Massey 4132
Vote - Affirmative 4133
Res. 2410, Burke, Gerard & Marion: Sandy's Old Fashioned
Christmas - Anniv. (12th), Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4133
Vote - Affirmative 4133
Res. 2411, Hants Commun. Hosp. Fdn./Art. Comm.: Members -
Applause, Mr. C. Porter 4134
Vote - Affirmative 4134
Res. 2412, Lundrigan, George: Sydney FD - Prov. Medal (25yr.),
Mr. G. Gosse 4134
Vote - Affirmative 4135
Res. 2413, Easter Seals Campaign: Participation - Congrats.,
Mr. Herald Theriault 4135
Vote - Affirmative 4136
Res. 2414, Devoe, Coach J.J./Serbian U10 Nat'l. Hockey Team -
Welcome, Mr. K. Bain 4136
Vote - Affirmative 4137
Res. 2415, Myles, David: Int'l Songwriting Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Preyra 4137
Vote - Affirmative 4138
Res. 2416, Riley, Deaconess Irma Jacqueline: Black Cultural
Soc. Award - Congrats., Mr. K. Colwell 4138
Vote - Affirmative 4138
Res. 2417, Cadets Taggart, Johnson, Pearce & Gibbs: Medals -
Congrats., Hon. K. Casey 4139
Vote - Affirmative 4139
Res. 2418, MacKay, Hon. Peter - Offshore Revenue: Abandonment -
Idea Dismiss, Mr. D. Dexter 4140
Idea Dismiss, Mr. D. Dexter
Res. 2419, Glace Bay Sen. HS - Grade 10 Class: Action
Jeunesse Prog. - Congrats., Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4140
Vote - Affirmative 4141
Res. 2420, Glenora Distillery - Owners/Staff: Products - Congrats.,
The Premier 4141
Vote - Affirmative 4142
Res. 2421, MacKenzie, Lori & Adam/Cole Hbr. Curves for Women
Commun. Commitment - Congrats., Mr. D. Dexter 4142
Vote - Affirmative 4143
Res. 2422, Paris, Doreen: Black Cultural Soc. Award - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Colwell 4143
Vote - Affirmative 4143
Res. 2423, Hughes, Nicola - Can. Winter Games - Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 4144
Vote - Affirmative 4144
Res. 2424, Hawkins, Liam & Grant - Can. Winter Games:
Participation - Congrats., Mr. P. Paris 4144
Vote - Affirmative 4145
Res. 2425, Dion, Stéphane/Liberal Party - Elect, Mr. M. Samson 4145
Res. 2426, Jurgen, Alex /Sepracor Pharmaceuticals Plant
Manager - Commend, Mr. C. Porter 4146
Vote - Affirmative 4147
Res. 2427, Lane Susan: Robbie Burns Feast - Anniv. (14th),
Ms. V. Conrad 4147
Vote - Affirmative 4147
Res. 2428, Environ. & Lbr.: Nat. Res. - Retain, Mr. H. Theriault 4147
Res. 2429, Rusty Blades Hockey Team: Old Timers Championship -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4148
Vote - Affirmative 4149
Res. 2430, Lumsden, Kelly: Basketball Player of Yr. - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 4149
Vote - Affirmative 4149
Res. 2431, Morine, Capt. Donald: New Minas Vol. FD/Commun. -
Commitment, Hon. D. Morse 4150
Vote - Affirmative 4150
Res. 2432, Amirault, Warren: Vol. Endeavours - Congrats.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 4150
Vote - Affirmative 4151
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2433, MacDonald, Mickey - Chickenburger: Purchase -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 4151
Vote - Affirmative 4152
Res. 2434, Hoare, William "Bumper": Retirement - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 4152
Vote - Affirmative 4152
Res. 2435, Harper, Wayne: Whitney Pier Fire Stn. - Federal Bar
Award (20yr.), Mr. G. Gosse 4153
Vote - Affirmative 4153
Res. 2436, Pictou Co. Firefighters Assoc.: Serv. - Thank,
Mr. P. Dunn 4153
Vote - Affirmative 4154
Res. 2437, Eyking, Mark - EI Bill: Introduction - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 4154
Vote - Affirmative 4157
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Standing Committees of the House
of Assembly, Hon. M. Baker 4155
[NOTICES OF MOTION]
Res. 2438, Williams, Laurie: Cisco/ACCC Scholarship -
Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 4155
Vote - Affirmative 4156
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 448, Prem.: Statutory Holidays - Workers' Rights,
Mr. D. Dexter 4157
No. 449, Gov't. (N.S.): Renewable Energy - Direct Sales,
Mr. M. Samson 4158
No. 450, Educ.: School Sidewalks - Fund, Mr. D. Dexter 4160
No. 451, TPW: Moser River Bridge - Condition,
Mr. D. Dexter 4161
No. 452, TPW: Crosswalk Safety - Plans, Mr. W. Gaudet 4162
No. 453, Health - Prescription Drugs: Electronic Monitoring
Prog. - Status, Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 4164
No. 454, Educ.: Riverview HS - Funding, Mr. G. Gosse 4165
No. 455, Environ. & Lbr. - Tire Incineration: Dal. Report -
Release Date, Mr. K. Colwell 4166
No. 456, Com. Serv. - Disability Expenses: Income Levels -
Impact, Mr. P. Paris 4167
Impact, Mr. P. Paris
No. 457, Educ.: - Somerset/St. Mary's Schools: Sch. Bd. -
Meet, Mr. L. Glavine 4169
No. 458, Energy - Natural Gas: Rebate Prog. - Commitment,
Mr. F. Corbett 4170
No. 459, Prem. - Kelowna Accord: Gov't. (Can.) - Commitment
Ensure, Mr. H. Epstein 4171
No. 460, Health - DHA Business Plans: Approval (2007-08) -
Status, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4172
No. 461, Health - Drug Coverage: Income Cut-Off - Raise,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 4174
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTIONS FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. G. Steele 4175
Ms. M. Raymond 4179
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:23 p.m. 4183
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 p.m. 4183
ADJOURNMENT
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Fish. & Aquaculture Loan Bd. - Collateral: Licences - Accept, 4184
Mr. S. Belliveau 4184
Hon. R. Chisholm 4186
Mr. C. Porter 4189
Mr. H. Theriault 4189
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:30 p.m. 4192
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:01 p.m. 4192
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS]
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 158 - Financial Measures (2007) Act 4192
Hon. M. Baker 4192
Vote - Affirmative 4193
Bill No. 168 - Motor Vehicle Act 4193
Hon. A. MacIsaac 4193
Mr. C. Parker 4194
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4196
Hon. A. MacIsaac 4197
Vote - Affirmative 4198
Vote - Affirmative
Bill No. 163 - Human Rights Act 4198
Hon. M. Parent 4198
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 4199
Mr. M. Samson 4201
Hon. M. Parent 4204
Vote - Affirmative 4204
Bill No. 166 - Undersea Coal Mines Regulation Act 4204
Hon. M. Parent 4204
Mr. F. Corbett 4205
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4205
Hon. M. Parent 4206
Vote - Affirmative 4206
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Apr. 4th, at 2:00 p.m. 4206
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE (32)3:
Res. 2439, Ostrea Lake Pleasant Pt. Vol. FD: Efforts - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4207
Res. 2440, Musquodoboit Hbr. Vol. FD.: Efforts - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4207
Res. 2441, Chezzetcook Vol. FD: Efforts - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4208
Res. 2442, Lawrencetown Beach FD: Efforts - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4208
Res. 2443, Oyster Pond & Area Vol. FD: Efforts - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4209
Res. 2444, Payne, Tom - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4209
Res. 2445, Durling, Ashley - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4210
Res. 2446, Gallant - Zwicker, Ashley - Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4210
Res. 2447, Veinott, Breanne - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4211
Res. 2448, McDow, Jonathan - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4211
Res. 2449, Hamlin, Josh - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4212
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch
Res. 2450, Caldwell, Kristen - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4212
Res. 2451, Jollymore-Hall, Landon - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4213
Res. 2452, Lenihan, Lianne - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4213
Res. 2453, Lohnes, Logan - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4214
Res. 2454, Trahon-Connors, Loraine - Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4214
Res. 2455, Reeves, Lucas - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4215
Res. 2456, Jollymore-Hall, Mattea - Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4215
Res. 2457, Dobson, Page - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4216
Res. 2458, Bednar, Thaine - Veterans/Military Personnel: Support -
Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4216
Res. 2459, Nautel: Metro Hfx. Bus. Awards - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Streatch 4217

[Page 4125]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2007

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Dartmouth North:

Therefore be it resolved that this government move forward with its intention to have the Fisheries and Loan Board accept licences as collateral for new entrants.

That will be heard at the moment of interruption, at 6:00 p.m. this evening.

We now shall commence the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, the operative clause which reads, "We, the undersigned concerned citizens of the province of Nova Scotia, request that the provincial government provide funding to assist the struggling agriculture industry and create a new industry strategy to put Nova Scotia at the forefront of economic prosperity in Canada." I have affixed my signature.

4125

[Page 4126]

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, the operative clause is that the Government of Nova Scotia keep its commitment to the people of Middleton and do its school enhancement project on time as promised. I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2402

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

Whereas Inverness' own Frank MacDonald, an award-winning journalist and reporter for the Oran, is gaining much attention for his first novel entitled, A Forest for Calum; and

Whereas his novel has been nominated for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literacy Award; and

Whereas 138 novels have been nominated for this award, one of the richest and most prestigious international awards of its kind;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Frank MacDonald on this tremendous achievement and send our best wishes to him as the short-list date of April 4th approaches, with the winner to be announced June 14, 2007.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4127]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2403

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

Whereas youth in care in this province are examples of diversity, perseverance and creativity; and

Whereas their unique and honest perspectives are encouraged and supported by the Department of Community Services; and

Whereas an opportunity to advance the writing and artistic talents of our youth in care, while also providing an outlet for their experiences, is an important endeavour showcased through a youth newsletter called The Voice;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House commend the present and former youth in care for their courage and creativity in contributing to this newsletter and recognize the importance of government support for this exceptional project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

[Page 4128]

RESOLUTION NO. 2404

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

Whereas Air Canada, the country's biggest carrier, will celebrate its 70th Anniversary as a company this Saturday with the arrival of its new 349-seat Boeing 777; and

Whereas this airline has made a tremendous recovery over the past four years and is now in a growth mode once again; and

Whereas Air Canada's success can bring new opportunities for our tourism industry in Nova Scotia, where air access is a key part of our new tourism plan;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Air Canada on its 70 years of serving travelers and supporting tourism and other industries.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2405

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

Whereas Nova Scotians are rightly celebrating the news that this province has acquired, during the 2006-07 fiscal year, more than 10,400 hectares of land that is of significant coastal, inland waterway, heritage, cultural, ecological and recreational importance; and

Whereas staff in the Land Services and Regional Services branches of the Department of Natural Resources have negotiated and completed these sometimes

[Page 4129]

complicated acquisitions during a tight time frame with their accustomed dedication and attention to detail; and

Whereas those staff members devoted many additional hours specifically to this acquisition program while also fulfilling the normal and full obligations of their daily routines;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House, on behalf of all Nova Scotians, recognize and appreciate the commitment and dedication of staff in the Land Services and Regional Services divisions of the Department of Natural Resources for their efforts in ensuring that Nova Scotians have these extraordinary Crown lands to cherish.

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 Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2406

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

Whereas emerit is the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council's program for training tourism professionals and recognizing excellence; and

Whereas through this program the council recently named eight Nova Scotia organizations as Canadian tourism employers of choice for 2006, and gave them national recognition in The Globe and Mail; and

Whereas these organizations include Cambridge Suites Sydney, CorporaTel, the Glooscap Heritage Centre, Pictou Lodge and Maritime Inns and Resorts, the Prince George Hotel, Radisson Suites Hotel Halifax, White Point Beach Lodge, and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage;

[Page 4130]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these organizations and the many tourism professionals in Nova Scotia for their commitment to excellence in serving our visitors.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 175 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act, Requiring Sidewalks in School Areas. (Mr. William Estabrooks)

Bill No. 176 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Gaming Control Act. (Mr. Stephen McNeil)

Bill No. 177 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1998. The Video Lottery Terminals Moratorium Act. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

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

[12:15 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

[Page 4131]

RESOLUTION NO. 2407

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

Whereas the number of community residents in and around Seafoam, Pictou County, have collaborated on producing a history of the Seafoam School from 1900 to 1968; and

Whereas the 100-page document titled, A Walk Down Memory Lane, includes numerous anecdotes, memories and photographs of former students and teachers; and

Whereas much research was conducted through phone calls, interviews, e-mails and much rummaging through attics and memorabilia to gather this history along the North Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the community residents of Seafoam, Pictou County, for undertaking this initiative of documenting the history of Seafoam School.

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. 2408

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

Whereas on March 31, 2007, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Pictou County hosted the 27th Annual Bowl for Kids' Sake, this year's event raised a record-breaking $77,000 in pledges and also witnessed a record high of 242 participating teams; and

[Page 4132]

Whereas Executive Director Margie Grant-Walsh was amazed by the generosity and spirit of area residents for the kids, with the funds going toward mentoring programs at a cost of $1,200 per child/adult match; and

Whereas with this kind of enthusiasm, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Pictou County will continue to foster countless life-long friendships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Pictou County and its success with Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser, contributing to the growth and development of Pictou County's youth.

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. 2409

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

Whereas on December 3, 2006, I had the pleasure of attending the Christmas Full of Caring Dinner and Auction, held at the Harbourview Holiday Inn; and

Whereas the dinner and auction was in aid of Feed Others of Dartmouth; and

Whereas every year the Christmas Full of Caring event proved to be a very successful and entertaining evening enjoyed by all those in attendance;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Christmas Full of Caring Committee and all those who took part in the 2006 Christmas Full of Caring Dinner and Auction on a successful event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4133]

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. 2410

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 Gerard Burke and his wife Marion of Glace Bay began a wonderful tradition in memory of their son Sandy, who died at the early age of 21, and had a real love of Christmas; and

Whereas Gerard and Marion have built this annual event up from accommodating 100 local children to over 1,000; and

Whereas Sandy's Old-Fashioned Christmas celebrated its 12th year last year and has brought a lot of Christmas cheer and blessings to Gerard, Marion and their family;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate both Gerard and Marion Burke for turning a very personal and unique situation into a very positive, generous and wonderful annual event for many less fortunate children in Glace Bay.

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 4134]

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2411

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 Hants Community Hospital Foundation plays an exceptionally supportive role in the delivery of health care in the Windsor-West Hants and surrounding areas; and

Whereas the foundation is the fundraising arm of the Hants Community Hospital and helps raise funds for new equipment through a variety of initiatives including an art gallery; and

Whereas an art committee was recently established by the foundation in an effort to attract even more work performed by local artists;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the diligent and caring members of the Hants Community Hospital Foundation and the newly formed art committee, for their ongoing work in making the Hants Community Hospital such a caring and compassionate place to visit and convalesce during a time of ill health.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 2412

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

[Page 4135]

Whereas a firefighter's duty is to serve humanity, to safeguard and preserve life and property against the elements of fire and disaster and maintain a proficiency in the art and science of fire engineering; and

Whereas a firefighter's duties are far from ordinary, ranging from fire fighting, performing rescues and teaching fire prevention; and

Whereas George Lundrigan of the Sydney Fire Department, a member of this select fraternity, received a 25-year provincial medal;

Therefore be it resolved the House of Assembly congratulate George Lundrigan on receiving the 25-year provincial medal and on his dedication and commitment to the 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.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2413

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

Whereas in 1922, 10 Rotary Clubs in Canada formed the first network of disability service organizations in Canada; and

Whereas this organization later created the first Easter Seal in 1934, encouraging donors to place the seal on their mail as part of an awareness campaign for children living with disabilities; and

Whereas each year 40,000 Canadians and their families access programs and services provided by Easter Seal organizations across Canada;

[Page 4136]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly thank those involved with the Easter Seals campaign and encourage all to take part in the event which aids children and adults living with disabilities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2414

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

Whereas on Monday, April 2, 2007, the Serbian U10 National Hockey Team arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia from Belgrade, Serbia to participate in the 30th Annual SEDMHA International Minor Hockey Tournament which is taking place from April 5th to April 8th in Dartmouth; and

Whereas Liam Devoe, age 10, son of J.J. and Bonnie Devoe, is the only Canadian member of the team of 17 players and where this Cape Breton family currently resides in Belgrade where J. J. is supervisor of security at the Canadian Embassy; and

Whereas over the past several months, through the efforts of J. J. as team coach and with the assistance of his good friend, Sheila Kelly-Green from Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia, acting as his Halifax liaison, organized and coordinated efforts to have the Serbian hockey team participate in this international tournament and arranged for the Sackville Flyers Atom AAA to sponsor the team by way of billeting, thus helping to defray from the costs associated with the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join with me today in welcoming Coach J. J. Devoe and the Serbian U10 National team to Nova Scotia and wish them good luck in the tournament.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4137]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 2415

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

Whereas musician and Halifax Citadel resident David Myles, has won the 2006 International Songwriting Competition in the folk singer-songwriter category for his song, "When It Comes My Turn"; and

Whereas David was competing against artists from all around the world in this prestigious competition, judged by music industry professionals and well-known recording artists like Tom Waits, Brian Wilson and Jerry Lee Lewis; and

Whereas we should be proud that less than two years after moving to this province, David is representing Halifax in national and international music competitions as well as cross-country tours;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate David Myles for his success in the international songwriting competition and wish him continued success in his music career.

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 4138]

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2416

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

Whereas Deacon Irma Jacqueline Riley has received the Reverend William Pearly Oliver Wall of Honour Award on March 3, 2007, presented by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Deaconess Riley has been employed by the Canadian Red Cross for more than 20 years, where she has actively pursued community development through her work; and

Whereas Deaconess Riley has been an active member of the Lucasville United Baptist Church for the past 30 years, and on May 30, 2004, she was ordained as a deaconess of her church;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Deaconess Riley on her well-deserved recognition by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, before reading the resolution, if I could do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. CASEY: I would like to draw the attention of people in the House to the gallery opposite where we have three Army cadets who have joined us and are part of the resolution.

[Page 4139]

As I introduce them, I would like to have them stand, please, and remain standing during the resolution - Alysse Taggart, Brittany Johnson, and Alyssa Pearce. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2417

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

Whereas the Army Cadet Service Medal is presented to deserving cadets who must have successfully completed four years of honourable service and must be recommended by the Cadet Corps Commanding Officer; and

Whereas Alysse Taggart, Brittany Johnson, Alyssa Pearce, and Becky Gibbs of 2928 Truro Area Army Cadet Corps all received the Service Medal; and

Whereas Alysse Taggart also won the Lord Strathcona Medal of Excellence; Brittany Johnson participated in Outward Bound Wales; Alyssa Pearce was staff cadet at Argonaut last year; and Rebecca Gibbs won the Anavet Medal and the Legion Medal of Excellence;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend congratulations to these four young cadets for receiving these prestigious medals. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

[Page 4140]

RESOLUTION NO. 2418

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

Whereas the only Nova Scotian in the federal Conservative Cabinet has urged our province to "get over it" and walk away from the commitment that we will receive 100 per cent of our offshore revenues without a federal clawback; and

Whereas the federal government is reportedly about to launch an advertising campaign against Newfoundland and Labrador because their Premier dared to demand the federal Conservatives keep their promises; and

Whereas the federal government does not deduct from equalization its billions of dollars in direct support for Toronto transit, the Vancouver Olympics, Prairie agriculture or Quebec tax cuts;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly urge federal Cabinet Minister Peter MacKay to get over his own peculiar idea that Nova Scotians will abandon our province's offshore revenue guarantee and thereby make this province even more dependent on the whims and wishes of the federal Cabinet.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2419

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 Margot O'Leary, a Grade 10 French teacher, and her class at Glace Bay High School sold tickets for a "pie a teacher day" to raise funds for CARE Canada; and

Whereas Mrs. O'Leary's class was chosen to pilot a program called Action Jeunesse which, among other things, deals with assisting those in need; and

[Page 4141]

Whereas each student had to research a humanitarian project and make a presentation to the class in French before the class voted on one project to raise funds;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mrs. O'Leary and the students of her Grade 10 French class for being chosen for the pilot program, as well as their fundraising for CARE Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[12:30 p.m.]

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2420

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

Whereas the Glenora Distillery has produced Glen Breton Ice, the world's first single malt whiskey aged in an ice wine barrel; and

Whereas the Glenora Distillery produces Glen Breton Rare Canadian Single Malt Whiskey, the only single malt whiskey produced in Canada; and

Whereas Glen Breton Rare Canadian Single Malt Whiskey and Glen Breton Ice are products of Inverness County;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the owners and staff of Glenora Distillery on their efforts in placing Nova Scotia on the world stage with their unique products.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4142]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2421

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

Whereas Curves for Women is a well-known fitness operation with franchises throughout Canada and the United States; and

Whereas Cole Harbour Curves for Women is a local operation where the owners, Lori MacKenzie and Adam MacKenzie, pride themselves on actively supporting community projects; and

Whereas Cole Harbour Curves for Women is not only committed to providing a more complete and healthy lifestyle for women but also contributes to the whole community by supporting various charities, such as breast cancer awareness; food banks, women's shelters and humanitarian organizations such as Christmas Daddies, Tim Horton's Children's Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Lori MacKenzie and Adam MacKenzie of Cole Harbour Curves for Women, their staff and members, for their commitment and dedication to the community of Cole Harbour and beyond.

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 4143]

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2422

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

Whereas Doreen Paris has received the Reverend Dr. William Pearly Oliver Wall of Honour Award on March 3, 2007, presented by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Doreen Paris has been a very active member in her community and organizations such as the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia and on the Women's Institute, the Tearmann Society for Battered Women, the Circle of Prevention, Women Leading Action, New Leaf Society for Men Who Batter, and the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children and the Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy; and

Whereas Doreen Paris served as a member of the Beijing Plus 5 Canadian Delegation to the United Nations in 2000 and also is a recipient of numerous other awards for her many contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating Doreen Paris for the most recent, well-deserved recognition by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2423

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

[Page 4144]

Whereas Nicola Hughes of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Nicola demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of Alpine Skiing; and

Whereas Nicola's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her peers and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Nicola.

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.

MR. PERCY PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, before I read my resolution I seek permission to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER; Please do.

MR. PARIS: I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery. I would like to introduce Shelly Brimicombe and Viola Pickrem from the beautiful riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 2424

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

Whereas Fall River gymnast Liam Hawkins won first place at the Nova Scotia Canada Games gymnastics trials; and

[Page 4145]

Whereas 16-year-old Liam and his 14-year-old brother Grant, trained four hours per day, five days a week, to compete as artistic gymnasts at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse; and

Whereas Liam Hawkins went on to win a Bronze medal in the Artistic Gymnastics Male Vault competition;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Liam and Grant Hawkins for their dedication to sport and for so admirably representing Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 2425

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

Whereas the federal Conservative Government is once again neglecting the rights and privileges of Nova Scotia be reneging on the Atlantic Accord; and

Whereas Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, has forgotten his roots and is leaving Nova Scotia without the real opportunity to become a self-sustaining province; and

Whereas Minister MacKay is known for making deals and later backing out of them, as he did with fellow Tory leadership candidate David Orchard, four years ago;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly and all Nova Scotians vote for Stephane Dion and the Liberal Party of Canada in the next federal election, who has publicly stated that he will reinstate the Atlantic Accord for all Nova Scotians, providing stability and opportunity for years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4146]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2426

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

Whereas Sepracor is a leading edge pharmaceuticals company employing 70 people in the Windsor-West Hants Industrial Park; and

Whereas Sepracor Pharmaceuticals is presently undergoing an expansion which will see 10,000 feet of additional laboratory space added; and

Whereas Sepracor Plant Manager Alex Jurgens said, after a few lean financial years, Sepracor has turned the corner with a dedicated management team wanting only success for the Windsor-West Hants facility;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Sepracor Pharmaceuticals Plant Manager Alex Jurgens and his team of dedicated professionals.

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. 2427

[Page 4147]

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

Whereas Scots the world over celebrate his birthday on January 25th each year; and

Whereas it is a time to celebrate poetry and to celebrate an individual who was passionate about having a good time, hard work, the love of people, food and wine; and

Whereas this year the 4th Annual Celebration of Robbie Burns Feast in Liverpool took place at Lanes, which included the march of the haggis, toasts and the reciting of favourite poems;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Susan Lane for hosting the 4th Annual Celebration of Robbie Burns Feast at Lane's in Liverpool.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2428

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

Whereas much of our natural resources have been leaving this province over the years without bringing full benefit to Nova Scotians; and

Whereas letting these resources leave without value adding or charging for royalties is harming our economy; and

Whereas more of our resources may be leaving in the future such as our water and land, which in turn will make more of greatest resource leave, our people;

[Page 4148]

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly urge the government to retain our natural resources for our own purposes until we receive the best economic return possible for the survival and growth of Nova Scotia.

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 Minister of Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 2429

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

Whereas staying physically active is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Rusty Blades captured their second tournament in a month, winning the 2007 Moncton Old Timers Hockey Championship, in the 35-plus division; and

Whereas the Blades were undefeated in these days of competition with an impressive 7-2 victory in their final game versus a team from Truro;

Therefore be it resolved all members of the House congratulate the members of the Rusty Blades Hockey Team on this impressive record and encourage them to continue to stay physically active. Congratulations to Lenley Adams, Alain Bordage, Phillip Leefe, Barry Whynot, Phil Rogers, Paul Marshall, Glen Murphy, Mark MacLeod, Darryl Woodill, Trevor Downey, Tim Cross, Mitch Landry, Steve Quigley, Jeff Sabean, and Gordie Spidle.

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 4149]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2430

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

Whereas Kelly Lumsden of Timberlea has been selected as the MBA Player of the Year for 2006-07 in the St. Margaret's Bay Minor Basketball Association; and

Whereas this award recognizes Kelly's commitment to the game of basketball; and

Whereas Kelly's determination to get back on the basketball floor with her Slam Bantam teammates, in spite of three major knee injures, is exemplary;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Kelly Lumsden on being awarded the MBA Player of the Year Award for the 2006-07 basketball season.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

[Page 4150]

RESOLUTION NO. 2431

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

Whereas Captain Donald Morine of the New Minas Volunteer Fire Department has served as a member for 27 years; and

Whereas Captain Donald Morine served as vice president for the past six years and he has proven himself as a leader and organizer of many fund-raising events; and

Whereas this community volunteer has had an average attendance over the last five years of 78 per cent;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Captain Donald Morine for his long-standing dedication to his community and fellow firefighters.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

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 Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 2432

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

Whereas Warren Amirault of Newelton, Nova Scotia, has faithfully volunteered for the past 15 years as an acoustic musician for the Roseway Hospital in Sandy Point; and

Whereas Warren volunteers for many cancer fund-raising benefits by playing bluegrass music for the sick and shut-ins at resident homes as well as being noted for his yodeling; and

[Page 4151]

Whereas Warren coaches the TimBits Hockey Team and each year he parades young Queen Pageant participants in his antique convertible car;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Warren Amirault for his entertaining and good will towards the young and old of Shelburne County and congratulate Warren on his volunteering endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

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 Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2433

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

Whereas the Chickenburger Restaurant has been a family run and operated business in Bedford since 1940; and

Whereas the Chickenburger recently changed ownership, being purchased by Mickey MacDonald; and

Whereas Mickey plans to run this Bedford landmark operating under the same famous banner;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Mickey MacDonald for his purchase of one of Bedford's historic icons and famous landmarks.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4152]

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 East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2434

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

Whereas William "Bumper" Hoare bought Diamond Jim's in Westville in 1995; and

Whereas Bumper Hoare is a generous man with a heart of gold as he regularly hosted charity fund-raiser events in his business; and

Whereas Bumper Hoare recently retired due to his own persistent health problems;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend William "Bumper" Hoare on his community spirit and wish him well in his retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[12:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[Page 4153]

RESOLUTION NO. 2435

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

Whereas a firefighter's duty is to serve humanity, to safeguard and preserve life and property against the elements of fire and disaster and maintain a proficiency in the art and science of fire engineering; and

Whereas a firefighters' duties are far from ordinary, ranging from fighting fires, performing rescues and teaching fire prevention; and

Whereas Wayne Harper of Whitney Pier Fire Station, a member of this select fraternity, received the 20 year Federal Bar;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Wayne Harper on receiving the 20 year Federal Bar award and on his dedication and commitment to the 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.

The motion is carried

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 2436

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

Whereas Pictou County firefighters are hoping to fill their boots this weekend with donations; and

Whereas this holiday weekend, the Pictou County Firefighters' Association will collect money in their boots in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada, which funds equipment, services and research into neuromuscular disorders; and

[Page 4154]

Whereas representatives from all stations will be outside Nova Scotia Liquor Commission outlets, grocery stores and three malls across the county with boots in their hands, making this campaign the 12th year the association has raised money for the worthy charity;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their thanks and best wishes to the Pictou County Firefighters' Association for its continued service to those in need across Pictou County and Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2437

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

Whereas Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, has introduced a private members' bill to amend the Employment Insurance Act for the present 15 weeks to 50 weeks of medical benefits; and

Whereas this amendment would increase the number of weeks some can receive EI sick benefits because they are unable to work due to proscribed illness, injury or quarantine; and

Whereas many Nova Scotians do not have enough time to recover from being ill before having to return to work and where 15 weeks is not long enough to recover, especially with the length of treatments for illnesses such as cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mark Eyking, MP, for bringing this issue forward and encourage all our Members of Parliament to support this bill.

[Page 4155]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Government House Leader on reverting the order of business.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: I revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: There's been a request for reverting the order of business to Presenting Reports of Committees.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the printed report of the Standing Committees of the House of Assembly.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2438

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

Whereas Laurie Williams is a resident from Meteghan River and a second year student at Burridge Community College, in an LT Systems Management/Networking program; and

Whereas Laurie Williams is one of three Canadians to receive the first Cisco/ ACCC Association of Community Colleges Technology Scholarship for Women; and

[Page 4156]

Whereas Ms. Williams received $3,900 from the NS Community College through an award program for women in information technology;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Laurie Williams and wish her 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 Clare I think you're going to repeat the operative clause of your previous resolution, for clarity for the House.

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I'll read the therefore be it resolved again;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mark Eyking, MP, for bringing this issue forward and encourage all our Members of Parliament to support this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 12:51 p.m., and end at 1:51 p.m.

[Page 4157]

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: STATUTORY HOLIDAYS - WORKERS' RIGHTS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: My question this afternoon will be through you to the Premier. On October 6, 2006 this government unilaterally overrode the will of the Legislature through the Cabinet decision on Sunday shopping. In a regulation passed by Cabinet, the government took away the right of workers to enjoy statutory holidays, as the Labour Standards Code provides for. Many Nova Scotians should be looking forward to some time with their family on the long weekend and unfortunately, the Cabinet has made it impossible. So I ask the Premier this, why does his government refuse to respect Nova Scotian's right to a statutory holiday?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, indeed the government made a decision last summer to finally put this issue behind us, the issue which many Nova Scotians were speaking on. The fact was that the courts came back to us and gave clear indication that we could not discriminate between a store which was below 4,000 square feet, or one that was above. We also ensured that we put in protections for workers. That was first and foremost in our minds, respecting the fact that they deserve time with their families here in our province, and the government stands by its decision.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the court decision that the Premier refers to had nothing to do with statutory holidays, as he has admitted in his answers. We're beginning to hear from Nova Scotian's concerned with the plans of large businesses to open on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday. The so called right to refuse that the Premier has eluded to is actually just a mirage. It's simply not a realistic option for most employees, so through you to the Premier I'd ask this question, what do you say to the families in this province who will be unable to spend time with one another this weekend because of your decision?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this is another great example of where the NDP on this issue, from day one, the NDP would not want to actually tell Nova Scotians where they stood on the issue. Once again, we saw it with the Commonwealth Games. They wanted to be on both sides of the issue, yet the other day in Question Period, they were willing to spend over $2 billion, $1.7 billion alone, on the Commonwealth Games. Well, Nova Scotians don't buy it and this government doesn't buy it.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, as I've said before, the Premier is quick to set out things that never occurred, as he has with that response. He thinks simply by saying it that he can make people believe it. What people do know is the decision that he took in October of last year was wrong. It was wrong then and it's wrong now. The family's right to spend time together on the very few statutory holidays should have been protected by his government instead of being trampled on. So my question through you to the Premier is, when will your government make the necessary changes to protect Nova Scotians' statutory holidays?

[Page 4158]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, for clarification, I refer that to the minister responsible.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable member. The problem is that when you get in the business of regulating retail, we're back into determining again what kind of a grocery store can be open and what kind cannot.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians do not want to see small grocery stores closed. They have not traditionally been closed and the honourable member wants to close those small grocery stores on statutory holidays and Nova Scotians don't want that.

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

GOV'T. (N.S.): RENEWABLE ENERGY - DIRECT SALES

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, reports yesterday have shown that the CEO of Emera and Nova Scotia Power are both making well over $1 million in salary per year. Nova Scotians are furious, their rates continue to rise and so do the salaries of the individuals running the power monopoly in this province. The Electricity Marketplace Governance Committee recommended that we end the monopoly of Nova Scotia Power and allow renewable energy producers to sell directly to consumers. Four years later this government has done absolutely nothing on that recommendation. Therefore, my question to the Premier is, why does your government refuse to allow renewable energy producers to sell directly to Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, indeed the Minister of Energy, the Department of Energy, have taken a number of steps over the past year, one of those being dealing with municipal utilities, as the Interim Leader would be well aware. They are very focused on making sure that what is done is in the best interests of not only the consumers in Nova Scotia , but what is in the best interests of ensuring that we have a stable power supplier here in our province, to ensure that what is done is in the long-term interest, with a good, solid plan.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, what this Premier and this government have assured is that there is stable and generous growth in the power rates being paid by Nova Scotians, in the salaries being paid to the CEO and senior managers of Nova Scotia Power, at a time when consumers are starting to have a hard time making ends meet when it comes to increases in electricity.

Mr. Speaker, for four years this government has had the recommendation and yet it continues, somehow, to protect Nova Scotia Power's monopoly rather than encouraging more green energy here in this province. This measure and Recommendation 51 could help bring more renewable energy providers to our province and help us move away from our

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vulnerability to fossil fuels. Therefore, my question to the Premier is simply, whose side are you going to take now - Nova Scotia Power's or the people of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this government has always been on the side of the people of our province and we will continue to be on the side of the people of our province. This government has set aggressive targets; in 2013, 20 per cent of the power will be renewable energy, utilizing the vast array of options we have in our province, with wind, with tidal and a number of others.

The fact of the matter is, this government is committed to ensuring that we have a good, strong, stable power source here in our province, stability for our consumers. I will agree on one thing because one of the things that the Interim Leader brought up was that of the salaries of those working for the company, Nova Scotia Power. That is the decision, though, of the private sector company.

Mr. Speaker, like many Nova Scotians, and I, myself, look at those salaries and say, yes, they are significantly larger than the average Nova Scotian is making but that is not the government's decision but that type of information is taken into context with the Utility and Review Board. At the end of the day this government is committed to making sure that we move continually forward on renewable energy here in our province.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, we know the Premier has put a bill that would set some targets for emissions and some targets for green energy. I'm wondering if he has also set targets for what the salaries will be for the CEO of Nova Scotia Power and for Emera. It is good to hear the Premier join Nova Scotians in saying that those types of salaries are ludicrous here in this province. But, this is the Premier and the government that have sat back and watched Nova Scotia Power tell us on a yearly basis that they can't make ends meet. Your government has sat back and allowed the Utility and Review Board to, almost on a yearly basis, in fact our bill was there to stop it from doing it twice in that same year, increasing it each year and the government has remained silent. So with all due respect, Mr. Premier, those salaries are as absurd as they are because of your government's silence in allowing Nova Scotia Power to have increase after increase at the cost of Nova Scotia taxpayers.

[1:00 p.m.]

So my question to the Premier, will the Premier finally stand up to Nova Scotia Power and demand better accountability to Nova Scotians instead of seeing these continual large salary increases being taken out of the pockets of Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as we have stated, with respect to the bill put forward in this House, no government before us has put forward such a comprehensive bill for this

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province when it comes to power. This government is committed to making this province stronger. This government is committed to making this province better. This government is committed to making this province greener and we will not stop until we do. (Applause)

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

EDUC.: SCHOOL SIDEWALKS - FUND

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be through you to the Minister of Education. Although about two-thirds of Canadian children can walk to school in 30 minutes or less, only one-third of them do so on a regular basis. Most Nova Scotian kids don't walk or cycle to school because it's not safe to do so. There are no sidewalks leading to and from many of our provincial schools. Parents fear for their children's safety and drive them school every day and, of course, the result of that is increased dangerous traffic congestion on the road. So my question through you to the minister is this, when are you going to invest money in school sidewalks that will keep children safe?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, a very good question and a legitimate concern. Everyone in this House is concerned about the safety of our students, whether they are walking to our schools or whether they've been transported by bus or by vehicle. The question of a review of the role of transportation in our public schools is something that has been called for. I have currently looked at the three members who will take the lead on that and that review will begin immediately.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia's children are statistically the most overweight in Canada, however, this government's broken election promises mean that we still won't have mandatory physical education in schools. If children are being driven to school every day, their opportunity for exercise is severely curtailed. "Walking school buses" in the province have been suspended because they are uninsurable. Often this is because there is no sidewalk available for the parents and children.

So my question through you, Mr. Speaker, to the minister is this, what steps have you taken to ensure that your Cabinet colleagues understand the importance of this issue?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, when new schools are built in our province, one of the things that we do is work very closely with municipalities. The building of sidewalks is a municipality's responsibility, but we try to work with them to ensure that the safety of students is utmost when they do their development plan.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the safety of the students in those new schools and in the existing schools is the responsibility of the Minister of Education. Motor vehicle collisions claim more lives and cause more injuries for Canadian children and youth than any other danger. Five children were killed and 254 injured on our roads in a single year according to the Department of Transportation and Public Works' 2004 annual statistics, but

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it's not just about safety. How our kids get to school affects their sense of freedom, independence, and their ability to connect with their neighbourhoods. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, sidewalks in suburban settings have a positive impact on public health.

So my question through you, Mr. Speaker, to the minister is this, when is she going to use her influence to make sure that kids can walk safely to school around this province?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, the two things that I have mentioned are the two things that I'm attempting to do at this point in time, that is to work with the municipal units when new schools are built to ensure that they provide sidewalks that will lead safely to the schools and, secondly, the review of student transportation in our province is the review that I spoke of, and it will certainly address the safety of our students.

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

TPW: MOSER RIVER BRIDGE - CONDITION

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be through you to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Yesterday, I received a letter from the vice president of the Moser River Board of Trade. Allan Rowe and the board of trade are concerned with the safety of the Moser River Bridge on Highway No. 7 and I am tabling pictures showing the deplorable condition of that bridge - there are rotting and missing guardrails, separation between the sidewalk and the roadbed continues to grow, and the southeast end of the bridge continues to sink due to rotten pillars. My question, through you, to the minister is this: Why has the government allowed the Moser River Bridge on Highway No. 7 to reach this deplorable state of disrepair?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, all honourable members in the House know that we are continuously monitoring the conditions of bridges and, as I indicated in a response to an earlier question in Question Period, those priorities do change from time to time as a result of changing conditions. Certainly the information that is brought forward today is information that would be revealed through the inspection program of the department, and will be taken into consideration in the establishment of the priorities with respect to bridges.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, you would think that what the Minister of Transportation and Labour said would be the case, but the safety concerns for this bridge are not new. The board of trade says they got assurances from this government in 2005, and in 2006, that the work would be carried out - but it has not been done. With the guardrail missing and an overall poor state of repair, the Moser River Bridge is an accident waiting to happen. The human cost and the potential financial cost to the government when lives are lost became evident as a result of the tragic accident at Halfway Cove in Guysborough

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County. My question to the minister is this: What will it take for this government to get serious about the state of bridges in Nova Scotia?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, in fact we have in place a very vigorous program with respect to the replacement of bridges in this province, and this year we will see a number of those bridges replaced. I will share that specific number with the House when I do my estimates, but that is an ongoing program - we are spending a considerable amount of money year after year with respect to bridges.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, in case the minister hasn't seen it, I'm going to table the letter from the Moser River Board of Trade. If the repairs to this bridge are not made in a timely manner, the board of trade is asking the government to protect the public by immediately closing the sidewalk and imposing weight restrictions on the bridge.

The bridge is an important highway, yet local business people recognize that safety must come first. My question, through you, to the minister is this: Will this minister contact the Moser River Board of Trade and give them the dates when the needed work will be carried out rapidly or, failing that, what immediate action will the minister take to protect the safety of those crossing the Moser River Bridge?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we certainly are in communication with various boards of trade throughout the province with respect to their priorities. I can tell the honourable member that four bridges on Highway No. 7 have been replaced in recent years, and we are in the fifth year of a $50 million bridge replacement program and we will continue to address the concerns as they come forward. The state of bridges in the province is a challenge and we understand it to be a challenge and we are going to continue addressing that as we move forward with our capital resources.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

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TPW: CROSSWALK SAFETY - PLANS

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, in the last week we have three crosswalk-related injuries in HRM alone. One of these accidents resulted in the passing of a young teenager. This problem is not just confined to Halifax though - since 2000, hundreds of accidents at crosswalks have occurred and it's important to address this issue to reduce further injury at intersections. I think we all realize that using crosswalks is a shared responsibility between pedestrians and drivers, but it is the pedestrians who have the most to lose.

My first question to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works is, can he tell us today how his government plans to take action - and I repeat - how does your government plan to take action and commit to increasing safety and awareness at marked crosswalks?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member that one of the things that I have asked my department to do - and they're actively pursuing this now - is to see how far we can move forward with respect to putting in place an education program within our schools, one which was cancelled in the early 90s by the previous government.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, you have to really ask yourself where this government has been since 1999. We've had well over 600 injuries in crosswalks just in HRM alone - those are the ones that have been reported - and here today we're talking about an education campaign. Last week, the minister made reference to the number of crosswalk fatalities dropping over the last number of decades. While people are more aware of crosswalk safety, we are still seeing numbers that suggest motorists and pedestrians are not heeding the warnings. Accidents at crosswalks are preventable and it is the duty of this government to enact the measures and practices to avoid accidents like we've seen in recent years. Again to the minister, will your government act immediately and respond to the call of Nova Scotians and enact legislation to stop collisions at marked crosswalks?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I certainly do share the concern that he is expressing today, and that's a concern that all Nova Scotians have, especially in the light of the most recent events. We were all saddened by the outcome of one these accidents. The honourable member is correct that the real solution in the long term is awareness, and to address the awareness question we need the involvement of everyone who is involved in the issue of crosswalk safety; that is the province - it is my colleague in Health Promotion and Prevention, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, in Justice, and it is the municipal governments of this province - HRM in particular, with respect to the most recent news that we've been speaking about.

I have communicated with the Mayor of HRM and have asked that he participate with us in a joint working group that would respond to the recommendations of the symposium that was held in HRM in January. He has responded positively to my invitation

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and we will, in fact, be acting as quickly as possible and it will be a high priority because I know that the mayor joins us in wanting it to be a high priority in addressing the issue of crosswalk safety, both from a design perspective as well as a promotion and education perspective, and of course related to the issue of enforcement.

[1:15 p.m.]

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I certainly welcome this task force that the minister has made reference to. We must increase awareness for drivers and pedestrians - statistics are right in front of us and show that people are being injured at an alarming rate. There are steps we can take, however small, to prevent such accidents. Drivers need to be more focused while driving and pedestrians need to be more attentive when crossing the road. We need co-operation from municipalities, schools, from the provincial government, to help stop accidents at crosswalks. My final question to the minister is what safety and awareness measures can we expect from this crosswalk symposium?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member, and members of the House, that the symposium itself dealt with all facets of crosswalk safety. It dealt with the issue of engineering, of design, it dealt with the issue of enforcement, it dealt with the issue of education and awareness. So the recommendations that we anticipate will be forthcoming from that exercise will be all-encompassing, and it is our intention to examine and address all of those recommendations with a view of moving forward with action to improve crosswalk safety in this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

HEALTH - PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: ELECTRONIC MONITORING PROG. - STATUS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. It has now been two years since the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act was passed. The result of this was supposed to have been to put in place an electronic monitoring program to cease the abuse of prescription drugs covering the entire province. As of right now, 54 per cent of the pharmacies are part of the monitoring program. We are told that this is an issue with the software vendor, not the pharmacists themselves. My question to the minister is, after nearly two years, why are only 54 per cent of the pharmacies online with this program?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, our indication is that the number is higher, I would have to endeavour to get the accurate number of how many people are lined in. Of course, we are talking about a software vendor and it is something that is out of our control, but I will endeavour to get the correct information for the member opposite.

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MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister looking into that, because our indication is that around 54 per cent of the pharmacies are involved with this program. Allowing the blame of continuing abuse of prescription drugs to lie with the software vendor is a cop-out, especially after two years of implementation. I will now table the 2006-07 Business Plan for the Department of Health which says a prescription monitoring board was appointed and a computerized information system has been implemented to support the new electronic PMP system. My question to the minister is why does his business plan state that the program exists, yet after two years only half the pharmacists in this province belong to this program?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we were understanding that part of the problem had to do with the connection with one of the major retailers, which I believe was Wal-Mart. What we need to look at is the availability of that program and the connectivity of their system to our system, and in computer speak I'm not exactly sure what that entails. I can also say that a large number of the percentage of those high-volume prescriptions are on the system today.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, with the recent issue of prescription drug abuse in Indian Brook, it exemplifies that this problem is not going away. Nova Scotians are able to abuse prescription drugs because two years after the regulations were passed, there still is no comprehensive monitoring system in place to cover the whole province. My question to the Minister of Health is why is your department dragging its feet and allowing this drug abuse to continue in our province?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that the department is not dragging its feet, it is working with the pharmacy association, it is working with local pharmacies, it is working with large pharmacies to make sure that these institutions are connected to this drug monitoring system, as they will be very shortly.

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

EDUC.: RIVERVIEW HS - FUNDING

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education. I would like to table a copy of the front page cover of last Saturday's Cape Breton Post. There is a photo on the front page of the half-built entrance to Riverview High School, and it is obvious from that photo that the current condition of the school is a big safety concern to its principal and students.

Mr. Speaker, as you probably know, it is stated in the policy of this government that student safety is paramount in identifying the most critical school additions and alterations required. My question to the minister is when are you going to provide funding to ensure that students in Riverview High School have a safe school environment?

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HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, Riverview is certainly one of the schools that is on the additions and alterations list. I did have a chance to visit that school and I will certainly be asking staff to visit because if there is a situation there that is unsafe for students, we will address that.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, last year the Progressive Conservative Government added over $70 million to the capital budget to build extra roads and schools in advance of the election. We all like to see roads and schools built in the province, but last year's spending binge means that this year there is no money for renovations in the Sydney Academy. Will the minister tell us when Sydney Academy students can expect to get a fair deal from this government?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, as I've said earlier, we have a list of renovations. There are 45 renovations, additions, schools on that list, and we will be moving through those as our funds permit.

MR. GOSSE: Between 2003 and 2006, the Progressive Conservative Government promised $24 million to renovate 20 schools in Nova Scotia. This year only eleven schools are being renovated and five schools will have to wait years for upgrades and are being left out in the cold - two of these schools are in Cape Breton. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to ask the minister how much longer Cape Breton students have to take this second-class treatment from the Progressive Conservative Government?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I believe this government has a very credible record of new schools. In the year 2000, seventeen new schools were announced and all of them have been completed. In the year 2003, twelve were announced, two have been completed and five are underway. So we do have an excellent record of which I am proud.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - TIRE INCINERATION: DAL. REPORT - RELEASE DATE

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Environment and Labour. On March 21st, I asked a question regarding the possible burning of alternate fuels at a cement plant in Brookfield, Nova Scotia. The minister replied stating that he had committed a report to be done by Dalhousie University to detail the effects of burning alternate fuel that may have a negative effect on the environment or health of local citizens. He said the report would become available that morning, March 21st.

My question to the minister is since you have had almost two weeks to review this report you commissioned, can you tell us when it will be in front of this Legislature?

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I was referring at that time to the draft report which was available for my staff, I understand, that day. I am eagerly

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awaiting on my desk the final report, which I haven't seen yet, it should be due some time today and I imagine it'll take me a week or so to review it.

MR. COLWELL: Yes, it's clear that the minister had stalled and not actually read the draft report and it is unfortunate. This is a very important topic to the people of the Truro area and, indeed, to all Nova Scotians. This long-awaited report from Dalhousie University could have a very negative effect or a positive effect on the people of Nova Scotia.

I am going to ask the minister again, when you get it will you inform the public of its findings immediately?

MR. PARENT: Yes, Mr. Speaker, when I get the final report I will release it to the public.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, we're talking about the safety of our environment and the well-being of the people of Nova Scotia. When this is in jeopardy, the government must act in the best interests of Nova Scotians. We'll need a decisive action from this minister and his government.

My question to the minister is, will you commit to our environment and the health of Nova Scotians and will you call upon the Resource Recovery Fund Board to cancel their contract with LaFarge Canada Inc. and ban the burning of tires in Nova Scotia.

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, after I receive the report and have had time to review it, I will release it to the public, as I said. There is, at present, no burning of tires in the Province of Nova Scotia and I have, at present, no application by LaFarge to change their industrial approval.

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

COM. SERV. - DISABILITY EXPENSES: INCOME LEVELS - IMPACT

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. Shelly Brimicombe has a rare disorder that impairs her mobility. Her eight-year old daughter shares the identical condition. Shelly applied for a grant to help adapt her home to accommodate both her and her daughter. The family income is well over the household income limit; however, with the high costs they face, having two family members with disabilities, they are barely scraping by.

My question to the minister, why aren't disabilities or medical expenses factored into the calculations?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my honourable colleague for bringing this issue to the floor here today. While I can't speak to

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the specifics of any case, I certainly would invite my honourable colleague to bring the specifics to my attention outside of this Chamber, but I will say that within the Department of Community Services we work with the policies and regulations that pertain to household income levels. We endeavour to provide the best service and programs to clientele, to Nova Scotians, that we are able to do and we do so with the best interests of all Nova Scotians at heart.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, Shelly was forced to leave her job at a call centre and the family survives on her husband's income and Shelly's small disability pension. She will soon need a motorized chair for which there are few provincial resources to assist her. She also has to travel to Indiana to visit one of the world's only doctors specializing in her condition. Without the grant, Shelly and her daughter will continue living in conditions that do not accommodate their mobility needs.

My question to the minister, why isn't there more flexibility in her department's programs?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, again thank you to my honourable colleague for the opportunity to bring to light the important work that is done by the Abilities Foundation here in Nova Scotia. We partner with the Abilities Foundation - we provide financial resources to the tune of over $1 million to the Abilities Foundation, in order to work with the stakeholders who are best suited to provide the resources and the equipment and the aids necessary. We will continue to work with the Abilities Foundation to ensure that the best possible use of those resources is being had by all Nova Scotians.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, most families of five would find the income that this family must live on to be a bit of a struggle under any circumstances. When you factor in medical costs for Shelly and her daughter, the income is by no means lavish. My question to the minister, how can her department justify refusing to help this family hit particularly hard by disease and disability?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, to my honourable colleague, I do want to again thank him for the opportunity to speak to this issue. During approximately nine hours of discussion and debate on estimates in this House, repeatedly, members from both Parties opposite commented on the phenomenal work done by the staff of the Department of Community Services. The staff work their utmost, their hardest, to ensure that all factors are taken into consideration and they do provide the best possible resources and programming to our clientele. I will add as well, Mr. Speaker, that we work in co-operation with the federal government on the CMHC housing limits that determine a lot of the factoring for our programs and services. We will continue with those positive relations with our federal counterparts in the days to come.

[1:30 p.m.]

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MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

EDUC. - SOMERSET/ST. MARY'S SCHOOLS: SCH. BD. - MEET

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Yesterday, the students and staff of Middleton Regional High School voiced their frustrations with the government over the delayed renovations to their school. The students of Somerset and St. Mary's are in a similar situation and they resort to the same action if this government does not keep the commitment it made in 2003. My question to the minister is, will the minister commit to further discussions with the school board regarding the 2003 commitment for renovations and new facilities at Somerset and St. Mary's Elementary School?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I did mention yesterday at the beginning of my estimates about how pleased I was to meet with the students from Middleton - a very mature, respectable group of young people. I was able to explain to them the situation that we are in and the process that we go through and they were very appreciative of our efforts to work with the school board and to work within our budget to ensure that project moves forward. I am making a commitment to all boards to work through that process with them and we have been and will continue to be in discussions with the Valley board.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the renovations for Somerset and St. Mary's Elementary School were scheduled to begin in September 2004 and should have been completed during the 2008 school year. However, the renovations have yet to start. This government committed to investing $2.8 million for the renovations of Somerset and $2.9 million for the renovations of St. Mary's which included the addition of a new gymnasium, a music room and the conversion of the multi-purpose room into a cafeteria. My question to the minister is, will the minister visit both Somerset and St. Mary's Elementary Schools to view first-hand the need for renovations and the addition of gymnasiums and music rooms which currently do not exist?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to accept an invitation to meet with those schools and I know the interest of the MLA and I would encourage him to join us at that meeting.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the students of Somerset and St Mary's Elementary Schools are in desperate need of a new gymnasium, a music room, as profiled on CBC. It's difficult for students to perform school concerts, it's equally difficult for parents to attend concerts and graduation ceremonies because of capacity issues. Furthermore, inadequate gymnasium facilities could result in these schools failing to meet provincial requirements for physical activity. My question to the minister is, will the minister agree to not only visit Somerset and St. Mary's but also meet with school administrators and parents to discuss the much-needed renovations?

[Page 4170]

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I would certainly welcome an opportunity to sit down with advisory council, staff, board, whoever it is in the community and sit down and talk with them around the table about the needs in their particular schools.

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

ENERGY - NATURAL GAS: REBATE PROG. - COMMITMENT

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment and how they can reduce their ecological footprint. One of the ways homeowners and businesses can do this is through converting their heating systems to other sources like natural gas. One of the programs in place to help with this transition is the Natural Gas Equipment Rebate Program offered through Heritage Gas and funded in large part through the Natural Gas Market Development Fund. Through you, I want to ask the Premier, does his government remain fully committed to delivering this program to Nova Scotians, homeowners and businesses?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the Minister of Energy.

HON. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, to the member across the way, the answer to that question is clearly yes.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, again this is to the Premier. In the midst of all of this environmental rhetoric we hear from this government these days, it is curious that last weekend they let this commercial side of the program die. It no longer exists, the commercial side. In other words, this government will tell businesses they should do things like convert to natural gas and help the environment, but they will no longer do anything to help them financially. To the Premier, how do you square the rhetoric of a greater environmental sustainability when you are allowing these rebate programs to lapse?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the Minister of Energy to provide clarification. Obviously, the member needs clarification on this issue.

MR. DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, once again, as I said earlier, there are certain programs in place to help both individual and residential homes and businesses. This province is taking a lead role with this gas fund to help businesses more and advance in energy efficiency. I would ask the member across the way if he has an issue in the management of this fund, that if he would see me later on, I will answer his questions directly, or stand in his place now and make reference to the company that this government is not supporting and I will answer his questions. Thank you.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, it is so precious little time but I want to remind the minister, we ask the questions. (Applause) I will answer part of it, as of the end of March they are helping no businesses, absolutely zero. Heritage Gas wants to continue its expansion

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of this service but they see no support from this government to help businesses make this conversion - this is from Heritage Gas. I want to ask the Premier again, when will you reinstate the natural gas equipment rebate programs for businesses that died this past weekend?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, for further clarification I will refer that to the Minister of Energy.

MR. DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I'm confused on which the member speaks because he is not clarifying his question. This government and the Department of Energy work with Mr. Ray Ritcey of Heritage Gas to promote the usage of natural gas - there is no doubt about it and especially, we have been taking special steps to promote natural gas on the peninsula of Halifax.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

PREM. - KELOWNA ACCORD: GOV 'T.(CAN.) - COMMITMENT ENSURE

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Premier. On November 25, 2005, this province was a signatory to the Kelowna Accord. That deal - the result of 18 months of tough negotiations - committed the federal government to spending $5.1 billion over five years to help improve Native education, housing, health and economic opportunities but, since the last federal election, the federal Conservatives have refused to live up to those commitments. My question to the Premier is, what specific actions has his government undertaken to ensure that his federal counterparts honour this accord?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I, as a member of the Council of the Federation, has indicated our support as a group of Premiers across the country with respect to the Kelowna Accord and that the opinion of the federation was that the federal government should honour that accord.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I believe that the Premier's statement of last week in a slightly different context holds true in this instance. I think he said, if you can't trust the federal government to keep their commitments, who can you trust? Aboriginal leaders across this province and indeed across the country, are asking that very question of themselves after the federal reversal on the Kelowna Accord. We hear now from the Premier that perhaps he is in support of the federal government following up. I wonder if he will ensure that the Aboriginal community around Nova Scotia knows of his support of this and will he tell us what his government will further do to ensure that the federal government lives up to its commitments?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we have indicated in writing to the Prime Minister, our support as a Council of the Federation on the issue of the accord. In addition, I have met on an individual basis with various Native leaders such as Phil Fontaine and others. Again,

[Page 4172]

the Government of Nova Scotia stands by the belief that the federal government should honour that accord.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, the issue isn't just standing by the accord. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has not sat idle on this issue. Premier Williams and his government issued a news release on March 22nd supporting the bill that was recently passed by Parliament that the government respect the accords, and other Premiers have gone on the record expressing their disapproval as well.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier if he will go officially on the record criticizing the federal government for not following up on the accords?

THE PREMIER: Again, Mr. Speaker, the Government of Nova Scotia has been very clear on its position. I have articulated back to various leadership in the First Nations communities that represent First Nations communities across the country and we stand by that, but the issue, and again speaking of accords, I can't not take the opportunity to speak of how important the offshore accord is for Nova Scotians, all Nova Scotians, and the fact that Nova Scotians have a constitutional right to a fair equalization program and a legal binding right to the offshore - 100 per cent of those royalties belong to Nova Scotians and that position will not change for this government.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH - DHA BUSINESS PLANS: APPROVAL (2007-08) - STATUS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Another fiscal year is upon us and with that comes another year of district health authority business plans. Last year the Auditor General recommended business plans should receive Cabinet and department approval before the end of the previous fiscal year. The Department of Health recognized their business planning process, redesigned it rather, and the timetable and agreed to complete the approval process by mid-February.

Mr. Speaker, despite the best laid plans, last year's business plans were unacceptably late in getting approval from the Department of Health. In fact, the South Shore DHA only received approval for its 2006-07 business plan last week. So my question for the minister is, have the DHAs' business plans been approved for the 2007-08 fiscal year?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, if I could find a way to approve those budgets before we approve the budget here in the House, I would try to do so, but there's a lot of discussion to be gone on between here and (Interruptions) I thought the member for Glace Bay was asking a question, not the Leader of the Opposition, so I'm just trying to answer him here.

[Page 4173]

So I'm saying, Mr. Speaker, that we work as fast as we possibly can. I know there are some ongoing discussions, of course, with all the district health authorities and it is our wish to do those business plans as quickly as possible.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General stated in his audit that the late approval process creates an environment of uncertainty at DHAs which is not conducive with good financial management and violates the Health Authorities Act. A business plan also has details concerning one of the most important elements of a hospital and that is its human resources. The Health Authorities Act outlines that authorities' plans include a direct human resources component to ensure the availability of a proper mix of human resources to support health services. My second question for the minister is, how are the DHAs expected to manage their hospitals when the department has not yet approved their planning?

[1:45 p.m.]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member opposite that the business planning process is one that got underway, I would believe somewhere in November of last year, in discussion with the district health authorities of putting their budgets forward and their business plans for this fiscal year. We are currently in the process of approving our budget and making sure we know what those bottom lines are. I can say that as soon as we do have this final information, we can go back to district health authorities to get those numbers approved.

Mr. Speaker, I can say that we also have committed to their 7 per cent non-region increases. We've also, we've already committed to those wage increases that are happening, so I can say that we're well on our way to getting this year's set of budgets approved for all district health authorities.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, over the last several years, the DHAs have been able to depend on a consistent increase in their budget. Despite last year's business plans that were unacceptably late, the minister indicated that the DHAs could proceed as usual. Unfortunately, the DHAs may have been lulled into a false sense of security about what level of funding they can expect from the department this year. The business plans may have to be reworked and expected plans for spending this fiscal year may have to be, as the government is so fond of saying, deferred for another time. My question to the minister is, when will the DHA business plans be approved for the 2007-08 fiscal year?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say discussions have been ongoing since November of last year on this budget. I can say that as soon as we have a positive reaction to our budget coming up, we will then take that information, refer that to the district health authorities and we will go to finalizing their budgets in short order.

[Page 4174]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

HEALTH - DRUG COVERAGE: INCOME CUT-OFF - RAISE

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Health. We all know that the income cut-off for Nova Scotia's Pharmacare Program is too low. In order to qualify for the drug assistance for cancer patients, individuals must earn less than $15,720 annually. This means that families earning as little as $16,000, which is below the poverty line, have to pay out of their own pocket for their cancer medication and nutritional supplements. So, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Health, when is your department going to raise the income cut-off for the drug coverage so it's above the poverty line?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say we can do one better, we're going to be taking that program and rolling it into the larger working families program so that everybody knows where the funding will be coming from, that everybody knows what the cut-offs are going to be and they will be substantially better than what they are today.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): The problem is, Mr. Speaker, we don't know when that program will be up and running in this province. That's another broken promise from this government, just before the election. They promised to fund this program this year and they're not doing that.

Cancer drugs are not always the biggest expense for individuals living with cancer. Even after an individual with prostate cancer has completed their initial treatment, they will be prescribed hormone replacement therapy and other medications at an average cost of $700 a month. So my question to the Minister of Health is, how do you propose that individuals earning $16,000 a year pay for nutritional supplements, hormone replacements and other necessary treatments each month?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, congenially, I'll try to answer this question without talking of the doom and gloom of the NDP or of that member opposite, misleading Nova Scotians into believing there is no Pharmacare Program coming down. I can unequivocally say that as of March 1, 2008, we will have the Nova Scotia Pharmacare Program that will help all those Nova Scotians that need the help. (Applause)

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, this minister says, misleading Nova Scotians. They are the ones who came before an election with a bag full of promises for Nova Scotians that they're deferring for a future time. (Applause) It's this government that made those promises. The income cut-off for the drug assistance for cancer patients was set over a decade ago and now the Minister of Health is saying they're going to roll this program in to the working families Pharmacare Program, whatever the minister wants to call it today. Even though drug assistance limits have remained stagnant, the cost

[Page 4175]

of medication and supplements have risen. So with my remaining time I'd like to ask the minister, why is your department dragging your feet on this promise of hopefully increasing the limits for this drug assistance program?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that we are not fairies like they are and wave a magic wand. We are going to deliver on our promises of a Pharmacare Program for all Nova Scotians. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Regrettably, the time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham on an introduction.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of - I almost said the children - of members to some guests who we have with us today. In the east gallery, from the Flexible Learning and Education Centre, we are joined by five students at that centre and their instructor, Mr. Nick Farr, and I would ask them to rise and receive an enthusiastic welcome from the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed welcome to all visitors to Province House today.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto Her Majesty.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm going to take advantage of this most unusual procedure we have in this House to talk for the next 15 minutes or so about a number of issues that are of particular importance in my own constituency of Halifax Fairview, which I've had the honour to serve as a member for the last six years.

I'd like to start by talking about the Glades Lodge, which is a long-term care facility in Halifax Fairview, and after much work by the residents, the residents' families and the staff, very recently we had an announcement from the Department of Health that the Glades Lodge will be replaced - and I want to congratulate all of the people in my constituency who worked very hard in order to obtain that result from the Government of Nova Scotia.

[Page 4176]

However, the replacement will not happen for several years and there are some real issues about where they new building is going to be.

Many of the residents of that facility have their families nearby, and if the building is put somewhere out in Dartmouth or somewhere out in Bedford, or Sackville or somewhere equally distant, it's going to cause a great deal of hardship for the families. I would also mention that this facility, which has been in the same place for the last 30 years, also has many staff members who live near the building; in fact there are a couple of apartment buildings nearby where many of the staff members of the Glades Lodge live.

So it really matters to the people of that community where the new building is going to be and unfortunately, partly because of the government's delay in reaching the decisions that were necessary on this, the opportunity to buy some vacant land next door to the existing building came and went. Now it's not clear at all whether in fact that property is going to be available - because that would be the most sensible and logical place for the new building to be.

I have raised this issue in the House a number of times over the last couple of years, in Question Period and otherwise, and I want to assure the Minister of Health that I'm going to continue to raise this issue to make sure there is a satisfactory outcome for the residents, the residents' families, and the staff of the Glades Lodge.

Mr. Speaker, in my constituency as well is Long Lake Provincial Park, something that comes as a surprise to many people who think of my constituency as being exclusively urban. As a matter of fact, I share Long Lake Provincial Park with two of my colleagues, the member for Halifax Atlantic and the member for Timberlea-Prospect. It's a very large park of, I believe, about 2,000 hectares and it was declared a park over 20 years ago. There has been no development of Long Lake Provincial Park because the government of the day declared it to be a park and then promptly consecrated exactly no resources to protecting or developing the park. So over the last 20 years usage of the park has gone on in a rather unstructured way, in some ways that, indeed, are less than desirable from the point of view of the preservation of the natural and heritage values of the park.

Fortunately, Mr. Speaker, there is a dedicated group of park users and park lovers. The Long Lake Provincial Association, who by dint of much effort have persuaded the Department of Natural Resources to develop a management plan for the park. I want to congratulate the Department of Natural Resources for working on that project over the past couple of years - I do not believe it would have happened without the commitment and hard work and the knowledge of the members of the Long Lake Provincial Park Association.

We now have a management plan in draft form. There is still a great deal of work that needs to be done, public consultation. Some of the things that they are proposing would be very exciting, Mr. Speaker, because apart from Point Pleasant Park, this is by far the largest natural protected area near the core of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Because no money

[Page 4177]

has been available over the last 20 years to develop the park, it's virtually unknown to the population of the Halifax Regional Municipality - they don't even realize that they have this enormous, beautiful, natural park right in their midst.

So, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the residents I represent, many of whom live very close to the park boundaries because it is those areas along the park boundaries that are growing by leaps and bounds, on behalf of the residents of the park, the users of the park, people who love the park, I want to let the Minister of Natural Resources know that I am going to continue to press him and his department to do the work that needs to be done to finish that management plan, to devote the resources that are necessary to ensure that the natural and heritage values of that park are preserved and that the people of the Halifax Regional Municipality, and beyond, continue to have this natural gem in their midst.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about an intersection in my constituency. Again, many people who think of my constituency as being exclusively urban don't realize that I have a couple of stretches of provincial highway in my constituency. One goes by the name of Northwest Arm Drive, and it's a very peculiar road because it starts at the top of Main Avenue in Fairview as a continuation of Dunbrack Street, which is the main north-south street in the Clayton Park/Clayton Park West area. It's peculiar because it was built, again in the 1980s, as a kind of super high-speed highway.

It's a beautiful highway, wonderfully paved. It was just repaved within the last couple of years and it's a divided highway, such as we would like to have in many places in Nova Scotia, a beautiful, divided highway, two lanes going in each direction, built for speed. Yet it has essentially become a residential feeder route because, when it was built, at the time it was in the constituency of the Premier of the day, 20 years ago, and he had apparently the grand idea of a major highway going around the edge of town and perhaps crossing over the Northwest Arm and connecting to the south end of the city - hence, the name Northwest Arm Drive.

[2:00 p.m.]

One of several peculiar things about Northwest Arm Drive is the name. Of course it's called Northwest Arm Drive, but is nowhere close actually to the Northwest Arm - it is quite a distance away from the Northwest Arm. Apparently the reason for the name is because the original plan was that it would curve around to the south-southeast, and connect to the Northwest Arm, but in a way that we can only marvel at, Mr. Speaker, part of this highway was built and then it just stopped. It just comes to a flat, dead end and you see a sign saying highway ends 1 kilometre, and it does, it just comes to an end at the Old Sambro Road, which is a much smaller, much rougher, much more residential kind of street. So you have this major, high-speed highway that comes down smack to an end, on basically a small, curving, residential street.

[Page 4178]

The problem on Northwest Arm Drive, of course, is that because the highway is built for speed, that's exactly how people drive on it. Meanwhile, the area along the eastern edge of Northwest Arm Drive is being highly developed, high-density buildings, new neighbourhoods, more buildings approved by Halifax City Council and going up soon, more and more people, more and more cars coming out of residential neighbourhoods onto this high speed, provincial highway. It's a recipe for trouble and that's exactly what is happening.

There are problems at several of the intersections along this road, but there is a problem at one in particular. Walter Havill Drive, a city street and J. Albert Walker Drive connect to this provincial highway. I'll call it, to keep the name short, the Walter Havill intersection. It is the intersection that is the most dangerous intersection in the western part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, according to accident statistics. You have an intersection that the Department of Transportation and Public Works acknowledges was not built to the highest safety standard and you have cars flying along this high-speed highway, connecting at the Walter Havill intersection, with an increasingly high volume residential street. There are blind curves on the southern side, there is a bridge that blocks the view, a bridge with a dip in the road that blocks the view coming from the north. It's a real problem, Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of collisions there. There has been at least one fatality there.

The Department of Transportation and Public Works knows what the problem is, knows how to fix it and all they need now is the money to do it. It was identified last year by the Department of Transportation and Public Works as one of the priorities for their budget last year, but this government saw fit not to fund it in last year's budget.

So, Mr. Speaker, the residents of that neighbourhood, who take their lives in their hands every time they have to drive through that intersection, and there is only one way in and out of that growing neighbourhood, they're looking to this government to say, will they fund the necessary safety improvements in this year's budget? I want to let the Minister of Transportation and Public Works know that he will continue to hear from me until those safety improvements are made to the Walter Havill intersection.

Mr. Speaker, I want to note as well something that disappeared from my constituency a year and a half ago, a great loss, and that was the West End Ecumenical Food Bank, which was a food bank at which I volunteered every Thursday, to feed the hungry of the west end of Halifax. It covered a very large area, was housed in St. John's Anglican Church at the corner of Dutch Village Road and Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax. Unfortunately, because of the deteriorating condition of that church, the food bank lost its home and had nowhere else to go and has been closed ever since. That certainly doesn't mean that the need has disappeared. The need in the area that I represent is as great as it ever was.

I was pleased to learn just a few days ago, Mr. Speaker, at the annual general meeting of the Food Bank Society, that they are hoping to reopen the food bank at a different location, in Fairview, in June. That is good news and I want to thank the hard-working

[Page 4179]

volunteers of the West End Ecumenical Food Bank Society for keeping the idea, the dream, alive, and also to the Fairview Citadel of the Salvation Army, which is going to be the new home of the West End Ecumenical Food Bank in June.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to the Ghosn family of Halifax. Three siblings have just finished building a new apartment building on Main Avenue in Fairview, with financial assistance from the federal government, the provincial government and their own money. In the time available to me now, I know I don't have the time to tell the story of how this building came to be built.

It is a profoundly moving and emotional story that has to do with the family's history and background, how it was they came to acquire this particular piece of property. But, what the family has done- and by that I'm referring to Jasmine Ghosn, Peter Ghosn and Christine Kahil - what they have done is build an apartment building that is affordable for the people of Halifax and is on the cutting edge environmentally. It is heated entirely with geothermal technology and looking at the building from the outside, you'd never know this was such an environmentally friendly building.

But, we are very pleased in the Fairview neighbourhood to welcome this building, thank the provincial and federal governments for funding this and all I can say is we could use another 10 of these buildings in the area that I represent. We could use another 20, 30 - there's a crying need for safe, clean, affordable housing in Halifax and I want to congratulate those three people I mentioned for making the dream happen.

Those are some of the issues that I'm working on and I look forward to continuing to work on them in this session of the House and beyond. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: I really welcome the opportunity to spend a few minutes talking about some of the real delights and also the challenges which arise in the riding of Halifax Atlantic.

I've been very privileged to live there for most of my life. Throughout that time, I have seen a constant and increasing growth in the remarkable diversity and range of people, activities, developments and economic activities, which take place in the riding. It is physically both a very beautiful and a very diverse riding.

For those who don't know, it extends from the Armdale Rotary - the famed Armdale Rotary - out along the Northwest Arm, through the coastal communities of Purcells Cove, Herring Cove, Portugese Cove, Sambro and the Pennants and then back inland through forests and along what is essentially the route of the MacIntosh Run, today's Herring Cove Road, which runs through Harriettsfield, Spryfield and back to the Armdale Rotary at the end of day.

[Page 4180]

As you can imagine, by taking a tour of that sort, a number of different and extraordinary things take place. It's a riding which embodies both considerable prosperity and bare survival. The fact is, I deal with concerns at both ends of the spectrum and all the way in between. So does everybody who lives in this riding, because it is a riding of tremendous creativity and perhaps because it is part of a peninsula and is somewhat geographically isolated, people there have been working for a long time on challenges which are only coming to the forefront in the provincial mind as a whole.

Perhaps one of the first reasons I ever got involved in any of this was because I began to see, some time ago, that people were literally starving in the midst of plenty. The fishing and farming communities of this area were gradually losing ground and then with increasing speed, losing ground to increasing urbanization which, of course, has come to be the case even more with amalgamation.

Perhaps a number of the issues and the opportunities that come up are, in fact, a function of urban amalgamation which took place 11 years ago now and has meant great changes and in some cases, great challenges. One of those, of course, as many of us are aware, is that of property assessments. In one sense, it's a terrific vote of confidence that property assessments in the area have continued to escalate, because it is a very desirable place to live. It's a place of great natural beauty and a community where there is a terrific amount of energy and, as I say, creativity.

However, the assessment system, as it works, also serves to penalize those who live in unchanged places and may or may not have their incomes keep pace with the costs or the nominal costs of their homes. The assessment is one thing but, of course, the tax rate is quite another and if you look through my riding, you will see that the tax rates actually, as levied by the municipality, have several zones but those are not always actually reflected in what is available to the residents.

One of the challenges which faces a number of the outlying areas is, in fact, lack of municipal service. Although people pay taxes to the municipality, they are missing public transit. They are missing recreation services, sidewalks, et cetera. These are concerns which are very, very real because living inside a large municipality subject to zoning controls, it means that you can't always have a grocery store, a doctor's office, a bank, a drug store, within anything like walking distance. I do know, and I have constituents living particularly on the inland side but some on the coastal side who literally are unable to afford to work because the only way to have a job, to access a job, is to get there by a vehicle. Since there is no public transit in the area, without a private vehicle, there is no access to work and that is a terrific hole in the services.

I had the opportunity to take our Minister of Economic Development on a tour of the riding last year and one of the things that I wanted to point out to him, along with the lack of public transit, was in fact the lack of child care in the area. This riding represents some

[Page 4181]

20,000 people and although I understand that 10 per cent of Nova Scotia children are, in fact, in licensed child care, nothing like that number are in licensed child care in my area. The last child care in the Spryfield area closed some three or four years ago. It was a non-profit centre and it did depend, as do child care centres throughout the province, on predictable funding. Predictable funding, of course, is what comes from core funding and from what we call allocated seats as opposed to portable seats which can be moved about.

The irony of this, of course, is that I have a constituent who lives further out, lives in Harrietsfield where, of course, she would not have transit access if she needed it, but she has two portable subsidized child care seats for her children. The unfortunate thing is there's no licensed child care in which it can be used. So, quite literally, she is relying on the charity of strangers - like Blanche DuBois- and I really do not like seeing people have to do that too often. Unfortunately, it seems sometimes that this government does expect the citizens to rely on the kindness of strangers.

However, despite this, there are a number of quite remarkable things that have happened in the area. Just in deference to the approaching 250th Anniversary of Responsible Government in Nova Scotia - 1758 - a number of people have drawn to my attention the fact that the Northwest Arm, a part of my constituency, has a significant role to play. Most of them I think are thinking of the Dingle Tower which was erected by Sir Sanford Fleming, or on his behalf, to commemorate what he felt was the first responsible government in the hemisphere. Well, I believe it was not the first but the second. However, the memorial tower is a remarkable landmark, a thing of great civic pride and of local pride, some 350 feet tall I believe, please don't hold me to account on the number there, but it is certainly the symbol of responsible government.

[2:15 p.m.]

Of course, along the shores of the Arm too, the haunts of one Joseph Howe who has a great deal to do with this as well, and perhaps in this vein, I'm very pleased with the democratic process as it has unfolded and is unfolding in my riding. There are a number of active, extraordinarily active, proactive and continuing residents' associations which deal with issues from environmental to development issues, to recreation issues, and so on. I would like to single out amongst those the Williams Lake Conservation Company which has existed for some, nearly 40 years actually and holds the licence of the dam, the dam built in probably the 1780s, to dam Williams Lake when it was first being used to power the flour mills at the settlement of Halifax. Since 1968, the Williams Lake Conservation Company has held this dam licence and has taken it very seriously indeed. They have taken responsibility for monitoring water quality and the lake, as most Haligonians know, is one of the best places to swim. People come out all the time and they can trust in the quality of the lake. The dam, itself, is possibly failing at this point but the conservation company has been absolutely tireless in its efforts to raise money for the restoration of the dam.

[Page 4182]

As well, we have the Long Lake Park Association, mentioned by my previous colleague, which has also worked very long and hard on having a management plan developed for this protected area right inside of the city. We have the Urban Farm Museum which, since 1996, has been involved in nutrition studies, community planning exercises and most recently the Come Grow With Us Program, which has operated for three years now on the old Kidston Farm property as an allotment area, but also, finally, achieved the dream of being a teaching venue as well. We have families who come to visit us the Urban Farm Museum who range in age from two-year-olds to grandparents in the same family sometimes, with Alzheimer's, who do remember and enjoy the pleasures of food gardening.

All of this is a part of the area's long-standing emphasis on local food, local food production and community strength. The Come Grow With Us Program has actually expanded recently to the old basketball court in the Greystone housing development. It's been quite wonderful to see how the children in this area - and it is the children, specifically - have come to take such enormous pride in the produce that comes out of the soil imported to the old basketball court.

In the same vein, we have the Single Parent Centre, operated by the Home of the Guardian Angel, which has existed also for some 25 years and has been delivering training for post-partum and pre-partum doulas, has managed to attain one of the best success rates in mothers nursing their infants to a year, does a good deal of community work, also sponsors a monthly- what is it called- Spry's Café Dinner, which allows the community to enjoy a restaurant-style experience with the preparation and so on of community groups.

I most recently had the pleasure of - I discovered sponsoring was not simply sponsoring, but also planning, preparing and cooking a meal for 48 people at the Single Parents Centre, using Nova Scotia pork and local produce. I must say, it was joy, highchairs and all. The fact that something like this, this kind of an activity, has gone on for so many years is a real testament to the community spirit in this area.

The Herring Cove Ratepayers Association is another organization. Its fortunes have risen and fallen, perhaps more in recent years, and most recently its concern has been that of the cost of having potable water delivered to the community of Herring Cove. As you may be aware, the trunk sewer, which runs all along the western shore of the Northwest Arm, from the head of the Northwest Arm, has delivered its raw sewage to the waters of Herring Cove for some 30 years now, untreated. It is now the site of the third of the three water treatment plants sited around Halifax Harbour. Unfortunately, the people of Herring Cove were told, at the time of the siting of this, that they would be receiving potable water as well, drinking water as well, because a number of drinking wells have failed in the area since the larger development has gone on. So we have continued to urge the municipality to support the residents of Herring Cove, to support them in applying for adequate funding to ensure that this potable water does arrive at an affordable price.

[Page 4183]

This, of course, brings me back to yet again the theme of property tax assessments and sometimes services, which do not change, although the world around does change, and perhaps again it is a testament to the community spirit of the people of Herring Cove that they have such a strong desire to remain in their home communities, even in the midst of a large and dynamic municipality. The questions of tax assessments and property taxes payable, in fact, are very real because they can mean the uprooting of families of long-standing from their original homes.

In the field of education I should say that we are very proud of our schools, all of the schools in this area, the nine schools that feed into the J. L. Ilsley family of high schools. I know we had a discussion of the International Baccalaureate Program being offered in various school boards around the province. J. L. Ilsley has proudly instituted the Advanced Placement Program, which is somewhat more flexible, American-style, and J.L. Ilsley continues to turn out graduates very strong in music and the sciences.

In fact, as I drove home last night, I had the pleasure of listening to one of my daughter's Grade 12 colleagues speaking on CBC Radio about a show downtown. I frequently have the opportunity of hearing J. L. Ilsley's scholars, students, even a recent Rhodes scholar, speaking to the work that they do when they go on from the schools of Halifax Atlantic. They are a very distinct, a very proud and an integral part of our community. I thank you for the opportunity to speak to this and to tell you some of the reasons why I am so proud of this area. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[2:23 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Cecil Clarke, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We've reached the moment of interruption. The subject of this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Dartmouth North:

"Therefore be it resolved that this government move forward with its intention to have the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board accept licences as collateral for new entrants."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne

[Page 4184]

FISH. & AQUACULTURE LOAN BD. - COLLATERAL: LICENCES - ACCEPT

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It is truly a privilege and an honour to be standing here before you tonight to speak about this important topic of the intention of having the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board accept licences as collateral for new entrants.

This is one of the major concerns I have had for decades now. I've been tied to the municipal level and I've been involved with the fishing organizations for the past three decades and I can tell you this has been a concern to me. In fact, I've been so concerned that if we do not address this particular issue, I'm concerned that we're setting ourselves up for the licences and the control of these licences to be in the hands of a few people; in fact, a few companies.

Some of the people who have challenged me on this will ask, well, what's wrong with a company? They will quickly point out that our Bluenose, the most famous schooner in Nova Scotia, was actually owned by a company. It's interesting - I did a little research on this. If I could take you back to 1920 and Captain Angus Walters' ship - Mr. Walters agreed to be captain of the new vessel if he could own the controlling number of shares - 350 shares were sold across Canada to cover the $35,000 cost of the vessel. The Bluenose Schooner Company was formed. In 1921, the Bluenose was launched at Lunenburg. This famous example is clearly a case of owner-operator.

Also, if you look at this particular vessel, I want to make the comparison of a famous ship and the licences that represent independence in a number of coastal communities across Nova Scotia. Mr. Walters was a majority owner of the company, and at the time when the Bluenose came to its last useful life, Mr. Walters was troubled. He was troubled with this, he wanted that particular vessel to stay in Nova Scotia. I'll just read a couple of comments here from this note, "Neither the government, fishing companies, nor the Town of Lunenberg (sic) offered to help save the ship, which angered and saddened Captain Walters. He wanted to have the schooner preserved."

I'll just quote some of the comments."Her passing is a national sorrow . . ." Captain Walters was so haunted by the loss that he even considered putting together an expedition to raise her. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, like Mr. Walters, if we do not do something to address the need of having loans, or fishermen having access to capital to keep the licences in these coastal communities, this government is going to be haunted by that.

It's also noted that, for a number of years, we have been trying to have the governments of Nova Scotia address this particular issue. At present, we have two bills - one that has been proclaimed, Bill No. 257, which I raised the question in the budget estimates a couple of days ago, and this bill talks about the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act, dealing with this topic of capital access. I asked this to the minister, and the response was we're waiting for the feds to deal with this.

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There's an old English proverb - if I can just go back to my notes here - there's an old English proverb and it talks about time and tide waits for no man. I think that's an important topic because time is running out on this government. They have had enough time to deal with this. The past governments and people are paying attention.

This takes us into a new direction, because what we have here now - we are dealing with, across Canada, a new fisheries Act. It is called Bill C-145. It's very interesting to note that it has been 139 years since we have had an Act - almost as close as the age of the original Bluenose - and it is time to deal with these particular issues.

I think the fishermen across Nova Scotia want two things, Mr. Speaker. They want to recognize that we need this loan board issue addressed, and they also know the need to be consulted on this new Fisheries Act. And I am going to suggest one thing here tonight - that we form an all-Party committee, we take a delegation to Ottawa, and we deal with both of them.

AN HON. MEMBER: Let's go to Ottawa.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Yes, I want to go to Ottawa. It's interesting, we have veteran journalists across Nova Scotia, veterans, who are deeply respected throughout coastal communities when they are talking about fishing issues - and I am going to just identify one person here. This person's name is Ralph Surette, and he wrote an article dealing with the Fisheries Act a number of weeks ago. Again, this person is deeply respected and you can take his word to the bank.

It's interesting to note that he had a lot of comments, a lot of e-mails, and I can go on - basically he criticized the Fisheries Act because of lack of consultations across Canada and this was a reply from the minister's office - I'm going to quote from a newsletter here - "British Columbia MP Randy Kamp, parliamentary secretary to the Fisheries Minister Hearn, called to say I was wrong on every point and to give me the heavy news that 'the government of Canada is unhappy with you.' " He pointed out that he was wrong on every point. I suggest you read the article and I suggest you go down to the wharves and talk to the fishermen - I don't believe for one minute that Mr. Surette was wrong on every issue; in fact he was right on all of them.

I want to tell you one thing - if the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture thinks that he can make a phone call and intimidate Nova Scotians, he is deadly wrong; because he is going to spend a lot of time on the telephone calling all the fishermen, all their wives, all the community leaders, and the list is growing. I can name you 29 groups, environmental groups that are opposed and want to be consulted on that bill; there are fishermen from the East Coast of Canada putting a petition together as we speak, from East Coast to West Coast, and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture wants to have some money behind him because he is going to make a lot of phone calls and he will not intimidate the fishermen of Canada. (Applause)

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I hope, Mr. Speaker, that you can feel the emotion in this particular topic, with me, because we have been dealing with this for a number of years - decades. It will not go away and I offer you a simple solution. You put together our Fisheries Critics, an all-Party committee, let's go to Ottawa, bring Mr. Hearn here, let's do it. It's not going to go away and we want it done.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to stand in my place tonight to discuss this resolution:

"Therefore be it resolved that this government move forward with its intentions to have the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board accept licences as collateral for new entrants."

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank the MLA for Dartmouth North for bringing this resolution forward. As many of the members know, the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has been and continues to take an active interest in the fishery of this province. As we all know, the fishing industry is tremendously important to our economy and to our coastal communities.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution appears to be a simple request; however the issue is quite complex. It involves the larger issue of intergenerational transfer of assets among fishermen and their families. This is, of course, a worthy and an important goal of my government and we have been working on this on a number of fronts for many years. As I have said, this issue is complex and involves intergovernmental jurisdictional issues, legal requirements and tax policies.

Mr. Speaker, there is no easy or quick fix. We know the value of certain fishing licences have increased dramatically in the past several years for a number of reasons and many independent fishermen have trouble accessing capital. We also know this problem may get worse once DFO tightens up the owner-operator policy to curtail trust agreements. One option that has been suggested many times is to have our Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board provide financing for licences.

Mr. Speaker, we have explored this in the past and although it sounds simple, there are serious technicalities that must be addressed before we can consider this solution. Presently DFO issues licences annually so, in theory, lenders have no technical security or collateral pledged for a loan. The licence remains under the sole discretion of the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the licence must be reissued every year. We all know any responsible lender requires solid security for large loans, and standard financial practices require this.

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Another aspect, Mr. Speaker, for the province to consider if we are to finance licences, is the amount of the capital required for such a program. The potential amount of capital required could be enormous if we are to have a meaningful and adequate program.

Mr. Speaker, you cannot establish a program without consideration of the total financial commitment required. As well, it is fairly basic math to multiply thousands of licences by hundreds of thousands of dollars each to see that we would require hundreds of millions of dollars to fund such a program. Therefore, the approach to this issue has been multi-faceted. As well, we have known for many years that one of the problems with the intergenerational transfer is the capital gains tax exemption. Fishermen were experiencing a significant financial burden when they transferred their fishing licences to a family member due to the capital gains tax. The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has worked hard over the past few years, at senior levels, to lobby and to work with the federal government to allow the transfer of assets within families without a large tax penalty.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, in 2006 we were successful and the federal Income Tax Act has been changed to allow a $750,000 capital gains exemption for fishermen. I would like to acknowledge and thank the MPs - Peter MacKay, Gerald Keddy and Bill Casey - for their active involvement in this issue. As well, the provisions regarding employment insurance remain in place. This is a significant help for sons or daughters who are taking over from their parents.

As I mentioned, Mr. Speaker, this is a complex problem. It involves federal government policy and legislation. As well, another aspect of this subject is the owner-operator policy. Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently put forward a proposal to address issues with the owner-operator policy. Various individuals and groups have provided feedback and there are strong views on both sides.

We believe, Mr. Speaker, in achieving a balanced approach to ensure that the diverse fisheries interests in Nova Scotia are addressed. We are now awaiting the federal government to move ahead with implementing the changes. We have also forwarded recommendations that the owner-operator policy be strengthened for inshore fleets but allow fleets to opt out if they do not presently operate successfully under the owner-operator model.

[6:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, some examples include the full-bay scallop fleet and the Scotia Shelf shrimp fleet. We have also suggested that there should be a reasonable time period, perhaps a minimum of 10 years, to allow investors to address their business interests and make changes to trust agreements. We are currently waiting to see what comes forward from Fisheries and Oceans. It is expected that the new owner-operator rules may allow our provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board to have some legal security if a licence holder defaults on their loan, a revised flexible owner-operator policy, which we have

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strongly pushed for, will strengthen the inshore small boats sector and will ensure intergenerational transfer to our industry.

I, and officials from my department, have discussed this issue with DFO on many occasions and we believe DFO has a workable package ready to go. We continue to urge them to announce the changes on owner-operator so that we can all move forward.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, there is another aspect to this topic and that is the revised federal fisheries legislation. We believe, and a lot of people in the industry believe, that it needs change. A new fisheries Act will allow flexibility to issue licenses for longer terms. This will help intergenerational transfers, facilitate financing and remove barriers that currently exist if we want to consider a loan program. There are many concerns about this act, but I think most are based on misunderstanding and/or a lack of consultation. I think it would be good if the act can go to second reading, so that these consultations can take place.

Mr. Speaker, I am also trying, as we speak, to get a meeting organized with Minister Hearn to discuss the act. I have requested that the critic for the Liberal Party, as well as the NDP, attend this meeting with me. Many people in the industry want the owner-operator issue fixed and they don't see it in the new fisheries Act.

Again, we have been told by DFO that they should come forward with the new owner-operator policy and that will remove some of the fears and confusion related to the act. So, Mr. Speaker, there are many changes happening relating to the fish licensing policy. When all of these required changes are in place, we may be in a position to consider a reasonable and prudent loan program subject to our financial means. We have been working hard on laying the groundwork for a long time and we will continue to do so to serve the best interests of our fishing industry. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is a pleasure for me to rise this evening as well. I know we have a couple of minutes left just to chat about this and I want to recognize the passion that the honourable member for Shelburne has. I know he has experienced the fishing industry for a number of years and I also know that we've talked a lot about this in this House over the past while and it's become an issue that's not going to go away any time soon, I don't think, and we need to continue to work on it. The idea of the members coming together to take this plight to Ottawa, to put up a good fight to make sure and ensure that we have this ongoing for many years to come is a great thing.

It amazes me with the licensing issue, though, that we continue to have our sons and our daughters in the fishing industry want to continue on in this business when they've seen, over the past number of years, that maybe things haven't been quite what they might like them to have been, but it is interesting to see that they want to carry that on. I guess that's what they know and they have a love for it, just like some of us maybe have a love for politics or a love or paramedicine, or you name it. There are any number of topics out there,

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but it's a very unique job and I know that some time ago we sat, and I think the honourable member was with us in that interesting meeting with a presentation with Dr. Boris Worm there.

I was totally amazed by what came out of that and we saw so much about fishing. I don't know a lot about fishing, but I'm certainly learning a great deal. That was a presentation that I probably could have sat through all day. He went on about the draggers and so on, some of the findings that were found and maybe how the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture sort of agreed with some of the things he was saying - not disputed them, rather. I think it is very important that this topic be kept in the forefront in this House and in this country and certainly in this province. It goes without saying that it is an important issue, one of the highest priorities for us here in Nova Scotia, to maintain those jobs.

I believe my time is up. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for that opportunity.

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the previous speakers. I believe probably that we're in the same book, but I don't know if we're on the same page. I'm glad this resolution was called, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board accept licenses as collateral for new entrants.

In October of 2005, the former Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture brought forth a bill to lift the cap on the amount of money that could be loaned to a fisherman, an independent fisherman, I should say. But it wasn't quite enough for me at the time so I called for amendments to that bill and we got the amendments. The amendment was that fishing licences owned by inshore owner/operators could have access to capital and use the licence as collateral. That was reinforced just this year by my colleague, the member for Shelburne, on Bill No. 27, I believe. He put his bill in to reinforce the whole thing. So I was very glad of that.

Anyway, the minister says, we cannot take these licences yet because the feds do hold control of them. Well, the Bank of Canada, the Nova Scotia Bank of Canada just kind of blew that one away with an incident down home where they took back a boat and they took back the licence with it. They called that licence as being used for collateral and the Royal Bank of Canada and the Nova Scotia Supreme Court agreed with the Royal Bank of Canada. Now I believe that may be going on a little further to the Supreme Court of Canada and I believe that the feds may be waiting for that. But - there is always a "but" somewhere - I believe if Bill C-45, the federal fisheries bill, goes through, we may not have to worry about collateral and I will get into that a little bit later here.

This whole licensing thing was quite a thing to start with and I want to go way back. I want to start way back.

AN HON. MEMBER: How far is that now?

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MR. THERIAULT: Oh, back about 40 years, I would say. Yes, maybe more. Yes, back 42 years. (Interruption) Yes, I started fishing when I was 10 or 12 years old. When I was going to school, I would get home at night off the bus, 4:00 o'clock, and I would go down over the bank and down to the wharf and shove my little boat afloat in the month of December and go haul my traps every night. Since I was 10 years old, I've done that and I could always earn enough money for Christmas to buy my seven and eight sisters and brothers something for Christmas. I was very proud of that.

So one night before Christmas I was coming up the wharf with my bucket of lobsters. I only had 8, 10, 12, 15 traps out but I only had an hour to haul them - 4:00 o'clock, I got home 5:00 o'clock. It was dark in December so you couldn't haul too many traps by hand, rowing and five or six knot of tide in that passage. But I could get around pretty good. Anyway, I was coming up the wharf one night after dark with my bucket of lobsters and I ran into a fellow named Herbie Cossaboom. He was our local fishery officer. So we sat down on the capstan there under a dim light and he said, Junior, have you got a lobster licence? I said, geez, Herb, no, I got no lobster licence. He looked at me and he said, you should have a lobster licence. So he pulled out this little pink booklet and wrote my name on it and he said here, that's 25 cents. I said, Herb, I haven't got 25 cents on me so he patted me on the back and said, Merry Christmas. That's where my licence came from and I believe the same thing was done to my father a year or two before that and nobody even knew you needed a licence.

So the whole thing, after that, after they got everybody licenced up, they made it a limited entry. You couldn't buy any more of these licences. So after that was all done, they had the right amount of people there. Remember, before this, we fished for pretty near 400 years. I'm 15 generations on my father's side here, since 1637 and this was back only 42 years ago that this started. So for 400 years we fished along all right. You know, you didn't need a licence. What do you need a licence for? You were part of the ecosystem. That's the way it was around the coastal communities.

So DFO, in their great wisdom - this was the wisdom DFO had. We are going to make this a great fishery. We are going to manage this fishery. We are going to get everybody under wraps and get them licenced and we will make this limited entry. That's enough in it, we don't want any more in it.

That's the way it went in 1978, Romeo LeBlanc, as a matter of fact, was in Ottawa and some of the fishermen then saw the wisdom of having an owner-operator. We have to take care of these licences, keep them, make sure what we do have in this limited entry, keep them in our communities and spread out. If we don't, we'll lose - somebody will come in and swoop them all up. This was 30-some years ago. Somebody will come in and swoop them all up and all these coastal communities will starve to death.

So the wisdom was there then for the owner-operator to not let that happen. But, then in 1999, when something not worse happened, but I believe it was 1999, the Marshall decision came down - the Supreme Court ordered that Aboriginals had a right to fish. I

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believe that they always did have a right to fish, because there have been Aboriginals in the fishery for a long time.

So, this opened up a can of worms that DFO had to satisfy to satisfy the Supreme Court. They started paying big bucks for these limited-entry licences and that triggered something for the big business out there. By God, these things must be worth something if DFO is going to pay $400,000, $500,000 for one of those little pink tags Herbie gave me. This must be worth something. So in comes big business, along with DFO, trying to get her up - bidding against each other. First thing we know, these 25 cent, or the free licence I got is worth pretty near $1 million because DFO and big business were trying to get it all - you know this is what happened.

So, getting back to - I wish I had more time, I could tell you a lot more stories - back to Bill C-45, in Bill C-45 it's saying the new Act makes it clear that a licence reflects a privilege to fish, which does not convey any property rights to the licence holder or anyone else. Furthermore, it confirms that a licence is the property of the Crown and is not transferable as what is already stated in the fishery general regulations.

With all this sense of 42 years ago when Herbie gave me this licence, it's come to the point where we believe what this document reads is a way that Herbie won't be giving any more licences out and I'm sure - I'm not sure, but I may not be able to give that licence to my son or to my family. That is 15 generations going on here, Mr. Speaker, of the fishery, and we believe this document possibly could, unless it's clarified more - and like the member for Shelburne said, we need this clarified by the minister himself, who signed on to this document.

We are afraid that little pink slip that I had, and 12 generations before that didn't have to have, I believe that we could lose out, big time, in the coastal communities of Nova Scotia. If it's true, we have to be sure that what's in this document is not true. When we're sure of that, when we believe that we're sure of that, that that's not going to stop our children from continuing on to 16, or 20 and 28 generations, that's the day that I will sign on with him. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you honourable members. The time for late debate has expired. The House shall resolve itself back into Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[7:01 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply reports:

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THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made some progress in considering Supply and asks leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 158.

Bill No. 158 - Financial Measures (2007) Act.

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

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to close debate on the Financial Measures (2007) Bill. I appreciate all of the comments made by honourable members, and while there may be a number of them that I don't entirely agree with, I do appreciate the discussion on the bill and, of course, the importance of this bill as part of our budget. With that, I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 158. 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 Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 168.

Bill No. 168 - Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I move that this bill be now read for the second time. The principle that's involved in this bill is related to the graduated licensing

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system that we have in the Province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has been a pioneer in this regard within Canada, and being a pioneer and being one of the first to bring forward such legislation eventually puts you in the situation where other jurisdictions catch up, other jurisdictions come in with more up-to-date measures in a graduated licensing system. As we come forward with this piece of legislation, it is one that will, again, put us in the forefront, but, currently, there is a need for us to move forward and to enhance the measures of the graduated licensing system.

The enhancement that is contained within this bill, Mr. Speaker, is one which embodies the principle that experience behind the wheel is the best teacher for newly- licensed drivers and beginning drivers. That principle is addressed in the bill by extending the period and the time in which newly licensed drivers must spend behind the wheel of a vehicle so they can experience all of the seasons that are in the Province of Nova Scotia and hopefully learn from that experience as a result of their driving activities while a beginning licensed driver within the province.

We have also addressed the need for more focus to be placed by the fully-licensed drivers accompanying beginning drivers, that is those who are the supervising drivers. We have required that these individuals be fully licensed with a year's experience, so that under the measures of this legislation, you would have to attain at least the age of 20 years before you could find yourself in a supervising position, with respect to a beginner's licence, trying to move on to the next stage.

We have also put in place measures that would prohibit supervising drivers from being under the influence of alcohol and that would require them to have a blood alcohol content of less than .05 per cent. Now, I know that some members feel that that should be zero, unfortunately the legal people suggest to us that we would expose ourselves to Charter challenges by using zero in that circumstance because of existing law that applies elsewhere, so we have put that in effect.

We have also put in place a measure whereby a newly licensed driver, for a period of five years in this province, cannot exceed zero blood alcohol content. That, Mr. Speaker, will ensure that these drivers, who are driving for the first five years, are not going to go out and get themselves in a situation where they would be under the influence and, hopefully, after five years, they will have established a pattern for themselves that will last for a lifetime.

Distraction of young drivers is a concern that is addressed in this bill and that distraction sometimes comes about as a result of passengers, additional passengers, being in the vehicle. Sometimes peer pressure is such that when you have a group of people who are of the age of newly licensed drivers, they may become a bit excited and want to experience a little faster movement than should be exhibited by a newly licensed driver, so we want to ensure that they are not exposed to that sort of influence. We're saying that in this legislation that is proposed, there can only be one additional driver in the vehicle with a newly licensed driver, unless there is a supervising driver present and then the seatbelts

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could be filled up in that circumstance, or if it's a family member, and the family will be spelled out in the regulations, that would enable the driver to be able to transport family members where appropriate.

So, Mr. Speaker, those are the main principles that are contained in the bill. Fundamentally it is a bill which is intended to provide greater experience, which is intended to remove distractions from young drivers, which is intended to establish good habits for young drivers with respect to their attitude toward the use of alcohol and motor vehicles and also to ensure that the supervising drivers are not abusing the situation with respect to newly licensed drivers and using them as designated drivers for the purpose of being transported around.

Those are the main tenets of the bill, Mr. Speaker, and I am very pleased to have introduced it and to have moved the second reading of this bill and look forward to the debate as the bill moves forward through the various stages of the legislative process.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I am pleased to have a few minutes here tonight to be able to speak on Bill No. 168, as introduced by the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Certainly, overall pleased to see this legislation come forward. It has a number of changes, certainly identified, that will be a safety factor and help young drivers and new drivers - I suppose they could be of any age, we often refer to new drivers as young drivers, but really anybody who is getting their licence for the first time is a new driver.

I must give credit maybe perhaps where credit is due, Mr. Speaker, certainly to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the organization known as MADD, who have had a strong influence on this legislation. I know they've come to the government caucus, they've come to our caucus, and the caucus of the Third Party I'm sure, to lobby and push for changes and improvements to this type of legislation that's needed in Nova Scotia. As we know, Nova Scotia has had a rather dismal record on the scorecard, I guess, for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, one of the lowest in the country and, hopefully, with legislation like this it will bring up our status, our standing in the country, and this is a step in the right direction.

I just want to take a couple of minutes, Mr. Speaker, to look at some of the changes that are proposed here in the legislation, and generally some positive things, but I also have a couple questions on some of the elements that are proposed. The idea that the learner stage would go from six months to twelve months is probably a good thing - it gives new drivers a chance to adjust to what will be expected of them, and they're still eligible to get a three-month discount, I guess you would call it, if they take driver education training, so instead of being after three months, under the new legislation, now would be under nine months. So that's probably a good thing.

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Then after they're ready, I guess the next step is to go for the road test, as it is now, but there's also a new element that has been added here, both at the learner stage and at the newly licensed stage, and that's something that's called a competency test. I understand the regulations around that will be drawn up Cabinet, or under the Regulations Act, but it leaves some questions as to what will be included in that competency test. I guess my first question is around who it is who will determine whether a driver is competent or not - will it be somebody in the Registry of Motor Vehicles? Will it be somebody within the Department of Transportation and Public Works? Will it be a medical practitioner? These are unknowns.

Secondly, what is in the competency test? How will you determine if a person is competent? Is it based on their mental agility? Is it based on their physical activity behind the wheel? There are just some unknown questions here about what is meant by being competent and who will actually administer that test or who will determine whether somebody is competent or not.

So that's an issue, Mr. Speaker, that certainly is an unknown element that we have some questions around. I know from past experience, occasionally senior drivers in particular are sometimes asked to take a further test. Perhaps their doctor recommends that for some reason, or a family member is questioning their ability to drive, and they're asked to take a test of some type. I had one experience with a senior individual who, at 70 years of age - not really that old - he was asked to get re-tested and he thought it would be simply a matter of going to the department of motor vehicles' station and taking a driver's test, but not so. He had to go through a very elaborate - I guess you might call it a competency test. He was referred to a private company called DriveABLE. They're a company out of Alberta that has an office here in Nova Scotia, and it was a computer-generated program that was quite difficult for him, and not being used to computers he failed the test. He was tested on the road and he was found to be okay, but he failed that aspect of that part of the competency test. So, like I said, there are some questions around that aspect of the whole issue.

[7:15 p.m.]

Another aspect, Mr. Speaker, that is a little bit disconcerting is around the supervising driver. As the minister mentioned, a newly licensed driver will have to have a supervising driver with them for a period of time. One of the requirements is that they must sit in the front seat of the vehicle. That seems like a logical thing to do. Secondly, they're allowed to have alcohol up to a level of 0.5 per cent, and perhaps I might have a little bit of issue with that particular aspect of the law. While I realize there may be some legal complications here, but really the job of the supervising driver is to supervise that newly licensed driver to make sure they're not going over the speed limit, make sure they're watching the traffic, putting their blinker on, all the things that a good driver should be doing.

If the driver is under some measure of influence, then are they able to do their job and supervise that newly licensed driver? Are they setting a good example by doing that, that's my question. So I guess there are some concerns in that area.

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Finally, I guess if there's another issue here it's that in the particular bill, it doesn't mention any time for proclaiming the bill into law. It simply states that Governor in Council will declare it by proclamation, but there's no particular date so it doesn't come into force until Cabinet decides it might so wish. As we know from past experience, there are many, many bills that have not been proclaimed into law and I think it would be much better if there was a date in there for claiming when it would happen.

With those few concerns, I'll take my seat and I look forward to seeing the bill go on to the next stage in the Law Amendments Committee and I'm looking forward to what other people might have to say. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand and speak on Bill No. 168 on behalf of our Transportation Critic in the Liberal caucus, the honourable and capable member for Clare.

The bill is about amending the graduated driver's licensing program. For those who wouldn't have memory of how the graduated driver's licensing program came about, it was actually back in October 1994 that the program was introduced by a former Liberal Transportation Minister. I think, if I'm correct in my memory, it was championed at the time by Dr. Jack Yazer from Sydney who was a huge proponent of the driver's licensing program, but also lobbied government very hard in those days to go ahead and institute such a program.

We know it made sense and we know that times change and over time amendments are required to such an Act and as we know, this program is new drivers learning how to drive. Many of our young people in this province have gone through the current driver's licensing program over the years and since that time, overall, the number of crashes have decreased by 37 per cent - that was just during the first three years of the program.

Like any program, as I said, there is always room for improvements and making them better and the amendments that are being proposed by the minister will help make this program a better program. The minister has talked about the proposed amendments, including the zero blood alcohol content level for all drivers, will be less than five years,

driving experience and also extending the beginners learning stage from six months to 12 months so that new drivers can gain important driving experience, especially driving in all seasons.

It's a welcome amendment, I would say. It's not welcomed by all. I can tell you very clearly that my teenaged daughter has told me to vote against this because of that one amendment itself. But, I'm taking her objections under consideration and I told her I would raise it in the House and I've done so, I've done my duty as a father and now I'll do my duty as a legislator. We know experience is necessary and experience is especially useful during

[Page 4197]

driving in all seasons. We know that extra experience will be very useful to our teenage drivers.

Another amendment includes tougher passenger restrictions for new drivers as well. In the opinion of the Liberal caucus, anything that increases the safety and awareness of new drivers is always welcomed. Our caucus is in favour of these measures that are being introduced by the minister. Having said that, we are in agreement to this moving on to a further stage of debate.

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

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the members who have spoken on this debate. In my opening of the debate I did not reference the competency test and I can say that will be a combination of computer program testing and personal evaluation that will be conducted through the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

I appreciate the dilemma the honourable member for Glace Bay faces. It reminds me of the story of the young man as he approached 22 or 23 years of age was known to have said, it's amazing how much my father has advanced in his views in recent years. Hopefully, the honourable member will have a similar experience with his daughter and she will eventually see the wisdom of legislation such as this. Thank you. (Interruptions) I moved it at the start.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 168. 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 Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 163.

Bill No. 163 - Human Rights Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Seniors - both are over in the Law Amendments Committee right now doing duty on behalf of the citizens of the Province of Nova Scotia, I want to thank them for their support of this bill. This is a bill that is brought forward basically as a labour bill to allow workers who want to continue to work beyond the mandatory retirement

[Page 4198]

age to have that option and freedom to do so. It touches on human rights because it amends the Human Rights Act, but also upon seniors and that is why the Minister of Seniors, the member for Lunenburg West, the honourable Minister of Immigration, the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission, Minister of Human Resources, Minister of Emergency Management, I think we have now pinned down the person who I wanted to refer to without using her name.

Anyway, many seniors want to contribute their expertise in the job force beyond the mandatory age of retirement and others do not. I want to make it very clear that this bill in no way forces anyone to work beyond the age that they want to retire. It doesn't affect pension arrangements in any way. What it simply does is allow people who are 65 to continue working if they choose to do so. Others may opt to retire at earlier ages and contribute to society through volunteer activities, but that is their choice and this bill then allows them that choice.

In 2004, we gave this option to civil servants and it's only fair that we extend this option to other people. I also have some good news that with this bill we now have the possibility of enticing Ron Russell back into the Legislature. Anyway, with that tongue in cheek at the end, I move second reading of Bill No. 163.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to stand and say a few words on behalf of the NDP caucus with respect to Bill No. 163. Eliminating discrimination on the basis of age around employment is always a good idea but I think we have to be cautious and not overstate the effect of this bill and what is occurring here. It's interesting, I've had discussions with not very many people but a few people have sent e-mails and made some calls around this particular bill.

There is a misconception in the public, and I think it's important that we try to dispel this myth that there somehow was a law in the Province of Nova Scotia that mandated retirement at 65, that made it mandatory that people had to retire at 65 years of age. Let's be clear about that, Mr. Speaker, no such law exists on the books in this province. There is no mandatory retirement law. Not so many years ago, a former assistant deputy minister from the Province of Nova Scotia retired from that position and a few weeks after I was at the Price Club and lo and behold, here was this person working at the Price Club. I had a chance to stop and chat with him and he said, you know, I was so fearful of being bored to death, I raced right out and I found somebody who would hire me. He was so pleased to be in a situation where he could continue on, especially in a role where he was meeting many members of the public. He certainly was beyond retirement age.

There is nothing to prohibit any employers in the Province of Nova Scotia right now, before this bill passes, with the exception of those workplaces that have collective agreements that mandate and require retirement at 65 years of age. So essentially, there is

[Page 4199]

no law in the Province of Nova Scotia today that mandates, that makes it mandatory for retirement at 65 years of age.

Mr. Speaker, you will probably know that there is a history to these practices, a history in the case of mandatory retirement that goes back to the late 1800s, early 1900s. It will probably come as a surprise to some members that mandatory retirement didn't come about as a means to regulate the labour market, in terms of bringing new workers in and getting older workers out and making opportunities for new workers, which is often how we think about it today. In fact, mandatory retirement came about because of financial pressures that employers felt and wanted to have a way to deal with.

[7:30 p.m.]

You know, Henry Ford found that it was a lot less expensive to pay a new, inexperienced worker in his factory than a worker who had been there for many years and had become highly skilled and experienced and had gone up through the wage scales. So mandatory retirement was really a practice that became institutionalized as a way to lower the labour costs that employers faced in their workplace. Over time, the age of 65 was quite often the age at which workers were pushed out of those workplaces and the labour costs of the replacement workers coming in was much lower. Really, those are the origins, and then it was from that position that we got pensions because you had all of these workers who were no longer with an income and they saw that their experience wasn't being valued and they were in a situation, quite often impoverished in their old age, and they often organized in those factories; they got collective agreements; the collective agreements institutionalized the practice of mandatory retirement at 65, but it established pension plans. That's where the connection between mandatory retirement at the age of 65 and the pension system that we have, both in private industry and then in the public domain, really that's where the origins are.

This practice is truly a very long and ingrained practice and it had a rationale to it. Mr. Speaker, today we are certainly a long way from the days of Henry Ford and the manufacturing sector. As they say, 50 is the new 40 and I would like to agree with that particular sentiment. I think it's not unreasonable to think that there would be some people, perhaps in our province, who would chose to remain in the labour force beyond the age of 65. Although I understand that in the provinces that have adopted legislation similar to this bill, the take up is very small; it's something like 2 per cent of people, in fact, want to stay beyond 65. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the trend, in fact, is to retire earlier than 65, particularly for people who are in a financial position to do this. Also, unfortunately, there are many members of our society who have to retire before 65 because of disability and illness. Certainly in the Province of Nova Scotia, we have one of the largest proportion of recipients of CPP disability, people who are in the workforce but who have had to retire on disability, of any other province in the country. Mr. Speaker, this is an area of law that has much complexity.

[Page 4200]

Having said that, what this bill does is it allows employers to continue mandatory retirement policies where they can establish that there's a bonafide reason for that. This may, in fact, be due to the physical requirements of the job. I think the minister made mention in his briefing of firefighters or police officers, people whose occupations have particular physical requirements but I understand that these decisions will be made by the Human Rights Commission, probably on a case by case basis. I have some concern about this, given the length of time it takes for the Human Rights Commission, given their resources and given their other responsibilities. I'm not sure that we can burden the Human Rights Commission with a new set of responsibilities unless we allocate the appropriate resources and we ensure that it isn't a long and protracted process for individual workers to establish whether or not the exemption provisions of this particular bill would apply or not.

Mr. Speaker, we also need to think and reflect carefully on the impact of more workers staying in the labour force for longer periods. What that might have in situations where there are pension schemes, and I know the minister has said that there will be no change in the requirements of those schemes in terms of the eligibility for pension benefits, but I think this is one that we will watch very carefully. We would not be happy, I think, if we saw the age of retirement creep higher and higher and we would see eligibility for pension benefits start to follow that, meaning that workers who chose to retire at 65, that somehow their entitlement to pension benefits at 65 would be affected in any way. I think we'll only know how this bill will impact those pressures as the bill comes into law.

There is a date on this bill for proclamation, which is a year from its passage, which gives some lead time to the employers in the province to prepare their workplaces for any possible impact.

I think those are the remarks, pretty much, that I wanted to make with respect to this bill. I know that, in the university community that I come out of in terms of faculty associations, there has always been a very heated debate about whether or not mandatory retirement should or should not be a feature of the employment practices at the universities. I know universities aren't the only settings where such a debate has gone on; they've gone on in the teaching profession and this bill will not eliminate that debate, this bill leaves those collective agreements in place with the mandatory retirement provisions and any change in those settings will come about through collective bargaining, as I understand what the minister has said.

So let's not overstate what this bill does. The bill doesn't repeal a piece of legislation requiring mandatory retirement, there's no such legislation. What it does is it prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, unless there's a bona fide reason required in the job for a particular age requirement. To the extent that it will provide choice to us, to more working people in the province to remain in the labour force longer, then, Mr. Speaker, this is certainly something that we can support and we would be looking forward to the interventions of the public at the law amendments process. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

[Page 4201]

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is a pleasure to rise this evening to speak on second reading of Bill No. 163, An Act Respecting the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement. While I note that this was a bill introduced by the Minister of Environment and Labour, we all know that a similar piece of legislation was previously introduced by my good friend and colleague, the member for Kings West, who brought this issue first to the floor of this House, expressing concern that had been brought to his attention from teachers in his school board who were notified that while some school boards in this province allowed teachers to work past the age of 65, the Valley school board, in fact, had a prohibition on allowing that to take place. So I want to commend my colleague from Kings West for having brought the concern of a constituent to the floor of this House and, because of those concerns, while there is a bill from our Party in front of the House, it's good to see that the government has listened to the concerns from the member for Kings West and has brought in legislation, basically to achieve the same result.

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that we want to make sure, if we're going to talk about the elimination of discrimination on various different aspects, it's important that age be included in that as well. It's important as well that while we recognize that there are Nova Scotians who wish to continue to work beyond the age of 65, it's important that we, as legislators, also realize that many of those who wish to work beyond the age of 65, it is not just because of a desire to work, it's because of a necessity to work.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you, coming from the riding of Richmond, that when I meet with some of the seniors in my riding and I know of these seniors, I know of their family, I know of the fact that many of them, in my case, have worked, for example, at the fish plant for 20 years, 30 years, 40 years in some cases. It saddens me to know that these people are living on Canada Pension, the Old Age Pension and the supplement. I would dare say that about 80 per cent of my constituents who are retired are receiving the supplement. Now, to receive the supplement, it means that the federal government is giving you additional money to bring you to a basic level of income, which I would say is barely above the poverty line.

Now, Mr. Speaker, to know that people who have worked their entire lives are receiving a supplement to bring them to a basic level of income, that's something that should be of great concern to all Nova Scotians, but certainly to us as legislators here in this province. Too many of our residents are retiring, after working their entire life, with absolutely no private pension plan. They are at the mercy of the state to receive their income to be able to maintain their homes, to maintain their vehicles, and maintain a quality of life.

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, I have the utmost respect for my constituents, because when they come in and they show me their Revenue Canada statement, their notice of assessment, and I see what their yearly income is, it baffles me how these people can maintain a home, maintain a vehicle, and maintain any quality of life, knowing that the cost of energy goes up, the cost of insurance is up, the cost of gas is up, and the cost of living is up. Yet they see increases of 1 per cent or 2 per cent per year on their pensions.

[Page 4202]

Mr. Speaker, again, I would hope that this bill would, at the same time, allow us to reflect upon the fact that here in Nova Scotia, our government has provided generous assistance to a number of companies that have located in this province. I'm wondering at this point if we shouldn't be saying, as a province, that if we're going to provide employers with payroll rebates, or if we're going to provide them with assistance, should we not at least also ask those companies to make sure that they are providing pension benefits to their employees at the same time, if they are going to receive the assistance of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Working past 65, I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, for some of my constituents, will be a necessity because if they are going to have their independence, if they're going to maintain their own homes, maintain their own vehicle and any quality of life, they will have to work past 65. I would submit to you that people who have private pension plans are not the ones who will ask to work past 65. They will have security in their old age, but many of our residents, who worked their entire lives, raised their families, been community leaders, volunteers in our community, may be forced - because I can tell you I have constituents who have taken early retirement packages only to find out, within three or four years, they can't live off what their pensions are bringing in and now they're looking for employment again at an age where they should be enjoying their retirement. They should be enjoying their children, their grandchildren. Instead, now they're looking for new employment opportunities because of the fact they can't make ends meet.

So, Mr. Speaker, again, I do hope that the Minister of Environment and Labour, through his staff and through the government, will reflect upon this legislation, not only on the fact that we should allow Nova Scotians who wish to work beyond 65 the ability to do so, but also recognize why it is that some Nova Scotians have to work past the age of 65 because of the fact that they do not have private pension plans.

[7:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, on that same topic we should also be looking, as a government and as members of the Legislature, as to how many of our employers are still maintaining defined benefit pension plans in this province. Defined benefit means that you pay into a pension plan, the employer pays in, and when you retire, you have a set amount that you're going to receive as a pension plan. Fewer and fewer employers are providing that benefit. It has now come down to a defined contribution pension plan. Now, what that means is that you pay in a certain amount of your salary and many of the employers - it's either 4 per cent or 6 per cent of your salary - the employer matches it and it goes into an RRSP and you decide where you want to invest that RRSP. Depending on what success you've achieved on that, that is what's going to determine what you have as a retirement benefit.

Mr. Speaker, we know the risks involved with that. We've seen how the markets have, in the past, been very generous to people who have invested in RRSPs, but we have also seen how many people have lost a great deal of their investments when the markets have gone down. You have to question at the end of the day what will they have left for a pension benefit when they retire when there are no guarantees. As I said, Mr. Speaker, more and

[Page 4203]

more employers are moving away from defined benefit to defined contribution and only in the number of years to come will we see the true consequences of moving to that and what impact it will have on workers retiring in this province.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, I am pleased to see that the concerns raised by our colleague for the Liberal caucus, the member for Kings West, brought first to this floor is being taken seriously by the government. I do hope that this will give an opportunity for the government and all legislators to reflect on exactly what can we do to make sure that Nova Scotians who have worked their entire lives can retire in financial security, able to maintain their own homes, their own vehicles and their sense of independence, and continue to be contributing members to our society. Until we start having that discussion, too many people will continue to retire - after working their entire life- and rely upon the supplement for a basic level of income, which is an injustice and something that we should not allow to continue when we look at the fact that we are now in 2007.

With that, Mr. Speaker, our caucus will certainly be supporting this bill moving to second reading and moving on to the Law Amendments Committee, to see what additional comments we might receive at that stage.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate on Bill No. 163.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments made by the members opposite. I am quite interested in the comments made by the member for Halifax Needham on the history of labour law and labour rights. We often take for granted many of the labour rights we have, and so thank you for the interventions opposite. With that, I close debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 163. 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 Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 166, Undersea Coal Mines Regulation Act.

Bill No. 166 - Undersea Coal Mines Regulation Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

[Page 4204]

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I am happy to move second reading of Bill No. 166, an Act to Facilitate the Effective Regulation of Undersea Coal Mines in the Province. What this will do is clarify or help to clarify occupational health and safety jurisdictions, as the federal government agreed to mirror our legislation and our Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. We are very proud of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations we have in the province. As a result of Westray, out of bad comes good and we now have some of the most modern and vigorous Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in any jurisdiction and that has been recognized in many different ways. So by eliminating the confusion over who would protect these workers, we hope to protect them better. So with those few words of introduction, I am happy to move second reading.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, we will be supporting this bill moving on to the Law Amendments Committee. Just a few short statements on it. Yes, this bill was born out of Westray, and the fact that it is a good thing if we have proper inspectors with the right legislation in this province inspecting our mines, and we know that, this is in particular in relation to the Donkin enterprise, that what we need are people who are local people who know that coalfield, who will be there to inspect these mines, inspect them in a timely manner and that the province should have control of them rather than Ottawa, and the fact that we would hope that they would be reflective of the years of work of people on the committee who drew up these amendments, that they be followed through on them - people such as Angus Grant from CAW and Hughie MacArthur from UMW of America - and these people be listened to, that these laws be enforced in the very strictest way, so that we never have another lost life in coal mining in this province.

So with those few words, we will be supporting this bill moving on to the Law Amendments Committee.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and say just a few brief words concerning Bill No. 166. Of course, we too will be supporting this bill moving on to the Law Amendments Committee because, of course, as the two previous speakers have said, it makes perfect sense and we have to stay on guard in terms of regulations and laws that are enforced.

As the other speakers mentioned, this came about from Westray. Having grown up in a coal mining town, we know the dangers that are faced by coal miners and we know that safety is paramount to coal miners. We know what can happen, we know what has happened over the years and we know that, if anything, we have to pay particular and special attention to the regulations and the safety regulations that go along with coal mining.

The Donkin enterprise, as the minister well knows and the member for Cape Breton Centre well knows, the Donkin enterprise will give us another chance to revive the coal

[Page 4205]

mining industry in Cape Breton. We have the technology that exists nowadays to burn coal cleanly and we have an opportunity here to employ hundreds of people in Cape Breton. We have an experienced workforce in Cape Breton in the coal mining industry.

I agree with my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, to encourage the minister, to encourage the company Xstrata to use local people, they have the knowledge and the expertise to make this work. Having said all of that, again reiterating the fact that we, as a caucus, support this bill and will agree to moving it along to the Law Amendments Committee for any further public input. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, particularly I welcome the remarks of members opposite who know more about coal mining than I know, living in an area that's a coal mining centre, so I appreciate their support for this bill and with those words, I close second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 166. 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 Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for the day. I would like to give the Opposition House Leader the opportunity to speak about tomorrow's business.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, we will meet from the hour of 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. After the daily routine, we will be debating Resolution No. 19 and Bill No. 73. I move we now adjourn.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4206]

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

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 7:54 p.m.]

[Page 4207]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2439

By: Hon. William Dooks (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteer fire departments are an immense asset to our rural communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteers with our fire departments are often the first people on site at the time of a crisis, leaving their homes and families any hour of the day to answer the call; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments, through professional training, have afforded their members the knowledge and skills necessary to save lives and properties during times of fires and other emergencies;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and applaud the efforts of the Ostrea Lake Pleasant Point Volunteer Fire Department for their contributions, given so freely, to the communities in which they serve.

RESOLUTION NO. 2440

By: Hon. William Dooks (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteer fire departments are an immense asset to our rural communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteers with our fire departments are often the first people on site at the time of a crisis, leaving their homes and families any hour of the day to answer the call; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments, through professional training, have afforded their members the knowledge and skills necessary to save lives and properties during times of fires and other emergencies;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and applaud the efforts of the Musquodoboit Harbour Volunteer Fire Department for their contributions, given so freely, to the communities in which they serve.

[Page 4208]

RESOLUTION NO. 2441

By: Hon. William Dooks (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteer fire departments are an immense asset to our rural communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteers with our fire departments are often the first people on site at the time of a crisis, leaving their homes and families any hour of the day to answer the call; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments, through professional training, have afforded their members the knowledge and skills necessary to save lives and properties during times of fires and other emergencies;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and applaud the efforts of the Chezzetcook Volunteer Fire Department for their contributions, given so freely, to the communities in which they serve.

RESOLUTION NO. 2442

By: Hon. William Dooks (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteer fire departments are an immense asset to our rural communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteers with our fire departments are often the first people on site at the time of a crisis, leaving their homes and families any hour of the day to answer the call; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments, through professional training, have afforded their members the knowledge and skills necessary to save lives and properties during times of fires and other emergencies;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and applaud the efforts of the Lawrencetown Beach Volunteer Fire Department for their contributions, given so freely, to the communities in which they serve.

[Page 4209]

RESOLUTION NO. 2443

By: Hon. William Dooks (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteer fire departments are an immense asset to our rural communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteers with our fire departments are often the first people on site at the time of a crisis, leaving their homes and families any hour of the day to answer the call; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments, through professional training, have afforded their members the knowledge and skills necessary to save lives and properties during times of fires and other emergencies;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and applaud the efforts of the Oyster Pond and Area Volunteer Fire Department for their contributions, given so freely, to the communities in which they serve.

RESOLUTION NO. 2444

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Tom Payne is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Tom for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

[Page 4210]

RESOLUTION NO. 2445

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Ashley Durling is one of 90 students showing her support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Ashley for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2446

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Ashley Gallant-Zwicker is one of 90 students showing her support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Ashley for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

[Page 4211]

RESOLUTION NO. 2447

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Breanne Veinott is one of 90 students showing her support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Breanne for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2448

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Jonathan McDow is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Jonathan for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

[Page 4212]

RESOLUTION NO. 2449

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Josh Hamlin is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Josh for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2450

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Kristen Caldwell is one of 90 students showing her support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Kristen for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

[Page 4213]

RESOLUTION NO. 2451

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Landon Jollymore-Hall is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Landon for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2452

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Lianne Lenihan is one of 90 students showing her support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Lianne for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

[Page 4214]

RESOLUTION NO. 2453

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Logan Lohnes is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Logan for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2454

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Loraine Trahon-Connors is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Loraine for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

[Page 4215]

RESOLUTION NO. 2455

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Lucas Reeves is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Lucas for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2456

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Mettea Jollymore-Hall is one of 90 students showing her support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Mettea for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

[Page 4216]

RESOLUTION NO. 2457

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Page Dobson is one of 90 students showing her support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Page for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2458

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas honouring our veterans and current military personnel is important every day of every year; and

Whereas this year I asked students from across Chester-St. Margaret's to express their appreciation for these brave Canadians by participating in a contest that was sponsored by my office; and

Whereas Thaine Bednar is one of 90 students showing his support to our veterans and military personnel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Thaine for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

[Page 4217]

RESOLUTION NO. 2459

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Nautel is a Hacketts Cove success story within the knowledge economy sector in more than 170 countries across the world; and

Whereas the company has experienced significant profit and staff growth in the past year as it has branched out from its traditional analogue broadcast transmitters to the digital broadcast market; and

Whereas Nautel received the Bronze Award in the Business of the Year category at the 2007 Metro Halifax Business Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Nautel on this milestone and wish them much success as they become the best known company in Nova Scotia.