Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 07-5

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Alfie MacLeod

Published by Order of the Legislature by Hansard Reporting Services and printed by the Queen's Printer.

Available on INTERNET at http://www.gov.n s.ca/legislature/HOUSE_BUSINESS/hansard.html

____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

Second Session

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Quarry: Newport Station - Permission Deny,
Mr. C. Porter 375
Bay Landing & Annual Poker Run: NSLC Denial - Ruling Change,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 375
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Police Governance Standards for the Province of Nova Scotia,
Hon. C. Clarke 375
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Justice: Tackling Violent Crime Act & Youth Criminal Justice Act
[Gov't (Can.)] - Support, Hon. C. Clarke 376
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 336, Domanski, Don: Gov.-Gen.'s Literacy Award,
The Premier 380
Vote - Affirmative 380
Res. 337, Citadel High Gaelic Soc.: Students - Congrats.,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 381
Vote - Affirmative 381
Res. 338, Heart & Stroke Fdn. (N.S.): Walking Initiative - Support,
Hon. B. Barnet 382
Vote - Affirmative 383
Res. 339, MLAs: Vols. - Support, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 383
Vote - Affirmative 383
Res. 340, Agric.: Select Nova Scotia - Importance, Hon. B. Taylor 383
Vote - Affirmative 384
Res. 341, Aquaculture Assoc. (N.S.): Outreach Prog. - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Chisholm 384
2 -
Res. 342, Harvey, Wayne: Death of - Tribute, Hon. J. Streatch 385
Vote - Affirmative 386
Res. 343, Wilcox, Gerry & Wheet - Vol. Serv. - Acknowledge,
Hon. D. Morse 386
Vote - Affirmative 386
Res. 344, Health Prom. & Protection - Injury Prevention Strategy,
Hon. B. Barnet 387
Vote - Affirmative 387
Res. 345, East. Shore Fishermen's Protective Assoc. - Anniv. (50th),
Hon. R. Chisholm 387
Vote - Affirmative 388
Res. 346, Asiedu, Dr. Samuel: Friendship Award - Congrats.,
Hon. B. Taylor 388
Vote - Affirmative 389
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 33, Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord
Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act, Hon. M. Parent 389
No. 34, Palliative Care Strategy Act, Mr. David Wilson
(Sackville-Cobequid) 389
No. 35, Education Act, Mr. L. Glavine 389
No. 36, Liquor Control Act, Hon. L. Goucher 389
No. 37, Municipal Government Act., Mr. C. Parker 390
No. 38, Consumer Protection Act., Mr. P. Paris 390
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 347, Gov't. (Can.): Bill C-25 - Amend, Mr. D. Dexter 390
Vote - Affirmative 391
Res. 348,, C.B. Reg. Police Serv./Membertou Police Div.: Agreement -
Congrats., Mr. Manning MacDonald 391
Vote - Affirmative 391
Res. 349, Parfitt, Gerry: EMS Medal - Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 392
Vote - Affirmative 392
Res. 350, Yar. Reg. Hosp.: Respiratory Therapy Dept. - Thank,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 393
Vote - Affirmative 393
Res. 351, Citadel HS - Opening: Time Frame - Review,
Ms. D. Whalen 393
Res. 352, Jamieson, Jody: Harness Racing Achievements - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 394
Vote - Affirmative 395
Res. 353, Harrington, Helen: Poetry Book - Release,
Ms. V. Conrad 395
Anniv. (52nd), Mr. W. Gaudet 396
Vote - Affirmative 397
Res. 355, Joe Earle Road Races - Anniv. (43rd), Mr. P. Dunn 397
Vote - Affirmative 398
Res. 356, Christie, Muriel - Skipbo Comp.: Shelburne Co. -
Seniors Games, Mr. S. Belliveau 398
Vote - Affirmative 398
Res. 357, Funeral Serv.: Prov. Tax - Rebate, Mr. H. Theriault 398
Res. 358, Wong, Jessica: Hockey Talent - Commend, Mr. K. Bain 399
Vote - Affirmative 400
Res. 359, Lloyd-MacKenzie, Jennifer/Seaside Elem. Students: Sport
Stacking - Guiness Book of World Records, Ms. B. Kent 400
Vote - Affirmative 401
Res. 360, Lowthers, Larry - Public Service: Serv. (30 yrs.) -
Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 401
Vote - Affirmative 401
Res. 361, Roots of Sympathy: Coordinators/Supporters - Best Wishes,
Mr. P. Dunn 402
Vote - Affirmative 402
Res. 362, MacDermid, Jessica/CBU Women's Soccer Team: Nat'l.
Championship - Congrats., Mr. K. Bain 402
Vote - Affirmative 403
Res. 363, Yorke, Jake: Rhodes Scholarship - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 403
Vote - Affirmative 404
Res. 364, Tatamagouche Vol. FD - Anniv. (60th), Hon. K. Casey 404
Vote - Affirmative 405
Res. 365, McAuley - Workplace Ambassador Award,
Hon. R. Chisholm 405
Vote - Affirmative 406
Res. 366, Doucette, Christopher - Lt.-Gov.'s Award,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 406
Vote - Affirmative 406
Res. 367, Burton, Brittany: Hairdressing Licensing Exam -
Congrats., Hon. C. Clarke 407
Vote - Affirmative 407
Res. 368, Acadia Univ.: Maclean's Magazine Ranking - Acknowledge,
Hon. D. Morse 407
Vote - Affirmative 408
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 17, Immigration - Nominee Prog.: Cornwallis Fin. - Contract,
Mr. D. Dexter 408
No. 18, Prem.: Mentorship Prog. - Details, Mr. S. McNeil 410
No. 19, Immigration: Hua Ling Xu Case - Explain, Mr. D. Dexter 411
No. 20, TIR - Joseph Howe Bldg.: Air Quality Problems -
Remediation, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 412
No. 21, Immigration: Mentorship Prog. - Compensation Plan,
Mr. S. McNeil 413
No. 22, Service N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Home Heating Costs - Assistance,
Ms. B. Kent 414
No. 23, Health: Mental Health Crisis Team - Staffing,
Ms. J. Massey 415
No. 24, Immigration - Nominee Prog.: Reps. - Meet, Ms. D. Whalen 417
No. 25, TCH - Tourist Accommodations Act: Repeal - Explain,
Ms. M. Raymond 418
No. 26, Immigration - Bus. Relationship Prog.: Dismantling -
Time Frame, Mr. K. Colwell 420
No. 27, Educ.: Special Needs Task Force - Status, Mr. P. Paris 421
No. 28, Econ. Dev. - Bay Ferries: Service - Ensure, Mr. C. MacKinnon 422
No. 29, Prem. - Nominee Prog.: Fees - Review, Ms. D. Whalen 424
No. 30, TIR: Cycling Conditions: Improvements - Plans,
Ms. V. Conrad 425
No. 31, Agric. - Hog Ind. Transition Plan: Support - Explain,
Mr. J. MacDonell 427
No. 31, Environ. & Lbr. - Pollution Reduction: Changes - Plan,
Mr. K. Colwell 428
No. 32, Com. Serv.: Affordable Housing - Build, Mr. G. Gosse 429
No. 33, EMO - Fundy Villa: Heat & Light Backup System -
Provide, Mr. L. Glavine 431
No. 34, Fin. - Toll Roads: Construction - Rule Out,
Mr. G. Steele 432
No. 35, Educ. - Prov. Library System - Fund, Mr. C. Parker 433
No. 36, Justice: Taser Policies - Table, Mr. M. Samson 434
[TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS]
TIR: Joseph Howe Bldg. - Lease, Hon. M. Scott 435
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 9, Municipal Finance Corporation Act, Mr. L. Preyra 435
Mr. L. Preyra 435
Hon. J. Muir 438
Ms. D. Whalen 439
Mr. H. Epstein 442
Bill No. 17, Sales Tax Act, Mr. D. Dexter 444
Mr. D. Dexter 444
Hon. A. MacIsaac 447
Hon. B. Barnet 448
Mr. H. Theriault 448
Mr. G. Steele 450^
ADJOURNMENT MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Trenton Minor Sports Commun. Ctr.: Mgt. - Co-operation/Expertise,
Mr. P. Dunn 453
Mr. C. Porter 454
Mr. C. MacKinnon 456
Mr. C. Parker 456
Mr. Manning MacDonald 458
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Nov. 29th, at 2:00 p.m. 461
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 369, Noah, Gwen - Established Artist Recognition Award,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 462
Res. 370, S.Shore Health Services Fdn.: Staff/Vols. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 462
Res. 371, Strait Bottle Exchange: Mobius Award - Applaud,
The Premier 463
Res. 372, Ellis, Sally: PSC Serv. (30yrs.) - Congrats.,
The Premier 463
Res. 373, Graham, Johanna M.: PSC Serv. (25 yrs.) - Congrats.,
The Premier 464
Res. 374, Morrison, Donald: PSC Serv. (30 yrs.) - Congrats.,
The Premier 464
Res. 375, Shelburne Co. Special Olympians: Summer Games -
Accomplishments, Mr. S. Belliveau 465
Res. 376, Crowell, Bob - Birthday (90th), Mr. S. Belliveau 465
Res. 377, Buchanan, Alex - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 466
Res. 378, Blynn, Arnold Raymond/Crew - Military Burial
(Krakow, Poland 2007), Mr. S. Belliveau 466
Res. 379, Coutts, Barry - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 467
Res. 380, Hardy, Charles - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 467
Res. 381, Clark, Dale - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 468
Res. 382, Rhyno, Darcy - Fiction Review: Contribution - Congrats.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 468
Res. 383, Torak, Ed - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Res. 384, Harris, Gerald - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 469
Res. 385, Cameron, Hannah: Locks of Love Prog. - Donation,
Mr. S. Belliveau 470
Res. 386, Buchanan, Harris - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 470
Res. 387, Munroe, Ian - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 471
Res. 388, Harlow, Joan/Smith, Jeanette - Whirligig & Weathervane
Fest. Prize, Mr. S. Belliveau 471
Res. 389, Peacock, Kaitlyn - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 472
Res. 390, Riteman, Phillip - Cape Sable Island Elem. Sch.: Holocaust
Presentation - Thank, Mr. S. Belliveau 472
Res. 391, Perry, Rexford - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 473
Res. 392, Ross, Linda: Photography Career - Congrats.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 473
Res. 393, Mayflower Place: Clients/Staff - Thank, Mr. S. Belliveau 474
Res. 394, Crowell, Ronnie & Adele - Pumpkin/Squash: Weigh-Offs -
Congrats., Mr. S. Belliveau 474
Res. 395, Hemeon, Teresa: Pumpkin Weigh-Offs - Congrats.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 475
Res. 396, Trinity United Church: Environmentally Sound - Conversion -
Congrats., Mr. S. Belliveau 475
Res. 397, Blynn, Wayne/Fam. - Polish Mem. & Rededication Ceremonies:
Closure - Appreciate, Mr. S. Belliveau 476
Res. 398, Munroe, Ian - Whirligig & Weathervane Fest. Prize,
Mr. S. Belliveau 476
Res. 399, Operation Christmas: Partners - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 477
Res. 400, Patterson, Scott: Bridgewater FD Band Director (2003) -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 477
Res. 401, Warren, Robert: Bridgewater FD Band Director (1990-92, 2001-03) -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 478
Res. 402, Lohnes, Gale Bridgewater FD Band Director (1993-2000) -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 478
Res. 403, Burgoyne-Allen, Denise: Bridgewater FD Band Director (1993) -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 479
Res. 404, Bird, John: Bridgewater FD Band Director (1981-86) - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 479
Res. 405, Foote, Ken: Bridgewater FD Band Director (1987-90) - Congrats.,
75) - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 480
Res. 407, Brandwin-Glait, Julia: Bridgewater FD Band Director - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 480
Res. 408, Pentz Elem. Sch.: Playground Opening - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 481
Res. 409, Baker, Mitch: Hockey Award - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 481
Res. 410, Mailman, Janie - Branch LaHave 4-H Club: Public Speaking
Contest - Participation, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 482
Res. 411, Duffney, Chris: Hockey Award - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 482
Res. 412, Lunenburg Co. YMCA Minor Basketball Assoc.: Sport
N.S. Award - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 483
Res. 413, Emino, Olivia - Livewires 4-H Club: Public Speaking Comp. -
Participation, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 483
Res. 414, Frier, Moira: Hockey Award - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 484
Res. 415, Lantz, Melba - Hist. Book: Release - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 484
Res. 416, Aliphat, Gabe/S.Shore Duellists Fencing Club: Hair Shaving
Fundraiser - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 484
Res. 417, Cook, Abby - Hill "N" Dale 4-H Club: Public Speaking Comp. -
Participation, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 485
Res. 418, Nickerson, Veronica: MADD Poster Contest - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 485
Res. 419, Whynot, Kristie Lee: MADD Poster Contest - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 486
Res. 420, Martin, Jenna: NCAA - Nat'l Championships Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 486
Res. 421, Roache, Halley: Animated Movie Screening - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 487
Res. 422, Bridgewater Bulletin: Commun. Newspaper Award - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 487
Res. 423, Burgoyne, Emma - Park View Educ. Ctr.: Valedictorian - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 488
Res. 424, Selig, Greg: Teaching Dedication - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 488
Res. 425, MacLean, Ken: Retirement - Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 488

[Page 371]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2007

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There has been a draw for the late debate tonight and it has been submitted by the honourable MLA for Pictou Centre. It is:

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the level of co-operation and expertise shown by the management of the Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre during the past numerous years, which continues to help to foster healthy living for area residents.

We will commence the daily routine.

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Before we proceed I wish to rise on a point of privilege. This morning during the meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, I rose on a point of order concerning decisions of the Chair taken in subcommittee, with respect to the matters within the jurisdiction of the Public Accounts Committee. These concerns were provided to the Chair in writing, a copy of which I will provide the House.

[Page 372]

371

Mr. Speaker, it is the right of all members of this House to have the Rules of the House followed. As a consequence, I'm requesting that you review this matter and make a ruling with respect to the subcommittee's rights to make these decisions and, in particular, my rights as a member of the Legislature and this committee to have the Rules and Procedures followed. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The honourable member raised a point of order today in the committee. As Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee I listened to his point of order. I heard from a member of the Liberal caucus on the point of order and a member of the NDP caucus on the point of order, and indicated to the member that I would make a ruling and would consult with Legislative Counsel with respect to the point of order he had raised.

He did not raise it as a point of privilege in committee today and I would very much like the opportunity to follow through on the commitment that I made, as the Chair, to consider his point of order and render a decision at the earliest possible moment. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, was at that meeting this morning and the previous meeting that was discussed here. It was my understanding and our caucus' understanding that we were very satisfied with the Chair of the committee reviewing this with legal counsel to see if, indeed, it was a point of privilege and indeed how we'd handle this situation at the committee level. Then it was also my understanding, as well, that if the member still feels the way he does today after the ruling comes in, he had the opportunity to bring it back here as a point of privilege. I feel that it's inappropriate at this point that this proceed in this venue until the committee has had an opportunity to go through the proper process and handle the proper process and make sure that this issue is properly resolved.

I'm a little bit concerned that a government member would bring this up on this very, very important topic of immigration which is a serious problem for the government, will become a more serious problem for the government. I would rather see the committee move forward with the plan with all equal representation that we have on that committee and then indeed if the member still feels the way he does now, bring it back to this venue and discuss it in this venue.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 373]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, in just listening to the comments just made, I would just also indicate that my understanding from the member for Hants West and his concerns that were brought forward with regard to a committee, and more importantly the subcommittee, and now would bring forward to me an issue of privilege and an issue probably of points of order.

Mr. Speaker, as far as the Chair of the committee goes with regard to this House, any member of this House can come before this with regard to their rights and privileges which extend, as you know, into the committees of this House but also responsible to this House. The last time I looked, I don't believe it is incumbent nor is there an authorization of this House for Chairs of committees to be making rulings. It is you, Mr. Speaker, who can make a ruling before this House on points of order or privilege and it is incumbent upon a Chair of a committee with matters brought before them to bring those forward to you as far as I'm concerned.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Yes, Mr. Speaker. It was somewhat confusing when the member rose. He rose on a point of privilege and then proceeded to talk about a point of order. That left everybody unsure as to what he was talking about, whether it was a point of privilege or a point of order. In any case, the member is asking you as Speaker to rule on something that you weren't even privy to. You weren't even there, you know, and I think that should be left to the committee to decide whether or not there's a case and if he's not satisfied with that arrangement, then to take the matter back to the House for the House to decide whether or not it should go any further.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I just want to correct the honourable Government House Leader with respect to a ruling having been made by the Chair of the committee. There is no ruling that I'm aware of. If somebody would like to specify what the ruling was, you know, then perhaps we could look at that issue but as the Chair of the committee, I made no ruling. In fact, when the point of order was raised, I indicated that I would take the point of order under advisement according to the Rules of this Legislature and report back to the member and to other members in the committee. So I'm really not sure what the Government House Leader is referring to and I think that people need to see the transcript from the subcommittee and I think the transcript from the Public Accounts Committee today and, in addition, to review the correspondence that was raised by the member.

By way of information, Mr. Speaker, I understand that the member sent you a letter, as well, with respect to his point of privilege. I would very much appreciate a copy of that

[Page 374]

letter because as the Chair of the committee, I have not received that letter and I would say that common courtesy would dictate that I have a copy.

MR. SPEAKER: I'm going to recognize the member for Preston and then I'm going to move on.

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it was my understanding at the meeting today - and I'm sure that you'll review the minutes before you make a decision on anything - that the Chair of our committee was going to look at this, make a decision whether we should move forward or not at the committee level and bring it back to the committee for the ultimate decision. The ultimate decision will be made by the committee, not by the Chair, as she has indicated. I was very satisfied with that and our caucus was.

I understand the concerns that have been raised by my colleague in the Progressive Conservative Party, but indeed I feel that we have to have the opportunity as a committee to resolve this if we can. If it can't be resolved, then indeed the members should have the ability to bring it back as a point of privilege. But in the meantime I would suggest that we can probably look at the information in detail and see if it's something that can be supported by the Speaker. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, just for clarity, as well, to the points that were raised. I would say to the honourable member that yes, indeed, there is some confusion, because there was a matter of privilege, a point of order, and I ask that you recognize there is a concern that's been raised. I believe there hasn't been appropriate or due consideration of that or, in fact, fair consideration of that. That is my opinion, as I stand here as the Government House Leader.

Mr. Speaker, I would also ask that you, in your undertaking, if you would possibly consider looking at the transcript from subcommittee and from committee with regard to this, because I want it to reflect the understanding of my colleague with his concerns to you. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: I'm going to call a five-minute recess, so I can confer with the Clerks.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 375]

[2:15 p.m. The House recessed.]

[2:20 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There has been an amount of information passed around today. I'm going to take that information into consideration, find some more information on some of the things that were said here as well as in the subcommittee, and we will get back to the House at our earliest possible convenience with some kind of a decision.

We will now commence with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I will just read the operative clause:

"We, the undersigned, being responsible citizens of Nova Scotia, ask the Government of Nova Scotia to deny permission to any proposed quarry within the limits of Newport Station, in particular the proposal by Mr. Spence of Spence Agraland Ltd. The proponent has requested permission to open a quarry of 4 hectares or less but involving the use of blasting at the end of Stark Road. We ask that no quarry be permitted because of 3 important concerns: pedestrian road safety on Stark Road; environmental and water supply concerns; and, community character."

I have affixed my signature, as well, and wish to table it.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to table a petition on behalf of the residents of the Shad Bay/Bayside area concerning the annual poker run which is hosted at the Bay Landing in the community of Prospect Bay. There are 48 signatures on this petition and I have affixed mine.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

[Page 376]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, through you, I would like to table a reply to the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect in response to a question yesterday. He requested a copy of the Police Governance Standards for the Province of Nova Scotia, so I table that and also note that the use of conducted devices began in 2002.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm rising today to speak about issues before Parliament, issues that are of great importance to Nova Scotians and require action, I believe, by members of this Assembly. There are currently two pieces of legislation now being considered by the federal government: Bill C-2, the Tackling Violent Crime Act, is before the legislative committee; and amendments to strengthen the Youth Criminal Justice Act have been introduced and will be at the committee stage early in the new year. The time for action is now.

On October 18, 2007, the federal government introduced Bill C-2, comprehensive legislation to fight crime in our country. This bill includes a number of strong responses to serious crimes including: mandatory jail time for serious gun crimes; tougher bail rules when a gun is used to commit a crime; increasing the age of protection for sexual activity from 14 years to 16 years; cracking down on drug-impaired driving; and ensuring high-risk and dangerous offenders face tougher consequences when they are sentenced, and are better monitored post-release.

Mr. Speaker, we applaud these steps as they respond to concerns we have heard from Nova Scotians and support our efforts to deal effectively with crime in our province.

We were also pleased to see the introduction of Nova Scotia amendments as proposed to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, introduced by the federal government on November 19th. These amendments will allow courts to consider deterrents and denunciation as objectives of youth sentences. They also propose changing the pre-trial detention provisions to make it easier to detain youth before trial if they pose a risk to public safety or their own.

The federal government has announced a full review of the Act in 2008. We will continue to press for changes that better protect Nova Scotians and respond to the needs of young people in conflict with the law. As the federal Justice Minister noted when the amendments were announced, Nova Scotia has strongly advocated for improvements to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Our concerns were echoed by Commissioner Merlin Nunn in

[Page 377]

his report and by Nova Scotians during the Minister's Task Force on Safer Streets and Communities.

Law enforcement, legal experts and citizens from across Canada have been calling for changes to strengthen the Act, to address a small number of out of control youth who are a danger to themselves and others. While we believe the Act works for the majority of youth, in some cases it's failing to protect the public and meet the needs of our young people.

We are therefore pleased with the federal government's decision to introduce amendments to improve this legislation. While further work remains, this is a good start and Minister Nicholson's announcement has been welcomed by Nova Scotians and Canadians. However, introducing this legislation is only the first step. Public safety will only be improved when it is passed.

I extend my thanks and appreciation to colleagues across Canada, across political lines and Parties, who have supported these amendments. I want to thank all members of this House for their unanimous backing of the resolution I introduced previously that called on members to support this federal legislation.

I want this House and all Nova Scotians to know that we take crime seriously. Successful implementation of these laws at the federal level will have a positive impact here in Nova Scotia. Today I'm calling upon, in fact, asking, all members of this House to demonstrate their support for these important advancements in the safety and security of our communities by encouraging Members of Parliament and the Senate to bring these bills into law. We need to ensure that everyone is working together to make our laws the truly effective legislation that is needed to protect Canadians and serve our young people. I welcome the intervention and contributions of members to the safety of our province. In the coming days I'll launch a comprehensive strategy that will significantly advance our efforts to ensure the safety and security of Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for that early morning cellphone call alluding to the fact this statement was forthcoming. I think it is important to realize these are both important pieces of legislation at the federal level and I know all of us, as provincial MLAs, will follow quite closely.

In particular, thanks should be offered to the ministers across the country who have been involved in the process. This particular minister and also his predecessor took numerous trips to Ottawa for various reasons and I'm sure they weren't all just to go see the Ottawa Senators games. I want to compliment the previous minister for his work on this particular piece of legislation. I want particularly to thank Nova Scotians who made their views known on the issues, particularly when we're looking at the issue of the Youth Criminal Justice Act

[Page 378]

and the much-needed review which is going to be forthcoming. As critic for the official Opposition, I assure you Mr. Minister and Mr. Speaker, I'm going to follow very carefully.

In particular, I think this province owes a grateful thanks to Commissioner Merlin Nunn. Theresa McEvoy was a special woman and out of that terrible tragedy, on that awful afternoon, something positive has come from that terrible event. The McEvoy family should be complimented for their ongoing attempt to make sure that for Theresa's memory, these changes will be forthcoming. Those are positive.

To the family of Archie Billard, in return, much has to be learned from what happened to that young man and the consequences of where he ended up. We wish him - and I know all members present in this House - wish Archie all the best as he continues, hopefully, to rehabilitate. There are, however, some concerns because not all of Justice Nunn's recommendations were accepted. Probably one-third of them, at this stage, have been accepted and I think it is important at this time that I look at the fact that there are some recommendations that are not included.

For example, the declaration of principle in amending Section 3 was to, "Add a clause indicating that protection of the public is one of the primary goals of the Act." It also- these particular amendments do not address Justice Nunn's recommendation that the definition of violent crime - and this of some consequence, Mr. Speaker - Merlin Nunn, Justice Nunn, recommended that when we look at violent crime, it is to include conduct that endangers, or is likely to endanger, the life and safety of another person. That particular recommendation is not included.

More importantly, the amendments to not answer and respond to Justice Nunn's recommendation that the government amend and simplify, and there is the key thing, Mr. Speaker, simplify the statutory provisions relating to the pre-trial detentions of young persons so that Section 29 will stand on its own without interaction from other statutes. It is important for us to recognize that this a good first step. Justice Nunn's recommendations are far more expansive than have been included thus far and hopefully, with further review, these other recommendations from Justice Nunn will be included.

[2:30 p.m.]

Of course, the House is well aware of the fact that this is a controversial piece of legislation because of the fact that there are at-risk young people in our community. We want to be supportive of them, we want to make sure that they clearly understand the consequences of their particular, unfortunate behaviour. Commissioner Nunn has brought forth some landmark advice, not just for this government, not just for this province, for this country. I am looking to the review of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, to the inclusion of the recommendations, all them that Justice Nunn brought forward.

[Page 379]

With those comments, I would like to thank the minister. I look forward to the review. I look forward to a trip to Ottawa the next time Senators play the Bruins.

[Page 380]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise in my place and respond to the statement made by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General in light of the two pieces of legislation dealing with the Youth Criminal Justice Act that are currently being considered by the federal government. We all recognize that there is a need for changes to the Youth Criminal Justice Act in light of the number of incidents that we have heard of where problematic youth continue to get in trouble with the law.

What is important to recognize, though, that what is being proposed by the federal government is merely a small piece of what the recommendations were from Justice Merlin Nunn in light of the Theresa McEvoy Inquiry that took place. Mr. Speaker, as has been mentioned, only two of the six recommendations are being moved forward on by the federal government and while the federal government is promising a full review of the Youth Criminal Justice Act in 2008, that will be a full two years after the recommendations were made by Justice Nunn. Therefore, it is quite clear that the federal government doesn't appear to be in any rush to be making these changes.

What we need to keep in mind as well, Mr. Speaker, is that legislation was brought forward to this House, during this session, to try to address some of the problems that existed within our own system of justice, which played a role in the whole Merlin Nunn Inquiry to start off with, when we had the whole issue of Crown Prosecutors not receiving information in time due to malfunctioning fax machines and we had changes made to the Evidence Act here in Nova Scotia to try to address some of those problems.

So it is important, again, to remind this government, which seems so quickly to lay the blame at the feet of the federal government, that we had our own problems within our own administration of justice, which we are responsible for here in Nova Scotia that need to be addressed here as well.

Mr. Speaker, we do look forward to the strategy which the Minister of Justice continues to speak about, because while Nova Scotians are concerned with the issue of re-offending youth in our province, they also want to know what the strategy and what the vision is from this government on trying to prevent young people from getting into trouble with the law to start off with. What we have seen from this government over the years is a "get tough on crime" by looking for more ways of punishing young people, of having longer sentences, rather than looking at the root cause of what is causing crime in this province. Our caucus and our Leader have been very vocal in calling upon this government to provide better services to our young people, whether it is through recreation facilities, whether it's through the school system in identifying youth at risk, or whether it's through our whole Community Services system which knows where we have young people who are in trouble and which seems to turn a blind eye to the issues of poverty and the role that it plays in crime in our society.

[Page 381]

Mr. Speaker, while we do support the measures that are being taken by the federal government, Nova Scotians don't want to see more young people in jail, they want to see less, and they want to see the vision from this government as to how we can achieve that as a province. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 336

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

Whereas Nova Scotia is rich with talent throughout our cultural sector; and

Whereas just yesterday a Nova Scotian was named the winner of one of the prestigious Governor General's literary awards; and

Whereas Don Domanski of Halifax won in the English Poetry category for his work All Our Wonder Unavenged and will be honoured in Ottawa on December 13th at the award ceremony;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate this talented Haligonian for this great honour and accompanying $25,000 prize 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.

The honourable Minister for Gaelic Affairs.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, before I begin my notice, could I have the permission of the House to introduce some guests?

[Page 382]

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. MACISAAC: In your gallery, Mr. Speaker, are two students who are from the Citadel High School Celtic Society and they are accompanied by their teacher, Richard MacLellan. The students are Cassie MacDonald and Emma Reid. I would ask them to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Gaelic Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 337

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

Whereas students of the Gaelic Society at the new Citadel High School in Halifax are helping to educate themselves and others and foster renewed interest in Gaelic as a customary language and culture of our province; and

Whereas this week they are celebrating Gaelic heritage through a céilidh at the high school which will include highland and step-dancing, Gaelic singing and fiddle music; and

Whereas special thanks go to teachers: Melissa Shaw, Richard MacLellan and Donna McInnis, who helped to set up the society and encourage participation of the students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the students of the Gaelic Society at Citadel High and their supportive teachers for fostering this wonderful language and encouraging all who can to attend their céilidh at Citadel High this Thursday, November 29, 2007, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection.

[Page 383]

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, if I may before I read my resolution make an introduction as well?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. BARNET: I would like to call to your attention the attendance in your gallery, Mr. Speaker, of Breanna Lynch and Allan McAvoy who are here representing the Heart and Strike Foundation of Nova Scotia. Before I read the resolution I should note that each MLA will be receiving a Heart and Stroke Walkabout pedometer courtesy of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia. Also with them today is the president of Smoke Free Nova Scotia, Sharon MacIntosh. Sharon is a tremendous advocate of Smoke Free Nova Scotia. These three Nova Scotians have worked very hard to move our goal of becoming the healthiest and safest province in the country and I would ask the members to give them a warm welcome of applause as they rise. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection.

RESOLUTION NO. 338

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

Whereas on Tuesday, October 16, 2007, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Department of Health Promotion and Protection and the Ecology Action Centre, launched the Heart and Stroke Walkabout; and

Whereas the Heart and Stroke Walkabout is a five-year initiative with a long-term goal to increase the number of Nova Scotians walking 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week, for physical activity and active transportation; and

Whereas through the Heart and Stroke Walkabout interactive Web site, Nova Scotians can establish a walking group and share their experience with others in order to create a culture of walking in their communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia with its walking initiative by encouraging walking in their communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 384]

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. 339

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 Nova Scotia is extremely fortunate to have more than 1,000 volunteer ground search and rescue personnel on 24 teams; and

Whereas these volunteers play a crucial role to support public safety in our communities; and

Whereas this past year two lost children under the age of four were found, thanks to our volunteer searchers and other emergency responders;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House take every opportunity to show their support for their volunteer teams back in their constituencies and acknowledge their contribution to the public safety 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 Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 340

[Page 385]

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

Whereas this government recognizes and celebrates the wonderful food Nova Scotia farmers produce; and

Whereas an exciting new marketing campaign aimed at promoting locally grown and produced food, Select Nova Scotia, was launched this past summer; and

Whereas the campaign created more awareness and consumption of locally produced food among our consumers across the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the importance of creating awareness around our locally grown food and congratulate the farmers in this province for providing us with such great food products.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 341

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

Whereas the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia was formed in 1977 to support the fish and shellfish farming industry; and

Whereas the association and its industry partners produced an aquaculture outreach education program that included a touch tank of aquaculture creatures that travels to community events around Nova Scotia; and

[Page 386]

Whereas the goal of the program is to highlight and promote the aquaculture industry among Nova Scotians in coastal communities.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia for a successful first year of an innovative aquaculture outreach project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 342

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

Whereas Mr. Wayne Harvey was a well known and respected member of the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mr. Harvey, a brain injury survivor himself and tireless advocate, worked to make the lives better for other brain injury survivors and their families; and

Whereas Mr. Harvey served as a key liaison between the Department of Community Services and brain injury survivors before his untimely death in August of this year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the essential and appreciated work of Mr. Wayne Harvey, providing a valuable perspective to government and to all Nova Scotians and offer our condolences to his family and friends.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 387]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 343

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

Whereas Gerald and Juanita Wilcox - or Gerry and Wheet as they are better known to most folks - were two of the original five Campground Hosts when the program was first introduced in Nova Scotia's provincial parks in 1996; and

Whereas they have given directions, offered a helping hand, and made hundreds of campers feel welcome for 10 of the 12 years that the program has been operating at Nova Scotia provincial parks; and

Whereas I was privileged to attend a ceremony on Saturday, October 6th, when Gerry's and Wheet's family honoured their years of volunteer service by donating a park bench in their name to Blomidon Provincial Park;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House also acknowledge the outstanding volunteer services provided by Gerry and Wheet Wilcox and thank them for the 10 years of warm and gracious welcomes they have given so many people visiting our province.

[2:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 388]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection.

RESOLUTION NO. 344

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

Whereas injury is the leading cause of death for Nova Scotians under the age of 45 and almost all injuries can be prevented through education, engineering, public policy, and everyday risk reductions among all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas injuries cost Nova Scotians $600 million per year in direct health care costs and lost productivity, and addressing this issue is essential to the sustainability of our provincial health care system; and

Whereas Injury Free Nova Scotia and the Department of Health Promotion and Protection are congregating with stakeholders today and tomorrow to celebrate and build on the success of the Nova Scotia injury prevention strategy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the importance of the work being done by various groups and individuals to prevent injury, as today is Injury Free Nova Scotia Day.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 345

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

[Page 389]

Whereas the Eastern Shore Fishermen's Protective Association is celebrating 50 years of operation and is recognized under provincial legislation as a strong voice for fishermen in this province; and

Whereas Norma Richardson, in her position as President of the Eastern Shore Fishermen's Protective Association, has brought insight and attention on fishing issues in Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Region; and

Whereas Ms. Richardson's job as a volunteer president of the association includes meeting regularly with government officials to represent the interests of fishermen from Eastern Passage all the way to Canso;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the association on their 50th Anniversary and Norma Richardson for her dedication to the fishing industry of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 346

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

Whereas the mandate of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, located in Bible Hill, is to provide world-class education and research in support of agriculture; and

Whereas only three Canadians received the highly regarded Friendship Award for contributions to the social and economic development of China; and

Whereas Dr. Samuel Asiedu, Professor of Plant Sciences at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, was one of three Canadians to receive this prestigious award for his

[Page 390]

work in promoting sustainable production of quality potato crops to increase local food production in rural China;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate Dr. Asiedu on his award and his enhancement of the reputation of the NSAC as a world-class leader in agriculture research and knowledge transfer.

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. 33 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1987. The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Nova Scotia Act. (Hon. Mark Parent)

Bill No. 34 - Entitled an Act to Require the Development and Implementation of a Palliative Care Strategy for Nova Scotia. (Mr. David Wilson, Sackville-Cobequid)

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

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, if I could make an introduction first, please.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. GLAVINE: Seated in the east gallery are Nicole Fraser; Brian Hickling, Vice-Chair; and Wade Brummet, Chair of the Equal Education Association of Nova Scotia. If the House would give them a warm welcome here today. (Applause)

Bill No. 35 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

[Page 391]

Bill No. 36 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 260 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Liquor Control Act. (Mr. Leonard Goucher)

Bill No. 37 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act, to Regulate the Application and Use of Pesticides for Cosmetic Purposes. (Mr. Charles Parker)

Bill No. 38 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 92 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Consumer Protection Act. (Mr. Percy Paris)

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

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the east gallery to introduce the President of the Federation of Agriculture, Laurence Nason, and the CEO of Pork Nova Scotia, Henry Vissers. If they would rise and receive the warm welcome of the House today. (Applause)

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 347

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

Whereas Recommendation 20 of the Nunn Report states that Parliament should amend the Declaration of Principle in Section 3 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act to indicate that protection of the public is one of the primary goals of the Act; and

Whereas Recommendation 21 states that Parliament should amend the definition of "violent offence" in Section 39(1)(a) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act to include conduct that endangers, or is likely to endanger, the life or safety of another person; and

Whereas Justice Nunn also recommended that Parliament amend and simplify the statutory provisions relating to pre-trial detention of young persons so that Section 29 will stand on its own;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the House of Commons to amend Bill C-25 so that it includes the important recommendations for amendments to better protect public safety which were made by Justice Nunn.

[Page 392]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 393]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 348

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

Whereas Chief Terry Paul and the people of Membertou First Nation have a reason to celebrate another achievement on Friday, November 30, 2007; and

Whereas a partnership has been formed between the Cape Breton Regional Police Service and Membertou for the provision of police services; and

Whereas a welcome ceremony will take place to formally recognize the introduction of the new Cape Breton Regional Police Service, Membertou Police Division;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Membertou Chief Terry Paul and Regional Police Chief Edgar MacLeod for their valuable role in making this historic agreement possible, and wish everyone much success as a new era in policing begins in Membertou.

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 394]

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce today one of my constituents here from Falmouth, Ms. Chris VanZoost, who is also a registered nurse I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. Nice to have you here, Chris. I ask her to rise to receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 349

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

Whereas Falmouth resident, Paramedic Edward (Gerry) Parfitt has been awarded the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal by the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mr. Parfitt is in a high-risk profession and dedicates himself to preserving public safety and assisting people at a moment's notice; and

Whereas Mr. Parfitt has worked as an emergency paramedic in the health care system for the past 29 years, spending the majority of those years in the Hants West area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud Gerry Parfitt for his dedication to people in an emergency and exemplary service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

[Page 395]

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, I want to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where we are joined today by Leaders Cathy Cusack, Zoe Mitchell and Mary More, along with four adult learners who are here today representing the Dartmouth Learning Network, an organization that continues to strive for literacy goals in the communities of Dartmouth North. I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 350

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

Whereas our health care professionals across Nova Scotia deliver quality care under often challenging circumstances; and

Whereas the staff of the respiratory therapy unit of the Yarmouth Regional Hospital works hard every day to assess and treat patients in southwestern Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the health professionals of this unit deserve our trust and respect;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate and thank the dedicated health providers of the respiratory therapy department of the Yarmouth Regional Hospital and all health providers and allied professionals in this province.

[3:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 351

[Page 396]

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

Whereas the planning, design and construction team for Citadel High School included Karen Robinson, who is a nationally recognized expert in healthy school construction; and

Whereas Ms. Robinson has consulted on many previous construction projects, including Halifax West and Sir John A. Macdonald High Schools, both of which were opened with acceptable air quality as a result of proper planning; and

Whereas Citadel High opened in September, after only one week of air flushing, even though Ms. Robinson recommended six to eight weeks and the LEAD building standards call for a minimum of four weeks to ensure improved air quality;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly call on the new Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to review the role the department played in ignoring the evidence and opening Citadel High School before it was prudent to do so.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 352

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

Whereas Jody Jamieson, a Truro native, won two of harness racing's most prestigious pacing events in 2007, behind Tell All and a third with Santanna Blue Chip and is Canada's leading money-winning driver; and

Whereas Jody Jamieson, a third-generation horseman and son of trainer Carl Jamieson, won the world-famous Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacers, claimed a $1.5

[Page 397]

million North America Cup with Tell All, and the Breeders Cup for two-year-old pacing colts with Santanna Blue Chip; and

Whereas Jody Jamieson's 2007 season has been his finest to date, as he captured some of harness racing's most prestigious events on both Canadian and American soil, through his partnership with Tell All and Santanna Blue Chip;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate Truro native Jody Jamieson on his outstanding year in the harness racing world and wish him even more success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 353

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

Whereas Brooklyn resident Helen Harrington has recently put together her first book of poetry, containing poems penned over a 25-year period; and

Whereas this book of poems, Lost and Found, comes out of a very difficult time of Helen's life but was the inspiration for these poems; and

Whereas the stigma of mental illness is still frowned upon by society and many do not understand the problems related to this illness;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Helen Harrington of Brooklyn for putting this book of poetry together and bringing the subject of mental illness forward through her poetry.

[Page 398]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 399]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 354

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: M. le Président par la présente, j'avise que je proposerai à une date ultériere, l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le Festival acadien de Clare est une célébration annuelle d'une partie intégrante du patrimoine et culturel de notre province; et

Attendu que les gens de Clare ont célébré leur 52iéme festival acadien cet été; et

Attendu que nombreux bénévoles s'engagent à chaque année pour assurer l'organisation et le bon déroulement du festival;

Qu'il soit résolu que les membres de cette assemblée se joigne à moi pour féliciter et remercier les organisateurs du 52iéme Festival acadien de Clare.

M. le Président, je propose l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débats.

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

Whereas the Clare Acadian Festival is an annual celebration of an important social fabric of Nova Scotia and its cultural heritage; and

Whereas this year the people of Clare celebrated their 52nd Acadian Festival; and

Whereas dedicated volunteers are engaged in the organization of the festival every year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the organizers and participants of this year's Clare 52nd Acadian Festival.

[Page 400]

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 Oui. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 355

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

Whereas more than 700 participants and spectators put up with the wet, cold weather in Trenton on Victoria Day Weekend this year to take part in the 43rd Annual Joe Earle Victoria Day Road Races; and

Whereas B.J. Earle, son of the event's namesake, was pleased with the turnout - he is honoured to carry on the tradition that his father started in an effort to get more youth involved in more activities; and

Whereas each year the event organizers present an award honouring the commitment of longtime participants and this year's award went to Joe and Betty Pound of Westville for their 20 years of road racing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their congratulations to the people of Trenton, the organizers and the participants of the Joe Earle Road Races on their 43rd consecutive race weekend and wish them the best for future races.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 401]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 356

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

Whereas Muriel Christie of Barrington, Shelburne County, earned first prize in the Play and Learn Skipbo competition at the Shelburne County Seniors Games held September 9 to September 15, 2007; and

Whereas Muriel, a Shag Harbour native, now living in Barrington, is very active in cooking meals, baking and doing laundry; and

Whereas Muriel enjoys playing cards, cryptograms, puzzles and quilting;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Muriel Christie for winning first prize in the Play and Learn Skipbo competition at the Shelburne County Seniors Games held September 9th through to September 15th, 2007.

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. 357

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

[Page 402]

Whereas the average cost of a funeral in Nova Scotia can exceed $10,000; and

Whereas the tax on a funeral places an additional burden on grieving families and friends which is unfair and unjustifiable; and

Whereas while I was attending a funeral service earlier this week, I learned that in my absence the NDP has decided to adopt the Liberal initiative of refunding the tax on funeral services, an incentive which I put forward in April of this year;

Therefore be it resolved that the government take the necessary steps to implement legislation to rebate the provincial portion of the tax on funeral services and remove an additional burden from grieving families of this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 358

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

Whereas Baddeck's own Jessica Wong is presently awaiting word as to whether she will be a member of the Canadian National Team when it participates in the Under 18 World Women's Hockey Championship in Calgary, January 7 to 12; and

Whereas Jessica did play an exhibition game for Team Canada against the United States in August and will learn in the next week to ten days or so as to whether she will play in the World Championships; and

Whereas Jessica eventually wants to play for the Canadian National Women's Team at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and has already participated in two national strength and conditioning camps in Calgary over the past two summers;

[Page 403]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs commend Baddeck's Jessica Wong for her exceptional hockey talent and through this resolution, make it known that we stand with her 100 per cent as she awaits word on her participation in the 2008 World Women's Under 18 Hockey Championships.

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 359

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

Whereas Jennifer Lloyd-McKenzie, a physical education teacher at the Seaside Elementary School in Eastern Passage, succeeded in involving all students, both sport and non-sport, in a competition that would get them in to the Guinness Book of World Records; and

Whereas sport stacking is a popular activity for many young people around the world; and

Whereas Seaside Elementary School, a school of 340 students, participated in an event as a whole school to not only increase school spirit but to combine exercise and team work in a fun environment;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Jennifer Lloyd-McKenzie and the students of Seaside Elementary School in Eastern Passage on their success in a sport stacking event that has garnered them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 404]

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. 360

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 Nova Scotia Public Service Commission is dedicated to building a service that strives for excellence while recruiting Nova Scotians to meet the needs of a modern and innovative public service; and

Whereas Larry Lowthers has served the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for three decades and is still doing an outstanding job as an Operations Supervisor, based out of Windsor and Brooklyn; and

Whereas Larry was recently recognized by the Province of Nova Scotia for his 30 years of dedication and commitment which he has exemplified as an employee with Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the tremendous work ethic of Mr. Larry Lowthers of Nova Scotia's Public Service and for a job incredibly well done.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 405]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

[Page 406]

RESOLUTION NO. 361

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

Whereas the Roots of Empathy program was recently launched for the first time in Pictou County; and

Whereas the program is a classroom-based initiative that aims to reduce the levels of aggression and violence among school children, while raising social competence and increasing empathy; and

Whereas the program received support from many outlets, including the Pictou County Health Authority and the Department of Community Services, among others, and next year's planned partners include the United Way and the Community Health Board;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their best wishes to the program coordinators and supporters of the Roots of Empathy program as it embarks on its first year in Pictou County and wish them the best of luck for the next year and into the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

[3:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 362

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

[Page 407]

Whereas Victoria County's own Jessica MacDermid led the way in goal as the Cape Breton University Capers captured the 2007 CIS soccer championship in New Waterford in mid-November; and

Whereas CBU went undefeated in the tournament, scoring wins over the University of British Columbia and University of Ottawa, games in which Jessica played exceptionally well; and

Whereas Jessica MacDermid made Victoria County even prouder as she was named to the tournament all-star team after her outstanding play which included two shutouts in three games;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jessica MacDermid and her Cape Breton University women's soccer teammates on their 2007 National Championship and an outstanding season.

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 363

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

Whereas Jake Yorke of Parrsboro is the first-ever Mount Saint Vincent University student to receive a Rhodes Scholarship; and

Whereas Jake is currently working on his honours degree in chemistry with aspirations of becoming a physician-scientist with both his mother, who is living with Multiple Sclerosis, and his assistant professor Dr. Aibing Xia as inspiration; and

[Page 408]

Whereas as a student researcher, Yorke has been working with Dr. Xia on improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Suzuki and Heck reactions - widely used in the pharmaceutical industry - hoping that one of his goals, cutting down on pharmaceutical production timelines, will result in lower drug costs;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate this young Nova Scotian described by the Mount Saint Vincent University President as a compassionate leader who will make a difference in the world and wish him well in his studies at Oxford and in his desire to make a difference for so many others through his work.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West on an introduction.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take a minute to introduce some folks here in the east gallery, members of the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union. I will ask them to rise as I read their names. Chris VanZoost from Windsor; Teresa Olgilvie from Kentville; Lillian Fynes, Bridgewater; Doreen Charman, Halifax; Brenda Keeping, also of Halifax; Ann Marie Murdock of New Glasgow; and Maria Langille from River John. I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 364

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

Whereas Nova Scotians have a long history of helping others by offering their time, skills and services through volunteer organizations; and

[Page 409]

Whereas volunteer firemen not only risk their lives to save the lives and property of others but also spend countless hours in training for first response rescue operations and fires; and

Whereas the volunteer fire department of Tatamagouche in Colchester North has preserved this heritage of its early members by continuing its invaluable service to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to the Tatamagouche Volunteer Fire Department in honour of their 60th Anniversary.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 365

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

Whereas Guysborough resident Rosalie McAuley was presented with a Workplace Ambassador Award at the International Literacy Awards Ceremony; and

Whereas Rosalie received this award for participating in literacy and upgrading programs in the workplace; and

Whereas Rosalie is being celebrated for her commitment to lifelong learning through participation in workplace education initiatives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Rosalie on receiving a Workplace Ambassador Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 410]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 366

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

Whereas on Thursday, June 14, 2007, the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, was at École Secondaire de Par-en-Bas to present the Lieutenant Governor's Medal to 12 deserving Grade 11 students in the CSAP; and

Whereas Christopher Doucette attends École Secondaire de Par-en-Bas and is an athlete who is part of the volleyball, hockey and softball teams as well as assistant coach for the male junior hockey team and assists the organizers of the provincial badminton tournament, helps out with sports in the community where this year he was coach for the male soccer team at the Jeux d'Acadie and coach for a soccer team for 10 years and under; and

Whereas he has also represented the province at the Jeux de la Francophonie as a member of the volleyball team and as a guitarist has performed in SARMU for the past two years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Christopher Doucette for his outstanding athletic achievements and his dedication to the school and community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 411]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 367

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

Whereas Sydney Mines resident Brittany Burton aced the provincial hairdressing licensing exam; and

Whereas Brittany, who received her training at Memorial Composite High School, Sydney Mines, took the top mark in the province for theory and practical at 95 per cent; and

Whereas Brittany is now happily pursuing her career at a local hairdressing shop;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending congratulations to Brittany Burton on her accomplishment and 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.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East on an introduction.

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend greetings to one of my constituents, Bob Venus, who is an advocate for Persons With Disabilities and I would like to have everyone wish him happy watching today of the proceedings. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 368

[Page 412]

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

Whereas Acadia was founded in 1838 to provide access to a university education open and free to every person regardless of their religious persuasion, unlike other universities of the day; and

Whereas Acadia has earned its reputation as a leading Canadian undergraduate university for its academic excellence; and

Whereas Maclean's Magazine has recognized Acadia's accomplishments again by ranking it the best undergraduate university in the country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge Acadia's ranking as the best undergraduate university in Canada and the tremendous value it offers to all of its students.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time is 3:23 p.m. We shall go until 4:53 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

IMMIGRATION - NOMINEE PROG.: CORNWALLIS FIN. - CONTRACT

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Premier. At the Public Accounts Committee meeting this morning, the Deputy Minister of Immigration stated provincial staff were directed by the executive council to tender this contract, that's a quote. The deputy minister was testifying about the untendered contract with Cornwallis

[Page 413]

Financial to manage the Provincial Nominee Program. Now ministers say they were not aware of the directive to tender this contract. My question to the Premier is this, exactly how was that directive communicated and how could an untendered contract nevertheless go through all of the stages of approval?

THE PREMIER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for what is a timely question, with the Public Accounts Committee this morning. The deputy minister was correct in her statement this morning and, as was indicated, the Executive Council did make a decision. I believe the year was 2001 at the time. Following that, a number of steps were taken and we saw mistakes made by staff, and that was brought to the floor today and, as such, we followed up on that. It's an unfortunate situation, but as was indicated today, the deputy minister went through the relevant information.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the real question was, how was that directive communicated, is what I asked the Premier. The Premier would know that I spent much of my life in the private sector, building a business and, in fact, served as the head of a business organization representing both business and community interests in Dartmouth. I heard many, many times from businesses that they wanted fair treatment and a level playing field when dealing with the provincial government. In other words, good business people like to deal with good business people. So my question for the Premier is this, can the Premier tell the House what changes have been made, or directives issued, in light of the case of this untendered contract to ensure that businesses will be able to have confidence in a fair tendering process?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, a number of steps were taken. Steps that have been taken include, staff are regularly told the importance of following the government's procurement policy. The authority is the alternative procurement policy rests exclusively with the deputy minister. The department now consults with the Procurement Office on all procurement matters and must have the approval of that office for anything using the alternative procurement process. The director of procurement has appeared before the Committee of Deputy Ministers to update them on the government's procurement policy and the process for alternative procurement. All alternatives from Cabinet cross the deputy minister's desk and are the exclusive responsibility of the deputy minister to ensure they are carried out.

MR. DEXTER: Well, Mr. Speaker, this underlines the massive difficulty with miscommunication in that department and with the Executive Council that led to this unfortunate - as the Premier says - situation. You know, Mr. Speaker, the Premier's predecessor, Dr. Hamm, proposed that no public-private partnership worth $5 million or more could be signed without a cost benefit analysis being done under the authority of the Auditor General. Dr. Hamm made that proposal on the basis of the high cost to Nova Scotians of deals like the Cornwallis contract and like P3 schools. Mr. Speaker, I'm going to table a copy of the bill introduced by Dr. Hamm in this regard. My question to the Premier

[Page 414]

is this, is the Premier considering a mandatory independent cost benefit analysis before he ventures further down the road of public-private partnerships?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we have already indicated on the floor of this House that a process will be put in place to ensure a proper analysis of the strategic infrastructure partnerships that we enter into. Now, what's quite ironic is that on one hand we have the NDP talking against the private sector and on the other hand they're attempting to try to talk for the private sector. We have a member for Queens who is really, I guess, speaking out against what her Leader is talking about in support of the government's initiative in talking about the Greenfield School in the Queens County riding. She said, in talking about the initiatives with that community group, which is a strategic infrastructure partnership, that this initiative could also prove to be an excellent role model for other areas.

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

PREM: MENTORSHIP PROG. - DETAILS

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. We have discovered through documents and testimony to the Public Accounts Committee this morning that the government knew well in advance of last month that the business mentorship program had gone afoul. Federal officials and nominees outlined their concerns back when this program was first conceived and continued to express their concerns until the program was shut down. This program has tarnished Nova Scotia's image and Canada's image abroad. My question to the Premier is, why did you not shut down this Mentorship Program sooner?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the deputy minister outlined the steps that were taken with regard to the program this morning at the Public Accounts Committee meeting. There was a proper review; an analysis carried forward. There were a number of programs being implemented at the time that the office was set up. I believe that the staff followed up appropriately on all of the options available. The best practices across the country were looked at and I believe we have a very solid program in place at the present time.

MR. MCNEIL: It seems that everybody had concerns over this program except the government and the Premier. Nominees were being forced into mentorships that had little to do with their previous work experience and skill set. Furthermore, there were no checks and balances to ensure the participating companies who took the money actually provided employment to their nominees. The Premier either knew this was going on and did nothing or he didn't care enough of immigration to ask or investigate. So my question to the Premier is simple, which is it?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this province has seen a 66 per cent increase in the number of new immigrants coming to our province contributing in one way or another . . .

[Page 415]

initiatives of this government. While that side of the House sat silent on that side for many years while in government in the 1990s, this government did something about it. (Standing Ovation)

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, nothing ceases to amaze me. The Premier gets a standing ovation for creating a program that took $130,000 from immigrants coming into this province; gave $20,000 to some foreign broker firm; $10,000 to a company through an untendered contract, took $100,000 of people who came into this province wanting to have a new start, divvied it up, $80,000 to a company for - and do you know what, it was great of this company to return $20,000 of the immigrants' own money. So my question is to the Premier, stand up and tell Nova Scotians why you allowed this to happen and tarnish our reputation around the world.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this government introduced more programs than we had seen for many years in this province. This government has worked with our regional development associations. This government has worked with our municipalities. This government has worked with the federal government to sign an historic agreement with our country on making sure that not only do we increase the number of immigrants coming to Nova Scotia, but that we create opportunities for those who come here to prosper in our province.

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

IMMIGRATION: HUA LING XU CASE - EXPLAIN

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Immigration. Hua Ling Xu is a recent immigrant to Nova Scotia under the nominee program, economic stream. She arrived in April of 2007 and with her family bought a house in Halifax. On August 17th, she signed a contract for a six-month mentorship with the Mabou River Inn in Cape Breton. It was just weeks before the program was terminated and her mentorship began shortly before the business closed for the season. So my question is this, for the minister, can the minister explain why $100,000 was collected from this immigrant under a program about to be terminated for a company that was soon closing for the season?

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, first of all, as you know, when it comes to discussion of any individuals within this House, relative to private, confidential information, as a minister I have absolutely no intention of responding to it. However, if the Leader of the Opposition has a signed waiver in his position that he would like to table, I would be more than glad to bring that information into this House, but only under those circumstances.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, as I recall, this is the minister who was going to be open and transparent with respect to those files. That's what I remember.

[Page 416]

Mr. Speaker, the key to a successful program is to match the right immigrant with the right business person. Now Hua Ling Xu lives in Halifax. She did not have a car to get to and from Mabou, so she completed just a few weeks of her mentorship. To her horror, the province began offering $100,000 refunds soon after she signed her contract. So my question is, why won't the minister agree to review this and any other case where it appears that the mentorship did not provide the valuable work experience that was promised by this government?

MR. GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, as I said previously, this government has a responsibility to the citizens of this province for protection of privacy to individuals. I intend, as minister, to maintain and uphold that tradition within this House, and I will not, can not, respond to individual cases.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I will ask my last question to the Premier since the minister doesn't want to seem to want to address the issues. For years, the business community in Nova Scotia has been telling us that we need immigration to help grow our economy. If immigration is to succeed, people must be able to move to Nova Scotia knowing that they will find opportunities and the welcome that they need to put down roots here for them and for their families. Making people spend $130,000 for services that they did not receive in full sends out a strong, negative signal. My question to the Premier is, why won't you show good faith with potential immigrants by refunding the money for those who did not receive the promised services?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I certainly, in echoing the minister's comments, respect the rights of individuals' privacy, and such, in this province. I also respect the fact that many businesses were part of this program, and certainly the one he speaks of is a quality business owner in our province. As we have said time and time again, the program is not continuing. Those who have already signed up and are going through the process will continue to go through that process. We have been very clear in our intentions and the government will carry forward as such.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

TIR - JOSEPH HOWE BLDG.:AIR QUALITY PROBLEMS - REMEDIATION

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. The Joseph Howe Building has become known as the "13 floors of misery" for many of the public servants who work there. Health issues go back several years and, lately, they have been getting worse. In fact, according to our sources, the CBCL consultants report was triggered by several recent cases of sick building syndrome. So my question to the Premier is this, is he content to allow hundreds of employees in the Province of Nova Scotia to be in a building that is making an increasing number of them sick?

[Page 417]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to give an update with respect to the report and to the building.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. Yes, that company did do an assessment of that property and has submitted their report. There are some short-term initiatives that need to be undertaken and there are some long-term. I can tell the honourable member that the short-term ones will be remedied immediately and government will make a decision with regard to the long-term solution for that building.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as a result of these air quality issues, at least one public servant has invoked his rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to work at home in order to protect his health. We understand that several others are seeking a similar remedy. So, Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister through you is this, why did the government, as the majority tenant in the Joe Howe Building, not demand a higher standard from its landlord?

MR. SCOTT: Thank you, and again to the honourable member, we only received that report within the last few weeks. We take that very seriously; in fact in all government buildings in this province, we ensure that occupational health and safety standards are met. In fact, we place the very issue of our employees at the top and I can tell you that this department and this government will place the health of our employees at the forefront; we'll do everything possible to ensure that they are safe in the workplace, Mr. Speaker.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Well, Mr. Speaker, the report the minister refers to has listed many problems with the Joe Howe Building. Heating, ventilation and cooling equipment are beyond their lifespan; building occupants experience poor indoor air quality and poor comfort throughout the building; the fire alarm system is outdated and fails in many areas; elevators don't meet today's codes; and security is minimal.

And for this, we, the people of Nova Scotia, are on the hook not only for a massive repair bill but for more than $10 million in rent over the next five years, Mr. Speaker. So my question to the minister is this: What steps will the government take to ensure that the current owners of this P3 project provide a safe and healthy environment for those working in the Joseph Howe Building?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I'll reiterate what I said a moment ago, that we will ensure that we have a healthy place for our workers. Again I'd like to point out that the Opposition, the NDP, are quick to criticize and quick to jump on something before they get the facts - I would suggest that they gather the facts and maybe then they'll have an idea of what they are talking about.

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

[Page 418]

IMMIGRATION: MENTORSHIP PROG. - COMPENSATION PLAN

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier. Many nominees who have gone through the experience of dealing with our business mentorship program have a bad taste in their mouth. In most cases, nominees were forced to pay $130,000 for entry level positions and no choice with respect to their placement. To make matters worse, most nominees were matched with companies that were not in the same field that they had previously worked in. The nominees simply did not get what they paid for. So my question to the Premier is what is your government's plan for the nominees who went through the program, paid their money, and stayed in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we will welcome them here, as with any new immigrant to our province, and do everything we can to continue investing and making our province the very best place it can be, with a driving economy, with a safe and healthy community to live in, and to ensure that we continue to diversify our population across our province.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, this government has admitted that the program was not working and they admitted that when they shut the program down. The government is committed to refunding those who have paid but have not started their mentorship yet, but according to one previous minister the government will not refund those nominees who paid their money, went through the program, and did not receive any meaningful benefits from the program.

There is currently $75 million of nominees' money in a trust account. So my question to the Premier: Will you give a refund to those nominees who have gone through the program and chose to stay in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government has stated its intentions and will be standing by its statement.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, this program has tarnished Nova Scotia's image in Canada, and Canada's image around the world. This program was doomed since the day it began because this government did not properly protect the nominees and they did not ensure that participants were getting the experience they paid for.

The Premier knew the downfalls when he was minister and yet did nothing. He now has an opportunity to right his wrong, so my question to the Premier is when will you admit the failure of the business mentorship program and do the right thing and refund the money?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Liberal Party is suggesting a 66 per cent increase in the number of immigrants coming to our province is a failure, is it any wonder they couldn't balance the books of this province.

[Page 419]

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

SERVICE N.S. & MUN. REL.: HOME HEATING COSTS - ASSISTANCE

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Today there are many families in all parts of Nova Scotia who are looking at their oil bills and wondering how they are going to make it through what may turn out to be a long, cold winter. With crude oil prices approaching the $100 mark and local heating oil ranging from 80 cents to 90 cents a litre, low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes are rightfully worried. My question to the minister is, what does he plan to do to help vulnerable families heat their homes?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member and welcome her to the floor of Question Period. Last year this government embarked on a very ambitious program which saw the provincial portion of the HST rebated on all purchases of residential home heating fuel.

MS. KENT: Mr. Speaker, removing the HST off home heating fuels and this government's abandoning of our most vulnerable citizens are completely two different issues. Why this minister is refusing to acknowledge this is beyond me. I would be willing to bet that every member of this House can think of at least one elderly senior living in their family home and wanting to remain there, who just can't see how they're going to make ends meet with the high cost of fuel. My question to the minister is, why won't this government bring forward a plan to help some of Nova Scotia's most vulnerable heat their homes this winter?

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I said in response to her first question. Last year this province embarked on a very, very ambitious program which saw us rebate the provincial portion of the HST on all residential fuel. The cost of that program, I think - I'll look at my colleague, the Minister of Finance - was estimated to be $75 million, and I think that was a fairly substantial contribution.

MS. KENT: Mr. Speaker, with the oil prices higher than we have seen in recent years, this government has to stop confusing the issue and bring forward a plan to help vulnerable Nova Scotians deal with the high oil prices. We had a program until this government axed it. My final question is, when will this government offer assistance to vulnerable Nova Scotians by reinstituting the Keep the Heat program?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the Keep the Heat program was discontinued because after we had a year's experience with it, government took the position that it was better to . . .

[Page 420]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MUIR: The government took the position that it would be in the best interests of more Nova Scotians to rebate the provincial portion of the HST on home heating fuel. If we took a look at those numbers from two years ago, I think on the average the rebates were higher under the present program than the former program.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH: MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS TEAM - STAFFING

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Yesterday we asked the minister why this government failed to protect the interests of Howard Hyde who needed a hospital, not a jail cell. Quite frankly, the minister's answer was inadequate. So let's look at available services. We know that although there is a 24-hour crisis hotline, the mental health mobile crisis team only operates from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. My question for the minister is, how do staffing restrictions affect the performance of the mental health mobile crisis team?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. We do have a mobile mental health crisis team. There is a number to call and from those times when they are not in operation, there is a team through our emergency ambulance system - through 911 - that can help and triage through that and as they present at the hospital, they will be dealt with accordingly.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, as the minister knows, the major concern about the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act, the government would not guarantee the necessary services would be in place before it was enacted. Since the minister assures us that proper resources are in place, there must be another reason why Mr. Hyde was charged criminally instead of treated in a hospital. The Act is very specific in detailing the involuntary admission of people at risk because of mental disorder. What assurances will the minister give us that all the proper procedures outlined in the Act were followed the night that Howard Hyde was arrested?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, for the Act to apply, the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act, someone needs to take that individual to an ER to be assessed. For example, that can be police or family members. Now in this case, as I cannot speak to this specific case, I don't know if that was done.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Hyde's situation is not unique. Donnie Harvey of Bridgewater was taken to jail, not a hospital, after he threatened his mother with a knife during a psychotic episode. Health consumers want to know that they are being treated properly in times of crisis. So my question is, how will the Minister of Health report back to

[Page 421]

the House so Nova Scotians can be confident that their health care system will, indeed, protect their interests and maybe even their lives?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as you recall, through the Throne Speech, we have put as a priority that we will work on mental health services, make sure that we have more and more increased services, whether it be mental health core and other services available to this group of individuals. I can say that through the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act that we had the opportunity to have all the patient advocates in place. The Act is very specific on how it relates to health and how it is to protect the rights of all individuals in this province. We have had four months to basically put in place and really not a lot of experience on this Act. I am sure it could have been put in place a lot sooner had the NDP supported it when it was first introduced in this House three years ago, four years ago.

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

IMMIGRATION - NOMINEE PROG.: REPS. - MEET

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Immigration. The nominee program is currently the subject of great debate in the Province of Nova Scotia and many nominees right here are asking to provide input and to have answers for their many questions. These are the very people who paid the highest fees in Canada and followed all of the rules that were laid down by the province and by the Office of Immigration to participate in what is really clearly a questionable mentorship program.

I was very surprised to learn that when these very nominees asked to meet with the minister, their request has been refused. My first question to the Minister of Immigration is simple. Why haven't you sat down with the representatives of the nominees who have currently signed mentorship agreements?

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite raises a point that I am not sure who she is speaking of. Can you clarify? Several people have called me and we have taken it upon ourselves, in our office, to speak to some. If she could clarify the situation for me, I could respond to the question. It is very arbitrary.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity, although I think I should get an extra question. (Applause) Start over. All in favour. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, to the minister, on October 25th of this year, I sent a letter to the minister's office, asking that he meet with the nominees who are in the group of 207 who have signed mentorship agreements and are therefore persona non grata in his office. The meetings that were held to explain the new program and the new options were

[Page 422]

only made known to the 600 who have not yet signed agreements. The others, and we heard that this morning at the Public Accounts Committee meeting, the other people who have currently signed contracts or have completed their mentorships, were not considered involved in this program. I can tell you they are personally involved. They have lost a lot by signing those contracts and perhaps under bad advice. The minister knows that I asked him to meet and I haven't had an answer from the minister from that letter, neither have the immigrants. Therefore, my question to the minister is, why have you wiped your hands with the nominees who have gone through, in the early process, the first phase of this ill-conceived mentorship program?

MR. GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, the member makes reference to an ill-conceived mentorship program. I don't think you can fight the numbers of the 1,223 people who have entered this wonderful province, along with probably a multiple of four per each member, or nominee, who has entered the province, probably in the vicinity of 5,000 new wonderful residents for this province. Between 2003, we started with 1,447 total immigrants into this province. In 2006, 2,585 new immigrants, new residents, for this province have entered Nova Scotia.

This program, though there may be some issues - I'll tell you right now, it has done a great job for this province. We will continue, as a government, to attract new nominees to our Nominee Program by the current four streams that we have in operation and will the new entrepreneurial stream that will be coming about in the new year.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, increasing immigration to this province is a priority for all of us in the House and I think it has had all-Party support. We are very pleased to see Nova Scotia marketed as a wonderful place to live, but this program has left a black eye for our province - it has hurt us. The way we deal with the people who have come here in good faith is going to have long lasting repercussions to our province. We have about 100 families who are settled here now, have gone through the program and played by the rules and I want to see them treated fairly. Eighty-five per cent of the new immigrants that our minister speaks about were economic immigrants. Therefore, I am asking the minister to show the respect that these people deserve and commit today to sit down and meet with their representatives in order to hear their concerns.

MR. GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, first of all, for any member opposite to be saying that we don't respect immigration and the immigrants in this province is absolute lunacy - I'm sorry. We, as a government, respect the immigrants in this province. We will be very aggressively pursuing a new program to draw more and more immigrants to this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

TCH - TOURIST ACCOMMODATIONS ACT: REPEAL - EXPLAIN

[Page 423]

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. Yesterday the minister announced that his government plans to repeal the Tourist Accommodations Act. In short, it would appear the government no longer wants the responsibility of ensuring that all visitors to Nova Scotia have a high quality experience and living up to what the minister describes as "minimal standards", will be entirely voluntary. My question is, in an era of increasing competition for the tourist dollar, why is this department turning Nova Scotia into a buyer beware destination?

HON. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in my position here today to answer the question. We believe in the private sector of this province and this (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DOOKS: We believe in the private sector and the private sector industry. This initiative has been endorsed by TIANS.

MS. RAYMOND: Sadly, Mr. Speaker, for years, legitimate tourist operators in this province has been believing in this government and they have been asking this government to clamp down on illegal operations, with no success.

Now it would appear that rather than enforcing the law, the easiest thing is to dismiss the law. So my question to the minister, how can you expect an act to work when you won't bother to enforce it?

MR. DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, to make reference to the Leader of the Opposition earlier today, he supported creating a level playing field. This is what we're doing with this initiative, Mr. Speaker. It reduces red tape, it is endorsed by private sector TIANS which, by the way, is an association that is reflective of the tourism accommodation, or tourism operators, in this province.

Mr. Speaker, this also clearly gives the tourism accommodation group three choices to be rated. We are moving aggressively ahead, we are doing what private sector people who contribute to the economy of Nova Scotia want us to do and that's our business, to support industry in this province.

MS. RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I think there are going to be a number of confused tourists at this point. (Interruptions) A lot of choices, a lot of private sector operators from whose ratings systems operators can choose, because this government does not believe that it is capable of providing a level playing field by itself. It needs to hand that responsibility off.

[Page 424]

There are dozens of tourist destinations around the world which do, in fact, have laws requiring licensing and inspection of tourist accommodations and take the responsibility themselves for overseeing this. Prince Edward Island, our nearest neighbour, has recently announced that it will take that responsibility and will even publish the results of those inspections online.

My question is, why does this government walk away from its licensing responsibility when most of our competition does take the trouble to oversee accommodations so that its visitors do take away a good impression when they leave?

MR. DOOKS: $1.3 billion of tax dollars is created yearly in our province due to tourism; 33,000 employed in the tourism industry in this province, a 2 per cent increase when times are difficult. That tells me, Mr. Speaker, that we're approaching and working with private industry in the correct manner and we do things . . . (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the Opposition would permit me to answer the question. I am very pleased with the tourism summit that we have just completed. We have been endorsed by TIANS, also the Tourism Partnership Council endorses us. Also, to the member across the way, Mr. Speaker, I have informed all people that we have open communications and we are doing the right thing for the tourism industry in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

IMMIGRATION - BUS. RELATIONSHIP PROG.:

DISMANTLING - TIME FRAME

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Premier. On a briefing note dated May 16, 2007, which I will table, relating to the Business Relationship Program, the following is stated and I quote: "a significant number of companies do not wish to offer bona fide employment relationships and are seeking cash. Significant numbers of nominees do not want to work and there are flaws in the nominees selection criteria, there are questionable matches between nominees and companies."

The note also outlines the next move for government- enter into discussions internally to significantly redesign the program. My question to the Premier is. . . so my first question to the Premier, when did you decide that the program should be dismantled?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member confirms what the government is saying, that there were issues with the program and the government moved forward and is discontinuing the program. So I agree with the member across the floor, there

[Page 425]

were issues with the program. The staff took the proper steps, the ministers took the proper steps and the government followed through. We will see further development of new streams coming on line. As we have with the post-secondary stream, with the skills stream, with the community-identified stream, this will be treated no differently.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear that the Premier has taken such aggressive action.

My first supplementary. Documents provided to the Public Accounts Committee show clearly that not only did the government know that the business mentorship program was failing but they should have identified the failures of the program very early on or even when it was created. Staff identified concerns through the Premier's tenure as the Immigration Minister well before a May 2007 briefing note and was opposed to taking adjustments or shutting down the program. He tried to convince his federal counterpart to keep the program alive. My question to the Premier, again, when did you know in this Spring the changes were coming and why didn't you halt the program then, this early Spring?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I reiterate what I said. The government recognized that there were issues with the program, there were positives to the program, there were also negatives. The government took steps and moved forward and discontinued the program.

MR. COLWELL: Well, I am pleased to hear that from the Premier.

My final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, this government knew they were going to axe the program or significantly redesign it in the Spring of last year at the latest, yet they pushed people through the program and forced nominees to sign contracts all through the summer months of this year. Nominees were pressured into programs the government knew that they would soon be ending and offering refunds to other nominees that hadn't formed or signed contracts. Those who were pushed through the program are not eligible for refunds now. This is just wrong. My final question is, if you knew you were going to end this program and provide rebates, why did your government still pressure nominees into the program this summer knowing full well that they couldn't get their money back?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear he is pleased with my answers, but for this one I will refer to the Minister of Immigration.

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, first of all let's make a clarification. The program wasn't axed, we stopped taking applications on it - and there is a difference. We have 600 valid nominees who are still eligible to proceed under the mentorship program. We are going to redesign it, but the program wasn't axed; also nobody was pressured to sign anything or go with any particular company. All nominees were offered a list of companies. They are the ones who chose them and also, the people in the department suggested and

[Page 426]

actually asked them to please meet with the mentors prior to the signing of the document, so nobody was pressured in the program.

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

EDUC.: SPECIAL NEEDS TASK FORCE - STATUS

MR. PERCY PARIS: My question is for the Minister of Education. We have heard nothing from the minister on the plans to do with the task force report on special needs education. This silence has created a sense of fear and concern among the parents of children with learning disabilities. My first question to the minister, through you, Mr. Speaker, is when are you going to make up your mind about the task force recommendations for special needs education?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite and to my new critic, thank you for taking on the responsibility of critic and I look forward to working with you through education issues in the province. With respect to the question (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The honourable Minister of Education has the floor.

MS. CASEY: I might add that the critic has big shoes to fill.(Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Let's try this one more time.

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, on a serious note, there was a call for a review of special education programs in the province. That review was conducted. A report with 26 recommendations came to me and we have been at my department working through those recommendations and preparing our report and our response. That response will be delivered within the next two weeks and during the meantime, we have been meeting constantly with parents who have concerns. We have asked for additional input. We've asked for a reaction to the report and recommendations and all of that is being considered in my response.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I just have to gain my composure here because I was getting quite enthusiastic about that preamble until the tail end of it. (Interruptions) Most parents with kids in the tuition support program pay substantial additional fees each year. They would rather see their child succeed in the public school system, but they have been forced to move their children because the public system leaves them behind. I would like to ask the minister, when is she going to ensure that all children with special education needs can be guaranteed a timely diagnosis and adequate learning supports in the public school system?

[Page 427]

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, we have made sure that we are looking at the needs of all students in our public schools and it was this government that made the decision that some students' needs were not adequately being met and we introduced the student tuition support program. (Applause) What we are prepared to do is to continue that program until we have an alternative that takes the place of that.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, as we have heard over and over again from parents, one of the key benefits of special needs education is class size. In a smaller class, each learner gets the attention he or she needs. Here in Nova Scotia, even though enrolment numbers are decreasing, our class sizes are not because the government has broken its promise to continue to cap class sizes. So my final question to the minister is, when are you going to invest the resources promised by your government to reduce class sizes in public schools?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to say that again, it was this government that introduced capping the class size. That has been capped in Primary, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, and in the budget for next year it will include Grade 4.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

ECON. DEV. - BAY FERRIES: SERVICE - ENSURE

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development. Last September Terry Grandy, past president of the Innkeeper's Guild of Nova Scotia and owner of the Manor Inn in Yarmouth, was quoted in the media as saying the tourism business in the Yarmouth area has fallen off a cliff. Since 2002, the town has lost almost 500 bed nights and now less rooms are available for fewer nights. Despite this, occupancy rates plummeted when Bay Ferries changed its timetable for the CAT and Yarmouth had its worst season since 1990 this year. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister, what is he doing to ensure the ferry service to and from Yarmouth creates jobs and prosperity here in Nova Scotia?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member that I'm carrying on the work done by my predecessor, the MLA for Yarmouth. We're working very closely with Bay Ferries and our objective is to ensure that we do everything we can to assist them in increasing the flow of traffic to Yarmouth and that is a continued effort of our department in consultation with the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. Thank you.

[Page 428]

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, we had the major declines that minister referred to. We know the Office of Economic Development gave $2.5 million to Bay Ferries to keep the service going. The problem is that the service, as it currently exists, is not enough. Yarmouth tourism is in financial meltdown, in part because the ferry timetable means fewer overnights. I ask the minister, did his department request the ferry company adjust its schedule when the cheque was presented?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as a government we understand that the entrepreneurs of this province, it is their responsibility to make the business decisions that will ensure that their operation is most profitable, most beneficial to the people they are serving. When we have to provide an assistance of $2 million, it is incumbent on us to work with the operator to ensure that they are able to do what they have to in order to revitalize that industry and make sure it is there for the long term as a privately operated entity.

[4:15 p.m.]

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I would think that there would, in fact, be conditions with the cheques, however, bus tour companies are starting to drop the Prince of Acadia trip from Digby to Saint John from their schedules because they are concerned about its long term prospects for survival. In addition, tour companies may start to avoid the Yarmouth Cat as well. These ferries are a core part of the infrastructure of southwestern Nova Scotia. What is the minister doing to ensure that these ferry services remain intact, in service?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable Minister of Energy is chomping at the bit, he would like to be part of the response, but I can tell you what we've done. We have invested in the ferry from Digby to Saint John and put money in that in order for that ferry to be able to look to the future and to find solutions that will be lasting. We have put money into the operation of the ferry at Yarmouth. The only thing that I hear coming from the other side is the suggestion that somehow we should be operating those ferries. We are not going to get into the operation of private ferry services in this province, that might be the NDP's solution, it's not ours.

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

PREM. - NOMINEE PROG.: FEES - REVIEW

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. After receiving documents and testimony pertaining to the Nominee Program it's now clear that the government knew the fees that were being charged to nominees to come to our province were too high. Documents show that almost at the outset of the program, in January 2003, the government was notified that our fees were extraordinarily high in the context of Canada. To make matters worse, the government waited all the way to 2006 to call for a fee review,

[Page 429]

which was the Global Report, which the Premier heard about in February or March 2006, yet the Premier chose to sit on the report for four months before making it public. My question to the Premier is, why did you decide to sit on that Global Report for four months and not act to bring down the fees?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am familiar with the fee review because I called for the fee review here in our province as the minister. Upon receipt of that review, the government moved forward and eliminated those fees.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it's good that the review is finally called for, but it took three years, that's my point. What was the delay? From the very beginning we were told it was the highest in the country. The skilled worker program was charging $5,500 to nominees, and the next highest fee was being charged by P.E.I., which was only $1,500. So we were 250 per cent above the nearest province in Canada, and that is hardly fair or reasonable. That is not even to mention the $130,000 that nominees were being asked for for economic immigration, which gave them no equity stake whatsoever in the companies. Our fees were clearly too high and the government knew it. Perhaps it proves that the current minister is right when he says that it was not a priority for the minister. It was not, in fact, on the radar screen of the Minister of Immigration. My question, Mr. Speaker, to the Premier is, you knew the fees were too high and they were way out of step with other provinces, why didn't you take charge and lower them sooner?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for congratulating the government on eliminating those fees.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I think I better clarify there was no congratulations to the government for their slow foot-dragging on this entire file. The nominees we are talking about, skilled workers and economic nominees, are exactly the people we want to attract to our province, yet this government has treated them as if they were valued primarily for the foreign capital they bring with them and not much more. The federal government signalled from the outset of the Nominee Program that they had real concerns about how we were treating the economic stream, particularly the 80/20 split that was going to the companies they were mentored with. Yet, the government buried its head in the sand. The mismanagement of this program falls clearly at the feet of the first Minister of Immigration. My question to the Premier is, the current minister has admitted that this was not a priority for your government in the past, can you assure us that it is currently a priority for your government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we value each and every single immigrant that comes to Nova Scotia. In the 1990s in this province, under the then Liberal Government, we saw no immigration programs for individuals, we saw no office of immigration, we saw no minister responsible for immigration, we saw nothing, no steps being taken for the people

[Page 430]

who were coming to this province. It is this government that stepped up to the plate and made those things happen.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

TIR: CYCLING CONDITIONS: IMPROVEMENTS - PLANS

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. In a media report this week - which I will table a copy - it was stated that large American tour companies are dropping Nova Scotia bicycle routes off their itineraries due to the poor state of our secondary roads, and more business may be lost if conditions do not improve. Aside from the poor road conditions, and according to media reports, some paving projects have not included the resurfacing of shoulders. The situation is dangerous, and money that could have come into Nova Scotia is now going to P.E.I. and Quebec. My question to the minister is, what does this government plan to do to improve conditions for cyclists in Nova Scotia?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the question. It's kind of ironic if you look at the last election, look at which Party promised to add money to transportation, look at which Party ran on that and, in fact, has carried through on that promise, when, in fact, the member opposite's Party was going to take money from transportation.(Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has the floor.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue for all Nova Scotians, and we have continued over the last number of years to commit millions of dollars more every year, millions, and I think you'll see Nova Scotians are very pleased with the results they see from this government.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I don't know where the minister got his messaging from if he feels members of the Opposition here don't want to see more improvements in our road system across this province.

Mr. Speaker, one way of dealing with this problem would be to look at road repair from different angles. For instance, a road repair project for Highway No. 329, around the Aspotogan Peninsula, a very attractive tourism route - the department could examine the benefits of providing a wider shoulder. A wider shoulder would allow for increased tourism opportunities and improved active transportation options for local residents. My question to the minister is, will he consider a pilot to examine how these projects could be implemented on key rural routes?

[Page 431]

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I was just reminded by my colleagues opposite to ensure that when I made those comments about decreasing from transportation, it was actually the NDP, I wasn't talking about the Liberals. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, this is the first government in the history of this province that has committed millions more than we take in in regard to fuel tax and fees for registration and licences. The first government, and we will continue to put those dollars into the highways of this province.

MS. CONRAD: Oh, we have a lot of work to do. Mr. Speaker, if this government is serious about meeting its targets on greenhouse gas emissions and promoting healthy lifestyles, it has to begin looking at promoting healthier forms of transportation and safer routes in our rural communities. Will the minister work with his counterparts in health promotion and the environment to find ways to improve access to active transportation in our rural communities?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again, I have to say this government stands on its record with regard to the environment. Just look at the release of the strategies over the last few months from this government. I will say, this government made a commitment of 2,000 kilometres of repaving and we kept our commitment for the second year and we will keep that commitment for next year as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

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AGRIC. - HOG IND. TRANSITION PLAN: SUPPORT - EXPLAIN

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is through you to the Minister of Agriculture. There are a number of hog farmers who have gone into debt mediation and many of whom have been farming for 25 years or 30 years and have their whole life tied into these farms. If these families go under, they will lose not only their livelihoods but they will also lose their homes as well. My question for the minister is, what is this government's position on how these producers will be treated if they are forced out of the industry and will they be able to leave with dignity and be able to at least keep their homes?

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, this government has been extremely fair and honest with the agriculture community. In fact, we are working extremely hard with the pork producers in this province. I would like to add for the benefit of members in the House and to all Nova Scotians that this government, this fiscal year, increased our budget by some 15 per cent.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, there must be a difference between the increase in your budget and actually spending the money and if he is working hard with hog producers, he should phone them up and tell them that because they don't know it.

Mr. Speaker, the minister has spoken on a number of occasions of a hog industry transition plan and how the government is willing to support this transition on an individual basis. Well, this sounds good but there is no evidence of it as far as the industry is concerned and actually, I think there is no evidence as far as the staff of the department is concerned. So can the minister explain how the government is providing transition support that will stabilize the hog sector?

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has been the most supportive and generous of any Atlantic Province to the pork sector. Since 2000, this government has delivered over $16 million to the pork producers alone. In 2000, a grant for $3.5 million; Pork Industry Loan Initiative in 2004, $300,000; direct support to the pork producer 2005-06, $1 million; Pork Nova Scotia Loan Support Addition in 2006, $1.8 million; Agri-Food Development Fund, 2001 to the present, $57,000. The CAIS Program, 2003-05, $4.1 million to pork producers; the Transitional Assistance Program, 2007-08, $3.5 million. This government isn't going to mislead the pork producers, we have fiscal realities but we are doing the best we can and treating them extremely fairly. I will table that, Mr. Speaker.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, if you announce $3 three times, it becomes $9, but it's still the same $3. This government has offered very little to this industry and if they offered so much, why is it in such a crisis?

The hog industry is not the only one in crisis. I have a letter here - and I'll table it - that came from the Zone 3 Cattle Producers Association outlining the dire straits cattle

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producers are finding themselves in. Actually, Mr. Speaker, the minister should have a copy of that by now anyway. Cattle producers in this province are receiving 1970 prices while paying 2007 costs. The opening of the American border to cattle of all ages has not improved their situation, and all the while store prices are as high as ever. My question for the minister is, what plan does this government have to address the crisis facing cattle producers?

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would certainly admit that our resource-based industries are facing many, many challenges. It's not just farming, it's certainly forestry, as well, and the fishing industry. I know ministers and caucus mates on this side of the House are extremely concerned. We do recognize the cattle industry, as well, has many challenges.

[4:30 p.m.]

I would point out again that in fact this government, since the BSE crisis in May 2003, has put more per head into the farming community in Nova Scotia than any government in Canada.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - POLLUTION REDUCTION: CHANGES - PLAN

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Environment and Labour. Today the New England and Eastern Canada Climate Change Action Report was released and Nova Scotia is once again in the bottom of the list. Six years after signing the action plan, states and provinces are not on track to meet the 2010 pollution reduction goals. Nova Scotia received an "F" on pollution reduction. Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, what immediate changes will your government make to reduce pollution in Nova Scotia?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure if he's talking about air pollution or climate change, but we've taken steps in terms of air pollution by mandating targets in both sulphur NOx emissions and mercury.

In terms of climate change, I just announced in the Red Chamber last week a $9.5 million technology fund, along with my colleague the Minister of Energy. A week before that the Premier of the province announced a $7 million program to partner with municipalities to mitigate greenhouse gases. We established an environmental technology institute, Mr. Speaker, including six of the prestigious universities across Nova Scotia to lend us their academic expertise. Mr. Speaker, I could go on and on but you'd tell me I had run out of time, so I better sit down.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, according to the report, greenhouse gas emissions have risen 16 per cent in Nova Scotia from 1990 to 2005, and Nova Scotia is the second

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highest per capita polluter amongst the region's provinces - hardly a ringing endorsement for a Progressive Conservative Government that says they're moving toward a greener and more environmentally-friendly province. We continue to ship tires to Quebec to burn. We seriously looked at burning tires in Nova Scotia - and I'm really pleased to see that the minister decided against that, after a tremendous amount of pressure from the community. Mr. Speaker, communications among the eastern states and provinces is key to moving forward to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially here in Nova Scotia. What consultations does the minister have in place with other leaders from the eastern states and provinces to help address this problem?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege of attending a conference, with the Premier, with the governors and Premiers of the eastern provinces and we are in lockstep with them in our Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. We actually put into legislation the goals that others are just talking about. We have challenges in climate change, as the speaker opposite knows, because of our electrical generation being coal-fired, but we have plans - and I know the Minister of Energy is going to be showing some great leadership on the renewable side, as he already has done on wind energy, but there will be good news coming up and we'll be hearing more from him. So, we in Canada and throughout the world are leading on the environment and we're very, very proud of it. (Applause)

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the report states the necessary policies are not in place. To get back on track, it is going to take real leadership and mandatory policies. Those are not yet in place in Nova Scotia. This Progressive Conservative Government says that they are leaders in the world when it comes to environmental practices and frequently touts great ecological policies. Yet in the report of the Regional Summary of Policy Grades, Nova Scotia comes in with a grade C-minus, lower than previous ratings, and is indeed lower than any of the four eastern Canadian Provinces. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Speaker, and the people of this province want action and they want action now. My question is, will your government take action and create a comprehensive plan to ensure that Nova Scotians are a driving force in this climate change?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Energy and I are doing just that, but I want to mention an announcement that was made in the riding of the honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville. In that announcement, which was widely lauded across this province, we put aside a wilderness area that had been talked about for 20 years, and hadn't been done by any previous government, which is equivalent to taking 50,000 cars off the road and removing that carbon dioxide omission by each of those trees standing and protecting them. We are acting. (Applause)

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

COM. SERV.: AFFORDABLE HOUSING - BUILD

[Page 435]

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. In 2006, because of the federal NDP, a $3.3 billion trust was added to the federal budget, which included $8 million for affordable housing. Nova Scotia's share is $23 million and it's only available until April 2009. This money has been around for nearly two full budgets and there is still little or nothing to show for it. The funds are over and above the affordable housing agreement. So my question to the minister is, why hasn't her government put that money towards helping Nova Scotians in need?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I thank my honourable colleague for the question. I know he has great concern for the housing needs of all Nova Scotians and I know that he speaks very passionately about housing needs. Indeed, through the federal government commitment, through to the province for affordable housing across this province, under Phase I, we committed $37.3 million; under Phase II, $18.9 million; and as my honourable colleague mentioned, $23 million has been committed; under the trust, $7.8 million, under the reserve trust, for a whooping $87 million that this government will commit to ensuring safe affordable housing for all Nova Scotians.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, the minister was recently in Cape Breton to re-announce several older projects that included refurbishing for-profit buildings and funding some of the units with rent supplements. Half of the residents of industrial Cape Breton are paying more than 30 per cent of their income for housing. Yet public housing units sit vacant because they're in such a state of disrepair. So my question to the Minister of Community Services is, why doesn't her department build more sustainable long-term affordable housing instead of continuing with these 10-year deals with landlords?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, again as my honourable colleague knows, but I'll remind him of a few facts that pertain to the Housing portfolio, 16 per cent of Nova Scotia's population resides on the beautiful Island of Cape Breton. Now, 30 per cent of the province's public housing portfolio is found in Cape Breton and approximately 30 per cent of the provincial repair and renovation budget is spent in Cape Breton. Now, Mr. Speaker, just to remind the House, yes, I was proudly in Cape Breton just recently to welcome 218 families to new affordable housing thanks to this government and I am sure they were very thankful of that. (Applause)

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, this minister knows well that there are only 10 new units of affordable housing built on Cape Breton Island as we speak today. That is the truth in this Legislature. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, the time is running out to find and start projects under the trust money that runs out in April. Given the number of Nova Scotians at the risk of homelessness, every cent is needed for housing. My question to the Minister of Community Services is, will I be able to tour the affordable housing units created by the trust money after 2009?

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MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, in 2009, I have no idea where that member will be but he is welcome to come with me when I, or any member of this government, tour all sorts of housing accommodations in Cape Breton.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

EMO - FUNDY VILLA: HEAT & LIGHT BACKUP SYSTEM - PROVIDE

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Emergency Management. Four years ago, government committed to provide an emergency backup heat and light system to the residents of Fundy Villa at Grandview Manor. Our province has been subjected to fierce storms over the last number of years. This facility is still without a proper support system for an emergency. My question to the minister is when will your government provide Fundy Villa with a backup heat and light system?

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Emergency Management, we did have a generator program in place in the province and at that time there were a lot of homes furnished with generators at that time. There still is, through GEP and other things, generators available but I really believe that I should refer that to the minister responsible for the villa. (Interruptions)

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my honourable colleague for the opportunity to speak about an issue that is extremely important to all members in this House and that is the safety and security of Nova Scotians, in particular to the seniors who find themselves in our seniors' housing units across this province. I have spoken to my honourable colleague on many occasions regarding the safety and security of seniors as it pertains to power outages. We have numerous generators across the province, numerous backup plans in place. We do all that we can along with our fire departments to ensure that the comfort stations are in place and up and running because we all, in this House, want to make sure that our seniors are safe and secure in the event of those power outages.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, it sounds like the generator is on the other side of the House, not at the villa. (Interruption) The Progressive Conservative Government contends that they are concerned about the health and safety of Nova Scotians. These residents must deal with undue hardship in an emergency. They are constantly aware that there is no emergency system in place. Two recent storms that saw parts of the Valley lose power for two and four days respectively. This puts more stress on individuals who are already compromised and shows that the government is unwilling to fulfill its promise. Again, I will ask the same question I asked over a year ago. My question to the minister is, why have you not fulfilled your promise to provide Fundy Villa with an emergency backup generator?

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MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I know that my honourable colleague was referencing the same type of comment that my mother used to make on a regular basis - that I am an energetic personality. I am sure that is what my honourable colleague meant and I see him nodding his head so I know that is what he meant.

Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to tell this entire House that the Department of Community Services invested over $1 million in funding to ensure that those generators and that backup plan was in place. As well, I'm pleased to tell all members of the House today that the deputy minister, along with senior officials in that division of the epartment, are working on a multi-year plan to ensure that all of the facilities, all of the seniors' complexes that we've spoken of, including the one that my honourable colleague raises today, knows exactly what the plan is and when they can expect that plan to be in place.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I have already, on numerous occasions, asked about the Fundy Villa, when they will receive a backup generator. Two large storms have already cut power to the Fundy Villa and there is concern among residents and their families about the next time power is knocked out at Fundy Villa. It is time for the minister to honour the government's commitment to provide a generator. My final question is, how much longer will the residents of Fundy Villa go without the proper emergency backup system?

MS. STREATCH: Again, Mr. Speaker, to my honourable colleague, I know that he raises this question because he's very sincere and very concerned, as all members of this House are very concerned about the safety and the security of seniors. That is exactly why I instructed the deputy minister and senior staff to come up with that long-term, multi-year plan to ensure that all seniors could trust and rely on the safety and security in the event of power outages.

[4:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

FIN. - TOLL ROADS: CONSTRUCTION - RULE OUT

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Minister of Finance. This government's return to public-private financing schemes apparently include P3 arrangements for public highways. The acting minister will be aware that the last time there was a P3 highway it was the Cobequid Pass, better known to corporate investors as the Highway 104 Western Alignment Corporation. That highway was and still is Nova Scotia's only toll highway. Because toll highways and P3 arrangements go hand in hand, my question to the acting minister is, will the minister rule out any more toll roads in Nova Scotia?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Certainly, the circumstances under which that highway was constructed

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were not the most favourable because it put in place artificial impediments with respect to the operation of not just that highway, but of the alternate route. As a result, that did not work well and it wasn't something that worked for individuals. But I can tell the honourable member that there are no plans at this stage for toll roads in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, we have no plans at this stage, the minister says. That doesn't sound like ruling out toll roads to me. This government's 1999 campaign said: A Tory Government will commit to no more toll highways. In March 2004, the Premier said: I don't see a future for toll roads in Nova Scotia. The current Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said as late as last week: I think the toll highway in this province was not acceptable to Nova Scotians. I'm going to give the Acting Minister of Finance one more chance, will he clearly and directly rule out any more toll roads in Nova Scotia?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say that my response will not be any different than the response of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and he answered the question last week.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I've given him two chances to just say no more toll roads, and he won't say it. I think that message is going to go out to Nova Scotians loud and clear. The P3 schools fiasco should be conclusive proof that it is not in the public interest to allow private ownership of public assets like schools, hospitals and roads. The P3 immigration fiasco should be conclusive proof that it is not in the public interest to outsource a core function of government. So my question to the Acting Minister of Finance is this, why will this government not commit to keeping our public roads in the public sector?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member, members of the House, and people of the Province of Nova Scotia that this government will ensure that the government and the public policy of this province will continue to govern the operation of roads throughout the province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

EDUC. - PROV. LIBRARY SYSTEM - FUND

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister of Education. Our provincial library system is in crisis. MLAs on all sides of the House have been receiving letters, e-mails and calls of concern about the complete stagnation of funding for the provincial library system. Already, minister, you have received hundreds of letters from Pictonians about our libraries. Poorly funded libraries can't buy new books or other resources and may have to be shut down - our literacy and our reading-based programs that are offered to mothers, children and seniors. When is the minister going to save our libraries by providing the money requested in the Funding the Power of Libraries?

[Page 439]

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I would not want to be left out of that long list that did receive letters from libraries. I have received many, I have received hundreds and my response to all of them has been the same, that we value public libraries and we have made an attempt in our last budget to include $1 million more in their base funding, but we are also prepared to sit down and talk to them about their short-term needs and their long-term needs.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows as well as I do that there were no new monies last year committed for public libraries. In fact, less than 1 per cent of the Education budget is spent on public libraries. I want to mention the children of the Salt Springs Elementary School in Pictou County; they know the value of good books. Earlier this year, they won an international reading award and they, like many, are worried that no new books can be purchased. So my question to the minister is, can she assure this house that next year the dollars will be there for our children to enjoy new books?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member opposite for the follow-up question. I, too, value the work that is done in all of our communities by volunteers in our schools to make sure that we have reading materials in front of our students and to make sure that those students and their parents do take advantage of that. As the member opposite may know, I have met with the library boards and we have begun the process of looking at an MOU that will clearly identify what the funding is, which will allow those libraries to look at sustainable and predictable funding.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, as we know, public libraries contribute to the public good by providing opportunities to improve literacy and engage in lifelong learning. They are an indispensable source of information and entertainment for Nova Scotians. My final question to the minister is, when is the minister going to commit to adequately fund our public libraries?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I will repeat that we have already begun the process to work with our public libraries and our partners to make sure that we have a formula in place. When we go into the budget process, we will have a formula in place for next year to look at adequate funding.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

JUSTICE: TASER POLICIES - TABLE

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, in light of the issues surrounding Tasers in this province, one of the questions that we raised in the media was the issue of how many Tasers are there in Nova Scotia, who has them, who is authorized to have them, are there any different policies around the different individuals who have Tasers and is there a copy of all

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incident reports involving Tasers in Nova Scotia? Would the Minister of Justice commit to making that available to the House?

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we take this very seriously . . .

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

[TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, yesterday during Question Period, the Leader of the Official Opposition had asked the Premier about documents with regard to the Joseph Howe Building. Yesterday I tabled the analysis that was done on that building. At this time I would like to table the lease for that facility between Centennial Properties and the Joseph Howe Building for the province. It is dated July 30, 1987.

MR. SPEAKER: The document is tabled.

The honourable Opposition House Leader.

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 9.

Bill No. 9 - Municipal Finance Corporation Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to come here today and to speak in support of Bill No. 9, which effectively amends the Municipal Finance

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Corporation Act. If passed, this bill would give universities the ability to borrow from a renamed, public infrastructure, finance corporation.

Our universities are among Nova Scotia's largest and most successful industries, that's a quote from Maclean's magazine in November 2007. Let me begin by saying something about the economic impact of Nova Scotia's universities. According to the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, 13,800 people are employed directly or indirectly by the universities, a total payroll of $420 million, tax revenues of $227 million. Over $100 million is spent in research and development by Nova Scotia universities. The total economic impact of Nova Scotia universities, according to the Gardner Pinfold study, the total economic impact of universities is $2.2 billion.

Each year, Nova Scotia universities educate close to 40,000 full and part-time students. Teaching and accommodations for students, meeting the educational and residential needs of students, is big business for this province.

Our universities employ faculty and staff in high quality, full time jobs in communities across this province. According to the data from the Association of Atlantic Universities, it's the key economic driver in the Halifax Regional Municipality. In some communities, university is the major employer, not the main employer. In places like Wolfville and Antigonish, home of Acadia and St. Francis Xavier University respectively, according to Maclean's Magazine, two of the top universities in the country for several years running now.

In some communities, like Antigonish and Wolfville, as with Acadia and St. Francis Xavier, the university represents more than one-third of the local area's economy. Apart from the economic considerations, universities in smaller communities are also at the core of the town's cultural and social life. Nova Scotia's economic future, and cultural future in many ways, also depends on research and innovation at universities.

According to the Gardner Pinfold study, Nova Scotia universities attract nearly $260 million in research and development. Universities in Nova Scotia are directly responsible for 63 per cent of the research and development done in this province - the highest proportion of any of the provinces in Canada. Nova Knowledge says this renewable supply of highly skilled knowledge workers is perhaps the greatest economic contribution of Nova Scotia's education industry.

Between 2005 and 2006, Nova Scotia Universities invested millions of dollars in the construction of academic, residential and other facilities. However, despite this level of capital investment in new facilities, the most critical issue facing our universities is that of campus infrastructure renewal. According to data generated by business offices at Nova Scotia Universities, deferred maintenance at our universities has reached $422 million and

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I have the breakdown of how this would affect individual universities, if the Minister of Education is interested in having a look at it.

Let me say something about universities in my constituency of Halifax Citadel. Earlier this year, the Dean of Science at Dalhousie University had to vacate his office to escape a leaking roof. Built in 1971, Dalhousie's Science Building is in desperate need of capital funding to replace leaking roofs, windows and doors. Electrical plumbing and ventilation systems require upgrading to meet today's standards and the requirements of its active research laboratories.

Over at Saint Mary's University, a campus that I'm more familiar with, the university this year had to borrow $225 million to totally retrofit its science building, built in the late 1960s. The building's roof, windows and exterior cladding has been replaced and heating and ventilation systems have been upgraded to provide a better learning, teaching and research environment. The university just could not wait any longer for this work to be done.

[5:00 p.m.]

If passed, Mr. Speaker, this bill would give universities the ability to borrow to pay for basic infrastructure to fix leaking roofs and leaking windows. Other large institutions can borrow through the Crown Corporation, for example: schools - Citadel schools most recently - school boards, hospitals. The Capital District Health Authority recently built a parking lot with that money and municipalities; the Harbour Solutions Project borrowed, I believe, about $100 million.

Mr. Speaker, this government has cut capital grants to universities and hasn't given capital grants to universities for a very long time. It has abdicated its responsibility for capital grants. It has claimed continuously that the federal government is responsible, that they have no responsibility for capital and for infrastructure renewal. In the absence of provincial leadership to provide direct capital funding to universities, an alternative means must be found.

Our universities, Mr. Speaker, are among Nova Scotia's largest and most successful industries, as I said. Allowing our universities to borrow in this way would be a clear signal that we, as legislators, recognize the important rule universities play in economic development. This vehicle has been successfully used in Ontario and in British Columbia. The government can pass this bill. This bill is not the answer to the universities' infrastructure problems. This bill provides a short-term solution in the absence of government inaction, government's inability to provide capital grants.

The government can underline its commitment to a vibrant university system and commitment to this vital industry by providing stable, equitable, accountable capital funding to universities and I would say, in particular, during the upcoming discussions about the

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memorandum of understanding, that the memorandum of understanding pay particular attention to not just the operating aspect, but capital grants as well. The two big issues that this government has to deal with are the $2,000 deficit in tuition fees, the gap between national and Nova Scotia tuition fees and this growing infrastructure deficit. I would recommend to the minister and recommend to the government that they use this memorandum of understanding to deal with the infrastructure deficit, but in the interim, I encourage you to look carefully at this bill which provides a short-term solution to the infrastructure deficits and infrastructure challenges that our universities face. (Applause)

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise this evening, before the members of the House, to say a few words about Bill No. 9, which calls for amendments to the Municipal Finance Corporation. I would like to just begin by informing the honourable member that I was indeed part of a group that constructed those figures that were given to the federal government about the infrastructure debts for universities and, indeed, it's very real. Certainly it's something that has to be dealt with and clearly the province is looking for a way, in partnership with the federal government. Indeed, I also attended a meeting in Quebec City that was called by the Honourable Jean Charest and Mr. McGuinty at that time where Education Ministers and Premiers from right across the country came together to finalize that proposal which talked about the infrastructure deficit in higher education.

So, Mr. Speaker, I want to assure all members of the House and others that the Government of Nova Scotia is very aware that there is an infrastructure deficit there and it is looking at the best ways to deal with it.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, I'm not so sure that amendments to the Municipal Finance Corporation Act would have the direct and immediate effect that the honourable member would like to have. This particular Act, the Municipal Finance Corporation Act, was put together specifically to help municipalities get additional funding. What these are is that they are repayable loans and they are guaranteed by the province.

Mr. Speaker, by securing loans in this way, municipalities can benefit from lower interest rates than if they were seeking financing elsewhere. Under this Act, about $100 million in loans are financed each year. In addition, in fact, the Municipal Finance Corporation has about $700 million in loans out. So it is a fairly major player in municipal finance here in the province.

It is a system that is working quite well and it does meet its intended objectives, but I'd like to point out to the honourable member and to the members of the House that the Municipal Finance Corporation Act was established only after much consultation and collaboration with the municipalities, under the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. Given

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this, obviously any changes that would be made to this Act, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities would have to be a very important player in any discussions and, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member who introduced this piece of legislation hasn't given any indication that any such discussions had taken place and I guess they probably haven't.

First and foremost, Mr. Speaker, in this Act, if there are amendments to it, we have to be very sure that they don't have a negative on municipalities. As I mentioned, it is an excellent vehicle for municipalities to obtain long-term financing , and government, quite frankly, wouldn't support any changes to the Act that would impair the regional intent of it.

I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that if this Act is to be modified, as I just said a few minutes ago, the honourable member and perhaps with the support of others, make it a point to consult UNSM. Clearly that would have to be done before it would have any realistic chance of amendments being made. Clearly, as government, we wouldn't go ahead with it and however, having said that, putting the deficit in university infrastructure on the floor of the House, I believe is a good thing.

Going to the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities obviously isn't to discredit the importance of higher education in the province or the fact that Nova Scotia boasts about - I guess it has 11 degree-granting institutions that have an international destination, or an international reputation, as a destination for higher learning. We had an example of that earlier today, Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal read a resolution about the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and I understand, to be quite frank, there will be additional good news about that institution and some of its research capabilities coming in the very near future.

Dalhousie University, Mr. Speaker - and again my colleague the Minister of Education read a resolution yesterday about Dalhousie University and the North American award that it received for being named the best international university for scientists to work in. Now I don't know the name of that but I can remember - I'm a Dalhousie alumnus and I was extremely proud, not only as an alumnus of that institution but as a Nova Scotian, that we had an institution in this province that was rated the top research environment for scientists in North America. I'm really proud of that.

Students come from all over Canada and the world to be educated in Nova Scotia and as the honourable member has mentioned, each of these 43,000 students who are being educated are critical to the success of our province. They're critical to our success in a number of ways. First of all, the number of out-of-province students who come to our universities and choose to remain, is substantial. My colleague, the Minister of Education, probably has that exact percentage. I heard the other day that 22 per cent of the students that come to study in Nova Scotia, stay in Nova Scotia. In terms of one of the things of the attractiveness of our province, indeed, all of the talk about immigration this past week, one of the great immigration tools this province has is its university system.

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We want a university system that can continue to deliver knowledge and skills so that Nova Scotians and others who study in Nova Scotia can compete in a global marketplace. But universities face challenges, as the honourable member's opening comments - and we recognize that. We also recognize the demographic shift in our province means a declining enrolment and a more difficult challenge to attract students, as the honourable member recognizes. My colleague, the Minister of Education, is very conscious of that and has taken measures to combat this. It's about trying to get our tuition fees down to the national average and that's a commitment of this government. Thank you. (Applause)

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to discuss the NDP Bill No. 9, I believe it is. The intent of the bill is to include universities as part of the Municipal Finance Corporation so that they could access funds through that lending mechanism.

One of the things that is important in looking at this is that there are so many questions about how it might work and what the impact would be for universities. I have no way of knowing how much consultation the member for Halifax Citadel may have done with other universities to see if this was something that may indeed meet their needs. But I do know a little bit about the Municipal Finance Corporation Act, having been a municipal councillor and one of the rules that's paramount for municipal government is that they're not allowed to run a deficit - they must not have an annual deficit. I don't believe that rule applies to our universities and I think if we looked, we would see that deficits are being run by at least a number of our universities right now as they struggle to make ends meet and provide good education for their students.

I would wonder what kind of requirements they would have in order to be considered eligible to join municipalities, to be considered as it does in the Act - it actually says they would now be seen as municipalities for purposes of the Act. Would they be able to meet all the other requirements that go along with municipal financing, budgeting and control of capital spending, et cetera? So it would just be how they would be controlled by that, would be a question I would like to know.

I see that the biggest issue without any doubt facing universities is the infrastructure deficit. They're struggling to provide a high level of education and a good quality experience for the students that are coming, as the member from the government side said, from around the world and across Canada, many of whom may stay here. We see the university sector as vital to our future. In fact, probably the brightest light in the Nova Scotia economy and in our future would be our connection to so many good universities here in the province. If we can properly integrate them into research and into immigration efforts, into making sure we're a knowledge-based economy. Their very existence here gives us a leg up on all of those things, so we want to support them in any way possible and finding ways to help them

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financially is certainly very important as they struggle to meet the huge amount of infrastructure deficit.

We had a recent meeting with CONSUP, which is the organization of Presidents of Nova Scotia universities and they indicated to us that right now the universities get about $8 million for capital or maintenance projects, which they share among all 11 universities in the province. That, Mr. Speaker, is simply not enough to even begin to address the hundreds of millions that are needed on our university campuses, so we know that currently the amount is insignificant.

Mr. Speaker, there is a problem that has arisen in the last few years and we here at the Legislature did not really pay enough attention to the infrastructure deficit. I raise that because a few years ago the federal government listened to the cries and the pleas from universities in Nova Scotia and perhaps to the representations that were coming from various levels and they actually made $28 million available to Nova Scotia and it was targeted and called an infrastructure transfer to the province, for infrastructure renewal at universities. Together, in this House, we redirected those funds to tuition relief.

[5:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, that has weakened our position in going to the federal government for more money because we've heard directly from the university presidents that those pleas are now met with real skepticism in Ottawa. They say, we gave you money, we gave you more than three times your annual allotment for infrastructure and you didn't direct it there, you directed it to student relief.

Now, Mr. Speaker, you know I'm very concerned about student relief, as I know the other members in this House are, but it would have behooved the government to find other money for tuition relief, which they promised to do and have continued to promise, that they will bring tuition down to the national average within a few years. They should have used other funds rather than using the specifically earmarked funds that came from the federal government because we've lost our power to bargain effectively in Ottawa for more money for our universities.

I think we will pay a price for that and I think it's very interesting that the NDP were strong supporters of redirecting that money at the time, when it came through. So now they are strong supporters of infrastructure renewal at universities and I'm glad to see that as well. We know there are competing priorities, always, in government. We understand that but, shall I say, it is a bit of a confusing message coming from the NDP around what the priority really is because there was no question that infrastructure was not being discussed when we had $28 million set before us from the federal government.

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I think anybody can appreciate how our credibility would be undermined by now, returning to Ottawa without having done what was expected with those funds that were made available. They were a one-time infusion, let's remember that. They were an opportunity that we could have made a real difference with infrastructure on our campuses and yet by putting it towards tuition relief, the government had help for two years to do that, now that money is no longer coming through from Ottawa and now the government must find that money if they're going to keep the tuition at the level they were able to move to with federal assistance. So it just shows that there are competing interests and that the NDP were not looking at the infrastructure needs at that time - so a little bit out of touch with the issue at that time.

As I say, the universities certainly need help. There are a lot of questions around this bill - I'm not sure how many minutes we have left, Mr. Speaker. Can you show me?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has approximately one minute and a half.

MS. WHALEN: Oh my gosh, only one minute, I guess I won't be sharing my time with anyone else. I'd like to ask a couple of questions. Again, with this kind of arrangement, for the universities the question would be, whose books would the debt appear upon? Would it be on their books, because there are some universities that absolutely would not have the capacity to have that extra debt show, even if they were able to borrow through the Municipal Finance Corporation? So I'd like to find out whether or not, as a financing tool, this would really make a difference to the universities that we are trying to help.

I do commend the member for looking at a way that might offer access to capital to the universities and having spoken a little while ago to Dalhousie University, they had said that if they could get even a small pool of money, perhaps $10 million, they could leverage that considerably, with their own strength of their organization, in order to make some really fundamental changes and improve the campus at Dalhousie. They believed that other universities could do the same.

So again, if we go back to our university administrators, I think we'll find that they've been grappling with this issue and they have a lot of ideas that are pertinent to what we can do to help them go forward, but I think they need an infusion of funds that they can use to lever and use as a way, a mechanism really, to borrow other funds on that strength.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I recall that there was once an eminent philosopher who was asked for his vision of what an ideal university would look like and what he said was that if you had the money, you would start out by hiring a few well-informed, good scholars who were articulate and able to teach well, that that would be the starting point; and if you had any money left over after that, you would buy some books and

[Page 448]

you would set up a library. That was his vision of an excellent university and, you know, I can understand the wisdom of that, but I think the government has taken that vision a little much to heart because what's left out of that, of course, is the buildings in which to operate this ideal university in which these fine scholars and teachers and the books are to be housed.

I think that we know already that one of the glories of Nova Scotia has been its higher education system. It has ancient roots, it has high achievements, and we're all proud of our universities. We all look to our universities in all of the ways that the previous speakers have indicated. They attract fine students from elsewhere in the country, many of whom do indeed stay here. We wish more would stay here, because by the time they finish their education, they have exactly the kinds of skills to build the new knowledge economy that we should be more engaged in. So that point was a perfectly valid point, but it is one of the real strengths of our universities that we have so many of them, indeed, and that they are well placed around this province. We know that they do a good job. We know that year-in year-out, our institutions that are purely undergraduate institutions rank either at the very top or certainly close to the top of undergraduate institutions around Canada because they are so much admired by their graduates and by the students who are there now.

It's not just a question of a popularity contest when these examinations are done, there are objective measures and the objective measures look at library holdings. They do look at lab equipment. They look at the quality of the teaching. They look at the attractiveness of the facilities overall. So there are objective measures that go along with that, but the reason that most of these undergraduate institutions have been able to stay at the top, or very near the top of these rankings, is because they do extensive fundraising on their own and that's really what this bill is about.

This bill has to do with how it is that the universities in Nova Scotia are going to be able to either continue to build the new buildings that they need or repair the older buildings that are now so sadly, many of them, in need of repairs. It's an expensive undertaking. It's a very expensive proposition. So what the universities do right now is they go out and they do as much fundraising as they possibly can on a charitable donation basis, generally from their alumni. That's what they do, or they look for people who are prepared to make large donations, but they also borrow money and this is what we're talking about. This is what this bill is all about. We're simply looking for a way to make it slightly less expensive for the universities to borrow money when they have to do that. That's the essence of this bill.

We know the universities are going to borrow money for capital purposes, that's going to happen, but there exists a mechanism right now, in the Province of Nova Scotia, that allows small entities, local government entities, to band together in order to get the leverage in the marketplace that would allow them to borrow money at a slightly lower interest rate than they would be able to do if they went into the marketplace on their own. So that's the advantage of size.

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The Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations knows that and he stated it. He understands the virtue of having this Municipal Finance Corporation, which is why it's extended in its ambit beyond municipalities purely. It already extends to our health, our hospital sector. It extends to our schooling sector and so it should. The broader public sector should be provided for under this kind of legislation and what we're looking for is for the government to take the logical next step and say this legislation should move forward and embrace, be available for, the universities. They certainly need it. It makes sense and, Mr. Speaker, I can't understand why it is that this wasn't a government bill. This should certainly have come forward as a government initiative.

We heard the minister say that this legislation should not go forward because he hasn't heard that there has been extensive enough consultation. Well, let me tell the minister that it is the CONSUP members who are very keen on this - that is the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents - they want this. They would be very happy to have this. He suggested that the problem was that there might not have been consultation with the UNSM. Well, I can't imagine the UNSM objecting to what would really be a further strengthening of the grouping of entities that would go forward together into the marketplace. It's really the strength of the province's public sector as a whole. But if the minister is concerned about UNSM, then fine, let him consult with UNSM. I, of course, have no objection to that, that seems just fine.

It seems to me that the fact the government has not been the party to bring forward this kind of legislation really has amounted to a double abdication of their responsibility to the universities on the capital side. The first abdication, of course, has been that they provided no money for the universities on the capital side for any number of years. Now that's an abdication of responsibility. These are public institutions. They have some capacity to raise money on a charitable basis, that's true, and they have hired lots of staff to do it, but there should be government money available, but that has been an abdication of responsibility on the part of this government.

The second abdication is that if they are going to choose not to make money available to the universities in terms of capital grants, then they should at least have taken the step of making this mechanism that already exists in our laws available to the universities in order to make their borrowing a little less expensive.

So I hope that - although I heard the minister express some interest in this legislation, perhaps if he is not prepared to accept it at this stage of the proceedings and this stage of his analysis of political life in Nova Scotia, maybe he will go back to his department and, in combination with his colleague, the Minister of Education, perhaps they will consult with whoever they consider to be all the appropriate parties. I think that consultation should be particularly in his department, if it's going to be UNSM, since he thought that was where the need for consultation should be.

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Mr. Speaker, I see that our time has almost elapsed for debate on this today but I hope it comes back for further debate in this House, either through a bill of the Opposition or, in some modified form, through the government when they have done what they consider appropriate consultation, and they bring it forward to us again in some form. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The time has expired for debate on Bill No. 9.

The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 17.

Bill No. 17 - Sales Tax Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise this evening to speak on Bill No. 17 which, as you indicated, is an Act to amend the Sales Tax Act. Essentially, what this bill does is, it's part of, really, a program that we have been proceeding with now for a number of years. Essentially, what it is trying to do is rationalize the taxes in the province in a way that actually makes them fair to the people of the province. We have said for a long time that part of the better deal that people expect out of their government is that the taxation they are subject to is actually administered fairly and that it's on those items in life which are not necessities and that the taxation of certain aspects of the services and products that we have to buy shouldn't be subject to the kind of provincial levies that they currently are. You would know, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, because you've been around for a while, that this was not always the case.

It was not always the case that the HST or the GST was as broadly based as it is today. In fact, for a long time, many of the products that we talk about today were actually exempt under provincial sales tax legislation and when the harmonized sales tax came along, it cast a much broader net and caught a lot of the goods and services that were not previously covered. So what we're trying to do is to convince the government of the rationality of looking at some of these essential services. I know that I don't have a lot of time so I'm going to go through them quickly, if I may.

The first one, and I think one that you see often discussed, is the whole question that my colleague from the Municipality of Digby mentioned earlier. He introduced a resolution that didn't pass, but a resolution congratulating us on introducing this kind of a bill and noting that he had done it before. I noted to my colleague that I actually started talking about this as one of the essentials of life back in the election of 2003, before he was actually in this House, because it has always been, you know, part of the group of services that we simply don't think it's fair to tax.

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[5:30 p.m.]

You may remember, I think the member might remember, that there was actually a case out of New Brunswick of a woman who was talking about the death of her child and how terrible it was that she ended up paying tax on that funeral as a result of legislation. So taking the HST off something like funeral services, I think, just shows a certain level of passion and understanding about the kind of society that we want to live in and that this kind of a service ought not to be taxed.

The second thing that I wanted to talk about had to do with respect to smoking cessation products. We have a Department of Health Promotion and Protection. They're trying to encourage people to give up tobacco usage, and to limit it, and one of the ways that people do that is by using the smoking cessation products. So, in that sense, applying the HST to those kinds of products is actually a self-defeating tax. It is taking the stated goal, the stated public policy of the government, and working actively against it. If we truly want people to quit smoking and to limit their tobacco usage, then one of the ways that you go about doing that is by making sure that the products that those people need are actually affordable.

So removing it, and remember this is the provincial portion of the HST, and really, it's a signal to people. It's about taking something off which, in and of itself is not a big amount of money, but it's a signal to them that you are committed to the public policy goal, which you say that you're committed to, right. So that's the point with respect to smoking cessation products.

The third one has to do with home care services and, you know, I don't have to tell anybody in this province, we have 134,000 seniors in this province today, defined as people over the age of 65. By the year 2026, that number is going to go from 134,000 to 246,000. It is going to be a great shift in the demography of this province and we have to start to understand now that that shift is going to mean that there's going to be a much greater demand on many different kinds of services, among them things like home care, assisted living, long-term care services. All of those are going to be in much greater demand. If we really want people to stay in their homes longer, then part of what we need to do is make it affordable for them to do. Taxing the home care services, again, actively works against the interests of the government. The government doesn't want and doesn't need people lining up earlier than necessary to place people in long-term care facilities when they could be cared for at home, if it was affordable to do so. So, in that respect, these are very sensible, commonsense kinds of adjustments to the tax system that would make it fair for Nova Scotians.

I want to make one other thing clear, because for some reason people get this confused. These are about tax fairness. Taking the provincial portion of the HST off home care is not a replacement for investing in better home care, because there are people around

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who think that because you took the HST off home heating oil, that that somehow gets you off the hook for actually having a low-income heating plan. That was never the case, it was always the case that this was a matter of tax fairness. You still have to invest a reasonable amount of money in ensuring those people for whom the price of fuel is not affordable, that they have the ability to heat their homes. You still have that responsibility. You can't say, because we did this, we don't have to do that - those things are unconnected.

The same with respect to home care. Taking the HST off home care services is a good idea because it makes the service more affordable for the people who truly need it, it helps establish a public policy goal. That does not relieve the government of the responsibility of making sure that there is an adequate home care program in place in the province. It's still going to be up to the government to invest sufficient resources in that program to actually service what is a growing demographic sector in this province.

I hope I've made myself clear in the short amount of time I've had this evening and I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the members of the House for allowing me to engage in the debate tonight. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Minister of Finance.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for bringing forward this legislation because it does provide an opportunity to discuss the issue of taxation within the province. I note the particular items to which this bill refers are items which, on the face of it, engender a considerable amount of sympathy with respect to what the bill purports and asks to have done.

However, in the course of the Opposition Leader's remarks, as true to form, there is always a reference to either spend more from that corner of the House or to tax less, but there's never any real suggestion as to where the additional money is going to come from. That's why I welcome the opportunity to shed some light on the tax system and to talk a bit about the often misunderstood harmonized sales tax - about how it works for us and what it means to consumers and businesses in Nova Scotia.

It is a value-added tax that applies to most consumer purchases in Nova Scotia - the key term here, of course, is that it is "value-added" because it does add value to the tax system. The HST allows for a lower rate overall than separate taxes and has a broader base so that intentionally it doesn't favour one good or service over another. Whenever you narrow the base, then it has an impact on what the overall rate might be if you were to continue to narrow it too much.

Having the HST allows for lower sales tax rates in the province and it's a simpler sales tax system, there's more transparency for taxpayers with this system and lower prices on more goods and services. One important direct benefit to the province through

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harmonization has been the reduction of administrative costs associated with sales taxes. Administration fees for tax rebates such as those recommended in this bill have the potential to outweigh the benefits of the actual rebate, which just isn't fiscally responsible. We all know that services are the fastest growing component of expenditure in Canada and therefore taxing services ensures that revenues keep pace with the changes in the economy - it also spreads the tax burden more evenly across all sectors of the economy.

For business, the harmonized system is a simpler and more efficient tax system. It is particularly advantageous for small businesses that in other provinces bear much higher compliance costs to deal with two or more separate sales tax systems on a daily basis. In addition, business exports under the HST system are more competitive, which is particularly advantageous in times like these when our dollar is performing as it is, Mr. Speaker.

Perhaps most importantly, harmonization levels are the playing field for businesses in the province, therefore improving competition among them, a positive step toward creating jobs. One major feature of the HST is the ability of producers to claim input tax credits which increase business incentives to invest in capital goods, an important factor for long-term economic growth. A harmonized sales tax on a broad range of goods and services helps us to ensure a greater degree of fairness in the tax treatment of individuals and families which consume different mixtures of goods and services. The HST also meant for us the elimination of hidden provincial retail sales taxes.

My colleague is not here, but I do want also to touch for a few moments on the issue of smoking cessation, Mr. Speaker. (Interruption)

I see my colleague, the Minister of Health Prevention and Promotion is here and I know he wanted to address the issue of tobacco and health prevention, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. You have approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I prefer Health Promotion and Protection than Health Prevention.

First of all, I listened intently to some of the debate and I understand the rationale behind the bill, but I would like to point out one specific area of the bill and that is the area related to smoking cessation aids. One of the things that troubles me with the concept is, in fact, if you were to go on a regimen of smoking cessation aids, any one of the products, it would actually be less expensive than to smoke. So the aids themselves, including all of the tax, are cheaper for the average person who smokes. So the financial benefit to the smoker is to actually quit and not smoke, rather than to continue to smoke. So I don't think that using the rationale of removing the tax from a product that is cheaper than cigarettes, taxes included, would actually encourage people to reduce their consumption of tobacco.

[Page 454]

The important point, though, that I'd like to point out to members opposite and to all Nova Scotians, that in this province, through our smoking cessation program, we actually provide free stop smoking aids to people who sign up in our program. So there is no need for people to pay taxes, in fact . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The member's time has expired.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to be able to stand here tonight and speak on this. I would just like to comment on the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, that he doesn't see fit that we take taxes off of death, sickness and addictions. That's what he is saying, that we tax death, sickness and addictions to make an income for this province. If I ever thought that I had to go to make an income off of death, taxes and addictions to keep a province going, I would have to sit down and shake my head and scratch it a little because that's a hard way to make a buck.

Anyway, I want to thank the NDP for bringing forth my idea that I brought forth last April - April 10th, I believe, I brought it into this House, Bill No. 188, Mr. Speaker. I just heard the Leader of the NDP say that - and he said it to me earlier, he brought this idea up during the election of 2003.

Well, I want to tell you where my idea came from, back in 1977. I have said it in this House before and I will say it again. When the tax man came, after my father's death, and my mother had to sell an old beat-up truck he had - that's all he had left after he brought nine of us up and clothed us and fed us- he had an old half-ton truck and my mother had to sell that to pay taxes. That's where my idea came from. It wasn't 2003 during an election. I always thought then, you know, I don't think there was a tax on funerals then, that was an income tax he owed. He worked for 50 years, I guess, and paid taxes for those 50 years and that last year he died, he lived a few months and he owed income tax and she had to sell- that's all he had - $1,700 she got for that old truck and she had to send that all in for taxes, which I guess was all right. There was no taxes on funerals then or probably she would have had to sell something, maybe one of us kids had, I don't know. Probably she would have, because she has always paid her bills.

[5:45 p.m.]

I will tell you where my second thought came into this, a year or so ago. Mr. Johnny Thibault came into my office with tears in his eyes. He had just put his wife in the ground. He brought up 15 kids, or 14 kids, I believe, and he had to bury his wife. She didn't want to be cremated. She wanted to be put in a box of some kind, so she got the cheapest box there was, cheapest, cheapest there was, and he showed me that bill and he said, why is this province making $600 off of this? He said, that is pretty near all I get a month on pensions,

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with tears in his eyes. He said I don't know what hurt me the worst, Junior, burying my wife or paying these taxes.

Then they sit over there tonight and say, well we can't afford not to collect these taxes on death or addictions or sickness. That's pretty sad, you know. I know all kinds of ways to make money. I have been in business all my life, since my father died. I have made pretty good money. I haven't made any off of death, taxes and sickness yet. We could start looking at stopping giving our land away, like we are going to. That would be one good way and charge some money on that, especially to foreign countries. It would be one good start. I could go on all night how we could make money in this province without charging poor people taxes to bury their loved ones.

The Catholic women's group brought this to my attention, too, back in 2006. The Catholic Women's League organized a petition to take the taxes off of funerals across Nova Scotia and this country and they are not going to quit. The whole Catholic league of this country is out to take these taxes off.

There is a woman in New Brunswick who was outraged to learn she had to pay sales tax on the cost of her son's funeral. She started a campaign to have this federal government drop the taxes. Bonnie Hourihan said she was traumatized by the suicide of her 19-year-old son in October, then found out she had to pay more than $900 in sales tax on that funeral. I was appalled, she said. She lives in Saint John. I was just outraged that the government was going to collect that amount of money because my son died. It's wrong, it's just wrong.

The Leader of the Opposition said today he thought of this in 2003. This is all before that, this stuff, right back to my father in 1977, excuse me, Mr. Speaker. Figures are all bouncing around in my head because I want to tell the province where they can make some money and I have it full of figures for that, but this is not the time to do that.

Anyway, there is nothing really here to debate tonight. There is nothing to debate. We shouldn't even be debating this, because I challenge anyone in this House to stand up here tonight and say it's a good thing to charge a tax on death. You know there is an old saying that goes, there are two certain things in life and that's death and taxes but I want to tell you, you should never mix them. With that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my seat.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise as the NDP Finance Critic to close debate on this bill. It is a good bill. We commend it to the government's attention because we think it's the right thing to do for Nova Scotians and their families. In the course of debate, the question has come up about whose idea this was and it's true that the member for Digby-Annapolis introduced a Private Member's Bill on this point earlier this year - perhaps it was last year. It is also true what the Leader of the Opposition said, that

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it was part of the NDP platform in the 2003 election, but that is not where I heard it from first. I heard it from a gentleman by the name of Gary Burrell, a United Church Minister, living in the Musquodoboit Valley. I heard from him, not long after I became the Party's Finance Critic back in 2001.

Reverend Burrell and many members of the community had formed an organization called the Arimathea Funeral Cooperative. Mr. Speaker, those who remember their Sunday school days will recognize where that name comes from. The person who claimed the body of Jesus Christ after it was taken down from the cross and wrapped him in a funeral shroud and purchased the tomb for him was Joseph of Arimathea. So that's where that particular name came from, the Arimathea Funeral Cooperative, because they recognize that the price of a funeral is out of the reach of very many Nova Scotians of modest means. So they set up this co-operative that allowed dignified and complete funerals to be held at a very modest cost, a significantly lower cost than what was available at local funeral homes.

One of the ways they saved money, for example, was running the funeral co-operative out of local churches and other community buildings so that instead of paying, for example, Mr. Speaker, $7,000 for a funeral, members of the co-operative were able to bury their loved ones for 10 per cent of that cost, $700 or $800. It was a significant thing for the people of that community. I know it's not the only one in Nova Scotia, there are others.

The point is, of course, that this is part of our commitment to a better deal for Nova Scotia families. We recognize that there are some things on which there simply should not be tax, out of simple fairness. It has been our position, for a number of years, that we should not tax the essentials of life and I guess we can say the essentials of life and death, Mr. Speaker. We understand that it's not possible to take the sales tax off everything. That has never been our position and never will be, but what we have said is that where consensus forms in the province about things where it's just not right that things be taxed, those are the things, within the fiscal capacity of the province, where we should seriously consider offering an HST rebate. So we believe a consensus is emerging around the three items listed in our bill, namely funeral services, home care services and products used for smoking cessation.

Now the government's response to this is, it can't be done. Now we have heard that before, Mr. Speaker, on the same topic. When we proposed that there be no HST on home heating fuel, the government said, it can't be done; it is not possible, it is not legal, it is not feasible, it is not affordable - and they said that for several years. They said it inside the House, they said it outside the House, they said it inside the Red Room, they said it outside the Red Room.

They had officials from the Department of Finance saying the same thing, saying it is impossible to amend the HST agreement, that we would have to get the other provinces on board, it would cost too much money. They said from the 2003 election, right up to the 2006 election, that it could not be done and then within days of the election call in 2006,

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suddenly that position was the government's position. It turns out that it could be done all along, it could have been done all along and the government did it.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: . . . have been through this for some years and the fact is, it is true. It could not be done.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, of course, what the government did is they took our proposal and then caricatured it as something we were not saying and then said it was that caricature that could not be done. In fact, what that minister will realize and what the government will realize is that what they brought into place in advance of the 2006 election is exactly what we were proposing all along. The government said it could not be done and Mr. Speaker, it could be done, it could always have been done and on the eve of an election, they did it.

Maybe we have to wait until we're on the eve of another election for this to be done, but we believe it is important. We believe it is important to the people of Nova Scotia and their families that there be no provincial portion of the HST - because of course, that's all that we can control - on funeral services, on home care and on smoking cessation. It would be helpful if the government - especially the Department of Health - would look at the last two of these items because there is something wrong with a system where a person can be in hospital and receive public health services that are not taxed and the way for them to leave the hospital is for them to get extensive home care, but if their family does that, their family is taxed on the home care. There should not be those kinds of financial barriers to bringing our loved ones out of the hospital and into our homes, especially when it is government policy that that is what should happen.

I earnestly request the Minister of Health to look at this on a cost-benefit basis and say, could the system actually save money? Instead of having the government talking always about how much it costs, could we actually save money by not taxing home care services? Despite what the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection said, I really believe that if they did the same cost-benefit analysis on smoking cessation products, they would find there would be a net benefit to the provincial treasury, not a net cost. That's why it's a good bill. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for Opposition Members' Business has expired.

The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the Opposition Members' Business. I will hand it over to the capable hands of the Government House Leader.

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MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the business for today. Before you go to the moment of interruption, I would indicate that following the daily routine tomorrow, we will resume debate on Bill No. 7, the Motor Vehicle Act. Should debate close on that tomorrow, then we will proceed to Bill No. 10, the Gunshot and Stab Wounds Mandatory Reporting Act. I move the House hours for tomorrow will begin at 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise to meet tomorrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion, please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

We have arrived at the moment of interruption. The adjournment motion has been submitted by the honourable member for Pictou Centre:

"Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the level of co-operation and expertise shown by the management of the Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre during the past numerous years which continues to help to foster healthy living for area residents."

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ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

TRENTON MINOR SPORTS COMMUN. CTR.:

MGT. - CO-OPERATION/EXPERTISE

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, the Town of Trenton is a community of approximately 2,700 residents with a great history that was founded around industry. Trenton is well known for being the birthplace of the first pouring of steel in British North America. At the turn of the century, it was also home of the world famous Trenton Glass Company.

However, I would like to talk about a group of individuals who work at the Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre. This group is responsible for the daily operation of this sports community centre. This group is well known in Pictou County for promoting and fostering healthy, active lifestyles. This arena was built in 1972, unfortunately, my high school hockey career was completed prior to the construction of this facility. I didn't have the pleasure of playing our high school hockey games in our hometown. All our games were road games.

Mr. Speaker, an unexpected fire occurred in 1978 destroying the front entrance of the sports centre. However, this was not a deterrent to the community. They quickly rebuilt and replaced the damaged area. A long-time resident of Trenton, Edward Purvis, was manager of this facility for approximately 15 years.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the most accommodating and enthusiastic group of individuals that I know, the individuals who are responsible for this facility. Wayne Otter, a very good friend of mine, an individual whom I've had the pleasure of attending Trenton schools with and playing on our high school hockey and rugby teams, has been the manager of this Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre for the past 20 years. His very capable staff includes Darryl Marcott, Francis Saunders, and part-time employee Bruce Gerrior.

[6:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, a former employee, Spurgeon MacDonald, retired approximately 15 years ago and continues to arrive at the sports centre every morning and evening so he can volunteer to sharpen numerous skates left behind from the previous day. I have coached hockey at numerous levels over the past 35 years and I've not found anyone who has the magic touch that Spurge MacDonald has. In fact, my eldest daughter, Tara, when she played

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university hockey in the Boston and New York area, always took her skates home when she had the opportunity to visit so Spurge could sharpen them.

Mr. Speaker, this staff is known for their level of co-operation and expertise. They take great pride in producing one of the best ice surfaces that I've ever skated on. This staff goes out of its way to welcome players, parents, coaches and fans to their facility. This staff represents a vital contribution to the community of Pictou County and the province. This staff recognizes and appreciates the time and efforts of volunteer coaches and parents who visit their sports centre every day of the week. Their level of service certainly does not go unnoticed.

Mr. Speaker, the Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre is a very busy location 12 months of the year. Many events take place after the ice is removed in the Spring: community bingo games, flea markets, dog shows, senior festival dance and activities, Trenton Fun Fest activities, concerts, boxing, wrestling, bicycle rodeos, et cetera. One of their favourite programs occurs during the summer months, a program through HCR, a rec program for the intellectual-handicapped. The staff and volunteers really go out of their way to make sure that everyone involved with this program is learning valuable life skills and having fun at the same time.

Mr. Speaker, the staff continues to promote healthy, active lifestyles for all ages. This facility is also home to the Pictou County Junior "B" Scotians and numerous other Pictou County minor hockey league teams. This arena is the host facility for one of the most successful minor hockey tournaments in the province. During the past few decades, hockey players from all ages lace up their skates during the March break to compete against players from across the province.

Mr. Speaker, once again, the staff do everything possible to accommodate the wonderful citizens of our county and province when they are using this facility during the winter and summer months.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share the rest of my time with my colleague, the member for Hants West.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has approximately four minutes left.

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, just picking up where my honourable colleague left off, as we all know, in this province there are many communities with many volunteers. Most recently, and I am not sure if this document has been tabled or not, but it talks about how the volunteers touch your life. It speaks to the many hours of contribution in this province and, just as a quick reference, over 377,000 Nova Scotians - that's 48 per

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cent or more of this population - volunteer in some way in this province. That's quite a feat given the size of the province we are and the population. We have many people to thank for their contribution of hours. It's phenomenal. It doesn't matter where you go. It can be in Pictou County, great spot, all kinds of volunteers and the honourable member has spoken to that.

I know in my area, we have a couple of arenas, just as an example, where there are a variety of programs that go on and, again, the same kind of thing, we have people who put in hour after hour of volunteer time. We also have people who work for a living in these arenas, work for the municipal units, manage them, book the time, take the time, making sure that the kids get on the ice, making sure it's ready, making sure in my area, and I am sure it's the same in other areas, not only these folks who are paid, they are also volunteering in different ways by helping the kids lace up their skates when they are on the bench trying to get ready. There is so much of that goes on.

There are so many names and so many ways. We have everything from the VON who go out and, yes, they are nurses, but there are a lot of hours that are put in by those folks that are volunteered and certainly not paid time. There are members of the local Legions who go out. I know recently, with the Remembrance Day holiday, Mr. Speaker, the number of veterans who are around in our area, in our local Legion, and others, the associate members, out going to the schools, hosting the act of remembrance. I think there were 8, 9, perhaps 10 different ceremonies during that week leading up to November 11th. That was just at the schools. The student reaction was phenomenal, the questions that were asked, the answers that were able to be given, the honesty that was shown by the veterans volunteering their time and asking what that is about. Unbelievable, how smart our little children in these schools today are. Certainly, they appear much brighter than they did in the days when I went to school. Maybe we were paying less attention when I was there. Our kids today are certainly well educated and that is also an attribute to the great facilities that we have in this province with regard to education.

Back on to the volunteers, Mr. Speaker, and I will table that. I don't know if it has been put forward in this House or not, there are a lot of facts in there. I think that all the members received it. They should review it because they can recognize the volunteers in the communities.

I know I am running out of time, I want to pick up where the honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection left off on the smoking. Very quickly, I want to table the letter that was submitted to him and, I think, maybe all members received as well today from the Smoke Free Nova Scotia, recognizing the benefits of what this legislation has done for this province by way of smoking cessation. I also want to just take a second to mention that if any of these folks who are smokers join a government smoking cessation program - I don't think he got to this- we provide, free of charge, these smoking cessation aids. Sorry, Mr.

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Speaker, my throat is a little bit coarse - cessation aids to help them quit smoking is what I am getting at there. That, in itself, is great and I thank you for the time. I see I am out of time.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to be on my feet to say a few words and I am going to emphasize a few words tonight, because I am doing something that is not characteristic. I usually like to get my share of time, but I am going to turn over to the member for Pictou West for commentary in relationship to this and I am only going to take a couple of minutes because I am going to be on my way back to that great County of Pictou, in just about two or three minutes time, for commitments that are up there.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't stand up and say a few words about something that is geared to Pictou County. Certainly I commend the Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre, all of the people who have been involved there over the years - I commend them all. I believe that the topic, as introduced, perhaps if it had been on volunteerism in Nova Scotia, it would have had a broader base because we can all look at our constituencies and I could talk about the Ivor MacDonald Community Rink in Thorburn, and when the word "miner" is mentioned I think of the Westville Miners, the m-i-n-e-r-s, and all the teams that have come from the Town of Westville, my hometown.

I believe that the scope of this subject is more resolution-oriented and I certainly congratulate those involved and so on, but when I think of Trenton, Mr. Speaker, I think of the 1,200 former employees of TrentonWorks and I wonder where they are and what they are doing. I think about the transition centre that has been set up and the good work that is going on there, and we could certainly talk and debate some of the things that are happening with the Pictou Regional Development Commission and look at all of the things that are trying to be done in the county in relationship to that.

So, Mr. Speaker, I could go on at great length about volunteerism because there is so much of it in Pictou East, but I believe the topic of debate in relationship to Trenton has certainly some great significance when we look at some of the problems that do exist there and hopefully some of the solutions that will come after December 14th, when proposals come forward. Having said that, I am turning the rest of the time over to the member for Pictou West and I'm going to head off to Pictou County. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, appreciate the opportunity of a few minutes here to talk about Pictou County, the volunteers that we have in our county and certainly in our province, and I thank the member for Pictou Centre for

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bringing this resolution forward. While it starts off talking about the Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre, another one of our fine institutions in Pictou County, I should mention I have had the opportunity to skate in that rink, I guess in my days as a substitute teacher, bringing students to that rink on occasion to get exercise and to foster healthy living, certainly. It is one of many rinks in our county that offer these programs to our students.

Actually we have six hockey rinks - or ice rinks perhaps is a better term - in Pictou County. I know they are all very good to offer programs to our children, to our youth, to our adults and certainly they are all responsible for ParticipACTION and increasing the awareness of keeping our bodies healthy.

I guess in the Town of Pictou, I could mention the Hector Arena, which has been there since 1972 and has served our county well, not only as the site of our Pictou North Colchester Exhibition each year, but certainly during these months the ice is in and there has been ringette and minor hockey and semi- professional hockey and a league that has been on the go for some time. Certainly a lot of people go to our local rink and rent ice time and enjoy a good game of pick-up hockey, or whatever. Certainly, commendations to Bob Naylor at the Hector Area - he has been the manager there for many years and is doing a great job of managing within a budget an aging rink that needs a lot of work and a lot of repairs but finds a way to get the money and get the job done. So commendations to him and his staff.

I guess one of my earliest memories of the Hector Arena, other than during exhibition time, is taking my son there to learn to skate. He was a five year old in grade Primary and they had school programs and, as a parent volunteer, I would go along with him and hold is hand and hold him up and get him started around the rink. I did that for two or three years until he was certainly fully able to go on his own.

In reality, that is one of the many recreational facilities that we have in our area. I can think of programs offered through Scotsburn recreation in the summertime that certainly also foster healthy living, ball programs and T-ball and other activities for children primarily. Also in the Village of River John, there are summer programs, pickup baseball and organized baseball. I should commend the recreation coordinator there, for a number of years, Joanne Wilkins, and she certainly organized a number of teams and a number of activities for children and teenagers and adults, as well. Even pickup hockey games in the wintertime during the Winter Carnival. So there was something there for everybody.

[6:15 p.m.]

I can think also, coming back to the Town of Pictou, it's not just the ice hockey rink but other opportunities for people to remain active, remain healthy, to "participACT". We have a super, organized soccer program in the Town of Pictou, and children of all ages from about five years up to 19 participate in organized house leagues and in travelling teams that travel around the province, and certainly very competitive. Some of the very best young

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soccer players come from the Town of Pictou and have won championships in the various age groups. I think the most recent was the under-14 boys who were provincial champions this year. So congratulations to them and their coaches.

Really, to have healthy, active lifestyles, it all comes back to volunteers, and it is volunteers in our communities who are the driving force that allow a lot of these recreation programs to fully be active and participate. We have volunteer coaches, we have volunteer team managers, we have volunteers, really, throughout our community. Not just in recreation, but I think of the volunteers in our fire departments. This past Saturday night, I had the opportunity to attend the annual banquet of the Caribou and District Volunteer Fire Department. They certainly recognize their firemen of the year and all their volunteers, whether they are active men or women in the fire service or whether they are on the board of directors or the ladies' auxiliary, they are all volunteers in their community who work together to provide a safer, healthier community, and we owe them a lot of thanks.

It was mentioned by a previous speaker that there are volunteers in our Legions. There are volunteers in every walk of life. Coming back again to Pictou County, I know we have our share of volunteers who participate in recreational activities and, as I mentioned, fire departments, Legions, schools.

So we are very, very fortunate to have many good, active volunteers. That's what makes our way of life, our lifestyle that we enjoy in Nova Scotia, we can be thankful for the volunteers. As a net result of that, we have healthy, active lifestyles, and may we long encourage that type of activity.

So with those few remarks, Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have had this opportunity, and I will listen to what the next speaker has to say. Thank you.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it's nice to see you again this evening. I can assure you that last night's late show won't be repeated. It will be a little bit more quiet this evening.

I do want to thank, at the outset, the member for Pictou Centre for bringing this resolution here this evening. It's an important resolution because it points out how he feels about his community and it gives other members the opportunity to talk about their communities and also to make some comments regarding the area of Trenton and Pictou County.

Let me tell you, you know, my memory is a little foggy on this because it is some time ago, I am not sure whether I played up there when I was with Sydney Academy in juvenile or whether I played up there when I was with North Side Jr. Victoria's, but I can tell

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you this, I had a good time when I was there. I don't know which team it was with, but we certainly were given the royal treatment by the people of Pictou County and particularly the people we met. I'm not even sure whether we played in Trenton, but I do know we ended up there. (Laughter) I don't know why, because it goes back a little, as you can appreciate.

But the member for Victoria-The Lakes reminded me about the old Sydney Forum and my role growing up there as a rink rat, knowing that the Sydney Forum was a revered place in Sydney. As I got older and got into the mayor's chair in the City of Sydney, I realized we had to do something with our infrastructure if we were going to compete in the marketplace of Nova Scotia and nationally and we didn't have the facilities to do that.

We embarked on a program to build a centre in Sydney and that centre was called Centre 200. It was built in 1987 to commemorate the Canada Winter Games, to act as a venue for the Canada Winter Games, but to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Sydney. That infrastructure cost $15 million at the time - a bargain, a 5,000-seat arena and convention centre was built for $15 million in 1987.

The important part of that was, it was all three levels of government contributed to it: the provincial government at the time, the Buchanan Government; the federal government at the time; and the City of Sydney. I felt that was a partnership that worked, it was a partnership that gave the City of Sydney and the surrounding areas in Cape Breton a facility we could truly say was a 20th Century facility. The immediate result of that facility was that Sydney was able to attract the Cape Breton Oilers of the American Hockey League. We had a professional hockey league franchise there for eight years, culminating with the winning of the Calder Cup in 1993.

For a community the size of 30,000 people, or slightly less at that time, to be able to build a centre with tax dollars and with contributions from the federal and provincial governments, we were able to build this centre, we were able to provide a hockey product in Sydney which carried on to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today. We've had a major tenant in there ever since, and by the way, that centre is paid off. The capital costs of that centre are paid off and it's a legacy to the people of Sydney who gave me the opportunity to build that centre when I was mayor, and I thank the city council of the day for allowing that project to go forward.

I think that project was the catalyst for increased minor hockey programs in the area, increased programs in terms of getting adequate sports facilities in the Cape Breton area, particularly in my constituency, the City of Sydney at the time. Today, my daughter and my son-in-law are both coaching in the minor system - minor hockey, minor soccer, basketball, you name it. The kids today are getting lots of programs in the community because of the interest I think generated by the young people, the volunteers in our community, which has been nothing short of fantastic in my community.

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However, we do have a deficit. We have an infrastructure deficit, which I'm sure all members of this House would realize that if we're going to promote good living, we're going to promote the promotion of sports, promote young people being able to carry themselves through their teen years and into adulthood with the background of sports behind them and all the discipline that brings with it, then I believe we've done something if we can keep that going. In my area, and I'm sure in all members' areas, that's important.

We do have a deficit in that the government is proposing $50 million over the next 10 years. That's simply not enough, and I think we have to realize that's $5 million a year right across the province to improve the infrastructure needs in Nova Scotia.

I applaud the government for the initiative, but arguably people will say we lost an opportunity with the Commonwealth Games, but as a result of the Commonwealth Games not coming here, the province, at the time, was prepared to spend upwards of $400 million on those games. I would hope the province at some point would increase the amount of money they're going to spend on sports infrastructures and wellness. That's so very important in order to keep our health care system buoyant in this province or from getting out of hand and in order to improve the physical lives of our children.

I think the volunteers have a lot to do with that in our communities. A lot of the infrastructure that's being built in the community now is being done by the volunteers in the community who have taken the matter into their own hands, you know, and that's a good thing. They're going out there and they're building skateboards with fundraisers. They're building rinks in the member for Cape Breton North's area. A large group of people in that area are trying to get enough money together to encourage government to come on board to build a much needed rink in the North Sydney area. I mean, the rink over there is just atrocious what the people have to put up with over in that particular area. I'm sure that all levels of government at some point will get together and make sure that that is built.

As I said, Mr. Speaker, the member brings that here for a good reason because he talks about the sports community centre. He talks about the volunteers in Trenton who have done so much for his community and the other members have talked about their communities. I can tell you that if it wasn't for volunteers throughout this province, in many communities, if not all communities in this province, we just wouldn't have the kind of facilities that we have today. Some of the facilities that we have in rural Nova Scotia, and again I refer to the member for Victoria-The Lakes, you know, if you're in downtown Sydney and you have access to sporting facilities one block away, that's much different than the sporting facilities you have access to in Victoria-The Lakes or any other rural community in this province.

I think that the members realize that they have to use volunteers moreso and they have to use existing facilities and convert those existing facilities for use of our children. I'm talking about schools. I'm talking about community centres. I'm talking about marinas. I

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have a special interest in Victoria County because my children have a summer cottage up there and they like to put their boat in the water and go down to the yacht club there, you know. That's available to them, but I think it's because volunteers started that wharf back up again there in Ross Ferry - the Ross Ferry Road, the old Ross Ferry - and you know, those are the kinds of things that are good for that community but if you waited for government to come in there and do all of that, it just wouldn't happen. So there is a deficit there that I think we have to realize is out there, but we also have to realize that it's a partnership.

I will go back to the Centre 200 partnership. Back in 1987 the City of Sydney couldn't have built that by themselves, you know, but the other two levels of government - one a Progressive Conservative level of government and the other one a Liberal level of government - came to the aid because they realized that in Sydney the deficit was there. We needed a new building. If Sydney was going to become of age as a city, we needed certain facilities. We needed a regional hospital which we got. We needed the Centre 200 which provided all kinds of entertainment. You know we've had concerts there all the way from the Cats Musical to Rod Stewart, to Anne Murray, to wrestling, you name it, it has been in and out of Centre 200 over the years, and I'm sure that members here from Cape Breton have been to many of those events, but it has paid for itself. It's a lasting legacy to the people of Sydney who have promoted it.

There was very little negative opinion when we were building the centre except the usual questions of, how do you pay for it? Well, Mr. Speaker, I can tell you we paid for it without the city going bankrupt. We paid for it over 20 years and now it's paid for. If we had hesitated back in 1987, we wouldn't have had the American hockey league team, we wouldn't have had a venue for the Canada Winter Games. We would not have had all the events that took place there since, including the Queen being there for church service and all those kinds of things. So it was good for the community. It's paid off today and the people of Sydney didn't hesitate in that day and I'm sure that if any other projects come up down in Cape Breton, the people will certainly pick it up and run with it because they realize that if you build infrastructure, they will come.

MR. SPEAKER: I would like to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late show.

A motion for adjournment has been made. The House will rise to sit again tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

The House is adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 6:28 p.m.]

[Page 468]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 369

By: Ms. Maureen MacDonald (Halifax Needham)

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

Whereas Gwen Noah was one of five inaugural recipients of an Established Artist Recognition Award at the second Awards Gala hosted by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council; and

Whereas Established Artist Recognition Awards, presented for the first time this year, will be presented annually to artists who have persevered to become recognized, established artists in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Gwen Noah began her distinguished career over 20 years ago, founded Gwen Noah Dance in 1990, and continues to choreograph and perform to wide acclaim;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Gwen Noah on receiving the Established Artist Recognition Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 370

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the cost of delivering good health care is very expensive; and

Whereas community groups such as hospital auxiliaries and health foundations generate additional funding; and

Whereas the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore has been very successful in attracting generous donors;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the staff and volunteers of the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore for their contribution of $465,000 for the Dr. Arthur Patterson Centre for Restorative Care.

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RESOLUTION NO. 371

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Premier)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia is recognized world wide for its waste reduction system; and

Whereas Port Hawkesbury's Strait Bottle Exchange, one of eighty-three locations across Nova Scotia, was recognized last Spring at the Mobius Environmental Awards luncheon as the province's number one enviro-depot of the year; and

Whereas businesses like the Strait Bottle Exchange are helping each day to protect our environment -collecting over two billion beverage containers in the past eleven years;

Therefore be it resolved that the MLAs in this House of Assembly applaud the owners and staff of the Strait Bottle Exchange in Port Hawkesbury on their recent recognition for their environmental contributions at a provincial level.

RESOLUTION NO. 372

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Premier)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission is dedicated to building a service that strives for excellence and meets the needs of a modern and innovative public service; and

Whereas Sally Ellis, of Whycocomagh, was recently recognized for her 30 years of faithful public service with the Nova Scotia Government; and

Whereas Ms. Ellis is presently a clerk with the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department office in Baddeck;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislative Chamber applaud the tremendous work ethic and commitment of Sally Ellis of Whycocomagh, and thank her for 30 years of dedicated public service for the Province of Nova Scotia.

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RESOLUTION NO. 373

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Premier)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission is dedicated to building a service that strives for excellence and meets the needs of a modern and innovative public service; and

Whereas Ms. Johanna M. Graham of Judique was recently recognized for her 25 years of faithful public service with the Nova Scotia Government; and

Whereas Ms. Graham is continuing with her efforts in service to the people of this province through her employment with the Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations in Port Hawkesbury;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislative Chamber commend the diligent work ethic and dedication exemplified by Ms. Johanna M. Graham of Judique, and thank her for 25 years of loyal service with the Province of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 374

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Premier)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission is dedicated to building a service that strives for excellence and meets the needs of a modern and innovative public service; and

Whereas Donald Morrison of Whycocomagh recently retired from the Nova Scotia Public Service, shortly before being recognized for 30 years of faithful, dedicated service; and

Whereas until his retirement, Mr. Morrison worked with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the tremendous work ethic and commitment of Donald Morrison of Whycocomagh for his 30 years of dedicated public service.

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RESOLUTION NO. 375

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the Shelburne County Special Olympians won 38 medals at the Summer Games at Acadia University in Wolfville on July 20 to 21, 2007; and

Whereas the teams consisted of track and field, bowling, swimming, masters which was made up of bocce, horseshoes and racewalk; and

Whereas the true spirit of Special Olympics is everyone who competes is a winner;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Special Olympians for their great win accomplishments of 38 medals from the Summer Games at Acadia University in Wolfville on July 20 to 22, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 376

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Albert Crowell, better known as "Bob", of Woods Harbour, Shelburne County, wishes to celebrate his 90th birthday with adored family and friends at the Barrington Lions Hall on November 23, 2007; and

Whereas in 1941 Bob married his beloved wife, Mayola Nickerson, they have raised three wonderful and successful children, and in 1942 Bob went to work for the Royal Canadian Air Force in Quebec as an aircraft electrician where he was discharged in 1945 - Bob has enjoyed a colourful life of many different occupations from 1935 to today; and

Whereas Bob is a hard-working gentleman determined to live his life to the fullest, and he still enjoys working occasionally, having no plans for early retirement and he has great delight in attending local seniors' dances;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Bob Crowell on his life-long accomplishments, and best wishes to Bob and his family as he celebrates his 90th birthday at the Barrington Lions Hall on November 23, 2007.

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RESOLUTION NO. 377

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Alex Buchanan won the second prize in the youth category with his "The Piano Players" entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Alex Buchanan for winning the second prize in the youth category with his "The Piano Players" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 378

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Canadian pilot Arnold Raymond Blynn and his crew of four Canadians and two Britons, from 148 Squadron, boarded a Royal Canadian Air Force Halifax JP276A bomber on August 4, 1944, to leave the Italian City of Brindisi at 19:56 hours to carry out a special operation over southern Poland; and

Whereas the crew completed their airdrop but while returning to Italy they were shot down by an enemy fighter close to the town of Dabrowa Tarnowska - the wreckage was discovered in 2006 on the outskirts of the City of Tarnow, Poland; and

Whereas on October 4, 2007, the airmen were buried with full military honours in Krakow, Poland, followed by a rededication service in the Commonwealth War Graves, Rakowicki Cemetery in Poland;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Flight Lieutenant Arnold Raymond Blynn for his bravery and dedication to the Royal Canadian Air Force, his crew, to all Canadians and to his country.

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RESOLUTION NO. 379

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Barry Coutts won the first and fourth prize in the most creative category with his "Two Old Crows" and "Biplane" entries; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Barry Coutts for winning the first and fourth prizes in the most creative category with his "Two Old Crows" and "Biplane" entries at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 380

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Charles Hardy won the peoples choice award, plus $100 cash and the best workmanship prize with his "Rocking Dory" entry, and he also won first prize for the most whimsical with his "Pumping Iron" entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Charles Hardy for winning the peoples choice award, plus $100 cash and the best workmanship prize award with his "Rocking Dory" entry, and for also winning first prize for the most whimsical with

[Page 475]

his "Pumping Iron" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 381

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Dale Clark won the third prize in the most creative category with his "Well Digger" entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Dale Clark for winning the third prize in the most creative category with his "Well Digger" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 382

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Darcy Rhyno of Shelburne County has been selected from hundreds of Canadian writers as one of fifteen to contribute to the released collection "Vagrant Review of New Fiction"; and

Whereas the story called "What It Would Make of Him As He Went Along" is perhaps the longest title of the collection, but was very much liked by all the editors; and

Whereas the story is about Christmas and a young girl who had a baby to bring for the first time to a family get-together and how the future of a family is determined even before he is ever born - the types of people, the language, the landscape and the experiences are based out of Shelburne County;

[Page 476]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Darcy Rhyno on his new book "What It Would Make of Him As He Went Along" and wish him continued success in his very promising writing career.

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RESOLUTION NO. 383

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Ed Torak won the best in show with his "Circus Trapeze Artist" entry, along with a $500 cash prize; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Ed Torak for wining the best in show for his "Circus Trapeze Artist" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 384

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Gerald Harris won the fourth prize in the best workmanship category with his "Bird Chasing a Small Plane" entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Gerald Harris for winning the fourth prize in the best workmanship category with his "Bird Chasing a Small Plane" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

[Page 478]

RESOLUTION NO. 385

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Hannah Cameron of Shelburne donated her hair to the Locks of Love in Florida, a program to help restore children's self-esteem and confidence and normalcy of life; and

Whereas Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term hair loss from any medical diagnosis; and

Whereas Hannah had 12 inches of her hair cut and donated on October 23, 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank Hannah Cameron for her unselfish gift of hair to the Locks of Love program, in Florida, to help children living with long- term hair loss.

RESOLUTION NO. 386

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Harris Buchanan won the second prize in the best workmanship category with his "Surry Horse Race" entry and fourth place in the most whimsical category with his "Fishing Boat" weather vane entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Harris Buchanan for winning the second prize in the best workmanship category with his "Surry Horse Race" and his fourth place winning with his "Fishing Boat" weather vane entry in the most whimsical category at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

[Page 479]

RESOLUTION NO. 387

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Ian Munroe won the first-time entry award for his "Pump" entry and the second prize award for the most creative; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Ian Munroe for winning the first- time entry award for his "Pump" entry and the second prize award for the most creative at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 388

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Joan Harlow and Jeanette Smith won third prize in the most whimsical category with their "Human Whirligig" entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Joan Harlow and Jeanette Smith for winning third prize in the most whimsical category with their "Human Whirligig" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

[Page 480]

RESOLUTION NO. 389

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 207, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Kaitlyn Peacock won the first prize in the youth category with her "Hummingbird" entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Kaitlyn Peacock for winning the first prize in the youth category with her "Hummingbird" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 390

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Phillip Riteman of Bedford, Nova Scotia, a Holocaust survivor generously offered a heartfelt presentation to the public and students of the Cape Sable Island Elementary School, November 7, 2007; and

Whereas Phillip began speaking in 1990, after 40 years of silence, to educate others to appreciate life and freedom offered to us through our heroes the veterans; and

Whereas Phillip suffered through horrific and frightful experiences when on May 2, 1945, American soldiers liberated the Nazi prisoners where they were freed from their dreadful torments;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank Phillip Riteman for his profound presentation at the Cape Sable Island Elementary School on November 7, 2007 - through his sufferings, his sincere presentation was a great gift of history and humble appreciation for veterans offered to the students and residents of Shelburne County.

[Page 481]

RESOLUTION NO. 391

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Rexford Perry won the third prize in the best workmanship category with his "Two Deer Fighting" entry; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Rexford Perry for winning the third prize in the best workmanship category with his "Two Deer Fighting" entry at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 392

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Linda Ross of Sable River enjoys her career as a photographer to promote the South Shore of Nova Scotia for tourism; and

Whereas one of Linda's many photography specialties for over the last 15 years has included aerial photography; and

Whereas Linda's photos can be seen on postcards throughout the Province of Nova Scotia, and she also offers photography courses at workshops throughout Shelburne County to teach people how to develop an eye to see what is around them;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Linda Ross on her photography career, as well as uncovering the so-often hidden treasures of Nova Scotia's landscapes - Linda has succeeded in producing magnificent results to promote Nova Scotia's natural beauty and to capture tourism interests worldwide.

[Page 482]

RESOLUTION NO. 393

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Mayflower Place in Barrington Passage, Shelburne County, invited the community to an official open house event on June 27, 2007; and

Whereas Mayflower Place is operated by the Shelburne Association Supporting Inclusion, better known as SASI, the facility has a bakery, meeting hall, laundromat, public meeting room, and a gift and retail section - and nearly 30 clients with physical and mental challenges work at Mayflower Place; and

Whereas SASI's philosophy is to promote abilities and to create community awareness that the clients who work at Mayflower Place are very capable and skilled people who have a lot to contribute to Shelburne County;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank the clients and staff at Mayflower Place for the hard work and dedication they provide, contributing their talents and skills to the communities of Shelburne County, and also for the open house invitation on June 27, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 394

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Ronnie and Adele Crowell of Woods Harbour/Welchtown were the winners with their champion pumpkin and squash at the Clark's Harbour, Shelburne, and Yarmouth weigh-off on October 5and 6, 2007; and

Whereas Adele Crowell won 1st place in the adult category pumpkin, weighing in at 764 pounds - also Adele won 1st place in the heaviest squash competition, weighing in at 721 pounds; and

Whereas Ronnie Crowell won 1st place in the heaviest pumpkin, weighing in at 758 pounds - also Ronnie won 1st place in the adult category squash competition, weighing in at 724 pounds;

[Page 483]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Ronnie and Adele Crowell on their 1st place winnings at the pumpkin/squash weigh-offs in Clark's Harbour, Shelburne, and Yarmouth on October 5and 6, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 395

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau

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

Whereas Teresa Hemeon of Clyde River, Shelburne County, won 2nd place in the great pumpkin weigh-offs at the Clark's Harbour, Shelburne and Yarmouth weigh-offs on October 5 and 6, 2007; and

Whereas Teresa won 2nd place in the adult category pumpkin, weighing in at 721 pounds; and

Whereas giant pumpkins require a tremendous amount of care and attention, beginning with soil preparation and seed selection, to vine positioning and fertilizing programs;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Teresa Hemeon on her 2nd place winning at the pumpkin weigh-offs in Clark's Harbour, Shelburne, and Yarmouth on October 5 and 6, 2007, and best wishes for future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 396

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the Trinity United Church of Shelburne County will be working hundreds of hours to alter the building's structure, making it environmentally sound and going green; and

Whereas the church decided it was more than just a financial consideration, it was also the moral decision to protect the environment; and

Whereas through an environmental assessment it showed that 50 tons of greenhouse gas was being emitted into the atmosphere and the church was functioning as a "big chimney";

[Page 484]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Trinity United Church for their determination to work endless hours to alter the building's structure to ensure it is environmentally sound, and congratulate them on the decision to protect the environment by going green.

RESOLUTION NO. 397

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Wayne Blynn of Woods Harbour, Shelburne County, is the nephew of Lieutenant Arnold Raymond Blynn, a pilot who went missing in 1944 while on a special mission over southern Poland; and

Whereas in 2006 an archeological dig uncovered the plane's wreckage and the bodies of the crew members of the missing Halifax JP276A bomber; and

Whereas Wayne Blynn was invited by Veterans Affairs Canada to attend a memorial and rededication ceremony in Krakow, Poland, organized by the Canadian Department of National Defense in collaboration with the Royal Air Force;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly appreciate the closure offered to Wayne Blynn's family through the memorial and rededication ceremonies held in Krakow, Poland, October 4, 2007, where the airmen were treated with full military honours and with great dignity.

RESOLUTION NO. 398

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the 8th Annual Shelburne County Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was held September 22 and 23, 2007, on the historic waterfront in Shelburne; and

Whereas Ian Munroe won the first-time entry award for his "Pump" entry and the second prize award for the most creative; and

Whereas the festival featured two whirligig workshops conducted by Mr. Milford Buchanan, and there were 15 categories for whirligig makers of all skill levels;

[Page 485]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Ian Munroe for winning the first- time entry award for his "Pump" entry and the second prize award for the most creative at the 8th Annual Whirligig and Weathervane Festival on September 22 and 23, 2007.

RESOLUTION NO. 399

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

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

Whereas Operation Christmas, a program to combat impaired driving, is organized by police agencies across the province and Nova Scotia's Road Safety Advisory Committee and is sponsored by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and the Canadian Automobile Association; and

Whereas law enforcement agencies from across Nova Scotia will set up checkpoints in Springhill tomorrow to launch the Operation Christmas initiative; and

Whereas police checkpoints will also be set up in communities across the province during the holiday season, stopping motorists for sobriety enforcement and reminding everyone to plan ahead to get home safely;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate all partners involved in the 2007 Operation Christmas initiative, including: Chief Gary Copeland, Constable Ken Jackson and administrative assistant Cindy White from the Springhill Police Department; Mark Fury, Police and Public Safety Services Consultant with the provincial Department of Justice; police agencies from across Nova Scotia; the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation; the Canadian Automobile Association; Nova Scotia's Road Safety Advisory Committee; staff at the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and the Department of Justice; and Jim Hatheway Ford of Amherst, and thank them for working together to make our province a safer place to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 400

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

[Page 486]

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Scott Patterson who was band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band in 2003.

RESOLUTION NO. 401

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Robert Warren who was band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band from 1990-1992 and 2001-2003.

RESOLUTION NO. 402

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

[Page 487]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Gale Lohnes who was band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band from 1993-2000.

RESOLUTION NO. 403

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Denise Burgoyne-Allen who was band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band in 1993.

RESOLUTION NO. 404

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank John Bird who was band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band from 1981-1986.

[Page 488]

RESOLUTION NO. 405

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Ken Foote who was band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band from 1987-1990.

RESOLUTION NO. 406

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Don Gow who was band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band from 1972-1975.

RESOLUTION NO. 407

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

[Page 489]

Whereas volunteer firefighters provide excellent service to their communities even in the face of danger; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters and their auxiliaries contribute in many other ways to their communities; and

Whereas many volunteers over the years have provided musical talent to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Julia Brandwin-Glait who is band director of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band.

RESOLUTION NO. 408

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas safe playground equipment is essential on school property; and

Whereas safe playground equipment is expensive and requires fundraising by the schools; and

Whereas Pentz Elementary School in Lunenburg County celebrated the opening of its new playground with new equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the parents, staff and students at Pentz Elementary School for their efforts in securing a healthier and safer playground.

RESOLUTION NO. 409

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas many students have been given the opportunity to play in school sports, and hockey is one of those sports; and

Whereas hockey is a game of strategy and hard work; and

[Page 490]

Whereas Mitch Baker received the On Ice Play Award for all his hard work, dedication and positive attitude with the Hebbville Academy Junior Hockey Team;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mitch Baker of Hebbville Academy Junior Hockey Team on this outstanding achievement and wish him well in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 410

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas 4-H Clubs are recognized for the excellent programs they provide for young people; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County 4-H members are provided the opportunity to learn, improve and demonstrate public-speaking skills; and

Whereas the 2007 Lunenburg County 4-H Rally held a public-speaking contest for members;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jamie Mailman of the Branch LaHave 4-H Club for her participation in the public-speaking contest.

RESOLUTION NO. 411

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas many students have been given the opportunity to play in school sports, and hockey is one of those sports; and

Whereas hockey is a game of strategy and hard work; and

Whereas Chris Duffney received the Commitment to the Sport Award for all his hard work with the Hebbville Academy Junior Hockey Team;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Chris Duffney of Hebbville Academy Junior Hockey Team on this outstanding achievement and wish him well in the future.

[Page 491]

RESOLUTION NO. 412

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas our youth are the benefactors when community volunteers organize events of interest to them; and

Whereas minor basketball is a sport which attracts interested youth from all parts of Lunenburg County; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County YMCA Minor Basketball Association was the co-winner of Association of the Year from Sport Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend special thanks and congratulations to all the Lunenburg County YMCA and all the volunteers who helped create the association and support the minor basketball league.

RESOLUTION NO. 413

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas 4-H Clubs are recognized for the excellent programs they provide for young people; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County 4-H members are provided the opportunity to learn, improve and demonstrate public-speaking skills; and

Whereas the 2007 Lunenburg County 4-H Rally held a public-speaking contest for members;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Olivia Emino, Livewires 4-H Club, on her participation in the public-speaking competition.

[Page 492]

RESOLUTION NO. 414

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas many students have been given the opportunity to play in school sports, and hockey is one of those sports; and

Whereas hockey is a game of strategy and hard work; and

Whereas Moira Frier was recognized for her leadership role as captain with the Hebbville Academy Junior Hockey Team;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Moira Frier of Hebbville Academy Junior Hockey Team on this outstanding achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 415

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas creating a written history of our community is essential to maintaining a link with our past; and

Whereas researching, verifying and writing such a document is painstaking work that requires time, patience and devotion; and

Whereas Melba Lantz of Crouses Settlement, Lunenburg County, has written a book, And Then a Settlement Was Born, which documents the community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Melba Lantz of Crouses Settlement for her excellent contribution to all readers of her historical document and especially to the citizens of Crouses Settlement, present and future.

RESOLUTION NO. 416

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

[Page 493]

Whereas cancer never sleeps; and

Whereas cancer can be beaten through new research; and

Whereas the search for the cure requires large sums of money;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Gabe Aliphat of Bridgewater, and the members of the South Shore Duellists Fencing Club for shaving their hair to raise funds, and for donating their hair to make wigs for patients undergoing cancer treatment.

RESOLUTION NO. 417

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas 4-H Clubs are recognized for the excellent programs they provide for young people; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County 4-H members are provided the opportunity to learn, improve and demonstrate public-speaking skills; and

Whereas the 2007 Lunenburg County 4-H Rally held a public-speaking contest for members;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Abby Cook, Hill "N" Dale 4-H Club, on her participation in the public-speaking competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 418

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas educating young students about alcohol abuse can help improve their health and lifestyles; and

Whereas young students are becoming more aware and concerned about the effects of drinking and driving; and

[Page 494]

Whereas Veronica Nickerson of Hebbville Academy, Lunenburg County, recently received honourable mention in the Lunenburg/Queens Mothers Against Drunk Driving contest;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Veronica Nickerson from Hebbville Academy for her participation and success in the recent Lunenburg/Queens Mothers Against Drunk Driving poster contest.

RESOLUTION NO. 419

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas educating young students about alcohol abuse can help improve their health and lifestyles; and

Whereas young students are becoming more aware and concerned about the effects of drinking and driving; and

Whereas Kristie Lee Whynot of Hebbville Academy, Lunenburg County, recently received honourable mention in the Lunenburg/Queens Mothers Against Drunk Driving contest;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kristie Lee Whynot from Hebbville Academy for her participation and success in the recent Lunenburg/Queens Mothers Against Drunk Driving poster contest.

RESOLUTION NO. 420

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas athletes who excel in their sport have the skills and the inner drive to take them to new levels; and

Whereas peer and fan support are essential to encouraging the athlete to strive for better performance; and

Whereas Jenna Martin of Bridgewater has taken the challenge of performing to win;

[Page 495]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jenna for setting a new Canadian junior indoor record for the 400-metre run at the NCAA National Championships which were held in Fayette, Arkansas.

RESOLUTION NO. 421

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas technology has provided many new options for those planning a career; and

Whereas there are excellent opportunities in the entertainment field through the use of new technology; and

Whereas Bridgewater Junior High School student Halley Roache won second place among 70 entries in a recent Viewfinders International Film Festival for youth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Halley Roache of Bridgewater for a very successful screening of her creation of the animated movie Babysitter Wanted which was screened at the Empire Theatre at Bayers Lake.

RESOLUTION NO. 422

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas weekly newspapers have been recognized as an essential service to small communities across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas as weekly newspapers can contribute to the entertainment, relaxation, information sharing, education and news awareness of the citizens being served; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Bulletin has been named the best community newspaper in its circulation class in Atlantic Canada for the second year in a row;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the staff of the Bridgewater Bulletin for taking top honours at the Atlantic Community Newspaper Association Awards ceremony which was held in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

[Page 496]

RESOLUTION NO. 423

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas high school graduates are rewarded as a result of their academic performance; and

Whereas some grads are also rewarded through recognition by their peers; and

Whereas Emma Burgoyne was chosen to be the 2007 Valedictorian for Park View Education Centre, Lunenburg County;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Valedictorian Emma Burgoyne for her academic success and for the recognition she was given by her peers as their chosen valedictorian.

RESOLUTION NO. 424

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas teachers make great contributions towards the success and lifestyles of their students; and

Whereas master teachers are able to demonstrate creativeness and leadership within their classrooms and with their peers; and

Whereas New Germany teacher, Greg Selig, is a provincial award winning teacher;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate New Germany, Lunenburg County, teacher Greg Selig for making a real difference in the lives of his students because of his dedication, caring and leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 425

By: Hon. James Muir (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

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Whereas Truro's Chief of Police, Ken MacLean, retired last month after nearly four decades of service in the Truro Police Service; and

Whereas Chief MacLean began his career as a 24-year-old constable, was promoted in 1988 to deputy chief and eight years later the Malagash native succeeded Lonnie Murray as Chief of Police; and

Whereas Chief MacLean presided over a period of growth for the Truro Police Service which now has a complement of over 40 police officers plus civilian staff, including a move from an outmoded police station to a newly constructed, modern facility in 1997;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank retired Truro Chief of Police Ken MacLean for his exemplary leadership of the Truro Police Service and wish him and wife Sharon all the best in retirement.