Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 08-25

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://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/

Second Session

TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2430, Correctional Services Wk. (05/04-05/10/08) - Support,
Hon. C. Clarke 2668
Vote - Affirmative 2668
Res. 2431, Agriculture Literacy Day: Organizers - Congrats.,
Hon. B. Taylor 2668
Vote - Affirmative 2669
Res. 2432, Mental Health Wk. (05/05-05/11/08) - Recognize,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 2669
Vote - Affirmative 2670
Res. 2433, Coastal Communities Network: Web Site - Launch Congrats.,
Hon. R. Chisholm 2670
Vote - Affirmative 2671
Res. 2434, PSC: Administrative Professionals - Recognize,
Hon. L. Goucher 2671
Vote - Affirmative 2672
Res. 2435, Ducks Unlimited: Ecological Successes - Congrats.,
Hon. D. Morse 2672
Vote - Affirmative 2672
Res. 2436, Com. Serv. - Alternative Shelter Options: Partners - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Streatch 2673
Vote - Affirmative 2673
Res. 2437, LWD - Cert. of Qualification: Apprentices - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Parent 2673
Vote - Affirmative 2674
Vote - Affirmative
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2438, Withers, Paul - Atl. Journalism Award,
Mr. D. Dexter 2674
Vote - Affirmative 2675
Res. 2439, Donato, Jimmy: Bodybuilding Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 2675
Vote - Affirmative 2676
Res. 2440, Dauphinee, Warden Richard - Three Mile Plains: Serv. - Applaud
Mr. C. Porter 2676
Vote - Affirmative 2676
Res. 2441, De Serres, Marc-Andre - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
Mr. D. Dexter 2676
Vote - Affirmative 2677
Res. 2442, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Mo. (05/08) - Recognize,
Mr. M. Samson 2677
Vote - Affirmative 2678
Res. 2443, Peacock, Rylie/Corbin, Paul - Town Youth Participation
Strategies Conf., Mr. P. Dunn 2678
Vote - Affirmative 2679
Res. 2444, Dartmouth's Operation Peace Clubs - Congrats.,
Ms. M. More 2679
Vote - Affirmative 2679
Res. 2445, Stickings, Andrew: Creative Teaching Style - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 2680
Vote - Affirmative 2680
Res. 2446, Northeast Highland Chamber of Comm. of Victoria Co.:
Work - Commend, Mr. K. Bain 2680
Vote - Affirmative 2681
Res. 2447, Polichuk, Magan: Youth Challenge Intl. - Tanzania Proj.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 2681
Vote - Affirmative 2682
Res. 2448, Health, Standing Comm. On - Create,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2682
Res. 2449, Surette, Stan - Argyle Mun. Prov. Rep. Vol. Award,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 2682
Vote - Affirmative 2684
Res. 2450, Murray, Chad/Tyrel: Organic Farm-Establishment,
Mr. C. Parker 2684
Vote - Affirmative 2684
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2451, Exit Realty Town & Country: Food Drive - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2685
Vote - Affirmative 2685
Res. 2452, MS Walk (Halifax): Participants - Congrats.,
Hon. L. Goucher 2685
Vote - Affirmative 2686
Res. 2453, MacMillan, Keith/McDade, Ben/Campbell, Matt: Fundraising -
Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra 2686
Vote - Affirmative 2687
Res. 2454, Aliant Pioneer Volunteers: Efforts - Recognize,
Mr. W. Gaudet 2687
Vote - Affirmative 2688
Res. 2455, Truro Midget "AAA" Bearcats: Perfect Season - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 2688
Vote - Affirmative 2688
Res. 2456, Seeley, Mrs. Eleanor: VON Donation - Recognize,
Ms. V. Conrad 2688
Vote - Affirmative 2689
Res. 2457, Taylor Express Band: Accomplishments - Recognize,
Mr. H. Theriault 2689
Vote - Affirmative 2690
Res. 2458, Inner Vision Quartet: Efforts - Recognize,
Hon. M. Scott 2690
Vote - Affirmative 2691
Res. 2459, Monroe, Brian: HRSB Healthy Living Calendar -
Contribution, Mr. W. Estabrooks 2691
Vote - Affirmative 2692
Res. 2460, Roy, Bev - Peaceful Schools Award,
Hon. M. Parent 2692
Vote - Affirmative 2692
Res. 2461, D'Eon, Donald - Food For Shelburne Co. Fundraiser:
Vol. Efforts - Thank, Mr. S. Belliveau 2692
Vote - Affirmative 2693
Res. 2462, Oulton, Wayne & Nicole - Young Farmers Award,
Mr. L. Glavine 2693
Vote - Affirmative 2694
Res. 2463, Congdon, Caitlyn - 4-H Conf. (Maryland): Attendance -
Congrats., Hon. K. Casey 2694
Vote - Affirmative 2695
Res. 2464, East. Passage/Cow Bay Summer Carnival Comm.: Success -
Commend, Mr. B. Kent 2695
Vote - Affirmative 2695
Res. 2465, Brandon Russell Legacy Assoc.: Fundraiser - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Baker (by Hon. J. Muir) 2696
Vote - Affirmative 2696
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 158, Gaming Control Act, Mr. L. Glavine 2696
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR: Midgley Dr. (Westmount): Traffic Problem - Rectify,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 2697
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 212, Prem. - Equalization Formula: Acceptance - Explain,
Mr. D. Dexter 2697
No. 213, Prem. - Equalization Formula: Acceptance - Explain,
Mr. S. McNeil 2699
No. 214, Econ. Dev. - Atl. Gateway: Consultation - Details,
Mr. D. Dexter 2700
No. 215, Health - ICUs/Internists: Deal - Table,
Mr. D. Dexter 2701
No. 216, Prem.: Gas Price Inflation - Explain,
Mr. S. McNeil 2702
No. 217, Health - Avastin: Funding - Details,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 2704
No. 218, Health - Medical Appts.: Shuttle - Funding,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 2705
No. 219, Justice - Violent Crime: Increase - Explain,
Mr. M. Samson 2706
No. 220, TIR - Cabinet Vehicles: Usage - Rules Clarify,
Mr. F. Corbett 2707
No. 221, Immigration - Mentorship Prog.: Early Nominees - Plans,
Ms. D. Whalen 2709
No. 222, Agric.: Farmer Liaison Officers - Hire,
Mr. J. MacDonell 2711
No. 223, TCH - Publishing Sector: Support - Details,
Ms. M. Raymond 2713
No. 224, TIR - Port Hastings Rotary: Safety Issues - Address,
Mr. M. Samson 2714
No. 225, Justice - Taser Report: Release - Time Frame,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 2715
No. 226, TIR: Shag Hbr. Incident Soc. Museum - Signage Install,
Mr. S. Belliveau 2716
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Ms. B. Kent 2718
Mr. S. McNeil 2722
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Mun. Gov't. Act: Cosmetic Pesticide Use - Regulate,
Hon. B. Taylor 2727
[ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:]
Hon. B. Taylor 2727
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:44 P.M. 2732
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 2732
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Educ. - East. Passage HS: Construction - Endorse,
Ms. B. Kent 2732
Hon. K. Casey 2735
Mr. L. Glavine 2737
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:30 P.M. 2739
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:23 P.M. 2739
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 81, Domestic Violence Elimination Act,
Ms. D. Whalen 2740
Ms. M. More 2743
Hon. C. Clarke 2746
Ms. D. Whalen 2746
Vote - Affirmative 2747
No. 121, Assessment Act,
Mr. G. Gosse 2747
Ms. D. Whalen 2747
Hon. J. Muir 2747
Mr. G. Gosse 2748
Vote - Affirmative 2748
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 146, Motor Vehicle Act,
Hon. M. Scott 2748
Ms. V. Conrad 2750
Debate adjourned 2750
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., May 7th at 12:00 noon 2751
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2466, Burge, Reuben/RMSenergy: Wind Turbine Farms
(Pictou Co.) - Congrats., Mr. P. Dunn 2752
Res. 2467, Grady, Leland: Conserve N.S. Event - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 2752
Res. 2468, NSCC Waterfront Campus: Opening Celebration -
Congrats., Ms. J. Massey 2753
Res. 2469, Vidito, Nick: NSCC Graduation - Congrats.,
Mr. S. McNeil 2753
Res. 2470, MacDonald, Aaron: CD Release - Congrats.,
The Premier 2754
Res. 2471, Arab, Alex - Bridgewater Minor Hockey Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 2754
Res. 2472, Wentzell, Allison - Parkview Educ. Ctr.:
Prov. Curling Banner - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 2754
Res. 2473, Davidson, Matt - Parkview Educ. Ctr.:
Prov. Curling Banner - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 2755
Res. 2474, Eisenhauer, Jessica - Parkview Educ. Ctr.:
Prov. Curling Banner - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 2755
Res. 2475, Bridgewater Jr. HS Cheerleading Team -
CheerExpo Nationals: Win - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 2756

[Page 2667]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There has been a draw for the late debate tonight. The successful winner was the member for Sackville-Cobequid:

Therefore be it resolved that in light of recommendations of HRSB staff and external consultants retained to undertake the Imagine Our Schools consultation process, recognizing the rapid population growth in the Eastern Passage area and the solid community support for a high school to provide safe and efficient access to education for their children, this Legislature endorse the construction of a high school in the Eastern Passage area.

We will commence the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

[Page 2668]

2667

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2430

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

Whereas the programs and services provided in our communities and in our correctional facilities by Correctional Services' probation officers, youth workers, correctional workers, support staff, and managers contribute to just and safe communities in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Correctional Services works co-operatively with other departments of government and many individuals and organizations including district health authorities, other law enforcement agencies, volunteers, and non-government agencies to provide correctional programs and services; and

Whereas the work of all those who provide correctional programs and services deserve the respect, appreciation and recognition of this House and all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the proclamation of May 4-10, 2008, as Correctional Services Week in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2431

[Page 2669]

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 Department of Agriculture supported the first Agriculture Literacy Day in Nova Scotia this Spring by having farmers and others with an agriculture connection read books about agriculture to students in the classroom; and

Whereas more than 20 schools across the province participated in this initiative which provided an opportunity for children in Grades 2 and 3 to connect the food they eat with where it comes from and the people who grow it; and

Whereas agriculture plays an important role in the economy of the province and Agriculture Literacy Day may help our children make healthier food choices and spark an interest in farming as a career choice;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate Department of Agriculture staff and the Nova Scotia Agriculture Awareness Committee for organizing this initiative, and encourage more schools and farmers to participate in this event in 2009.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2432

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 May 5th to May 11th is Mental Health Week all across Canada; and

Whereas one in five Canadians are affected by mental illness in their lifetimes and most Nova Scotians will be indirectly affected by mental illness through relationships with friends, family members and co-workers; and

[Page 2670]

Whereas each year, the Canadian Mental Health Association provides direct service to more than 100,000 Canadians through the combined efforts of more than 10,000 volunteers and staff in locally run organizations in all provinces and territories, and branches in more than 135 communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize May 5th to May 11th as Mental Health Week and acknowledge the work done by those individuals working either in our hospitals or in our community mental health clinics in this province to provide care for those with mental health problems and emotional disorders.

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. 2433

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 Province of Nova Scotia has over 7,600 kilometres of coastline which is vital to the prosperity and rich fabric of our province; and

Whereas the Coastal Communities Network, a volunteer association of organizations

whose mission is to provide a forum to encourage dialogue, share information, and create strategies and actions that promote the survival and development of Nova Scotia's coastal and rural communities, recently launched their Close to the Coast Web site, a significant resource that makes valuable information accessible to recreational boaters and visitors to our province; and

Whereas the Coastal Communities Network's goal of keeping the communities socially, economically and environmentally sustainable by building stronger communities and stronger opportunities by connecting people, organizations and government;

[Page 2671]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate the Coastal Communities Network on the recent launch of their Web site, Close to the Coast, and thanks to their work, a successful, sustainable future is bound to be the catch of the day in coastal and rural 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 Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the Pages are passing out a CD on the Web site available to every member of the House.

[12:15 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Minister of the Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 2434

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

Whereas administrative professionals perform a vital role in managing today's office, mastering office technology, managing information and organizing the business of an office; and

Whereas the International Association of Administrative Professionals 2008 Canada Divisions' Conference will take place in Halifax from May 22nd to May 24th; and

Whereas the host, Halifax-Dartmouth Chapter, provides administrative professionals with education, networking opportunities, certification and other career-enhancing programs while also advancing the image of the profession;

[Page 2672]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the outstanding administrative professionals within the Public Service and the business community, and wish them well during their upcoming conference.

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 Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2435

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

Whereas for nearly 40 years, the province has enjoyed a strong partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada; and

Whereas during that time, Ducks Unlimited and its partners have invested more than $30 million toward waterfowl and wetlands conservation in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Ducks Unlimited has undertaken more than 340 projects on 16,800 hectares of our province's land;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Ducks Unlimited for the significant ecological successes they have achieved and show our continued support for the Wetlands for Tomorrow - Habitat Partnership Legacy.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 2673]

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. 2436

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

Whereas the Pendleton Place Winter Shelter, a seasonal 20-bed shelter providing warm, safe overnight accommodation for men and women over 16 years of age who are not able to access other shelters in HRM; and

Whereas Pendleton Place opened on November 1, 2007, for its fourth consecutive winter and closed effective May 1, 2008; and

Whereas the Department of Community Services was proud to contribute $244,471 grant funding in 2007-08;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Saint Leonard's Society of Nova Scotia and the staff of the Department of Community Services Transient Team for their positive partnership in addressing case planning for individuals requiring alternative shelter options upon closure of the shelter, as well as for contributing to a positive community partnership amongst all shelters which provide service to the homeless population.

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 Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2437

[Page 2674]

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

Whereas the Department of Labour and Workforce Development ensures that high-quality, skilled trades training is available to employers and apprentices in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas skilled tradespeople are essential to the strength and growth of our province's businesses and its economy; and

Whereas the Department of Labour and Workforce Development provided 839 new apprentices with a Certificate of Qualification for a designated trade in 2007-08;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these Nova Scotians and recognize all our partners, including the Nova Scotia Community College, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Board, industry associations, and the many employers and mentor apprentices for the work they're doing to help keep our economy strong.

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.

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2438

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

Whereas Paul Withers is a senior member of the Legislative Press Gallery and one of the most widely recognized and respected reporters on Nova Scotia public issues; and

[Page 2675]

Whereas this month, Paul Withers won the Atlantic Journalism Award for continuing coverage on television of a 2007 news story; and

Whereas Paul Withers was the only member of our Legislative Press Gallery to win an Atlantic Journalism Award this year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Paul Withers on winning an Atlantic Journalism Award and recognize the important role that he and his colleagues play in our democratic society.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2439

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

Whereas Jimmy Donato, a Sydney bodybuilder, has won the Nova Scotia Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships; and

Whereas the competition took place this past April at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax; and

Whereas by winning at the provincial level, Mr. Donato has earned the right to compete in the 2008 Canadian Bodybuilding Championships, which will be held in Montreal later this year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Jimmy Donato on his accomplishments in bodybuilding and wish him success in future competitions.

[Page 2676]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2440

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

Whereas it was a hot mid-July Saturday in 1987 when Richard Dauphinee won a seat on the West Hants Municipal Council for the Three Mile Plains area; and

Whereas Warden Dauphinee, better known to many as Richard, defeated two other opponents that day and won the by-election to fill the seat vacated upon the death of the late Fred Blenkhorne in April 1987; and

Whereas Richard Dauphinee was honoured with a certificate marking his 20 years of service as municipal councillor and warden late last year by Premier Rodney MacDonald, and will begin serving his 21st year on West Hants Municipal Council this July;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the passion and commitment of West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee for his tireless work and faithful service to the residents of Three Mile Plains and to the Municipality of West Hants.

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 2677]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2441

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

Whereas the annual Duke of Edinburgh's Awards are presented to young people between the ages of 14 and 25 years of age who have successfully completed the Young Canadians Challenge; and

Whereas the Young Canadians Challenge is a program requiring participation in community volunteer service, enhancement in fitness and life skills levels leading to the successful completion of an adventurous journey; and

Whereas this year the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award was presented to 18-year-old Marc-Andre De-Serres from Cole Harbour for his effort, time and commitment to leadership development and community volunteerism;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Marc-Andre De-Serres for his achievement of having successfully completed the Young Canadians Challenge program and congratulate him for receiving the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award for this accomplishment.

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2442

[Page 2678]

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

Whereas it is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis, the most common fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians; and

Whereas approximately 3,500 children, adolescents and adults with cystic fibrosis attend specialized cystic fibrosis clinics throughout Canada; and

Whereas the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a Canada-wide health charity with more than 50 volunteer chapters which fund cystic fibrosis research and care;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize May as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month and acknowledge the persistent efforts of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in trying to find a cure.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 2443

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

Whereas 14-year-old Stellarton native Rylie Peacock is one of two Pictou County teens who travelled to Ottawa earlier this year for the 10th Annual Town Youth Participation Strategies National Conference; and

Whereas Ms. Peacock travelled with program coordinator Paul Corbin, who claimed that it was an excellent opportunity for all of them as they hope to bring back new ideas for the Stellarton Youth Centre; and

[Page 2679]

Whereas the conference allowed Mr. Corbin and his representatives to meet those involved with youth centres from across the country in an effort to avoid complacency, ensuring that the centre offers Stellarton's youth all that it wants and needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Rylie Peacock and Paul Corbin on their attendance at the Town Youth Participation Strategies Conference in Ottawa this year, taking the opportunity to build such an important element of small-town life in Nova Scotia into the best it can be.

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 South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2444

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

Whereas Operation Peace started in 2004 when several Grade 5 students at Hawthorn School in Dartmouth wanted to make a difference in the world; and

Whereas the current three clubs have raised and contributed $10,000 to an orphanage in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; and

Whereas the 19 Grade 1 to Grade 8 members hosted another fundraising dinner and show April 5th, raising awareness of the impacts of poverty and bottled water and the need for fair trade;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the members and facilitators of Dartmouth's Operation Peace Clubs for their ongoing fundraising to support children in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and thank them for their caring and contributions of time, energy and talents.

[Page 2680]

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. 2445

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

Whereas in recent years Andrew Stickings, a Grade 5 teacher at Grosvenor- Wentworth Park School, has integrated filmmaking into the curriculum to expand learning opportunities for his students; and

Whereas this year, Andrew's students made local history come alive with their film production of Look What's in Our Backyard, which will be entered in this year's ViewFinders challenge; and

Whereas the film is about the 1700s and the Duke of Kent's strong historical connection to Princess Lodge in Hemlock Ravine Park;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Andrew Stickings for his creative teaching style, and for opening the minds of his 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.

[Page 2681]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2446

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

Whereas the Northeast Highlands Chamber of Commerce of Victoria County was incorporated in 1996 in anticipation of attracting more winter tourists to the local area; and

Whereas the Northeast Highlands Chamber of Commerce now boasts around 60 members and has formulated an articulate product development and marketing campaign in support of local business; and

Whereas the 2008 Chamber executive is led by President Sam McPhee, 1st Vice President Judith Hussey, 2nd Vice President Colleen Dunphy, Secretary-Treasurer Jill Humphries and Past President Ian Green;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend the exceptional work undertaken by the executive and all members of this Chamber of Commerce as it continues to work hard for the prosperity of the business community in the Northeast Highlands of Victoria County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2447

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

[Page 2682]

Whereas the idealism in young people who want to get involved can change the world for the better; and

Whereas Youth Challenge International's Project Tanzania will provide assistance to Tanzanians afflicted with AIDS; and

Whereas Ms. Magan Polichuk of Nine Mile River was chosen from a large number of applicants to represent Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Magan Polichuk on her selection as Youth Challenge International's Canadian representative on Project Tanzania and wish her well in her mission to Africa.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[12:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2448

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

Whereas health care in Nova Scotia now consumes 43.5 per cent of program spending; and

Whereas recent CRA polling has shown that health care still remains the number one issue in Nova Scotia, which points to both its importance and impact on the residents of this province; and

[Page 2683]

Whereas emergency room closures, the chronic shortage of health care professionals and the growing challenges facing the acute care sector, due to ongoing pressures on the continuing care sector, are but a few of the issues that require specific examination;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly support the immediate creation of a standing committee on health.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2449

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Monsieur le Président, je vous indique, par la présente intervention, que je soumettrai prochainement à l'assemblée l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu qu'en 2008, la Semaine Nationale de Bénévole a été déclaré entre le 27 avril et le 1 mai 2008; et

Attendu que la 34e cérémonie provinciale annuelle des bénévoles a été tenue à l' Hôtel Westin le 24 avril et a honoré plus de 70 bénévoles venant de communautés diverses à travers de la Nouvelle-Écosse; et

Attendu que Stan Surette de Pubnico Ouest a été choisi comme représentant de la municipalité d'Argyle comme bénévole provincial de l'année et est très impliqué dans la communauté Acadienne en tant que President de la societé de promotion pour Grand-Pré, président du comite consultatiff pour le Ministre des affaires acadiennes ainsi qu'autres associations, plus profondement sont dévouement continuel aux sports, politiques, communautés chrétiennes et la promotion de la langue et culture française;

Il est donc résolu que tous le membres de cetter assemblée se joignent à moi pour féliciter Stan Surette ainsi que tour les autres bénévoles de la Province qui sacrifient leur temps à nos communautés.

Monsieur le Président, je demande a l'assemblée de bien vouloir renoncer à l'avis préalable et procéder à l'adoption de cette résolution sans débat.

If I could do that in English, for others.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

[Page 2684]

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 the 2008 National Volunteer Week was proclaimed between April 27 to May 1, 2008; and

Whereas the 34th Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony was held at the Westin Hotel on April 24th, honouring more than 70 volunteers from communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Stan Surette of West Pubnico was chosen to represent the Municipality of Argyle as the Provincial Volunteer of the Year and has been active in the Acadian community, serving as President of the Society for the Promotion of Grand Pré, President of the Advisory Committee for the Minister of Acadian Affairs and many other associations, least of all his continuous involvement with sports, politics, Christian community and promotion of the French language and culture;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Stan Surette and all of our volunteers throughout the province who spend countless hours dedicated to the service of their communities.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2450

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

Whereas brothers Chad and Tyrel Murray of Meadowville, Pictou County, are young farmers who are in the process of establishing a certified organic farm; and

[Page 2685]

Whereas in their first season last year they harvested vegetables from their greenhouse and from three acres of garden, selling them at farmers' markets in Antigonish and Halifax; and

Whereas Chad and Tyrel have a strong interest in environmental issues and farming organically, and a strong belief in producing our own food locally;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Chad and Tyrel Murray in their efforts to establish a certified organic farm and wish them every success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2451

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

Whereas local real estate agents from Exit Realty Town and Country have worked diligently to improve the community in which they operate their business and live; and

Whereas on March 29, 2008, they went door-to-door throughout the community and gathered over 2,000 pounds of food for the Upper Room Food Bank Association; and

Whereas the time and considerable effort that it has taken to collect this donation will go toward the nutritional needs of 110 families in Kingston and the surrounding area;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the real estate agents from Exit Realty Town and Country on their successful food drive and thank them for their ongoing commitment to their community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2686]

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 Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 2452

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

Whereas the Super Cities Walk is the MS Society's largest pledge-based fundraiser involving over 70,000 participants and volunteers in more than 160 communities across Canada raising more than $13.2 million, the proceeds of which fund research in the search for a cure and vital services for people currently living with MS; and

Whereas on May 4, 2008, the walk for Multiple Sclerosis was held in Halifax with hundreds of participants taking to the streets in support of the MS Society, in search of a cure for the most common neurological disease affecting young adults between the ages of 15 to 40; and

Whereas Shauna MacKinnon of Sun Radio 96.5, a local figure who in her daily life wrestles with this debilitating disease, an individual, like many, who publicly tell their stories of living with MS in hope that one day soon we will find a cure;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate all those who "Took A Step To de'feet MS" for friends and loved ones in the MS walk and support the efforts of Shauna MacKinnon of Bedford and others with multiple sclerosis in raising awareness of living with this disease.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 2687]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 2453

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

Whereas Keith MacMillan, Ben McDade and Matt Campbell are student athletes at Saint Mary's and Dalhousie Universities; and

Whereas Keith MacMillan and members of the Saint Mary's mens and women's soccer teams are donating 100 per cent of the profits from the Camp of Champions soccer camp held on April 26th and April 27th to build a field for children in Lashaine, Tanzania; and

Whereas Ben McDade and Matt Campbell are organizing a dry land training program for young hockey players this Summer and will donate 10 per cent of their profits to the Children's Wish Foundation;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Keith MacMillan, Ben McDade and Matt Campbell and other student athletes who are making an important contribution to their community and to the young athletes who will benefit from their efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2454

[Page 2688]

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

Whereas the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers is the largest corporate-based volunteer organization with close to 9,000 members contributing 165,000 volunteer hours each year; and

Whereas the main goal for the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers is to improve literacy rates throughout Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas recently, the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers launched a new multi-media education program, Power Up To Read, during National Volunteer Week;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the many efforts of the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers in promoting literacy in our region.

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 Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2455

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

Whereas the 2007-08 Truro Midget AAA Bearcats completed an undefeated season in Nova Scotia, compiling a 2-0 record under the direction of coach Phil Lynds; and

Whereas Bearcat members Nick Carroll, Brett Lauther and Mike Townsend were at the top of the league's scoring list; and

Whereas team goalies Jesse Cox and James MacArthur led the league with nine combined shutout games;

[Page 2689]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize all the players and coaches of the Truro Midget AAA Bearcats and congratulate the team on their 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 member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2456

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

Whereas it is very important that seniors continue to live independently in their own homes and age in a place of dignity; and

Whereas a very generous donation was made to the Victorian Order of Nurses, Queens County Branch, to enable them to expand the Seniors Assisted Transportation Program into communities in North Queens; and

Whereas this volunteer-based program ensures seniors are able to travel to medical appointments, banks and pharmacies and take care of essential errands, including grocery shopping;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Mrs. Eleanor Seeley of Hunts Point, for her generous donation to the VON of stocks valued at approximately $100,000; the interest earned annually from this gift will contribute to the continuing independence of many seniors.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 2690]

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. 2457

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

Whereas the band Taylor Express is making its mark on the music scene of southwestern Nova Scotia with the release of their first CD entitled Going Home; and

Whereas the band, consisting of Reg Taylor, Nancy Wright, Brenda Doucette and Ken Saulnier plays songs which encompass country, gospel, bluegrass and Cajun; and

Whereas this group of musicians also play numerous fundraisers, festivals and events throughout the Maritimes promoting their many talents;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize the accomplishment of Taylor Express and wish them the very best in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes on an introduction.

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to introduce a group of individuals who are up in the gallery this afternoon. They had the wonderful opportunity to attend an

[Page 2691]

IIHF hockey game at the Metro Centre last evening and they're here today to tour the Legislature and view the proceedings of the House. They are members of Bay St. Lawrence Community Centre and the Northern Victoria Community Centre, Minor Ice and Road Hockey youth participants. I would ask them all to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2458

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

Whereas a quartet of Pictou County performers has earmarked a portion of their CD proceeds to breast cancer research and allergy awareness; and

Whereas the quartet, named Inner Vision, began seven years ago after meeting at a church-sponsored choral workshop; and

Whereas guitarist Ray Stewart wrote three original compositions on the CD with one being about his granddaughter Jada, called Jada's Lullaby, who is also the granddaughter of Cumberland South constituents John and Darlene Harroun of Parrsboro;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the efforts of Inner Vision in using their gifts and hard work to combat breast cancer, raise awareness about allergies and other charitable causes through their inspirational music.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2459

[Page 2692]

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

Whereas the 2008 Healthy Living Calendar of the Halifax Regional School Board, supported by NHL star Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, features student drawings; and

Whereas Brian Monroe's drawing of Eat Well/Get Well was featured for the month of March; and

Whereas Brian Monroe is a Grade 6 student at Tantallon Elementary School;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Brian Monroe on his contribution to the Halifax Regional School Board's 2008 Healthy Living Calendar.

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 Labour and Workforce Development.

[12:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2460

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

Whereas the Annapolis Valley School Board promotes peace in the classroom and this year the theme for Education Week was "Partners for Peace - From Classroom to the Community"; and

Whereas Bev Roy, a teacher at Northeast Kings Education Centre, was recognized for her long-time involvement in the area of peaceful schools; and

[Page 2693]

Whereas Ms. Roy has initiated programs for parents and teachers that have involved several schools;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bev Roy on her accomplishments in the area of peaceful schools and her efforts with youth.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 2461

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

Whereas Donald d'Eon, a musician from the newly formed band Recycles, of Shelburne County, volunteered his musical talents to perform at the Barrington Municipal High School for the "Food for Shelburne County Fundraiser" on February 23, 2008; and

Whereas $200,000 was raised and distributed toward all three Shelburne County food banks; and

Whereas each month, 40,000 individuals are assisted by the food banks in Nova Scotia, where one-third represents hungry children and 9.4 per cent represents the working poor in our province;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank Donald d'Eon for volunteering his musical talents to perform at the Barrington Municipal High School for the "Food for Shelburne County Fundraiser" on February 23, 2008.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 2694]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2462

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

Whereas the Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers Program Atlantic Region Recognition Event was held March 14, 2008 to honour the accomplishments of young farmers throughout the area; and

Whereas Wayne and Nicole Oulton, of Martock Glen Farms, are the 2008 Atlantic winners in recognition of work they have done to build the family farm, along with their commitment to the Slow Food movement; and

Whereas the Oultons are both active supporters of the 4-H program and have worked with a variety of agricultural organizations to build their industry;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate Wayne and Nicole Oulton for receiving this year's Young Farmers Award and wish them continued success in their 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 of Education.

[Page 2695]

RESOLUTION NO. 2463

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

Whereas nine Nova Scotia 4-H members will represent the province at national and international conferences in Ottawa and Maryland in March and April; and

Whereas Caitlyn Congdon of Great Village has been selected as one of the delegates from Nova Scotia to participate in this event designed to increase awareness and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens; and

Whereas Caitlyn will join nine other Canadian delegates at the U.S. National 4-H Conference in Maryland;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Caitlyn Congdon on this excellent opportunity to further learn and explore how national and international issues affect their communities.

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. 2464

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

Whereas the Eastern Passage Cow Bay Summer Carnival has been held annually for the past 32 years; and

Whereas many hard-working and dedicated individuals give up their time each year to organize these events; and

[Page 2696]

Whereas the Eastern Passage Cow Bay Summer Carnival brings the community together for fun, games and activities, and also offers many community groups the opportunity to fundraise for their organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend all the volunteers of the Eastern Passage Cow Bay Summer Carnival committee and all the groups and organizations involved for their hard work and dedication, helping to make the 32nd annual Eastern Passage Cow Bay Summer Carnival a success, and wish them continued success for years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2465

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

Whereas the Brandon Russell Legacy Association has been created in memory of Brandon Russell of Pinehurst, Nova Scotia, to help Lunenburg County families who have children receiving cancer treatment; and

Whereas the first fundraiser for the Brandon Russell Legacy Association was held at the New Germany Rural High School on March 22, 2008, with about 500 people in attendance; and

Whereas the event raised $7,000 which will help many county families whose children fight cancer;

[Page 2697]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Brandon Russell Legacy Association on their very successful first fundraiser and on their efforts to help the families of children who are suffering from cancer.

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. 158 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Gaming Control Act. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would ask for permission to revert to the order of business, Presenting and Reading Petitions.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, today I'm pleased to introduce a petition signed by 16 residents of Midgley Drive in Westmount, Cape Breton, regarding some traffic problems they're having on their street. I've informed the minister of the

[Page 2698]

problem and he has certainly agreed to have a discussion with me over this problem, so I'd like to table this petition today. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Have you affixed your name?

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: My name is affixed.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The petition is tabled.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time is 12:53 p.m., we shall go on until 1:53 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - EQUALIZATION FORMULA: ACCEPTANCE - EXPLAIN

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my first question today will be through you to the Premier. The offshore revenue accord enshrined the key goal of John Hamm's Campaign for Fairness, and that was that Nova Scotia should receive all federal revenue from our offshore oil and gas regardless of the changes in equalization. That principle was affirmed unanimously by this House and then it was sold down the river by this Premier after the federal Conservatives unilaterally cancelled the offshore accord. In light of the most recent forecast that Ontario will soon qualify for equalization payments, thereby reducing revenue to Nova Scotia, my question is, why did the Premier welcome a bad deal that is expected to leave even more of our offshore revenue in Ottawa's hands?

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, through you to my honourable colleague, nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps my honourable colleague should do a little more research in this regard. I know they're having problems with regard to research in the last few weeks.

The fact is the equalization formula, either the previous equalization formula or the new O'Brien formula, is impacted by what's happening across the country, including Ontario. My honourable colleague is wrong in his assertions - it's a good deal we got for Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia remains the full beneficiary of the offshore. (Applause)

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the most recent special report by TD Economics is not the first time that anyone suggested Ontario would become a "have-not" province. It was forecast in 2005 by the Ontario Chambers of Commerce, and it was discussed by major economists as a real possibility before and after the 2007 federal budget.

[Page 2699]

Despite the uncertainty of equalization revenues, the Premier caved in to Stephen Harper and agreed to a bad deal. This Premier's deal forces Nova Scotia to choose between a 50 per cent clawback and a now diminishing equalization pool, and neither is a good choice. So my question to the Premier is, how much is Nova Scotia going to lose because he sold out John Hamm's legacy to the province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Leader of the Official Opposition, he is wrong. Nova Scotia got a good deal, we remain the primary beneficiary of the offshore and, included in that, this government will help solve over a 20-year issue on the Crown share - something which that side of the House is against and something which this side stands for to ensure that Nova Scotians are the full beneficiaries of our offshore. (Applause)

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I think the Premier's imagination is getting the best of him. Wade Locke, an economist at Memorial University and, as the Premier knows, an expert on equalization, has stated that when Ontario joins the "have-nots", the equalization pool will be "unambiguously smaller and a lot smaller." For this smaller pool the Premier sold out the Atlantic Accord that was strongly supported by every Party in this House. My question to the Premier is, will the Premier ever stand up for Nova Scotia, will he ever campaign for fairness in the way that Dr. Hamm and Premier Williams stood up to defend their provinces?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, while that side of the House criticized the former Premier of this province, this side of the House stood up and got the Atlantic Accord; while that side of the House criticized this government moving forward for the Crown share, this side of the House was solving the problem; and while that side of the House is not worried about the future of this province, this side of the House is worried about the future of this province. (Applause)

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

PREM. - EQUALIZATION FORMULA: ACCEPTANCE - EXPLAIN

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the Leader of the Opposition for firing up the Premier as we get started here, so my question is for the Premier. We now know that the offshore deal our Premier accepted is the same one that he earlier rejected because it was not good enough for Nova Scotians. For months, he said he would not settle for less than the original accord. But he did, he settled for less and now we know that the value of the deal is shrinking. My question for the Premier is, why did you accept a deal that affords the people of this province less than we were entitled to under the original accord?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, through you to my honourable colleague, my honourable colleague is indeed wrong in his assertions. This government signed a very good

[Page 2700]

deal for Nova Scotia. This agreement will ensure that we remain the primary beneficiary, the full beneficiary of the offshore, it will also see this province receive the Crown share. I'm shocked that both Parties in the Opposition are against Nova Scotians receiving the Crown share, but we will see the details of that come out in the weeks ahead, hopefully, and that will be very good news for Nova Scotians.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, with the grey economy forecast on the horizon for Ontario, our province's share of equalization may become significantly smaller. The Premier abandoned the hard-fought Atlantic Accord for a deal that is an integral part of the equalization system. If Ontario becomes a have-not province, as projected, it will take a big bite out of the equalization pie, leaving less for Nova Scotia. My question to the Premier is, how can the Premier defend a deal that undermines the ability of his government to provide the services Nova Scotians expect and deserve?

[1:00 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it is always a concern for me, as Premier, and our government, and I think for all Nova Scotians, and all Canadians, when the economy in Ontario is not doing as well as would all hope. Does that effect the equalization? Of course it does and that would have impacted the old formula as it does the new one; that is clear and open to everyone. The fact remains, Nova Scotia has an opportunity on the choice between what is happening, and we have protection in that regard, and that is a very good thing for our province going forward. We will see the benefits of this over the course of the next 12 years and that is very good news for Nova Scotians.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, we've all heard the phrase, short-term pain for long-term gain. However, our Premier has settled for more on the short-term leaving much less in the longer term, it sounds to me like short-term political gain. My final question to the Premier is, why did you buy into a deal that will see this province receive less support than we were entitled to under the Atlantic Accord?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, my honourable colleague is wrong. This province will see full benefits of the offshore - that is the clear aspect of the clarification agreement that we announced last Fall. To suggest otherwise is not providing all the appropriate information to the people of our province and we intend to make sure that appropriate information moves forward with respect to the Crown share at the time we get that information, a Crown share agreement, which will be very good news for the people of our province. I hope, at that time, both my honourable colleagues on the opposite side will finally stand up and say this is good news for Nova Scotia and a good deal signed by this government.

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

ECON. DEV. - ATL. GATEWAY: CONSULTATION - DETAILS

[Page 2701]

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Premier. When the Premier was first elected in 1999, his government promised it would never use public money to back enterprises that would compete with our existing private businesses. When it comes to major government initiatives like the Atlantic Gateway, the province has to get consensus on gateway priorities from all the players. My question to the Premier is, with whom did he consult before drawing up the Gateway wish list he announced to the Chambers of Commerce on March 5th?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'll refer that to the Minister responsible for Atlantic Gateway.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Gateway, we are actively involved in consultation with many parties who have a stake in the Gateway and that, of course, includes many people located in the various ports of this province and the airport and we are in continuous contact with all of those bodies.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, again to the Premier. Orion Cold Storage is an impressive locally-owned business in the Woodside Industrial Park. They opened in 2006. In fact, Orion says that they have the newest and most energy-efficient cold storage building in North America. I have been there and they are handling lobsters, blueberries, steak, all kinds of local foods, 43,000 square feet of them, just 20 minutes from the airport and they haven't taken a cent of public money.

My question to Premier is this, when you announced your Atlantic Gateway wish list, you included a new cold storage facility at the airport. Orion has been blindsided by that announcement so I ask you, why did you not consult with a major business stakeholder before you made the Gateway announcement?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the announcement that was made by the Premier was an indication of what facilities are required in order for the Gateway to be effective within this province. Certainly any existing businesses that are there, that fit that bill, could and may very well become a very important part of that strategy.

MR. DEXTER: That is very interesting, Mr. Speaker. Orion and the other existing cold storage operations in metro are currently only running at about 40 per cent of capacity. Orion doesn't think there is a business case for adding more. So my question to the Premier is this, what steps are you going to take to make sure you consult properly with the business community before you come up with proposals that are going to have a direct affect on their bottom line?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as the potential of the Gateway unfolds for all businesses in this province, I am sure that we will come to a much greater understanding of

[Page 2702]

what potential exists within the existing business community and we will continue to respond to opportunities that are presented by businesses and ensure that they become part of the future relative to the Gateway.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, on a new question.

HEALTH - ICUs/INTERNISTS: DEAL - TABLE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it is a new question, indeed, and will try a new minister, if you don't mind - the Minister of Health. The intensive care unit in Amherst closed down this week because of an ongoing dispute between internists and this government. The minister told us last week that internal medicine was under control but that's far from the truth, isn't it? In fact, the situation is getting much worse in rural Nova Scotia. So my question for the minister is this, will the minister table the deal with internists that he believes resolves the problems in the ICUs?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that I am very disappointed with the actions of these three doctors. There was a deal that was drawn up between Doctors Nova Scotia, our department and, of course, the Cumberland Health Authority to meet the issues that they have brought forward to us. Those doctors did not accept the deal as it was placed before them. They were still dissatisfied and did not accept the interim arrangement. I can say that the new master agreement with physicians is one that is being shared with doctors across this province right now and I will share it with this House once it has been ratified by the doctors.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that internal medicine is the heart of a functional hospital. Without internists, the whole system really falls apart. Last October, the minister announced he had resolved an ongoing dispute with Doctors Nova Scotia. He said his agreement would ensure continuing ICU coverage. We now know that is not the case. So my question for the minister is this - what is the minister doing, now that he knows that there is very little intensive care coverage in Northern Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say, again, that through some pretty heated discussions, some negotiations that went on between Cumberland Health Authority with the Doctors Nova Scotia, which is the bargaining agent on behalf of physicians in this province, that an interim deal was drawn upin order to get us forward to the master agreement. That was not accepted by those doctors and, Mr. Speaker, we look forward to them accepting the larger deal, which is the new master agreement that is being put forward to physicians today.

MR. DEXTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, in the meantime, the only fully functional hospital between the New Brunswick border and Antigonish is the Colchester

[Page 2703]

Regional Hospital - it should be Halifax, I guess. That hospital has only two full-time internists and one temporary specialist. The combined ICU/CCU runs at or near full capacity and accepting transfers would be a challenge.

My question to the minister is this; how long does the minister think that internists at that hospital will last before there is a complete collapse of intensive care in northern Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the work done by the Cumberland Health Authority, one that they worked very hard to try to find a resolution to this issue, one that they were not able to come to a final agreement with those physicians. Again I am disappointed with the action of those physicians in only working the smaller one.

Mr. Speaker, I can also say that through this new master agreement that we are hoping, Doctors Nova Scotia has assured us as well, that this will make a broad difference to the ICUs in this province. I can also say that we're very happy that Pictou County will be coming back on line in about two days, on May 8th, where they have found a wonderful solution for that hospital to provide ICU coverage.

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

PREM.: GAS PRICE INFLATION - EXPLAIN

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier. Last week New Brunswick raised the price of gasoline by two cents a litre; here in Nova Scotia, our minister lowered the price of gas by three cents a litre. The difference in price between the two provinces is now five cents a litre, because of our high taxes.

Many Nova Scotians are wondering, why was there an eight to ten cents difference for the past month? So my question to the Premier is simple, why have you inflated the price of gas for Nova Scotians over the last month?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the regulation of meant to ensure that people have stability with respect to buying their gas and also the protection of our small rural stations. On both fronts it is working in this province.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, many Nova Scotians are left to wonder whether there is political interference in the price of gas. Nova Scotians are suspicious when they face anywhere from seven to ten cents per litre difference when the Legislature doesn't sit, and when the Legislature does sit, the difference magically comes down to five cents a litre.

Nova Scotians do not want their government to play games with the price of gas in this province, or with their pocketbooks. So my question to the Premier is . . .

[Page 2704]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, order. The Leader of the Liberal Party is trying to ask a question.

MR. MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question to the Premier is, why is it that today the difference in the price of gas between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is our higher taxes and for the past month you have made Nova Scotians pay well above that difference?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, in the response to the initial question, the Premier explained what regulation was intended to do here in Nova Scotia and, indeed, it has done that. You have found that the rate of closures of rural stations has really slowed down, compared to our neighbouring province. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, it is done by formula and there are some differences in the formula in New Brunswick and the formula that is used in Nova Scotia. I think I'm glad to see that the Leader of the Liberal Party did acknowledge that last week the price in Nova Scotia did go down while the price in Nova Scotia did rise.

MR. MCNEIL: That's why I asked the Premier, because he's not even sure which province he's in, Mr. Speaker, and he is the guy setting the price of gas here in Nova Scotia. He knows that rural gas stations are closing in this province and the fact that Nova Scotia consumers are paying more than they are in New Brunswick is, you have inflated the price of gas in the Province of Nova Scotia. Get it out of your department, if you believe in regulation, and put it in front of the URB. There isn't one single Nova Scotian who believes that regulation has been a benefit.

MR. SPEAKER: Do you have a question?

MR. MCNEIL: You've been taking money out of the pockets of Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: Do you have a question?

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my final question to the Premier is - no one wants regulation, not even your entire Cabinet believes in regulation; the only ones who believe in it are some on your side of the House and the New Democratic Party. When are you going to admit that this policy has been a failure for the people of Nova Scotia and our economy?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and I would really like to hear the answer. (Interruptions)

Order, please.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm very disappointed in the Leader of the Liberal Party, that he would stand up and defame the Public Service in this province through those comments and he knows not what he is speaking of.

[Page 2705]

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

HEALTH - AVASTIN: FUNDING - DETAILS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. It was with great relief, and to my surprise I might add, that this government made the last minute decision to fund Avastin this year; but it was with great dismay that we find, once again, that there is no plan in place for those people who are paying out of their own pocket for the drug that should have already been on the provincial Pharmacare list. So I would like to ask the minister, can the minister tell me exactly what his plans are for funding Avastin so cancer patients won't be stuck with a bill while they wait for the Department of Health's clarification?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, ultimately once we've made the decision, now that we've made the decision to fund Avastin, of course, it is privy to the approval of the budget. We have to make sure that the guidelines are available and ready once that budget is approved. Those guidelines are being developed right now by our cancer division, or oncology division, of the usage of Avastin and it is my estimation that they will all be ready together.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, as the minister knows, people treated for colorectal cancer need Avastin treatments every two weeks. Some patients' costs will exceed $3,000 a month. Marlene George of Halfway Cove in Guysborough County, is scheduled to have a treatment tomorrow. So I would like to ask the minister, will Marlene have to pay for this drug out of her own pocket or will the government do the right thing and start paying for Avastin as of today?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again, there are some clinical guidelines that need to go along with the usage of a drug like Avastin. We're making sure that those things are ready to be able to fund that drug as soon as possible.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, a new drug could be added to the provincial list at any time. For example, last July, this minister added two new cancer drugs to the provincial list. So I would like to ask the minister, why doesn't this minister do the right thing and put Avastin on the provincial list effective immediately?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, this minister did do the right thing and it now is on our provincial formulary. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid on a new question.

HEALTH - MEDICAL APPTS.: SHUTTLE - FUNDING

[Page 2706]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister. For nearly 15 years, people in the Annapolis area could use an economical shuttle service to travel to Kentville and Halifax for hospital appointments. This service was funded by the local hospital foundation and through the donations of the passengers. That affordable service is ending. So I would like to ask the minister, what is his department doing to ensure patients from the Valley can attend hospital appointments in a reliable and economical way?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, of course, in this year's budget there was $3 million available for accessible transportation for the province. I'm sure there are a number of organizations that can access those dollars. I can also say, there is a wonderful transit system in the Valley that stretches from I believe Windsor all the way down to Weymouth, which includes the Town of Annapolis.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, quality health care is available to all Nova Scotians, but for a rural patient, it comes at a high cost. The new fee schedule for the Annapolis Valley shuttle service to Halifax is $85 and $45 to Kentville. Some seniors like Valerie Mount Young of Deep Brook, says it's too expensive and she just can't afford taking the bus. So I would like to ask the minister, how can you expect seniors to get quality health care when they can't afford to take the bus to get to their medical appointments?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I know there are many ways for individuals to get funding for this type of transportation. I will continue to do the best that we possibly can with the dollars we have. If the member opposite would like to provide me with some information, I'd be more than happy to look into this case for him.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, the government's plan for rural health care is to consolidate services in major centres to save money, but this transformation just transfers the cost of health care to those who can least afford it. Transportation is the key to health care delivery, yet this minister seems to be washing his hands of the issue. I'd like to ask the minister, why has this government chosen to neglect health care needs of rural Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, once again the NDP are not doing their research; they're not paying attention to the recommendations held in the transformation document that was put forward - the recommendations of the Corpus Sanchez Report, which talks about developing a rural health strategy. In my mind, a rural health strategy means consulting with real Nova Scotians on their issues and developing a plan that is going to better meet their needs. This government is about consultation, one about working with Nova Scotians, not just coming up with airy-fairy ideas.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

[Page 2707]

JUSTICE - VIOLENT CRIME: INCREASE - EXPLAIN

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians want to know that their communities are safe. They want to know that they can walk around and enjoy their neighbourhoods without the fear of violent criminal activity; however violent crime in our capital city is getting increasingly worse. A week cannot go by without reading of a violent crime here in the Halifax Regional Municipality. My question to the Premier is if you're getting so tough on crime, why does the situation keep getting worse in Nova Scotia?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, to my honourable colleague and all members of the House, indeed there are incidents and we're all concerned about violent crimes on the increase. We've also seen our government's commitment to make sure we're providing the appropriate tools to our law enforcement officials and we're seeing also good news in our papers because our tough-on-crime agenda, our boots-to-the-streets efforts are producing the results and providing Nova Scotians with the confidence they require and deserve.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice failed to talk about the wrongful releases of inmates in Nova Scotia. The inmates who are still on the loose here in Nova Scotia, he failed to mention that. MoneySense magazine conducted an annual survey of 104 Canadian cities on the best places to live in Canada. Last year Halifax was ranked number two; this year Halifax was ranked number nine. The author of the report made this comment: The crime rate was the single biggest factor, for sure; out of 154 communities, Halifax was ranked 125th for crime.

This certainly does not sound like a situation that is getting any better, so my question is what explanation can the Premier give for the fact that crime continues to be on the rise, here in Nova Scotia, under his administration?

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I can say I know there are issues of concern and after four and a half or five hours of Question Period, we finally get to such a pressing matter. I would say it is not something that I've been waiting to address. We're working with our partners - the HRM, the mayor and his round table on violence. We're providing resources to our police, that's why we're working with the Government of Canada to provide more tools that we need to address the issues here, rather than just saying the sky is falling. I thought it might have been earlier with those statements - in fact, we're rising people up and providing capacity they require to get the job done and that's to provide a safer and secure Nova Scotia.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, this is the Minister of Justice who was on his Spring tour around the province while inmates are escaping in Nova Scotia, and dangerous criminals who had been picked up by the police are escaping custody under this minister's watch. This

[Page 2708]

is the minister who refuses to allow correctional officers to use the tools necessary to ensure their safety and the safety of Nova Scotians when they're doing inmate transfers. (Applause) All we keep hearing about is rhetoric . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Do you have a question?

MR. SAMSON: . . . more police officers - now we know those police officers will have to be used for inmate transfers rather than putting the boots to the street . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Do you have a question?

MR. SAMSON: . . . as the minister would say. So my final question is, when will the Premier of this province stand up and finally provide a plan that makes our streets safer rather than just continued Tory political rhetoric?

MR. CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I can say through you to all members of this House and to the honourable member, when you look at our Safer Streets and Neighbourhoods Act and you look at what is happening to make sure that the neighbourhoods are safer - Nova Scotians say yes, this government is responding and is dealing with that. We are dealing with the issues before us and I've made it very clear, when we have to address issues, if there are problems, I'm dealing with them head-on with our external audit.

The honourable member for Richmond would talk about me touring this province; yes, we are doing that, engaging Nova Scotians, and he got up and said in debate, well you know the government is saying we are victims of our own success. Well, Mr. Speaker, I will never get up and accuse the Liberals of being victims of their own success in this province. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre

TIR - CABINET VEHICLES: USAGE - RULES CLARIFY

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, order. The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre has the floor.

MR. CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Yesterday the Minister of Community Services told us about a most unfortunate event that we can all relate to and thank goodness no one was injured. As well, the minister said she will pay for the damage herself.

[Page 2709]

Mr. Speaker, it is important that the rules be examined, in light of this incident and the one last year, to clarify personal use of ministerial vehicles and their use by their families. These vehicles are meant to be used by the ministers and when they are carrying out government business. So my question for this minister, through you, will he make his Cabinet colleagues aware of the actual rules and will make any necessary changes to assure Nova Scotian families that the ministerial cars their tax dollars are paying for will be used only to carry out government businesses?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member for the question. I want to say that the honourable member, the honourable Minister of Community Services came forward immediately with the information both to the police and to this government in regard to the situation.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that like the honourable member said, my first concern was in regard to her family members, that they were safe and I say we all agree on that.

We've undertaken this morning to begin a review of this whole policy in regard to use of not only ministerial vehicles but all those that are operated by any government employee. We will do that review, Mr. Speaker, and as a result of that review we will not only assure that we have an up-to-date policy in regard to the use of government vehicles, but I will guarantee and commit to this House that we will ensure that all government members and employees of this province fully understand that policy.

MR. CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Community Services' vehicle was damaged during personal use, as was the member for Cumberland North. In the end, they both chose to repair the vehicles at their own cost, which is good. However, yesterday the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said, taxpayers would be on the hook for the cost of repairs. Today we heard that she will now voluntarily pay for these repairs herself.

The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says, her car was covered by the government's self insurance, as long as a licensed driver was at the wheel. So through you, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister - in light of the confusing situation, will the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal assure that all Cabinet Ministers are responsible for any damages suffered while using their vehicles for personal reasons.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I did say yesterday that this would be a fully insurable accident, is what I said. The honourable minister actually voluntarily made that decision on her own to pay for that damage.

Mr. Speaker, there is a difference between the government policy and the insurance policy. Some years ago the government made the decision in regard to the premiums paid, I believe at the time it was $1.4 million a year that the province was paying for insurance for

[Page 2710]

government vehicles. As a result of that, the government made the decision to self insure up to $1 million a year. I can tell the House, Mr. Speaker, that over the last number of years we've saved in excess of $6 million as a result of that.

Also, Mr. Speaker, each year the average has been about $0.25 million that the government would have paid in regard to those type of issues.

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the minister has made a decision on her own to come forward. This was a fully insured type of an accident. The policy would have covered it. We have made a commitment that we will not only review the policy but will ensure that all people in this province who operate a government-leased or owned vehicle are well aware of that policy.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, we know that these vehicles are self-insured, but before any average Nova Scotian family member is allowed behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in this province, the government requires that they be insured by a private insurer. So through you, to the minister again, what steps will the minister take to ensure that he, his colleagues and their families are covered by the same insurance before they use their vehicles for personal reasons?

MR. SCOTT: Again, Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, in checking with the risk management for this province, this was a fully insured vehicle and an accident that would have been covered by an insurance policy if, in fact, it was put in place. I have made a commitment that we will not only review that, but ensure that all operators of vehicles in this province fully understand the policy and I would expect that the review of this policy will determine who can operate a government vehicle, when they can operate it and where. When we complete that review, I will make that review public, to this House and to the members. We will ensure that happens. I made a commitment here and we will follow through on that when we make that happen.

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

IMMIGRATION - MENTORSHIP PROG.: EARLY NOMINEES -

PLANS

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Immigration. When the government cancelled the failed Business Mentorship Program in October 2007, many nominees were completely overlooked. They are the very people who played by the rules and trusted the Government of Nova Scotia to provide the mentorship that was promised. The government failed these new Canadians and fumbled the nominee rebate by leaving out the early nominees who are committed to Nova Scotia and are still living here. My question for the minister is, what is the government's plan for the nominees who went through the program, paid their money and stayed here in Nova Scotia?

[Page 2711]

[1:30 p.m.]

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is speaking about a group that encompasses about 77 nominees in the program called NAABEX. We have had, as a department and I have had, as a minister, several conversations with the representative of the NAABEX group. I have made a commitment that once we have the Auditor General's Report in our hands, at that point in time, we will review the situation and get back to them at that time.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberal Party that called for the Auditor General's review of the immigration trust funds and it should be remembered that those funds are 100 per cent monies that come from the immigrants themselves, not Canadian or Nova Scotian tax dollars. There is enough money in those funds to treat all the business nominees fairly and consistently, unlike the current policy, which is discriminating against those who arrived early. The NAABEX group is working as well as they can to consult and to engage in dialogue with the government but, in fact, some of their members are leaving and withdrawing as we stand here. So the time is ticking for us to make a gesture to these newcomers before it is too late.

MR. SPEAKER: Question.

MS. WHALEN: My question to the minister is, will you acknowledge the legitimate concerns of the nominees that are excluded from your refund offer and make a statement of good faith that their concerns will be addressed?

MR. GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, as I stated previously, I've had several meetings with representatives from the NAABEX group - very good discussions with them. The honourable member, I guess, for one reason or another, is calling into question the Auditor General and she admits, herself, that they called the Auditor General into the department. I have no intention, I have absolutely no intention of moving forward with any decision until we have the Auditor General's Report. I have made it very clear to the members from NAABEX, once we have that report in their hands, we will then, at that point, have the information that we need to review the situation and get back to them.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, our province is being judged on how we treat these nominees and so far the record isn't very good. The organization, NAABEX, has a shrinking number of members because some of the people have no faith in the process that's underway. I have every faith in the Auditor General but we don't need to wait to know that there is over $75 million in the account and that a gesture could be made today that says, provided the money is there, we will do what is right and treat you fairly.

My question to the minister is, will you make a commitment today that once the Auditor General confirms the money is in the immigration account, that you will

[Page 2712]

immediately treat the nominees fairly and offer the same refund option to all nominees who are living in Nova Scotia.

MR. GOUCHER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't think there's any question that the Auditor General has to confirm what is in the account. I'll tell the House here right now; there is $68 million in the nominee account and there's approximately $1.9 million, almost $2 million in the contested account right now, with regard to the lawsuit that has been put against the province.

Mr. Speaker, until we have all of the information in our hands, until I have the Auditor General's report, I am not in any position, nor is this government in any position, to make any commitment with regard to any group or individual. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, and I will say it here on the record, once I have the Auditor General's report in my hand and we have reviewed it, we will then make a decision with regard to our position of the 203 nominees who went through the program previously and our decision with regard to action on their behalf. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

AGRIC.: FARMER LIAISON OFFICERS - HIRE

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question will be for the Minister of Agriculture. In the 2006 Progressive Conservative election document they promised that they would hire 10 new liaison officers for farmers. This was to replace 10 of the 100 experienced marketing, crop and livestock experts, technicians and support staff, some with 31 years experience, who were cut by the Progressive Conservatives in April, 2000.

During budget questioning last year with the acting minister, he stated they were going to hire two or three liaison officers in the summer of 2007. So far, no one has been hired by this department so, Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is, can he tell the Nova Scotian farmers why his government has broken another promise to the people of Nova Scotia?

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Thank you very much for the question. Mr. Speaker, we are committed to meeting the extension needs of our agriculture industry. We will put in place new liaison officers to complement the existing extension resources. As I explained to the honourable member in budget estimates, in this fiscal year if they should decide to support the budget, we will establish seven new industry liaison officers and increase that number to 10, starting in the next fiscal year. Thank you.

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It sounds very much like the statement I got last year when nothing happened. Two years later, not one industry liaison officer is

[Page 2713]

hired. Another area lacking action is that of a plan for Nova Scotia agriculture industry. We know that a joint working group started looking at the industry transition and renewal plan in September 2007, but to date this government hasn't come forward with a vision or a plan. My question to the minister is, can he indicate to this House the single most significant problem facing the agriculture industry today and what his solution for it is?

MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member for that question. The agriculture sector in Nova Scotia is facing many, many challenges, the honourable member should know that. One of the challenges that the beef commodity, for example, faces is the fact that they need better genetics in their herd, they need more branding, they need the support of all the people in this Legislature, relative to the only federal (Interruption)

Mr. Speaker, the honourable member, I think, asked me what the single most challenge was that the agriculture community is facing. That's really difficult to say because they face many, many challenges. The NDP, I would think, with their expert researchers would know that, that there are many, many challenges that the agriculture sector is facing.

If you talk to the pork producers in the Province of Nova Scotia, you'll find that for years they have faced high input costs relative to feed. If you talked to the beef sector they would talk about better genetics. If you talked to the dairy industry, they would talk about supply management. If you talked about the fruit growers, they would talk about the need for orchard renewal. If you talked about horticulture, they also would ask for support. So there are many, many challenges that the agriculture community is facing but this government on this side of the House is supporting agriculture all the while coming in with their seventh straight balanced budget.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, maybe I was wrong. I was thinking that the greatest challenge facing the agricultural industry today was their inability to get the price they need out of the value chain, but now I realize their greatest challenge they have is the minister that we have in this province. The first step in coming up with a plan is to sit down with all industry stakeholders to hear them out on what they see as the problem and then listen to their ideas on how the issues can be addressed. My question to the minister is, after two years at his post, why has he not sat down with all the industry reps to discuss the issues collectively?

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, the critic opposite has certainly an interest in agriculture, I won't dispute that. I have to say, as a proud product of a dairy farm in the Musquodoboit Valley that, in fact, I stand by my word that there are many challenges facing the agriculture industry. This government, while it does more than any government in Atlantic Canada, continues to meet with all the stakeholders and will do that and I'm proud to say that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

[Page 2714]

TCH - PUBLISHING SECTOR: SUPPORT - DETAILS

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. As the minister knows and as everybody else here knows, Nova Scotia's writers and its long history of storytelling have brought worldwide attention to the province. The publishing industry itself faces huge and mounting challenges in this region including the loss of two historic independent bookstores in the area and the fact that the federal Book Publishing Industry Development Fund has tossed a mere $600,000 in the direction of Atlantic publishers out of a total of $27 million spent across the province. My question to the minister is, what is his government doing to offer support to our publishing sector?

HON. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. Our heritage, our history of this province is very important to us and we appreciate all authors who try to capture that. The Department of Tourism is open to speak to publishers and to companies that would like to enhance that. I hope that pleases the member across the way.

MS. RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, it's important to do more than open, in the case of books as in the case of governments, and being more than open to discussions. I'd like to quote an article from Atlantic Books Today and will table this article in which Dan Soucoup of Nimbus Publishing, one of the few remaining publishers, says that although there are a number of initiatives examining options in terms of better developing writers and marketing our books, "What we really need, however, is greater vision and leadership at all levels of government to allow for more funding from the public sector." My question to the minister is, where is this government's commitment to ensure Nova Scotia's stories continue to get out?

MR. DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, once again we take what the member brings up here today very seriously. We have been involved ourselves in an initiative to work with our federal counterparts to make funds available to deal with such situations.

MS. RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I hope that concern is, in fact, taking place because the word publishing doesn't appear anywhere in the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage's current business plan. There is no mention of this industry anywhere, which is so important to preserving and promoting our heritage and culture and making it known, as the worldwide appetite for our stories does in fact prove. My question to the minister is, will he commit that this government will do more than simply be open to discussions and do more than paying lip service to the publishing industry of Nova Scotia?

MR. DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, not only will I stand in the House today and speak of the importance of capturing our history of Nova Scotia and appreciating the authors of Nova Scotia, but I will also forward information to the member of the support that we have already shown to the industry.

[Page 2715]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

TIR - PORT HASTINGS ROTARY: SAFETY ISSUES - ADDRESS

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the Premier would be familiar with the rotary in Port Hastings near the Canso Causeway. This rotary has been the scene of numerous accidents, especially truck rollovers. Last year, this rotary was the location of a fatal accident, and recently another driver was killed as the result of a motor vehicle accident. My question to the Premier is, what plan does he and his government have to address the long-standing safety issues at the rotary in Port Hastings?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. That was a very unfortunate incident, accident, at the rotary. I can tell the honourable member in the House that every time there's an accident of this type in this province, there's not only a thorough investigation done by the police but also our department would look at the signals, the type of things that are put in place in regard to national standards. I can tell the honourable member that the rotary meets all those in regard to safety in this province.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the rotary in Port Hastings is the gateway to Cape Breton Island. It provides drivers with the choice to take Highway No. 104, Highway No. 105, Route 19 or even stop at the tourist bureau. For visitors to Cape Breton, this can be very confusing. The government and the minister have the accident statistics that clearly show the need to redesign this rotary, whether or not it meets safety standards. The statistics speak for themselves. So my question again to the Premier is, when can we expect the government to call tenders to address the long-standing safety issues at the Port Hastings rotary?

[1:45 p.m.]

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again to the honourable member, the honourable member would be aware, I would think, that there is a long-range plan with this government and this department in regard to not only the rotary, but to the Port Hawkesbury bypass. We have done some preliminary work on that and we will have some announcements in the near future with regard to both those issues.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, another tourism season is about to begin. We expect that visitors will enjoy the experience once they arrive on Cape Breton Island. The safety issues at the rotary are well-known and one life lost is one too many. Residents in the area know that the government has talked of a bypass, but the talk is that we are waiting until 2012 to see that take place. Again, the statistics speak for themselves. One life lost is one too many. Will the Premier today commit to call upon his Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to speed up and to immediately start the process of the bypass and changes at the Port Hastings rotary?

[Page 2716]

MR. SCOTT: Again, to the honourable member opposite, I have made that commitment, Mr. Speaker. The department has been working actively on it with regard to that issue of not only the rotary but, as well, the Port Hawkesbury bypass. We realize how important that is not only to Cape Breton Island but to all of Nova Scotia. We want to ensure that not only tourists who travel our highways but local residents and businesses drive on very safe highways, as we presently have. So, again, I will commit to the member opposite. The department is very actively working on a plan with regard to the Port Hawkesbury bypass and the rotary, and we will have an announcement of that plan in the near future.

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

JUSTICE - TASER REPORT: RELEASE - TIME FRAME

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you today is to the Minister of Justice. In early March, the minister released the first phase of his review into the use of tasers in this province. At that time, the minister said very clearly that the second and final stage of the review would be completed by the end of April. The end of April has come and gone. There is no sign of this important report on taser use in this province. So my question is, can the minister advise when the report will be made public?

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, indeed the honourable member is correct with regard to the anticipated completion date of that study. There was the advisory panel that was struck. They met once. They asked for two other meeting opportunities. Those meeting opportunities were granted; in fact, I do believe a meeting was being held today. It is my anticipation that during the course of this session, indeed the Taser panel report will be done and the recommendations brought forward for public disclosure and action.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the minister's attention an important document that I hope will be tabled by one of the Pages and that he will bring to the attention of this group. Since the first phase of the report was presented in March, there have been significant developments on this issue of Taser use. Last week, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported, and I have just tabled that other page, I just tabled that, the report says that Tasers can affect the heart and, therefore, cause fatal heart problems. The study was conducted by three scientists from the University of Toronto. They concluded that additional research studies are needed to resolve conflicting findings to aid in the design of stun guns that won't affect the heart.

My question to the minister is, will the department's ongoing review take into account the findings of the report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which I've tabled today?

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member, with regard to any material that has been provided, as he knows, there have been many cross-jurisdictional, inter-

[Page 2717]

Canadian initiatives with regard to the use of the Taser device and all the material that we've received here in Nova Scotia has been accumulative, that has been available as a resource pool, and I've just received a copy of this and will bring a copy back to the officials looking at this. There are many aspects and we're dealing with the policies, procedures and the governance outline here for Nova Scotia. So we'll take that under consideration.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I'll take the minister at his word on that commitment. The first phase of his department's reports contained revelations that some have found startling; for example, the fact that in Halifax, Taser use by police is three or four times more frequent, on a per capita basis, than Toronto - Halifax as compared to Toronto. In view of facts like this and the new findings reported by the Canadian Medical Journal, will he ask police forces to put a moratorium on Taser use until additional research studies are conducted? A moratorium is needed now, the report says that, and that important step can be taken by the minister at any time.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the honourable member's concerns with regard to any of the research. That's why we've taken a very thoughtful process to go forward in that review. We've assembled an expert panel to deal with Nova Scotia's review of our matters here within this province and taking in other issues and circumstances in Canada, but at this time there is no intention to have a moratorium on use.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

TIR: SHAG HBR. INCIDENT SOC. MUSEUM - SIGNAGE INSTALL

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, in December I asked you about getting community signs in place for the Shag Harbour Incident Society Museum. You said, "There is a process in place to apply for community signs and I will work with the honourable member to see these signs get in place for his community." My staff sent you the information, nothing has happened. The whole thing has fallen into a black hole.

Mr. Speaker, the museum is going to open again in June. People can't find it. He promised, in this House, that he would take it up with his department. It appears the emperor has struck out. The Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne needs signs too. They got a great line up this year - everything from J.P. Cormier to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question.

MR. BELLIVEAU: But their tourist audience is going to be lost.

MR. SPEAKER: Do you have a question?

[Page 2718]

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, will the minister just ask Darth Vader, or whoever runs the sign program, to get these signs in place?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I don't think there is any need to rise in this House and insult employees in this province. They are very dedicated people who do a good job for us each and every day of the year and I don't think it's fair to take advantage of the time in this House and say what you want and not be taken to task for it, but I will tell the honourable member that after Question Period, I will contact the department and I will get an update for the honourable member with regard to that issue he brought forward. Thank you.

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

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank on an introduction.

MR. PERCY PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery, and seated in the west gallery is a very, very dear friend of mine visiting from Ottawa who is here to participate in the World Oldtimers Hockey Tournament. I played hockey with this gentleman back in the Saint Mary's days and he was probably one of the best defencemen who ever played hockey for Saint Mary's Huskies and he formed one-third of the soul line, the only all-Black hockey line that played college hockey in North America. Bob Dawson, please stand up and receive a warm welcome. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

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

[Page 2719]

MS. BECKY KENT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is an honour to rise today and have a few moments during today's proceedings to speak about the issues that are facing the residents in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and certainly across this province. This is my first experience in the House with the budget proceedings and I am listening carefully, learning a lot listening keenly to the debates that are going on. The discussions, the debates, the conversations that are happening affect so many Nova Scotians - it is what I have been elected to do and I am working hard at it.

Six months, Mr. Speaker, have gone by very quickly in the riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. I'm having a great time, I'm working hard, and it's challenging but it is exciting at the same time. We're setting up our office, residents are coming to the office, they're looking for help, and often we're able to achieve the goals they're looking for - in some cases we're just giving them direction, but you all know that drill.

Mr. Speaker, the differences in all of our ridings across Nova Scotia are there, but they are similar in so many ways. As the Official Opposition Critic for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, this opportunity affords me opportunities to meet with many, many wonderful people across this province. I get to see and meet with former colleagues while I was on municipal council, across the province and with UNSM.

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable member, would you allow an introduction?

MS. KENT: Certainly.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to introduce to members of the House a visitor in the east gallery. We have with us the mother of Colin MacIsaac, who is the star of the MLA's hockey team. If she would rise, Mary Ann MacIsaac, and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause) She also happens to be the wife of the Minister of Economic Development.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East on an introduction.

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker. I ask the House today to welcome students from École du Carrefour, from Dartmouth East. They have been here during Question Period and I hope they enjoyed the time. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: I want to thank the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and we will be adding two minutes to her time.

[Page 2720]

MS. KENT: I was speaking about the opportunities being the Critic for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, that it offers an opportunity to become reacquainted with former colleagues and certainly those who are involved heavily with UNSM.

I'd like to take this opportunity, if you will, Mr. Speaker, to again thank the Leader of the Official Opposition and my colleagues in caucus for their support as I make my way through this first year. Their support in helping me put my best foot forward is very much appreciated. That ongoing effort is clearly there for all constituents of the riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, whether they voted for me or not, that's what I was elected to do and that's what I will do.

To do this I have to stay connected at a local level, connected to the many committed, hard-working devoted residents of Cole Harbour and Eastern Passage. From the very young, the community is engaged. The young are collecting their pennies for those who are less fortunate, in the daycares, in the preschools, in the lower elementary grades to our more senior residents sharing their experiences with students in the schools. No doubt the visitors today have had the opportunity to speak to the elders in their communities and it's an important part of the growth for all of the young people in our communities. I'm pleased to say that our seniors in the riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage are doing just that. I'll be speaking about some of those details a little bit further. I will do that because I want every member in this Legislature to understand who they are affecting with every debate, with every discussion, with every decision, that is held in and outside of this Chamber.

The first story I want to share is about an event that happened recently in our community of Eastern Passage. It's funny that I should get that today, I would bring this forward today on the same day we received a letter from the Leave Out ViolencE organization, the LOVE organization. You'll understand how it connected to particularly what they're talking about, just showing some love, an event that they're planning.

[2:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, the story I'm going to tell you actually has a very sad beginning, a tragic beginning in fact, but it's a story worth telling. So many times we hear in our communities, we read in the newspaper, we hear on the radio, negative coverage about the young people in our communities, some of the activities they might be taking part in, we hear the negative. It's time to start talking about the positive. Recently two young students approached me in my office asking for my help to plan an event, a young lady by the name of Shannon Leach and another by the name of Amanda King. About a year ago these two young ladies lost a very dear friend. A young lady by the name of Kerri-Lea Dixon at the age of 11, about to turn 12 the next week, was tragically and horrifically taken from us. Needless to say it was a premature death and had profound effects on an entire community and clearly on her friends and family.

[Page 2721]

Shannon and Amanda wanted to do something. A year later they wanted to mark the occasion of their loss but they also wanted to mark the occasion of what would have been Kerri-Lea's 13th birthday. Mr. Speaker, I worked with them. They worked hard, they worked to create an event at a local skate park in our community. We created shortly after Kerri-Lea's death, with a lot of hard work and energy from the community and from her friends, a memorial park. A thoughtful spot to go and reflect on the blessings in your life, those you may have lost whether it was due to a death, whether it was due to a best friend moving to the other side of your country. It gives the people an opportunity to reflect on the blessings that are in their lives.

Well this particular thoughtful spot held an important event this year. Roughly 200 people came to that place to mark and celebrate the memory of Kerri-Lea. The two young ladies that I worked with gave out pink hearts for them to wear on their lapels. Everyone had a little safety pin with a pink felt heart. They marked it with 13 balloons being released by Kerri-Lea's mother. They had a cake, they sent messages to Kerri-Lea, they spoke of their experiences with her and how her life and her death touched them, they read poems that they had written, they played music. You can imagine that this was a very touching and heartfelt and tender moment in our communities.

Shannon and Amanda worked with me and her friends to turn something terrible into something positive and good. People gathered there and most of them were youth. This is where it comes down to this interesting - about just showing some love. They gathered there with love in their hearts.

It could have been quite different. Over the past year, it could have been anger and resentment and acting out of the effects of a tragic and sudden loss like that. Young people with various backgrounds, they may have been friends to Kerri-Lea, they may have been on the cheerleading team with her, they may have just been someone that knew of her. They gathered there with love and compassion in their hearts. You don't always hear about that.

We know it's happening around Nova Scotia, we know that our young people have the ability to be respectful and loving, but we aren't celebrating it enough. Although this is a sad story, these two young ladies wanted to make something good come out of it for their community. I'm very, very proud of Shannon and Amanda for thinking of others at a very young age. I've spoken with Girl Guides and other young people in our community, they talked about - why do you think there are negative things? Why do you think there's crime happening in our community? Why do you think our young people are acting out? One of the messages I think is very clear is that so many of our young people are missing opportunities to allow their love and their respect for people to shine through. We're so busy these days and we're not taking the time to see it in them. This was an event that allowed for that.

[Page 2722]

Another example of the great things going on is our students at Astral Drive Elementary School, in the Cole Harbour part of my riding, are preparing for a play. They've invited me to it. It's called Twinderella, and along with their teachers, they're working hard to present that play next week. I'm very, very proud and I hope that I'll have the time, hopefully our Legislature's schedule will allow for me to go out and support that, as will so many of their family and friends. We'll see such productive, active, healthy, young people in our ridings doing something positive.

In the riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage - I want to speak for a moment of the people in Cole Harbour and how they are so terrifically engaged. An example of that is they're working with the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association. The Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association has been working very long and terrifically productively on trails in and around a salt marsh area, in the Bissett Lake area, through the Cole Harbour area - the Shearwater Flyer trail. It's their biggest challenge right now, they've set a priority.

Jim Tudor, Holly Woodill and Jim Vance, just to name a few on the committee, are working with the neighbours in and around the Bissett Lake area to create a pocket park, a park-like setting of trails, an active transportation corridor, a place to go with their family and enjoy life, take a break from their hectic schedules and enjoy life.

Discussions also with the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails are happening with the Eastern Passage residents. They're working with HRM and Councillor Jackie Barkhouse to connect the Shearwater Flyer to the Fishermen's Cove area. It's a long-standing dream of the community and there's no reason to think they can't get there with the support of their local representatives and support of government. It can happen and they seem encouraged.

The signs of engaged community - I want to remind people of recent events and the issues surrounding Fort Hugonins, the potential demolition on McNab's Island. Cathy McCarthy and the Friends of McNabs have been working tirelessly for so many years to protect that natural asset, to protect that jewel in the harbour. Within the last couple of months, they got wind of a potential demolition of a fort, an important fort to that island. They worked with the residents of Eastern Passage for a long time, along with government, on a stakeholders' consultation process to create a long-term strategic plan. To suddenly hear of the possibility of a tender being completed to stabilize and demolish the fort, they knew they had to act fast.

Mr. Speaker, the efforts of the Friends of McNabs and their local politicians - certainly myself, Alexa McDonough was there, Peter Stoffer, Councillor Jackie Barkhouse - raised the profile of this issue. They did it and they deserve the credit for that and thankfully, our governments responded well. Discussions with the federal government and the provincial Department of Natural Resources changed the direction of that going to demolition. There was never any question that the site needed to be stabilized, so I am thankful for that.

[Page 2723]

In my first speech in the House, Mr. Speaker, back in the Fall, I spoke of the long-term plan for Lawlor Island and McNabs Island. There is a lot of consultation that happened. I would hate to see that plan continue to sit on the shelf. I just want to remind the government, that plan is there. You worked hard with the stakeholders to get it. Look at it, bring it out, dust it off and start moving that plan forward.

Some of the challenges that the residents are facing in this community continue to be brought forward, the challenges of recreation and health facilities in our community, the challenge of achieving the goal of a high school. Frankly, it is hard as an MLA to continue to encourage them to have faith, have faith in the fact that this government will move some of those issues forward. It's tough. The Imagine Our Schools process was a bitter disappointment. I will speak to that later in a debate, around a resolution in the late debate. No doubt I will be talking about it during the Education debates but it is hard to evoke in them that they can have faith in the current government when these kinds of wrongs are not righted.

I can't imagine what it is going to take to convince, after easily 20 to 30 years of these issues being brought to the government of the day to be moved, and to finally achieve the goals. We are not there yet. I am looking forward to the day that the government can announce - and they seem to be keen on making announcements of funding for this and funding for that - I look forward to the day, as does the HRM councillor who, their mandate is recreation and health facilities, to hear about funding that will come from the government to fill that gap in the Eastern Passage, Cow Bay, Shearwater and Cole Harbour area in recreation.

I just want to be very clear, the residents of Cole Harbour and Eastern Passage will continue to work with me to achieve the goals as they allow me to come here to represent them. I take great pride in that and I look forward to it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel, on an introduction.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the gallery opposite where Mr. Vahid Kermanshah is sitting. Mr. Kermanshah is one of the immigrant nominees who has chosen to remain in Nova Scotia and has shown great leadership in fighting for the justice and fairness in the treatment of immigrant nominees. I ask him to rise and receive the warm applause of the House. (Applause)

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

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak going into Supply and give the House a little bit of an update on my riding. It is wonderful to see young people in the gallery today taking an interest in public service and the debate that takes place in the House.

[Page 2724]

I have the great pleasure of representing the riding of Annapolis which I often say is the birthplace of this great country. Four hundred years ago, it was the first permanent European settlement. It was the beginning of multicultural Canada. When the Acadian, British and First Nations people came together for the very first time, it happened in my constituency, in around Annapolis Royal which also happened to be the first capital of Nova Scotia. So it is wonderful to see you here and to take part in what happens on the floor of the House. So, it is wonderful. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I take in the riding of Annapolis which goes from the Queens County line and goes down into Annapolis Royal, in behind the Annapolis Royal courthouse, which I always like to add - my riding is kind of bookended by two golf courses; the Annapolis golf course is on one end and on the east end is the Paragon golf course and in the middle of my riding is a little golf course called Eden Golf and Country Club, right in the middle of Paradise. I would encourage all MLAs to come to the Valley and come to my riding and spend the weekend, a wonderful chance to play golf on three great courses in the Province of Nova Scotia, one that we should be promoting and encouraging people from all over Canada and the Eastern Seaboard to come and enjoy the great recreational facilities that we have in and around the riding of Annapolis.

My riding also extends, and I join onto Lunenburg County, with the member for Lunenburg. I go out and take in Springfield, Mr. Speaker. One of the interesting things about my riding is that the economy is really driven by the resource industries. We have forestry, fishing and agriculture and the tourism sector are really the backbone not only of my riding but of rural Nova Scotia. There have been many challenges around the resource sector. I know that the Minister of Agriculture is going to speak today and an opportunity to talk about his department and around the things they're doing, to try to make sure that there's an agricultural industry that survives and stays here in the Province of Nova Scotia.

We also have been growing and our economy has been building around the small business sector. I had a great opportunity this weekend when I went home on Sunday, to meet with a group of small business people in my constituency, to have them express some concerns. They are feeling left behind in many ways by government, by bureaucracy, because oftentimes when we define small business in this province we talk about any business that has 100 or fewer employees, 99 or less.

[2:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, for the vast majority of Nova Scotia businesses, there are three or four or five people working in them and they find that the only role they play for government is as a tax collector. When they're looking for support, when they're looking for help, no one seems to be there. It was expressed to me so eloquently by these small-business owners who are passionate about what they are doing, from the service sector through a whole host of other business initiatives - they are driven by wanting to be successful, wanting to make sure

[Page 2725]

that they've been able to carve out a life for themselves and their family in a part of Nova Scotia that they call home. A part of Nova Scotia that they want to raise their family and have their children live and grow.

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that has come up in this government is in part when they pilot a program called BizPal. It is a program that brings together all levels of government - municipal, federal and provincial levels - and they put together one-stop shopping. For anyone who has a concern in small business can go in and ask the question and regardless of what level of government you are dealing with, that question and the answer to that question should be there. Too often today what happens is that we walk into one department or another and we're told, that's not our issue, that's a municipal problem so you need to go now to the municipality, or sorry, that's not our problem, that's a federal issue, you need to go to the federal department.

Mr. Speaker, that's not good enough for Nova Scotians, that's not good enough for small-business people who are striving to make a living and try to build an economy here in Nova Scotia to make sure that they can carve out a life for themselves, but also to make sure that their children can stay, work and live in this province.

I want to encourage the province and the government today to extend that BizPal program to the riding of Annapolis, in western Nova Scotia, to make sure that the business people in western Nova Scotia have that one-stop shopping, that access to the answers they need. Whether it is a permit issue or a tax issue, it doesn't matter, Mr. Speaker, whatever the issue, no business owner should be told it is not our problem, it's another level of government. Those days are gone, we now should be building a level of co-operation and this program is one of those, I think, programs and the pilot that has worked for Nova Scotia businesses and we should be making sure that it spreads across this province, to keep our economy moving.

Today it was referenced about the Annapolis Community Health Centre and the transportation issue that was associated with the Trans County Transportation Society, Mr. Speaker. I am very proud the fact that the health centre in Annapolis Royal is there. It's a model, to me, that this government should be looking at and, quite frankly, be duplicating all across this province. The Minister of Economic Development - who was then the Minister of Health - came down to the official opening and spoke about how this health centre was going to provide health care to the people of Annapolis and surrounding area.

Mr. Speaker, it is a collaborative practice, one where we have physicians, nurse practitioners, LPNs, RNs - the entire spectrum of health care - in one building, one office, in our community hospital providing care to the people of our area that I believe is a model and should be duplicated from one end of this province to the other. As a matter of fact, the people of Middleton now are building a community health centre in and around Soldiers Memorial Hospital to provide that same type of service to the residents of the Middleton

[Page 2726]

area. They may vary a bit in what types of health care is being provided because each model of community health centre should take into account the dynamics, the things that are important to those individual communities. Those are the health professionals who should be inside those community health centres making sure that those people in that community have access to the kind of health care they require.

Mr. Speaker, it was referenced today during Question Period about a transportation issue when it came to the community health centre and TransCounty Transportation Society. Those two volunteer organizations have partnered together to provide the people of Annapolis and surrounding area a transportation network that is sustainable, one that will be there in the long term. The Annapolis Community Health Centre had been providing a transportation network for their catchment area, for patients of that clinic, patients in and around the Annapolis Community Health Centre, who are required to leave their community for service, whether they had to come to Halifax or Kentville for a doctor's appointment. That became an economic issue when they said, why are we competing - why are we duplicating the service that's being provided by TransCounty Transportation Society?

So they engaged in a partnership, one where now the community health centre has contracted out to TransCounty Transportation Society for their service. Yes, there are some challenges but those challenges are being met. Those are being reviewed as the community comes together, as that partnership is being rolled out, and the community is accessing those services. No person inside the catchment area of the Annapolis Community Health Centre will be denied an opportunity for transportation based on economics and it is wrong to imply that here in this House because the volunteers in and around the community health centre, in and around the Annapolis area, would not deny anyone the health care they deserve based on economics - let me clear that up right now.

This program is being reviewed as it rolls out but let's not kid ourselves, the compassion of the residents in and around Annapolis Royal will make sure that the transportation network is there, not only today but in the long term for those Nova Scotians who require that transportation network. While we will work together, as we've done over the past to iron out those issues, that service will be there for them.

Mr. Speaker, one of the other issues in terms of long-term care in and around the riding of Annapolis is, I have the great fortune of having 200 long-term care beds in my riding. I know everyone is looking pretty envious at me here - the Annapolis Royal Nursing Home, Mountain Lea Lodge in Bridgetown, and there's now North Hills Nursing Home which by 2010 will be relocated in Middleton under the domain of GEM Health Care.

Mr. Speaker, we're very fortunate indeed in and around the riding of Annapolis to have not only the beds there but the professional health care providers who are making sure that our loved ones who require long-term care are having access to long-term care close to

[Page 2727]

home. I want to congratulate the people of Middleton who fought long and hard to make sure that there was a long-term care facility that was going to be located in their community.

One of the other things though, Mr. Speaker, sometimes in this House when we start talking about long-term care, we focus solely on long-term care beds. We're doing a disservice to ourselves, to the community and, more importantly, to our loved ones who require long-term care. There's a program called In Home Support, one that was shepherded in by a former Liberal Government and was cancelled by this government when it came to power in 1999. A year ago, under the direction from the honourable member for Richmond in this caucus, we fought hard to bring in a pilot program, In Home Support, that provided financial assistance for Nova Scotians who were able to care for their loved one at home. I'm pleased to see that this government is extending that program.

While we would like to see it province-wide because it makes sense, it's economical, but it also provides a care for Nova Scotians when and where they need it as opposed to solely focusing on a long-term care facility. While we would like to see that program across this province we are pleased to see that they are beginning to roll it out in other communities, making sure that other Nova Scotians have access to the In Home Support program.

The other one was the Self-Managed Care program which was driven by the honourable member for Glace Bay and was around allowing people with disabilities to manage their own home care. That same program could move into a model of long-term care where we could allow individuals to manage their own long-term care, their own home care. We could help them in terms of hiring their own long-term care provider, making sure that the services were there for them at home. That would keep our seniors in their own homes longer.

I don't think my riding is a whole lot different when it comes to housing stock than many ridings in this province - it's old. Many seniors on fixed incomes need support from this government to do modifications to their homes. Sometimes it may be to put in a more efficient heating systems and some cases it may be changes to moving a washroom from one level to another so that senior could remain in their home for a longer period of time. Those are the kind of initiatives that we need to look at and stop solely focusing on long-term care beds. While they are an important component to providing long-term care to Nova Scotians it is but one option that we should be taking to Nova Scotians.

I know my time is running out and I'd be remiss to not talk about transportation, knowing that this government has ignored the riding of Annapolis for such a very long time. I know that this riding, the riding of Annapolis, is first and foremost on their minds as the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal sits down and starts looking at where paving should take place in Nova Scotia. Quite frankly, the people of Annapolis pay taxes as well and they deserve to have the same types of roads and services as they do in

[Page 2728]

Lunenburg County, in Inverness, in Antigonish. We deserve to have the same level of service.

So I would encourage this government to look at the riding of Annapolis in terms of transportation, infrastructure - making sure that the people of Annapolis have access to quality roads. Making sure that our economic corridors are paved, that the commerce can take place to ensure that the families of the riding of Annapolis can build an economy not only for themselves, but for their children. To make sure the birthplace of this great province, this great country, will begin to thrive, not only this year but well into the future. I look forward as we continue debating the budget, continuing to move forward to hear this government make some wonderful announcements for the people of Annapolis. I know they would see fit to treat them equally. With that I will now provide the Minister of Agriculture an opportunity to tell us about the great things that the people of Annapolis can expect out of his department.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could quickly ask to revert back to Orders of the Day, Presenting and Reading Petitions.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition by a group for Pesticide Free Nova Scotia.

There are 226 signed letters from citizens, Mr. Speaker, and I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

Now we will return to the debate going into Supply.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased to take my place in the Legislature. I thought before I speak about some departmental issues at the Department of Agriculture, I would like to speak a little bit about the beautiful

[Page 2729]

Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. You know, we all come to this place by different means and different ways. I think we all would agree that we can't get here without a great supporting cast and a great team behind us.

Mr. Speaker, I will yield for an introduction, if you are fine, by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the Minister of Agriculture for yielding the floor.

I am delighted at this time to ask members to turn their attention to the east gallery where we have some people who live in Nova Scotia, Ian Russell and Marjorie and their son, Paul - now I can't remember, Paul, whether you live in Scotland or Nova Scotia. In addition to the Russells, we have two particularly special guests, Malcolm and Colleen MacGregor who were married in Glenbervie House on February 29th. They won a dream honeymoon to Nova Scotia. (Applause) Now I want to tell you not only that it was sponsored by one of the major radio stations in Scotland - I think the largest, perhaps - they not only won the honeymoon, they won the wedding which even included rings and dresses and all things like that.

[2:30 p.m.]

Now, they are over to Nova Scotia on this special honeymoon, and the Leader of the Liberal Party might be interested in this - Minister Streatch, Minister Baker and I were over to Scotland last year with the Kings County Board of Trade and this was one of the things (Interruption)

Excuse me, this is the floor of the House of Assembly and we have one of the Annapolis County MLAs, which is adjacent to Kings County, saying that he wants to be included in this. So we will include him, because I think there were a number of prizes given by Valley businesses which did include Annapolis County, as well as Digby and Kings Counties. I did see the list.

But anyway, look, we are delighted to have you in Nova Scotia. I know that in a very few minutes Minister Streatch is going to induct you into the Order of Good Times, and we are delighted to have you, and we hope that you will like it here enough to come back again and again. So would you stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

[Page 2730]

MR. TAYLOR: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations for that great introduction. The closest I have come to Scotland is that my late grandmother, Nanny Langille, actually immigrated over to Canada - Nova Scotia - from Edinburgh. That, of course, was many years ago. The Minister of Health Promotion and Protection was over there a couple of weeks ago. So we have a great affinity with Scotland. Welcome here today.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: I spent the first three years of my life in Scotland.

MR. TAYLOR: Well, well, he outdoes us all. Minister MacIsaac was there for the first three years of his life. Great connections. Yes, Mr. Speaker, I have drawn a long bow.

I do want to speak a little bit about my riding, the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. I did notice the fine speech by the previous orator, the Leader of the Liberal Party, when he spoke about the boundaries of his riding. The riding that I represent has boundaries on Truro-Bible Hill to the north and, of course, to Waverley on the south, and to Pictou on the east, the far east I like to say, and, of course, Hants East would be to the west. So we are certainly very securely tucked in as far as the boundaries go.

Mr. Speaker, back in 1991, as a community member in the Musquodoboit Valley - at a much younger age than I am today - I decided to jump into municipal politics. We had a situation where there was a vacancy in the Musquodoboit Valley, and four of us, we put our names in the hat. As the election evolved and we carried ours out - I want to add - right from the kitchen table, I'm very proud of the effort that my family and friends put into it, I was successful. I am pleased to say that the other three candidates are still very good friends of mine and I enjoy conversing with them from time to time.

Then a little later on in a political career which basically lasted two years in municipal politics, the honourable Minister of Community Services - her dad decided to move from provincial politics and take a step on to federal politics. A by-election freed up an opportunity and the good folks in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley supported me and we've had the wonderful opportunity to serve through five elections. We're quite delighted and honoured and I do want to thank the constituents of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley for supporting me over the years. You can't do it without a great family and a great organization. I think all members in the House would concur it's truly a team effort, not an individual effort. It's much like being a member of caucus. We work together and we try to do, I think, on all sides of the House, what is in the best interests of Nova Scotians.

I do want to say that in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley there are some 63 communities. (Interruption) The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect - he's been here for some time in the House - the honourable member probably thinks I can't name all those communities. I could probably name three-quarters of them without too much difficulty, but I won't go there today.

[Page 2731]

I have some important things that I do want to speak about and that is just how important agriculture is to the Province of Nova Scotia. As I move along in this discourse regarding the agriculture sector, I want to point out that yesterday there was an issue relative to the most stringent food safety regulations in the country. In 2006, Nova Scotia adopted what is deemed to be by all provinces in Canada, the most stringent food safety regulations in the country. (Applause)

The department is, in fact, developing a new data base to better manage food safety information and food inspectors - and this is worth noting - food inspectors conduct approximately 9,700 inspections annually in a variety of facilities throughout the province. Consumer complaints have reduced by 28 per cent and reports of suspected food- borne illness has been reduced by 28 per cent over the last four years.

Those efforts are part of the government's broader environmental health protection program. During the summer of 2006, The ChronicleHerald published articles about the Nova Scotia Food Inspection Program and, of course, there was a story that focussed on P.E.I.'s effort to make food safety information available online. In Nova Scotia, inspection reports are available to the public through the department's routine access policy.

I want to be very, very clear that if you were to contact the Department of Agriculture, you would receive up to three reports regarding food inspection records of restaurants or licensed establishments free of charge. There seems to be some misinformation going around that you would be charged for this information. The fact of the matter is, you would receive up to three food safety inspections without being charged at all.

At present, we have 20 food specialists who carry out these inspections in over 3,700 licensed food service facilities in the Province of Nova Scotia. They conduct food handling training courses. They have, on occasion, unfortunately, had to order immediate food destruction and there have been closures of facilities. These food safety specialists are nationally certified and they are recognized right across the country as public health specialists.

The food protection program is risk-based, meaning that the greater the public health risk, more inspections are carried out. The more inspections that are carried out, then more inspections that are required. The Department of Agriculture was nationally recognized in 2000 by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors for excellence in public health protection, specifically in the area of food safety. My gosh, that must have been a long introduction because the time has just flown by.

Mr. Speaker, another area that I did want to touch on and focus on, that is extremely important to the farming community and, of course, to consumers and processors, is the Select Nova Scotia program. Last year we developed and implemented a buy local initiative here in the Province of Nova Scotia and it was called the Select Nova Scotia program. This

[Page 2732]

was to promote awareness, increase consumer knowledge, and encourage consumption of Nova Scotia agri-food and seafood products.

The department and industry initiated many products to promote buy local, prior to the development, of course, of the Select Nova Scotia program. During budget estimates, the Agriculture Critic for the NDP was complaining that somewhere along the line he felt that we, on this side of the House, had copied a program that the socialists were, in fact, promoting and the fact of the matter is, it was this side of the House, under the former, former Minister of Agriculture, that brought to the attention of Nova Scotia the fact that he would like to bring forward a buy local program. He's now the Minister of Health and he did a lot of the table setting, if you will, regarding the buy local campaign.

In fact, somewhere, I think it was previous to the 2006 election campaign, the NDP staged another photo op regarding buy local but, in fact, they didn't have any, if I might say, meat on the bones. What this government did, under the leadership of our Premier - who has come in, by the way, with a seventh straight balanced budget - is support and encourage, through the efforts of everybody on this side of the House, a budget of $350,000. So again this year we will have a buy local program.

I just wanted to clear up any misconception that members opposite might have that somehow the NDP had this great idea. When it's a good idea, I think we can certainly all claim responsibility and claim credit. But the fact of the matter is, and the record will clearly show, that the Minister of Health stood in this House a few years back and, as Minister of Agriculture, promised a buy local program and, in fact, some members opposite had said, well, it's time to deliver.

Well, we did deliver the program, we plan on having the program in this budget year, so we would again ask the NDP to support the budget, they believe so much in our Select Nova Scotia program. We know that they will be extremely supportive of that element of the budget.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that again, it was a case of the minister and the department working with a stakeholder group and we brought forward a ministerial advisory committee made up of stakeholders right across Nova Scotia and they, working with the department, developed a Select Nova Scotia signature event. The program was unveiled at the Provincial Exhibition in Truro last year. The Premier was on hand and it certainly received a lot of support from the people who were present.

Now we want to increase the number of industry partners with specific emphasis on the seafood industry and I would like to acknowledge and thank my colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, for his support for the program. We believe in strengthening the business development component, exploring new collateral and promotional materials, exploring opportunities to maintain visibility during winter months. Mr. Speaker, we held

[Page 2733]

a number of focus groups and we had measurements, if you will, and tools put in place so we could, in fact, gauge how productive and how effective the program was. In fact, the results are in and it was an overwhelming success and we did share those results, and will share those results, with people if they should so ask.

So we have hired a staff person dedicated solely to implementing the Select Nova Scotia business plan and we believe that it's imperative that we all work together to increase awareness and knowledge surrounding locally produced food. People are very, very concerned as to where their food comes from. What is the origin? Is it safe? What is the quality? Mr. Speaker, you know and I know that Nova Scotians produce the best food in the world.

Mr. Speaker, sometimes when we go through the checkout at the supermarket, I do take the opportunity - not to be too nosy, but I do like to look to see what's in people's carts in terms of the food stuffs. A good percentage of the cart is full of non-food, like non-agri-food products. So, you know, it's not really fair to say that your food is one of the biggest expenses. It's expensive but if you look at the other products that you might find in the shopping cart, you'll find out that the food may represent only 50 per cent of the products that are in your shopping cart.

The point is that we still have the best food, the cheapest food in the world. We're going to continue on this side of the House, and I would expect all members will continue, to support our Select Nova Scotia program. Mr. Speaker, I know you will.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[2:44 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We have arrived at the moment of interruption. The Adjournment motion was submitted by the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid:

"Therefore be it resolved that in light of recommendations of HRSB staff and external consultants retained to undertake the Imagine Our Schools consultation process, recognizing the rapid population growth in the Eastern Passage area and the solid community support for a high school to provide safe and efficient access to education for their children, this Legislature endorses the construction of a high school in the Eastern Passage area."

ADJOURNMENT

[Page 2734]

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

EDUC. - EAST. PASSAGE HS: CONSTRUCTION - ENDORSE

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak at the hour of interruption on this important issue to the residents in my riding and certainly to Nova Scotians, in my opinion. This issue is no stranger to these Chambers. A friend of mine and a former MLA for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, Kevin Deveaux, has raised this issue - the same topic for late debate - through resolutions, budget debates, petitions, I'm sure you are all aware. He did this through the direction of his constituents. He brought this issue on their behalf to this Chamber over and over again, as will I.

Why do I talk about that, what Kevin did? I do it because I want to be very, very clear, I want the record to show that the MLA for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage has, on many occasions, asked this government to build a high school in Eastern Passage.

Recently a very clear precedent has been set, with announcements around requests by other members of this Legislature and certainly the community. I've taken the time, Mr. Speaker, to review the documents associated to this issue and needless to say, there are many. One stands out in particular to me, though, and I spoke briefly with the honourable minister earlier today, the Minister of Education, about it.

It was in November 2006, an e-mail from Kevin to our local high school committee of dedicated residents who have been working to advocate for this cause for many years, Kevin wrote to us about a very positive meeting that he had with the honourable Minister of Education, and she is currently still the minister. The gist of it is this, a very short portion:

"The Minister made a verbal commitment to me to present to Cabinet a proposal that includes a high school in the Eastern Passage-Woodside area, as part of a larger sum of money to address capacity issues in the greater Dartmouth area. This is good news. For the first time, I am optimistic . . .".

I spoke briefly of this with the minister earlier, it didn't seem as a shock to her. Again, in light of this, naturally the resolution that is before us tonight is why I'm here - the recent recommendations by the Halifax Regional School Board to defer the decision on recommending a high school for the Eastern Passage area. This is a tremendous blow, Mr. Speaker, to the residents of the Eastern Passage-Cow Bay-Shearwater area, including Woodside. How could it not be? The community has been advocating for this for so many years. To just give a brief history - I won't spend too much time there but it has been almost 30 years, busing the community children, the students of our community out of Eastern Passage. In the 1970s they went to Graham Creighton. At that time the community was

[Page 2735]

smaller, it made sense. In the 1980s Cole Harbour District High School was built, along with Gordon Bell. At that time it continued to make sense.

By the 1990s the community had grown and at that time the Liberals were the governing body of the day. Knowing that Eastern Passage needed a high school, they still built Auburn Drive. I don't regret that, those students obviously have been blessed to have it, those families. I don't think that needs to change. One community doesn't have to lose in order for another to gain. Eastern Passage students go into Cole Harbour District High. They are leaving their community to go to a community where most of those children don't go to that school - they all go to the new one.

Since the 1980s, 200 students to more than 650, Mr. Speaker - this is growth in the community. Eastern Passage is the largest community in Nova Scotia with almost 13,000 residents without a high school - and still growing, this community is still growing. The Halifax Regional Municipality, in its 25-year regional plan, has designated the Eastern Passage area as a growth area. This means that they will be investing in that area and supporting growth. It's not going to stop. We are one of the few exceptions where the communities are growing, our families are growing, the number of children is growing.

What does it tell us? It tells us there are more students. Now unfortunately it became very clear, as a young mother raising my children in a community where my kids were attending the schools and I think it was really confirmed when I became a councillor - the discussions around the table, and it's kind of a joke and it's a sad one, is that the school boards and the Minister of Education need to see the whites of their eyes before they build a school. That's what is being said - that's what has been said. I guess I have to ask, how many more eyes do they have to see to build a school in the Eastern Passage area?

I'll bring it back to recent events and again I want to make note of the discussion between Kevin and the Minister of Education with a glimmer of hope. Even though they had hope a number of years ago, they knew that the fight was not over, so they continued. The community stayed committed. They did their homework, they made presentations to the boards and the groups that needed it, like the Department of Education.

Since as early as the year 2000, the Halifax Regional School Board has been considering a high school for the Eastern Passage area. They've done the in-depth reviews, Mr. Speaker. Most recently, last year again, on their capital build list that was presented to the minister, an Eastern Passage-Woodside area high school was on the list.

Then, as a directive from the Minister of Education and that department, a more in-depth review was required; thus, the Imagine Our Schools process. Again, Mr. Speaker, the same conclusion, and after the public consultation, again the Halifax Regional School Board staff with the same recommendation.

[Page 2736]

We all know what came next, Mr. Speaker - the current one-man, one-person school board was deferring this decision because he had not enough evidence. I can tell you that I attended every single one of those meetings, barring one - I was not in town. Community members took part in those meetings. We had community residents take part in actually being part of the 70-person committee.

The Department of Education wanted public input. They heard loud and clear from the families that those families in the Halifax region, both sides of the harbour, wanted to educate their children in their own communities, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Windsor responded positively to so many of those communities and made a commitment that they would not lose their schools in their neighbourhoods. Why is it that they're treating Eastern Passage-Shearwater-Woodside any differently? So many questions are coming forward to me. Why isn't our government, which clearly ran a Tory candidate in the recent by-election who supported a high school - why are they not righting this wrong?

In the year celebrating democracy for 250 years, what message can they possibly think they are sending to the constituents of my riding? The message is loud and clear - they just don't matter enough to this government.

The minister will speak of process and I understand that process very clear, as do my constituents. This government, the Department of Education, makes the final decision. We accept that so, frankly, we're still holding out hope. The door is wide open for the minister to come forward and do what is right.

Earlier in this Chamber, the honourable Minister of Health in Question Period bragged about this government being a government of consultation. Also, I reflected earlier on our prayer that we all say every day in this House - it speaks of justice and equity for those we serve. Why is the consultation from the Halifax Regional School Board and the Imagine Our Schools process suddenly not valid? Where is the justice and equity in that, Mr. Speaker?

Recent discussions with the minister earlier today suggested that a final decision is not made and in this process review of recommendations in her department, they'll make a decision, so I have a glimmer of hope. I look forward to the minister's comments today, I look forward to sharing her remarks with the constituents of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. I will work with the minister to achieve these goals of these communities and finally look forward to an announcement - the support of a high school in Eastern Passage. (Interruption) This government has become famous for announcements in communities.

I just want them to tell me the commitment has been there, Mr. Speaker. The minister, the community, the MLAs requested it, the Halifax Regional School Board's recommendations, consultants' recommendations - what more do they need? Thank you.

[Page 2737]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable member for bringing this resolution forward. As the member has noted, she and I have discussed this as recently as today. I want to thank her for her passion that she has and that she has demonstrated for her constituents and for the students in that area. I have made the statement here in the House that all students in the Province of Nova Scotia are important to me, and students in her area are no exception to that.

This government is proud of its record of building new schools, and since 2000 we have built 21 new schools. Certainly that information has been shared here in the House, and that's an investment of over $400,000 over eight years to work through our 2003 capital construction list. The member opposite spoke to the process and there is a clearly defined process that we do follow.

The investment that we are making in our new schools is part of a fiscally responsible long-term plan, Mr. Speaker, and in that process we continue to work with school boards to identify and set priorities for their school capital construction needs. In 2005 - a bit of history that I am sure the member opposite is well aware of - the Halifax Regional School Board of the day submitted a request for a new high school in Eastern Passage to the School Capital Construction Committee. That committee includes members from various government departments, including Education, Finance, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, as well as the Nova Scotia School Boards Association. They receive all requests that come from school boards as part of that process, what school boards have identified as their priorities. So they come into this committee for review.

At the time, as the member opposite did suggest, the committee wanted more information from the board. They wanted the board to have a look at all of the needs in the eastern region of HRM, so they went back to the board and said that they were turning down the request for a new high school in Eastern Passage pending more information on a comprehensive plan. In its reasons for the decision, the committee said there was a need for some system rationalization in the Dartmouth area.

Again, I mentioned earlier in estimates today the whole business of excess capacity and never having the population where we have the space. The work that was done in the schools in that eastern area identified some of those issues and concerns. There are currently four high schools in the area. Auburn Drive and Cole Harbour are situated, as we know, very close to one another, and one of the things that the board was asked to do as part of their comprehensive plan was to look at what impact a new high school would have on those schools - approximately 500 to 600 students in the Eastern Passage area coming out of Cole Harbour and leaving a school which would be well below its capacity and which would compound that whole issue of excess space and building new to accommodate the same population.

[Page 2738]

[6:15 p.m.]

So it was based on that that the Capital Construction Committee asked the board to go back and take a closer look. The committee wanted to make sure that the board had a good picture of what they had, what they needed, and what the impact would be on any movement of students for whatever reason. The discussions that followed between the school board and the department led to Imagine Our Schools, and we have spoken a bit about that already in estimates. That process, again, is one that the department asks all boards to go through.

The Halifax board made the decision to go with an outside consultant, and we have heard comments here today about the merits of that, or the flaws in that process. That was their decision, that was not the department's decision.

In that process, they did have, as the member opposite has mentioned, a number of opportunities for consultation and public meeting. That Imagine Our Schools process was completed, and the consultant did recommend a new high school for Eastern Passage. The school board, in their receiving that report, did not recommend that at this time. I know from the member opposite that members in that community have heard that one too many times, and I understand their disappointment in that.

I had the opportunity in 2006 to meet with a group of parents from the Eastern Passage area, and their presentation to me was very passionate and it was very eloquent. A school, whether existing or proposed, is important to that community, and these parents want only the best for their children, and we cannot fault them for that.

There are about 600 students - again, these are rough numbers - in the Eastern Passage-Woodside-Shearwater areas that go to Cole Harbour High. Parents are concerned about the distance those students travel each day and the negative impact that that transportation can have on their academic, social and athletic lives. We had a good meeting. They understood my position, I understood theirs. There has also been reference to a meeting with the former MLA for the area. Again, another good meeting. It is, as I said, a blow to the community to hear that the board is wanting more information.

What I can say in closing, is that we assess all requests from the boards carefully to make sure our tax dollars are being well spent, and we also give boards some autonomy in that they present their priorities to us. We do stand back and allow that process to work. However, the final decision is made by the Capital Construction Committee, which brings me a recommendation and, I, as minister, take on to Cabinet.

I would ask that the member opposite be patient one more time and recognize that I want the best for the students in Eastern Passage. Thank you.

[Page 2739]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased this evening to join in late debate on a very worthy topic put forth by the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. I had the opportunity during the by-election to help a little bit with our candidate, Kelly Rambeau, in Eastern Passage, and to go door-to-door and to hear from people on a number of issues. The school issue was one of those which came through pretty loud and clear.

I just spoke during estimates about Imagine Our Schools, and I'm not just picking and choosing from the O'Shaughnessy report, but I was not surprised that she and her committee had decided that Eastern Passage justly and rightly deserved their own community school. I was perhaps more surprised when Howard Windsor didn't give a strong endorsement to the need for that area to have a school. In June 2006, HRSB approved a proposal recommending a new high school be built for the eastern central area. This was a part of the HRSB school capital construction priority at that time. So we know there's a history and the member for Eastern Passage talked about going back years earlier, in fact, when there was a growing need, a growing desire as the area's population started to grow.

I would not be one to use population only as a determination for having a school in Eastern Passage. I am a very strong proponent of community schools and community schools of moderate size. High schools - five to seven hundred students are around a maximum number that I think can, in fact, create a school climate for the best education and, in fact, there is lots of research to show that. A number of researchers have pointed out that there are lots of initiatives, for example, around testing to improve school scores and better results in schools. However, there is very good research showing that community schools are very successful. There's a strong and coherent approach to schooling when the adults in charge have a lot of authority to make important decisions. All of this can happen inside the public sector without charters, vouchers, or privatization.

So we're taking a look at building a community school where there are greater inputs from the local population, from parents and those who want to support and engage in a community school. In fact, if we take a look at Auburn and Cole Harbour High, which are very large schools - I think having Eastern Shore students return to their community and be a greater part of living and learning in their environment in which many would be close to a high school, would be an advantage for all three schools. Schools have been too often looked at as unidimensional, one dimension. In fact, a large school like Cole Harbour or Auburn, that perhaps had a reduction in school population, could enhance the community with other uses. This was probably one of the most revealing parts of the Imagine Our Schools process when Howard Windsor took on a consultation around recommendations and results. We heard the most powerful arguments from many sources about the vitality of community schools and what they mean for their areas.

[Page 2740]

One of the statistics that I came across in looking at a little background for today was that in 2006 a committee established in Eastern Passage, presented a petition of over 3,000 signatures for those in favour of the construction of a new school in Eastern Passage by 2011. We still have time, during the next few years, to make the right decision for Eastern Passage. Good education and community schools are not really a partisan issue. They should be all about meeting the needs of a growing community. In that regard more than 700 new homes have been approved for construction in the area starting in 2006 and over the next three or four years, and that the population will jump from 13,000 to 15,000 in just this year. So there's a lot of good evidence-based information to make a good decision here for Eastern Passage.

One of the other pieces of information that I came across that I really liked was, again, another research article by Deborah Meier. She said, "That's what sets the successful schools apart - they create such communities for all kids. It's not even their particular approach to curriculum and pedagogy that make them work. It's that the schools are organized to maximize the power of the adults who know the kids best, the strength of their ties with kids and families, and their ability to put together a coherent schoolwide pedagogy and curriculum. They are built around a unique culture, one that wraps kids and adults together in a shared system of values."

I think developing community schools does allow for the unique characteristics of a region of an area of a town to come together.

So there's a great case for community schools, and I'm hoping that over the next while, there will be a reconsideration and an endorsement of a school for Eastern Passage.

It's interesting that in British Columbia, again, it's one that we can probably identify with a little bit more, but the word on community schools is that they are safer, they have lower dropout rates, provide collegial working environment for teachers, as well as increased public confidence and parent satisfaction. Now, those elements were strongly, strongly stated in just recent weeks about how important community schools were during the Imagine Our Schools process.

So I believe the minister is listening to the requests and to the reflection that has been made about a school for Eastern Passage. It was to everybody's dismay on April 23rd when the one-man board, Howard Windsor, deferred a decision on whether or not to build a new school in Eastern Passage to an unspecified date. Well, just a few months away, school board elections are coming up - know what at least the candidates in those areas stand for in terms of a school for Eastern Passage and in terms of building strong community schools here in our province. With that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place.

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

[Page 2741]

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

[7:23 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Alfie MacLeod, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 81.

Bill No. 81 - Domestic Violence Elimination Act.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you. Mr. Speaker. It gives me great pleasure to rise today to introduce Bill No. 81, Domestic Violence Elimination Act for second reading.

This is a bill that I first introduced in the Spring of 2006 and I am very pleased to see that it is here for second reading this evening. Our Liberal caucus has been very supportive of this bill and our leader in particular has often spoken of the connection between domestic violence, poverty, crime, homelessness and the cycles of violence. I thank him as well for his support in moving this one to the floor tonight.

I think it's very important this bill be moved and that we begin to speak about domestic violence in the Legislature. It's a subject that comes up rarely. In my five years, almost, here in the House we generally only mention it around December 6th when we think

[Page 2742]

of the events of that day in 1989, and we don't talk about it although we're hearing of it and reading about it every day and people in our province are working every day on the front lines dealing with the impacts of domestic violence and trying to help people recover and move on with their lives after the incidence of domestic violence.

So it's very prevalent in our province. It is something that we should all take note of and that calls for some dramatic action on behalf of the government and on behalf of us as legislators. What we need to do is look for strategies, programs, and approaches that will work to reduce or even prevent domestic violence and abuse in our province. By moving second reading, this demonstrates a change in the government's recognition of the importance of this issue and I do appreciate that.

Some of the figures that come up and that I think are important to remember at this point in time, Mr. Speaker, are just, again I mention the prevalence of domestic violence but I think it's important that we actually note the statistics that we have on this incidence. One in 12 women in Nova Scotia report that they have been victims of violence at the hands of a current or former partner or spouse. We know that that's under-reported because 88 per cent of sexual assaults do not get reported and we know that two-thirds of spousal violence is also not reported.

Another very startling part of the picture is that a third of the incidents of domestic violence are witnessed by children, and we know that that has a long-term very negative and harmful impact on their lives. As well, Mr. Speaker, we know that domestic violence crosses all nations, all socio-economic groups. There is no community or neighbourhood in Nova Scotia that is not affected by domestic violence and, as MLAs here in the House, I hope that none of us are so naive as to think that perhaps our communities might not be places where domestic violence exists, because we know that it is in every neighbourhood, that it doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor - it may be exacerbated by poverty but it is not by any means defined by that.

Domestic violence takes many forms, Mr. Speaker. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or economic and financial. All the forms are debilitating - they rob women of their independence and their self-esteem, and they scar families and the children who are affected. One of the worst parts of it in all is the recurring cycle of violence that we know occurs as a result of being a witness or growing up in a family where domestic violence exists. The children who had originally come to transition houses with their mothers are now returning as either the women who are being abused or the batterers themselves, and we know that it's because of the imprint that that makes on very young children.

There is some good work being done in the province and I think it's important to note that as we go about through this bill looking for best practices and strategies that can improve the situation in Nova Scotia. We do have some wonderful people working on the front lines in Nova Scotia in transition houses, women's centres and second-stage housing. Among

[Page 2743]

those, one of the programs that I think bears mention today is the program called Healing the Bruises which is a program that Alice Housing had piloted last year or in recent years - and it has actually just received corporate support from Emera to continue for the next three years. It has shown some tremendous help to young children who have again themselves been the victims of domestic violence or have seen domestic violence in their homes.

[7:30 p.m.]

That's the kind of program that we need to have support for. We need to understand what strategies are going to work and we need to study other places where they have had success in reducing the incidence of domestic violence - that is the aim of this bill, to see that we work collaboratively to find solutions that are before us.

Mr. Speaker, the idea of the bill is to create a committee. I mentioned the word "collaborative" - it should be collaborative and it should involve representatives from multi- departments of government - the Status of Women, Justice, Community Services, Education, Health, all the departments, and there may be others. The Status of Women, I think, is mentioned as well in the bill, but we want to engage all of the departments that have a role to play in reducing the incidence of domestic violence and at the same time engage the community organizations that are working front line with people, to try to make a difference and that again is the women's centres, transition houses and we can't forget, as well, the programs for men's intervention, the programs that deal with anger management and try to help the perpetrators of violence as well.

I believe that this format, or structure, will be the best way to move forward in finding the answers that our province really desperately needs. Using that, we certainly believe that working together is the best way to find the answers and to get the maximum effectiveness from this approach. Again, as I say, there are a lot of other provinces and states that have tried different ways of addressing domestic violence and we have not put our efforts towards identifying those best practices and trying to integrate them here into our own province. I believe that there are some tremendous ideas, whether it is domestic violence courts - I can't even imagine some of the things that would work better. I know that the answers have to be judicial, they can be legislative, they can be social action programs, but we need to work together to find them.

The transition houses, women's centres and second stage housing, to name just a few . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The chatter is getting a little high.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, to date it's been transition houses, women's centres and second stage housing that have dealt, first-hand, with the women who are suffering domestic violence. They have created an essential safety net, but they have been poorly

[Page 2744]

funded, they operate under some really difficult challenges. They try to provide services that, really, government is responsible for and they haven't got the benefits and the wages that can help them maintain their staffing and maintain the extent of services that they know are desperately needed. Certainly, with many of these organizations, they would like to be doing more outreach, more extension of their services into the communities, and they don't have the resources to do that.

I would hope that we can identify which parts of the province women are most vulnerable and how we can get services that will serve them. I know that, particularly in our rural and smaller communities, it may be a long distance to get to a transition house or to get the services that are needed. There has to be a way of providing that safety net for all women across the province. For all of us it's a frustration that the reach can't be as broad as it should be. It's appropriate that while we're here in the House and this is budget time, that we'd be considering how we could use our scarce resources to the best advantage to support the community organizations that are doing such terrific work. Without them we would be in much worse state than we are today, but they need our help.

Mr. Speaker, again, since 1990, I think the members of the House would be surprised, and I would hope shocked, to know that 70 women have lost their lives in this province due to domestic or sexual violence, 70 women since 1990. These stories themselves show just how pervasive - how the incidence of domestic violence crosses all cultures and the entire province.

The women who have lost their lives have come from economically stable homes and others have lived on the edge of poverty. There have been many young women, and young women are more vulnerable, but they have also included women in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s. The statistics show that they come from the English communities, from our Acadian communities, from the First Nations and some have been new immigrants to Nova Scotia. Others have lived here their whole lives. They've been both working women and stay-at-home moms. Some were only dating the men who killed them and others have been married for decades. Mr. Speaker, I think that gives just an idea of how widespread the incidence of domestic violence is.

Mr. Speaker, this bill will give us an integrated approach. It will take us from talk, I hope, to some solid action and strategies. It will seek the best solutions for prevention, education, victim support, treatment and help for abusers, and judicial and legislative responses that we can come to. In many ways this bill replaces the Framework for Action Against Family Violence that was better known as the Family Violence Prevention Initiative, which we all know was cancelled by the government in 2001. I am very pleased that today Bill No. 181 is here for second reading. Thank you.

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

[Page 2745]

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I want to commend my colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park, for bringing this important issue to the floor of the Legislature. It's unfortunate that we have to discuss this issue. I know that people in this province have been working very hard on this issue for over 30 years and I'm sure at times they feel quite discouraged because we do not seem to be making much progress.

I want to say that Bill No. 81 has some strengths. It highlights an important issue. It focuses on collaboration between community, especially community groups and government, and it also provides for an annual review of the issue to see what progress has been made. I would like to suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the time now is actually for action. We need more action, not more study. I just want to tell you a story. For over 27 years, Manitoba had the highest average domestic homicide rate in Canada. Through progressive public policy and financing and political will, it now has the lowest average rate of female domestic homicide.

Just for example, last year, 2007, Manitoba provided interventions for children who are exposed to domestic violence and we have heard that often in one-third of the cases, children are present when it happens. So in Manitoba they actually are treating the trauma of the children and breaking the cycle of violence. Also in Manitoba last year, they provided more money, considerably more money, for women's shelters and women's resource centres, or women's centres as we would call them here in Nova Scotia. In Manitoba last year, they stabilized the service delivery by 33 community-based agencies. They increased wages and benefits of the staff. They increased the operating budgets. They increased the per diem rates and this made a significant difference in the delivery of service.

Also last year in Manitoba, they provided security upgrades to women's shelters. They introduced a public awareness campaign and they provided board training so that the volunteers who serve on the boards of these organizations were able to give better oversight of the services in terms of planning and accountability. So Manitoba gave us a model, Mr. Speaker, showing a coordinated approach to this issue, using a network of 33 community-based agencies and also using a provincial association of domestic violence workers.

It has previously been mentioned that in this province we have the family violence prevention initiative, very similar to what is being proposed in Bill No. 81. It was disbanded in 2001. So we have been down the committee road before and it does have limited uses. It did establish an effective and consistent response by government departments. It actually allowed some coordination across various departments and it also involved considerable community agencies. In Nova Scotia we had already, before 2001, prepared and implemented annual work plans. We had included aboriginal, African-Nova Scotian, immigrant and senior representatives on the committee. We had developed protocols for a coordinated response to child, spousal and elder abuse, and we had developed a training strategy - a very good foundation. But perhaps its most important legacy was the implementation of 16 inter-agency committees around the province. Now I have no idea how many of these inter-agency committees are still operating but certainly in 2001 there were 16.

[Page 2746]

I do want to speak briefly about what I consider some of the weaknesses in Bill No. 81. It's a step in the right direction, as I said earlier, but it's not moving quickly enough. I would suggest that the main weakness is listing groups that actually exclude key movers and shakers in this area. Major players are being left out in this bill - for example, the regional inter-agency committees. They have considerable experience in community know-how.

Also, the Elizabeth Fry Societies. These societies in Nova Scotia - and we have a very active one in mainland Nova Scotia that I'm pleased to say has its administrative headquarters now in my constituency, in Holly House. The Elizabeth Fry Societies of Nova Scotia respond to the needs of women in conflict with the law. They've also had a renewed focus on developing community programs and services that help women who are in danger of coming in conflict with the law. So it actually ministers to a broader segment of women in the community.

The Silent Witness Nova Scotia program would not be included in such a committee. This group started in 2004 to give voice to women who have been silenced by domestic violence. The key leadership in Silent Witness Nova Scotia comes from female officers within the police probation and victim services fields.

This committee does not include community-run health centres that have a lot of first-hand experience with domestic violence in this province. They don't include representatives from Legal Aid, and it doesn't include equity-seeking groups. It doesn't ensure representatives from the Aboriginal, African Nova Scotian, immigrant, senior and disability sectors. These women are particularly vulnerable, in terms of domestic violence.

The other weakness I would suggest in the bill is the fact that there's an imbalance between the government representatives and the community representatives, and it allows for the government to appoint a chair. I would suggest that there might be better balance if there were two co-chairs - one representing the community agencies and perhaps one appointed by government.

It also calls for specific statistics and indicators around the whole issue of domestic violence. I would suggest that before something that specific is listed in legislation, that there should be consultation with community-based agencies and organizations to make sure that the most relevant information is being analyzed and researched. Actually, in reading the bill, some of the indicators that are asked for in the annual review might suggest that there are deficiencies among the community agencies doing the work. I don't think that was the intent of the bill, so I just think that could be better phrased.

The bill should also include in the review a look at appropriate funding rates and mechanisms in this province. It may be that the Department of Community Services is not the most appropriate home department for this, perhaps it should come under the Department

[Page 2747]

of Justice. So I think the mandate of the committee should be broadened to look at some of those issues as well.

[7:45 p.m.]

I want to reaffirm the seriousness of this issue. My colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park, has talked a little bit about the incidence of domestic violence in this province. It is interesting that since 1990 - and this is a serious matter - over 80 women, 80 Nova Scotian women have lost their lives due to domestic violence in this province. That, Mr. Speaker, is unacceptable.

Women are particularly vulnerable at the 3-, 6- and 12- month period after leaving their partner. Thirty per cent of the women killed in Nova Scotia are killed after they end the relationship, and almost 94 per cent are killed either in or near their homes or cottages. That dispels some of the myths that women are not trying to move on with their lives. It's not safe for them after they leave their partner and we have to look at the security issues and we have to make sure that geographically we have the community-based programs and services so that women all over this province, once they make that decision, they have a safe haven to go to and that they have the appropriate supports in place in the community to help them and their children.

I just want to re-emphasize that this is an incredibly serious issue in Nova Scotia. We lost ground when the Family Violence Prevention Initiative was cut by the Progressive Conservative Government in 2001. We've lost that ground, but there are lots of experience and best practices happening in other provinces in Canada that would allow us to fast-track upgrading our previous strategy and plan. We need to fast track that action, not continue to dwell in the study mode.

I would encourage, if we're going to move forward with this committee, it be given the resources it needs in order to move into the action stage as quickly as possible. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, at this point I want to rise and speak to this bill and, indeed, I want to echo a lot of the concerns. I do recognize the seriousness, indeed the severity of issues that are affected as a result of domestic violence and its impact.

I know in my own, and we all know in our own communities, we also deal with families and individuals that are impacted by domestic violence and I welcome the legislation in principle. I would just note that as we go forward there are some amendments from a government perspective we'd like to have dialogue on. We want to see this move

[Page 2748]

forward so we can do that at the Law Amendments Committee process and then come back for further debate in the House. Thank you.

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

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make an introduction if I could.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. WHALEN: I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where we have two guests with us tonight, Joanne Bernard who is in the gallery is the executive director of Alice Housing and a representative of Silent Witness Nova Scotia. She and Annette Hill are here to listen to tonight's debate on domestic violence. I wonder if you would just stand and receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to thank the other members for their comments and I do look forward to Law Amendments Committee where I believe there will be a number of amendments made to the bill. I think that would be appropriate. We've seen in the Poverty Reduction Strategy that naming the different groups had the possibility of leaving out some very important representatives. I think that needs to be addressed. Perhaps there will be other points as well. I look forward to the bill moving to Law Amendments Committee and with that, I move second reading of Bill No. 81.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 81. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 121.

Bill No. 121 - Assessment Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova. (Applause)

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I too am glad to rise in my place tonight. I'll not be long.

[Page 2749]

This bill was brought back in, this is an amendment to the bill we passed in 2006 dealing with the Assessment Act and caps on assessments. At that time, I guess in our haste, we didn't include co-operative housing. All this bill does is it includes co-operative housing and I must say that if it was not for my colleague, the member for Halifax Needham - my colleague brought this to my attention by High Hopes, a co-operative in Halifax, led by Susan Kenney. Again I thank my colleague, the member for Halifax Needham for bringing this to my attention, as the Housing Critic, and thank you.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I certainly think that this is an important amendment to the Act, Bill No. 121 will improve it by including co-operative housing in the cap, which I think is very important, and we look forward to this moving to the Law Amendments Committee as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I wish I could be as brief as my other two colleagues. However, the cap legislation is put in place to protect Nova Scotia residents from sudden and dramatic increase in property assessments, due to the strong housing market. This has been in place for a little while now and over the course of time we've seen some areas where improvements can be made in this legislation. This is one of those areas which we approve in principle and, with those few comments - unless somebody want me to go longer - I'll sit down.

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Well thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to move Bill No. 122 forward to Law Amendments Committee . . .

MR. SPEAKER: I think you mean Bill No. 121.

MR. GOSSE: Bill No. 121, I'm sorry. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 121. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

[Page 2750]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 146.

Bill No. 146 - Motor Vehicle Act.

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

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to move second reading of Bill No. 146. There are several amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act here. As the House would know, we've initiated several efforts in regards to impaired driving in this province over the last number of years. We launched a pilot project in southwestern Nova Scotia as a new tool for police to address impaired driving in this province. This integrated impaired driving enforcement unit is a joint effort of the local police, RCMP and government departments. It was launched this past December and to this point has stopped more than 21,000 vehicles at 114 vehicle checkpoints. The officers have issued 193 roadside alcohol screening tests, laid 38 impaired driving charges and ordered 45 immediate 24-hour suspensions.

Although this is a pilot, the charges clearly show we have a lot more work to do in this province and we must continue our efforts in regard to impaired driving in this province, Mr. Speaker. We are now in the process of finally developing the ignition interlock program for Nova Scotia, a created and made-in-Nova Scotia program to reinforce the need for enforcement, especially for treatment to achieve long-term changes in behaviour in regards to impaired driving in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, at this point, eight provinces have initiated ignition interlock across the country. I am pleased that, in fact, this has attracted national attention here in Nova Scotia. The Traffic Injury Research Foundation has invited the deputy registrar in this province to present at their international ignition interlock symposium. Our pilot project in southwestern Nova Scotia is effectively targeting other motor vehicle infractions. In addition to impaired driving, officers have charged 147 motorists for speeding, another 66 for failing to wear seatbelts.

[Page 2751]

Mr. Speaker, a suspended driver is a very serious penalty in this province. It is put in place when someone's driving behaviour puts others on the highway at risk. To that end, we are introducing amendments to double the fines for driving while suspended in this province. The fines, including court costs, will now range from $1,257 for the first offence, up to $5,857 for the third and subsequent offences. Mr. Speaker, also introducing amendments regarding vehicle impoundment, another essential road-safety tool for law enforcement.

Impoundment allows police to take drivers and their vehicles off the road when they shouldn't be there. These amendments will clarify and streamline the existing impoundment legislation to improve this process. It will allow better coordination between police and the Registry of Motor Vehicles to ensure impoundment is a useful tool that helps police keep people off the road who shouldn't be there and as well, Mr. Speaker, in many cases dispose of these vehicles in a clear process. These amendments work together to ensure our roads become safe and crack down on the behaviour that puts Nova Scotians at risk.

Finally, these amendments will allow for the registration of motorcycles with two wheels on the front steering axle, providing they meet motor vehicle safety standards set by Transport Canada. Mr. Speaker, with these few comments I move second reading of Bill No. 146.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic on an introduction.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce to the House a young man from Spryfield, a young man with great visions. His name is Jeremy Martell and he has a great deal of interest in the democratic process in this Chamber and outside. Would you please welcome Mr. Martell.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and speak to Bill No. 146, an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Motor Vehicle Act. I thank the minister for bringing this bill forward, it's a bill that I certainly feel we can be supporting. Some items of the bill are clearly housekeeping items while others are clarification and/or new provisions to be added to the Act, such as the clarity around the ignition interlock pilot. The provision giving law enforcement more clarification in the ability to seize, impound and dispose of vehicles may allow for a more efficient process and will enable law enforcement to seize or impound vehicles that could be used in criminal activity and vehicles driven by delinquent drivers.

There are some cautions, however. We would want the minister to ensure that the bill does not allow for indiscriminate seizures of vehicles whose owners have perhaps accumulated a small number of parking tickets or the safety inspection for a newer vehicle that has perhaps run out by a few days. If the bill's intent is to deal effectively with habitual

[Page 2752]

delinquent drivers who drive while suspended, or with no insurance, or who are impaired, or are using the vehicle for criminal activity, then this is a good bill.

Another feature of the bill we can support is the provisions for the registry and law enforcement to deal effectively with impounded vehicles, possible transfer of ownership to impound facility operators of impounded vehicles with little value and whose owners have not claimed them nor have taken responsibility for paying the storage fees. This will allow for more effective and cost-effective disposal. Another aspect of the bill that we do support are deterrents and penalties for driving while suspended or while one's privilege to obtain a licence has been cancelled. We are concerned, however, that the doubling of fines may result in other difficulties. They're telling me to hurry or slow down.

MR. SPEAKER: Hurry.

MS. CONRAD: We are concerned, however, that the doubling of fines may result in other difficulties.

MR. SPEAKER: I would have to ask the member if she would adjourn debate so we can call the business for tomorrow.

MS. CONRAD: I adjourn debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn the debate.

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 Liberal House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for the day. I move that the House do now rise and meet again tomorrow at the hour of 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m. for Opposition Day business. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we'll be calling Resolution No. 2082 and we'll also be calling Bill No. 119. I would now like to turn it back to the Government House Leader.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 2753]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, following the Opposition business tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., the House will sit from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. At that time, government business will include the debate in Supply on the estimates. Should time permit we would move forward for the consideration of Public Bills, a continuation of debate on Bill No. 146 and possibly Bill Nos. 120, 127, 130, 131, 133 and 156, I'm sure. I move that the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that the House do now rise and meet again tomorrow at 12:00 noon.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We are adjourned.

[The House rose at 8:00 p.m.]

[Page 2754]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2466

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas a Westville business recently announced an agreement with Nova Scotia Power to build two wind turbine farms in Pictou County; and

Whereas one of the farms will include 34 turbines on Dalhousie Mountain, and the other project, in Maryvale, will include four turbines built, with RMSenergy overseeing both projects from start to finish; and

Whereas when complete, the projects will power roughly 17,500 average homes with clean, renewable energy, generated right here in Nova Scotia - President of RMSenergy, Reuben Burge, maintains that it will be a stable energy source at a fair price for Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations to Westville's Reuben Burge and RMSenergy for creating sustainable, green energy for those who are lucky enough to call Pictou Country, Nova Scotia, home.

RESOLUTION NO. 2467

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas New Glasgow homeowner, Leland Grady, was the recent recipient of a provincial grant from Conserve Nova Scotia and an additional $500 because his home predates R2000 standards; and

Whereas Grady's home received an energy-efficient score of 83 per cent and maintains that getting an inspection is important for all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas both Mr. Grady and his contractor insist that as traditional resources become increasingly strained, living with conservation in mind will not only help your pocketbook, but the world around you as well;

[Page 2755]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their congratulations and praise to New Glasgow homeowner, Leland Grady, for taking advantage of Nova Scotia's energy initiatives and his dedication and hard work towards conservation.

RESOLUTION NO. 2468

By: Ms. Joan Massey (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas on November 13, 2007, I had the pleasure of attending the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus opening celebration; and

Whereas this event brought together government officials, Nova Scotia Community College faculty, students and community members; and

Whereas this campus will increase learning opportunities for students in a broad range of professions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus on their successful campus opening.

RESOLUTION NO. 2469

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas Nick Vidito, a 20 year old from Middleton, has once again beaten the odds; and

Whereas despite being diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy as a child, Nick has never let his medical issues to slow him down, to stop him from achieving his goals; and

Whereas this June Nick will graduate from the Nova Scotia Community College Valley Campus with a diploma in graphic design;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize the achievements of Nick Vidito and wish him great success in the future.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2470

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Premier)

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

Whereas this province is blessed with incredible musical talent from one end of Nova Scotia to the other; and

Whereas Aaron MacDonald is one such talent and has recently released his inaugural CD, John Prine's Advice, to rave reviews; and

Whereas this Cape Breton native's compilation has been described by a reporter for the Inverness Oran as ". . . the mark of a songwriter coming into his own and finding his own voice, style and sound . . . a CD that should get MacDonald the recognition that he deserves for his song-writing (sic) and performing abilities . . .";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Aaron on the release of his CD and wish him well as he promotes his music here and world wide.

RESOLUTION NO. 2471

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 Bridgewater Minor Hockey Association held their annual Awards Night at the Bridgewater High School; and

Whereas players, volunteers, coaches and referees were recognized; and

Whereas Alec Arab was awarded the Officials Award by his peers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Alec Arab on this outstanding achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2472

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

[Page 2757]

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

Whereas Park View Education Centre students, Stuart Jobb, Jessica Eisenhauer, Matt Davidson, and Allison Wentzell won the provincial banner at the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Provincial Curling Championships; and

Whereas this team played hard and came from behind to take the title; and

Whereas they represented their school with pride;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate team member Allison Wentzell on his competitiveness and team spirit in bringing home the provincial curling championship banner.

RESOLUTION NO. 2473

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 Park View Education Centre students, Stuart Jobb, Jessica Eisenhauer, Matt Davidson, and Allison Wentzell won the provincial banner at the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Provincial Curling Championships; and

Whereas this team played hard and came from behind to take the title; and

Whereas they represented their school with pride;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate team member Matt Davidson on his competitiveness and team spirit in bringing home the provincial curling championship banner.

RESOLUTION NO. 2474

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 2758]

Whereas Park View Education Centre students, Stuart Jobb, Jessica Eisenhauer, Matt Davidson, and Allison Wentzell won the provincial banner at the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Provincial Curling Championships; and

Whereas this team played hard and came from behind to take the title; and

Whereas they represented their school with pride;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate team member Jessica Eisenhauer on her competitiveness and team spirit in bringing home the provincial curling championship banner.

RESOLUTION NO. 2475

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 cheerleading is a growing school sport in Nov Scotia which requires strength and power; and

Whereas the CheerExpo Nationals were held at the Halifax Forum on March 30th; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Junior High School team took first place in the Junior High B Division;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Bridgewater Junior High School cheerleading team in bringing home the first-place title.