Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 08-45

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

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
New Homeowner Protection Rept.,
Hon. J. Muir 5091^
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4988, Military: Members (Past/Present) - Salute,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 5092
Vote - Affirmative 5092
Res. 4989, Ringette Commun.: Growth - Applaud,
Hon. B. Barnet 5092
Vote - Affirmative 5093
Res. 4990, Corp. Serv. Ltd.: Recycling - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Parent 5093
Vote - Affirmative 5094
Res. 4991, Mira Long-Term Care - CoRDA,
Hon. K. Casey (by Hon. A. MacIsaac) 5094
Vote Affirmative^ 5094
Res. 4992, Manual, Rick/Stevens, Elaine - Long-Serv. Award,
Hon. B. Barnet 5095
Vote - Affirmative 5095
Res. 4993, Land Surveyors Assoc. (N.S.): Dedication - Appreciation Show,
Hon. D. Morse (by Hon. B. Taylor) 5095
Vote - Affirmative 5096
Res. 4994, ACAP Cape Breton: Sustainable Environ. - Efforts,
Hon. M. Parent 5096
Vote - Affirmative 5097
Vote - Affirmative
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 212, Homeowner Protection Act, Hon. J. Muir 5097
No. 213, East Hants Sportsplex Expansion Act, Mr. J. MacDonell 5097
No. 214, Employment Support and Income Assistance,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 5097
No. 215, Education Act, Hon. K. Casey 5097
No. 216, Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act, Hon. M. Parent 5097
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4995, Yetman, Gerald: C.B. Communities - Contributions Recognize,
Mr. D. Dexter 5097
Vote - Affirmative 5098
Res. 4996, NSP: Energy Efficiency - Increase,
^^Mr. K. Colwell 5098
Res. 4997, Cheverie, Kori: Nat'l. Women's Hockey Team - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 5099
Vote - Affirmative 5100
Res. 4998, Day, Les - Northside Area: Contributions - Recognize,
^^Mr. D. Dexter ^^^Vote - Affirmative ~ 5100 5100
Res. 4999, Food Banks: Donations - Encourage,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 5101
Vote - Affirmative 5101
Res. 5000, Swingology: CD - Success Wish,
Mr. C. Porter 5101
Vote - Affirmative 5102
Res. 5001, Doucet, Richard: Vol. Weather Observer (25 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Parker 5102
Vote - Affirmative 5103
Res. 5002, Nurse Practitioners Assoc. (N.S.): Work - Thank,
Ms. D. Whalen 5103
Vote - Affirmative 5103
Res. 5003, Benefict, Doris: Anne of Green Gables Quilt Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 5104
Vote - Affirmative 5104
Res. 5004, Elmsdale Landscaping - E. Hants & Dist. CC Bus. of Yr. Award,
Mr. J. MacDonell 5104
Vote - Affirmative 5105
Res. 5005, Mooney, David - Encore Award, Mr. W. Gaudet 5105
Vote - Affirmative 5106
Res. 5006, Schwartz, Ken - Established Artist Recognition Award,
Hon. M. Parent 5106
Vote - Affirmative 5106
Res. 5007, MacLean, Cpl. Neil - Afghanistan: Lifesaving Acts -
Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 5107
Vote - Affirmative 5107
Res. 5008, Energy - Wood Pellets: Alders - Usage, Mr. H. Theriault 5107
Res. 5009, MacLeod, Brian - Blind Golf - Accomplishments,
Hon. J. Muir 5108
Vote - Affirmative 5109
Res. 5010, Shelburne Town: Celebrating Summer/Commun. in Bloom -
Congrats, Hon. J. Muir 5109
Vote - Affirmative 5109
Res. 5011, Economy - Trouble: Prem./Gov't. (N.S.) - Acknowledge,
Ms. Diana Whalen 5110
Res. 5012, Ostrom, Walter - Portia White Prize,
Hon. M. Baker (by Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson) 5110
Vote - Affirmative 5111
Res. 5013, Sponagle, Chief Dave/Thorburn Vol. FD:
Commun. Dedication - Comments, Mr. C. MacKinnon 5111
Vote - Affirmative 5112
Res. 5014, Marshall, Coach Bruce: Saints Girls Softball Team -
Prov. Title, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5112
Vote - Affirmative 5112
Res. 5015, Dart. Yacht Club - Convoy Cup, Ms. B. Kent 5112
Vote - Affirmative 5113
Res. 5016, O'Hara, Grace, et al: Journeys For a Lifetime - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 5113
Vote - Affirmative 5114
Res. 5017, Bartlett, Willis - Able Transit Bus Serv. (25 yrs.),
Hon. K. Casey (by Hon. B. Barnet) 5114
Vote - Affirmative 5115
Res. 5018, Sir John A. Macdonald's Girls Soccer Flames: Accomplishments -
Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 5115
Vote - Affirmative 5115
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 190, Co-operative Associations Act, Hon. J. Muir 5116
Hon. J. Muir 5116
Ms. B. Kent 5117
Ms. D. Whalen 5117
Mr. J. MacDonell 5118
Hon. J. Muir 5118
Vote - Affirmative 5118
No. 208, Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act, Hon. J. Muir 5119
Hon. J. Muir 5119
Ms. B. Kent 5119
Ms. D. Whalen 5120
Hon. M. Parent 5123
Mr. H. Epstein 5126
Mr. J. MacDonell 5130
Hon. J. Muir 5132
Vote - Affirmation 5132
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Nov. 12th at 2:00 p.m. 5133
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 5019, MacPhee, Steve: Atl. Prov. Trucking Assoc. Driving
Championship - Congrats., Hon. R. Hurlburt 5134
Res. 5020, Tartan With a Twist: New Glasgow Dev. Comm. - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 5134
Res. 5021, Budget Glass & Mirror: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5135
Res. 5022, Bluenose Water Cleaners: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5135
Res. 5023, Bookkeeping for Small Businesses: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5136
Res. 5024, CIS Computer Information Solutions: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5136
Res. 5025, Coastal Waters Accommodations: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5136
Res. 5026, Contour Excavation & Septic Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5137
Res. 5027, Cousins Serv. Ctr.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5137
Res. 5028, D & L Nurseries: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5138
Res. 5029, D. Moulton Excavating: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5138
Res. 5030, Depot Dealers Auto Sales: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5139
Res. 5031, Exit Realty: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5139
Res. 5032, Frightened Turtle Mobile Shrink Wrap Serv.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5139
Res. 5033, Gaetz Place Townhouse Condominiums: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5140
Res. 5034, German Lunch Box: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5140
Res. 5035, Harbour Fish & Fries: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5141
Res. 5036, Higney's Complete Autobody & Painting: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5141
Res. 5037, Jonah By The Sea B & B: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5142
Res. 5038, Kannon Beach Windsurfing: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5142
Res. 5039, Katie's Farm Organic Dog Bakery: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5142
Res. 5040, Kidson Excavating: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5143
Res. 5041, Live Wire Appliance Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5143
Res. 5042, Lobster Shack Rest.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5144
Res. 5043, Leo's Pizza & Villager Meat Market - Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5144
Res. 5044, Laurel House Vintage Tableware & Accessories: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5145

[Page 5091]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table for the information of the Legislature, two copies of a report entitled New Homeowner Protection.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Premier.

[Page 5092]

5091

RESOLUTION NO. 4988

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

Whereas in the days ahead, leading to the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Nova Scotians will honour the memory of our veterans, those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who lived through the unimaginable horrors of warfare and to honour those who continue to serve and protect our country; and

Whereas thanks to a true Canadian hero, Dr. John McCrae, the red poppy is the annual visible reminder of those lives lost on the battlefield, in the air and at sea; and

Whereas it is our duty, then, to never take for granted the abundant freedoms those sacrifices and acts of bravery have afforded every Canadian citizen;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the brave men and women of our military past and present and stand today for a moment of silence to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

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.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4989

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

[Page 5093]

Whereas November 3rd to 9th is recognized as National Ringette Week throughout Canada; and

Whereas Mr. Herm Wills, the man who brought ringette to Nova Scotia from central Canada, has given tirelessly of his time to the sport he loves, was recently recognized by Ringette Nova Scotia with an Award of Distinction; and

Whereas ringette is enjoyed by hundreds of female athletes and supported by countless coaches, parents and fans across Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the work and dedication of the ringette community to the growth of their sport and to physical activity 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 Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 4990

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 staff of Corporation Services Limited in Yarmouth have worked to create one of the most environmentally friendly businesses in southwestern Nova Scotia; and

Whereas members of their Green Team presented at the Green Power Hour in Yarmouth about the innovative things they are doing to reduce their environmental footprint; and

Whereas their presentation inspired those in attendance to be better environmental stewards and to care for the environment while at work;

[Page 5094]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join the people of Nova Scotia in congratulating Corporation Services Limited for recycling 80 per cent of their waste and diverting 50 pounds of compost weekly by using it onsite for their organic garden.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

 RESOLUTION NO. 4991

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

Whereas the Mira Long-Term Care facility has demonstrated a huge commitment to workplace learning and skill development; and

Whereas 10 classes of staff participants at the Mira have graduated from multi-week programs at their facility in a variety of development programs; and

Whereas the desire for further education continues to grow, with more courses being added to the list of those offered, and, hence leading to continued growth and development of that organization;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend congratulations to the Mira for receiving CoRDA's Workforce Development Champion Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5095]

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

The motion is carried.

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

[Page 5096]

RESOLUTION NO. 4992

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

Whereas every year we honour civil servants who have reached 25 or more years of service; and

Whereas in 2008 two Health Promotion and Protection staff members, Rick Manuel and Elaine Stevens, received long service awards for 25 and 35 years of service, respectively; and

Whereas every day Mr. Manuel and Ms. Stevens, and 10,000 other civil servants, provide high-quality service to the people of this province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Mr. Manuel, Ms. Stevens and all civil servants for their contributions and dedication to the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[9:15 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 4993

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

Whereas 500 years ago, John Cabot arrived in Nova Scotia, marking the beginning of surveying in the province; and

[Page 5097]

Whereas the 58th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors, from November 6th to November 9th, will commemorate 500 years of exploration, mapping and surveying history; and

Whereas the Department of Natural Resources values the working relationship with the surveying profession and we will continue to work together in surveying Nova Scotia's land;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House show their appreciation for the many years of dedication and professionalism the Association of Nova Scotia's Land Surveyors has shown to our great province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 4994

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 board of directors, members and staff of ACAP Cape Breton have been working since 1992 to educate Cape Bretoners about environmental management and protection; and

Whereas their work focusing on action, education and ecosystem planning is helping contribute to a cleaner and greener Nova Scotia; and

Whereas their participation in Green Power Hour in July provided members of the audience with tips that will save businesses money while reducing their environmental footprint;

[Page 5098]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join the people of Nova Scotia in congratulating ACAP Cape Breton for helping to build a more sustainable environment.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 212 - Entitled an Act to Protect the Deposits of Purchasers of Newly Built Residential Units. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 213 - Entitled an Act to Authorize the Municipality of the District of East Hants to Aid in the Funding of a Multi-Purpose Sports Complex. (Mr. John MacDonell)

Bill No. 214 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 27 of the Acts of 2000. The Employment Support and Income Assistance Act. (Mr. Manning MacDonald)

Bill No. 215 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act Respecting the Governance of School Boards (Hon. Karen Casey)

Bill No. 216 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 17 of the Acts of 2003. The Crosby Memorial Trust Fund Act. (Hon. Mark Parent)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4995

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

[Page 5099]

Whereas Gerald Yetman has spent many years of his life working on behalf of his community in the Northside of Cape Breton Regional Municipality; and

Whereas Gerald Yetman worked tirelessly as a community volunteer, political activist and a labour advocate, fighting to secure pension benefits for wartime Merchant Navy veterans and for the rights of workers throughout Cape Breton; and

Whereas on Friday, November 7, 2008, A Night Of Celebration at the Royal Canadian Legion in Florence, Cape Breton, will honour and pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of Gerald Yetman;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Gerald Yetman for his contributions to communities throughout Cape Breton and commend him for his achievements as a political activist and labour advocate for the rights of workers throughout the province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 4996

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

Whereas long-term projections show that unless Nova Scotia Power aggressively invests in energy efficiency to reduce demand, they will have to build a $1 billion coal-fired power plant; and

Whereas last Spring a group of concerned stakeholders, led by Dalhousie University, made a recommendation that the province immediately create a new agency to take control of Nova Scotia's energy conservation program; and

[Page 5100]

Whereas months later we still have seen no leadership from the Premier or his government on this issue;

Therefore be it resolved the Premier and his government show leadership and act immediately to increase Nova Scotia Power's level of energy efficiency.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 4997

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

Whereas New Glasgow native Kori Cheverie has recently been named to Team Canada's women's hockey team and is on her way to China; and

Whereas the only Nova Scotian on the team, the 21-year-old Saint Mary's University criminology student and hockey team player will compete in the International University Sports Federation Winter Tournament; and

Whereas last year Cheverie was named the CIS Academic All-Canadian and was also the recipient of the Saint Mary's Female Athlete of the Year and MVP for women's hockey;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send hearty congratulations to Kori Cheverie on being named to the national women's hockey team and for her many achievements in between.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5101]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4998

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

Whereas Les Day has worked tirelessly over the years to assist in the development of his community in the Northside area of Cape Breton Regional Municipality; and

Whereas Les Day has served his community in various capacities as a volunteer and sponsor for Little League sports teams, as a board member of the Cape Breton-Victoria Region schools, the St. Joseph's Parish Council, and the Bras d'Or Credit Union; and

Whereas on Friday, November 7, 2008, a night of celebration at the Royal Canadian Legion in Florence, Cape Breton, will honour and pay tribute to Les Day;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Les Day for his contributions to the Northside area of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and commend him for his achievements as a volunteer, businessman, and board member.

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.

[Page 5102]

RESOLUTION NO. 4999

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

Whereas at this time of year many families are stuck with the decision of whether to heat their homes or to buy groceries; and

Whereas in tough economic times food banks play an important role in the lives of an increasing number of Nova Scotians; and

Whereas with the increased number of people requiring this service there is an increased need for donations to stock the food bank shelves;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the importance of food banks and encourage all Nova Scotians to give what they can to these valuable organizations.

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. 5000

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

Whereas a local band from Hants West, known as Swingology, unveiled a CD earlier this summer at an event in St. Croix; and

Whereas Swingology, a band inspired by gypsy jazz music and who are being asked to play in various Nova Scotia locations, recently were featured in the free Halifax morning tabloid Metro; and

[Page 5103]

Whereas Swingology band members are Andrew Kent, Ben Robertson, Andrew Connolly, and John Tetrault, with Robertson describing it as the most challenging music he has every played;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly wish Swingology band members continued success with sales of their CD - a CD that would make for a great Christmas stocking stuffer.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 5001

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

Whereas Richard Doucet of Lyons Brook, Pictou County has been a volunteer weather observer of Environment Canada since 1984; and

Whereas Mr. Doucette takes readings twice daily at 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. of the minimum and maximum temperatures, the current temperature and the amount of rain in the rain gauge; and

Whereas all information is now entered on-line each day, and historical weather data from the past 100 years and more may be viewed at www.climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature thank Richard Doucet for his public service as a volunteer weather observer for almost 25 years, and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 5104]

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. 5002

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

Whereas nurse practitioners are becoming an integral part of the health care system, providing a high level of personalized patient care that complements the work of physicians; and

Whereas this morning many MLAs saw first-hand the efficiency and effectiveness of a cardiovascular screening program offered by nurse practitioners Rosalind Benoit and Jacquelyn Jayasinghe; and

Whereas the MLAs were invited to have their blood pressure, cholesterol and risk factors identified and measured as part of a cardiac health check, which highlighted the ability of nurse practitioners to educate and promote wellness;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank the Nurse Practitioners Association of Nova Scotia, and their members, for their exemplary work in health promotion and their valuable role as educators and health providers in Nova Scotia.

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.

[Page 5105]

[9:30 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 5003

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

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Regional Library held a celebration this summer during the month of August, entitled In Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables; and

Whereas the celebration centred on a quilted wall hanging competition; and

Whereas Doris Benedict of Windsor was chosen the overall winner as a result of her colourful wall hanging;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Doris Benedict for her creative artistic work and wish her every future 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 East Hants.

RESOLUTION NO. 5004

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

Whereas businesses provide employment, services and, in general, progress to societies; and

Whereas Elmsdale Landscaping has long been a reliable employer for many people in Hants East; and

[Page 5106]

Whereas on October 21, 2008, Mr. George Coopar accepted the Business of the Year Award from the East Hants and District Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Elmsdale Landscaping;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the owners and employees of Elmsdale Landscaping on winning the East Hants and District Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award, and wish them future success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 5005

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

Whereas Yarmouth County resident David Mooney was presented with the Encore Award during the Mel Hebb Hourglass Action Awards in June, during Access Awareness Week; and

Whereas David went through a very difficult time with his health in the past, a condition that resulted in multiple amputations; and

Whereas David received the Encore Award for recognizing an individual with a disability who has significantly contributed to his community;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate David Mooney for receiving the 2008 Encore Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5107]

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. 5006

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 third annual Creative Nova Scotia Awards hosted by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council were held November 1st; and

Whereas the council recognizes five artists who have emerged from their initial training and development to become recognized, established artists in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Ken Schwartz has been recognized for his contribution and continued development as an artist through his work with Ross Creek Centre for the Arts;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Ken Schwartz on his achievement in being a recipient of the Established Artist Recognition Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

[Page 5108]

RESOLUTION NO. 5007

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

Whereas on September 25, 2008, there was a rocket strike on accommodation tent L7 in Afghanistan and Corporal Neil MacLean, son of Philip and Phyliss MacLean of Charleston, Queens County, took charge of the evacuation and rescue effort; and

Whereas Corporal Neil MacLean was without regard for his own personal safety when he pulled smouldering debris off of a seriously injured soldier, assisting with his immediate transport to hospital; and

Whereas Corporal Neil MacLean was awarded the COMKAF Commendation in recognition for his leadership and selfless actions, which saw three injured soldiers rescued from that rocket attack;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly remember the realities of this war while recognizing Corporal Neil MacLean for his professionalism, leadership and selfless acts, which directly saved the life of a fellow soldier and prevented further injury to two others during the explosion.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 5008

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

Whereas many people in this province depend on oil for home heating and other energy needs, and are paying the price the world sets for us; and

[Page 5109]

Whereas Nova Scotia has many resources that could be used for energy that are not currently being utilized; and

Whereas many people have changed from oil to wood pellets to heat their homes, however, the supply of wood pellets is not keeping up with the demand because of a shortage of sawdust and wood chips from our sawmills;

Therefore be it resolved that this government promote research into developing a resource for wood pellets, and perhaps I could suggest they start with the fast-growing alders of western Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 5009

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

Whereas Brian MacLeod finished second in the 2008 International Blind Golf Association World Championship held at Belvoir Park Golf Club in Northern Ireland; and

Whereas Brian MacLeod, a resident of Salmon River, Colchester County, finished third in the IBGA World Championship in 2004 and 2006; and

Whereas Brian MacLeod finished first in the 2008 Nova Scotia Blind Golf Championship at River Oaks, and won the 2008 Canadian Open Blind Title at Cambridge Golf and County Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Brian MacLeod, blind golfer extraordinaire, on his 2008 accomplishments and wish him continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5110]

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. 5010

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

Whereas the Town of Shelburne, with financial support from the Shelburne and Area Chamber of Commerce, entered into the 2008 Communities in Bloom competition, a national competition to judge the beauty and lifestyles of a community; and

Whereas the residents, volunteers and other organizations and business operators of Shelburne decorated store windows, hung baskets of beautiful red, white and blue flowers, cleaned, tidied, painted and planted in weeks prior to the July 23rd judging; and

Whereas the Town of Shelburne, from July 11th to 27th, celebrated the 225th Anniversary of the founding by United Empire Loyalists in 1783;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the Town of Shelburne for its celebratory summer and its Communities in Bloom application.

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.

[Page 5111]

RESOLUTION NO. 5011

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 months the stock markets have shown a great deal of volatility; and

Whereas in this period of economic uncertainty all Nova Scotians are concerned about their savings, pensions and investments; and

Whereas the Premier has stated that we are six to eight months away from economic trouble, in spite of the fact that we have already begun experiencing difficulties;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and his government acknowledge that we are already in economic trouble and it is not, in fact, six to eight months away.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 5012

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

Whereas the Portia White Prize is one of Canada's most highly regarded arts awards and is awarded annually to an artist who has demonstrated and promoted excellence in arts and culture; and

Whereas Walter Ostrom of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2008 Portia White Prize; and

Whereas Mr. Ostrom is an accomplished ceramics artist and is known around the world for his craft;

[Page 5112]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Walter Ostrom on receiving the Portia White Prize and on the contribution he has made to arts and culture in Nova Scotia and around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 5013

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

Whereas the Thorburn Volunteer Fire Department was formed by the citizens of the area in 1960, became incorporated in December 1961 and, in 1983, became the first rural department in Nova Scotia to set up its own radio and dispatch system; and

Whereas Thorburn firefighters are uniquely trained and equipped to provide off-road rescue response; and

Whereas department and auxiliary volunteers give their time to attend training, respond to fire emergencies in their own district, provide assistance to neighbouring districts, care and maintain equipment and continuously fundraise to purchase equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly commend Chief Dave Sponagle and the volunteer firefighters of Thorburn, Pictou County, for dedication to their community and congratulate them on their ongoing service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5113]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 5014

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging Coach Bruce Marshall of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

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. 5015

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

[Page 5114]

Whereas the Dartmouth Yacht Club and the Convoy Cup Foundation have delivered sailing and boating events in Canada, Norway and other international locations since 2002; and

Whereas the 2008 Convoy Cup incorporated a 100-mile ocean race from Halifax to Lunenburg, local harbour races and a junior sailing regatta; and

Whereas this event involves a re-enactment of a convoy sailpast of the HMCS Sackville in honour of the World War II convoy veterans who risked their lives for the peace we all enjoy today;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Dartmouth Yacht Club for the successful delivery of the 2008 Convoy Cup with special acknowledgment of their commitment to honouring those who have served through the historic convoy re-enactment and sail past.

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. 5016

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

Whereas Coalition for Kids International travel the world fulfilling the wishes of impoverished and terminally ill children; and

Whereas Grace O'Hara, Joslyn Cameron and Christopher Faber travelled to Poland on October 16, 2008, as part of the Journeys for a Lifetime Program; and

Whereas the three teens were able to travel to various cities throughout Poland where they were able to bring smiles to the faces of many children;

[Page 5115]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House congratulate Grace O'Hara, Joslyn Cameron and Christopher Faber on their exciting journey and recognize the compassion they have shown to others.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection.

[9:45 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 5017

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

Whereas for the past 25 years, Willis Bartlett of Debert has transported people with disabilities and seniors in the Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester's Able Transit Bus; and

Whereas Willis found it very rewarding to see people happy, he had a lot of patience, and he knew how to make people laugh; and

Whereas his workday would begin at 7:00 a.m. and he would make up to 40 stops a day at nursing homes and other places and he became a friend to many of his clients;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Willis Bartlett for his 25 years of service with the Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester's Able Transit Bus.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5116]

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. 5018

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

Whereas there is a tradition of soccer success at Sir John A. Macdonald High School; and

Whereas Sir John A's girls soccer Flames finished second at the Division I Provincial Championships; and

Whereas the Flames had a great season under the leadership of Coach Billy Connolly;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Sir John A. Macdonald's girls soccer Flames on their accomplishments this soccer 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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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.

[Page 5117]

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 190.

Bill No. 190 - Co-operative Associations Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise this morning before the House to speak on Bill No. 190 which is amendments to the Co-operative Associations Act. The changes will allow both members and non-members to benefit from investment in Nova Scotia co-operatives. The Co-operative Associations Act as currently in existence (Interruption) I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker, let me go back and start that sentence again. I thought you were wanting me to speed up or slow down, or something like that.

MR. SPEAKER: No, that wasn't me.

MR. MUIR: The Co-operative Associations Act currently allows co-operatives to raise capital in three ways. They are through membership shares, through a membership fee and through membership loans.

In fact, Mr. Speaker, under the current legislation, only members can have the option to invest in co-operatives and what this bill does is add a fourth investment option - preference shares. These shares will be available to both members and non-members. In turn, co-operatives will be able to retain capital by paying members patronage dividends in preference shares instead of cash. This is especially significant in agricultural co-operatives because these shares qualify for tax deferral under the Income Tax Act.

Mr. Speaker, preference shares are a common method of attracting investment in other share-based companies. In fact, seven provinces, two territories and the federal government currently allow co-operatives to offer preference for other and similar investment shares to non-members. As all members will be aware, co-operatives play an extremely significant role in communities right across Nova Scotia. Indeed, there are more than 300 co-operatives in Nova Scotia and each one fulfills an important role in keeping jobs, capital investments and profits right here at home in Nova Scotia. So the addition of preference shares will make it easier for co-operatives to continue their significant contribution to Nova Scotia communities while putting them on a level playing field with co-operatives in other jurisdictions as well as other types of businesses.

[Page 5118]

At the end of the day, Mr. Speaker, we can say that this amendment is about creating winning conditions for business in this province. The amendments also support the province's better regulation initiative by improving the quality and efficiency of regulations while making it easier to do business in Nova Scotia.

With those words, Mr. Speaker, I now move second reading of Bill No. 190, the Co-operative Associations Act.

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

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I rise briefly to speak to Bill No. 190, and I thank the minister for bringing it forward. Clearly we want to provide opportunities in Nova Scotia for co-operatives to be successful, for their members to have every opportunity for success and provide dividends to them at the end of the day. That's what we do here in this House - we help businesses across Nova Scotia be successful, and co-operatives are no different. If there is an opportunity to open investment opportunities, that it sounds like a sound idea, the wording of the legislation, the careful consideration of the legislation, is important to proceed in the Law Amendments Committee to hear from representatives and stakeholders.

Our caucus does have some concerns. I know my colleagues in caucus in the past have had several discussions around this type of legislation, so we'll continue to do that from our end. My understanding is that seven other provinces and territories have proceeded with this type of legislation and it is working well - it's enabling legislation. My understanding as well is that it would not be a requirement for all co-ops to move in this direction, and if they did members would clearly still have the final say - they would have to vote by resolution to proceed on this type of move within their co-op.

As long as there are protections for the members - those who are the nuts and bolts of these co-ops in the communities that they serve, that they provide for - we're prepared to go forward with this type of legislation. These non-voting shares, this is an investment opportunity to provide for success for the co-ops. So with that, Mr. Speaker, our caucus is prepared to move it to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm rising today on second reading of Bill No. 190, which is an Act to amend the Co-operatives Association Act. Again, this bill seems to address a need within the co-op movement and that is to have more access to capital. As was mentioned, there are only three ways that co-ops can currently get capital, and that would be through issuing shares, fees, and loans, but always to their members. This opens up the option of seeking capital from people who are not members of the co-op, and that just provides one more tool for co-ops to keep and maintain their financial health.

[Page 5119]

We know very much the impact and importance of co-ops in communities right across Nova Scotia, big and small. Certainly we see the agricultural co-ops and retail co-ops, but I think there's also a lot of room for arts and cultural co-operatives as well, and they would be covered under this same Act and also be provided the opportunity of having a new source of capital, which would be these preferred shares.

So certainly the other aspect of it being that those shares would qualify for tax advantages and we know, through government initiatives and various ways that we have set up, plans that allow people to be encouraged to invest in their communities and this is certainly one more way to do so. So really this is a fairly narrow and small bill, there's not a great deal to it, but the fact that it would now allow preference shares to be sold for co-operatives is something that we think is a positive move. We certainly are looking forward to Law Amendments Committee and hearing from the public on it. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'll speak briefly to Bill No. 190, the Co-operative Associations Act. I want to say that anything that helps in terms of promoting and ensuring stability in co-operatives, I would be very glad to see. The co-operative movement, I think, has a history of being associated with early roots of our Party.

I want to say that in these particularly trying economic times financial flexibility would be seen as paramount for the existence of any institution, but certainly for co-operatives, access to capital. Any flexibility there would be welcome for them. It's a mechanism I think that's probably not used enough by consumers so it's another door that can be opened for business and for consumers looking for dollars. I'm pleased to see legislation come forward and look forward to seeing it move through the House.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the positive interventions from the members on the opposite side of the House. This is indeed a good piece of legislation that is going to make it easier to do business in Nova Scotia and help some organizations which are an extremely important part of our economy. Mr. Speaker, I ask you now to call the question.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 190. 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 5120]

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 208.

Bill No. 208 - Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise this morning and to move second reading of Bill No. 208, the Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act.

Mr. Speaker, we introduced that bill yesterday and it is one which is going to help Nova Scotia meet its commitment of 15 per cent conservation land or protected land by 2012. What it does is this - there are people who have land that they either have designated as a conservation land or might wish to designate as a conservation land. If they do designate it, they still have to pay municipal property taxes on it. What this piece of legislation does is that if it is designated as conservation land - and I can say to get designation there are a number of criteria from the Department of Environment that must be met - then the person who owns that land does not have to pay taxes on it. So municipalities will not suffer any revenue loss, the province will make a grant in lieu to each of the municipalities, in an amount equivalent to the taxes that would have been paid on that property.

As I said, this is an important piece of legislation, it is endorsed by all of the conservation groups in our province and indeed, when we introduced the bill and had the bill briefing, they were all present and all spoke most positively. Monetarily, at this particular time, it does not seem much, but in terms of the future of protected property in Nova Scotia and meeting our goals under the Sustainable Prosperity Act, it is very important. Thank you.

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

[10:00 a.m.]

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I will rise in support for this next stage of Bill No. 208. The conservation of lands is very important to certainly all members of this House, as I'm confident, but give opportunities for landowners to have the ability to play a role in the conservation of their lands.

Good stewards of parcels of land in Nova Scotia is critical to the protection of our environment - the protection of the things that we, as Nova Scotians, hold very dearly. On a daily basis in my municipal work, these types of considerations came before me, so this is of particular interest. Nova Scotians want to be good stewards of their lands and this, again, is an opportunity for that.

[Page 5121]

Any time we're talking about taxes in this House, it is important, it is critical that we consider these very, very carefully. Legislation that will provide incentives and programs to landowners is certainly something we want to continue to investigate and move forward at this point. We will be looking for opportunities for stakeholders to weigh in on this, we do have correspondence from the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, they've written to us, we'd like to speak more with them and have an opportunity to flesh this out a little bit more. But for now, we do support the intent of this bill, we would like to see it move to the Law Amendments Committee. This is a good bill that is critically important to many landowners in Nova Scotia. Thank you.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to speak on second reading of Bill No. 208, an Act to Establish a Tax Exemption for Conservation Property. It is interesting to note that we have three categories of properties now and this Act actually does not create a fourth, it doesn't create a category of taxed property that's called conservation. It is a way for us to identify lands that are ecologically significant and to allow them to be designated as conservation land for the purpose of taxation in a sort of backward or roundabout way.

I'm not sure why we didn't just go and create the category of conservation land that would have been following the same criteria but, as it turns out, this might have been an administrative reason. Perhaps this is an easier way to make it happen faster, and if that's the case, we certainly support it, because this is something that is quite long overdue. As it stands now, if you had a piece of property that is very special to your community and to the province, has ecological significance, it would be expensive for you to set it aside as conservation land.

What we were told in the briefing that I had was that often, if it was no longer seen as resource land, it would then be taxed at a higher rate, perhaps as residential land or development land. That's not what people wanted to do when they wanted to set aside their personal property, they wanted to do it without any further financial impact, or certainly no negative costs that would go on from year to year by paying higher taxes on the land that you've not set aside and are not earning anything from. So this will actually take that impediment away and I think that is very commendable, I think the time had come to do this.

It's going to help a number of parties and, in fact, the letter from the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, from their executive director Bonnie Sutherland, says - and I think it's important because it sort of sums up their view on it - we are confident that the proposed program is a win-win scenario for the province, municipalities, land trusts, conservation landowners and all Nova Scotians. I think that's very important that really this is a win-win situation. It has taken away something that was negative in the past and was a real frustration for the conservation groups that often had offers on the table to be given land, and yet the tax implications were enough to allow those opportunities to fall by the wayside.

[Page 5122]

Mr. Speaker, with a goal of 12 per cent of our lands to be set aside for conservation and preservation, as a province we can't afford to have something as simple as a tax regulation preventing people from doing what they really want to do, what is the best thing for their communities and the best thing for our province. So it is important that we vigilantly look for those sort of things that are just obstacles, and really unnecessary obstacles, in the path to reaching our goals of a better environment for Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, the cost to do this is really very reasonable, I believe. We were told in the briefing for this bill that it will cost about $45,000 in the first year and that's payments that the province will now make to municipalities that have these properties withing their borders. That's a very reasonable cost right now and as more land comes into the system, which we hope this will encourage, they said that within a few years they expect it to be about $250,000. That is still, I think, something that Nova Scotians would strongly support. In the scheme of things it's a small amount of money for a very important aim.

Mr. Speaker, in every community in Nova Scotia, the citizens are looking for land conservation.

MR. SPEAKER: The chatter is just getting a little bit high.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park has the floor.

MS. WHALEN: As I say, there isn't a community or a riding in Nova Scotia that doesn't reflect the values of our province, which is that we want to preserve land and we want to have more natural land for our children to enjoy.

In the riding of Halifax Clayton Park, which I have the privilege to represent, we have had an issue around the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes, which I have brought forward repeatedly over the last five years. I was very pleased last year when my request that that land be added to the Wilderness Protection Act was, in fact, signaled by the Minister of Environment that they will do so. It still has some steps to go, but there was a lot of fanfare and a big announcement to say that this would happen. I think it's something really important and this Act passing today will actually have an impact on the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes. It could have a very positive impact because the area designated as the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes is about 4,000 acres of Crown land, but the wilderness portion may be a little over 3,000 acres that were designated, or identified by the province, for protection.

Also in that area, and all the lands touching it, there is an awful lot of private property. Private landowners have bought up a lot of the land and some of it was traded by the province in return for other benefits, so there are now land tracts of that land owned by developers and by others, and it is owned around the lakes. In fact, Quarry Lake, which is one of the lakes closest to the highway and probably one of the easiest for us to access as members of the public, is completely privately owned; the entire perimeter of the lake and

[Page 5123]

the lands in behind. That is an area that the City of Halifax designated in their regional plan as a regional park. So there is an overlay of the area that we want to call a wilderness protected area for the province, but there's also private lands captured in the regional council's vision for a regional park in that area.

Just to put it in perspective for those members who don't know, this is an area of woodland - as I said 4,000 acres, so it's a large area - behind Bayers Lake Business Park and on the doorstep of literally thousands of Nova Scotians. The member for Timberlea-Prospect has spoken about this in the past. His community abuts that land and it also goes into the Hammonds Plains area, on the other side. It's a very large wilderness area, but accessible to many, many people who live on its borders.

With this Act passing, Mr. Speaker, with the fact that it'll be easier for private landowners to designate their land for conservation, that they won't pay a penalty through higher taxes on that land and they can actually do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself, when there's a package presented through either the Nature Trust or one of the other nature conservancy groups, I think that will help a great deal because the aim of HRM now is to acquire those lands that are privately held in the area they want as a regional park, but they don't really have, I don't think, a firm plan on how that's going to come about.

I do applaud the city for identifying that area as being important to the people of HRM and very accessible to so many people that it would allow us wonderful recreation and health opportunity to have that on the doorstep of literally tens of thousands of people.

It's important that we provide the city and the private landowners and the nature groups that are fighting for conservation with some of the tools that will enable them to make a good case to the landowners to come forward and do the right thing and help us achieve our aim of 12 per cent of the land to be protected. I think that's very important because we all support the idea of increasing that amount of land and making sure that the parcels of land that are identified are ecologically significant.

I notice the minister did talk about criteria. If you have land that is really not unique in the province or not particularly well-placed for access and use, I don't believe that will meet the criteria of this conservation land. It will be looked at by people who are knowledgeable and understand the biodiversity and different types of ecological land that we want to preserve. Therefore, it will have to meet that criteria first. I think that's important that it be done by professionals, by people who know the actual needs of our province in terms of what we preserve. Really, our province is some distance behind other provinces in Canada, it's probably because we've been settled for a longer period of time that we have a very small percentage of land that is Crown land. I think only Prince Edward Island has a smaller percentage.

[Page 5124]

Most of our land in Nova Scotia is in private hands and so that makes it even more important that we find the means to work with private landowners and help them. Very often the properties that we're talking about are lands that the families themselves have a close, emotional attachment to - they don't want to see their lands changing in character either. So if we work with the individual's desire to preserve land and combine that with some tax advantages and the government picking up some costs - we will admit small and I think, well-placed - to repay the municipalities because we also don't want to leave them out.

There's no question that UNSM and the individual municipalities are very sensitive to any move that we make here in the Legislature that will impact their revenues. So, it is really important that the criteria is in there for the province to pay an amount in lieu of the property taxes they would otherwise receive.

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I think this will have a benefit in the community of Clayton Park where, hopefully, this will happen sooner than would otherwise have been expected. That we can migrate some of those privately-held lands into conservation categories and be able to maintain them for the future, actually enlarging on the wilderness area that the government has announced they will move on.

We look forward to that and certainly in Clayton Park, we're watching very carefully how the wilderness area is going to be defined and the rules that will govern it. There has been some consultation and we're looking forward to it moving ahead. Again, sooner rather than later because this is very important and the aim of preserving 12 per cent of the land is important and we need to get going on it. There's a lot of work to be done in the next few years if that's going to be achieved.

In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from whatever stakeholders come to speak to us at Law Amendments Committee, whether they are supportive. I expect as the Nature Trust Executive Director Bonnie Sutherland has said, this will be seen as a win-win situation. It is important that we have a chance to say that here in the House because too often we have Acts that there are winners and losers. In this case it can be a win-win for everybody. I think you will find there will be support from all Parties in the House. I know we have to wait and hear who comes to Law Amendments Committee and who may address us there.

Mr. Speaker, we're looking forward to that next stage of the progress for this bill through the House and with that, I will wait until the Law Amendments Committee for further comment. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you for the opportunity to put a few words on record about this important bill.

[Page 5125]

Some time ago in the Legislature, there was a comment made that B.C. and Quebec were leaders in the environment and we weren't in Nova Scotia. I disagreed vehemently with that, but I didn't get the opportunity to state all the reasons why that isn't true - that, in fact, Nova Scotia is leading.

One of them is precisely this - just a few months ago, a little longer than that, Quebec designated the largest section of protected land in the whole history of the province. That was a bold move for Quebec. I listened with great interest to the CBC report on this.

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable minister allow an introduction?

MR. PARENT: Yes, that would allow me to repeat this.

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

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to introduce students from Bicentennial School in Dartmouth and their teachers Mr. Harvie, a student teacher Ms. Peverill, and Guidance Counsellor Ms. Friars. I want to welcome you all here warmly, and I would ask you to stand and receive the warm applause from the members. (Applause)

[10:15 a.m.]

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, it's a delight to have the young people here because that's what this is all about - preserving this land not only for our generation, but more importantly for future generations. As I was saying though, the comment was made that other provinces were leaders and we weren't. I disagreed with that and pointed out comments from a sustainability expert in B.C. who said the leading environment region in the country was the Province of Nova Scotia.

One of the other points I was going to make was regarding Quebec, because Quebec, as I said, made the single largest purchase of protected land in the whole history of the province; Quebec has an enormous amount of Crown land that they can protect. So I listened with great interest to this CBC news show and at the end it said, Quebec with this purchase - which is the largest they'd ever made in their history - was now close to 6 per cent of protecting their land. Well, we here in Nova Scotia, with far less Crown land to work with, are at 8.2 per cent officially and then with Blue Mountain and Ship Harbour and all the others, Long Lake, we'll be up to 8.7 per cent, Mr. Speaker.

I think we need to take credit, and I do credit the Premier of the province, the Finance Minister, and the government for supporting the efforts towards land protection. In the last

[Page 5126]

few years, as the Minister of Immigration was reminding us, there have been enormous strides forward that the province has taken. We've always said, Mr. Speaker - one of them I remember, Blue Mountain. I remember the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville chairing that meeting when the event was being proclaimed and the wonderful crowd that was there - and the honourable member opposite was there as well, I will acknowledge that - and the chair for the event did a wonderful job and it was a celebratory event for everybody. So, Mr Speaker, there have been some great strides made.

We have always stated that we can't do it by ourselves with the amount of Crown land we have, not only for financial reasons, but because protecting land - the 12 per cent goal which is internationally set - is to protect valuable ecosystems, not to protect land just to protect land. We could theoretically take Crown land that wasn't unique in any way and protect it just to augment the statistics, we've chosen not to do that. Since so much of this valuable ecosystem is in private hands, we need the private sector to be there.

Ninety five per cent of the coast of Nova Scotia is in private hands. That coastal land is important land that we want to protect, so it's incumbent upon us to engage the private landholders in this province. They have come to the fore and have been very active in the past, but they have come to our government and asked for two things - one, would there be the possibility of a land trust, a fund that they could bring matching funds and partner with that; and number two, would there be any possibility to remove this tax irritant? Well, Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased that, because of the hard work of our Premier on the Crown share arrangement, we're able to have a land trust fund of $23.4 million, which the Nature Trust of Nova Scotia, the Nature Conservative of Canada, and many other land protection groups across the province can tap into.

Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased that the honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations brought forward this bill and his staff worked very hard at it to remove that irritant of people being willing to put conservation easements and strictures on their land and yet still having to pay tax as if that wasn't so. They had already forgone being able to use their land for economic gain for themselves and here they're having to pay taxes.

As the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park mentioned, although it was small, nonetheless it was a significant irritant to them. So, Mr. Speaker, it's important that this step was taken. It will also help me on a personal basis because Bonnie Sutherland from the Nature Trust won't be in my office every other week saying, now we need to remove this irritant. I'm sure she'll be there for other reasons. She's a very hard worker and I do want to commend the Nature Trust of Nova Scotia, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, for the hard work they have done in advocating for the protection of land, and all the other staff in both those departments.

There are other smaller groups across the province, one working very hard in the Lunenburg area, working to protect islands off the coast there. All those will be able to tap

[Page 5127]

into this funding and then individuals across the province. So, Mr. Speaker, we have made great progress.

I want to thank the Opposition members who spoke in support of this and I appreciate the support that all Parties are giving to this. I think everyone realizes this is something that should be done and that it will be valuable, and helpful, and although not a big amount at this stage - $45,000 leading in 2015 to about an estimate of $250,000, that the government will pay grants in lieu of, so that the municipalities don't have to bear the cost - although not a great deal of money, nonetheless a significant statement that the province values what these private landowners are doing because we have private landowners across the province who are willing, out of the generosity of their spirit, of their soul, of their Nova Scotia heritage, to take aside land that they could use for other reasons, to preserve that for their children, their grandchildren and all Nova Scotians.

I do want to add my voice and thanks to them. I want to add my voice and thanks to the Nature Trust, Nature Conservancy, all the nature trusts across Nova Scotia, and I especially want to commend the staff at the Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relationships, Mr. Speaker (Interruptions) Relations, yes. They do have lots of relationships, too. I knew that was a fun department for some reason. (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. PARENT: We have the demographic thing under us in Labour and we need to increase that, so more relationships are more helpful, I guess. Anyway, I want to thank the staff for . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Please get back on track.

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, it's obvious it's Friday. Anyway, I do want to thank the staff, because once they took hold of this and we posed it to them, they did extensive work. I had thought that Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations would be the ones paying the grants in lieu of - I've just found out it's really the Department of Environment - but nonetheless, they did the hard work and I want to thank the minister (Interruption) They wrote the legislation, they did the work and I really do want to thank them for that. So with those few words, I will take my seat.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, it's an entertaining spectacle to see two members of the Cabinet jostling with each other on the floor of the Legislature as to who actually gets to pay, out of their departmental allocation, the cost of Bill No. 208. Despite the entertainment value inherent in that, we recognize other value inherent in Bill No. 208 and our caucus members are enthusiastic supporters of it. I think, based on the comments of the representative of the Third Party, that makes us unanimous in the House.

[Page 5128]

The minister, in speaking to his bill, I believe was perhaps not as clear as he might actually have been about one of the great virtues of his own bill. One of the main points is not just that municipalities will be compensated as, indeed, they should be for foregone tax revenues, but in fact this is an economical measure for the people of Nova Scotia, through our tax dollars, in that the cost of actually acquiring through purchase private lands to be set aside with restrictions, would in fact be in the many millions of dollars every year for us to reach, and I hope someday exceed, our 12 per cent target. But under this legislation the device that has been hit upon is that private owners of land are to be encouraged to put restrictions on the use of their land, thereby achieving essentially the same result but at a cost of only thousands of dollars to the government, compared with the many millions it would actually take to actually purchase the land for the public.

So this is in fact a wonderful thing - it's an economical measure; it makes sense; and it recognizes the altruistic acts of many private landowners who are keen on helping the province reach that, and exceed that, 12 per cent goal. Many people have done this. We know that the Nova Scotia Nature Trust has already, through its efforts, managed to encourage private owners to set aside, I think, some 12,000 acres of land in Nova Scotia. These are privately owned pieces of land that have been converted to a different status through the imposition of restrictive covenants - restrictive covenants have the effect of owners placing themselves in a position where they cannot exploit their land in the way they might otherwise be able to do with privately owned land. This is a very bold step for private owners, but there are many people in Nova Scotia who are prepared to do this with their rural land.

So this is an excellent and much supported move on the part of the government. It's the culmination of an initiative of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. I want to put on record my admiration for the Nova Scotia Nature Trust - it's a 12-year-old organization, and it has had great success as one of Nova Scotia's environmental groups. It did not originate the idea of a 12 per cent target of land set aside for conservation purposes, but it has gone very far in Nova Scotia toward advancing that goal.

The idea of reaching a 12 per cent target probably goes back about 30 years. It's something that has been spoken to by Canadian national organizations like the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. It has international recognition by a variety of conservation groups. Certainly I know that as early as the mid-1980s, and certainly 1990 in a written brief, that I remember, to the provincial government the Ecology Action Centre, along with other environmental groups, put on record how important it would be to reach the 12 per cent target of protected lands in Nova Scotia. Subsequently that target was adopted by the provincial government, and we can only compliment the Nature Trust for having worked so diligently to continue to advance that.

I did notice in the somewhat self-congratulatory remarks of the Minister of Environment that he pointed out that Nova Scotia is already at about the 8.5 per cent target - that is 8.5 per cent of the land base of Nova Scotia is already protected land. This is undoubtedly a very good thing; we're moving along. On the other hand, it has been 30 years

[Page 5129]

since this had been as a target. And what's important to note - and this is why I thought it was maybe a little too self-congratulatory on the part of the minister - is that we started in Nova Scotia with 3 per cent, it may even be 3.2 per cent of the land base set aside by the federal government through the two main, big national parks that exist here, that is Kejimkujik and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. So we had quite a base to build on when the province came along and started working to set aside land for conservation purposes. Be that as it may, it's a good thing that we're continuing to work toward its target.

Again with respect to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, I would like to put on record my admiration for some of the people who have been instrumental inside the Nova Scotia Nature Trust over the years, either in terms of direct donations of funds or of land or of effort, and I have in mind two couples - in particular, Mickey and Rudy Haase who live in Goat Lake in Lunenburg County, and they've been well recognized, I think, in the community at large as stalwarts of the environmental movement, people who have been regularly prepared to make financial donations, and to make lots of efforts to advance environmental issues, particularly the setting aside of land with the idea of conservation. This has been a marvelous record and we are very much indebted as a people in Nova Scotia, to the Husseys.

I would also like to note, Bob Bancroft and Alice Reed, who live in Pomquet, Antigonish County; they've both been very active inside the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Many people will know Alice Reed as a painter of nature, through her watercolours. Many people will know Bob Bancroft as a former worker in the Department of Natural Resources and a commentator on CBC Radio about nature matters. Both of them have been enthusiastic supporters of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Again, the people of Nova Scotia are very much indebted to them, as a couple, for the work that they have done over the years, their efforts to set aside land and to encourage others to set aside land with restrictive covenants, this is a very good thing.

[10:30 a.m .]

There is wide support for this objective of moving toward, then exceeding, our 12 per cent target. Others have noted how hard it is to do that in Nova Scotia, given that so much of our land is in private hands. I think it was accurately said that it is only on Prince Edward Island that a smaller percentage of the land base is actually owned by the Crown and therefore at the disposal of the Crown, if the Crown wished to set it aside. In P.E.I., I think it is no more than 9 per cent of the land base that is owned by the Crown. In Nova Scotia, it's some 23 per cent of the land base. Technically, of course, it might be possible for us to reach the 12 per cent target by government fiat, but as I think the Minister of Environment very correctly said, not all of that land might be land that's entirely representative of the different kinds of geology and geography that we have.

So it's important that we look not just at abstract total numbers of percentage of land set aside, we have to look at the quality of the land, the nature of the land, where it's located and how it interacts with other pieces of land around the province. We'll work toward that.

[Page 5130]

I'm glad the government is continuing to do that, and it's well guided in that, I know, by staff in the different departments and, of course, with the advice of organizations like the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Ecology Action Centre that have been busy identifying lands that ought to be set aside. No one has been shy in coming forward with identified candidate protected areas and I think as we move toward protecting all of those, we will have done a good service for ourselves.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to note one aspect of what ought to be part of the targets for land to be set aside, and this really relates to our marine and water heritage in Nova Scotia. Of course, we are a province that has a huge amount of coastline and others have noted that some 95 per cent of that coastline is in private hands. I tend to regard the coast, and access to the coast, as an important, traditional, public heritage for Nova Scotians.

It should be an integral part of the plans that government has for setting aside lands, that they particularly focus on our coastline. That means focusing on islands, it means focusing on beaches; it means focusing on headlands; it means focusing not just on things that have been set aside as some have, as parks, but on areas where people can walk, can have access, can hike, can land kayaks and other forms of craft in order to come off the ocean and take a rest. They should focus on the coastal areas where we can protect, or offer some protection, for birds and other animals that need some space and need to be protected.

This is an important aspect of what Nova Scotia has to be about, and to the extent that the government is going to continue to put money into this program, it's probably going to be the case that they will have to expropriate some land at some point, or if not expropriate then acquire through purchase, because certainly that's preferable - acquire through purchase. That means that real dollars will have to be put into this at some point and that may be big dollars because, of course, land on the ocean tends to be much more expensive. It's growing more expensive and harder to find all the time. So, this has to be a real thrust of government policy.

I know there is an initiative inside the government in which they are working to develop a coastal policy. Well, a coastal policy really ought to be a priority of policy development for this government. We have to work on this. I'm looking forward to seeing that policy come forward very soon. I hope the government doesn't delay with this. I'm hoping they manage to work in consultation with the municipalities, with the other stakeholders, to come forward with the details of what we really need to see as an aggressive policy to protect and, in some circumstances, acquire more of our coastline.

I mentioned other forms of water. We have an abundance of lakes in Nova Scotia as well. I think I heard other members point out that in some instances, we find that many of the borders of lakes are privately owned. That's also a problem. I have to say that I have thought for many years that it's a policy the Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations in consultation with municipalities should consider advancing, that it is the requirement that there be public access to every lake in our province. Not that there be

[Page 5131]

complete public access or public ownership around the border of every lake, but that for every lake there should be some point at which the public can have a right of access.

I think that if that means purchase, then so be it, if it means regulation, then so be it. But I would encourage the government along with its development of marine coastal policy to consider ways in which they might advance that. The desire of humans to get access to water - be it marine or freshwater - to be there for the refreshment of their spirits, is well recognized. This is just a fact of life, wherever you follow a path, you'll find that it goes to water in some fashion if it's anywhere within striking distance. That's what people enjoy, they enjoy going down to the water, they enjoy taking their small craft onto the water, they enjoy being able to swim there, they enjoy being able to take their families there. Not everyone can afford to buy a recreational piece of land around a lake or on the ocean. So, I would encourage the government, as long as it's thinking about this, to move in those particular respects as well.

Going back to the specifics of Bill No. 208, again I say our caucus are enthusiastic supporters of this and I don't expect we'll find very many critics of this bill, if any, at the Law Amendments Committee stage. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Actually, I enjoyed the comments of the previous speakers on this Bill No. 208. I have to say that this bill is so sensible that I'm almost surprised that it has come from this government, I have to admit. I applaud the government for their effort in bringing this legislation forward.

It does make perfect sense. I don't want members of the House to get lost and I think the point has probably already been made on the idea that somehow preservation of 12 per cent of our ecologically significant areas of the province, 12 per cent of that land volume is enough. That's a minimum, so we should always be striving to aim higher; if you aim higher, you'll hit higher.

This is a good initiative on the part of the government. I know that we always hear the term that there's only one taxpayer and people who live in particular municipalities are taxpayers through all levels of where governments collect. It certainly is of interest I think for municipalities to somehow have some assurance that they're not going to be left carrying the financial load of this decision, so I think they would be very pleased to know that the government will ensure that a grant in lieu is paid to them for whatever tax value for these properties. My colleague from Halifax Chebucto made a good point with the notion that economically this is a good deal and that if we were to try to purchase these lands on every occasion, that could run into millions of dollars. I certainly don't want the government to be thinking that I discourage the idea of purchasing. I think we have an obligation to the people of Nova Scotia to increase our Crown holdings; 23 per cent of the land in the province is really not enough.

[Page 5132]

I want to make the point that we should not become so assured of what we're doing in this legislation that we tend to forget that these ecologically significant areas that are set aside to be preserved, should not stand as islands in our province. I guess part of the reason for me saying that I'm surprised at the government for such a sensible piece of legislation is on the notion of how we do other things in this province, what we allow to go on, the degradation that we allow to happen across the province. I think in particular the province really has to take a look at harvesting practices in the forest sector. If we're going to set aside these ecologically significant areas, then they should not be standing in a wasteland of a degraded forest.

We should change our practices so that yes, maybe there will be other areas surrounding these protected areas that may not have the same ecological significance of a particular flora or fauna, but we do want to acknowledge that the forest is an entity of itself that is natural. We should seek to try to ensure that, as close as possible, we enable that to continue, and we harvest it in a way that allows it to be a sustainable practice - that we have some of the major elements of a forest that we deem to be important. We certainly aren't going to be able to allow it to be in a natural pristine state all of the time. We could go a long way to ensure that it provides habitat for the creatures of this province, yet it still has the ability to create wealth for our citizens, and we don't have to work at trying to destroy it all of the time and wait for another 45 or 50 years for it to come back and look like a forest again. There has to be a change in our thinking in this regard.

I thought the comments around the coastline were particularly important. I'm not someone - even though any Nova Scotian is practically within an hour of the ocean - I'm not someone who has, for the most part, frequented the ocean a lot, but I do live on a lake. I think it's important that our citizens have access to the coastline for all the reasons that Nova Scotians may want to access those areas. I say again that this is very good legislation. It would be particularly difficult not to support it and I'd like to see more initiatives of this nature come from the government. It would probably be a House of Assembly with a much more congenial tone than it's had recently. With those comments I look forward to seeing this piece of legislation go through the House and I congratulate the government and the minister on bringing it forward.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources on an introduction.

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, in your gallery I have a member from my community and the president of my constituency association with us today, Mr. Ked Edwards. He's no stranger to this House; he spent a lot of time here working on things with the Denturists Society throughout the years. I would ask the House to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Edwards. (Applause)

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

[Page 5133]

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all members who spoke positively in support of this bill, and indeed it is a good one. It is another measure that the government is taking to preserve land in Nova Scotia.

One thing I didn't mention in my comments - and I don't know whether my colleague did or not - was that the fact that one of the reasons the heritage groups like this is because they now pay taxes on this land which they hold. Mr. Speaker, it may not seem like much in terms of the broader scheme of things but these organizations that fundraise and do all of these things, the fact that they have to pay taxes really means that they have to devote efforts that they would use for most positive purposes in terms of their mission to generate funds for tax raising and that's going to remove this.

[10:45 a.m.]

But, as I say, this is one step and it follows, of course, on the creation of the Nova Scotia Land Legacy Trust Fund to the tune of $23.4 million that came out of Crown share. So, Mr. Speaker, we are moving forward. There is still work to be done and, again, I appreciate the support of the other two Parties and I would ask you to now call the question on Bill No. 208.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 208. 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: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That concludes the government's business for today and I would ask that you would call on the NDP House Leader for Wednesday's business.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Opposition House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On behalf of the good member for Cape Breton Centre, the esteemed and much-respected House Leader of the NDP - I'm collecting for that on Wednesday when I see him again - I take this opportunity to announce that Resolution No. 3019 and Resolution No. 4511 will be Opposition Members' Business. So I move that we now adjourn, to meet again on Wednesday, November 12th, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that day.

[Page 5134]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is that we now adjourn and meet again on Wednesday, November 12th, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The House will now be adjourned until Wednesday at two o'clock. I wish everybody a safe journey home and celebrations on Remembrance Day.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, just before you shut her down - I don't know if the members know, but over in the Red Room at 11:30 a.m. I'll be signing that education agreement with the Mi'kmaq Authority and it's kind of an historical thing in Nova Scotia. Some members may wish to witness it.

MR. SPEAKER: The time again?

MR. MUIR: It's 11:30, I think.

MR. SPEAKER: At 11:30, the Mi'kmaq signing.

[The House rose at 10:48 a.m.]

[Page 5135]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 5019

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Energy)

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

Whereas each year the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association's Safety Council holds a driving championship with the category winners going to the National Championship competition which was held this September in Ottawa; and

Whereas Yarmouth area resident and small business operator, Steve MacPhee, defeated nine other competitors, including the previous five-time champion, in the four axle category in only his second time at the competition; and

Whereas Steve represented the Atlantic Region and Nova Scotia very well in his first trip to the Nationals where he missed placing third by only three points and scored higher than any other competitor from Atlantic Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Steve MacPhee on his success and wish him well in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 5020

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 the New Glasgow Development Commission recently held the 51st annual Tartan with a Twist; and

Whereas the annual event was a roaring success with a special appearance and performance from the province's Premier; and

Whereas the event also featured an antique car show, a Ceildh, a pipe band, music in Murdoch Park and Highland dancers, and there was a great turnout during the day, an example of the spirit of those who call the historic town home and their commitment to its development;

[Page 5136]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations to the New Glasgow Development Commission and residents alike for another successful Tartan with a Twist.

RESOLUTION NO. 5021

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Budget Glass and Mirror not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Budget Glass and Mirror and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5022

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Bluenose Water Cleaners not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Bluenose Water Cleaners and wish them continued success.

[Page 5137]

RESOLUTION NO. 5023

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Bookkeeping for Small Businesses not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Bookkeeping for Small Businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5024

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like CIS Computer Informatis Solutions not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of CIS Computer Informatis Solutions and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5025

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

[Page 5138]

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Coastal Waters Accommodations not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Coastal Waters Accommodations and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5026

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Contour Excavation and Septic Limited not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Contour Excavation and Septic Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5027

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Cousins Service Centre Limited not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

[Page 5139]

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Cousins Service Centre Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5028

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like D & L Nurseries not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of D & L Nurseries and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5029

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like D. Moulton Excavating not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of D. Moulton Excavating and wish them continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 5030

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Depot Dealers Auto Sales not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Depot Dealers Auto Sales and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5031

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Exit Realty not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Exit Realty and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5032

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

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Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Frightened Turtle Mobil Shrink Wrap Service not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Frightened Turtle Mobil Shrink Wrap Service and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5033

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Gaetz Place Townhouse Condominiums not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Gaetz Place Townhouse Condominiums and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5034

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like German Lunch Box not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

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Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of German Lunch Box and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5035

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Harbour Fish and Fries not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Harbour Fish and Fries and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5036

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Higney's Complete Auto Body and Painting not only for access to the services they provide but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Higney's Complete Auto Body and Painting and wish them continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 5037

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Jonah By the Sea B & B not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Jonah By the Sea B & B and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5038

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Kannon Beach Windsurfing not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Kannon Beach Windsurfing and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5039

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

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Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Katie's Farm Organic Dog Bakery not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Katie's Farm Organic Dog Bakery and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5040

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Kidson Excavating not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Kidson Excavating and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5041

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Live Wire Appliance Services not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

[Page 5145]

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Live Wire Appliance Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5042

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Lobster Shack Restaurant not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Lobster Shack Restaurant and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5043

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Leo's Pizza and Villager Meat Market not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Leo's Pizza and Villager Meat Market and wish them continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 5044

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Eastern Shore businesses are a fundamental part of building strong communities; and

Whereas rural communities depend on small businesses like Laurel House Vintage Tableware and Accessories not only for access to the services they provide, but for the employment opportunities; and

Whereas with these businesses our communities are able to build a better tomorrow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Laurel House Vintage Tableware and Accessories and wish them continued success.