Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 07-41

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

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel. - Statutory Holidays: Large Retail Outlets -
Close, Mr. K. Colwell 3647
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2085, Phillips, Dr. Stephen - Heart & Stroke Fdn. Award,
Hon. C. d'Entremont (by Hon. J. Muir) 3648
Vote - Affirmative 3648
Res. 2086, Gov't. (N.S.) - Affordable Housing: Partnering -
Congrats., Hon. J. Streatch 3649
Vote - Affirmative 3649
Res. 2087, IGH Intergroup Holding: Land Conservation - Thank,
Hon. D. Morse 3650
Vote - Affirmative 3650
Res. 2088, EMO Co-Ordinators: Role - Acknowledge,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3650
Vote - Affirmative 3651
Res. 2089, Family Literacy Day: Vols/Supporters - Thank,
Hon. K. Casey 3651
Vote - Affirmative 3652
Res. 2090, Bringin' It Home Concert Series: Value/Success -
Recognize, Hon. Len Goucher 3652
Vote - Affirmative 3653
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2091, Miller, Margaret - MADD: Nat'l. Pres. - Appt.,
Hon. M. Scott 3653
Vote - Affirmative 3653
Res. 2092, EMO - Training Progs.: Constituencies - Promote,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3654
Vote - Affirmative 3654
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 151, Executive Council Act, Mr. Manning MacDonald 3654
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2093, Robinson, Paul - Joseph Howe Fellowship Award,
Ms. M. More 3655
Vote - Affirmative 3655
Res. 2094, Fraser, Cyril Presto, Jr. - HRM Fire & Emerg. Serv.:
Promotion - Congrats., Mr. K. Colwell 3655
Vote - Affirmative 3656
Res. 2095, Paris, Henderson/Runners/Vols.: Run Against Racism -
Congrats., Mr. P. Dunn 3656
Vote - Affirmative 3657
Res. 2096, Educ. - Jr. High Sch.: Glace Bay - Fund,
Mr. F. Corbett 3657
Res. 2097, Glace Bay Huff n' Puff Hockey Team: Fundraising -
Congrats., Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3658
Vote - Affirmative 3658
Res. 2098, Sampson, Gordie: Music Awards - Congrats.,
Mr. A. MacLeod 3659
Vote - Affirmative 3659
Res. 2099, Coastal Communities Network/Vols. - Gulf of Main Coun.
Award, Mr. C. Parker 3660
Vote - Affirmative 3660
Res. 2100, Riley, Jonathon/Digby Courier - Newspaper Award,
Mr. Harold Theriault 3660
Vote - Affirmative 3661
Res. 2101, McBay, Donnie: Retirement - Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 3661
Vote - Affirmative 3662
Res. 2102, Automatic External Defibrillator: House of Assembly -
Install, Mr. G. Gosse 3662
Vote - Affirmative 3663
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2103, Winott, Blake - Apple Blossom Fest.: Contribution -
Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 3663
Vote - Affirmative 3664
Res. 2104, A'Court, Charlie: Music Award - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 3664
Vote - Affirmative 3664
Res. 2105, Transatlantic Slave Trade, Abolition - Anniv. (200th),
Mr. P. Paris 3664
Vote - Affirmative 3665
Res. 2106, Gaudet, Renée - Cisco/Assoc. of Commun. Colls. Award,
Mr. W. Gaudet 3665
Vote - Affirmative 3666
Res. 2107, Merritt, Bill - Truro Rotary Club Award, Hon. J. Muir 3666
Vote - Affirmative 3667
Res. 2108, Winds of Change - Members: Contribution - Recognize,
Ms. V. Conrad 3667
Vote - Affirmative 3668
Res. 2109, Tri-Co. Reg. Sch. Bd.: Elem. Entrepreneurship Prog. -
Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 3668
Vote - Affirmative 3668
Res. 2110, Atl. View Elem. Sch. - Gr. 6 Classes: DARE -
Graduation, Hon. W. Dooks 3669
Vote - Affirmative 3669
Res. 2111, Anti-Poverty Strategy: Urgency - Reaffirm,
Mr. D. Dexter 3669
Res. 2112, Hannam, Ashley Elizabeth Ann: Birth - Welcome,
Ms. C. Bolivar-Getson 3670
Vote - Affirmative 3670
Res. 2113, Atwell, Yvonne - Who's Who in Black Canada:
Publication - Congrats., Mr. D. Dexter 3671
Vote - Affirmative 3671
Res. 2114, St. John's Anglican Church - Permanent Home: Efforts -
Supports, Hon. L. Goucher 3671
Vote - Affirmative 3672
Res. 2115, EMO - Canning Resident: Emergency Provision -
Recognize, Hon. M. Parent 3672
Vote - Affirmative 3673
Res. 2116, Pope Rev. Bill - Windsor Rotary Club: Serv. -
Commend, Mr. C. Porter 3673
Vote - Affirmative 3674
[INTRODUCTION OF BILLS]
No. 152, Public Utilities Act, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3674
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. W. Estabrooks 3675
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3679
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 3:15 P.M. 3683
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:25 P.M. 3683
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 145 - Education Act 3684
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 3684
Mr. J. MacDonell 3689
Mr. C. Parker 3691
Ms. M. Raymond 3694
Hon. K. Casey 3697
Vote - Affirmative 3697
Bill No. 141 - Respiratory Therapists Act 3697
Hon. C. d'Entremont 3697
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 3698
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3700
Hon. C. d'Entremont 3701
Vote - Affirmative 3702
Bill No. 146 - Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act 3702
Hon. M. Parent 3702
Ms. M. Raymond 3704
Mr. K. Colwell 3712
Adjourned Debate^ ^ 3723
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again Tue., Mar. 26th, at 12:00 noon 3724
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)
Res. 2117, Annapolis Royal Lions Club - Anniv. (50th),
Mr. Stephen McNeil 3724
Res. 2118, Digby Courier - Newspaper Award,
Hon. B. Barnet 3724
Hon. B. Barnet
Res. 2119, N. Preston Mini-Bulls: Basketball Medal - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 3725
Res. 2120, Glace Bay Elem. Sch. Gr. 2/Teachers: Universal Negro
Improvement Assoc. Heritage Museum - Fundraising,
Mr. David Wilson ( Glace Bay) 3725
Res. 2121, Hurley, Lucas: Spelling Achievement - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3726
Res. 2122, Brownell, Ken - Springhill Bus: Person of Yr. (2006),
Hon. M. Scott 3726
Res. 2123, Crowe, Keith & Lorna: Maple Ind. Hall of Fame -
Induction, Hon. M. Scott 3727
Res. 2124, Van Vulpen, Aaron - Mt. Kilimanjaro/Make-A-
Wish Fdn.: Achievement - Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 3727
Res. 2125, Moore, Katelyn: N.S. Recycles Contest - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3728
Res. 2126, Cameron, Carmen/Milligan, Joni: N.S. Recycles Contest -
Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 3728
Res. 2127, Leger, Jordon: N.S. Recycles Contest - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3729
Res. 2128, Springhill Instit. Employees: Retirement - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3729
Res. 2129, Springhill Instit. : Long Serv. Record (15 yrs.) -
Honourees Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 3730
Res. 2130, Dupuis, Eugene - Springhill Instit.: Serv. (35 yr.) -
Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 3730
Res. 2131, Springhill Instit. - Long Serv. Record (25yrs.): Honourees -
Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 3731
Res. 2132, Springhill Instit. - Retirees: Pin (25 yr.) - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3731
Res. 2133, Springhill Instit. - Long Serv. Record (25 yrs.): Honourees -
Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 3732
Res. 2134, Springhill Instit. :Exemplary Serv. Medal: Honourees -
Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 3732
Res. 2135, Springhill Instit. :1st Bar: Honourees - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3733
Res. 2136, Springhill Instit. :Pin (10yr.): Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3733
Res. 2137, Springhill Instit. :Pin (10yr.): Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. Mr. Scott 3734
Res. 2138, Springhill Instit. :Pin (10yr.): Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. Mr. Scott 3734

[Page 3647]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We will now commence with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause is, "We believe that large retail outlets should be closed on statutory holidays. We believe that large retail outlets should be closed on Sundays."

There are 23 signatures on this petition, Mr. Speaker, and I have also affixed my name to the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

3647

[Page 3648]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2085

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

Whereas Dr. Stephen Phillips has been a volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation for 15 years; and

Whereas Dr. Phillips, who is the director of the acute stroke program at the QEII, received the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Award of Merit at a ceremony in Ottawa last month; and

Whereas Dr. Phillips was recognized for his provincial and national accomplishments in stroke care, including his leadership in developing best practices and the Nova Scotia Integrated Stroke Strategy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dr. Stephen Phillips on this distinguished award and for his work in addressing and improving stroke care in Nova Scotia and across the country.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3649]

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2086

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

Whereas the federal and provincial governments, friends, family and community join the Ghosn family to celebrate the opening of 23 units of affordable housing in Fairview on March 25th; and

Whereas the Ghosn family has named the building, Jacob's Manor, in memory of the late Jacob Ghosn, who was the father of Jasmine and Peter Ghosn, and Christine Kahil; and

Whereas the Ghosn family partnered with the federal and provincial governments to create new rental housing that is affordable, energy efficient, environmentally friendly and accessible for people with mobility challenges;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the efforts of this government to partner with individuals, community and developers to invest nearly $90 million in the creation and preservation of affordable housing for Nova Scotians by the end of the decade.

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.

Before I recognize the honourable Minister of Natural Resources, there is too much chatter in the Chamber.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

[Page 3650]

RESOLUTION NO. 2087

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

Whereas the province is committed to increasing its Crown land base by acquiring more coastal lands and wilderness areas and to conserve and protect it from development; and

Whereas IGH Intergroup Holding has agreed to sell to the Crown its land at Sheep Island, North Harbour, Victoria County; and

Whereas the island is of ecological, cultural and coastal significance and will add to the coastal island inventory of the province, and the property is home to colonies of great blue heron and terns;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank IGH Intergroup Holding for helping to conserve and protect these lands for future generations of Nova Scotians.

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 Emergency Management.

RESOLUTION NO. 2088

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 municipalities are the first level of emergency preparedness and response in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas their emergency measures coordinators are important links between municipal units and our provincial Emergency Management office; and

[Page 3651]

Whereas both levels of government continue to work together to ensure the safety of the public and the protection of property;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House acknowledge the essential role played by the local municipal Emergency Management coordinators and thank them for their vital contribution to public safety.

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. 2089

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

Whereas communities across Nova Scotia celebrated Family Literacy Day on January 27, 2007, by organizing activities such as reading circles for family members and children to learn together; and

Whereas adults who increase their literacy levels by participating in the many community programs around Nova Scotia not only make better lives for themselves, but also set wonderful examples for their families and their children; and

Whereas the Department of Education is committed to supporting family literacy as part of the government's comprehensive approach to developing literacy from birth and the early years through to adulthood;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank not only the many community volunteers who organize Family Literacy Day events, but also the many supporters of family literacy programs who help make them so successful for so many Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 3652]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2090

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

Whereas the "Bringin' It Home" concert series provides important growth and development opportunities for Nova Scotia's emerging and established musicians right here at home; and

Whereas Bringin' It Home helps urban and rural communities across the province - who are eager to see and hear what Nova Scotian artists have to offer - build on their capacity to host performing artists; and

Whereas this year's Bringin' It Home concert series will showcase 16 artists in 18 communities over three weekends in April, and for the first time feature two songwriters' circles;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in recognizing the tremendous value and success of this program which is creating excitement and momentum for music here in Nova Scotia - initiatives like this are a reflection of the province's strong partnership with Music Nova Scotia and a commitment to support and develop our talented artists.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 3653]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2091

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

Whereas Margaret Miller begins travelling across the country as a spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers as she takes the helm of MADD as its national president; and

Whereas Margaret, who lives in Shubenacadie, was appointed to her new position in February 2007 and will begin her two-year term in September; and

Whereas Margaret has been working tirelessly on behalf of the victims of drunk drivers since her son, Bruce, a constable with the Springhill Police Department, was killed by a drunk driver in May 2004;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Margaret Miller on being named national president and spokesperson for the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers organization, and we wish her a very successful term as president of this very important organization.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Emergency Management.

[2:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2092

[Page 3654]

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 value of emergency management training is gaining in recognition throughout the public and private sectors; and

Whereas the Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia is recognized throughout Canada for its effective training programs; and

Whereas EMO has just released its 2007-08 training calendar with courses such as basic emergency management, emergency site management, emergency operations centre management and emergency public information;

Therefore be it resolved that all members use every opportunity to promote these training programs back in our constituencies and refer people to the EMO Web site for more information.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[INTRODUCTION OF BILLS]

Bill No. 151 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 155 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Executive Council Act, and Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Service Act. (Mr. Manning MacDonald)

[Page 3655]

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2093

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

Whereas the Dartmouth Historical Association instituted the Joseph Howe Fellowship Award to recognize outstanding people who have helped to preserve heritage, culture, or have been leaders in community service; and

Whereas this award was recently presented to Paul Robinson, retired educator and researcher, and well-recognized Dartmouth volunteer and community leader; and

Whereas Paul's volunteer activities include services founding chair of Eastern Front Theatre, president of the board of Alderney Landing, chair of the Dartmouth Book Awards and fundraiser for the Christmas Full of Caring event;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Historical Association and Paul Robinson on the occasion of his Joseph Howe Fellowship Award presentation February 14, 2007, and thank Paul for his many contributions to the community of Dartmouth.

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2094

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

[Page 3656]

Whereas Cyril Presto Fraser Jr. joined the City of Dartmouth Fire and Emergency Service on June 10, 1991 and has served as a member of the honour guard and excelled as a firefighter, rising from 4th class to 1st class firefighter and then driver-operator; and

Whereas in 1995, Cyril Presto Fraser Jr. joined the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services Combat Challenge Team where he enjoyed competing at the regional and national levels and in 2006 at the Ottawa Regional he broke a world record and in September 2006 in Niagara Falls, he set a new personal best of 1.3 seconds; and

Whereas on April 2006, Cyril Presto Fraser Jr. was promoted to the rank of captain within the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services which makes Cyril Presto Fraser Jr. the first African Nova Scotian to receive such an honour and he currently serves on the Halifax Regional Municipality Fire and Emergency Services' Target Recruitment Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing and congratulating Cyril Presto Fraser Jr. for his outstanding achievements in his career as a professional firefighter and his competitive life and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

I would just remind all honourable members about the length of resolutions in the House.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 2095

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

Whereas approximately 1,000 runners participated in the 18th annual 45-kilometre Run Against Racism on Wednesday, March 21, 2007; and

[Page 3657]

Whereas New Glasgow native, Henderson Paris, the founder of the race, runs the total distance in eight hours - the race leaves the Pictou Town Hall at 8:30 a.m., continuing onwards to the Pictou Landing First Nations School, through Trenton, Westville, Stellarton, and finishing at North Nova Education Centre in New Glasgow; and

Whereas Henderson was once again overwhelmed with the showing of support, as people young and old congratulated him after the run;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Henderson Paris, all runners and committee volunteers for their outstanding support for the 18th annual Run Against Racism.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 2096

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Regional School Board has sought capital funding from the Department of Education to build a number of new schools for many years now; and

Whereas the new junior high school for Glace Bay is the Cape Breton Regional School Board's number one priority for such funding when it becomes available; and

Whereas funding has been announced for the construction of a new school in North Sydney, and no funding has been announced for a junior high for Glace Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly call on the Department of Education to immediately guarantee the provision of funding for the construction of a new junior high school for Glace Bay, Cape Breton.

[Page 3658]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear Noes, surprisingly.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2097

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 members of the Huff n' Puff old-timers hockey teams in Glace Bay had a fundraiser to raise the $5,000 necessary to purchase a defibrillator for the Glace Bay Bayplex Sports Centre; and

Whereas the teams were formed 11 years ago and consist of players age 55 and over; and

Whereas the 40 members of the Huff n' Puff teams play hockey every Tuesday and Thursday and participate in several local tournaments throughout the year, such as the Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the members of the Glace Bay Huff n' Puff old-timers hockey teams for the time and effort they put into their fundraising for a much-needed defibrillator for the Bayplex.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3659]

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2098

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

Whereas Nova Scotia talent was singled out at an international stage yet again; and

Whereas Cape Breton singer-songwriter, Gordie Sampson, was recently honoured with the music community's highest award, a Grammy Award, when the Big Pond native was one of the co-writers claiming the Country Song of the Year Award for Jesus Take The Wheel, which reached Billboard success with Carrie Underwood; and

Whereas Sampson's success has led to more accolades, including SOCAN's Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year, and Single of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards, and the National Songwriters Association International Songwriter Achievement Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their warm and enthusiastic congratulations to Gordie Sampson.

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 mined, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

[Page 3660]

RESOLUTION NO. 2099

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

Whereas the Coastal Communities Network, a volunteer community network for coastal and rural communities, recently celebrated its 15th Anniversary; and

Whereas the Coastal Communities Network was recently presented with the Gulf of Maine Council Award for its innovation, creativity and commitment to protecting the marine environment; and

Whereas the Coastal Communities Network serves as a champion of rural communities, bringing together people, organizations and government in seeking solutions to a sustainability for coastal communities;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Coastal Communities Network and their volunteers for winning the Gulf of Maine Council Award, and thank all involved for their dedication to rural and coastal Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2100

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

Whereas Jonathan Riley and The Digby Courier were award recipients at the 2007 Better Newspapers Competition organized by the Canadian Community Newspapers Association; and

[Page 3661]

Whereas Mr. Riley's photograph earned him second place in the category of Best Feature Photo, and The Digby Courier was selected as the third Best All-Round Newspaper in Canada among those with a circulation of 2,000 to 2,999; and

Whereas the awards will be presented at the Canadian Community Newspapers Association national convention on May 11th in Winnipeg;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate both Jonathan Riley and The Digby Courier for their awards at the 2007 Better Newspapers Competition.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2101

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

Whereas Hantsport Save Easy, located at 47 Main Street in the town, will see the retirement of long-time Manager Donnie McBay next week; and

Whereas Donnie McBay has played an integral role in the Hantsport and Area Business Association, while also being an ardent supporter of community activities in and around Hantsport; and

Whereas the President of the Hantsport and Area Business Association, Margot Bureaux, said recently: "Donnie has been an outstanding community volunteer and without his generosity over the past number of years, many local events would not have been possible.";

[Page 3662]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the community spirit and work ethic of Hantsport Save Easy Manager, Donnie McBay, while wishing him many joyful years of retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 2102

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I read this resolution concerning training yourself, the member for Cape Breton West and myself received in February during Heart Month.

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

Whereas an automatic external defibrillator is a safe, easy-to-use device that will only advise an individual using the device to deliver a shock if the heart is in a rhythm which can be corrected by defibrillation; and

Whereas according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, cardiac arrest victims who have access to an automatic external defibrillator can increase their chances of survival by up to 30 per cent; and

Whereas despite automatic external defibrillators becoming as common as fire extinguishers in many public places throughout the province, the House of Assembly does not offer staff, visitors and tourists the safety of an on-site automatic external defibrillator;

Therefore be it resolved that all members signify to the Speaker of the House the importance of installing an automatic external defibrillator in the House of Assembly, not only for the safety of those working here but also for the safety of the hundreds of visitors and tourists who visit each year.

[Page 3663]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:30 p.m.]

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. 2103

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

Whereas in 1957 Kingston resident Blake Winott, then a 30-year-old woodworker, was asked to craft an oversized Apple Blossom Time plate to adorn the Village of Kingston's float for the Apple Blossom Festival Parade; and

Whereas using nine-inch by two-inch planks, he finished a plate in two or three weeks of his spare time, as he was a volunteer, and since Blake worked Saturday afternoons he never did get to see the plate on the float in the parade; and

Whereas former Apple Blossom Festival President Ray Savage had stored the weathered plate in his garage for many years and in 2005 was seeking a way to refurbish the memento in time for the 75th Anniversary of the Apple Blossom Festival;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of his House of Assembly extend congratulations to Blake Winott on the restoration of this 50-year-old contribution to the Apple Blossom Festival now restored to its original beauty.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3664]

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. 2104

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

Whereas Charlie A'Court, from MacCallum Settlement in Colchester North, was nominated for three East Coast Music Association Awards; and

Whereas these awards included the FACTOR recording of the year category, male solo recording of the year and pop recording artist of the year; and

Whereas Charlie A'Court has already won international acclaim as a blues artist;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Charlie A'Court for winning pop recording of the year, Bring on the Storm.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 2105

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

Whereas the United Nations recently designated March 25, 2007, as the day to internationally commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade; and

[Page 3665]

Whereas it took nearly 200 years for the international community to acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade were crimes against humanity in one of the worst violations of human rights in our history; and

Whereas slavery existed in Canada until 1834 and the painful, shameful legacy of slavery remains today in bigotry, racism, prejudice and social and economic injustices affecting persons of African decent;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, acknowledge the history of slavery in Nova Scotia and commit to countering the long-lasting impact of slavery and the slave trade.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2106

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

Whereas Renée Gaudet of Meteghan Centre is a second year student at the Burridge Community College in Yarmouth; and

Whereas Ms. Gaudet is one of three women to receive the first Cisco and Association of Community Colleges technology scholarship; and

Whereas the scholarship consists of $1,000 from Cisco Systems and the Internet Networking Committee which will be matched by the NSCC's School of Applied Arts and New Media;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Renée Gaudet and wish her continued success in the future.

[Page 3666]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2107

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

Whereas William (Bill) Merritt, in recognition of his volunteer work as a member of Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 26, received an Appreciation for Community Services Award from the Truro Rotary Club this 2007 Charter Night; and

Whereas Bill Merritt, a World War II veteran, who served with the Royal Canadian Signal Corps, joined the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 26 in 1961 and served as branch secretary, second vice-president, first vice-president, twice and president and on numerous committees; and

Whereas Bill Merritt was honoured by his Legion branch as 1989 Legionnaire of the Year, received the Legion's meritorious service medal with a palm leaf addition, was selected by ATV television network as Maritimer of the Week on October 2, 2004, has been recognized for his tireless work with servicing and placement of wheelchairs, motorized scooters and other specialized equipment made available to physically challenged members of the Truro area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bill Merritt on receiving an Appreciation for Community Service Award from the Rotary Club of Truro and thank him for his service to his community and the Province of Nova Scotia as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3667]

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. 2108

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

Whereas during the 2006 season, Queens County residents were entertained with the comedy, Nunsense, and the heartwarming Inuit legend, A Promise is a Promise, which was awarded the Best Canadian Production in Liverpool's 2006 International Theatre Festival; and

Whereas Winds of Change celebrated their dramatic achievements at a Mardi Gras- theme inspired evening of Cajun cuisine and costumes; and

Whereas a number of people were recognized with certificates of appreciation for their contributions during the 2006 season;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the contributions of Richard Comeau, Rick and Cathy Gilbert, Libby Fisher, Annette Burke, Kim Eddy, and David Young of Winds of Change - congratulations also to the winner of the Corporate Award, White Point Beach Lodge.

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.

[Page 3668]

RESOLUTION NO. 2109

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

Whereas Tri-Country Regional School Board has been selected by the province to pilot an elementary school entrepreneurship program; and

Whereas the school board was the only one selected for the pilot project, where three schools in each county will be selected to participate; and

Whereas Grade 4 students will participate in the pilot from January to the end of March, and Grade 5 and Grade 6 students will participate from April to June;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Tri-Country Regional School Board's selection for the elementary entrepreneurship program and wish the participating students continued success in the near future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 2110

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

Whereas RCMP Constable Curtis MacKinnon instructed the Grade 6 classes of Ms. McIntyre and Ms. MacDonald of Atlantic View Elementary School in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, commonly referred to as DARE; and

Whereas 21 students successfully completed this 10-week DARE program; and

[Page 3669]

Whereas on March 7, 2007, a special graduation ceremony was held at Atlantic View Elementary School for these DARE graduates who pledged to remain drug and violence free;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the commitment of these DARE graduates and their instructor Constable MacKinnon, and their teachers, Ms. MacDonald and Ms. McIntyre for offering this important opportunity to our youth.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2111

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

Whereas anti-poverty activists were encouraged when the recent Progressive Conservative AGM addressed the issue of poverty; and

Whereas activists were further encouraged when the government supported a resolution of this House in favour of a provincial anti-poverty strategy; and

Whereas the word poverty was not mentioned in the 2007 Budget Address or in the 2007-08 Government Business Plan;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly reaffirm the urgency of adopting a multifaceted anti-poverty strategy, as recently recommended by the Minimum Wage Review Committee, to eliminate the depth and extent of poverty in our province.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

[Page 3670]

RESOLUTION NO. 2112

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 a new baby born into a community is cause for celebration; and

Whereas the South Shore Regional Hospital Auxiliary recognized Ashley Elizabeth Ann Hannam as the first baby of 2007. She was born on January 1, 2007 and was presented with a basket of gifts; and

Whereas Ashley is the second child of Gayle and John Hannam of Waterloo and the sister of big brother, three year old Terry Hannam;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House join me in welcoming Ashley Elizabeth Ann Hannam into our world and send congratulations to all members of the Hannon family.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2113

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, just for the record, I'm opposed to queue jumping. (Laughter) I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Who's Who in Black Canada, is a directory that profiles community activists, politicians, business executives, scientists, teachers, artists and many others who have made a particularly important contribution to their field of endeavour; and

Whereas Yvonne Atwell made history in 1998 when as the first woman of African ancestry, she won the provincial seat for the NDP in the Preston constituency; and

[Page 3671]

Whereas Yvonne Atwell continues to be a mentor, a trailblazer, an inspiration to her community through her numerous professional and volunteer efforts;

Therefore be it resolved this House of Assembly commend Yvonne Atwell for her contributions and congratulate her for receiving this national recognition in the highly-esteemed publication of, Who's Who in Black Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2114

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

Whereas the St. John's Anglican Church in Fairview will be relocating temporarily to the Fairview Junior High School; and

Whereas congregants are looking for a permanent home for St. John's in the community of Fairview; and

Whereas other places of worship on Dutch Village Road in Fairview are in jeopardy of leaving the community in the years to come;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the efforts of St. John's Anglican Church to find a new permanent home in the community of Fairview.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3672]

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 Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2115

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

Whereas the Canning Emergency Comfort Centre has been established as a permanent emergency refuge at the Canning Fire Hall; and

Whereas Bruce Cruickshank, project coordinator, has worked with individuals and groups in the community, including the Canning Fire Department, the County of Kings, the Canning Village Commission, the Ladies' Auxiliary, the local grocery and meat store, a local farmer who donated a large generator required t0 operate the centre, the community pharmacist, Eastern Kings Memorial Community Health Foundation and Kings County Emergency Management Services, director Gary Smith, in order to establish this refuge; and

Whereas the centre is ready to respond in time of need with an emergency plan to supply accommodation, food and water supply and storage, power, medical first responders and childrens' activity for up to seven days and without outside help;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the valuable service and contribution carried on for and by the people of Canning and area for their efforts in preparation for emergency provision.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[2:45 p.m.]

[Page 3673]

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2116

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

Whereas the Rev. Bill Pope recently resigned as an active member of the Windsor Rotary Club, but will remain an Honorary Rotarian for life; and

Whereas Rev. Pope is an exceptionally active individual, besides his long term service to the Windsor Rotary Club, Bill is heavily involved with the Robert Pope foundation, a charitable organization which promotes educational, artistic and health related programs in an effort to provide quality life to all stages of living; and

Whereas Rev. Pope's retirement from the Windsor Rotary Club will be deeply missed, but Bill's other work with the Robert Pope Foundation, established in memory of his son who died in 1992, will continue in a strong and exceptionally meaningful way;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the Reverend Bill Pope of Mount Denson for his many years of service to the Windsor Rotary Club and for his continued devotion to the Robert Pope Foundation.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: There is a request to revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

Is it agreed?

[Page 3674]

It is agreed.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 152 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Utilities Act. (Mr. David Wilson, Glace Bay)

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a second time on a future day.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: 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 Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know my good friend, the member for Glace Bay, will want to pay close attention as I take the next few moments of the House to bring to the attention of the House of Assembly the concerns of the growing constituency of Timberlea-Prospect, as is custom when we're doing estimates.

This is an important time for us, as MLAs, to bring concerns forward. So, at this time, I would like to bring to the attention of a number of ministers opposite a couple of particular issues for Timberlea-Prospect. I hope that members first noticed that when they came to their desks today that they have received a complimentary copy of The Bridge, which is Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust. The good chairman of that volunteer organization, Ms. Beth McGee, has done some excellent work, as is typified by what you will see in front of you. I would encourage members to look carefully at The Bridge.

I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, that that's an indication of the commitment and involvement of many of the community members of which I am fortunate enough to represent. Lately, in particular, I have heard from a number of members of my constituency

[Page 3675]

about a particular problem that I'm sure other areas of the province have also heard about. Mr. Speaker I have, and I will not use - I had the opportunity to table some photos, photos that I will not use as props, but photos that I would like to have on the record, given to me by Lions Club member and concerned citizen of the Granite Cove Road when he points out the deplorable condition of the Jericho Loop.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we all hear from our constituents constantly about roads, but I want you to know that with the fast-growing constituency of Timberlea-Prospect, there is a new development, a development which is under the auspices and coordination of Kevin Marchand of Raymar Developments.

Kevin Marchand is one of those developers, I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, who I have a lot of time for. When you call up Mr. Marchand, after he gets over his comments of the Boston Bruins and the fact that it is his son, Brad, was drafted by the Bruins, Mr. Marchand then goes on to talk about the terrible condition of the Jericho Road that leads into Five Island Lake Estates.

Now, Five Island Lake Estates is one of those new developments. It is one of those new developments, unfortunately, that is connected by a gravel road. If the Page can table this for me. If you look at the huge detour sign in the ruts, in the picture that was donated by Stephen Belliveau, this is not the entrance to an exclusive subdivision, it is an embarrassment to a street within the Halifax Regional Municipality.

I know the Minister of Transportation and Public Works dutifully pays attention to our priorities and he, along with his staff, are aware of the priorities that I have for roads in my constituency, leading down to the scenic Village of Terence Bay or, of course, we go from Porcupine Hill down to Lower Prospect and, of course, Prospect Village.

Mr. Speaker, what I am talking about today is there are many streets and roads in the constituency of Timberlea-Prospect that thankfully, and I say thankfully, have been taken over by the Halifax Regional Municipality. The subdivision streets that have been neglected for many long years by the provincial Department of Transportation and Public Works because it hasn't been a priority, are now under the control of Halifax Regional Municipality but there are certain anomalies, if I can call them that, and I am going to call them that, anomalies of there are sections of streets in Timberlea-Prospect where you go from asphalt to mud and gravel, back to asphalt, all within the same subdivision and I would like to bring some of these examples forward for your attention at this time.

There is the North Greenhead Road in Lakeside. There is the road in Cambrian's Cove where you leave the Lake of the Woods Subdivision and you go through a mere 200 metres of mud and gravel, at best, mud, let's just call it what it is, before you come to Cambrian's Cove. So in the middle of this subdivision, there is a section of the road that is not paved.

[Page 3676]

Probably the worst example, however, along with the Jericho example that I mentioned from Mr. Belliveau before, is the Club Road in Hatchet Lake. The Club Road is one of those legendary streets that you come into the community of Brookside with. There are two entrances to this huge subdivision. One entry is completely paved. The other, however, you take the Club Road entrance, or the Club Road exit, and you go through another section where you drive on asphalt and then you drive through a section of this subdivision that is mud, it is gravel. You make sure you keep your winter tires on longer because if you are taking that particular entrance or exit into Brookside, you have to travel over a section of road that is an embarrassment.

I know the member for Dartmouth North has had the occasion to visit Brookside recently and I have advised him, when you go into the Brookside Subdivision, do not go in the Club Road. If you go in the Club Road, you will come to a section, and again, Mr. Speaker, it's at the very outside, 300 metres or 400 metres. You are going from asphalt, then you go to gravel and mud for 300 metres or 400 metres and then you are back into asphalt again.

The question, of course, that people ask is why aren't those roads being looked at? The answer we sometimes receive from the Department of Transportation and Public Works or the Streets and Roads division of HRM, they play this game of it's not our responsibility, it's theirs. It's been very clearly identified that some of these roads are the responsibility of the Department of Transportation and Public Works.

I want to return to the Jericho Road in particular. Mr. Marchand, that is Kevin of Raymar Developments, has offered to pay for the asphalt covering on that road. That is an offer that should be taken care of immediately because Mr. Marchand knows, as a good businessman, he is not going to be able to continue to sell homes in Five Island Lake Estates unless he can get this section of mud road, and you can see the pictures for yourself, you see the pictures there, Mr. Speaker, where it says: Detour, road closed. Right in the middle of that road is a school bus stop so you have young parents, like the Ewings, Lisa Ewing in particular and her husband, of course, Chris. You have people like Joy Atkinson who are concerned about the fact that they have to walk their children to a bus stop going through this mud and these terrible conditions.

Mr. Speaker, I am not just going to talk, however, about the road conditions in my constituency, I am going to talk about another matter of real concern, too. I know the Minister of Justice has addressed this issue and I compliment him on it. The community that I am fortunate enough to represent has had quite a growing period recently because, as you are probably aware, and I know you have heard me speak in this House before, that we had the unfortunate accident, I am remiss to call it an accident, the murder of a very popular school teacher who taught at Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea. It was a tragedy and it remains a tragedy because Paula Gallant is remembered each and every day by the students that she taught in that elementary school and, of course, by the teachers who she worked with.

[Page 3677]

I have the occasion to have an office, Mr. Speaker, that is also a school bus stop and when I had the opportunity to get to my office before the school bus for the elementary school children leaves, there are a number of those little people who come up to me and call me by my name. I know I shouldn't refer to myself this way in the House but, Mr. Estabrooks, they say, when are you going to find out who murdered Ms. Gallant? Now, this is an issue of real concern. The children who were in Paula's class, her family and her colleagues have been traumatized by this event.

I urge the Minister of Justice to do everything possible to make sure that those little people will have the question answered. I urge the RCMP and the Halifax Regional Police to solve that case. Hopefully, the incentive of the extra dollars, I mean if it's necessary, we've got to do it, but I mean I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, that the community that I represent grew up very suddenly two Christmas' ago, between Christmas and New Year's, very suddenly. It wasn't happening in Detroit, it wasn't happening in the big, bad cities of the United States or Canada, it was happening in Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea. I want the Minister of Justice to know that he has my complete support. He has the support of our community and he has the support of teachers at BLT Elementary to try to get the murder case solved of Paula Gallant. It is an emotional issue, an issue I'm obliged to bring to the attention of the minister.

I look forward to working with him as we continue to make Nova Scotia the safest place in North America, the safest place in the world to live, and that can happen, Mr. Speaker, if we follow the advice of my young friend, Matt Whynot, from Sackville. Mr. Whynot was at a recent community meeting in which they were looking at safety issues and Mr. Whynot, who incidentally was the candidate for our Party in the riding of Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, brought forward his concern at that meeting, you know, just by putting a policeman on every corner and building bigger and better jails, if there is such a thing as a better jail - that certainly is an oxymoron, a better jail - just by having more police and having more jails, we have to make sure that we engage young people in the problems of our community.

Mr. Speaker, as you well know in a previous life, as I said so, anytime when I had a real job, I will tell you I am a fan of the teenagers of these days, that unfortunate ungodly 5 per cent, let's hope it's 3 per cent, of teenagers who give young people a bad name today because of some of their vandalism and some of their violence, they do not reflect what teenagers are all about. We are going to make our communities better, safer, more productive, if we engage these young people, and that was Matt Whynot's advice at the community meeting in Sackville where he attended along with the MLA for Sackville-Cobequid. When all kinds of concerns are brought forward about problems in our community and they point to teenagers, and I want you to know there are teenagers who are out of control, there is no doubt about that. They are out of control and it's important that they be brought back in control - by their parents, by their teachers and, yes, if necessary, by the police.

[Page 3678]

Mr. Speaker, let's remember that when it comes to making our communities safe, whether it's the community of Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea, or Sackville, it takes all of us to raise a child. The whole village raises the child, the whole family and the whole school raises this particular issue.

I also want to bring to the attention of the Minister of Natural Resources an issue that I know I've discussed with his department in previous ministers' roles and that, of course, is the Terence Bay wilderness area. The Terence Bay wilderness area stretches from the coastal community of Terence Bay, a protected area, a wilderness area, through up to the Brookside Road and a new gravel street, incidentally called Iris Weig. I know that I'll be hearing from Hansard on how to spell Iris Weig, but I'll have that available for him later.

I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, the concern we have is that there was a K-class road that goes from Terence Bay River through the wilderness, the Terence Bay wilderness designated area, to Brookside - a K-class road. Of that K-class road, according to what I've understood, is now going to be allowed to have all-terrain vehicles on that road. That was a traditional road that was used for many times, when the people of Terence Bay were not using the water, to get into Halifax or Sambro. They decided they would have a road. It's an old traditional road that hasn't been used for many long years. Now, if I understand this correctly, and I know the good Minister of Natural Resources will get back to me on this, we have a K-class road in a wilderness area. The question that I'm being asked by ATV enthusiasts, that means that we can use that road. Is it a K or J-class road? Well, it should be clarified for the people of my community because it's an issue that we're continuing to hear from.

Now this morning in my office, Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to visit with a retired school teacher who dropped in for a few minutes to have a coffee, and he wanted to make sure that I brought some concerns to the House. And I told him - his name is Jim MacFarlane, he's originally from Antigonish. I told Jim MacFarlane I'd be bringing the concerns forward during Estimates.

Mr. McFarlane has concerns about things within the junior high schools of the HRM. You know there are members of the Department of Education who get very concerned about me using this terminology. Ann Blackwood, in particular, is constantly concerned about the fact that I call junior high a curriculum wasteland. Well, today again, Mr. MacFarlane said, make sure you continue to emphasize that point. The neglected grades in public schools of Nova Scotia are Grades 7, 8 and 9. Those are issues that I will be bringing forward during Estimates. I'll be bringing up issues of the Department of Transportation and Public Works, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Justice. All issues of real consequence to the growing community of Timberlea-Prospect. I thank the House for their time. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your time this afternoon. (Applause)

[3:00 p.m.]

[Page 3679]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad to take the opportunity on this occasion to bring a major concern of the people of Glace. Bay to the floor of the Legislature. I'm glad to hear the member for Timberlea-Prospect refer to his riding as an ever-changing riding and he should be thankful that his riding is changing in a positive way. For one thing, I know there are a lot of former Cape Bretoners who are relocating to Timberlea-Prospect and relocating there looking for employment and so on. And I would suggest that those Cape Bretoners who have moved into that riding would find themselves, hopefully, in a situation where their children would be receiving the same kind of education, the same level of education, that many other school children across this province are receiving and are entitled to.

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to you at this point in time, that is not the case in the riding of Glace Bay, and I'll tell you why. Because since the year 2003, the riding of Glace Bay and the approximately 18,000 residents of that riding have been waiting for the construction of a junior high school. It was first promised in 2003.

Mr. Speaker, if you picked up a copy of the Nova Scotia Construction Activity Report which is done for November 2006, by county and the type of construction. It's published through the Department of Finance, Economics and Statistics, and I'll table this in a moment, but this is published three times a year, February, June and November, of each year. The first time that the construction announcement for the Glace Bay Junior School was published in this was in 2003. And as late as 2006, last year, on Page 5 of that document, the construction activity for the Department of Finance announcement is $8.4 million, which was designated for the construction of a school, Glace Bay Junior High in Glace Bay. With the project pending provincial funding construction schedule possible for the Fall of 2005.

Well here we are. And it is March 26th, by my calculations, in the year 2007, and nothing has happened, Mr. Speaker. But lo and behold, in the latest budget that the province has tabled, are construction announcements for schools in Nova Scotia. And among them are some schools which were first announced in the year 2003, but not Glace Bay Junior High School, Mr. Speaker, that's not in this year's Budget, that's not there as part of the announcement although it was announced in 2003.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that myself and the people of Glace Bay do not begrudge for one moment any other riding, any other area in this province, the right to have a new school built, the right to have schools renovated. It should be a priority, of course it should be, of this government. The problem area is that in this case, in the riding of Glace Bay, in the Cape Breton-Victoria District Board, the number one priority of that District School Board in 2003, and to this very day the number one priority of that school board, has been the construction of a new junior high school in Glace Bay.

[Page 3680]

Mr. Speaker, what you have is - following the process - you have the school board which has identified their priorities and the number one priority above any other priority in the Cape Breton-Victoria District School Board was the construction of a new junior high school in Glace Bay. But again, as I mentioned, in this year's Budget not a mention of the construction of that school.

Glace Bay has two large junior high schools in operation right now - there is one other small one which is there as part of a Primary to Grade 9 school, but the two large ones, St. Michael's and Morrison Junior High, were both built in the 1940's or before. The conditions in those schools, Mr. Speaker - and I paid a visit to them not too long ago and toured both of the schools - the conditions in those schools by anybody's standards in this province are substandard. They are operating in conditions that were built for schools and for class sizes and for labs and for so on, back in the 1940's. Cafeterias and so on are non-existent, they do not exist in those schools. I would suggest there are no cafeterias; they don't exist. They eat in large classrooms which have been made over, or whatever, if they're not needed at the time.

The problem area here, and it is a slight problem area, is that there were over 20 sites that were identified in Glace Bay, and this is part of the excuse that the Department of Education is using, there were 20 sites that were identified and a large, I guess majority of those sites, were identified as having some problems with underground mine workings. Not all of them have those problems, other problem areas were identified. For instance, there is a site on Reserve Street in Glace Bay which was identified. The problem area there, they say, is with traffic and traffic congestion, but there are many other reasons than just underground mine workings, Mr. Speaker, as to why a site hasn't been - there were three sites which were identified recently and the Minister of Education paid a visit to Glace Bay. I was encouraged by that visit because I thought that visit to Glace Bay finally meant that the ball was starting to roll, that things were going to happen.

I was very encouraged by that, as were the people of Glace Bay who read about the minister's visit. That's why I expected, Mr. Speaker, that there would be at least a mention of this, come this Budget. Not a word. So here we are again, the Minister of Education has said that the problem area is not identifying a site.

Now, as I understand it, after having talked with certain officials in Glace Bay connected with the school board, I am told that the Department of Environment is now being asked to revisit every one of those sites - to revisit every one, to go over them again. One can only expect another delay, Mr. Speaker, in the announcement of the construction of Glace Bay Junior High, if that's the case.

So, Mr. Speaker, what am I left to believe? You know it would be very easy for me to stand in my place here right now and say that maybe politics is at the bottom of this. I am not saying that, Mr. Speaker, but it would be very easy to say that and you can understand why I would and why people in Glace Bay would say that. Some of the schools that have

[Page 3681]

been identified in the Budget just happen to fall in ridings that are held by members of the government. So you might find it very easy to draw that conclusion.

Again, I reiterate the fact that I do not, nor do the people of Glace Bay, begrudge anybody the fact that they have a right to a new school or to have schools fixed up. Mr. Speaker, I am simply giving you the facts of this matter and the main fact is that the Cape Breton -Victoria Regional School Board identified Glace Bay Junior High School as their number-one priority.

It is my understanding, Mr. Speaker, that some of the members of the district school board are quite upset with the Department of Education and with the Cabinet in not identifying that Glace Bay Junior High School should go ahead. When you have schools where some teachers are complaining about going to school and having to clear away mice droppings from the chalkboard and around the floors before they start their class, you know you have a problem on your hands. When you have schools where the furnaces have been converted from burning coal to burning oil, and in some cases are being kept together by duct tape, then you know you have a problem on your hands.

I would suggest to you that no other junior high schools in this province are in worse shape than those two schools in Glace Bay. Now I haven't visited the rest, but I am sure there are other members who might want to argue that point and that's fine - they are standing up on behalf of their constituents as well - but this is a matter that has gone on far too long.

Mr. Speaker, you know, yourself, because it was you, as then a Cabinet Minister, who visited Glace Bay in 2003 at Glace Bay High School to make the much-anticipated announcement that you are going to build, on behalf of the government, a new junior high school. You were welcomed with open arms that day, into that school, and you were trusted and believed by the people of Glace Bay and the officials from the school board who were there, that was going to take place. I don't think anybody thought that day, when you announced the construction of that school, that in 2007 I would be standing here saying to you that construction has not moved ahead in any way, shape or form. Not a shovel of dirt has been dug - nothing.

So I'd like to it to - I don't have to bring it to the attention, I know the government is fully aware of the situation, but I have to stress, Mr. Speaker, and past ministers know about this as well because past ministers dealt with the situation, it's not just the current Minister of Education who is aware of this problem. This government and the Cabinet of that government has been aware of the problem in Glace Bay for quite some time, for several years. They know how serious it is.

Mr. Speaker, I am left here scratching my head as to what is taking place and as to why the construction has not moved ahead. If the school board has identified it time after time after time, year after year, as the number one priority and the Department of Education

[Page 3682]

and the school board have identified over 20 sites, I am not going to buy for a minute that a site can't be found in Glace Bay to build a new junior high school. That is nothing more than an excuse for not building that school. There are plenty of sites that are available, but the will has not been there to go ahead with this - the political will to push ahead with the building of that school has not been there.

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it would be very easy to draw the conclusion that something else is at work here, but I am not going to do that because this is too important an issue to play politics with - and I would hope that politics is not being played because if politics are being played in this situation, then politics are being played with the education of school children in this province and that, indeed, would be shameful.

Mr. Speaker, this government knows full well I brought it to their attention on many, many occasions - other members of this Legislature have done that as well. It's encouraging to see that the member for Cape Breton Centre made a resolution today. I know that there are politics involved there. I know that the past member for the NDP who was defeated by myself and is now a member of the school board, I know that that past member probably asked the member for Cape Breton Centre to put a resolution in to see if it would get passed - and I am glad that happened. I am glad that happened, but it does not correct the problem that exists, the huge problem that there are anywhere between 600 and 700 students waiting for a junior high school to be built. Let me add one other point - I know I'm running out of time - I'm still hopeful and I'm still wishing and, in some cases, praying that the construction of that school will go ahead sooner than anticipated.

But if and when the construction of that school goes ahead, there has been a committee in place for some time to make sure that school gets nothing less than any other junior high school that has been built in this province - that school and the people of Glace Bay won't accept anything less than anywhere else in this province. When you start talking about the size of gymnasiums and so on and whether or not that school will have cafeterias or whatever it would have, it should get nothing less than the best facility that has been built in this province - the people and the students of Glace Bay deserve nothing less than that and they will not stand for anything less than that.

Again, as strongly as I possibly can, on behalf of the people of Glace Bay, I encourage this government and I encourage the Minister of Education to take another look. The information is there, the need is there. The need has been identified. She need look no further than her own caucus, because there are members of her own caucus who are former members of the Cape Breton - Victoria Regional School Board who voted this the number- one priority of that school board and I'm sure they still agree with that. So, she need look no further than her own caucus to know that the need is there, and we'll be keeping a careful eye on this.

That school construction should have been moved up and should have been further announced in this budget and it wasn't. It was announced in 2003, the first time. I'm waiting

[Page 3683]

to hear - hopefully very shortly - that school construction will go ahead sooner than anticipated. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is passed.

[3:15 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker, Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[7:25 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker, Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 145.

Bill No. 145 - Education Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have an opportunity to continue in the debate on Bill No. 145.

When we were last discussing this bill last week, I had an opportunity just to make some brief opening remarks and I wouldn't mind reviewing those so I can sort of get back to my train of thought. I was saying that I have had the misfortune, in many respects, to have had a school review process under the old rules, in my constituency some four or five years ago.

[Page 3684]

At that time, the process was one that did not seem to have a clear set of criteria in terms of making really important decisions about the future of small community schools. I did have an opportunity to appear in front of the two individuals the minister had appointed to hold public consultations on the school closure process, Ms. Kennedy and Mr. McDougall. During that presentation, I did have an opportunity to speak with them about the experience from North End Halifax's perspective.

[Page 3685]

[7:30 p.m.]

As I was saying last week, I not only felt listened to by the consultation personnel, but I also felt heard by them.

So, I welcome the measures that are being brought forward in this bill. I particularly welcome them not only because of that experience - and the minister will know, I wrote her, along with the former school board member for my area, back in December. I wrote her regarding the plan of the Halifax Regional School Board to amalgamate, consolidate, a number of elementary and junior high schools on the Peninsula of Halifax in the north and central part of this community that I represent. Kim Berkers, who was the school board member at that time - and I want to say, Mr. Speaker, a school board member who did a very admirable job on behalf of the schools in my community, prior to the suspension of that board - Ms. Berkers and I jointly wrote the Minister of Education, asking that she not move forward with approval for the replacing of the small elementary and junior high schools in our area until there had been adequate public consultation.

Mr. Speaker, you will no doubt aware that under the Education Act, as it currently exists, there is no requirement for a school board to hold any kind of a public review when it's consolidating or amalgamating schools. It's merely when a decision has been made to close a school that there is any requirement. The Halifax Regional School Board had submitted to the Minister of Education a very large laundry list of schools that it intended to consolidate and replace with quite an orgy of capital expenditure for new schools on the peninsula, starting with the schools in my colleague's constituency, the honourable member for Halifax Citadel, and then proceeding to amalgamate schools in my constituency. The plan was to close Highland Park Junior High School, and Oxford School, and St. Patrick's Alexandra School, and open a new junior high school in 2012, and, additionally, to replace a number of elementary schools, Oxford School, St. Stephen's School, part of St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay and open a new elementary school in 2013, then an additional elementary school in 2013 that would also take into its new boundaries St. Patrick's Alexandra School.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in discussing this plan with people in community, there were various reactions. The first reaction, of course, was that the community was shocked. They had never had any information whatsoever that this was being contemplated by the school board. I would be happy to table a copy of the MLA report that I sent into the constituency in early January where in fact I provided this information to constituents who I represent. I have to say that I have never had a response from my community to anything else that I have sent out to them, like this. People were really concerned about what they were learning for the first time. The phones in my office were busy and people were stopping me in the parking lot, and they were stopping me even if I went to the grocery store, and people wanted to talk about this, and not only people who had children in those schools, but the broader community wanted to talk about this. I had a gentleman who is a firefighter with the Halifax Regional Fire Department call, whose children have long been finished from the local schools but who is a very outstanding member of our community, and talk to me about

[Page 3686]

his concerns. I had a former CBC assignment editor who lives in my constituency call me, and discuss at length his concerns about this.

One of the things that is very much on the minds of people in the constituency I represent, is not only questions around the quality of education in which are pretty much primary concerns for people when they hear that smaller community-based schools are going to be eliminated and replaced with big box schools. People are questioning the financial sense of moving in this direction.

The schools in question are structurally sound, they're not schools that are sick schools, many of these schools have been in the North End of Halifax for a significant period of time. St. Joseph's-A Mackay School, for example, is a school that was built shortly after the Halifax Explosion and although schools like this have not been maybe maintained to the level that we would like, much of the maintenance that is required is cosmetic, it's not structural. People in the community are increasingly becoming concerned about the soundness of taking perfectly good structural settings, like buildings like St. Joseph's-A Mackay, and demolishing these buildings and replacing them with new buildings built at today's prices and they questioned whether or not this is sound planning on the side of the government. You have to wonder about that, Mr. Speaker.

The Shambhala School, which is in the North End of Halifax on the corner of Russell and Gottingen Streets, is actually in a former Halifax School Board property and it is a beautiful facility. It's a facility that has been there for quite a number of years. The school board got rid of it a number of years ago and it sat without the kinds of necessary repairs, but Shambhala have moved their school in there and they have invested in the building and brought it back to the kind of physical presence in the community that is very striking. It's a beautiful school inside and out and people are asking, what are we thinking when we go on these huge capital campaigns of erecting these new buildings? We take perfectly good structures, we demolish them, we send them off to landfill sites that are already overtaxed and can't handle the kind of construction and industrial waste that is being generated. There has to be a better program and there has to be a better system.

Mr. Speaker, I'm not convinced that the Department of Education with this bill actually has a plan in hand - that they will, in fact, use that kind of thinking when they look at consolidation and amalgamation of schools - but I would urge the minister that it's not good enough for a regional school board to simply submit a gross laundry list of all of the buildings that it would like to eliminate and have replaced with new construction without holding that board to some account for buildings that are currently in the system that are structurally sound, that are perfectly capable of being refurbished to a kind of standard that we would all like to see our children in and like to see in our communities.

So, Mr. Speaker, this is something that I will continue to raise with the minister and certainly we'll be watching for as this Act takes force, and perhaps the Halifax Regional School Board continues with their plans to consolidate and amalgamate schools.

[Page 3687]

Now I want to go back to the letter I wrote to the minister with Miss Berkers, the former school board member - we wrote the minister in December of last year asking that there be public consultation before any schools in central and north end Halifax are amalgamated. There is a strong will on the part of the community that that, in fact, be the process that is adopted, that the community have an opportunity to be involved in this process I trust that this bill, once it is through this Legislature, will ensure in fact that will occur.

After I sent my newsletter around with the information to people in my riding, I embarked on a process of meeting with the school advisory committees for each of the schools. It is a very good process to go through, and I would recommend it to any of the members of this Legislature who haven't had an opportunity to meet with the school advisory committees because the school advisory committees are made up of parents whose children attend the school, the administration and some of the teachers in the school, and often people from the community who have an interest in the school, but also in the broader community, in ensuring that one group supports the other group.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, there is too much chatter in the Chamber. The honourable member for Halifax Needham has the floor.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So in this process I was able to meet with most of the school advisory committees for the various schools in my constituency, and I want to say how impressed I am by both the principals and the teaching staff, and the parents and community members who dedicate their time to school advisory committees - people like Doug MacDonald from Ward 5.

Ward 5 is a community-based institution in the north end of Halifax. It is not an institution - Doug Macdonald is an institution, and he'd probably kill me if he could hear me say this - it is a community-based organization that provides security and support to families, to seniors, to children, and to adolescents. There is a food bank, a hot lunch program, lots of recreational opportunities and just a really sound and sympathetic ear, quite often, at the Ward 5 Community Centre from Doug and his staff for members of the community that they serve.

There is Mr. MacDonald serving on two school advisory committees, Highland Park and St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay, and where he finds time to do this, given all of the other commitments that he has in his life, is beyond me. It's people like Doug MacDonald who make our community strong, but more importantly make sure that the communication between the community and between the schools are functioning like they should.

[7:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, one of the other things I would want to say about what I've learned around the school review process and the school closure process is the fact that while the

[Page 3688]

Minister of Education continues to give the appearance of being at arm's length from this process and, in fact, I noted that the minister talked about how this bill provides no role for the minister following the review process and recommendations and no appeal to the minister, I want to say that I, like many members of my community, have a bit of skepticism around this particular situation.

It has been told to us now on too many occasions around school reviews that, in fact, what's driving the school review process is the Department of Education, is the Minister of Education, is senior officials in the Department of Education and, in fact, it is not a scenario that's initiated at the school board level. With respect to the closing and the proposal to amalgamate and close or consolidate so many of the small schools here on the peninsula, we have been given to understand that those directions to the Halifax Regional School Board have, in fact, come from the very highest levels of the Department of Education.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I think that at some point it would be really good to hear from the minister, in fact, whether or not this is the case, whether or not there is a desire in the Department of Education to see a reduction in the number of small schools on the peninsula of Halifax serving local communities, serving small neighbourhoods, and whether or not there is this kind of desire to move toward bigger- as my colleague, the member for Halifax Citadel says- "big-box schools", because if that's the vision of the Department of Education and the Minister of Education, then it would be a good thing for people to come clean and say that openly and not hide behind the school board and make school boards the scapegoat for school review processes.

Mr. Speaker, the last thing I would say before I take my seat is that while this bill is very welcome in that it adopts the recommendations through the consultation process, it will be looking at having some standardized criteria and some clear criteria. I'm not sure that all of the possibilities for what need to be examined are, in fact, going to be a part of the process. We won't know that until we see the regulations that accompany this particular amendment to the Education Act and, in fact, how this process will actually work, we won't know until we actually give it a test drive.

Having said that, the fact that we're moving away from what was clearly an inadequate and a poorly executed school closure policy under the old Act is a very good thing. I sincerely hope that we can make this new process work to the benefit of parents and students and to the benefit of communities, the rural communities, but also the neighbourhoods, including the old established neighbourhoods in our urban settings, such as the old, established urban neighbourhood of North End Halifax that I'm very proud to represent and I think the people in this constituency and this part of our province deserve a process that has as much integrity and good common sense as any other part of the Province of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker. So, with those words, I will now take my place. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

[Page 3689]

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'll try to be brief. I want to get to the core of my reservations, I guess, with this legislation. The adage, the proof is in the pudding, we have to take this legislation for a trial run and see how it works. The fact that there's a process and I'm hoping, although it's not entirely clear to me and how much of that is my fault - in the interpretation of this Act and comments made from the minister's press statement. I want to say if it works, I'd be very pleased to be endorsing that.

Back in 1998, I was a fairly freshly minted MLA, and one of the first meetings I went to, actually, was around a closure of a school in my village in Enfield. The community was of the impression that they were getting a new elementary school and actually that was the statement made by the department, and when I questioned the deputy minister, at the time, Lloyd Gillis, he confirmed for me that I was right, that there was a new school to replace the Enfield District School and the old E.H. Horne School.

The local councillor actually invited me to a meeting, held by the board, around this project and when I got there, I was surprised at some of the people at this meeting because they weren't connected, as far as I could tell, to that community and the school. What I walked in on was a meeting that actually, according to this person working for the school board, was a meeting to build a Grade 3-5 school for both Enfield and Elmsdale and no one in my community was aware of that.

What I was told at that meeting was that this was a private meeting and nothing from this meeting could go out to the public. At which point, I indicated that I was the MLA, elected by the people, and there was nothing going to be private about my comments in this regard. Now, I would think that a school board might be a bit iffy about this legislation. In other words, it may rein them in a bit. I guess my reservations are such that the process that we presently have, I guess, because this bill is not law yet, really should have been enough to address the issues raised by communities, but communities didn't get an opportunity to raise their issues. As a matter of fact, from what I could see, the steamroller was picking up steam - maybe I should say locomotive - and the communities really weren't always very aware of what was going on until the final minute.

I have that same reservation in this process where by regulation, the board identifies the school for the review. It does that by certain criteria. Then there is a committee put together to do a report and then, when this committee's report is examined, the school board will hold a public meeting. So we're going to have a public meeting well down the road in this process and that is part of this that I have a problem with. I would like to see the public involved at a much earlier stage in this process, rather than this far along in the process and that causes me some reservations.

I was looking at the recommendations, which I understand are going to become part of the regulations or considered in the regulations. One of them - I guess the first one - is the removal of the word closure from references to the process; then when we get to Recommendation No. 6, it requires the principals of schools affected by a closure to jointly

[Page 3690]

develop transition strategies for affected students. There is nothing about transition strategies for any other options that might happen if we stick with the status quo. Will there be anything done if we consolidate schools, will there be a transition strategy? It doesn't indicate that. The only one would be the permanent closure of a public school. That one has a transition strategy.

So I would like to think there is going to be a strategy developed around any of these options, not just the closure option, which is the word that is being removed from the process.

I'd also like, when we talk about developing regulations, to recognize mitigating factors that should be considered in the school review. These include but are not limited to, and I guess "not limited to" would mean there is room for what I am thinking, transportation issues, projected economic growth and geographic isolation. Well, certainly student numbers and programs, I think, would be two things that we would want to consider in this process.

From being a teacher, I would like to know that before we ever get down this road, that the board actually has a process to try to mitigate against going down this road, that we have some things in place, and this could require input from other departments as well. What is going to happen in terms of per capita funding? You know we give boards, based on the number of students that they have, so many dollars. This affects programming and the number of teachers you can hire, et cetera.

There should be a policy in place that looks at if your student numbers drop, you fund a program, you don't just fund on a per capita basis and you don't withdraw teachers after a certain number of students, you still fund the program. If you drop from 24 to 18, you still offer a program and fund the program, not just the number of students.

So I guess my reservation is around how this Act came to the House or how this moratorium came to the province, I guess is what I should be saying. We were coming fast on the heels of an election, Mr. Speaker, so then there was a moratorium. Well, the moratorium was going to affect members certainly - I'm not sure how many members in the House but certainly some members on the government side. If there was going to be talk of school closures, for some of those members that would be a pretty tough pill to swallow during an election campaign and try to promote that member.

Certainly going down the road of a moratorium just prior to an election and a study, just took that right off the table, Mr. Speaker. I think for me that's a bit of a concern around the implementation of this legislation and actually schools are safe until March 31, 2009. The world could shift dramatically in this province by then. So it certainly makes me think that there is the possibility in this legislation of protection for the government up to or past the next election. So I think a clearly defined process would be a very good thing. I think that I would like to see this process improved with having public input at an earlier stage in the process. As a matter of fact, the very stage I think would probably be the right place, to have

[Page 3691]

it go to the community, have the board go to the community initially and initiate this process and let the community have some input right at the start I think would be a very valuable thing to do.

[8:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I think you may be aware of the lay of the land in my own constituency. I have a fairly rapidly growing suburban area. As a matter of fact, since 1998, we have had three new schools built in my constituency, in that corridor. But in the more rural area of my constituency, the world is somewhat different. Student numbers certainly haven't been growing and in some cases I would say they have been just static and maybe enough that the board has not been overly concerned. As a matter of fact, it has been the growth in the Hants East area that's been a real benefit for the board overall because it has been able to keep those numbers up, and maybe the minister can confirm that.

I know that there is probably no one other than the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations who has probably got his finger on the pulse of how the board would look at these issues and in particular this legislation, but certainly the school closure process and I know the present minister is very much aware because I worked with her on a couple of issues regarding schools in my area in her previous life.

I look forward to this bill moving on from second reading, Mr. Speaker, to the Law Amendments Committee. If I get an opportunity, I might try to chat up the minister on some of my concerns and see if she can allay any fears that I have but certainly a well-defined process would be an improvement, for sure. I want to be sure that the process and the intent of the process are the same thing. So with those comments, I will take my seat.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have a few minutes tonight also to speak on Bill No. 145, the Education Act. It's all about our rural schools and I guess urban schools as well, but I guess from a rural constituency I bring a perspective from Pictou County about keeping our rural schools open. That's very important because I think our local schools really are the backbone of our communities. It's really the heart and soul of rural areas and the school really makes a community and if the school is taken away, certainly it hurts in more ways than one.

So this particular bill that the minister has brought forward, and it has some improvements, I think, over the present process that we have, but I question or wonder why perhaps we may even need it at all because I think we should be trying to build up our schools to make them better rather than tear them down. Regardless of that, I think if the bill is here, it's for debate or discussion.

[Page 3692]

I guess one thing that I have noticed in the bill that I think has some merit, it's certainly extremely important that the word "closure" has been taken out of the process because there is nothing that instills fear in a community more than to hear that their school is going to close. The idea that that word can be referenced out and maybe a school review certainly is more palatable to a community, easier to talk about, but if you start out by saying it's a school study, then almost automatically people get their backs up, they get their concerns, they are really worried about losing their community school.

I guess I can perhaps most relate to this in the community of River John, in my constituency. Before the moratorium came on last year, the process was in place to look at consolidation. Well, it wasn't really closure, it was called school consolidation because they were looking at the junior high aspect, Grade 7, Grade 8 and Grade 9, of taking it out of that community and a number of options were presented. Either the students could go to Tatamagouche, to the North Colchester Regional High, possibly they could go to Pictou Academy in the Town of Pictou, or the third option was to go to Northumberland Regional High School in Alma, but in any regard it would have meant a long bus drive - up to an hour to go to Alma - and those students would have been taken out of the community and people felt a loss of identity.

There was only one public meeting where people had a chance to express their feelings. It was a large, packed public meeting at the school and people were unanimous in their opposition to losing their Grade 7, Grade 8 and Grade 9 from the River John Consolidated School, because people feel that they're losing their children and they're losing part of their community when a school is up for closure, or a part of a school being closed in that particular case. I can think of other schools in my district that through time have declining populations or with a change in economic circumstances, there are less children, or there are smaller families these days, and with the birth rate going down, you can see the number of children becoming less over time.

I think of another school - Salt Springs in Pictou West. It's a relatively new school in comparison to some. It was built in the mid-1970s. I think it's approximately 30 years old. One of my children attended that school, started there in Grade Primary, the first year the school was opened and, you know, it was I think close to 200 children at that time. Well, today it's well less than 100 children, I think around 72 at this time, but it's still a very vibrant, healthy school. It's a community meeting place. Parents participate in the classroom. They participate in the extracurricular activities. It's sort of the centre of the community where people come. If there's an important meeting, it's often held at the school.

There are sometimes classes put on for community people. I guess it's a true community school in that there are dog grooming classes, learning digital camera, Jazzercise, yoga, there's a variety of courses offered to the adults in the community through the school and it's not just a meeting place, but it's a chance to learn at all ages, all through your life. So it's an important community event. It's where young people meet older folks. It's where seniors can interact with children. It's really a strong connection to others in the community.

[Page 3693]

So again my question is, why are we talking about closing schools when we should try to be building them up? It makes more sense when a school gets down in numbers, then to look at alternatives, what else could you add to that building, to that facility, to that educational institution, to make it, I guess, economically viable and I know in some other areas of the continent they've looked at some of those alternatives to see if they could add a couple seniors' units to the school that would fill up some of the empty classroom space that would allow for some income to help offset the heating costs, or the property taxes, or other costs of running a building of that size. Is there some government department that could be added to the school facility to bring in a source of revenue that would help share the costs of keeping that facility open? Could you have a tourist bureau in the school, if it's in an area that's open to the travelling public?

I guess it would have to be, Mr. Speaker, something that's safe, that would mix well with young children if it's an elementary school, but there are some possibilities out there I think of mixing economic development with the present school that might have a declining population in order to keep the facility open. My colleague mentions a daycare. There are lots of good ideas to look at for building up the school, rather than tearing it down.

I want to mention there are many merits now being discovered about small schools. At one time it was the thinking that bigger was better and you could have a large consolidated school or the amalgamation of several schools, but that philosophy or way of thinking is being challenged head on. There is quite a bit of proof now that the smaller schools are better.

There was a report done recently by Mike Corbett of Acadia University and Dennis Mulcahy of Memorial University. They put a study together last year called Education on a human scale: Small rural schools in a modern context. They have a lot of good proof in there that yes, smaller schools can be viable, can be perhaps even better than larger schools. I just want to quote a couple of sentences from it, ". . . small schools situated close to home are the best educational sites for their children's education." Children are treated like human beings. They experience the benefits on a daily basis. They serve the children and their communities very well and it would be a backward step to close out schools like these. "A growing number of educators and policymakers believe that existing assembly-line schools that inhibit our students' and teachers' potential need to be replaced by smaller schools which are better designed to support teaching and learning." Smaller schools produce higher achievement, lower dropout rates, greater attachment by the community and more participation in curricular and extracurricular activities.

There is a mounting body of evidence that smaller schools are better and I think this is something for the department and for the minister to keep in mind so that when the time comes to review a school and to see whether it needs to be enhanced, or changed, or in some respect the evidence is there now that small schools are just as good, if not better, than larger schools. I think the argument I'm making here is twofold; one is that smaller schools are as good or better than larger schools and secondly, I think when the time comes to review

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a school, rather than looking at trying to see how soon it can be closed out, it's rather how can we enhance it, how can we make it better, in what respect can we add to it, or add programs or other government departments looking at it in the overall global picture to build up that school and to add to the economic activity within a school community.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I'm going to close, but I need to look at a bigger picture, we need to think outside the box, we need to get some vision for supporting our rural communities and really maintaining our community schools. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to address this topic however briefly. I would just like to put it on the record that I think this is an extraordinarily important advance in the thinking of this province, that we are even looking again at the process by which we close for review the existence of schools.

I should start by saying that one of the kinds of politics that I could not engage in and I decided at a very early level or age that I could not possibly engage in was that of the schools and the schools boards, and that is because the passion is so deep, so profound and the emotion runs so high. This was apparent and I found it very disturbing that every time the children's place of education was discussed, threatened, changed in any way, shape or form, parents became extraordinarily and deeply concerned, and so did other members of the community. I think that goes to a very important element of what local schools actually mean.

The school is, in the most real sense, the heart of the community and it's also the earliest place that children encounter the community. It's a bit like a fish hatchery in reverse - children start in the very small environment, just a few people in their family, they then move into a slightly larger pool of children who are the elementary school, typically into a slightly larger and often a more consolidated group which is a junior high school, then into a larger high school again, consolidated high schools we have quite frequently throughout the province, and eventually into some form of post-secondary education or into the workforce at large.

[8:15 p.m.]

But there's a logical progression here and it's the progression by which children enter into society. Society knows, whether consciously or not, that it is very important that children enter society in a safe, measured and contented way from all points of view. You rarely find a more anxious group of people than the parents who are about to send their children off to school for the first time. They are deeply concerned - not even so much about what their children are going to learn as where they are going to learn it and who they will learn it with.

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That's why the community school remains something so close to the heart of so many people. This is not a recent phenomenon by any means; in fact the beginning of conscious urban planning in the 19th century saw most communities in North America planned around an elementary school. This, presumably, was a recognition of the fact that children are educated close to their homes.

One of the things that I would hope would be taken into consideration in this new school review process is what are the environmental - not just the cultural and social environmental but the physical environmental - concerns which arise from the location of a school.

We've had a recent move toward the so-called walking school bus, but that's only practical when the school is within walking distance of the children's home and that tends to be in the local school. The school bus, like many other forms of transportation, picks up the child at the doorstep - or perhaps from a waiting car on a cold bus stop morning - and takes the child to the doorstep of the school. At the end of the school day, the school bus takes the children away again, without necessarily leaving time for extracurricular activities, for sports, for play on the playground, for free play in the gymnasium. The child is taken home again by bus and returned.

You can look at the greenhouse gas emissions of the bus, you can look at the greenhouse gas emissions of the parents whose child has missed the bus and who drives the child the entire way instead. You can look at all of these things and then you can also look at the health impacts - rising obesity rates, children who cannot simply walk to school, who literally have to be transported there because the school is at such a distance.

These are costs which actually reverberate for a long time throughout the health of our population. The child who is used to being driven to and from school is not the child who is used to walking, and that's frequently often not the adult who is used to walking. It may be the adult who needs a planned recreational activity, but it's not necessarily the person who believes they can simply go.

Children develop physical health and a sense of empowerment from being close enough to their school, perhaps in increasing distances as they go into older and older grade levels, but they do have a physical connection to their locality, their community and their school.

My colleagues have spoken about the rest of the community's connection to the school and I would wholeheartedly echo that. Frequently you'll find, in many small towns, that the building which has been preserved often for no particular purpose other than it's the school, is, in fact, the school. There's a great deal of nostalgia attached to these physical buildings, and why? Partly because people spent time there, but they also spent time in doctor's offices, banks and grocery stores, and yet we see far less emotional attachment to that than we do to the local school - the place where children first were entrusted, the place

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where community meetings frequently took place, the place where basketball, badminton, numerous other recreational activities took place on the playground and in the school gym, if there was a such a thing.

I'd also like to say that local schools, of course, or smaller schools - and it's important not to confuse the two - are often a place where children can see the progress of maturing into society within the school itself.

I've always been interested in the P-9 school phenomenon, and even those schools which run from Primary to Grade 12, because the statistics show that these are actually, perhaps counterintuitively, for some people, places with a lower degree of violence in school. What tends to happen is that you do develop a progression that small children see greater privilege available to the somewhat older children they had something to aspire to, and older children often benefit by being seen as role models. Where one ends up ghettoizing narrow strata of age groups, in any form of education, developing age groups, you run the risk of not having modelling, not having role models either offered or being a chance to be a role model, and both those things narrow the social experience of children . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There's too much noise in the Chamber. The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic has the floor.

MS. RAYMOND: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In fact, as I was going to say, the experience of being in a closely-stratified age group narrows children's experience and it deprives them of the opportunity to mature in context in their community. Often they will seek another community. I think if we have real worries about the social health of our community as a whole, and of our developing children, and if we wonder or have concerns about what other communities children are forming, perhaps we should ensure that in school, which is where they begin to spend large parts of their life, they do, in fact, have a viable size community, something that's just not too big for a younger person to deal with.

So I hope that these aspects, the health of the local environment of the community, of the children physically and socially, as well as that of the people of whom they will be living, are all taken into account when we look at the possibility of closing, amalgamating schools and the size of communities. It is a profoundly important process to the development of any functioning community. Thank you very much.

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

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to say thank you to the members opposite who have shared their thoughts on the changes to the legislation. It is good legislation. It does reflect very clearly the responses that came from the public to the two-person team who was seeking that information, and it does address each of the seven

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recommendations, and parallels those nicely. I would like to acknowledge the compliments that were sent forward by the members opposite toward the two people who did conduct that review, and they did listen and they did hear, and they did respond with their report.

I would also like to acknowledge that many of the comments came from educators on the other side, and I appreciate that, also from people whose communities have gone through a school closure process. So I know you were speaking from experience, and I appreciate that. I move second reading of Bill No. 145.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 145.

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

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 141.

Bill No. 141 - Respiratory Therapists Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I feel that I probably haven't spoken enough today, so I thought I'd maybe spend some time on this one.

I'm very pleased to be able to commence second reading on the Respiratory Therapists Bill. Of course we know that respiratory therapists throughout the province are committed to providing Nova Scotians with high-quality respiratory care. They are health care providers who assist in the diagnosis and treatment and health promotion of patients with cardiorespiratory disorders. They perform respiratory assessments of patients, they test, they monitor cardiopulmonary function and assist with the transport of high risk patients. They do work quite often with our paramedics.

There are approximately 200 respiratory therapists who are practicing throughout Nova Scotia and this legislation will regulate the practice of respiratory therapy by ensuring that practice standards are established and maintained.

The Act will establish complaints and discipline process to enforce the standards and requirements and deal with concerns of the public. The legislation protects the public by requiring that respiratory therapists meet standards set out by a self-regulated professional body and college, as we know how nurses, doctors, pharmacists, paramedics and many other

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health professionals are regulated in our province. It is our belief that they are in the best position to regulate, of course, for their own professions.

We want to protect the public from improperly performed respiratory health care and we want to ensure that legislation supports the governing bodies to take care of action when complaints are brought forward.

We are able to introduce this much-needed legislation due to the collaborative effort and hard work of respiratory therapists, as well as the Respiratory Therapy Society of Nova Scotia. The Respiratory Therapy Society of Nova Scotia has worked very hard with the Department of Health to develop this legislation and it will improve accountability to the public, improve disciplinary processes and allow more flexibility in the practice of their professions to better serve Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, this is another bill that has been a long time coming. As you know, they had been receiving their accreditation, as you will, from the Canadian Association of Respiratory Technicians and, of course, the national association has gotten out of doing that, which precipitated the need to have their own regulated profession here in Nova Scotia.

I am proud of bringing this forward and, of course, opening second reading on Bill No. 141, The Respiratory Therapists Act.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad to stand and say a few words on Bill No. 141 on its second reading here in the Legislature. I know there are many more individuals in this province who are even happier than I am and that is the respiratory therapists here in this province. It is no secret to the government and to the Minister of Health that this profession has been calling upon government for several years now to introduce legislation that would regulate or create the College of Respiratory Therapists here in the province. The reason they were calling on the government, Mr. Speaker, is because the national body, as the minister stated earlier, who had overseen the licencing of respiratory therapists for the country, had stated many years ago that they needed to get out of that capacity, as an association or as a society, and encourage the respiratory therapists themselves in each of their provinces to go back to their respective governments and encourage them to introduce legislation to oversee the governance of respiratory therapists here in the province.

I know they are very relieved that this piece of legislation has finally comet to the floor of this Legislature and to start the process of creating the college, I believe the College of Respiratory Therapists of Nova Scotia or that is in the name somewhere there.

The one thing I do have to say is that it is important that we recognize the need for this legislation because it does serve to protect the public interests, Mr. Speaker. We need

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to have regulations, policies - a governing body that oversees health professions like the respiratory therapists. It establishes and develops and promotes standards of practice for the profession so that they can move into other domains and other, broader scopes of practice here in the province and, hopefully, contribute even more to the delivery of health care here in the province.

[8:30 p.m.]

As I said earlier, self-regulation is important because it also promotes the Code of Ethics that the profession has and I know that the respiratory therapists of this province have been encouraging the government, as I have, to finally get to this point, but I do have to say to the government that this is pushing the limits to having this done in time. As the national body had given the therapists of Nova Scotia ample time to approach government, the deadline for them to stop registering or overseeing this profession is December 31st of this year, Mr. Speaker. So from now until the end of December, or January 1, 2008, we need to ensure that this piece of legislation passes through the Legislature, that it goes through that process, but most importantly that the policies and the regulations are in place.

I know that the members of the society here in the province have been working hard to make sure that it's a quick process, that most of the regulations I think they would like to see, they have written. I have to say, Mr. Speaker, its a slow process. For me, for example, in the profession that I come from - as paramedics we worked years to get legislation to this Chamber to promote the fact that we need a self-governing body to oversee the profession of paramedicine in this province, and I believe legislation passed maybe three years ago, or it may be pushing four years, and we have yet to see the completion of the regulations and the policies that are going to oversee that profession.

I am encouraging the government that they need to move quickly to ensure that the protection of Nova Scotians who receive care from respiratory therapists in this province have a regulating body. So it is good to finally see this come forward. Respiratory technologists play an important role here in Nova Scotia in the delivery of health care, not only in the hospital setting but they are involved in the emergency rooms throughout this province, they are involved with trauma teams on the LifeFlight crews that we have for LifeFlight that travel around the province bringing those critically ill patients here to the tertiary care hospital in Halifax. They play an important role in that. They are on many of the transfers of the critically ill. On a ground ambulance, when you have someone who may be in Cape Breton or in Yarmouth or even in Bridgewater, when they come up to Halifax respiratory therapists are usually part of that team, along with other nurses, along with doctors, along with paramedics.

We all know, and I know definitely, how important respiratory is in health care in ensuring that patients are given the best possible care when it comes to airway management, Mr. Speaker. As I said, the respiratory therapists play an immense role in ensuring that other professions like the paramedics, like nurses, like doctors, have the latest update in

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procedures and knowledge on what is the best way to treat a person who has a compromised respiratory system or an illness related to the respiratory system.

So I'm glad to finally see this coming, I hope that there are no delays in the creation of the regulations and policies over the next several months, and I know that the respiratory therapists in this province are glad to see this process finally coming to light. Hopefully it will go through this process quickly to ensure that their governance of their profession continues and there is no interruption in that.

So with those few words, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to say those words.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Bill No. 141 is an extremely important piece of legislation whose time has come, this bill regarding self-governance for respiratory therapists. As the minister indicated, there are some 200 in the province, 70 of them work in hospitals . . .

AN. HON. MEMBER: Know any of them?

MR. DAVID WILSON(Glace Bay):As a matter of fact I do know some of them. One of them happens to be one of my sisters who is a respiratory therapist at St. Martha's Hospital in Antigonish, which makes this a vital piece of legislation, Mr. Minister.

This is a governing body that is going to develop and maintain practice standards and qualifications and it has become now, rightfully so, the norm for most professions in this province. Mr. Speaker, it recognizes the autonomy of our professional organizations, and the respiratory therapists have been waiting for this for a very long time. Serious discussions began in 1999. So now they needed a governing body by the year 2008, next year, as the federal association is changing its mandate and will no longer allow licensing or to qualify respiratory therapists, so this needs to be completed by January 2008. We can't leave this one on the back burner any longer, this one is a piece of legislation whose time has come, like other pieces of legislation that have been left on the back burner by this government.

We're in favour of this self-regulating legislation and we want to also caution that we do not leave all of the decisions to the council or the regulations made by Cabinet. We are encouraged by the government's self-governing legislation, the Legislature must be the body that has to ensure protection of our citizens, we can't leave those regulations to just the council or the Executive Council or the Cabinet to regulate and determine what's going to happen.

Having said that, we look forward to this bill going on to the next stage and any further debate on it. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the members opposite for their interventions. I know that this is a piece of legislation that has been discussed on many an occasion and quite a bit over the last 10 years almost now. I think also it probably was important that we came to a point where we knew it was necessary and maybe sometimes the department works better to a deadline, so that's where I think we were getting to at this point.

Also, I do want to make a bit of a point, and not to be overly controversial on this, but we do have a lot of governing colleges today for various health professions. I think I would like to take up a discussion some day with my honourable colleagues on maybe trying to find a way to amalgamate some of these and have sort of a health care college, because a lot of times there are a lot of people doing a lot of the same things and maybe there are some efficiencies to bringing some of these together. But that is definitely a discussion for another day, and one that I will consult with a previous minister and maybe a previous minister as well, but also I'd like to bring up that discussion, I think, with some of my colleagues. With that quick comment, I move second reading of Bill No. 141.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 141. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 146.

Bill No. 146 - Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act.

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

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to move second reading of Bill No. 146, an Act Respecting Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity.

The growing recognition that human activity is a significant cause of climate change will have dramatic effects on the world's economy and on everyone's lifestyle. This bill is our province's response to that growing challenge. It builds on some of the best work government and the private sector have done on the environment and the economy over the past few years.

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The green plan and the Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity, a document put out by the Department of Economic Development, are examples of the work that has been done starting in 2002, so with the NovaKnowledge report on the environmental economy. We enjoy a very sophisticated economy, but it doesn't operate independently of the environment.

Our economy needs countless commodities that we take for granted, that we extract from the air or draw from our waterways, and yet at the same time our people need safe food, healthy water and clean air. The fact is that our quality of life flows directly from the environment. The environment is really another word for the common wealth that we share. So it follows that the healthier our environment will be, the healthier and wealthier our economy will be. This bill, therefore, is about both the environment and the economy.

In April 2006, a report from the President's Council on Innovation proposed that Nova Scotia aim to have the cleanest and most sustainable environment by the year 2025. This bill calls for Nova Scotia to be internationally recognized by 2020, as having one of the cleanest and greenest environments in the world - five years earlier than what the President's Council on Innovation called for. It is, I confess, a very ambitious goal, but big ideas demand big achievements. The bill has more than 21 objectives as a way of establishing our goal, and the bill will hold government accountable for the progress towards these goals.

Now, some of these goals, Mr. Speaker, are new commitments announced earlier, and some are new initiatives now being brought into legislation. Each year the Minister of Environment and Labour, with advice from the Nova Scotia Round Table on Environmental Sustainability, will report to the House of Assembly on progress towards these important goals.

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the most ambitious project is for greenhouse gases. As outlined in the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers' Climate Change Action Plan, this bill aims to bring greenhouse gas emissions down by 10 per cent from the 1990 levels. That is a reduction of 35 per cent from what would be anticipated if the government took no action. That may seem challenging, but other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom and British Columbia, have already established equally, if not more ambitious targets.

Mr. Speaker, this goal of greenhouse gases is also bundled in with other important goals that deal with emission standards from automobiles, nitrogen oxide and sulphuric dioxide emissions, renewable energy needs, commitments to protecting Nova Scotia land mass, and commitments to water resource management, particulate, septic and wetlands. As stated, there are 21 different goals that government can and will be held accountable for.

The responsibility for making this happen, Mr. Speaker, will fall to the green forum of deputy ministers, nine deputy ministers, and all announced earlier by the Premier. Just as an aside on this environmental plan, I do want to give credit to the Premier. When he ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party, he ran on an environmental pillar, and

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when he ran as Premier of the province, he ran on an environmental pillar. I want to point that out, because some people have said that we're jumping on the green bandwagon. Mr. Speaker, when he made that commitment, he made it about a year and a half ago, long before the polls showed that this was the number one issue for Canadians across the country.

So I do want to laud the Premier for his foresight and for his vision, because this bill is one of the most ambitious and visionary bills that any political jurisdiction anywhere in the world is putting forward in terms of the environment and in terms of an sustainable economy. I think it's important that its genesis came a year and a half ago.

The economy and the environment must and will prosper together, Mr. Speaker, and this bill deals with that issue, and deals with it in a very visionary way. I want to also mention thanks to the Party opposite, to the Third Party, because they were the ones that provided leadership when our waste management plan came into operation. That waste management plan has been an environmental and economic boom to the Province of Nova Scotia, resulting in an environmental industry that employs more than 5,000 people and is worth $360 million to our economy.

So, Mr. Speaker, with those few words of introduction, I would take great pleasure in moving second reading of Bill No. 104.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to speak to this bill. This bill is certainly a step forward and, as such, it's absolutely laudable. I know that many people in this province welcome the statement of the ambition to tame some of the environmental demons which had been plaguing us for quite some time and are doing so increasingly.

I have to congratulate the minister. I'm very glad that he has been able to bring this forward in his caucus to get some real commitments, to following through on commitments that have, in some cases, been made previously but certainly are made again.

It's a great idea, although as my colleague said earlier, the proof is in the pudding and I am concerned that perhaps what we have here is more of a list of ingredients than a real recipe. I don't know what the pudding is actually going to be like. Some of the words that are in here and I won't finish them because we're not going clause by clause, but there are phrases here that really do concern me.

There's quite a bit of talk about building on foundations and basing on principles, objectives, goals, the Governor in Council being able to make regulations, being able to make agreements about a very extensive list of matters, which I won't enumerate in whole, but they do include such things as analyses and sampling and data and measurements and verifications and protocols. They include the ability to make public and private funding agreements about sampling, and options for meeting targets; all of these things. If they are

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decisions which are made in Cabinet, are not being made on the floor of the Legislature here today, and it is important that we recognize that we are not being invited to debate the real, hard details - the actual recipe for the pudding.

There's a lot of talk too, about goals, and sustainable prosperity, and goals are indeed laudable, and I do see some hard numbers. Certainly the protection of land mass is something we have been working toward, all of us, in this province for a long time and I hope that we will soon be attaining the 12 per cent land mass and that, in fact, may turn out as the minister said earlier, to be perhaps a minimum amount, rather than a maximum amount. However, there remains some ambiguity about that still.

The question of emission standards is a very, very important one, as of those with greenhouse gases. We have an exhaustive list of greenhouse gases. There's not room for any others, but certainly those which have been identified in the bill, are going to be controlled and numbers which have been mentioned in previous agreements of the province.

What I want to know though, is when we say that we must and will meet these goals, does "must meet goals" mean "will meet goals," and how do we get from "must" to "will"? All of these are things which we are still going to have to look for in regulation and on the ground, when the decisions are made.

I have a tough time when I'm asked about, what is your environmental policy? It's hard to come up with one because, as I said before, environment literally means, surroundings, and as all politics is local, all environment is local, and it manifests in many, many ways, and in some ways, the environment can be viewed almost as something we push against. It doesn't push at us. We push against it, with our decisions. And so far, the decisions that have been made in this province which have an impact, which push against the environment, our natural surroundings, have not always been ones in which it's a fair struggle. Sometimes our surroundings lose, and it has to be admitted, when we look at the health status of this province, that when our surroundings lose, sometimes we lose. We do not have a stellar record when it comes to the chronic health diseases, which can flow from impurities in air, soil and food and water. So we need to be looking at decisions, on the ground, which will have minimal impact on a healthy environment and leave us surrounded with healthy surroundings.

So as I say, the bill is wonderful in that it makes firm and legal commitments to meet some goals, which have been set out. They have been set out previously and we're all grateful to see things enshrined in another layer of law - the more the better. What I'm concerned about though is not what happens in this room, but what happens behind the doors of Cabinet, and there's a lot of detail left out here. So maybe this is a time to talk about some of the decisions which have been made, which haven't necessarily been uncompromising successes for the natural surroundings, the natural environment of Nova Scotia.

[Page 3705]

Protected areas - it has taken a long time to get there and there is still a lot of struggling about just what kind of activities are going to be permitted in the various levels of protected areas. We may protect 12 per cent of the land mass of the province but there remains a question as to just what kind of protection that is. We have wilderness areas, we have nature preserves, even provincial parks to some degree can be considered as protected, so we need to really look at just what protected areas are going to be.

I'd like to say in that regard, as sort of an aside, that we have recently, in recent months, made provision for, what shall I say, the adoption of some fairly large tracts of Crown land into private hands and that doesn't always entail protection. I think you'll remember that from the previous session. However, I hope that when it comes to the reality of protecting areas, that lands will not only be acquired, but that they will be given significant protection once they are there.

I would also like to suggest that another aspect of all this - we talk about sustainable prosperity, this has ramifications in tax policy as well and I would like to see incentive for the protection of private lands as well. I note, for instance, that we continue to assess at whatever is the pre-existing type of assessment, donations of conservation easements and conservation lands and perhaps that is something we want to look at again, whether or not there should be a category of assessment which actually reflects the fact that land has been given over for conservation and that, in fact, there has been a constructive gift of property rights and that is of worth and should be of worth. So that is something that is within the hands of the province to deal with.

There is another area of protection, a place that the province has quite simply not taken up its jurisdiction, as far as I can see, and it is an environmental jurisdiction. I would firmly argue that the protection of the intertidal zone is not just a question of Natural Resources owning the land between the high and low water marks. The intertidal zone is a fit subject for the jurisdiction of the province, the Department of Natural Resources does take it on; but what we have been experiencing as a result of great lack of coordination between various levels of government, all levels of government I should say, is in some places almost unfettered infilling, elimination of the intertidal zone.

When the sloping area, which is sometimes a beach and in some cases is protected by the Department of Natural Resources under the Beaches Act, but only when specially designated. When that sloping area is infilled with a vertical line, there is not only an extension of the municipal and provincial overlapping jurisdiction, there is also the complete elimination of an entire band of the biosphere. That is an important band, in fact, there is a great deal moving, shall we say, in there. In fact even if you look at the decisions around the clam harvesters in the southern part of the province, these are the people who live and work, or who work - hopefully not live - in the intertidal zone.

Speaking of that, living in the intertidal zone, we do need to worry about sea level as well and I hope that in looking at sustainable prosperity, we are also going to be looking

[Page 3706]

at practical, at self-preservation and ensuring that people don't build houses essentially below sea level. As anybody can tell you who has lived in some of the lower parts of this province, it is a dangerous practice. It is not sound for the environment and it is one of those really very direct cases where what is not sound for the environment is certainly not sound either for the economy or for human health.

Fresh water infilling is another place. There are numerous complaints and instances where again, perhaps because of the multiplicity of jurisdictions, infilling happens and once it's there, it tends not to be removed again - very, very damaging. It can be done as part of a building project or it may simply be property extension but where this happens, we are losing habitat, and I wish I had the figures but they don't seem to be available, as to just how many square feet of wetlands we lose.

That brings me to another provision which does concern me in this bill and I think that the concept is excellent but I hope that the execution will be as excellent. And that's the phrase "no net loss of wetlands". It's not quantified. I assume that it means no net loss of wetlands in Nova Scotia, and other departments, federal departments, have policy of no net loss and what that can mean is simply compensation elsewhere.

So what I would really hope not to see is that you have, well I can give at least one example, what is decided to be an unavoidable destruction of wetland which was, again, an infilling usually unavoidable, and therefore what you do is you create another artificial wetland elsewhere. I have to laugh, actually, because there is an area very close to where I live right in the Municipality of Halifax, an enormous amount of money has been spent recently in gouging out a marsh, removing the fill and refilling it. Part of the project description is, and this is a place where people were in the habit of walking dogs, going for hikes, all the normal things that one does in a piece of woods and marshland, but part of the project description is to create a wilderness. I have a little trouble with that and I hope that we are not going to be creating wildernesses everywhere or creating wetlands as a result of simply replacing them, relocating them where they are inconvenient.

This is perhaps a function of the fact there is another problem, or there is another large issue which we haven't really dealt with in this province and that is around the issue of hydrogeological assessments. We don't have a good map of the water resources of the province and we don't have a policy of mapping local watersheds when large areas of development are proposed. This can have, as we have seen in Cape Breton, we have certainly in Harrietsfield, in Herring Cove, numerous areas, in I believe it was the Cornwallis area before - I think it was the Cornwallis area - when you have intrusions into the watertable. The water table moves itself around. It goes somewhere else. It may go into your basement, as I can tell you from personal experience, or it may go into the neighbour's basement or it may simply flow through somebody else's septic field before it returns to the rest of the water table and other people's wells. These are real disturbances and we need to know, we really do need to know what we are doing to the water table in any given area, or to the watershed, when we start intruding into it.

[Page 3707]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable member permit an introduction?

MS. RAYMOND: Of course.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour on an introduction.

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate your willingness to give time for an introduction. I want to draw the attention of the members to the gallery opposite. Bruce and Connie Monk are here from Port Williams, the town where I was brought up as a young person. Bruce is also the one who looks after my scooter, which does so much to help with greenhouse gases, as I mentioned, but more importantly, Bruce and Connie are the parents of Gina Monk who is a Page here in the House who is standing beside them. I would ask the members to give Bruce, Connie and Gina a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, welcome to our special guests visiting us in the gallery today.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. RAYMOND: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and welcome. I hope you will enjoy the proceedings and I hope your daughter has been enjoying the proceedings as she watches them every day from the floor.

So, yes, as I say, it is very important that, in fact, we do have a good picture of the water which underlies the province as we interfere with it, if we are, in fact, going to interfere with it. That is why the phrase "no net loss of habitat" is concerning. I hope we will more closely define it and say - I am sorry, I said habitat - wetland, no net loss of wetland within either a given distance within a watershed or other appropriate parameter. We will need to see that more closely defined, I think, for it to be really meaningful.

This bill talks a great deal about sustainable prosperity and about the waste industry and it's quite true that waste is one of the most significant challenges to our natural surroundings, and how we dispose of it. First there is the question of extraction of resources and secondly, there's the question of disposal. Everything from the emissions, the exhaust fumes that our cars put out and the emissions from the incineration of tires, for instance, right through to the tires themselves that we need to throw away, the glass bottles, the Coca-Cola cans, the soil which may have been contaminated by a spill of domestic fuel oil, personal sewage, municipal sewage, septic, all of these things, all of the by-products, in fact, of our activities are waste which must be dealt with.

[Page 3708]

We have a complex and industrial society which produces a complex and industrial range of waste. Handling it is, as this Bill recognizes, a massive industry. We need to be very sure indeed that this is not only an industrial exercise, but that it is an environmentally healthy exercise. This is one of the places where the regulations really will, in fact, explain what can be done and what are going to be the details of this.

There is a lot of other Bills out there, there is a lot of other things that we do and decisions we make that have impacts on the environment. I don't necessarily see any provision in this Bill that says it will trump, it will prevail over all other Bills, which is almost what you would expect to see in such a broad statement. Even if it doesn't, I hope that it will in fact be considered when the Department of Education makes decisions about closing schools. What does this mean for the amount of transportation that will be needed for people and children to schools, for materials to schools, for community activities that may need to take place in alternative facilities which may need to be built, further possibly the tearing down of schools and the rebuilding of new ones.

I hope it will be considered as well when we make decisions about, in fact when municipalities even make decisions and it should be noted that we don't have environment departments in municipalities as such, but that it will be taken into account when we make urban planning decisions as well, that we will look at the distance people need to travel to get to a grocery store.

I should say that in my own area I have - as I have often told you - an interesting riding because it encompasses some very dense development along the shores of the Northwest Arm and goes right out to communities like Pennant, of 20 families at most, people who do not any longer have access to a doctor, a grocery store, they never did have access to a bank right there, but who don't have easy access to any of the facilities that we actually do need in today's world, also don't have transit, there's no public transit.

If a municipality is going to say, we will not zone for a store, a bank, a grocery, a post office - these are examples that I'm giving, in fact, more from my own childhood than from the moment, but I know the decisions are still being made. If zoning forbids those things to exist in a given community, what is the impact on the environment going to be?

I should note that interestingly in one of my communities, there was a decision recently to open an agency liquor store and that appeared to be largely something to minimize driving distance. There's not a doctor's office and there's not a bank, but there is at least a local liquor store and that was apparently, I'm told, to keep down the driving distances. So one does want to look at those kinds of decisions as well and that is somewhere we have to engage municipalities. Municipalities have to be engaged in making environmentally sound decisions. Again, I don't see where this bill does that but I hope this bill will do that. I wish everybody all success in gaining broad cooperation for the kinds of decisions that will need to be made. Public transit, again, a very real concern - if we don't

[Page 3709]

have it, then people are going to be driving and those greenhouse gas emissions are going to continue in full spate.

I also hear sometimes about other waste materials. There are rumours and it's interesting because people are very concerned, and they've been concerned for a very long time, about some of the materials that they feel have been - certainly illegally but nonetheless - dumped in the woods, in water, and in streams. This is maybe a good place for me to say that one of those concerns I have - it was brought to my attention quite some time ago - is that there are places in my constituency, which I have not seen, where people take fluorescent light bulbs to dump them and that, of course, is a problem because of the amount of mercury that's contained in them. Although a fluorescent light bulb - the conventional tube sort - may use less energy, and so does the new compact fluorescent light bulb - it may use less energy but, unfortunately, it is also mercury-containing. Until our electronic waste regulations deal specifically with the disposal of mercury-containing light bulbs, then we need to be careful about how cheerfully we mandate that everybody must use them, or if that's going to be the case.

So there are always two sides, at least two sides. There are, in fact, many sides to these decisions and we can only hope that they will be made with due consideration. I really do, you know, I commend the breadth of the bill, absolutely. There are a number of details lurking and I hope the devil is not lurking in those details.

One of the important goals which has been stated - and it is quantified and I'm very glad to see it quantified - is the one which says that by 2013, 18.5 per cent of our electricity will be generated by renewables. Again, laudable, and I hope we're going to be able to get to it. We have an awful lot of mud to swim through while we try to get full access for renewable forms or alternative energy to the transmission grid. There's an awful lot of negotiating to be done. There's a tremendous amount of work and, yes, you know, it's still not being easy to get those alternate forms of energy hitched up to the grid. So we have a long way to go on that and that will be one of the more challenging ones, I suspect. So, again, I hope that "must" is going to turn out to be exactly the same thing as "will" meet these goals.

I don't know if, yes, I could go on because there are so many different individual environmental decisions that have had an impact on the Nova Scotia environment and continue to. They're decisions that are being made every single day. We can educate as much as we want, but unless we provide the actual means to be environmentally responsible, it's going to be very difficult. I mentioned public transit a minute ago and a particular bugbear of mine has been the loss of the public ferries which used to traverse the Northwest Arm, and that's a particular bugbear of mine because I live on the number 15 bus route and the number 15 bus route, as far as I know, has not changed since 1965 when it was taken over from Acadian Lines. We're talking two miles beyond the Armdale Rotary and that's not really very good. It has taken people, once every 63 minutes, as far as I can figure out, 63 minutes, or 57 minutes, but it has taken people to exactly the same destination for years

[Page 3710]

and years. Everything in that destination has changed - the demographics have changed - but there seems not to have been any significant investment in transit, which says we actually want people to be taking a bus rather than driving around the rotary.

That, of course, is what led to my interest in seeing the old ferries, which used to so regularly traverse the Arm, all two minutes distance, moving people instead of cars, and we are going to need to focus on moving people instead of cars. When it comes to the questions of parking on the peninsula, or in any of these other constrained towns - because our towns in Nova Scotia, many of them follow very, very old urban planning principles and are designed to a tight grid, narrow streets and they're just not particularly car-friendly. I suppose the question is, why should they be? But they aren't car-friendly, they don't leave a great deal of parking room and so people have an enormous amount of incentive, not just education, but incentive to get out of their cars, as they say. But, we are not giving them the means to get out of their cars. I hear numerous complaints and I have, myself, experienced what it's like to try to ride a bicycle through the denser parts of Halifax and it is dangerous. It really is not something one would recommend.

So, there are a lot of things that need to be done at the municipal level as well. This bill is only going to have real teeth if it has the co-operation, or if it has the engagement, of the municipalities of the province, which make the on the ground decisions that so frequently influence our natural environment. Whether they're in energy use or in waste disposal, whether they are in transit or in the zoning type of houses, all of these things-we need to have the engagement of local governments because all environment is local, just as, perhaps, all politics is local.

I hope that this bill will be able to withstand the challenges that are going to come up against it, the challenges that are going to come out of the details. Right now, what we have is a number of problems of sewage and septic disposal. We have the problem of the tires, which have to be disposed of somehow and it would appear that a decision has been made that disposal is okay as long as it recovers energy, just plain incineration or burning energy recovery.

If that's going to be how recycling is defined in this province, then we may find ourselves, perhaps with less waste, but with an awful lot more pieces of the waste in the air, in our lungs, in our food, in our soil, in our food and in our drinking water. So I think we need to look very, very carefully at what kinds of proposals are made for the disposal of waste because it doesn't, unfortunately, just go away. It changes form, but it just comes back smaller. These are the kinds of details, like the question of the incineration of tires, that we're going to need to worry about in great detail.

[9:15 p.m.]

I hope, as well, that we're going to look at the questions of contaminated soil. Again, we've had an attitude for a long time that when things go, they just plain go away. It seems

[Page 3711]

to me if you decide that something, or you have established that something is a problem, that it's a contaminant and that it's not a safe thing to have around, it would be a good idea to know where it goes. I have always been amazed at the truckloads of soil designated contaminated, which move freely around the province, it would appear, and sometimes seem to resurface in other areas.

Maybe that's not the case, but we don't have a way of proving it's not the case. That is a source of enormous anxiety for a great number of people. It is, of course, a big piece of the testing industry and so on is to find out what's in the soil and where. We do have to worry about our food supply.

On that topic, another set of decisions which we have been having to make recently, which really could afford to reflect environmental concerns, is the set of decisions around local food. Local food, by definition - even if you call it food from within the province or the Atlantic Region, whatever you want to call it, or the town - hasn't travelled as far as it sometime does. It is lettuce that hasn't travelled from California; it is pork that hasn't travelled from one of the western provinces.

Local food may sometimes be food that has been grown by individuals in a community garden, and again this is where the municipal government comes into play because the difficulties that many people have established - I don't know how good they are as gardeners necessarily, they may not be but without being able to stick a shovel in the ground many people have experienced enormous difficulties in being allowed to find a place to start off a community garden, which is a very popular way in many large cities in North America and certainly has a longstanding tradition in Europe and Britain, a way of producing very, very local food. It doesn't need a whole lot of transportation.

These are the things that may seen unrealistic to people who aren't used to this but these are also the kinds of small decisions that people need to be able to make. People need to be empowered, they need to be even permitted to make the decisions that will give us the environmentally sustainable prosperity that we're looking for. If people are literally forbidden from making those decisions, forbidden from educating their children within walking distance, forbidden from visiting their parents in a seniors' home which is not an hour's drive away, forbidden from growing food in a shared garden because they live in an apartment building, forbidden by the absence of transit from doing anything but taking a car and, in some cases, forbidden from taking a job while living in a particular area of town because if you can't afford a car and you can't afford transit, then you can't afford to work - all of these things. We are only going to have a sustainable economy and a prosperous province and a physically and socially healthy province if, in fact, this list of ingredients, which is the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Bill, turns out to have a real recipe behind it, to have some real details, to have some hard ability to make those decisions and say, we are going to not just prevent certain activities, we're going to actually empower them.

[Page 3712]

That may be a great deal to ask but I think this bill is an excellent step along the way; it is a statement of principle and I hope very much that the principle will be backed up on the ground, in the air, in the water, in Nova Scotia. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I stand to talk regarding this bill. As the minister indicated in his opening remarks, it is an ambitious bill with some very ambitious targets. It is unfortunate that we have to come up with these plans to protect our environment sort of at the seventh hour or the ninth hour, or whatever you want to call it, when so many people are now talking about the environment and things that need to be done in an environment to protect things.

You know the environment is on the radar now and as a whole world, we have to work together to try to make our environment a safer and better place to live, a place that is free of smog and all the other things that typically we didn't know existed in Nova Scotia many years ago.

I can tell you now in the mornings when you drive into HRM from Porter's Lake where I live, there is, on a still day, an orange cloud over the city and probably before long, unless we make some changes to the emissions that are coming out of the stacks at different places in the downtown area, many people are going to get ill from the orange smoke and possibly die from that orange smoke. It's a sad state of affairs. At one time, you walked out of your home, and I can remember, as a young man, when I got my first vehicle, you cleaned the inside of the windshield in your car, you didn't have to do it very often, it stayed very clean. Now you can clean it today and by the end of the week you've got to clean it again. That just shows the contaminants that are in the air and those contaminants are not only on your windshield but they are in your lungs and causing all kinds of difficulties, I am sure, as we can see by our health care costs growing and growing.

Now the government talks about this bill and I thank the minister and his staff for briefing us on the bill and I think there are a lot of very good things in this bill, a lot of things that are long overdue and I want to commend the staff in the department and the minister for moving in this direction. But I do have many concerns. I guess the most topical one at the present time is the burning of tires. Now the minister continually says that there hasn't been an application, or at least last week he said there hasn't been an application from the cement plant to actually get a permit or approval to burn tires.

However, the other arm of Environment, which is supposed to be the Resource Recovery Fund Board, which is supposed to be clear of the government, I realize that. It was set up by our government to really reduce and recycle and reuse products, has awarded the contract to the Lafarge cement plant to burn tires. There seems to be, on one hand, little effort to try and recycle this product, and on the other hand, the minister says we haven't got an application yet. I am quite anxious to see the study that has been done by Dalhousie

[Page 3713]

University and the terms of reference for that study. I am more interested in seeing that than the study itself because if the terms of reference, you can ask someone to do a study and depending on your terms of reference, you can pretty well determine what your outcome is going to be. I hope, in this case, it was a broad term and the university was allowed to actually research this completely and check with the best experts in the world on this topic. I am sure there are people out there who have done a lot of studies on this.

So it is a real dilemma. Here we are talking about some very ambitious approaches in the environment, to improve things in the environment, and on the other hand, the Resource Recovery Fund Board is going to take away an opportunity to possibly recycle tires that we are actually aggressively going after some companies to do that and maybe even help them financially but instead of that, they gave an award to a cement plant to burn whole tires and actually pay them to pick them up. So not only are they getting free fuel, but they are getting paid to pick the fuel up. So it doesn't seem like it's much recycling in that thing. I am very disappointed the Resource Recovery Fund Board has decided to take this decision and I would be very happy if they would see the errors of their ways and if they were actually to rescind that decision and then look at some other, more attractive ways to reduce, recycle and reuse these tires in ways. I know they have found other ways and I think rather than paying someone to pick these tires up that are going to burn them, they might want to put some of that money into a reuse program.

I asked last year in the estimates about the Minister of Environment and Labour or the year before, about Nova Scotia Power and its emissions. I was told at that time, if my memory is correct, and I am sure the minister will correct me on this if I am not, but I think this is correct, that Nova Scotia Power actually monitors its own emissions. Now I have talked to some former employees of Nova Scotia Power who were involved in this process and they indeed say the emissions are extremely high and in some places in their plant I understand, that you have to wear Scott Air Packs to actually work and this is happening today, and that's very scary. If the employees have to wear Scott Air Packs, in other words to breathe so it doesn't damage their lungs or their health, this material is getting outside the plant, so it definitely is going to hurt somebody outside the plant, even though it may be diluted. So that's something that probably the Minister of Environment and Labour might want to look at to see if this is actually happening, and I've got no reason to doubt that it is, and maybe we can get some action taken there to protect the employees of the plant, who definitely wouldn't make a report for fear of repercussion, probably. Not that the Nova Scotia Power is a bad employer - which they aren't, they're a good employer - but it just doesn't seem to make sense that right in downtown Dartmouth, you can have a plant that has so many emissions internally you have to wear a Scott Air Pack to work in there. That is pretty dangerous stuff.

Years ago, I was trained to work at a heavy water plant in Glace Bay and in Ontario under contracts there and to wear a Scott Air Pack and the course we took there was Four Minutes to Live and it was with hydrogen sulphide. That is a very nasty situation when you're dealing with that and unfortunately, people have died from that in the past. I know

[Page 3714]

there's no hydrogen sulphide - at least I hope there's not - at the Nova Scotia Power plant in Dartmouth or anywhere else they burn Bunker C.

You can go on and on with all these different issues and you see the environment getting worse, you see our lakes suffering from acid rain, I can give you an example. On the East River in Sheet Harbour, there was a liming program that was promoted by the local organization in the area, which I gave them a tremendous amount of credit for when I was Fisheries Minister and prior to my time as Fisheries Minister, of the previous Fisheries Minister of our government at the time came up with a liming program for that river. I can tell you, I'm an avid sport fisherman and the fish that they're now getting out of that series of lakes and rivers are just incredible, they've grown a lot faster, they're a lot healthier, and that's all because of the liming process.

Now we shouldn't have to do these programs and I realize acid rain isn't just from Nova Scotia, not just created here - it's created in New England and in Ontario and we're the recipients of a lot of acid rain. So we really have to work outside our borders too to help protect our valuable resource.

I can remember some family members in the 1940s in Nova Scotia - there was a vibrant business in the lodges and fishing resorts. Things like that that are now gone because of the acid raid and poor management, but at the same time, places like Newfoundland and Labrador will hopefully protect their fish stocks and wildlife stocks and have a very vibrant industry there. The industry is indeed helping the economy and these things do help the economy, so a good environment often means a very good economy. People want to come here. People don't want to go see garbage, smoke coming out of smokestacks. They want to come to see Nova Scotia as a pristine, quiet environment and visit with the wonderfully friendly people we have here.

There is another issue here that hasn't been addressed in the bill and it's one that I hope the minister will comment on when he does his wrap-up on the bill. In the past, there was a problem of getting rid of solid plastics from manufacturing facilities, in other words, off cuts of sheets, chips from machining process and other plastics. Lo and behold, unless it has changed recently, you worked with these plastics, you weren't allowed to put them in the garbage, you couldn't recycle them, in other words you simply couldn't get rid of them. So what were you supposed to do with them?

[9:30 p.m.]

A friend of mine who was in business and has since gone out of business made several enquiries to the Department of Environment a few years ago and was told, we don't know what to do with the stuff. The Resource Recovery Fund Board won't take it, you can't put it in a blue bag, you can't put it in the garbage, so what are you going to do with it? To this day I don't know what he did with it, but I know he didn't dump it in the woods. Luckily you could reuse some of the material but some of you just simply couldn't. So that's an issue

[Page 3715]

that really has to be addressed here in Nova Scotia. A lot of this plastic that is properly identified can be recycled and resold and remelted and remolded into more products, but it has to be clearly identified to do that and it would be easy enough to do, especially any manufacturer because they want to know what products they're dealing with and where their scrap is from.

[Page 3716]

So as you look through the process and see these things, it all comes together to paint not a very positive picture, a picture that could be very positive. I'm going to touch on illegal dumping. Well, in my constituency, one cleanup on one stretch of road cost this province $140,000; $140,000 to clean up illegal dumping on one piece of road. When you look at that and wonder, you know - there were refrigerators, there were old cars, everything imaginable. It took dump trucks days and days to haul this away and even with a $140,000 price tag, there was a lot of volunteer time and labour put into that cleanup.

Now, I go on that same road again and lo and behold, it's piled full of junk again, probably not to the level it was before, because it was many years since that had been cleaned up and it probably wouldn't have been cleaned up - I was regional councillor at the time - it wouldn't have been cleaned up if we hadn't brought the CBC out to do a story on it. As a result of that, Clean Nova Scotia got involved and worked with them very closely and they worked with the province and the Department of Transportation and Public Works. They did do the cleanup and I thank them for doing that, but there has been nothing in the area to do prevention. There has been nothing in the area to stop this activity happening.

You know, the Resource Recovery Fund Board rewards the municipalities for recycling, reusing and the Blue Bag Program. So the less garbage they have to put in the dumps, which is a great idea, the more they can recycle and the bigger cheque they get from the province, that's fine. So what they do, the municipality comes along a few years ago and says, well, you can take 10 garbage bags here with garbage in them. That's too many, that's admitted, but now it's down to three. So, luckily, there's one thing that saved us on this, this three program. The refrigerators, the stoves and all the parts with metal in them now have quite a significant value. So typically, even though the municipality frowns upon it, there are some entrepreneurs who go around and gather these things up and take them off to the scrap yard and can make themselves a handy day's pay if they can get a half-ton truck load of it and I thank those people for doing that because at least it keeps it out of the dumps and away from there.

But the municipality has come up with a plan, you've got three green bags. That's great. So what will the people do who have four and five? I can tell you what they do with them, they throw them in the trunk of the car, find the nearest property where nobody can see them and throw them out. So instead of being able to deal with that garbage in a reasonable manner, now we've got cleanup costs. We've got pollution costs. We've got mess that's beyond belief when you see some of these dumps and it's hard to believe.

So I think that the municipalities have to be held responsible for some of this stuff. If they're going to get a cheque from the province, from RRFB, and I think that's a good plan, but if there are going to be cleanups done, cleanups to clean up this garbage that they will not take, then that should come off the cheque that the RRFB gives the municipality. They would only have to do that one year and then the municipality would come up with a plan and help eliminate this illegal dumping. It's not just the municipalities' responsibility, it's all of our responsibility as citizens and the province's responsibility as well.

[Page 3717]

I remember doing a cleanup of the Montague Road and that day, luckily, the RCMP was present. They were helping with the cleanup too, and they found three garbage bags from three different homes, and exactly what I'm talking about happened. The garbage people wouldn't take the extra bag, they left it there. So the person threw it in the car, went up the end of the Montague Road and threw it out on the side of the road. Luckily, they left their names in them. So the RCMP took the bags in the squad car, went over and knocked on the people's doors, told them here is a garbage bag, it's your garbage, and I think there was a ticket issued at that time as well, which there should have been and, hopefully, those people learned a lesson.

But this thing shouldn't have to happen. It shouldn't have to happen. We've got the Enviro-Depots. The Enviro-Depots in this province are doing an excellent job and a lot of those Enviro-Depots barely make a living. If it's in a small area and they're using a small volume of product, they barely make a living. I mean it has just been a few years ago that the government saw - after I pushed and pushed the municipality to get these people to take paint because paint was being dumped all over the place, to the Enviro-Depots, and actually turned it into a business for the people who pick up the paint and work with the paint. So it's been a very positive thing.

Now, RRFB decided that the Enviro-Depots aren't going to take cardboard anymore. It was so simple for me to take some cans and juice jugs and whatever I had in recyclables and my cardboard to the recycling depot. If I leave it out at the end of the driveway and it rains then it gets wet - guess what? The municipality won't take it, so what do you do with it?

I can tell you, a lot of people dump it in the woods. We can't have that happening. People think in the woods it just goes away, but it doesn't. It causes a lot of problems. But, if you go back to the Enviro-Depots, there's no reason the Enviro-Depots can't take the propane cylinders. I was recently out to one of the places that refills propane tanks and I had a tank that was expired, over the 10 year period, and I said to the young man, what do you do with these propane tanks? He said, we take them and we ship them to another country and lo and behold they use them for another 10 years because they have a 20-year limit on them instead of 10.

Now, why couldn't our RRFB find that out? Boys, it shouldn't be very hard. This company found out pretty quickly and they actually sell these bottles they get for nothing and make some money off them. So, it doesn't appear that everything is going the way it should be. Those propane bottles should be able to go back to the Enviro-Depots even if the RRFB has to provide adequate storage facilities for these bottles until they can be properly taken away and looked after.

It's the same as someone with a refrigerator and they're moving away. The municipality will come - at least, in this municipality - and take the refrigerant out of it free of charge and tag it so that the garbage will take it away. As I say, there are a lot of

[Page 3718]

entrepreneurs out there now that will come along and pick up the refrigerator before HRM does and make a few dollars off it and I think that's fine. But, why couldn't the Enviro-Depots take these refrigerators and stoves if someone was moving, so they could drop them off there, especially the refrigerators, then the people who take the refrigerant out of it and do several refrigerators at one time and save the municipality a lot of money and also have the facility there to do that. It would be so simple to do.

It would make a few extra dollars for the Enviro-Depots and just make it easier. You have to make it easy for people. If you don't make it easy, they'll break the rules. It's that simple.

So, you would have the Enviro-Depots taking propane cylinders - with proper training and proper storage facilities that RRFB could invest in. Because there are not that many of these small businesses around. They could take waste oils. Waste oils now have a value. If someone changes their oil at home, they could take it in there and put it in a waste oil facility, providing they have the proper storage facilities which are available - these things are available - and, have these things recovered and pay a fee to the people that do this stuff, to the Enviro-Depots, to make sure they can make some return on the work they do.

The list goes on and on. There are so many things these little businesses could be doing to make it simple for Nova Scotians to get rid of what we consider trash. When you really look at this, the possibilities are unlimited.

The province just announced e-waste. Now, we're going to handle e-waste - are we going to burn that like we're going to burn the tires? I hope not. It's possible. RRFB is going to look after it, so it may happen. I don't know, but a lot of this e-waste could be used over again - some very precious metals, it may be difficult to extract from there, but there have to be ways to do this.

I come from an entrepreneurial background and a problem is an opportunity. But if you're not allowing entrepreneurs access to these opportunities, the opportunities will never become profitable. That's what you have to do with opportunities. You have to create these. We have some of the best entrepreneurs in the world right here in Nova Scotia. You travel all over the world and who do you see when you're on business trips? People from Nova Scotia selling their goods and their ideas and their expertise and their products - people all over the world.

If you give these people the tools to work with and the opportunities, they will make a business. They will employ people, they will take products that were junk and turn them into something they can make money with, but they have to have seed money, they have to have opportunities to do this, and they have to have research to show that it's possible to do it.

[Page 3719]

So when you look at the environment there are so many economic opportunities that it is impossible to imagine what they all are. You really have to set up an environment for these things to work. You have to say to small business, we have close to one million tires a year, how can you make money off it, and what do you need to make money off that? What start-up costs do you have to get this going?

It could be as simple as - I've had discussions with the RRFB about chipping the tires into chunks and using them for aggregate under roadbeds, using them in septic fields and other things. Their solution to it was, well, nobody was interested in investing in that equipment. Well, why didn't the RRFB invest in the equipment and get portable equipment, if it's possible to get, and I am sure it is, and go around to these gravel pits that could use this product and chip these tires up at a small fee, and do it, and they have really cheap aggregate and something that you could move when the roads are closed. You could move a truckload of this material where you can't move a truckload of gravel and probably get some work done that you couldn't do in the off-season, which would help the construction industry and would also help the environment. But no, they couldn't think of that. They just wanted someone to come in and fix everything for them and just walk away from it.

I'm not beating on the Resource Recovery Fund Board, because I think they do an excellent job in some areas, but there are so many areas that could be improved and so many positive things could happen for Nova Scotians. Could you imagine if you could take those nearly 900,000-plus tires in Nova Scotia and employ 40 or 50 people a year reusing, recycling and reducing these to products that can be used - just think of the economic impact, rather than just burning these things, I know the cement operation needs cheap, reliable fuel, but fuel at what expense - at the expense of Nova Scotians, at the expense of Nova Scotians' health. So I think the RRFB has to do a better job on this, and it is up to the government to demand that this process stop, and also tell the RRFB, give them a directive that they are not allowed to burn these tires, and stop the process.

I can't see that happening. Rather than doing that - and I have a lot of respect for the minister but the minister says we haven't got an application yet - rather than saying to the RRFB look for other places and other things you can do with these tires, because we're not going to give approval for this, period, regardless of what the environmental review does. Years ago, there were so many things that were safe, things we were told were safe for us and safe for our health, all the PCBs that used to be in the car seats at one time were safe but we sure found out that they are not safe any more. So how do we know what's going to happen when we burn tires?

I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and a lot of problems and a lot of emissions that come out of that, dear knows what it is doing to our health. I mean, if you get a permit here in the regional municipality to burn brush, which you can get in some of the rural areas, and you take a tire and put it underneath that pile of brush and light that fire, you can get fined for burning that tire.

[Page 3720]

Now, why is the municipality going to fine you for burning a tire, when the province is going to say it is okay to burn tires? So there is something wrong with this picture altogether. So I think that the province had better review this whole situation and stop even considering burning tires. It just doesn't make sense in today's environment.

As you go through this whole process and you see the targets that the environment set in this bill, and there are some pretty ambitious targets, I'll go back again to the monitoring of Nova Scotia Power and other large facilities and ask them how they're actually monitoring each individual facility. I know they have air monitoring systems all over the province, but it is better to have those as well as having individual monitoring at the actual sites where the facilities are, to see who is responsible for these pollutants that are going into the air, see who is actually responsible, get the proof of this. You can put the fox in the hen house to look after the hens but soon you don't have any hens. It's sort of an old analogy but I can tell you, you let someone burn whatever they want to burn and take no responsibility for anything, all of a sudden, you are going to find that they are doing whatever they can do to make a dollar and really don't care about the environment.

[9:45 p.m.]

I remember years ago that everybody was smoking and it was great for your health, there was no problem at all and we sure have seen the people who got all the different cancers that come from smoking and the lawsuits that have been waged and won against the tobacco companies for the health hazards they have created.

So it makes you wonder, when we are going to monitor things, the Department of Environment and Labour should be doing the monitoring. Not only should they be doing the monitoring, but for the large companies and the companies that are suspect of being polluters, that monitoring should be paid for by, not the taxpayers, but by that company and it should be done by the Department of Environment and Labour's supervision and monitoring under a quality assurance system that guarantees we are getting the right information, guarantees that we are knowing exactly what is coming out of the stacks and being dumped down the sewers and everything else.

You know there is another issue that I haven't heard talked about very much around here, is the chemicals that are being dumped in the sewer system. So someone has some chemicals and they want to get rid of them, they don't have to account for them, where do they go? Down the toilet. Down the drain. And then where do they go? Well, right now they go in the harbour - and we wonder why we have such pollution in our harbour. I have been out there fishing and pulled the anchor up after we fished and there was this black sludge up the rope probably about 8 feet or 10 feet that's laying on the bottom of the harbour out here. I have talked to some divers who have been down working in that environment, and they say it is unbelievable.

[Page 3721]

So hopefully this sewer treatment system that the city is putting together here is going to help this but really all that is going to do is chemically treat the sewer and take the solids out. Well, that will clean up some of our beaches, some of the plastic components that happen to get on the beach, but it's not going to do much to really clean it. So hopefully some day the province will see its way fit to really help the municipality in going to a tertiary sewage treatment system here in HRM and set a standard. I know when I was on council and trying to get funding for this process, it was very difficult from the province to get that and they were the last holdouts in order to make that project work and I think the smallest funder of anybody.

But it is these things we have to look at. How many chemicals are going in our harbour every day that we don't know about, the unseen poisons that are going out? People don't talk about these because you don't see them. They are not in the air and you don't see them in the water because the harbour here flushes so much every day that only occasionally would you see something like that and it's diluted so much when you get there. But the pollution and some of these chemicals can, you know, very few parts per million can do a tremendous amount of damage. When you look at that damage and what it does to the ecosystem and remember, too, when all this stuff is going in the harbour here, and not only this harbour but other sewage treatments over Nova Scotia dump directly in the harbour.

Don't forget you are eating lobsters that feed on the bottom, you are eating the fish that come out of there and everything else. So you are picking up toxins in your food chain and you have no idea when you go to one of the local lobster supply places here, where that lobster was caught, or if it is contaminated or not, and there is really no test to see if that lobster was contaminated, none, or if that fish was contaminated. There is none. So you eat these things in good faith and hope you don't get sick and the trouble with a lot of these cancers are, you probably are getting sick for many years before anything shows up and the more and more people we see with cancers and other respiratory diseases and other diseases that are caused partially by our work environment, our living environment, our home environment, it's more and more difficult to identify what is happening to people.

We see the Health Minister stand up and he says every day that we can't afford this drug for somebody who is dying because it would cost us too much and another drug we can't afford and we're getting to a point in health care if you have money you live and if you don't have money you don't live, which is a sad state of affairs. But if we could stop those diseases from starting, we wouldn't have to have all of these costs and that's where we really have to air, and I think we are many, many years away from that. It is good to see when you talk to people today, they are acutely aware of their environment and they're very concerned about things.

You talk about radon gas and things that come up from underneath the concrete in your home. One day you didn't know what that was, now you have carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide monitors in your homes - people didn't have those years ago and didn't appear to need them at that time. So, all of these things are getting more and more prevalent

[Page 3722]

in our society. Some of the things we can't really control here in Nova Scotia. We can control some things, we can improve some things, we can do the best we can and the targets that the department has set to reduce the emissions, I don't think they'll make them. They didn't make the last targets they set, they really didn't come close - not even close.

It is nice to set targets. We can set a target that we're going to pass 50 laws tomorrow - guess what, we won't even pass one, but that's the reality of what's going on here. If we are going to set these targets we have to get serious about them, we have to make it easy for people. We have to help educate people, we have to educate ourselves and we have to take the best possible scientific evidence we have. Now sometimes that's not obvious because I ran a business for a long time and always thought some of these products we were making, we were making lots of money on. So I put a job cost system in place and found that the ones I thought I was making money on I was losing money on and the ones I thought I was losing money on I was making money on. I didn't have the monitoring tools before that to do it but once I got those monitoring tools, I made money on everything.

You've got to have the monitoring tools there, you have to know what you're dealing with in order to correct it. For instance, if Nova Scotia Power is monitoring their own stats - and they are, they are monitoring their own stats so the information potentially is filtered before the Department of Environment gets it. I won't say that it's tampered with because I don't think they do that but it's filtered. If the Department of Environment and Health says, okay, we've got a problem with a particular chemical and that chemical has caused this disease and they go look at the records of Nova Scotia Power, well those guys aren't causing a problem because they don't have much of that chemical.

If you really did the tests the way they should be done, maybe they do have that chemical and maybe they're the source of that problem. If they are, then they need to be legislated so they change that. Maybe they're not the source of it, maybe the source comes from New England and then we have to get after New England to rid of this for our sake and for their sake as well, or maybe it comes from Ontario, but these things only can be resolved it you know what you're dealing with. Quite frankly, I don't believe the Department of Environment knows what they're dealing with here, not because we don't have good staff, because we do have good staff and not because they don't want to do this. It's because we don't have the structure to do it. I'm not sure this bill will give us the structure.

It's like anything, if you're growing a garden and your plants don't grow, what do you do? Do you just give up gardening? No. You just start to find out what's wrong with your soil. Maybe you didn't water it enough, maybe you don't have the proper fertilizers or if you're not going to use fertilizers, use the natural fertilizers. Maybe you have to lime the ground, maybe there's too much gravel in it, who knows? But you'll find out very quickly what's wrong; you'll do that by doing due diligence, investigation and trial and error in that case if you're not a farmer A farmer could probably come and look at the soil and say it's no good, nothing will grow anyway because they have the experience. If we don't have that kind of expertise and we don't take those kinds of measurements, we are not going to be able

[Page 3723]

to know what we have to do and what we have to fix because some of these things - if we could monitor these things and say, we have to eliminate S02. We have to get rid of it in our air.

So let's find out who is putting it out, let's find out where the sources are, what you have to do to clean that up before it comes out and a way to monitor it that when you're done you know you've accomplished your goals. But no, we don't have any of that and we don't have any source evaluation where this stuff comes from. So until we get structures put in place that will tell us what our problems are, in real terms, in real time, and then how those affect our health, our environment, and everything else that is going on, how can you fix it? It is like taking your car in - a real simple analogy - and saying the transmission is slipping and the mechanic says no, your motor is gone, and guess what, your transmission is still slipping when he puts in a new motor in your car that you don't need.

If we don't do the testing here to know exactly what it is, how are we going to fix it? I still think to this day - and I don't think I'll every change my mind on this - the companies that are providing or are causing the pollution in this area should be paying for the monitoring by an independent company or by the Department of the Environment, but either way, under the complete control and monitoring of the Department of Environment. I know this bill will give the minister and the department some more tools and the more tools they have, the better, as far as I am concerned. We really have to work on these things to ensure that we get the information; we have to be innovative and we have to be persistent. And, Mr. Speaker, with those words I would like to adjourn the debate for today and take my place again and finish the rest of my time another day.

MR. SPEAKER: The debate has been adjourned.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader on House hours.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That concludes the government's business for the day and I move that the House be adjourned, to sit tomorrow at 12:00 noon, until 8:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, Question Period will follow and the estimates for the Department of Health, and if time permits, perhaps second reading on public bills.

MR. SPEAKER: The House will now rise and meet again tomorrow from the hour of 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 9:58 p.m.]

[Page 3724]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2117

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas the Annapolis Royal Lions Club is celebrating 50 years of responding to the needs of the residents of its community; and

Whereas members dedicate many volunteer hours helping senior citizens, running drug awareness programs, conducting blood runs, holding youth speak-outs, providing eyeglasses, hearing aids and medical equipment to those in need, offering student bursaries, and financially assisting the Annapolis Health Centre in support of the community health van program; and

Whereas April is Lions Club Awareness Month - a month dedicated to recognizing the valuable contribution and active interest this organization takes in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Annapolis Royal Lions Club for the betterment of the community, and extend congratulations to club members on their 50th Charter Night celebration on March 31, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 2118

By: Hon. Barry Barnet (Communications Nova Scotia)

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

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

Whereas The Digby Courier has been recognized by the association in two categories - placing third for Best All-Round Newspaper with a circulation base between 2,000 and 2,999, while Courier photographer, Jonathan Riley, placed second for Best Feature Photo in newspapers with a circulation up to 3,999; and

[Page 3725]

Whereas The Digby Courier will be recognized at the Canadian Community Newspapers Association Better Newspaper Competition Gala Awards Banquet on the evening of May 11th in Winnipeg, Manitoba;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud editor, John DeMings, photographer Jonathan Riley, and all staff, for their impressive work at The Digby Courier and for being recognized as one of the best community newspapers in Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 2119

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 the North Preston Mini-Bulls had to settle for a bronze medal at the Nova Scotia Division 5 Mini-Boys Basketball Championship in Windsor over the weekend; and

Whereas the North Preston team consisted of a small arsenal of young fellows who could run, shoot and pass a basketball in an exceptionally impressive fashion; and

Whereas in the round robin portion of the schedule, the Mini-Bulls actually defeated the eventual champion, Windsor Shooting Stars, 69-67 in perhaps the best game of the entire tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend North Preston Mini-Bulls head coach, Colter Simmonds, and his entire Bulls team for displaying such an exhilarating fashion of basketball all weekend long in Windsor, while congratulating them on their bronze medal win.

RESOLUTION NO. 2120

By: Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay)

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

Whereas Ms. Theresa Brewster is the chair for the Universal Negro Improvement Association Heritage Museum; and

Whereas as part of African Heritage Month, Ms. Susan LeBlanc Ward's Grade 2 class at Glace Bay Elementary School decided to raise money for the UNIA Heritage Museum through the sale of bracelets; and

[Page 3726]

Whereas the students of Ms. LeBlanc Ward's Grade 2 class sold 420 bracelets, raising a total of $210, which was presented to Ms. Brewster during her visit to the school, along with the remaining bracelets which are to be sold at the Universal Negro Improvement Association Heritage Museum;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Theresa Brewster, Ms. Susan LeBlanc Ward, and the Grade 2 students at Glace Bay Elementary School for their time, effort and dedication to this very important project, as well as bringing awareness to the UNIA Heritage Museum.

RESOLUTION NO. 2121

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Lucas Hurley, a student at River Hebert District High School, placed overall winner at the Spelling Bee 4 Literacy event; and

Whereas Lucas participated in the Spelling Bee 4 Literacy event held in February at the River Hebert School; and

Whereas this was the first annual Spelling Bee 4 Literacy with students from both Grade 7 and Grade 8 competing, with Lucas studying hard to place overall winner;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Lucas Hurley on this achievement, and we wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2122

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Ken Brownell, owner of Ross Anderson Pharmacy in Springhill, was honoured with the title of 2006 Business Person of the Year; and

Whereas since 1992, Mr. Brownell has been a part of the pharmaceutical industry, working for Doug Ross and Bud Anderson, taking over ownership of the pharmacy in 1998; and

[Page 3727]

Whereas Ken Brownell is well-known for his strong leadership and values his employees as a huge part of the pharmacy's success;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Ken Brownell on receiving this prestigious award and we wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2123

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Keith and Lorna Crowe of Mapleton were presented with a plaque by MPANS Vice-President Brian Allaway at the Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia annual general meeting in Springhill, and are the first ever couple inducted into the Maple Industry Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Keith Crowe is a fifth generation sugar maker, his family having made maple sugar in 10 different sugar camps in the area of East Mapleton for over 150 years; and

Whereas Keith and Lorna were married in 1961 and have three children and started the business with 775 trees tapped on one lot, and a camp about a mile back in the woods, now having a new camp and approximately 27,000 trees tapped on two lots, yielding approximately 2500 gallons of syrup produced and shipped to areas all over the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Keith and Lorna Crowe on this outstanding achievement and we wish them many more years of success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2124

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Aaron Van Vulpen of Lower Wentworth started on a journey that he would never forget as he set off in January 2007 to hike up and reached the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa; and

Whereas when Aaron learned that scientists were predicting these glaciers will be gone by the year 2020, he knew that he would be making a trip to Africa to climb that mountain and fulfill his dream; and

[Page 3728]

Whereas Aaron used this opportunity to sign up on a team that would climb as a charity event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that would fulfill the special wishes of children from ages 3 through 17 who have a life-threatening illness;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Aaron Van Vulpen on this outstanding achievement and we wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2125

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Katelyn Moore, a Grade 12 student at Oxford Regional High School, was the winner of the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest in her category; and

Whereas Katelyn participated in the contest and was among the local students whose creativity and efforts have made them winners in the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest; and

Whereas the students were honoured at a Celebration Luncheon on February 9, 2007, in Amherst and were gathered together with many who have contributed to their success, including municipal councillors, waste reduction staff, and RRFB Nova Scotia representatives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Katelyn Moore on winning this contest and we wish her all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2126

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Carmen Cameron and Joni Milligan of Parrsboro Regional High School were the winners of the Grade 10-11 Nova Scotia Recycles Contest for 2006; and

Whereas Carmen and Joni joined efforts and participated in the contest as they were among the local students whose creativity and efforts have made them winners in the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest; and

[Page 3729]

Whereas the students were honoured at a Celebration Luncheon on February 9, 2007, in Amherst and were gathered together with many who have contributed to their success, including municipal councillors, waste reduction staff and RRFB Nova Scotia representatives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Carmen Cameron and Joni Milligan on winning this contest and we wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2127

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Jordon Leger, a Grade 3 student at West End Memorial, was the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest Winner in the Grade 2-3 category; and

Whereas Jordon participated in the contest and was one of the local students whose creativity and efforts have made him a winner in the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest; and

Whereas the students were honoured at a Celebration Luncheon on February 9, 2007, in Amherst and were gathered together with many who have contributed to their success, including municipal councillors, waste reduction staff, and RRFB Nova Scotia representatives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Jordon Leger on his winning this contest and we wish him all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2128

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas many awards were given and several employees were honoured as they retired from the institution; and

[Page 3730]

Whereas among those retiring are John Alderson, Alan Alexander, Betty Baxter-Tower, Ted Darragh, Darlene McClary, Eugene Dupuis, B. MacKenzie, John Ryan, Robert Holmes, Ken Gazda, Croyden Wood, David Cooke, Herb Titus, Ivan Henniger, Carol Hamilton, Darold Scott and Carol Hamilton;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on their retirement and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2129

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas many awards were presented to employees who were recognized for their 15-year- long service record; and

Whereas among those receiving this recognition are Paul Giffin, Rose Reid, Denis Leclair, Marlene Brown and Austin Ardena;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on their 15 years of service and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2130

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas awards were presented to employees who were recognized for their 35-year-long service record; and

Whereas Eugene Dupuis was honoured that evening for his 35 years of services with the Springhill Institution;

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Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Eugene Dupuis on his 35 years of service and wish him all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2131

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas awards were presented to employees who were recognized for their 25-year- long service record; and

Whereas among those receiving this recognition are Frederic Canning, Ricky Harper, Nazeer Janus, Derrick Knott, David Lawrence, George McAloney, Bruce Megeney and George McAloney;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on their 25 years of service and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2132

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas awards were presented to employees who were recognized for their 25-year pin; and

Whereas among those receiving this recognition are Frederic Canning, Ricky Harper, Amos Margeson, George McAloney, Bruce Megeney, Paul Smith, Wanda Smith, David Lawrence, Janus Nazeer and Cynthia MacDonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on receiving their 25-year pin and wish them all the best in the future.

[Page 3732]

RESOLUTION NO. 2133

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas many awards were presented to employees who were recognized for their 25-year- long service record; and

Whereas among those receiving this recognition are Bruce Megeney, Gary Rutherford, Wanda Smith, Sharon Tattersal, Paul Smith, Amos Margeson, Steve Canton and Cynthia MacDonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on their 25 years of service and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2134

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas many awards were presented to employees who have earned the Exemplary Service Medal; and

Whereas employees who have received their Exemplary Service Medal include Giles Allan, Judith Amos, George Bourque, Robert Churchill, Donald Guilderson, Scott MacLeod, Nina Clayton, Leslie Stewart, Keith Meagher, Suzette Lavandier and Tammi Griffin;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on their performance and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2135

[Page 3733]

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas many awards were presented to employees who have earned their 1st bar; and

Whereas employees who have received their 1st bar include Alice Boss, Susan Bowes, Christopher Howard, Brian MacKenzie and Johanne Snell;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on their performance and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2136

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas awards were presented to employees who were recognized for receiving their 10-year pin; and

Whereas among those receiving this recognition are Eric McNeil, Pamela Murchison, Tony Petten, Gregory Pye, Gary Rutherford, Justin Simons and Gerald Van De Weil;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on receiving their 10-year pin and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2137

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

[Page 3734]

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas awards were presented to employees who were recognized for receiving their 10-year pin; and

Whereas among those receiving this recognition are Carolanne Griffiths, Jack Hannah, David Harrison, Susan Herbert, Allan Hicks, Derrick Knott, Allister MacLellan, Leo McCormick, Jamie McIsaac, Karin McLellan and Lynn McMillan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on receiving their 10-year pin and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2138

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas on December 14, 2006, friends, families and co-workers gathered together in Springhill to hold the Pride and Recognition Banquet to acknowledge employees of the Springhill Institution; and

Whereas awards were presented to employees who were recognized for receiving their 10-year pin; and

Whereas among those receiving this recognition are Robert Adshade, Leo Anthony, Colin Austin, Barry Brayley, Michael Carroll, Sandra Mae Comeau, Jacqueline Cormier, Alan Crossman, Tracy Denine and Herman Eickholt;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these employees on receiving their 10-year pin and wish them all the best in the future.