Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 07-50

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 10, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:^
Anl. Rept. Of the N.S. Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Review Office, Hon. M. Scott 4384
Report of the Chief Electoral Officer (Vol. 11), Prov. Gen.
Election (06/13/06), The Speaker 4384
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Military Rel. - Cdn. Soldiers: Death of - (Afghanistan 04/08/07) -
Tribute, Hon. M. Scott 4384
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2580, EMO - Pub. Safety Call Takers & Dispatchers - Work -
Acknowledge, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4388
Vote - Affirmative 4388
Res. 2581, LaPierre, Judy: Dal. Award - Congrats., Hon. J. Streatch 4388
Vote - Affirmative 4389
Res. 2582, BLOU: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4389
Vote - Affirmative 4390
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 185, Energy Resources Conservation Act, Mr. H. Epstein 4390
No. 186, Municipal Elections Act, Ms. D. Whalen 4390
No. 187, Energy-efficient Appliances Act, Ms. J. Massey 4391
No. 188, Sales Tax Act, Mr. H. Theriault 4391
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2583, Stannix, Cpl. Christopher: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. D. Dexter 4391
Vote - Affirmative 4391
Res. 2584, Stannix, Cpl. Christopher Paul: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 4392
Vote - Affirmative 4392
Res. 2585, Fevens, Cpl. Shaun: Bravery/Distinction - Commend,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 4392
Vote - Affirmative 4393
Res. 2586, Halifax Rifles: Reactivation - Support, Mr. D. Dexter 4393
Vote - Affirmative 4394
Res. 2587, Gotz, Elly/Family: Sydney - Welcome,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 4394
Vote - Affirmative 4395
Res. 2588, Webb, Shelly: Crystal Tourism Award - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Streatch 4395
Vote - Affirmative 4395
Res. 2589, Banks, Mel: E. Hants Mun. Prov. Vol. Rep. - Congrats.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 4396
Vote - Affirmative 4396
Res. 2590, Educ.: B.Ed. Prog. - Review,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4396
Res. 2591, Thomas, Const. Seth.: Bravery - Recognize,
Hon. D. Morse 4397
Vote - Affirmative 4398
Res. 2592, Caledonia Jr. HS - Fundraising Auction: Success -
Wish, Ms. J. Massey 4398
Vote - Affirmative 4398
Res. 2593, Theriault, Nicole - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 4398
Vote - Affirmative 4399
Res. 2594, Bridgewater Bulletin/Staff: Newspaper Awards -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4399
Vote- Affirmative 4400
Res. 2595, Peters, Kenneth - Sydney Fire Stn.: Prov. Med. (25 yr.) -
Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 4400
Vote- Affirmative 4401
Vote- Affirmative
Res. 2596, Gov't. (Can.) GST: Funeral Serv. - Review,
Mr. L. Glavine 4401
Res. 2597, Leger, Craig: Truro Sport Heritage Soc. Award -
Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 4402
Vote - Affirmative 4402
Res. 2598, Mathews, David: Rhodes Scholarship - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Preyra 4402
Vote - Affirmative 4403
Res. 2599, Martin, Julia: Science Fair Award - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 4403
Vote - Affirmative 4404
Res. 2600, Tattrie, Lloyd: Music Career (83 yrs.) - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 4404
Vote - Affirmative 4405
Res. 2601, Urban Farm Museum - Food Accessibility: Commitment -
Commend, Ms. M. Raymond 4405
Vote- Affirmative 4405
Res. 2602, C.B. Fossil Ctr: Closure - MLAs Apologize,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4406
Res. 2603, United Way (Lun. Co.): Fundraising - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Baker (by Hon. J. Muir) 4406
Vote - Affirmative 4407
Res. 2604, Hennigar, Aly2ssa/ N.S. Women's Hockey Team - Can.
Winter Games: Participation - Congrats., Mr. P. Paris 4407
Vote- Affirmative 4408
Res. 2605, Haynes, Denise: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 4408
Vote - Affirmative 4409
Res. 2606, Medway River Salmon Assoc. - Exec./Commun.:
Founders - Recognize, Ms. V. Conrad 4409
Vote - Affirmative 4409
Res. 2607, RCL Br. 153: Mortgage, Completion - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 4410
Vote - Affirmative 4410
Res. 2608, S. Shore Reg. Sch. Bd./Bayview Commun. Sch.:
Mobius Environment Award - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Baker (by Hon. J. Muir) 4410
Vote - Affirmative 4411
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2609, Heighton, David: RRFB Contest - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 4411
Vote - Affirmative 4412
Res. 2610, Queens Co. Cougars/Coaches: Provincial Bantam B
Hockey Championship - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 4412
Vote - Affirmative 4413
Res. 2611, Apple Blossom Fest. - Anniv. (75th),
Mr. J. MacDonell 4413
Vote - Affirmative 4413
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 494, Health: Avastin - Funding, Mr. D. Dexter 4414
No. 495, Health - Detox Facilities: Teens - Lack,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4415
No. 496, EMO: Ground Search & Rescue Vols. - Radio Licence
Fees, Mr. D. Dexter 4416
No. 497, Educ. - Maple Leaf Foods: Workers - Re-Employment,
Mr. H. Epstein 4418
No. 498, Nat. Res. - ATV Regs.: Instructors - Consultation,
Mr. L. Glavine 4419
No. 499, Econ. Dev. - Trenton Works: Employees - Assistance,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 4421
No. 500, Environ. & Lbr.: Tire Burning - Proposal,
Ms. M. Raymond 4422
No. 501, Environ. & Lbr. - Tire Burning: Contract - Halt,
Mr. K. Colwell 4423
No. 502, Health: Mental Health Services - Wait Times,
Ms. V. Conrad 4424
No. 503, Econ. Dev. - Opportunities Workshops: Western
N.S. - Exclusion, Mr. H. Theriault 4425
No. 504, Environ. & Lbr.: E-Waste - Disposal Plan,
Ms. J. Massey 4427
No. 505, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Substandard Housing -
Address, Mr. G. Gosse 4428
No. 506, Health: Long-Term Care Beds - Clare, Mr. W. Gaudet 4429
No. 507, Health: Pandemic Outbreak - Preparedness,
Ms. V. Conrad 4430
No. 508, Health: Paramedics - ER Wait Times,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 4431
No. 509, Health: Bone Density Units - Funding,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4433
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay)
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. H. Epstein 4433
Mr. C. Parker 4437
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 4:25 p.m. 4441
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:01 p.m. 4441
ADJOURNMENT
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Educ.: Riverview HS/Sydney Acad. - Renovate 4442
Mr. G. Gosse 4442
Mr. Manning MacDonald 4445
Hon. K. Casey 4447
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:29 p.m. 4450
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:57 p.m. 4450
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS]
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 106 - Fairness in Fees Act 4451
Mr. M. Samson 4451
Hon. M. Baker 4452
Mr. M. Samson 4452
Vote - Affirmative 4452
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 9:02 p.m. 4453
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:06 p.m. 4453
CWH REPORTS 4453
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Apr. 11th, at 2:00 p.m. 4454
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2612, Fraser, Nicole: RRFB Contest - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 4455
Res. 2613, Cdn. Soldiers: Death of (Afghanistan 04/08/07) -
Tribute, Mr. L. Glavine 4455
Res. 2614, Ram, Dr. Sathavisa: Retirement - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 4456
Res. 2615, Whitney Pier Mem. Jr. HS - Debating Championships:
Winners - Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 4456
Res. 2616, Whitney Pier Mem. Jr. HS - Debating Teams (A & B) -
Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 4457
Res. 2617, Everett, Kari: Athletic Achievement - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Gosse 4457
Mr. G. Gosse
Res. 2618, Ruiz, Debbie: Athletic Achievement - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Gosse 4458
Res. 2619, Eadie, Natasha: Athletic Achievement - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Gosse 4458
Res. 2620, Pertus, Stephen - Sydney Fire Stn.: Fed. Med.
(20 yr.) - Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 4459
Res. 2621, Life Science Research Instit.: Partners (Local) -
Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra 4459
Res. 2622, Lane, Susan/Lane's Privateer Inn: Savour Food &
Wine First Prize - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 4460
Res. 2623, Robinson, Ben/Armstrong, Andrew - Can. Winter
Games: Participation - Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 4460
Res. 2624, Huntington, David & Gordon - Two Rivers
Wildlife Park: Support - Thank, Mr. A. MacLeod 4461
Res. 2625, Sullivan's Pond - Water Fountain: Supporters -
Thank, Hon. W. Dooks 4461
Res. 2626, Myra, Tonya -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4462
Res. 2627, Swinimar, Alex -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4462
Res. 2628, Countaway, Bailey -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4463
Res. 2629, Barkhouse, Cody -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4463
Res. 2630, Sarty, Emilee -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4464
Res. 2631, Swinimer, Emma -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4464
Res. 2632, Benoit, Emma -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4465
Res. 2633, Cox, Hannah -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4465
Res. 2634, Seraphin, India -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4466
Res. 2635, Kaiser, Jacob -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4466
Res. 2636, Key, Jacob -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4467
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch
Res. 2637, Corkum, Jen -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4467
Res. 2638, Blanchard, Jennifer -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4468
Res. 2639, Key, Jeremy -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4468
Res. 2640, Cox, Katie -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4469
Res. 2641, Swinimer, Lucas -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4469
Res. 2642, Green, Morgan -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4470
Res. 2643, Hatt, Nathaniel -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4470
Res. 2644, MacArthur, Rowan -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4471
Res. 2645, Meister, Samantha -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4471
Res. 2646, Johnson, Samantha -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4472
Res. 2647, Zwicker, Sydney -Veterans/Military Personnel:
Support - Recognize, Hon. J. Streatch 4472

[Page 4383]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2007

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

Before we begin the daily routine, the subject of this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Dartmouth North:

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government do the necessary renovations as promised to both Riverview High School and Sydney Academy.

This will be debated at the moment of interruption this evening.

We now will commence the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

4383

[Page 4384]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Office for the period of January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2006.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

I beg leave to table the Report by Elections Nova Scotia, Financial Information & Statistics, Volume II.

The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister responsible for Military Relations.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, with your permission, could I make an introduction of several members in your gallery before I begin my ministerial resolution?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, with us today are some very distinguished people I would ask the House to give special attention to. We have with us Lieutenant Colonel Marcel Boudreau, Commanding Officer of the Princess Louise Fusiliers, the Halifax-based unit in which Master Corporal Stannix proudly served.

Lieutenant Colonel Boudreau has been a member of the Princess Louise Fusiliers for a quarter century and has been the commanding officer since May 2004. Lieutenant Colonel Boudreau is accompanied by Captain James Todd of the Royal Marines; Captain Todd is the equerry to His Royal Highness the Duke of York. Colonel Boudreau and Captain Todd are accompanied by colleagues from the United Kingdom, the RCMP, and members of the Princess Louise Fusiliers. I would ask our guests to stand and receive the warm welcome from all members of the House. (Standing Ovation)

Mr. Speaker, under the solemn yet majestic occasion that was the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge came news this Easter weekend of the loss of six Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Sunday became our nation's deadliest day of this mission when a roadside bomb killed what the Deputy Commander of our Forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan, describes as six of our best.

Among those who sacrificed their lives was Master Corporal Christopher P. Stannix of Dartmouth, only 24 years of age. Judging by the steadfastness of his purpose to this mission, including taking a temporary demotion to corporal to be able to serve in the

[Page 4385]

mission, his maturity was well beyond his years. Also lost was Sergeant Donald Lucas of Burton, New Brunswick; Corporal Aaron E. Williams of Lincoln, New Brunswick; Private David R. Greenslade of Saint John, New Brunswick; Private Kevin V. Kennedy of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland and Labrador; and Corporal Brent Poland of Camlachie, Ontario.

This tremendous loss of life was due to the devastation of a roadside bomb. Fortunately, four more soldiers did survive this explosion. However, how one survives such an image of carnage is unimaginable. The heroics of another Nova Scotian, Corporal Shaun Fevens, who is now recovering thanks to his own incredible wherewithal to help save his own life, is but one more example of the quality and character of our military personnel. Even in the grief of the loss of their fellow soldiers and friends, the troops in Kandahar stood tall to honour the memory of the fallen soldiers of Vimy. Even in grief, Canadian Forces continue to focus on their mission of rebuilding this country and providing to its people many of the freedoms which we often take for granted.

In Nova Scotia we read with heavy hearts that Dartmouthian, Master Corporal Stannix, a reservist with the Princess Louise Fusiliers, leaves behind a loving family, his parents and sisters and a young fiancee. We offer to her and to his family and many friends and comrades our most sincere sympathies and our prayers while they come to grips with the loss of Master Corporal Stannix. Our thoughts are with all the affected families of these brave young men whose lives were cut all too short in the line of duty. As we mourn, the Canadian Commander said so simply and humbly, "Just as in Vimy, Canadian soldiers have served knowing that it is the 'Price we pay to do the right thing.'"

For this loyal, selfless and brave service now, in the founding years of our country, and still today, we thank our soldiers. May this tragic news and the shadow of Vimy remind us to never take for granted the knowledge of the ever-present dangers faced by our service personnel who serve now and always.

It is with immeasurable gratitude we thank them and their families for their service to Canada and to us all.

Mr. Speaker, following comments by my colleagues, may we all stand for a moment of silence to remember these servicemen, and pray for the safe return of those currently serving overseas. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: First, I would like to express my condolences to the families of all the soldiers killed this weekend in Afghanistan. We cannot know the sorrow they are feeling. The loss of life is always a tragedy for the person's family, for their friends and their community. The loss of a young life is made that much more poignant by the great loss of potential for that person to live a full life and contribute to their family, their group of friends, their community and, in this case, their country and the greater outside world.

[Page 4386]

By all accounts, Master Corporal Christopher Stannix was a remarkable young man. Anyone who heard his words on CBC Radio this morning, from an interview done with him before he ventured to Afghanistan, can only marvel at the kind of commitment, loyalty to his country, sense of humanity that came through his words. The fact that he was willing to take a temporary demotion in order to take part in this mission speaks volumes about his determination to make a difference.

All of these young men who lost their lives this weekend in Afghanistan, and all of those who put their lives on the line in missions like this, deserve our greatest respect and support. We offer the same respect and support to their families who live with fear and uncertainty when their loved ones are on missions overseas.

We also offer our deepest sympathy to Master Corporal Stannix's family. You should know that we are all standing with you, we grieve along with you for your loss. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Liberal House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our special visitors to the House today.

On the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Canadians are reminded that war is not a thing of the past, but is very much a part of our present. Canada lost six more brave soldiers in the Maywand district of Afghanistan on Sunday, April 8th - the worst single day of Canadian fatalities since the beginning of the mission to Afghanistan.

[2:15 p.m.]

Ten soldiers were travelling in a LAV III armoured vehicle accompanying coalition convoys to the Sangin district, where they drove over a heavily armed mine. Six of the seven soldiers riding in the back died, including Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix, a reserve member of the Halifax- based Princess Louise Fusiliers, Sergeant Donald Lucas, Corporal Aaron E. Williams, Private Kevin Vincent Kennedy, Private David Robert Greenslade, and Corporal Brent Poland - all based at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick.

Corporal Paul Stannix, 24, spent most of his young life preparing to become a soldier, and volunteered for his posting in Afghanistan. He even agreed to take a demotion from Master Corporal to ensure he could go and serve his country.

Sergeant Donald Lucas, 31, loved the outdoors and spending time with his family. The father of two small children was committed to the mission in Afghanistan and believed in helping the Afghani people.

[Page 4387]

Private David Greenslade, 20, was the youngest of the soldiers to be killed in this attack, but showed wisdom and maturity beyond his years in accepting the dangers of this mission with bravery and courage.

Family and friends at home and fellow soldiers still in Afghanistan are also mourning Corporal Aaron Williams, Private Kevin Kennedy and Corporal Brent Poland today, knowing that these soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice doing something they truly believed to be honourable and just.

These six soldiers bring the total number of Canadian soldiers killed since 2002 in Afghanistan to 51, including one Canadian diplomat, all of whom had served their country proudly and honourably. On behalf of the Liberal caucus, and all people of Nova Scotia, we want to extend our sympathy to all the families and friends of the deceased soldiers, our prayers to the injured soldiers for a speedy recovery, and our undying gratitude to all Canadian Armed Forces personnel who are sacrificing so much for our freedom. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: All rise for a moment of silence.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister responsible for Emergency Management.

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, if I may make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: In the east gallery today I'd ask you to rise as I call your name. We have with us Mr. Mike Myette, Director of Emergency Services with Emergency Management Office; Mr. Bob Crosbie, Public Safety Telecommunicator with Halifax Regional Municipality; Mr. John Webber, Operations Manager, Integrated Emergency Services with Halifax Regional Municipality; Ms. Joan Mahoney, 911 Training Officer with the Emergency Management Office and Ms. Jodi Sibley, 911 Public Information Officer with the Emergency Management Office.

These five individuals are part of a team that guaranteed to Nova Scotians that we have a state-of-the-art 911 system. I'd ask that we extend the warm welcome of the House to them. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 2580

[Page 4388]

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

Whereas our public safety 911 call takers and emergency service dispatchers work to preserve the public safety; and

Whereas the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International recognize National Public Safety Telecommunications Week April 8th to 14th; and

Whereas this week recognizes the critical role these individuals play in the delivery of emergency services;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the tremendous work of the many public safety call-takers and dispatchers across the province, without whom emergency responders could not reach those in need.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2581

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

Whereas public servants are the foundation of all work that government undertakes; and

Whereas one of the Department of Community Services' exemplary employees, Judy LaPierre, was recently awarded the Inspiration Award from Dalhousie University's School of Public Administration; and

[Page 4389]

Whereas what makes this award special is the fact that students put forward nominees for their superior dedication and commitment to mentoring, coaching, and inspiring other public servants;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize Ms. LaPierre for, in the words of the student who nominated her, "representing the epitome of professionalism and leadership in the public service" and congratulate her on a much deserved award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister for Acadian Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 2582

MR. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: M. le président à une date ultériere je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le 18 févier dernier, le gala des prix de la musique de la Côte est (East Coast Music Awards) a présenté des prix à de nombreux individus et groupes qui méritaient qu'on les distingue;

Attendu que le groupe BLOU de Clare a remporté le prix de l'Enregistrement francophone de l'année pour son album Pied-à-terre; et

Attendu que ce n'est pas la première fois que BLOU se distingue lors du gala des prix de la musique de la Côte est, puisqu'il a déjà remporté le prix de l'Enregistrement francophone de l'année en 2004 avel Blou Blanc Rouge et en 1999 avec Acadico;

Par conséquent qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette assemblée se joignent à moi pour féliciter BLOU de ses nombreuses réalisations et encourager le groupe à continuer à célébrer la culture acadienne dans sa musuqie

M. Le président, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat

[Page 4390]

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

Whereas on February 18th, the East Coast Music Awards presented awards to many deserving individuals and groups; and

Whereas the group BLOU from Clare won the award for Francophone Recording of the Year for its album Pied-à-terre; and

Whereas BLOU is no stranger to the ECMAs, having won Francophone Recordings of the Year in 2004 for Blou Blanc Rouge and in 1999 for Acadico;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating BLOU on its many accomplishments and in encouraging the group to continue to highlight the Acadian culture through its music.

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 favor of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 185 - Entitled an Act to Promote Greater Energy Efficiency in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

Bill No. 186 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 300 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Municipal Elections Act. (Ms. Diana Whalen)

Bill No. 187 - Entitled an Act to Make Nova Scotia a Leader in the Use of Energy-Efficient Appliances. (Ms. Joan Massey)

Bill No. 188 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 31 of the Acts of 1996. The Sales Tax Act. (Mr. Harold Theriault)

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

[Page 4391]

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2583

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

Whereas Corporal Chris Stannix of Cole Harbour was one of six Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2007; and

Whereas Corporal Stannix expressed his loyalty to Canada by enlisting as a reservist and by his dedication to the mission assigned by his country to the Canadian Forces; and

Whereas Corporal Stannix will be greatly missed by his fiancée, his parents, his sisters and everyone who knew this brave young man;

Therefore be it resolved that this House express its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Corporal Christopher Stannix and to the families of the other soldiers who were killed with him while serving their country in Afghanistan.

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 favor of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2584

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

Whereas the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces stand for freedom, defend our country and consistently come to the aid of those in need; and

[Page 4392]

Whereas on April 8, 2007, Nova Scotia lost another of its beloved citizens while serving with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan; and

Whereas Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix, a reserve member of the Halifax-based Princess Louise Fusiliers, has spent most of his life preparing to become a soldier and was serving in Afghanistan defending the rights and freedoms we enjoy so much today in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly remember and honour Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix of Dartmouth, a trusting friend, a loving family man and a dedicated member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

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 Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2585

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

Whereas as all Nova Scotians mourn the tragic loss in Afghanistan of Corporal Paul Stannix, we also marvel that another Nova Scotian, Yarmouth native, Corporal Shaun Fevens, survived the blast that took the life of his comrade; and

Whereas Corporal Fevens was seriously injured when an explosive device tore through the light armoured vehicle he was in and stole the lives of six of his fellow soldiers, yet, despite the chaos, the pain and the fear, Corporal Fevens displayed remarkable grace under pressure when he advised the gunner, who came to aid, on how to save his life; and

Whereas for this feat of courage, Corporal Fevens earned a Campaign Star Medal and the admiration of a nation;

[Page 4393]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Corporal Fevens for his incredible bravery and dedication and send him our most sincere gratitude for his service to our country and warm wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2586

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

Whereas in 1996, 2005 and 2006, this House unanimously called upon the federal government to reactivate the Halifax Rifles as a reserve reconnaissance force; and

Whereas the Minister of National Defence has yet to provide the Government of Nova Scotia or the members of this Assembly with assurances that he shares the vision of members of the Halifax Rifles Association and the late Senator Forrestall to re-establish this force; and

Whereas coastal defence is a matter that concerns all members of this House;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly once again reaffirm its support for the reactivation of the Halifax Rifles and urge the Minister responsible for Military Relations to take the lead role in provincial advocacy to this end.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4394]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2587

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

Whereas on Sunday, April 15, 2007, a Holocaust Memorial Observance will be held at the Temple Sons of Israel in celebration of Yom Hashoah 2007; and

Whereas the guest speaker, Elly Gotz, was born in Kovno, Lithuania, who spent his teenage years in concentration camps and was liberated in 1945 by the American Army and now is a resident of Canada; and

Whereas during the service, candles will be lit by local educators in memory of the victims of the Holocaust;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly welcome Elly Gotz, his wife Esme, and his three children to Sydney, and congratulate the Jewish community for continuing to remember those who died in the Holocaust, and celebrate those who have survived.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2588

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

[Page 4395]

Whereas the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia celebrated and recognized the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups who rose above the rest to achieve excellence; and

Whereas Shelly Webb is the owner of Havenside Bed and Breakfast in Glen Haven; and

Whereas Shelly was recognized as the Crystal Tourism Business Person of the Year which recognizes her as being the best of the best in the tourism industry;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Shelly Webb on this well-deserved award and wish her much success in the years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

[2:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2589

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

Whereas volunteers are the heart and soul of communities; and

Whereas every year, each municipality recognizes volunteers who have contributed above and beyond the call of duty; and

[Page 4396]

Whereas on April 10, 2007, the Municipality of East Hants will recognize Mr. Mel Banks as its Provincial Volunteer representative;

Therefore be it resolved this House of Assembly congratulate Mel Banks on his selection as the Municipality of East Hants Provincial Volunteer representative.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2590

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 year after year hundreds of Nova Scotians are forced to leave the province to obtain teaching degrees; and

Whereas Cape Breton University has the ability to offer Bachelor of Education programs to Nova Scotians who would rather gain their teaching degrees here instead of having to go outside the province; and

Whereas the Shapiro Report has recommended that other post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia offer Bachelor of Education programs;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly urge the government to form a committee to study the possibility of not only offering Bachelor of Education programs in other university institutions, but also look into the possibility of offering one year programs as the province once did.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4397]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2591

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

Whereas Constable Seth Thomas of Kings Detachment RCMP in New Minas observed a couple of males ransacking some nearby vehicles while off duty; and

Whereas he, without communication or protection, apprehended and subdued the individuals and managed to escort them to a phone booth; and

Whereas he then contacted the RCMP dispatcher for assistance and ensured the suspects were subsequently arrested and charged;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this House recognize the bravery of RCMP officer Seth Thomas, protecting our community and removing these thieves from our streets while returning numerous stolen items to their rightful owners.

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. 2592

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

[Page 4398]

Whereas this Spring, Caledonia Junior High School will be hosting an auction to raise funds for the Grade 9 trip to Quebec and Montreal; and

Whereas 66 students will participate in this cultural and educational experience; and

Whereas the trip is costly and they need to raise over $60,000 to cover expenses such as lodging, travel and tour guides;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly wish the students of Caledonia Junior High School a very successful auction and that they have a wonderful experience on their Grade 9 trip to Quebec and Montreal.

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. 2593

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

Whereas Nicole Theriault of Meteghan competed in archery at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse; and

Whereas under the guidance of Coach Rick Comeau of Saulnierville and manager Aline Quinlan of Little Brook, Nicole placed 6th overall in the women's archery individual compound - bow competition; and

Whereas Nicole set a national record in the compound individual archery event for her age group;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Nicole Theriault for her success at the Canada Winter Games and wish her continued success in the future.

[Page 4399]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2594

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

Whereas the Canadian Community Newspaper Association is made up of more than 700 English language newspapers and dedicated to excellence in journalism, with a combined circulation of more than 12,000,000 newspapers across Canada; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Bulletin has been recognized by the association for their excellence in journalism as having the best Web site design for papers with a circulation between 4,000 and 12,499, edging out newspapers in Powell River, B.C. and the Yukon Territory; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Bulletin also was recognized in a number of other distinguished categories, placing 2nd nationally for the Best Newspaper and Best Spot Photo, while placing third for having the Best Christmas Edition and Best Sports Photo;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House applaud the dynamic work ethic and creativity of staff at the Bridgewater Bulletin and to photographers Keith Corcoran and Patrick Hirtle for being recognized as one of the best community newspapers in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4400]

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. 2595

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

Whereas Kenneth Peters of the Sydney Fire Station, a member of this select fraternity, received the 25-year Provincial Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Kenneth Peters 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 Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2596

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

[Page 4401]

Whereas the Catholic Women's League recently launched a campaign to remove the GST from funeral costs; and

Whereas the CWL recognizes the hardship this tax causes low-income families, especially seniors on a fixed income; and

Whereas the CWL is calling upon the Harper Government to do the right thing and immediately remove funerals from its list of taxed services;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly encourage the federal government to review its current practice of applying GST to funeral services.

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 Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2597

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

Whereas Craig Leger was named Outstanding Male Athlete, ages 16 to 20, at the Truro Sport Heritage Society's 23rd Annual Sports Awards Dinner; and

Whereas Craig Leger, in helping the CEC Cougars win the 2006 Provincial High School Football Championship, ran for over 2,000 yards, scored 26 touchdowns, was the league's MVP and then was the first Maritimer to earn a tryout for the Under 19 Canada Cup Football Team; and

Whereas Craig Leger is a multi-sport athlete who played hockey for the Truro AA Midget Hockey Team, and at provincial meets as a member of the CEC Track Team finished first in the 110-metre hurdles, and was a member of the winning 4x100 metre and 4x400 metre relay teams;

[Page 4402]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Craig Leger on being named Outstanding Male Athlete, ages 16 to 20, by the Truro Sport Heritage Society, recognize his many athletic achievements and wish him well in his future academic and athletic endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 2598

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

Whereas David Matthews of Halifax has been awarded a 2007 Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest and most prestigious international awards for academic and extracurricular excellence; and

Whereas as a student of both biology and music at McGill University and a participant in a wide array of university committees and extracurricular activities, David exemplifies the Rhodes Scholarship's commitment to supporting well rounded and socially engaged scholars; and

Whereas David plans to pursue a Masters in global health and social policy at the University of Oxford, a field which has no shortage of need for emerging leaders of his calibre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate David Matthews on being awarded the 2007 Rhodes Scholarship, a remarkable achievement and wish him success at Oxford in the Fall.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4403]

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. 2599

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

Whereas Grade 10 student Julia Martin of St. Mary's Bay Academy won third place at the Tri-County Regional Science Fair; and

Whereas Ms. Martin placed third overall with the project that compared homemade weather instruments with nature and folklore; and

Whereas Ms. Martin will now be competing in the National Canada Wide Science Fair in Truro on May 11, 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Julia Martin for placing third at the Tri-County Regional Science Fair and wish her continued success at the National Science Fair.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2600

[Page 4404]

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

Whereas Lloyd Tattrie has been well-known throughout the Maritimes for 83 years as an avid fiddler; and

Whereas Lloyd, at the age of 94, recently recorded a CD with 16 tunes, nine self-composed, six traditional and one written by a fellow fiddler; and

Whereas Lloyd has received more than 65 plaques and trophies including the 1996 Curtis Hicks Award, a 50 year recognition plaque from the Tatamagouche Fire Department, and a 40 year recognition plaque from the Piper's Picnic;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Lloyd Tattrie for his 83 years of sharing his music, talent and bringing pleasure to his fans.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 2601

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

Whereas the Urban Farm Museum was started in 1996 to celebrate Spryfield's farming tradition and encourage local food production and consumption; and

Whereas the Urban Farm Museum joined community gardens across the country last month in hosting Seedy Saturday - an event for the exchange of seeds, roots and cuttings; and

[Page 4405]

Whereas the Urban Farm Museum now operates a Come Grow With Us Program at Greystone housing where local children learn and practice the art of traditional and organic food gardening;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Urban Farm Museum on its longstanding commitment to making local food accessible at reasonable prices and recommend that the Department of Community Services allot community garden spaces in all other subsidized housing projects across the province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2602

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Fossil Centre officially closed its doors Saturday, April 7th; and

Whereas the centre's staff and board of directors still continue to believe the centre had a future; and

Whereas the member for Cape Breton North didn't exactly share in that vision for the centre;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly apologize to the Cape Breton Fossil Centre for not helping them fulfill their dreams and keep the centre open.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4406]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2603

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the member for Lunenburg, the Minister of Finance, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the United Way opened its Lunenburg County branch in 2003; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County United Way has been able to help many communities and their residents because of the generous support provided by the people of Lunenburg County; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County United Way recently announced its most successful financial campaign year thus far by raising $133,000 which will be provided to local charities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Lunenburg County United Way on their very successful fundraising campaign and thank them for the support they provide to Lunenburg County.

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.

[2:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2604

[Page 4407]

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

Whereas Windsor Junction resident, Alyssa Hennigar, has been a dedicated hockey player for most of her life, following in the footsteps of her mother, Jeri, who was also a star national level hockey player; and

Whereas 18-year-old Alyssa was selected to represent Nova Scotia on the Women's Hockey Team at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse; and

Whereas Alyssa went on to play with strength, spirit and skill at the games in Whitehorse where the Nova Scotia Women's Hockey Team eventually placed sixth;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate and commend Alyssa Hennigar and the Nova Scotia Women's Hockey Team for representing Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games and for being skilled athletes and ambassadors for the Province 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 Leader of the Opposition on an introduction.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to introduce, in the west gallery, Mr. Real Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert is with the North Queens Ground Search and Rescue. He is here to observe Question Period and the activities of the House. I would ask the House to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome everyone to the House today.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2605

[Page 4408]

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

Whereas the International Racquetball Federation Junior Championships took place in Phoenix, Arizona, from December 15 to 21, 2006; and

Whereas Grade 12 student Denise Haynes of Clare was one of the twelve Canadians to compete in this tournament; and

Whereas Denise won a bronze medal with her racquetball partner Claudia Courcy of Quebec City in the doubles competition;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Denise Haynes for her accomplishment and wish her continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2606

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

Whereas we recognize the importance of sustaining our rivers and the fish that inhabit these rivers; and

Whereas the Medway River Salmon Association was recently formed to enable this river to be, once again, a viable salmon fishing river; and

Whereas all of the people in the community, and the Medway River Salmon Association, recognize how important it is to preserve this very important river in Queens County;

[Page 4409]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Darrell Tingley, President; Dell Nauss, Vice-president; Reg Rafuse, Treasurer; John Whitelaw, Secretary of the Medway River Salmon Association; and all of the members of the community who recently attended this very important founding meeting.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2607

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

Whereas Royal Canadian Legions play a vital role in communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Royal Canadian Legion Branch 153 in Whites Lake has provided leadership to the Prospect Road area for many years; and

Whereas on April 20, 2007, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 153 will officially burn its mortgage;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 153 on completing its mortgage payments, with best wishes of good luck in its future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4410]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2608

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Finance, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia is recognized as a world leader for its efforts in waste reduction; and

Whereas the RRFB Mobius Environmental Awards are given out each year to Nova Scotians who have made a significant contribution to making our province a leader in recycling, composting and waste reduction; and

Whereas this year, the South Shore Regional School Board is being awarded the RRFB Mobius Environmental Award for the Institution of the Year, and Bayview Community School has received an honourable mention in the category of Waste Reduction Education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the South Shore Regional School Board and the Bayview Community School on receiving RRFB Mobius Environmental Awards and for their efforts to improve Nova Scotia's environment.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2609

[Page 4411]

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Resource Recovery Fund Board annually holds a contest in schools throughout the province to heighten student awareness of proper waste management and its advantages to the economy and environment of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the eastern region of Antigonish, Guysborough, and Pictou recently held the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest Awards Celebration, acknowledging the students and their teachers; and

Whereas David Heighton of North Nova Education Centre was the winner for Grade 12, Eastern Region, with his research essay entitled Electronic Waste Recycling;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate David Heighton on winning the Grade 12 Eastern Region category, and commend the Nova Scotia Resource Recovery Fund Board for organizing the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest, and the Eastern Region Resource Recovery Fund Board office in Pictou County for hosting the dinner celebration to acknowledge the winners.

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. 2610

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

Whereas the Queens County Minor Hockey Association had a mission, listened well, worked hard, and accomplished their mission in early March of this year; and

Whereas this was the first time in 14 years that a Queens County Minor Hockey Association team brought home a provincial banner; and

[Page 4412]

Whereas the Queens County Cougars had previously won the Western Zone Regional Championships and now were able to add the Provincial Bantam B Hockey Championship to their credit;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the Queens County Cougars, coaches, and their head coach, Randy McAllen, on winning the Provincial Bantam B Hockey Championship.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2611

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

Whereas agriculture in the Annapolis Valley has long been a mainstay of the Nova Scotia economy; and

Whereas the annual Apple Blossom Festival pays homage to farmers and their families, and celebrates the agricultural industry in general; and

Whereas 2007 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Apple Blossom Festival;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the communities of the Annapolis Valley for 75 years of beautiful parades, and wish them continued success in celebrating their livelihood and heritage as a community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4413]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and with your consent I'd like to do an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER; Please do.

MR. COLWELL: In the east gallery today we have Carol Fiander and Fred Owens. Fred is from Sackville and is a very good friend of our Sergeant-at-Arms, and I'd like the House to give them a warm welcome today. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, welcome to our special guests and to all visitors in our gallery.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question period shall begin at 2:55 p.m. and end at 3:55 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

HEALTH: AVASTIN - FUNDING

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be through you to the Minister of Health. Up to this point the Health Department has stubbornly refused to fund Avastin; in fact the department has gone so far as to direct the Cancer Systemic Therapy Policy Committee to review their decision not once, but twice. I understand that the same committee is meeting again tomorrow, so my question to the minister is this: In reference to the funding of Avastin, what direction has your department given to the committee?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As we know, the committee has been set up in order to review all cancer therapies to be looked at or to be given to patients in Nova Scotia. In this case there has been further information provided to the committee for their perusal, and we also know that there are some very specific members in this committee made up of pharmacists, medical doctors, ethicists, and those kinds of people who will make decisions on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia.

[Page 4414]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I will now table a letter from Jim Connors to the Cancer Systemic Therapy Policy Committee members, dated April 5, 2007, that was sent care of the Minister of Health. This letter outlines nine pieces of information giving evidence of the effectiveness of Avastin. My question therefore to the Minister of Health is based on this information - will your department urge the review committee to recommend funding Avastin?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I know that information has been sent to the committee for their perusal and for their decision making and I look forward to their deliberating this issue which is so important to so many Nova Scotians.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the funding of Avastin to treat late-stage colorectal cancer should only be a short-term issue. With the implementation of a province-wide colorectal screening program, more cancers would be caught early enough to cure and would not progress to the late stage. My question finally to the minister is, why is your department not showing vision and funding a province-wide colorectal screening program that would prevent Nova Scotians from requiring drugs like Avastin?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the province is very pleased to look forward to funding the $300,000 on setting up a comprehensive colorectal screening program that will save so many Nova Scotians' lives.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH - DETOX FACILITIES: TEENS - LACK

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Drug addiction in this province is an ever-growing problem among our youth - street drugs such as crack cocaine and crystal meth are almost instantly addictive and are readily available to our youth. Even more disturbing is the increasing trend of abuse of prescription drugs such as Valium, Dilaudid and OxyContin. If you are a youth under 16 years old there are rehabilitation facilities available to you, but in order to get into rehab, you must first go through detoxification and those services just are not available in this province for youth under 16 years of age. My question to the minister is, why are there no facilities for children under 16 to receive detox services in this province?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, we do provide services through the IWK Hospital, through the mental health services of that establishment. Everything is looked at, of course, on a per person basis and we will continue to provide the services as they are available to Nova Scotia youth.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, in this province there is a unique situation at the Indian Brook Reserve that makes an already tragic reality even worse. Elders

[Page 4415]

in that community estimate that almost one-third of all youth in the community are addicted to narcotics. Community elders blame the free access to highly addictive painkillers such as OxyContin in uncontrolled quantities. Community members can get multiple prescriptions - sometimes on the same day - for these addictive painkillers. Some of these legally prescribed drugs are then being sold or shared among the community members.

[3:00 p.m.]

The community of Indian Brook has lost 18 people in the last few years to suicide and overdose as a direct result of drug addiction - an astounding death toll in a tiny community of less than 1,400 people. My question to the minister is, how are youth under 16 supposed to obtain the addiction services they require in this province?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, that is an issue - as we refer to the Indian Brook issue - that I work quite closely on with the honourable Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, one that we will continue to work on with the bands and, of course, with the federal government who has that ultimate responsibility. We will continue to work at expanding the Prescription Monitoring Program to ensure that all pharmacies will be online as soon as possible.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, desperate people do desperate things. Children are performing sexual favours in return for drugs, they are pulling out their own healthy teeth for a prescription for pain killers in this province. Primary care addiction services are a provincial health issue and this government is doing nothing to help the most vulnerable children in this province. Something needs to be done immediately to save these children before we see any more senseless deaths. So my final question for the minister is will the minister commit to implementing a detox program for children under 16 in the Province of Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we will commit to continuing to work with the IWK and the mental health services and the issues through that facility. But in reference to the issue of course with Indian Brook, we will continue to work on the issue of prescription drug abuse and focus with the Mi'kmaq, the Nova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum's working committee, the province's work in conjunction with the Mi'kmaq, and the federal government to help coordinate efforts to address drug abuse prevention treatment, and harm reduction and enforcement for all our Natives in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

EMO: GROUND SEARCH & RESCUE VOLS. - RADIO LICENCE FEES

[Page 4416]

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question this afternoon will be through you to the Minister of Emergency Management. There are 24 ground search and rescue teams in this province. They are comprised of individuals like Real Gilbert from North Queens, who is in the gallery with us today. These volunteers unquestionably work hard to respond to emergencies, but they also work hard to fundraise to ensure that their teams can get to and from emergency scenes and appropriately respond to emergencies. What they can't understand, however, is why the federal government would make their job even harder by forcing them to pay licence fees for radios they use in emergency response situations. So my question, through you to the minister, is does your government support charging these radio licence fees to our ground search and rescue volunteers?

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by saying what a valued resource we have in our ground search and rescue in this province. We recently announced, in the last month, support for ground search and rescue, a new initiative called SMART which will assist all ground search teams in the province with a new initiative which will allow them to integrate their technology system. They are going to be given a laptop, they are going to be given an information card - every ground search and rescue worker - which will allow them to swipe that card when they enter an emergency site. It will have their vitals on it, any information that we need to know about the individual who is going out into the field, so that if something happened it's definitely a safety initiative that will help them. This alone was a $348,000 initiative. The province is very supportive of our ground search and rescue.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I think the minister missed the question, which was with respect to licence fees for the radios that they use.

I'm going to try this. This is National Public Safety Week. This is a time, not only to recognize, but to stand up for those who help our citizens in times of need. Industry Canada paid a visit to Mr. Gilbert's search and rescue team last December. They were seeking payment of a $40 licence fee associated with each of the six radios his team uses. At this point the team has only $54 in their bank account because they just fundraised over $3,000 to fix the bus they use to get back and forth to emergency scenes. So my question for the minister is this: What steps has your government taken to have Industry Canada lift this unnecessary burden off the backs of our volunteers?

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, we will continue to consult with our federal counterparts on this issue. I know it has been raised by a variety of the ground search and rescue teams across the province, and it's something I have addressed with the federal minister and I will continue to do so.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, while this cost may seem small to the government, it adds up to an unnecessary burden on the 1,000 or more search and rescue volunteers. If they are unable to pay these fees and use these radios, then the RCMP or other provincially supported services will be required and the cost will be much higher. So while the minister

[Page 4417]

is consulting, will the government step in to assist these essential volunteer teams by paying these fees, on their behalf, while you work with Industry Canada to have the policy changed?

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, I guess it is a no more appropriate time to have a member of the ground search and rescue team in here today than through volunteer week, which we are currently celebrating. Again, I recognize the importance of the volunteers that we do have in the province.

Having said that, I have said that I have spoken with the federal minister on the radio fees that they are being charged. I will continue to do that and we will see that the ground search and rescue have the tools they need to operate in this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

EDUC. - MAPLE LEAF FOODS: WORKERS - RE-EMPLOYMENT

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, this question is directed to the Minister of Education. In January, Maple Leaf Foods announced the closure of its Canard chicken plant. The impact of that decision on almost 400 working families forced the government to establish a transition team in the Valley. For the last three months the government has been telling us the transition team is going to ensure that every worker who wants will be retrained and re-employed. I would like to ask the minister how many of the unemployed Maple Leaf Canard workers have actually been re-employed under the guidance of this transition team?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, it is true that we did establish two sites in the Valley to help the workers from Maple Leaf, one was an on-site office where we allowed them to become registered in our database and have individual meetings to determine what their needs might be. That service was made available and many of the employees took advantage of that.

The second step in that, of course, was to match their needs and their need for training to a site where that training could be provided, and we've been working with both community college campuses at Kingstec and at Middleton to make sure those seats are available for employees who wish to be retrained.

Information as to how many have been transferred to other employments is information I can get for the member.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a copy of the Department of Education's Skills and Learning Branch, their second monthly report on the transition. In fact, I have the numbers.

[Page 4418]

According to the minister's own department's report, just five workers have found new employment since January. The Maple Leaf workers want jobs that pay what they currently earn, in the region of $15 an hour. I would submit that many of these offers the government is bragging about fall very short of that. I would like to ask the minister: At this rate, how long will it take to find decent paying jobs for the rest of the Maple Leaf workers?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, as he would well know, the plant is still working. There are still about 78 per cent of the employees still working and we would be helping them do the transition at a time when they are unemployed.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, we have known that the Maple Leaf plant is going to close for almost three months now. The government spends a lot of time and money trying to attract people back to Nova Scotia, but those expats must wonder why they should come home when the government can't find well- paid jobs for the people who are still living here. According to that report just tabled, the workers will have to wait until some time late next month to attend even a job fair. Can I ask the minister, where is the department's, and this government's, sense of urgency in this matter?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I guess the sense of urgency could be seen in the fact that we were on- site immediately to provide support to the members there. We are also working with the two community colleges, we have hired three additional staff members at the community college campus at Kingstec so the extra courses that are required for September are available. The uptake on that is good and we're looking to provide spaces for those who wish to have that training.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

NAT. RES. - ATV REGS.: INSTRUCTORS - CONSULTATION

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources in the absence of the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order please. The honourable member knows you're not allowed to refer to the absence or the presence of a member in the Chamber.

MR. GLAVINE: I apologize, Mr. Speaker, and I'll direct my question to the Minister of Natural Resources. Last year, the government put regulations into place that would have required all ATV riders to pass a safety course. Last month, the minister and his department relaxed those requirements. To say that they have neglected to properly address this matter would be an understatement. Confusion surrounds this issue and government's hasty reactions have only caused more confusion for drivers and instructors. The regulations have once again changed, and these changes last month came as a total surprise to the instructors.

[Page 4419]

Today, all caucuses received a letter from Howard Rhyno, one of those instructors who spent thousands of dollars preparing to instruct riders. He spoke in particular of the latest accident where a driver was driving on a road without a helmet - obviously addressing the safety course. So my question to the minister is, why weren't these instructors consulted before the regulations were changed this year?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the chance to get up to speak to this issue. The member would be aware that since we brought in the action plan, there has been quite a bit of discussion. We've listened to people who have come forward, and we took action. In this particular case, we recognize that experienced drivers by virtue of being at least 19 years of age and owning a machine as of April 1, 2006, and they were law-abiding citizens by virtue of having registered their machine and were shown to be responsible by virtue of having a current valid driver's licence, were good candidates to drive ATVs, so we have grandfathered that select group.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, hardworking Nova Scotians who believe in ATV-ing and want it to be as safe and as accessible as possible - that's who we're talking about today. Both instructors and people who want to abide by the law and receive training are now wondering what to do and who to turn to. If they cannot take government at its word, whose word can they take? My question to the minister, how is your government going to compensate the customers who received ATV driver training from the old regulations now demanding their money back?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member again for his question. I would point out, as I did when I rose in this House to announce that there were likely going to be some changes the next day - that would have been March 20th - that there was a great deal that needed to be worked out in order to get the action plan correct and, as part of one of the steps going forward, we addressed what we felt was a problem. We've addressed it appropriately, and it is time to move forward.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, last March, the government enacted legislation requiring ATV drivers to be properly trained. Government said they needed trainers to instruct new and experienced drivers. According to last month's new regulations, only new drivers and children under the age of 16 will require training. I wonder if flip-flops will be required footwear if there are any more hastily made changes to the OHV Act?

Mr. Speaker, these instructors and their organizations will still receive some business, but not to the extent they were expected because of the legislation put in place a year ago. Now they are facing difficult times, financially. These instructors took government at its word and have spent thousands of dollars. My question to the minister is, how is your government going to compensate the ATV instructors who have spent so much time and money preparing for your government's former legislation?

[3:15 p.m.]

[Page 4420]

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, of course, the member points out that there is now a significantly increased demand for safety training for people who want to drive ATVs and, in fact, nothing has changed in that regard, because many of the people we're talking about were not going to have to take their safety training course up until as far out as 2012. We are still looking for young people who are wanting to drive ATVs to have to take the safety training course. There are many who do not fall under the grandfathering provisions, so, therefore, there is a great demand for qualified ATV instructors as a result of this province's action plan.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

ECON. DEV. - TRENTON WORKS: EMPLOYEES - ASSISTANCE

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development. The people of Pictou County have been dramatically impacted by the slow decline of Trenton Works for a long time now. Employees laid off in December 2005 have not, for the most part, found work. Their EI has run out, and according to the manager of the local food bank, instead of donating items as they normally would, these families are now forced to turn there for help. This government has said it will do everything possible to help these workers, but the current situation is testament to the fact not enough is being done. What is your government doing to ensure former TrentonWorks employees won't need to continue to use the food bank?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, this government's always been there to work with the TrentonWorks, to see what we could do to enhance the production and to look at new activities for the plant. This government signed a letter, by the Honourable Peter MacKay and the Premier of our province, to Greenbrier that we were there to support the TrentonWorks in this province, to enhance that plant and to make sure that it was here for the long term. Greenbrier turned the offer down. I can assure that member and all members of the House that I've had staff at TrentonWorks last Friday. I've had them there again this morning, working with the management of TrentonWorks to see what we can do to make sure that the plant will operate in years to come.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, an offer made on March 30th, for a pending meeting on April 3rd. Too little, too late, is what Greenbrier said.

A second group of workers laid off in October 2006, will also soon see their EI run out and many of them have not had success in finding jobs to date either. Many, in fact, are being forced to move west. It's a basic question of survival. So I would like to ask the minister, what plan does your government have to deal with Trenton employees who need government help to find work?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, I can assure that member that this government has been there. It was here in the past to help Trenton

[Page 4421]

Works out and they'll be here today and tomorrow. This government has committed to Trenton Works to do everything in their power. We took TrentonWorks to Alberta on two trade missions to help them try to secure contracts. Through the Minister of Education, they put a program in for training in the Trenton area, and last week, on my mission to Paris, we discussed this issue with companies over there. There is a potential client right here in the Province of Nova Scotia that is looking at maybe retraining and using some of the workers from TrentonWorks. (Interruptions)

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, this government has been full of assurances of help for workers at TrentonWorks, for their counterparts at Maple Leaf - indeed, wherever there are workers losing their jobs. So far, these workers have seen precious little evidence of that help. So my final question to the minister is, what detailed steps will the government be taking to ensure that another industry can take over TrentonWorks and provide a future for these working families?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member, I can assure that member and all members that this government will do the same as it's done since 1999. We have grown the economy of the Province of Nova Scotia; 18,000 jobs in this province since 1999. I think with that track record - we are very proud of our track record. I can assure you and that member, that I spoke to a company last week that wants to go up and talk to the TrentonWorks, and the management, to see if there's something they can do to help retrain the staff at TrentonWorks, to create employment in the area.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

ENVIRON.& LBR.:TIRE BURNING - PROPOSAL

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. Good Friday saw the release of a really disturbing international report speaking of an impending world-wide disaster. Canada, in general, and Nova Scotia in particular, have not done their part to arrest the process of global warming. Whether or not we sign on to protocols, whether or not we declare emission targets is meaningless if we don't do the work to meet them. This minister's current plan to make a plan does little to remedy the situation. If this government were serious about protecting the environment, they wouldn't even be looking at the proposal to burn tires in a cement kiln. My question is, in light of this government's announced shift to the green, why are they even considering this proposal?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I've repeated ad nauseam. I haven't received an application from LaFarge in order to use tires for tire dry fuel. Therefore, at present I am not contemplating anything, because I haven't received an application. I have commissioned a study. That study I have received as of this morning. I will be studying it for the data that is in the study and will be releasing it after I have had a chance to look at it.

[Page 4422]

MS. RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I find it difficult to believe that the Resource Recovery Fund Board and LaFarge would have engaged in an academic exercise costing as much money as environmental studies do. However, turning to Ontario - only last week, the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal found that the emissions from a LaFarge cement kiln there are potentially hazardous to environment and human health. There are currently three cement plants in Quebec, three in B.C., one in Bath, Ontario, and one in Nova Scotia and the latter two are waiting for approvals to burn tires. If Nova Scotia wants to be a leader on the environmental stage, this government should be speaking loud and clear to say that tires will not be burned in this province. My question is, in light of the recently set goal to be an international leader in the environment, why is this government even considering looking at a process that is used in only two other provinces and is contested elsewhere?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. We are not considering at present because we have not yet received an application. Once we receive an application, if we receive an application, then we will consider it. However, it's important to state very clearly here that, in protecting the environment, we depend on sound science and that is the ground on which we make our decisions. That needs to be stated as well.

MS. RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, there is a considerable amount of sound science which suggests that burning tires and other waste is not sound environmental practice. If we do not start protecting the air we breathe, we will be seeing a continued rise in air related illness and our environment will be continuing to degrade. The decision of the Ontario Tribunal last week shows that these projects are being more closely scrutinized elsewhere. My question for the minister is, if there has not yet been received any application, will he commit that if and when such an application is, in fact, received, tires will not be accepted for burning as fuel in this province?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, it's very clear that we have had no application yet. It's also very clear that the decision will be made upon sound science and therefore for me to make a commitment at this stage, one way or the other, would be premature and so I will not do it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON. & LBR.- TIRE BURNING: CONTRACT - HALT

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. Last week, the Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester said the Government of Nova Scotia should examine a recent decision in Ontario to hold a hearing for possible hazardous effects of burning tires for fuel. Thankfully, we have at least one federal Conservative MP standing up for the rights and privileges of Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, will you heed the advice of your federal cousin and commit to the stopping of a proposed contract to burn tires for fuel in Brookfield, Nova Scotia?

[Page 4423]

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I had a chance to talk with the honourable member, Mr. Bill Casey. We had a good discussion. I told him that I would be basing my decision based on science and that would be the result of my decision. Mr. Casey suggested that he was opposed to it regardless of what the report said and I said that was his privilege as an MP to state his position. However, the point here is that it's important that we make these environmental decisions based on science and not on rhetoric.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, whether or not the report commissioned by the minister is favourable or unfavourable for the purpose of burning tires, I think we can come to the conclusion that emitting toxins into the atmosphere of any kind is bad for the environment and is bad for the health of Nova Scotians.

My question to the minister, we know about the detrimental impacts of emissions are having on our environment and our health, how can you even entertain the use of tires for fuel?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, it is the very fact that I don't know - that I've commissioned the study. They are using tire-derived fuel in Quebec, they're using tire-derived fuel in Sweden, they're using tire-derived fuel in California. That doesn't mean we'll be using it here. I've no application and I'll base it on the study and on sound science.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the Ontario Environmental Tribunal found that the emissions from burning tires for fuel will be potential hazards to the environment and human health. With all our problems in the environment and even our health care system, I can't imagine why the government would even consider this option. The RRFB must have had other variable options besides awarding the contract for burning tires for fuel.

My question to the minister, can you tell us today what and all other options the RRFB considered before awarding the contract to LaFarge Canada Inc., to burn tires for fuel?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I am unaware of all the different applications that RRFB received. I know that there were tenders in the end that they looked at; two of them involved taking tires out of the province and the third one was the use by LaFarge and that's what I'm aware of.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

HEALTH: MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES - WAIT TIMES

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Wait times for mental health services in Nova Scotia are unacceptably long. In January, only 30 per cent of people requiring semi-urgent care from the City of Dartmouth team had their

[Page 4424]

first visit within the target number of days. The target is actually quite generous, allowing 28 days for these individuals to be seen.

My question, why is your government allowing 70 per cent of semi-urgent cases to wait too long for mental health services?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite I thank her for the question. The important thing to note here is that all urgent cases are seen on a priority basis and we'll continue to see those urgent cases. Mr. Speaker, we'll continue to invest as best we can in expanding mental health services so that all Nova Scotians can access these so-needed services.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, the City of Dartmouth team was not able to see urgent cases in an appropriate time frame in January either. Only 50 per cent of people requiring urgent care had their first visit within the target number of days. The longer people wait for services, the more ill they become. My question to the minister, when will your department provide the staff and resources to ensure that all urgent mental health cases are seen within their seven-day target?

[3:30 p.m.]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work with the professionals, who are so deserving of our praise for the work that they do in providing good mental health services to our population and to our citizens. We continue to work with them and provide them with the funding that is required to offer the services that are needed.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, there's no question that the staff delivering mental health services do their utmost with the resources they have at hand. However, it still seems that the level of respect shown to mental health consumers by this government is inadequate. My question is, when will your department treat mental health consumers with the respect they deserve, by providing accessible, timely mental health services to all Nova Scotians?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again as I say, all urgent cases are seen immediately in clinics. I want to say that also in non-urgent cases, family physicians are informed of the wait times and are offered referral to other clinics at Capital Health, where wait times are much shorter. The clinics in Cole Harbour, Bedford-Sackville and Hants are not experiencing serious wait times, and we encourage people to access those, if they can, when they require non-urgent help for mental health services.

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

ECON. DEV. - OPPORTUNITIES: WESTERN N.S. - EXCLUSION

[Page 4425]

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development. The opportunities Nova Scotia campaign has been recently put in place to try and help bring back Nova Scotians to our communities and to help encourage Nova Scotians to stay and work in our province. We have seen in the recent census numbers that almost all of our rural communities are dealing with population declines and no job growth. The province has decided to put on a road show to some rural communities to help promote this program, however, there are no workshops past Wolfville or Bridgewater in the western part of this province. My question to the minister is, why is southwestern and western Nova Scotia not important enough to have opportunities Nova Scotia workshops?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you, to the member, I guarantee you there will be a workshop in western Nova Scotia.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, the 2006 census population numbers show - I will table these documents - that Shelburne had a 4.2 per cent decline, Digby had a 2.8 per cent decline, Yarmouth a 2.1 per cent decline, Annapolis a 1.2 per cent decline, and Queens a 4.4 per cent decline. These counties need our help the most and yet the department does not believe it necessary to hold any of these workshops. I thought the people of Digby County were the only forgotten people, but I guess now it's all western Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, will you commit to us today to hold workshops in southwestern counties of Nova Scotia, and if you were going to say it's going to be held there, why is it not advertised in the paper?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I could get wound up, but I'm going to keep my cool. I committed earlier in the first question that there will be a workshop in southwestern Nova Scotia, I guaranteed that. Number two, I can assure that member and all members of the House that my department has been very aggressively promoting economic growth in rural Nova Scotia and our facts are proof of what we've done in this province. We have a lot more to do, and we're doing it. We have the tools to work with, and we're working with the RDAs - that's a great model for this province that is doing a tremendous job for all Nova Scotians and especially rural Nova Scotia.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, it's not only the southwestern region of our province that's being banned by the Opportunities Nova Scotia campaign, it is also our French communities. There is only one workshop that is specifically in a French community, there's not one workshop which will be held in French. The French-speaking individuals of the province deserve to have the same service as those who speak English. We need to encourage all Nova Scotians to stay and work in this province and not just the English-speaking ones east of Kings County. Mr. Minister, will you take another look at the locations for the job boom road show to ensure that the southwestern region of the province and the French speaking communities are included?

MR. HURLBURT: Oui, oui, Mr. Speaker. I assure you that - in the southwest region alone, to attract register.com to our community, and CSC, we had to have a bilingual

[Page 4426]

community. That's critical, especially to our part of the province - in the Clare area, the Richmond area and other parts of our province. I can assure that member that I will be taking this back to my department and making sure that is dealt with. I appreciate the member bringing it to my attention.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

ENVIRON. & LBR.: E-WASTE - DISPOSAL PLAN

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. In February, this minister announced his plans to handle e-waste in Nova Scotia. His announcement included setting dates - February 1, 2008, for phase I to come into effect, and 2009 for phase II. In the press release he states that 4,500 tons of e-waste is generated in Nova Scotia every year. My question for the minister is, what will become of this e-waste in the meantime?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, it's a very good question the member asks. In the meantime, what we expect is that many of the recycling options that are already out there that some of the sheltered workshops are using to put machines back in use will continue to operate and that people will hang onto their machines until the electronic waste plan is fully in place.

MS. MASSEY: Well, Mr. Speaker, the need for these regulations is that some of the materials contained in the electronic equipment definitely do threaten our environment. Although I am happy that the minister has recognized that problem exists, my question is, if this material poses such a danger to the environment, why are you going to allow it to continue to be put into our dumps?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, we would encourage it not to be put in the landfills, for people to hold on to it. It's important, when we work with industry and with companies, that we give them time to bring in the program so that it's done properly. It's important that this program be done properly, that it be done in a way that's friendly for people. We find people want to recycle but it needs to be user friendly. We need the lead time to get everyone on board and to get full compliance with this very beneficial program.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, if this minister were serious about this issue, he would allow for the collection of this material immediately. He might say that there are no funds but perhaps he could use some of the tire recycling fee that's being collected for used tires instead of using it to subsidize the cost of a cement plant.

Mr. Speaker, my question is, why won't this minister start receiving this material now and warehouse it, at least until the regulations come into effect in two years?

[Page 4427]

MR. PARENT: First of all, the regulations are coming into place in Phase I within one year not two years, then Phase II is two years. This minister, I can assure you, and this government is very concerned about protecting the environment. In all aspects we have moved aggressively on protection of land, we have moved on e-waste regulations, we have a sustainability bill before the House, we have moved in many ways to protect our environment and we will not stop.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: SUBSTANDARD HOUSING - ADDRESS

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. The New Brunswick Government changed its municipalities Act this month and cracked down on slum landlords and offered better protection to low-income tenants. A ticketing process has been established to fast-track the fine process and the minimum fines have been increased to provide an incentive for landlords to fix their properties. My question to the minister, what is Nova Scotia doing to address the issue of substandard housing?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, clearly substandard housing is not a topic that any of us like to think exists in either New Brunswick or in Nova Scotia. However we do have the Residential Tenancies Act, which has provisions for tenants if they feel their dwelling is below standard, to appeal that way.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, the fine for landlords who refuse to keep their properties in a safe, livable condition has been raised from $240 to $1,000 with a further $240 per day that the repairs are not completed in New Brunswick. Maximum fines have been doubled to over $5,000. In this province there are few provisions to enforce landlords to fix up their properties. Low-income tenants, in particular, are often trapped in living in unsafe housing. My question to the minister, when will his government work with municipalities to make it less attractive to be a slum landlord in this province?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations has a very good working relationship with the municipalities. We work together on a number of problems and a number of issues including housing. As the members of the House would know, legislation and regulations are reviewed regularly by the department and if we find that the legislation that currently exists is not sufficient, then things would be changed.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, New Brunswick laws even allow a municipality to step in if it is a dangerous situation, make the repairs and charge the landlord through his or her tax bill. Our laws already lag behind other jurisdictions and tenants need better protection. My question to the minister is, when will Nova Scotia's residential tenancies laws be given real teeth?

[Page 4428]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, we review the legislation regularly. If we find that the legislation that is in effect doesn't protect tenants or on the other hand it doesn't protect landlords, it is reviewed and it will be revised where necessary.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

HEALTH: LONG-TERM CARE BEDS- CLARE

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. The Minister of Health took great pride earlier this year when introducing the 832 new long-term care beds and the nine replacement facilities across the province.

AN HON. MEMBER: But . . . (Laughter)

MR. GAUDET: But - as in many rural areas of this province, Clare has an aging population and it is in desperate need of additional long-term care beds for the increasing numbers of elderly people who do not want to and should not be expected to leave their community. Yet, Clare and the surrounding region has received none of the new 832 long-term care beds. So my first question to the minister is, why has Clare been excluded from the list of long-term care beds recipient communities?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing this important issue to the floor of the House in regard to francophone services for our seniors. When we did the research on where the placements of beds existed, where the beds were required in the province, in order to see where those places needed to be, we looked at population trends. We looked at where people are coming from who are sitting in hospitals and we made decisions accordingly. What it showed us is that the region of Clare is well-served by the Villa Acadienne and by other services in that area as well, so on a levelling the field basis, it did not require any extra beds in this round.

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, it's not only Clare that has been ignored in this decision-making process. Not one single new or replacement long-term care bed is going into an Acadian community. There are almost 37,000 Acadians in this province, with the majority located in areas such as Clare, Argyle, Isle Madame and Cheticamp. The Acadian people in Nova Scotia have faced their fair share of struggles throughout the history of this province and now the older generations are being forced to leave their communities, their family, friends and cultural network for long-term care. So my question to the minister is, why have the Acadian communities across the province been ignored?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it absolutely has not been neglected by this government and I can say that through the changes in the placement policy, that Acadians can stay closer to their homes. The establishment of the Richmond Villa and the construction

[Page 4429]

of that one takes into consideration the specific needs of the francophone population. We have made sure that we are levelling the playing field across the province, making sure that more communities have access to more long-term care facilities. I can say to the member opposite that through this process and into the years to come, as we place 200 more beds each year until the 10-year process comes its end, that Acadian regions will be very well represented in the next round of bed placements.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, the minister should be well aware of the unique issue faced by French-speaking Acadians in this province. Some of the French Acadians in need of nursing home care can not speak English, or very little. The Acadian culture is one of community and family. Our history is passed along through generations around the kitchen table with stories from our parents and grandparents so, without keeping our Acadian elders in their communities our entire future is at risk. So my final question to the minister is, will you commit to the placement of long-term care beds in some of our Acadian communities?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I will commit, through this process, that the Acadian regions will be considered and those regions will be looked at for their specialty of making sure that those services are available to our Acadian populations. This process - and I do trust the numbers that we have presented and the research that went into providing those numbers and making sure that all Nova Scotians will be receiving the correct number of beds over this process, including the 832 to be placed within the next three years.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

HEALTH: PANDEMIC OUTBREAK - PREPAREDNESS

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. I'll table a recent article quoting Dr. Margaret Chan, the new head of the World Health Organization, urging diligence with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu. In her words, "We must not let our guard down. We must maintain our vigilance." Despite warnings like this, Nova Scotia's public health system is underfunded. My question to the Minister of Health is, how prepared is Nova Scotia for a pandemic disease outbreak, like H5N1, or another flu?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health works in collaboration with the Department of Health Promotion and Protection and with the honourable minister there. There is a working committee with the Department of Health, HPP, as well as EMO and other departments to make sure that the government is ready to protect its population as best as possible. It really boils down to that a pandemic will be upon us at some point in the future, and we're preparing to make sure that we'll be ready.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I'll table a page from the Guysborough-Antigonish Strait Area Health Authorities 2006-07 Business Plan. Discussing pandemic flu preparations it states that this has been a shared service expense. Monies through 2005-06, were not budgeted for this initiative, but had to be found internally. My question to the Minister of

[Page 4430]

Health is, how can our health service providers prepare for pandemic disease outbreaks without the resources to do it?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it really boils down to having the correct plan and working with the partners amongst government to make sure that we're going to be ready. The preparedness plan is one that we'll continue to work on to make sure that we have the correct responses available in case a pandemic flu comes to Nova Scotia, comes to Canada. We'll continue to make sure that's funded appropriately in the times to come.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately resources are a very real concern. Pictou's DHA's Business Plan states that if the recommendations of the 2006 Public Health Review are not endorsed by the minister, "Public health will continue to be fragmented and will only be able to minimally fulfill its mandate." I'll table that document. My final question to the Minister of Health is, how much longer will public health officials be expected to prepare for pandemic diseases, without the resources to do it properly?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Again, Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work with the agency that is responsible for pandemic planning, which is the Department of Health Promotion and Protection. I also want to make a couple of comments here that there remains no immediate health risk to Nova Scotians. The 2006 Canadian Wild Bird Survey found no Asian strain H5N1, and experts are confident that importation of illegal poultry and poultry products would currently be most likely the source of AI, and I can also say that it is very important to note to date that there is no evidence of efficient human to human transmission of the virus anywhere in the world, that makes this different than any pandemic. We'll continue to monitor the world literature and we'll continue to work, in Nova Scotia, to make sure that our plan is as strong as possible.

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

HEALTH: PARAMEDICS - ER WAIT TIMES

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question through you, is to the Minister of Health. Wait times in emergency departments are increasing every day. Nova Scotia's paramedics are highly trained medical professionals, who are ready to respond to any emergency in the province. However, paramedics spend a large portion of their shift waiting in the emergency departments, performing hallway medicine, waiting to transfer care over to hospital staff. So through you to the Minister of Health, how are you addressing the issue of paramedics waiting in emergency departments, instead of responding to emergency calls throughout the province?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, you really have to look at what the root causes are for the backups in emergency rooms, and it's really not the fault of the people sitting in the emergency room. It is really not the fault of the people in the hospital system. What we really need to do is continue to get the beds available in Nova

[Page 4431]

Scotia for our long-term care residents, making sure that those people are out of the hospital and into homes that they require. That's why we put 832 beds into the system and that's why this government is delivering on that promise.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I'm glad the light has finally come on for this government to start addressing why we have such wait times in our emergency departments. (Applause) Our paramedics are strategically placed throughout the province so that they can respond to emergencies quickly. Inaction by this government causes Nova Scotia's paramedics to continue to spend more and more time waiting in our emergency rooms. It's not uncommon for paramedics to wait three, four, or even five hours to transfer their patients over to hospital staff.

So through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Health, would he agree that the long waits paramedics are seeing in our emergency room departments is unacceptable?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that we completely realize what the issues are within our hospital system. Which is why this government is acting, why we'll continue to make sure that we have the beds available so people are in the places where they belong, in long-term care facilities and, of course, provide the services that they require, that there's better flow through our hospitals. That is why we're investing money in the expansion of the ER here at Capital District, which is why we'll continue to do the work, and I know we will get there.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Nova Scotians expect our paramedics to respond quickly to emergencies, Mr. Speaker. They cannot do this if they are waiting in emergency rooms to transfer care of their patients over to hospital staff.

So through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Health, what steps are you taking to address this issue to get our paramedics back in our communities where they can best serve all Nova Scotians?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as I said in my previous two answers, we continue to invest in our long-term care strategy, making sure that people can move out of the hospital to places where they so rightly belong, which is either in the home or in a long-term care facility, which increases the flow through in our hospitals. We continue to look at expansions of ERs and working on the services that are available to those individuals and to making sure that we'll have those professionals in their specific communities. Paramedics do provide to us a service which is second to none and we appreciate every minute that they provide to people in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH: BONE DENSITY UNITS - FUNDING

[Page 4432]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. Nova Scotians suffered 699 hip fractures in 2004-05, that resulted in a total cost to the province of at least $15 million for hip fractures alone. We are in need of seven additional bone mineral density units in this province to bring us in line with our neighbours and to make this service available to all Nova Scotians in a timely manner. The minister knows the many questions that have been asked before - I'll ask him one more time today. Will the minister commit to investing in seven additional bone density units and save the taxpayers of Nova Scotia millions of dollars in preventable medical costs?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: I thank the member opposite for bringing this very important issue to the floor of the Legislature and we will continue to invest in helping these individuals.

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, before we do move into the Committee of the Whole House on Supply, I have a few remarks I would like to offer to my colleagues here in the House.

Mr. Speaker, one week from today Canada will observe the 25th Anniversary of the coming into force of the Charter of Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. I thought this would be an appropriate occasion to look back upon 25 years of living with the Charter and perhaps to look forward to what it is that the Charter will offer us in future years. Those of us of a certain age will have actually spent some time living in Canada as adults in the time before the Charter came into effect. I, myself, am in that group. I finished law school in 1973 and I now find myself teaching students who, however, have spent their whole lives, not just as law students, but their entire lives in a Charter world. They don't remember what it was like before the Charter came into effect. In my time, before 1982, I can tell you that we were not as well protected when it came to fundamental freedoms, as we are now with the Charter. At that time, there were certain statutory provisions that protected us. The Diefenbaker Government had brought in the Bill of Rights as a national Statute, but as a Statute only and, of course, applicable only to federal matters. As a Statute, of course, it was subject to being repealed. Of course, the federal government and a lot of the provinces enacted human rights

[Page 4433]

codes in order to offer some kinds of protections to individuals and to prohibit certain forms of discrimination.

Clearly, Statutes like the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Human Rights Codes were very welcome initiatives, because I have to tell you that looking back in the time before the Charter and before the Bill of Rights and before human rights codes, our courts had not done a particularly good job of prohibiting discrimination, because they had no legal basis for doing it. It was simply not part of public policy. Of course, many of us recall a time in which there were such things as restrictive covenants in deeds for the transfer of land that prohibited owners from going on to sell land to people of certain ethnic or religious groups. This was a common and legally sanctioned form of restriction in such documents and yet the courts were unable to do much about it. Anyone who wants to read what is really a sad history of the court's attempt to deal with discrimination should read a wonderful book by Walter Tarnopolsky - a legal scholar, professor and later judge - simply called Discrimination in the Law in Canada. It lays out, in no uncertain terms, just how vulnerable individuals and groups were in Canada prior to the coming into force of the Charter.

What kind of Charter do we have? Although I said it is welcome, we have to note certain restrictions on it. Some legal scholars have said that, although we have a constitutional Charter, it is not an entrenched Charter. Now what they mean by that is that there is a notwithstanding clause. A notwithstanding clause in the Charter is one of two ways in which governments can, in fact, act so as to limit what are otherwise the rights that are guaranteed - supposedly guaranteed - through the Charter for individuals.

There are two routes. One is the Section 1 Declaration, which is the possibility of a government acting in a way that might limit a Charter right, if it does so in a way that is done clearly through the law and is demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society. That is written into the Charter as it exists right now. That is separate from the notwithstanding or non obstante clause. What it means is that, even though there might be some infringement of a Charter right, if the government can show - and it is up to the government to show - that on clear terms that a free and democratic society can live with this Charter limitation, then they can do so and the Supreme Court of Canada has, in 1986, in the Regina vs. Oakes case, enunciated the kinds of tests that a government would have to meet in order to show that there's an appropriate limitation. That's one form of limitation that leads some scholars to say we have a constitutional, but not an entrenched, Charter.

[4:00 p.m.]

The other aspect, of course, is the possibility of a notwithstanding clause. That is, it is always open to this Legislature, to any provincial Legislature, to the federal Parliament, to make a declaration when it enacts a law, that it is to operate notwithstanding certain sections of the Charter. What that means is that there is built into the Charter, and this was

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part of the original political compromise that led to the endorsement of the Charter in the first place, the possibility that we, the elected representatives, can have the final say. It is a question of who do you think should have the final say, the courts, as the interpreters of the Charter, or the elected officials? The political compromise at the time led to a structure called the notwithstanding clause. So, we do have that power. It has not been used in Nova Scotia; the federal Parliament has never used it. The Quebec Legislature used it in order to overrule or essentially nullify a court ruling that had limited its ability through a Statute that is, I think many people would recall, Bill No. 178, that was designed to advance the position of the French language and its use inside Quebec.

The use of the notwithstanding clause is more theoretical than actual. It simply has not been used a great deal and, when it has been used, it's been highly controversial; it's a highly political matter. Some scholars have suggested that instead of Legislatures or Parliaments actually having a notwithstanding clause, there might be an opportunity for a referendum and actually put a question to the public to decide if something should override the Charter. This is a possibility - who knows. I think we have to take it simply that we have a notwithstanding clause, we have a Section 1, and there are certain kinds of limitations that are already built in. In the end, the framers of the Charter decided that it's elected Legislatures and elected Parliaments that, in the end, are really going to be the arbiters of what it is that we ought to see as the appropriate modes of protection of rights in our country.

What are the rights that are protected? Well, there are political rights, there are legal rights, there are rights of fundamental fairness, and there are rights of equality. These are all very important things to find in the Charter. By political rights, I mean such things as the right to vote, and the right to vote is not just a right to cast a ballot, the right to vote has been interpreted by the courts as extending to being a bulwark against gerrymandering - a very important protection for us.

Legal rights often have to do with peoples' encounters with the criminal justice system and, of course, there have been a number of cases that have established limits on police powers, limits on intrusion, certain kinds of freedom of privacy, rights to counsel, and so on. Fundamental freedoms - these are crucial. They have to do with freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. I think all of us endorse these and are happy that they are to be found in the Charter of Rights. The equality rights, of course, have, as enunciated in Section 15, formed good basis of some of the litigation, but they've offered protections to individuals who have been part of groups that have been, historically, the victims of some form of prejudice. I think we're happy to find in our Charter, again, the kinds of protections that those sections of the Charter offer to people.

Generally in Nova Scotia, I think when we turn our minds to what has happened here, we have a good record. We have not been a province where there has been a huge amount of Charter litigation. Not too many of our laws have been overturned, although some have. We've been a place in which some of the criminal process matters have come forward. We've had some problems with some of our election laws or, indeed, some of the other bills

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that have come before this House. There has been litigation about the entitlement of benefits for same-sex couples, there have been a variety of things that have been of interest around the country, and we haven't been far out of line, I think, with how it is that we've been called to account when it comes to measuring our laws against the Charter.

I know that when the Charter first came into effect, that there was an initiative - particularly after 1985 when Section 15, which was the one delayed section of the Charter, came into effect - we examined our laws with the view to try to bring them into line with the Charter. It may be time now, after 25 years of our experience with Charter litigation, to think again in an organized fashion about all of our laws, to try to see in the light of the extended jurisprudence that we now have, whether we really are complying with the Charter as extensively as we might. That would be a useful exercise, and I commend it to my colleague, the honourable Minister of Justice. I hope that he turns his mind to the possibility of doing this even as an informal exercise.

What of the future? What is it we are likely to see in terms of the future when it comes to the development of the Charter? I have to say that we have already engaged in a number of controversial issues through Charter litigation. The courts have found themselves in a difficult position of having to sort out what, in many respects, are very difficult social issues over the years, not always happily, I have to say. There is an interesting record of the Supreme Court of Canada and other levels of courts when it comes to deciding what issues are Charter issues, what issues are Charter-protected, and exactly how the Charter protections are to be worked out.

The most controversial, of course, has been the most recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Chaouli that had to do with the extent of the protections offered to individuals through the Charter and through, in this case, the Quebec Charter, when it comes to the ambit of our health care system. This was a very difficult case and one in which the court members split many ways in terms of setting out their views. Chaouli, I think, has been a very unfortunate decision for us to struggle with. It has put the Supreme Court of Canada in a difficult light because they had a record in previous decisions of trying to either stay out of the most controversial of issues or else to act only where they had clear, evidentiary basis that would allow them to move in a particular direction and many scholars have criticized the Chaouli decision as not being as grounded in factual and learned basis as one would expect. So we don't know where the court is going to go with its grappling with our health care system.

But there are other issues that will play out over time. I'm curious, for example, as to whether Section 15 will be interpreted, ultimately, as extending to protecting people who are in a position of poverty. That is to say, will Section 15 be read as extending to the issue of class along with the enunciated, specified grounds that are prohibited for discrimination? Poverty and class are not listed. They would have to be analyzed by the courts on a basis that suggested that being poor is similar to other forms of historic grounds of discrimination. But the groundwork is there, the factual groundwork is there and some cases are beginning to

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work their way up through the system. We may find that at some point the court will move in that direction.

I want to note, in closing, just one other initiative that is sometimes mentioned as a possible change to our Charter. Many people think that property rights should be entrenched in our Charter. Now a particular focused decision was taken when the Charter was drafted not to include property rights. That has been a defining distinction between us and the United States when it comes to a difference between their Bill of Rights, which is a variety of sections in their Constitution, and our Charter. Should we adopt something that looks like the American protection of property rights?

We have to ask ourselves when people speak about protecting property rights in the Charter, what exactly they mean. Do they mean that the government cannot expropriate your land without compensation? If they mean only that, that might not be such a bad thing. On the other hand, we know from the existence of the equivalent kind of section in the U.S. Bill of Rights, it's in their Fifth Amendment, that the courts have interpreted this in quite a large and liberal way and, in fact, with great favour to private property owners. We have a potential for a lot of change in our laws if we move exactly in that direction.

Mr. Speaker, I see that unfortunately my time has expired and I thank you for your attention.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I, too, am pleased to have a few minutes here, before we go into budget estimates today, to speak about the riding of Pictou West, the area that I represent here in the Legislature, and to talk about some of the positive things that are happening there and I guess also some of the challenges that we face in the months and years to come in that riding. First of all, I want to say it's a privilege, certainly, to represent Pictou West here in the Legislature. I have had this opportunity now for three terms and more than five years representing the people of the Town of Pictou, River John, Scotsburn, West Branch, Mount Thom, Alma, Durham and many other rural communities in and around the Town of Pictou, including Pictou Island, just offshore in the Northumberland Strait. As I mentioned, it is a privilege and a responsibility that I take seriously.

To tell you a little bit about the riding of Pictou West - as all of Nova Scotia, it was inhabited first by the Mi'kmaq people. Then with the start of the European settlement in the 17th Century, I think it was first the Acadian French who inhabited Pictou County and then the Irish. I guess our strongest influence certainly has been the Scottish settlement throughout northern Nova Scotia. With farming, fishing and forestry being some of our primary industries and very important to our settlement in the early years and as time went on, manufacturing, and today tourism is also vital to our economy.

[Page 4437]

Our Scottish heritage is strongly reflected in Pictou West, as you look around at some of the stone buildings that exist in both the town and county. Pictou is well-known for the Ship Hector and the Heritage Quay on the waterfront there. We also have the Hector Exhibit Centre and the Thomas McCulloch House, known for its genealogical research. The Hector Exhibit Centre is known also for travelling exhibits that come and go in our county.

I should mention that just last Thursday night we held a successful Tartan Day there and also the opening of the International Gathering of the Clans. There was a good crowd and all those who are Scots or wish they were Scots, were there that evening.

The Town of Pictou also showcases the deCoste Entertainment Centre, now for more than 20 years bringing in quality entertainment. Also the Northumberland Fisheries Museum which is presently undergoing an expansion and will be relocated on the waterfront next to the Ship Hector and the Heritage Quay, but certainly showcases the importance of our fishing industry in northern Nova Scotia.

We also have a number of summer festivals that draw people from far and wide. Just to mention a few of them, the Pictou Lobster Carnival brings in thousands of people every summer to the Town of Pictou, the Hector Festival, New Scotland Days in September. River John Festival Days puts on a great show in that community in late July and, of course, our Pictou-North Colchester Exhibition showcases our agricultural industry throughout the area.

As I mentioned, tourism is increasingly important. The warm beaches, beautiful scenery, and friendly people all bring people to Pictou County. While they are there, there are some quality accommodations where they can stay. I'm sure some members of this House have stayed over at the Stonehame Lodge near Scotsburn and that is a good quality institution, certainly, with good hospitality. Pictou Lodge just outside the Town of Pictou in Braeshore, also well-known as a quality overnight accommodation, and a number of inns and bed and breakfasts that can keep people in the area.

Our major employers would certainly be Michelin Tire, Neenah Paper, Mackay Meters, North Nova Seafoods and many other smaller- and medium-sized businesses, including Scotsburn Co-operative Services. That is a little of the flavour of Pictou West and some of our positives and now I want to turn to some of our challenges that we have in our county, in particular in Pictou West.

I would be remiss if I didn't first of all mention as a challenge, the announcement last week of the closure of TrentonWorks and the impact that is having on our local economy. Since 1872, we've had steel fabrication of one form or another in our county and it's a real blow to have that plant close down and be phased-out. While it's not the news we were hoping for last week, they say behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. I guess we're hopeful that the federal and provincial governments will come together and work with our regional development commission, work with the company, work with the unionized workforce and see if it is possible to rejuvenate or bring something else there in steel

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fabrication, and we do have a good, modern plant. We have a quality workforce and I would hope the province would leave no stone unturned to find a solution there to see what other opportunities are available and certainly, as we know recently, the company did have some contracts from Alberta in steel fabrication. So there are a lot of possibilities and whether a new owner, a private owner, or a joint venture, or even some type of co-operative with the union might be possible there. So I would encourage government to look at all possibilities and see if we can rejuvenate Trenton Works once again.

Mr. Speaker, I want to turn now to some of the other challenges that we face in Pictou West. First of all, around infrastructure, and one item that we really need in all of rural Nova Scotia, but certainly in communities like River John and Toney River, and Glengarry and other parts of the riding, would be high-speed Internet. It's a real boon to keeping people in a rural community. It helps local businesses and there are a number of requests I've had over the last couple of years to bring high-speed Internet to these rural communities. Well, I know the government has promised by the end of the 2009 that this will become reality. It seems slow in getting off the ground, and while we know there's a pilot project in Cumberland County, with 33 months to go before that commitment time, we're very hopeful that all rural communities will have that in place before the end of 2009.

The other infrastructure need, Mr. Speaker, is certainly around secondary roads and I would be remiss if I didn't mention some of the problems with secondary roads in Pictou West. Many of these roads are truly unacceptable, they're potholed, they're cracked, they're heaved, they're broken, there's asphalt missing on the shoulders, the shoulders are falling away, and really they're damaging our vehicles and drivers are paying the costs of these poor quality roads. They're the roads that we live on, the roads that we drive on everyday, the roads that we go to school on, or go to work, go to church, or go to visit our family and friends. These are the roads that we're using all the time and they're the ones that are causing the most problems. If you end up with a broken tie rod end, or a lost muffler, or damaged rim, then you're paying for that at the service shop, at the cost of repairing your vehicle.

So what we need, Mr. Speaker, is a plan from this government to fix our rural roads and really to fix the worst roads first. We need a priority system that will determine which roads are the worst, and those are the ones that absolutely should be fixed first in line. So I'll mention a couple of roads that I think have been long neglected in Pictou West, and I would start with the River John Road. It's one of the worst out there. It runs off the Sunrise Trail, and out through Sundridge and Hodson and ends up at Leetik's Chinese Restaurant in the Village of River John. But it's in very poor shape, likewise the old Pictou Road, the Mountain Road near River John and also the Cape John Road, the West Branch Road, which we're hoping to have completed certainly this year, and they're all in extremely poor condition.

You know tourism is hurt, Mr. Speaker, when roads are neglected or not looked after like they should be, and I have heard that from tourism operators whom I'd mentioned previously. The Stonehame Chalets and the Pictou Lodge owners have both mentioned the

[Page 4439]

poor quality roads are hurting business, and patrons are saying they may not return if the roads are not repaired.

Also, emergency response time is hindered by emergency vehicles, like the fire truck or an ambulance or even a police car, if they're travelling down the road and the road is slowing them in getting to a fire or to an accident. I can think of roads like the Division Road near Pictou, Bay View Road, Central Caribou Road, Greenhill Road, Millbrook Road, White Hill Road, I can go on. There's several that are in poor shape. There are even very heavily travelled roads like the Granton Road past the Michelin Tire plant, or the Abecrombie Road down by Neenah Paper, the old Truro Highway, Westville Road and so on. So there's no end to the number of roads I could mention, but those are a few that I know need some serious attention and I would hope the government would look upon it as an investment, as really an economic enabler that would add value to our rural communities, and if good quality roads will attract new business and new families to an area, it makes sense to keep them in good shape.

There are a couple of other issues that I have in the time remaining, Mr. Speaker, that I want to talk about that are challenges in our communities. Community schools, very important, again an economic enabler for an area. People look upon a community school as really the heart and soul of that community. I think of elementary schools in my riding of Salt Springs, Scotsburn, River John, Lyons Brook and Pictou, and these are vital. It draws people to an area when they have a good-quality school. It is a centre of activity where people come together not just to get their children educated, but for community meetings or for outreach activities or sports events. It is the centre of a community in many ways.

I would hope that the Department of Education could look upon these community schools as something they can build upon, rather than looking at school closures, it should be, really, an enhancement, what they can add to the community school to make it better. Is it a compatible business, or a day care centre, or seniors' housing, whatever, that would help alleviate the costs of that facility and add value to the community, rather than removing it altogether.

A couple of other issues, quickly, Mr. Speaker. I think we need some incentives for our farming and fishing communities. In particular, I was disappointed to see the industry with liaison officers for farming taken out, or very much on a slow track, not in the budget, and as promised in the election last year. We need some help to get young people back into farming, and into fishing. We need to ensure that those primary industries remain viable and important to our rural communities.

Finally, I mention a couple of environmental issues. I would encourage Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, and the government in general, to do all they can to ensure that the Pictou-Lyons Brook sewer project becomes a reality. I know there was an announcement last year, but it seems to be pretty slow getting off the mark. That would help both the town and the county, and perhaps alleviate some of the problems with the West

[Page 4440]

River estuary, and in the Lyons Brook area there have been problems there with odour and siltation, and this might be a first step to alleviate some of those environmental difficulties.

Finally I'll mention, Mr. Speaker, wind power or green power. Everybody is in favour of it, but there are some concerns over setback distances, and from primary residences or from homes, and while everybody wants to see alternate energy move forward, nobody wants it right in their immediate backyard. We really need a setback distance that I guess is a happy medium, that looks after the landowners in an area, looks after permanent homes in an area and still allows alternate energy to move forward.

There are some health care issues that I guess I don't have time for today, Mr. Speaker. On another day we'll talk about those.

So with that, I appreciate the opportunity to have a few minutes here to talk about Pictou West, and will continue in this role. Again, it is a privilege to be able to serve the people of this riding. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[4:25 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[6:01 p.m the CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Cecil Clarke resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We have 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 the provincial government do the necessary renovations as promised to both Riverview High School and Sydney Academy."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

EDUC: RIVERVIEW HS/ SYDNEY ACAD. - RENOVATE

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Normally I rise on good occasions in the Legislature to speak about positive things, but tonight I rise in the sense that it is a very negative thing that's happened with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. We were so disappointed to learn in March of this year that Sydney Academy high school

[Page 4441]

was dropped from the capital renovations for a second year in a row, and in the same breath, found out that Riverview High School in Coxheath was also dropped from the capital renovations program for the budget of 2007-08. Now, these are the two largest high schools on Cape Breton Island, with the most students in high school from all over Cape Breton Island.

It was very disappointing, Sydney Academy for the second year, being dropped, and in 2007, find out the delay for another year, while other boards in this province are getting new renovations and new projects underway. I've heard my colleague from Cape Breton, the member for Glace Bay, tell me that the only schools getting done were in government ridings. I find that hard to believe, but people can check that out if they want to. Maybe it is a possibility that it is happening. I hope that governments before us and governments after us don't fall into that game of doing things in government ridings.

You have to understand, for the safety of the students, the staff and the parents of Sydney Academy high school how disappointing it must be to realize that for the second year in a row the renovations in that school have been dropped. Then to realize, also, that in the Riverview High School, that is in the constituency of my colleague, the member for Cape Breton South, he will know that they had already started the construction in that school. The construction was well underway, and all of a sudden, boom, they're dropped for this fiscal year, it was taken off the list. They were assured that it would be back on for 2007 and 2008, and they find out that it is not back on. In this case, in Riverview High School, it is a safety issue.

As far as I am concerned, this would allow them to move their music room - the space in the old basement of the old school, they had agreed to remove that project off the activity list for 2006-07, again with the promise or their - I don't know what you say - it would be done in 2007 and 2008, and again they realize that it hasn't been done. The next phase of the project closed and tenders were awarded in the case in Riverview High School, and closed in March, but they were unable to award the contract because of lack of funding.

Now here are the two largest high schools in Cape Breton taken off the list for renovations. It is understandable that the students, the staff and the parents of both of these high schools would be very disappointed, understandably the whole of Cape Breton Island should be disappointed. If I was a member of the government Party and I was sitting at caucus there - and most of the students who go to Riverview High School live in the constituency of Cape Breton West. Now, I'd be standing in my place on the government side of the House banging my hands and screeching as loud as I could, saying why is this being done to a high school in my riding? I would not put up with that as a government member. I would not put up with it. I would be saying that the most important thing are the young people in my riding, and the high school is one of the most important ones, and such a traditional high school as Riverview High School. I would not take that sitting or laying down, I would be up in arms myself, and I'd be hollering each and every day that I went to

[Page 4442]

that caucus that I wanted those renovations completed in that most valuable high school in Coxheath.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to start banging the desk here this evening, myself, about Sydney Academy, which is in my riding. I find that to be a great institute. I attended school there myself, and enjoyed it every year I was there. Again, the disappointment of being removed for the second year in a row. Do you know what I mean? The phase of the project would have been able to move the music room and locker room from the basement to the main floor. I remember that locker room, it was there when I was in high school back in the 1970s. This is something that has to be done. This is an older high school and this high school is falling down. It's a great high school but I would love to see it done.

I'll speak on the issue also about Riverview High School and also the construction there. They were supposed to get a new bus depot. The bus depot was supposed to be taken out of the Riverview High School and moved I think along to Mira Road where the school board has land up there but, again, when asked about this, there's some kind of a legal process that they're stuck in. I'm just wondering if maybe the minister can move this project along. So this is another safety issue, having the buses in and out. So, hopefully, the bus depot can be moved and the new bus facility where they clean, wash and repair these buses will be off the Riverview site and out into the Mira Road site. It would be safer for the students, it would be safer for everybody.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I'm just wondering what reason, maybe, as the minister stands in her place tonight, can explain to the people whom I represent in this Legislature why Sydney Academy was taken off the renovations. Maybe I can take this out of Hansard and give it to all the parents and all the students to say that this was the second year in a row that the renovations at this great school - Sydney Academy - were going to be done and this government chose not to do those renovations. For what reason, I don't know. I'm not sitting at that table in government over there to decide what renovations get done, what projects get done, what capital projects get done, but I'll tell you, the school board itself, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, the parents, the staff and myself are very disappointed. These are two projects in the two largest high schools in Cape Breton that are being delayed.

Now, most of the students who live in Cape Breton South and Cape Breton Nova attend Sydney Academy but Riverview, they come from all over, whether they come from Cape Breton Nova, Cape Breton South, Cape Breton West. The majority of them live in Cape Breton West and are bused to that school. I don't understand, I would like to see the member for Cape Breton West speak on this issue some day in this Legislature before we leave here about why the renovations at Riverview High School were cancelled. The parents can ask him that question. Maybe they'll have a public meeting.

I was out on the weekend to the co-op and I signed a petition on the renovations for Riverview High School, when I was at the co-op getting some gardening supplies for my

[Page 4443]

wife for her garden, on the weekend, and I did sign that petition. The member for Cape Breton South, Riverview High School is in his riding, and he knows the disappointment of asking to have these renovations done and agreeing to put the project on hold, and then put the project on hold but, you know, they were going to get it done this year and then find out they're not getting it done this year, Mr. Speaker.

So I'm just wondering if - I remember the member for Glace Bay adamantly saying, you know, it's only the schools in government ridings and I hope that that's not a policy in this Legislature for previous governments and governments to come. I hope that the school boards decide who are going to get the ridings. The school boards make their decisions. They weigh their decisions on capital projects and renovations and they submit those decisions to the department to make their decisions. Again, we see the two largest high schools in Cape Breton left out in the cold and I have no explanation why they're left out in the cold. I think there are 11 new projects underway in this year's budget and new schools planned in the future for Sydney Mines and Glace Bay but, again, this year I wonder if it goes back to before the election of last year, going on a spending spree and spending the budget in Education and not having money left in the budget to do these renovations.

So, you know, I can see that the chairperson, Darlene Morrison, of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and all school board members who are elected officials like ourselves would be disappointed in having these two most valuable schools in Cape Breton for renovations delayed again. The safety of the students, I thought, if this was done on a construction site, the Department of Environment and Labour would come in and shut down the site for the safety. Now, I'm hoping that all those teenagers exploring, that somebody in the Riverview High School doesn't get through those things and fall and get hurt. So the safety issue here in the Riverview Rural High School is an issue of safety with somebody getting hurt with construction half finished and not finished.

So, Mr. Speaker, it's very disappointing that I, as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, tell the high school students that their renovations are cancelled. So I can imagine, we all as elected officials in Cape Breton, to tell all the parents and students and the faculty members that the renovations are cancelled at Riverview and Sydney Academy and I hope the people of Cape Breton do not stand and take this lightly. Thank you.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to join in the debate this evening on this very timely issue that's affecting the schools in my riding and in the riding of my good friend from Cape Breton Nova.

While he did correctly say that Sydney Academy is in the riding of Cape Breton Nova, Mr. Speaker, it might interest you to know it's right on the borderline of Cape Breton South and Cape Breton Nova. When I first started in this business a few years ago, all of that area was in Cape Breton South and now I find myself on the other side of Sydney Harbour

[Page 4444]

heading the other way with my riding and the member for Cape Breton Nova is inching this way. So, from time to time the schools change ridings, but the students come from everywhere.

That's the interesting part about what's happening down in what's known as the industrial Cape Breton area. In terms of Riverview, students come from Cape Breton West, Cape Breton Nova, Cape Breton South - I would suspect some of them come from Cape Breton North, perhaps even some of them from Victoria.

Anyway, it is a serious situation. We're proud of our high schools in Cape Breton - Sydney Academy and Riverview High, two very well-thought-of high schools. Also, I have a third one in my constituency called Holy Angels, which some people may not know is the only all-girls high school left anywhere that I can think of - public school anyway - and certainly we're quite proud of Holy Angels in Cape Breton South.

But, we're not here today to talk about Holy Angels. Things are fine at that school as far as I know - at least I haven't heard from anybody to the contrary, but I have heard from the parents group at Riverview High School regarding the situation with the renovations there. I can tell you, I can't understand why renovations were started at that school, then half completed and then stopped. A budget is one thing, but when you call tenders, award tenders, you start a project over a couple of years span and all of a sudden the project is half finished and you stop it.

I guess it looks ridiculous over there. The minister even acknowledged that to me, that she was over there some time ago and it doesn't look very good, having a school that's half finished with much-needed renovations. Both of these high schools are getting old - they're around 50 years old - and in the case of Sydney Academy, I was in the first graduating class of that school and it was a wonderful school. If you do the math, you can tell how old I am, but I graduated in 1960 - 1959-60 was my final year in this brand new, shiny high school which, at the time, was heralded as a leader in innovation for its building and has a tremendous reputation in our community. That school was new then.

Sadly, it's fallen into disrepair where it needs some very necessary work in order to keep the school going and to improve the life of the students who attend that school. There are a number of issues regarding Sydney Academy and also Riverview that need to be attended to and when you look at - my friend from Cape Breton Nova mentioned politics; perhaps it's because the government is only spending money in government ridings and not throughout the various districts.

In this particular case, I don't even understand - while there may be some truth in that, I don't understand the logic because, as he correctly pointed out, a number of the students in these schools are coming from government ridings. I would think the need to have the work done in those schools, I believe, should take precedence over where the schools are located and who's attending those schools.

[Page 4445]

What we do know is there are deserving students from the Cape Breton area attending both of those schools. It doesn't make any difference to me what riding they're coming from, what makes a difference to me is that they have a half decent school to get educated in and they need that school to get educated in and they need that school to be fixed up now, not sometime in the future, both of those schools.

[6:15 p.m.]

Sydney Academy - as the member pointed out, the renovations for that school were cancelled twice and Riverview half completed. One would think that they would be considered priorities, given the fact that they are 50 years old, both of those schools, 50 years or more, and also the fact is that they haven't been renovated for some time. The work has been demonstrated as work that needs to be done, and the commitment was made in terms of both schools and then reversed. I would like to find out from the minister why the commitment was reversed and, in particular, the Riverview High School situation, where the work had already started. It would be interesting to hear the minister's logic for the work being halted at Riverview High School, and the reconstruction of Sydney Academy cancelled for the second time.

I would hope that these situations will be reversed in the near future, that the government will see the wisdom of carrying on with those renovations. They would also see that those are very necessary. It's a good expenditure of taxpayers' dollars, on the capital side, to make those schools better, because if they don't make the schools better now, those schools are going to fall into such disrepair in the future that they are going to have to be replaced by new schools. In terms of our area, we would be, I think, waiting for some time for a new school. If the timetable that is put on the renovations of the existing schools is taking this long, imagine where we would be on the priority list for new high schools in the Sydney area.

So, Mr. Speaker, I think that the government has to have a change of heart here. I think this has to be determined to be a priority. The people in my area are very upset, particularly the people who have seen a renovation started and now find themselves looking at a half-finished renovation, and saying that the tenders are not going to be awarded this year to finish it because of budget constraints. Yet, we hear of new schools being announced. I don't begrudge anybody in any constituency, I don't care what the political stripe is, of getting a new school. I'm a believer in providing the best kind of facilities possible for our children in this province, and I would settle for nothing less than the best in terms of providing educational facilities regardless of where the children live in our province.

In these two particular cases, the parent teacher organizations, the people on the school board, have been led to believe that these renovations are going to take place. They have been led to believe that. They watched the renovations start at Riverview High School, and now we are dismayed to find out that they have a half-finished job there.

[Page 4446]

That's not satisfactory, Mr. Speaker, and I'm sure that the minister, in her remarks, is going to react to what I've said and what the member for Cape Breton Nova has said. We are only here representing a frustrated group of people who have had these renovations pulled back from them, in terms of Sydney Academy, twice now, and in terms of Riverview High School, having them stopped. That's not appropriate, nor is it in the best interest of providing quality education for our high school students in the future.

I would say, Mr. Speaker, that we have to realize that our young people should get the best in terms of educational facilities. I want them to get the best. I'm sure every member in this House wants them to have the best. I consider it to be a great expenditure of public money to provide better physical plants for our students and also enable our students to have some assurance that education is a priority. The parents of those school children are waiting to see this government come up with an action plan that will make those renovations happen now, not somewhere off in the future. Thank you, very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It gives me an opportunity to rise and to speak about school capital construction and where we are in this province and what we have accomplished and what we are about to accomplish. I think the information that has been shared earlier on about school capital construction shows that this government has an excellent record of delivering on new schools, and it's our commitment to continue to do that.

It's important to know that in the whole school construction process, it all begins at the school and at the community level. Some of the conditions that have been described by the members opposite are conditions that cause board staff to look at where they are with their facilities, where their greatest needs are for renovations and/or additions, and after staff have identified that, then they certainly look at the catchment areas and whether this is a situation where they can move students into another building or is the situation where the building that is there needs to be renovated, whether it can handle an addition, what spaces they need to deliver the program that is required. Then the staff at the board prepares a request that comes into the Department of Education and when it comes into the department it will have, based on the needs within that particular board, the projects that they believe should get the most immediate attention. They are asked to put those in order of priority so that those most pressing issues can be met.

When that particular list comes in it goes to a committee - the School Capital Construction Committee - and that committee reviews the requests from all school boards across the province. Although some people believe that the Department of Education determines when and where a school will be built, the direction for that comes from the individual schools and from the school boards. When the School Capital Construction Committee looks at the recommendations that have come in from the boards, then they work

[Page 4447]

together to determine what the priorities will be and what will be put on a school capital construction recommendation.

The school capital construction recommendation is something that comes from the committee to the minister and the minister takes that on to Cabinet for approval. People have heard me many times in the last couple of weeks speak about the 2003 approved list for school capital construction and that is the last list for school capital construction that has gone to Cabinet.

We are continuing to work through what was approved in 2003. On that list there were 12 new schools; there were 45 renovations, additions, projects. There are many communities out there that are looking for and waiting for renovations, additions or new school projects. This particular list that we have is one that we are committed to work through, it has been approved by Cabinet, there have been no changes to that approved list and we will continue to work through those. Our commitment is to complete what was approved in that 2003 list and our commitment is also to the scope of the work that was identified. As resources become available, we will work through that.

Getting a new school in a community can be a very exciting opportunity. At this point in time, the government has what we consider to be a means to bring community around to develop a sense of ownership for that school. That is what we call the enhancement initiative and when a school is approved for a community, the process begins with a blank piece of paper and a school steering team is mandated. The membership of that team - that school steering team - must include members from the School Advisory Council. It must include members from the municipal units - one or more depending on where the school is being built and what the catchment area is - and it also includes members from the school board staff, members from the Department of Education, and together, as I said, that team is what drives and designs the new school. They do sit down with a blank piece of paper and that blank piece of paper allows them to look at what program spaces they need within that school to deliver the public schools program, based on the population and the grade configuration.

There are standards that are set by the department and those standards for spaces are set based on the program needs, elementary, junior middle and senior high. So once it is agreed upon or once it is determined what the programs are that have to be delivered in that school, then the steering team gets an opportunity to say, okay, we need a music room, we need a gymnasium, we need a family studies room, we need a tech lab. They go on and on for what the needs are and then they determine how those spaces should be configured in a design. When that design is finalized on the blank piece of paper which becomes a conceptual drawing, it is time to go out to call tenders for an architect. The architect is critical because they come in, they look at what the conceptual plan is that the people around the table have deemed to be important to them and they, in their profession and in their professional opinion, look at how they can translate that conceptual plan into a design.

[Page 4448]

It is at this point that the steering team begins to see that their ideas and their thoughts get translated into an actual architect's design. So the design is finalized by the architect and it goes for construction.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova on a point of order.

MR. GORDON GOSSE: No, I would just like to ask, Mr. Speaker, if the member would like to entertain a question at this time because we're off the subject matter here on renovations.

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable minister entertain a question?

MS. CASEY: Absolutely.

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

MR. GOSSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would just ask this question, when the capital renovations at both schools were cancelled, was it a department decision or a Cabinet decision? Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, first of all I'd like to provide clarification. I thought I made it clear that there were no cancellations, there were no changes to the scope of work, there was no change to the commitment by the government to deliver on those but there were delays in when we would be able to do that. So no projects were cancelled, the scope of work was not changed.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the honourable minister wish to utilize the remaining two minutes of her time?

MS. CASEY: Absolutely.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I want to continue with the planning process because I think the point I want to make is that school communities do become very much a part of the planning process. They see their fingerprints on the school when the design is completed and when it is built and it does reflect what the community is expecting to see in that particular building.

With respect to the list of renovations and additions, we have many communities, as I said, that are anxiously awaiting those renovations and additions. The important thing for

[Page 4449]

this government to do is to communication through their school boards to those communities that we do, in fact, honour our commitments and we do want to work with them and the school board to make sure that we can deliver on those projects. It is, again, our commitment to do that and as resources become available, we will work through that and, as the Minister of Education, I will be very happy when the list of 12 and the list of 45 have been completed and we can move on and look at other needs within other communities.

I know from my years in education that we will never, ever be able to address all of the renovations, additions and deferred maintenance kinds of problems that we have in this province but we certainly will make a commitment to work through them and to make sure that we can address them as resources become available.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you honourable members. The time allotted for debate has expired. The House shall now reconvene into the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

[6:29 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[8:57 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Cecil Clarke, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made considerable progress and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 106.

[Page 4450]

Bill No. 106 - Fairness in Fees Act.

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise this evening to move second reading of Bill No. 106, the Fairness in Fees Act. This is a bill that has been introduced a couple of times in the past by our caucus, both by myself during my time as Finance Critic and most recently by my colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park, who serves as our Finance Critic today.

Mr. Speaker, this bill is pretty direct in its intent, the idea being that if government should decide that it wishes to increase existing user fees during the fiscal year that those fees must be brought in as part of the budgetary process and as part of the legislative process here in the province. We have seen in the past where governments have arbitrarily decided to increase fees outside of the Legislature. Obviously as part of our democratic process any increase in fees should be debated by the elected members of the House of Assembly on behalf of the voters of Nova Scotia who elect us. This bill now, if passed, will force the government, not only this government but any future governments, that should there be any intent to increase existing fees then at that point it would have to be debated here in the House prior to those increases taking place.

Mr. Speaker, I believe this bill is something that strengthens the role of the House of Assembly, it strengthens our responsibility to the people of Nova Scotia. It's my understanding the government may be introducing some amendments to this legislation which we're more than willing to look at to see how we can strengthen this bill but more importantly again, I'm pleased to see the government has called this bill for second reading. As I mentioned I believe this will make not only the government, but all members of this House more responsible to the people of Nova Scotia when it comes to the services they are provided by the government and more importantly the fees the government decides to attach to those services.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park, for introducing this bill and for assisting it in moving forward during this sitting of the House. With that, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to some of the comments on this bill and certainly to this bill moving to the Law Amendments Committee to see if there are any presenters or any amendments that may be offered at that time. With that, I would move second reading of Bill No. 106, the Fairness in Fees Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I'll rise briefly to comment on the bill. We believe that there is a principle to this bill that's a good principle, which we indicated in my speech on the budget, which we supported. We would like to see this bill move forward to committee, we believe there are a number of changes which will improve the bill, but we

[Page 4451]

certainly support the principle of the bill so I'd like to rise to echo my support for that principle.

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

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the comments from the Minister of Finance. I was remiss in my comments but he is correct that during his Budget Speech the minister did indicate a willingness on behalf of the government to adopt this piece of legislation and the principle that is behind it of having the House be more accountable to the people of Nova Scotia, especially in the fees that we ask them to pay for government services that they are provided with. With that, I would now move to close debate on Bill No. 106, the Fairness in Fees Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 106. 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, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

[9:02 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[9:06 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Cecil Clarke, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered several bills:

Bill No. 136 - Administration of Justice Act.

Bill No. 137 - Livestock Health Services Act.

Bill No. 138 - Medal of Bravery Act.

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Bill No. 141 - Respiratory Therapists Act.

Bill No. 144 - Municipal Grants Act.

Bill No. 102 - Pugwash Village Grants Act.

Bill No. 105 - Pugwash Village Capital Grant Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I'd like to give the floor to the Leader of the Liberal Party for tomorrow's business.

MR. SPEAKER: For Opposition Members' Business, the honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, with the indulgence of the House, I move that we simply recess for one or two (Interruption) No, hold on one second.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Liberal House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the House will sit from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for Liberal Opposition Day, and during that time we will be calling Bill No. 51 and Bill No. 188. I would now ask the Government House Leader to give us the other hours for tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, the government business for tomorrow will be from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on estimates of the Department of Transportation and Public Works, and Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for the House to now rise and meet tomorrow for Opposition business from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and the House will resume its business for government business from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 4453]

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 9:09 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2612

By: Mr. Clarrie MacKinnon (Pictou East)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Resource Recovery Fund Board annually holds a contest in schools throughout the province to heighten student awareness of proper waste management and its advantages to the economy and environment of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Eastern Region of Antigonish, Guysborough and Pictou recently held the 2006 Nova Scotia Recycles Contest Awards Celebration, acknowledging the students and their teachers; and

Whereas Nicole Fraser of North Nova Education Centre was the runner up for Grade 12, Eastern Region with her research essay titled, "Nova Scotia and Tire Recycling";

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Nicole Fraser on being named runner up in the Grade 12, Eastern Region category and commend the Nova Scotia Resource Recovery Fund Board for organizing the 2006 Nova Scotia Recycles Contest and the Eastern Region Resource Recovery Fund Board office in Pictou County for hosting the dinner celebration to acknowledge the winners.

RESOLUTION NO. 2613

[Page 4454]

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas on April 8, 2007, Sgt. Donald Lucas, Corporal Aaron E. Williams, Private Kevin Vincent Kennedy, Private David Robert Greenslade, Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix and Corporal Brent Poland were killed when their armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the Maywand district; and

Whereas these six brave soldiers gave their own lives so that the lives of the people of Afghanistan could enjoy the freedoms many of us enjoy in Canada; and

Whereas since 2002, 51 Canadian soldiers and one Canadian diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan serving their country proudly and honourably;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan and pledge our continued support to our brave members of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan and around the world.

RESOLUTION NO. 2614

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas upon his arrival in Pictou County, his intentions were to stay for one year; and

Whereas a New Glasgow-based urologist for the past 34 years, Dr. Sathavisa Ram, is retiring from his office at the Aberdeen Professional Centre; and

Whereas Dr. Ram had an active list of more than 10,000 patients, acquiring an average of more than 550 new patients every year during his career;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Dr. Ram for his extraordinary service to the thousands of patients he has assisted and wish him many happy years of retirement as he now has the time to travel and visit members of his family.

RESOLUTION NO. 2615

By: Mr. Gordon Gosse (Cape Breton Nova)

[Page 4455]

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

Whereas on February 24, 2007, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School hosted the 2007 Nova Scotia Junior High School Debating Championships; and

Whereas J. D. Zillman was named top Grade 7 debater, Maria Nemis top Grade 8 debater and out of 42 debaters Matthew Clancey finished fourth, Maria Nemis sixth, Parker MacNeil seventh and Victoria MacKinnon eighth; and

Whereas Matthew Clancey and Maria Nemis were selected to represent Nova Scotia at the 2007 Junior High Nationals in Montreal May 10 to 12, 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate J.D. Zillman, Maria Nemis, Matthew Clancey, Parker MacNeil and Victoria MacKinnon on their outstanding scholastic achievement and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2616

By: Mr. Gordon Gosse (Cape Breton Nova)

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

Whereas on February 24, 2007, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School hosted the 2007 Nova Scotia Junior High School Debating Championships; and

Whereas the Whitney Pier Memorial A Team, comprising Michelle Carrigan, Matthew Clancy and Victoria MacKinnon captured the provincial title; and

Whereas the Whitney Pier Memorial B Team comprised of Parker MacNeil, Kaitlyn McMullin and Maria Nemis placed third out of the 14 teams;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate both the Whitney Pier Memorial A and B debating teams on their outstanding scholastic performance and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2617

By: Gordon Gosse (Cape Breton Nova)

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

[Page 4456]

Whereas on February 28, 2007, Atlantic University Sport announced its 2006-07 women's basketball all-stars; and

Whereas Cape Breton Capers' Kari Everett was selected to the all-rookie team; and

Whereas Kari finished fourth in team scoring, averaging 9.0 points per game, along with leading the team with 128 boards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Kari Everett on her outstanding athletic achievement and wish her all the best in her future athletic endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2618

By: Mr. Gordon Gosse (Cape Breton Nova)

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

Whereas on February 28, 2007, Atlantic University Sport announced its 2006-07 women's basketball all-stars; and

Whereas Cape Breton Capers' Debbie Ruiz was selected to the first all-star team; and

Whereas Debbie's credentials included averaging 10.9 points per game while leading the conference in assists with 4.45 per game;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Debbie Ruiz on her outstanding athletic achievement and wish her all the best in her future athletic endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2619

By: Mr. Gordon Gosse (Cape Breton Nova)

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

Whereas on February 28, 2007, Atlantic University Sport announced its 2006-07 women's basketball all-stars; and

Whereas Cape Breton Capers' Natasha Eadie was selected to the second all-star team; and

[Page 4457]

Whereas Natasha finished tied in team scoring and led the Capers in free throw percentage, steals and blocked shots;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Natasha Eadie on her outstanding athletic achievement and wish her all the best in her future athletic endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2620

By: Mr. Gordon Gosse (Cape Breton Nova)

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

Whereas Stephen Pertus of the Sydney Fire Station, a member of this select fraternity, received the 20-year Federal Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Stephen Pertus on receiving the 20-year Federal Medal and on his dedication and commitment to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2621

By: Mr. Leonard Preyra (Halifax Citadel)

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

Whereas the Life Sciences Research Institute, affiliated with Dalhousie University, Capital Health and the IWK Health Centre, is a new facility for life sciences research and development currently being constructed on the Dalhousie University Campus; and

[Page 4458]

Whereas the 2007 federal budget named the Life Sciences Research Institute as one of seven recipients of a total of $105 million in 2007-08, designated for centres of excellence focused on priority areas of research and commercialization for Canada; and

Whereas the Life Sciences Research Institute will support life sciences research through its world-class infrastructure and facilities;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate local partners in the Life Sciences Research Institute for bringing recognition to Halifax as a national centre of excellence in life sciences research and development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2622

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Savour Food and Wine Festival is one of the major projects of the Nova Scotia Restaurant and Food Service Association; and

Whereas the Savour Food and Wine Festival is one of the most high- profile events in the province and drew over 700 customers to the sold-out event where there were over 60 booths set up; and

Whereas Lane's Privateer Inn took home the second place award for their chocolate ganache bread pudding with port caramel sauce and crème anglaise;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Susan Lane, owner/operator of Lane's Privateer Inn, for their second place prize in the 2007 Savour Food and Wine Festival.

RESOLUTION NO. 2623

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas Ben Robinson of Falmouth and Andrew Armstrong of Windsor were two of Team Nova Scotia's 213 athletes who participated in the recently concluded 2007 Canada Winter Games in the Yukon Territory; and

[Page 4459]

Whereas Ben and Andrew both competed in the half-pipe snowboarding event; and

Whereas Ben placed 8th overall and Andrew 20th overall in the men's half-pipe competition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Ben Robinson and Andrew Armstrong for their many hours of preparation and their stellar performances at the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

RESOLUTION NO. 2624

By: Mr. Alfred MacLeod (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas David and Gordon Huntington have once again given of their time and energy to support their community; and

Whereas the owners of Ziggy's Bar & Grill in Sydney River have held a successful fundraiser for the Two Rivers Wildlife Park; and

Whereas the fourth annual event goes a long way to help an important attraction in the Marion Bridge community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their thanks and best wishes to David and Gordon Huntington for their continued efforts towards sustaining the Two Rivers Wildlife Park and community spirit in Marion Bridge and, ultimately, to the collective Nova Scotia community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2625

By: Hon. William Dooks (Energy)

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

Whereas Sullivan's Pond Park in central Dartmouth has a long tradition of community activity year-round and is the centrepiece for active living for many families as well as seniors and youth; and

[Page 4460]

Whereas this park has recently been enhanced by the introduction of a water fountain through the generous support of the Halifax Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth; and

Whereas the Halifax Regional Municipality is providing ongoing support and maintenance for this water feature for the enjoyment of the citizens of Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the business community in Dartmouth for initiating this new park feature, and thank the community organizations and HRM for their support of this project.

RESOLUTION NO. 2626

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 Tonya Myra 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 Tonya for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2627

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

[Page 4461]

Whereas Alex Swinimar 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 Alex for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2628

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 Bailey Countaway 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 Bailey for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2629

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

[Page 4462]

Whereas Cody Barkhouse 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 Cody for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2630

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 Emilee Sarty 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 Emilee for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2631

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

[Page 4463]

Whereas Emma Swinimer 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 Emma for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2632

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 Emma Benoit 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 Emma for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2633

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

[Page 4464]

Whereas Hannah Cox 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 Hannah for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2634

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 India Seraphin 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 India for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2635

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

[Page 4465]

Whereas Jacob Kaizer 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 Jacob for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2636

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 Jacob Key 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 Jacob for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2637

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

[Page 4466]

Whereas Jen Corkum 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 Jen for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2638

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 Jennifer Blanchard 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 Jennifer for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2639

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

[Page 4467]

Whereas Jeremy Key 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 Jeremy for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2640

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 Katie Cox 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 Katie for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2641

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

[Page 4468]

Whereas Lucas Swinimer 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. 2642

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 Morgan Green 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 Morgan for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2643

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

[Page 4469]

Whereas Nathaniel Hatt 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 Nathaniel for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2644

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 Rowan MacArthur 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 Rowan for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2645

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

[Page 4470]

Whereas Samantha Meister 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 Samantha for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2646

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 Samantha Johnson 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 Samantha for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2647

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

[Page 4471]

Whereas Sydney Zwicker 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 Sydney for supporting these very brave Canadians and wish him much success in the years to come.