Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 08-54

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Alfie MacLeod

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

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


Second Session

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 5992, Legislative Staff: Work - Applaud,
The Premier 6253
Vote - Affirmative 6254
Res. 5993, Fam. Doctors Wk. (11/24-11/29/08) - Celebrate,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 6254
Vote - Affirmative 6255
Res. 5994, Nat'l. Day of Remembrance/Halifax Explosion (12/06/08) -
Ceremony, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6255
Vote - Affirmative 6256
Res. 5995, LWD - N.S. Aboriginal Apprenticeship & Trades Strategy:
Partners - Thank, Hon. B. Taylor 6256
Vote - Affirmative 6257
Res. 5996, Fish. & Aquaculture - Fishermen: Working Conditions -
Recognize, Hon. R. Chisholm 6257
Vote - Affirmative 6257
Res. 5997, Olsen, Carole - Can. Educ. Assoc.: Pres. - Election,
Hon. K. Casey 6258
Vote - Affirmative 6258
Res. 5998, Conserve N.S.: EnerGuide Prog. - Retail Promotion,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 6258
Vote - Affirmative 6259
Res. 5999, Abilities Fdn. - Anniv. (75th),
Hon. J. Streatch 6259
Vote - Affirmative 6260
Res. 6000, Transition Houses/Women's Ctrs.: Activism - Acknowledge,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6260
Vote - Affirmative 6261
Res. 6001, Primary Healthcare Info. Mgt. Team: Accomplishments -
Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont 6261
Vote - Affirmative 6262
Res. 6002, LWD - Adult Literacy: Importance - Recognize,
Hon. B. Taylor 6262
Vote - Affirmative 6263
Res. 6003, Educ. - Co-op Educ.: Participants - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 6263
Vote - Affirmative 6263
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 237, Nova Scotia Public Pension Act, Mr. S. McNeil 6264
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 6004, Beaulieu, Nancy - United Church Camping Award,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 6264
Vote - Affirmative 6264
Res. 6005, Gillis, Dave & Carol/Gillis Home Bldg. Ctr. - Anniv. (25th),
Mr. S. McNeil 6265
Vote - Affirmative 6265
Res. 6006, Porter, Valerie Ellen: Pub. Serv. (30 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 6265
Vote - Affirmative 6266
Res. 6007, Alice Housing - Donner Award: Bd./Staff/Vols. - Congrats.,
Ms. M. More 6266
Vote - Affirmative 6267
Res. 6008, Annapolis Royal - Communities in Bloom Award,
Mr. S. McNeil 6267
Vote - Affirmative 6268
Res. 6009, Cabot HS: Options & Opportunities Prog. - Applaud,
Mr. K. Bain 6268
Vote - Affirmative 6269
Res. 6010, Windsor Jct. Commun. Ctr. - Staff: Rescue Efforts -
Recognize, Mr. P. Paris 6269
Vote - Affirmative 6269
Res. 6011, Prime Minister - Finances: Misleading - Displeasure Voice,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 6270
Res. 6012, Cabot Jr.-Sr. HS - Stand Up Against Bullying Day,
Mr. K. Bain 6270
Vote - Affirmative 6271
Res. 6013, Douglas, Bobby: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. L. Preyra 6271
Vote - Affirmative 6272
Res. 6014, Donnelly, Mary-Lou - Cdn. Teachers' Fed.: CEO - Election,
Ms. D. Whalen 6272
Vote - Affirmative 6273
Res. 6015, Cobequid Educ. Ctr. Cougars Golf Team: Season - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 6273
Vote - Affirmative 6273
Res. 6016, Hauer, Susan/Simmerman, Bill & Ned - Great & Selig Islands:
Protection - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 6274
Vote - Affirmative 6274
Res. 6017, Prem.: Economic Update - Bring Forward,
Mr. K. Colwell 6274
Res. 6018, Hattie, Melanie - Scotia Investments Groups Scholarship,
Hon. L. Goucher 6275
Vote - Affirmative 6276
Res. 6019, MacDougall, Rocky: Boxing - Commitment,
Mr. G. Gosse 6276
Vote - Affirmative 6277
Res. 6020, Clarke, Billie: Glace Bay Vol. & Sports Hall of Fame - Induction,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 6277
Vote - Affirmative 6277
Res. 6021, Zinck, Chrissy, et al: Sch. Library Vols. - Applaud,
Hon. D. Morse 6278
Vote - Affirmative 6278
Res. 6022, East. Passage/Cow Bay Holiday Fest. Comm.: Establishment -
Recognize, Ms. B. Kent 6279
Vote - Affirmative 6279
Res. 6023, Clare - Lt.-Gov.'s Commun. Spirit Award,
Mr. W. Gaudet 6279
Vote - Affirmative 6280
Res. 6024, MacDonald, Ed/Mar. Auto Salvage -
Automotive Recyclers Assoc. Award, Hon. K. Casey 6280
Vote - Affirmative 6281
Res. 6025, Fish. & Aquaculture: Deferral Loan Prog. - Support,
Mr. S. Belliveau 6281
Res. 6026, Fish. & Aquaculture: Lobster Fishermen - Support,
Mr. H. Theriault 6282
Vote - Affirmative 6282
Res. 6027, Murray, Alyson: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race -
Well Wishes, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6282
Vote - Affirmative 6283
Res. 6028, Arnold, Wanda/VidaBode: Opening - Congrats.,
Mr. E. Fage 6283
Vote - Affirmative 6284
Res. 6029, Meir, Carmen/Dart. Hist. Assoc. - Joseph Howe Fellowship
Award, Ms. M. More 6284
Vote - Affirmative 6285
Res. 6030, MacNeil, Leah - NSLC Bags: Art - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Gosse 6285
Vote - Affirmative 6286
Res. 6031, Alice Housing - Donner Award: Ex. Dir/Staff/Bd. - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 6286
Vote - Affirmative 6287
Res. 6032, TIR - Hwy. No. 101 (Digby to Weymouth): Const. -
Encourage, Mr. H. Theriault 6287
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 2:59 P.M. 6288
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:26 P.M. 6288
CWH REPORTS 6288
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 238, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. M. Scott 6289
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 201, Counselling Therapists Act, Hon. C. d'Entremont 6289
Hon. C. d'Entremont 6289
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 6290
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 6293
Hon. C. d'Entremont 6293
Vote - Affirmative 6294
No. 220, Judicature Act, Hon. C. Clarke 6294
Hon. C. Clarke 6294
Mr. M. Samson 6295
Hon. C. Clarke 6297
Vote - Affirmative 6297
No. 179, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, Hon. J. Muir 6298
Hon. J. Muir 6298
Ms. B. Kent 6299
Ms. D. Whalen 6300
Mr. D. Dexter 6302
Mr. S. McNeil 6304
Mr. H. Epstein 6305
Mr. L. Preyra 6310
Mr. M. Samson 6312
Hon. J. Muir 6313
Vote - Affirmative 6314
No. 181, HRM by Design Act, Hon. J. Muir 6314
Hon. J. Muir 6314
Ms. B. Kent 6316
Mr. H. Epstein 6319
Mr. L. Preyra 6327
Ms. D. Whalen 6331
Mr. D. Dexter 6336
Hon. J. Muir 6338
Vote - Affirmative 6339
No. 212, Homeowner Protection Act, Hon. J. Muir 6339
Hon. J. Muir 6339
Vote - Affirmative 6339
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. C. Clarke 6340
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. C. Clarke 6341
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 6:37 P.M. 6341
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:42 P.M. 6341
CWH REPORTS 6341
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 118, Residential Tenancies Act, Mr. P. Paris 6342
Mr. P. Paris 6342
Vote - Affirmative 6343
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 204, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 6343
Hon. C. d'Entremont 6344
Mr. L. Preyra 6344
Hon. C. d'Entremont 6345
Vote - Affirmative 6345
No. 234, Privacy Review Officer Act, Mr. M. Samson 6345
Mr. M. Samson 6345
Vote - Affirmative 6346
No. 233, Apology Act, Mr. M. Samson 6346
Mr. M. Samson 6346
Vote - Affirmative 6347
No. 129, Trade Union Act, Mr. Manning MacDonald 6347
Mr. Manning MacDonald 6347
Vote - Affirmative 6348
No. 225, Provincial Sport Act, Mr. C. Porter 6348
Mr. C. Porter 6348
Vote - Affirmative 6348
No. 227, Provincial Horse Act, Mr. L. Preyra 6348
Mr. L. Preyra 6349
Vote - Affirmative 6349
HOUSE RECESSED AT 7:02 P.M. 6349
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:09 P.M. 6349
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Private and Local Bills Committee, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 6350
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 7:10 P.M. 6350
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:12 P.M. 6350
CWH REPORTS 6350
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 213, East Hants Sportsplex Expansion Act, Mr. J. MacDonell 6351
Mr. J. MacDonell 6351
Vote - Affirmative 6352
No. 216, Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act, Hon. C. Clarke 6352
Hon. C. Clarke 6352
Vote - Affirmative 6352
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 239, Democracy 250 Act, Hon. C. Clarke 6353
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 239, Democracy 250 Act, Hon. C. Clarke 6353
Hon. C. Clarke 6353
Vote - Affirmative 6354
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 239, Democracy 250 Act, Hon. C. Clarke 6354
Hon. C. Clarke 6354
Vote - Affirmative 6354
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 25th at 11:00 a.m. 6355
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 6033, Dr. Arthur Hines Elem. Sch.: Terry Fox Fundraising - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 6356
Res. 6034, St. Margaret of Scotland Parish/St. Margaret's CWL -
Anniv. (150th /50th), Mr. K. Bain 6356
Res. 6035, Baddeck: Communities in Bloom - Recognition,
Mr. K. Bain 6357
Res. 6036, Betts, Robert: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6357
Res. 6037, Smith, Kenneth: Birch Grove Vol. FD - Serv. Award (50 Yrs.),
The Speaker 6358
Res. 6038, Smith, Sheldon: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award, The Speaker 6358
Res. 6039, Lambert, Bruce: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6359
Res. 6040, Snow, Chesley: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award, (30 Yrs.)The Speaker 6359
Res. 6041, Nicholson, Murray: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (60 Yrs.), The Speaker 6360
Res. 6042, Smith, Gerald: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (50 Yrs.), The Speaker 6360
Res. 6043, Smith, Ralph: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (50 Yrs.), The Speaker 6361
Res. 6044, Bessette, Martin: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (20 Yrs.), The Speaker 6361
Res. 6045, Dillon, John: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (20 Yrs.), The Speaker 6362
Res. 6046, Carter, Thomas: Birch Grove Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (20 Yrs.), The Speaker 6362
Res. 6047, Dibbon, Henry: Louisbourg Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (20 Yrs.), The Speaker 6363
Res. 6048, Rogers, Byron: Northside East Bay Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (20 Yrs.), The Speaker 6363
Res. 6049, Bates, James: Port Morien Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (20 Yrs.), The Speaker 6364
Res. 6050, Timmons, Bernard: Port Morien Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (20 Yrs.), The Speaker 6364
Res. 6051, MacRae, Murdock: Albert Bridge Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6365
Res. 6052, Oakley, Carl: Mira Rd. Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (25 Yrs.), The Speaker 6365
Res. 6053, Bates, Patrick: Bateston Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6366
Res. 6054, Kennedy, Fraser: Bateston Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6366
Res. 6055, Spencer, Edgar: Bateston Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6367
Res. 6056, Mullins, Peter J.: Bateston Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6367
Res. 6057, Bates, James: Bateston Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6368
Res. 6058, Campbell, Sheldon: Bateston Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6368
Res. 6059, Sharpe, Harvey: Bateston Vol. FD -
Fed.-Prov. Serv. Award (30 Yrs.), The Speaker 6369
Res. 6060, Amherst Fire Dept. - Anl. Awards: Recipients - Congrats.,
Mr. E. Fage 6369
Res. 6061, Sanford, Melody: 4-H Movement - Contribution,
Mr. L. Glavine 6370
Res. 6062, Borden, Janice: Educ. Success - Commend,
Mr. T. Zinck 6370
Res. 6063, Dart. North Commun. Ctr. - Carnival: Staff/Vols. - Congrats.,
Mr. T. Zinck 6371
Res. 6064, C.P. Allen HS: Free The Children - Fundraising,
Hon. L. Goucher 6371
Res. 6065, Smith, Heather: C.P. Allen HS - Fundraising,
Hon. L. Goucher 6372
Res. 6066, Pereire, Roxanne: C.P. Allen HS - Fundraising,
Hon. L. Goucher 6372
Res. 6067, St. Amand, Paul - Film Award,
Hon. L. Goucher 6373
Res. 6068, Dianna H. Breakney Guild - Anniv. (35th),
Hon. L. Goucher 6373
Res. 6069, Jesty, Lynn: Commun. Commitment - Thank,
Hon. L. Goucher 6374
Res. 6070, Sooriyakumaran, M. - Merchant Navy Mem. Proj.: Efforts -
Recognize, Hon. L. Goucher 6374
Res. 6071, Valley Bulldogs: Minor Football - Title/Championship,
Hon. D. Morse 6375
Res. 6072, Wilcox-Richards, Nancy: Children's Lit. Series - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6375
Res. 6073, Collyer, Dep. Chief John - Bridgewater: Promotion - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6376
Res. 6074, Smith, Dep. Chief (Fmr.) Bob - Bridgewater PD:
Retirement - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6376
Res. 6075, Bonnell, Cst. Christine, Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6376
Res. 6076, Collyer, Dep. Chief John: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 6377
Res. 6077, Warr, Sgt. Dean: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6377
Res. 6078, Gray, Cpl. Don: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6378
Res. 6079, Bragg, Cst. Joy: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6378
Res. 6080, McKenna, Cst. Martin: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6378
Res. 6081, Coughlin, Sgt. Paul: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6379
Res. 6082, MacMillan, Cpl. Scott: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6379
Res. 6083, Foote, Cst. Susan: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6380
Res. 6084, Vinnedge, Cst. Terry: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6380
Res. 6085, Murchison, Cpl. Wendell: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6380
Res. 6086, Beck, Cst. Ward: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6381
Res. 6087, Mill, S.Sgt. Steve (Ret.): Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (15 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6381
Res. 6088, Crowhurst, Chief Brent: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6382
Res. 6089, Cunningham, Sgt. Al: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6382
Res. 6090, Graves, Cst. Ron: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6382
Res. 6091, Keddy, Cst. Wade: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6383
Res. 6092, Milbury, Sgt. Richard: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6383
Res. 6093, O'Quinn, Sgt. Alfie: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6384
Res. 6094, Richard, Cst. Jerome: Bridgewater PD -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6384
Res. 6095, Furey, S.Sgt. Mark: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6384
Res. 6096, Kendall, Sgt. Wes: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6385
Res. 6097, Smith, Cpl. Derek: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6385
Res. 6098, White, Cpl. Gary: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6386
Res. 6099, Cuthbertson, Cst. Bob: Lun. Co. RCMP Det. -
Long-Serv. Medal (25 Yrs.), Hon. C. Bolivar - Getson 6386
Res. 6100, MacEachern, Scott/Stark Int'l. - ACOA Team Can. Trade Mission,
Mr. P. Dunn 6386
Res. 6101, Gillis, Phonse: Retirement - Best Wishes,
Hon. K. Casey 6387
Hon. K. Casey

[Page 6253]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 5992

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

[Page 6254]

6253

[Page 6255]

Whereas each day we are able to tend to our duties as legislators in the traditions developed over the last 250 years, thanks to a dedicated group of individuals; and

Whereas each sitting we take a moment to salute that group, which includes our trusty Pages and their bosses, Michael and Peter, as well as our hard-working offices of the Clerks, Hansard and Legislative Counsel, with a special get well wish to Gordon Johnson; and

Whereas special thanks also goes to our very quick and thorough researchers of the Legislative Library, Legislative Television, the Speaker's Office staff, our caucus staff, commissionaires, and our caterers and cleaners;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the efforts of those who work to keep the democratic traditions of this grand House alive.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health

RESOLUTION NO. 5993

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

Whereas family doctors are integral to maintaining and improving the health of Nova Scotians, providing primary care when Nova Scotians need it; and

Whereas family physicians often go above and beyond, sharing their experience and knowledge with other health care professionals; and

Whereas Dr. Susan Atkinson, Nova Scotia's College of Family Physicians Family Physician of the Year for 2008-2009 is such a physician, teaching medical students and residents at Dalhousie, as well as other health care professionals including nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacy students, and psychiatric residents;

[Page 6256]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in celebrating Family Doctors Week in Nova Scotia during November 24th through 29th and in thanking our family doctors, especially Dr. Susan Atkinson, for their significant contributions to the better health of Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act.

RESOLUTION NO. 5994

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 Advisory Council on the Status of Women's goal to reduce violence against women and girls in communities, workplaces and families is directly linked to government's priority for safer, healthier communities; and

Whereas December 6th, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, falls on a Saturday this year and the Advisory Council on the Status of Women will mark the day with a ceremony on December 5th at 10:30 a.m. in Province House; and

Whereas the flag at Province House will fly at half-mast to commemorate both December 6th and the Halifax Explosion;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House acknowledge the courage, strength and spirit of survivors, and their families, and that we reaffirm our commitment to eliminating violence against women and all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 6257]

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 Acting Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 5995

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

Whereas the Department of Labour and Workforce Development partnered with the federal government, Aboriginal community representatives, and members of the Aboriginal Human Resource Council to introduce the three-year Nova Scotia Aboriginal Apprenticeship and Trades Strategy; and

Whereas this strategy will work to increase participation by Aboriginal Nova Scotians in the skilled trades and promote apprenticeship as a vital training and educational option; and

Whereas the strategy will build on a number of existing programs to provide skills training to prepare Aboriginal Nova Scotians for apprenticeships, increase registrations in apprenticeship programming, and ensure appropriate supports are in place to support success;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank our Aboriginal partners and congratulate Aboriginal Nova Scotians who are taking advantage of apprentice opportunities 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.

[Page 6258]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 5996

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

Whereas today, Monday noon, November 24, 2008, is dumping day in Western Nova Scotia, marking the start of the lobster fishery in areas 33 and 34; and

Whereas this is the largest inshore fishery in Canada, supporting 1,700 licence-holders, crews and their families; and

Whereas ocean conditions at this time of the year can be extreme and dangerous for our fishermen, as was the case for the Fundy Secrets this morning when it began taking on water, forcing the four-man crew to abandon ship in a life raft;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize the difficult working conditions our fishermen face on the sea and the substantial contribution they make to the economy of Nova Scotia, by wishing them a safe and a successful fishing season.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:15 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

[Page 6259]

RESOLUTION NO. 5997

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

Whereas the Canadian Education Association has been a leader in the facilitating of national discussions about improving education since 1891; and

Whereas Carole Olsen has served as Superintendent of the Halifax Regional School Board, part of a distinguished career that includes being an elementary teacher, a music teacher, a teacher-educator, and superintendent of the Metropolitan Toronto School Board; and

Whereas Carole Olsen has been elected president of the Canadian Education Association at a time when the organization continues leading an effort to rethink current approaches to adolescent learning and achievement;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Carole Olsen on her election and wish her well during her term as president of the Canadian Education Association.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 5998

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

Whereas Conserve Nova Scotia partnered with more than 130 home improvement stores province-wide, to promote the Nova Scotia EnerGuide for Houses Program; and

[Page 6260]

Whereas in a recent survey 43 per cent of respondents recalled seeing information about rebates for products to make their homes more energy efficient; and

Whereas Conserve Nova Scotia is pleased to partner with these organizations to help create a cleaner, more sustainable province for generations to come;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the retailers for participating in the program and helping Nova Scotians enjoy long-term energy savings through the EnerGuide Program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 5999

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

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognizes that since 1931 the Abilities Foundation has been committed to helping persons with physical disabilities to improve their quality of life by realizing their individual potential; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognizes that the Abilities Foundation has steadfastly carried out their mandate by encouraging independence and skills development for persons with physical disabilities, through the delivery of a wide variety of programs; and

Whereas the Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia continues to provide quality programs that are delivered by dedicated and committed staff, which enhance the quality of life of persons with physical disabilities;

[Page 6261]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join the people of Nova Scotia in congratulating the Abilities Foundation on over 75 years of success and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

RESOLUTION NO. 6000

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 16 days of activism to eliminate violence against women begins on November 25th and continues to December 10th; and

Whereas the Purple Ribbon Campaign of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia will commemorate these 16 days of activism; and

Whereas the Transition House Association has initiated the art therapy project, Putting a Face on Abuse, to allow women to safely show their faces and experiences of abuse;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House appreciate and acknowledge the dedication and compassion of staff at transition houses and women's centres across this province for their work to help women and children who face violence.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6262]

It is agreed.

[Page 6263]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, do you mind if I do an introduction, please?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the members of the Primary Healthcare Information Management Team, who are in the east gallery today, to rise and accept the congratulations of the House. They are Lisa Napier, Naomi Nice and Brent Andrews. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 6001

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

Whereas in 2005 Nova Scotia set out to improve the delivery of health care by establishing the Primary Healthcare Information Management (PHIM) program, a provincial electronic medical record program that offers a variety of supports designed to facilitate successful EMR adoption; and

Whereas the PHIM Program team received a gold medal at the national Government Technology Distinction Awards, which recognize and celebrate leadership, innovation and excellence within the public sector; and

Whereas the PHIM team and Nightingale Informatix are jointly nominated for a Canadian Healthcare Information Technology Trade Association's Canadian Health Informatics Award which recognizes and honours the contributions of individuals and companies in the efficient use of information technology to improve the health of all Canadians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the members of the Primary Healthcare Information Management program team on their outstanding accomplishments and efforts in helping Nova Scotia lead the way in using new technology to benefit the health care system and Nova Scotians.

[Page 6264]

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 Acting Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 6002

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

Whereas on September 8th Nova Scotians celebrated the achievements of adult learners, and the organizations that support them, during the 18th Annual International Literacy Day celebration; and

Whereas during the literacy celebration, the Department of Labour and Workforce Development presented awards to adult Nova Scotians who demonstrated achievement in literacy and essential skills, and made significant contributions to their school, workplace and/or community; and

Whereas awards were also presented to organizations that support literacy and essential skills programming across the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the importance of adult literacy and essential skills in Nova Scotia and recognize those adult learners and the organizations that support them for their contributions to growing economic prosperity in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6265]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 6003

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

Whereas the Department of Education has made co-operative education available to more students by expanding it to 33 more schools this year; and

Whereas co-operative education helps students plan their education and get hands-on experience in potential careers while they are still in high school; and

Whereas more than 3,000 students across Nova Scotia will benefit from being matched with a qualified employer for co-operative education placements in their communities this year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate the students, teachers and employers involved in helping students gain real work experience and new skills while they are in high school.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 6266]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 237 - Entitled an Act to Establish a Province-wide Pension Plan in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Stephen McNeil)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 6004

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

Whereas Lake of the Woods resident and St. Luke's United Church member Nancy Beaulieu has recently received the United Church of Canada's National Camping Award; and

Whereas Nancy has been serving youth at Sherbrooke Lake Camp since 1977; and

Whereas Nancy Beaulieu's dedication and commitment are exemplary;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Nancy Beaulieu on receiving the United Church of Canada's National Camping Award, with best wishes in her future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

[Page 6267]

RESOLUTION NO. 6005

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

Whereas employees, customers and friends of Gillis Home Building Centre in Sydney River celebrated the company's 25th Anniversary on Saturday, November 22nd; and

Whereas the home-based enterprise founded by Dave and Carol Gillis has evolved into a successful business based on a team approach and commitment to customer service; and

Whereas the business has recently joined the Home Hardware family of independent retailers;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House congratulate Dave and Carol Gillis on their success, and wish them the best of luck as they continue to help build their community one project at a time.

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. 6006

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

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

[Page 6268]

Whereas Valerie Ellen Porter of Newport was recently recognized for her 30 years of exceptional work with the Government of Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal; and

Whereas the Public Service of Nova Scotia contributes in a fundamental way to good government, to democracy and to society in general;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Newport's Valerie Ellen Porter on her outstanding work for the Nova Scotia Government over the past three decades.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 6007

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

Whereas Alice Housing has provided much-needed safe housing and support programs for families leaving domestic violence situations in HRM since 1983; and

Whereas Alice Housing exemplifies the incredible work undertaken by the not-for-profit sector in Nova Scotia, and its pursuit of best practices and accountability, while facing increasing challenges; and

Whereas Alice Housing shared the top prize for excellence in social service provision at this week's National Donner Awards Ceremony, the first organization east of Ontario to win this prestigious level of recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the board, staff and volunteers of Alice Housing, especially its executive director, Joanne Bernard, and board

[Page 6269]

co-chairs, Anne Marie Coolen and Nicole Figueira, for winning their organization's third Donner Award, the 2008 Donner Canadian Foundation Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services, and thank them for the work on behalf of vulnerable Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 6008

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

Whereas the Town of Annapolis Royal has added to its long list of achievements, the honour of being named a recipient of the Communities in Bloom Award for out-blooming five other communities in Canada, Ireland, England and the United States; and

Whereas this small town has a big roster of dedicated volunteers who work hard to make Annapolis Royal a beautiful place to live, through their commitment to beautification, community involvement, environmental awareness and heritage conservation; and

Whereas the Communities in Bloom Committee is involved in several new projects in the quest for the international title, including a sunflower project at Champlain Elementary School, a weekly award program for properties in the town, an extreme makeover team that beautified public spaces two evenings a week;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Town of Annapolis Royal and its many volunteers on its most recent achievement, and wish them continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 6270]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

[2:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 6009

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

Whereas Cabot Junior/Senior High School, situated in Neils Harbour in Northern Victoria County, is a dynamic school under the capable leadership of Principal Barb Costello; and

Whereas Cabot High School takes part in the Options and Opportunities Program, an initiative of the Nova Scotia Department of Education, with a variety of students taking part and being involved in everything from visiting Sydney and touring a cruise ship, to taking part in a presentation by the Canadian Coast Guard; and

Whereas Options and Opportunities is a program which focuses on career exploration and work experience;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the vision exemplified by the students at Cabot High School in Neils Harbour for taking part in such a worthwhile learning project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 6271]

The motion is carried.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 6010

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

Whereas on July 6, 2008, a visitor to Windsor Junction suffered a fatal medical emergency while swimming in Third Lake; and

Whereas young staff at the Windsor Junction Community Centre reacted quickly and efficiently, clearing the water and bringing the unconscious and non-breathing man to shore, where they performed CPR and administered oxygen until an ambulance arrived; and

Whereas lifeguards Joe Beaton and Ian Smith, senior staff members Skyler Blackie and Corey Campbell, and sports camp director Linsey Hope, showed remarkable organization, courage and skill during this tragic rescue effort;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Joe Beaton, Skyler Blackie, Corey Campbell, Linsey Hope and Ian Smith for their brave and outstanding rescue efforts in Windsor Junction on July 6, 2008.

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 6272]

RESOLUTION NO. 6011

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

Whereas through a series of bad policy decisions the Prime Minister and his government squandered a $13 billion surplus left by the previous Liberal Government; and

Whereas in the recent federal election Prime Minister Harper promised that Canada would not be faced with a deficit under his leadership; and

Whereas now that the votes have been counted, Prime Minister Harper has signalled his willingness to send the country back into deficit;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly voice their displeasure with Prime Minister Harper for misleading Canadians on the state of the country's finances for political gain.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 6012

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

Whereas Cabot Junior/Senior High School students took part in Stand Up Against Bullying Day on September 11th, by working with their homeroom teachers to spell out "Stop Bullies"; and

Whereas as many students as possible wore the colour of the day, which was pink; and

[Page 6273]

Whereas class competitions were actually held to encourage students to wear pink in this exceptionally important initiative;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the spirit of students at Cabot Junior/Senior High School in their important stand against bullying.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

RESOLUTION NO. 6013

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

Whereas on November 19th Halifax lost one of its most respected members of the athletic and educational communities - Robert "Bobby" Chisholm Douglas; and

Whereas Bobby Douglas' teaching and coaching career spanned five decades, including the 16 provincial crowns won by his Queen Elizabeth High basketball and football squads and at this school was bestowed the highest honour a teacher could receive, the Silver E. Award, for his contributions to school life; and

Whereas Bobby Douglas was also inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1994, inducted into the Acadia University Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, received the City of Halifax's 250th Anniversary Medal for community achievement, and was recognized this past year when the community gym at Citadel High School was given his name;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly acknowledge the passing and celebrate the life of Bobby Douglas, a great citizen and ambassador for sports in Nova Scotia, and send their condolences to his family.

[Page 6274]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 6014

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

Whereas the Canadian Teachers' Federation held their 88th Annual General Meeting in Moncton on July 10 to 12, 2008; and

Whereas at their meeting the members of the Canadian Teachers' Federation elected Mary-Lou Donnelly, past president of the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union, as president- designate; and

Whereas beginning July 2009, Mary-Lou Donnelly will take up her position as chief executive officer of the Canadian Teachers' Federation advancing its mandate to have a positive impact on public education, students and teachers nationally;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mary-Lou Donnelly for this great accomplishment and wish her well as she takes the helm of the Canadian Teachers' Federation next year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 6275]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 6015

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, actually this gets in the queue with some of the other people, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Cobequid Educational Centre Cougars captured the 2008 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Golf Championship, their first ever; and

Whereas the Cougars won the team title by a whopping 20 strokes with team members Erik Banks finishing second overall with a 73 and Alex Works finishing third overall in singles play with a 74; and

Whereas the team of Banks, Works, Craig Dale and Robert Jeffcock shot a combined 300 to win the overall Team Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Cobequid Cougars golf team for an outstanding season in 2008 and wish the CEC golfers continued success for 2009.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

[Page 6276]

RESOLUTION NO. 6016

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

Whereas Great Island and the adjacent Selig Island off Cherry Hill Beach in Queens

have been well loved for their wild and natural beauty and enjoyed for many years by residents of the area; and

Whereas over 30 years ago Bill Zimmerman and his wife, Susan Hauer, purchased the islands of over 120 hectares, living there on and off over the years, in balance with nature, using very little resources and generating their own power; and

Whereas recently a partnership with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust saw the purchase of Selig Island and a conservation easement put in place for Great Island which will see the use of the land permanently restricted but will still allow families to enjoy Great Island, camp on its shores and leave nothing behind but their footprints;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and thank Susan Hauer, Bill Zimmerman and their son Ned Zimmerman, for ensuring that Great Island and Selig Island will be protected as wilderness and natural spaces.

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. 6017

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

Whereas the current economic conditions in Nova Scotia are causing businesses to file bankruptcy and is forcing Nova Scotia families to make difficult financial decisions; and

[Page 6277]

Whereas despite the repeated calls for an immediate economic update by members of the Liberal caucus, the Premier contends there is no urgency and that the end of December will be fine for tabling the document; and

Whereas through the Premier's refusal to bring forward an economic update immediately, it has become clear that the Premier is either delaying really bad news or simply showing he is oblivious to the current economic crisis;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier commit to bringing forward an economic update before the House rises and ends this legislative session.

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 Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 6018

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

Whereas in 1978, Minas Pulp and Power Company Limited, celebrating 50 years in business, began awarding scholarships to deserving dependants of employees within the Scotia Investments Group of Companies; and

Whereas Melanie Hattie, daughter of Archie Hattie, was one of four students to receive the John J. Joudrey and Frank M. Covert Minas Basin Anniversary Scholarships valued at $10,000; and

Whereas this award will help Melanie continue her studies at Bishop's University;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Melanie on being selected for the scholarship and wish her continued success with her studies at Bishop's University.

[Page 6278]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 6019

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

Whereas on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at the Bicentennial Gym in Sydney, Nova Scotia, a testimonial dinner was held to honour former Canadian welterweight boxing champ, Rocky MacDougall; and

Whereas not only his career thrived as a boxer, he has served in numerous positions with the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association as well as representing Canada as a referee and judge; and

Whereas his many accomplishments included being inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Heritage Hall of Fame and the Canadian Professional Boxing Hall of Fame in 1987, the Canadian Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000, the Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and was selected the Nova Scotia Official of the Year in 2000;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Rocky MacDougall for his long-standing commitment to the sport of boxing, his dedication and devotion to his community and for being a true diplomat in and out of the ring.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 6279]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 6020

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

Whereas the Glace Bay Volunteer and Sports Hall of Fame was formed nine years ago and recognizes residents, groups or teams who have made outstanding contributions to the community or sports in the area; and

Whereas on December 5th, Mr. Billie Clarke will be inducted into the Glace Bay Volunteer and Sports Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Mr. Clarke has given his time to many local organizations including the Children's Wish Foundation, Glace Bay Food Bank and the Jason Simmons Glace Bay High School Panthers and Vince Ryan Memorial hockey tournaments;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Billie Clarke on being named to the Glace Bay Volunteer and Sports Hall of Fame.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 6280]

[2:45 p.m.]

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 6021

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

Whereas Grade 6 Cambridge and District Elementary School students, Chrissy Zinck, Tamara Hobson, and MaKayla Doyle have been dedicated volunteers for their school library; and

Whereas they would start their volunteer activities a half-hour before classes begin and then give up either their recess or noon hour to help again; and

Whereas their volunteering involves starting up and shutting down the computers, carding the library books, setting up the chairs for the day, preparing new books for the shelves, and reading to younger students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and applaud these outstanding students, Chrissy Zinck, Tamara Hobson, and MaKayla Doyle for their volunteerism and considerable contribution to enriching the Cambridge Elementary School community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

[Page 6281]

RESOLUTION NO. 6022

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

Whereas Eastern Passage and Cow Bay have been hosting community events since the early settlers of the area, to foster good citizenship, community pride, and celebrations; and

Whereas the community has held a local Christmas craft fair, community tree trim event, Christmas teas and sales events, church services, holiday levees, just to name a few; and

Whereas in an effort to help promote the success of all the local community holiday events, residents Jackie Barkhouse, Kathleen Costain, Margaret Logan, Patti MacAulay, Rita Maclean, Cindy Morash, Charlie Oakey, Robert Sandeski, Christa Webber, Dot White, and Henry Ziebek, along with myself, have formed for the first time a holiday festival committee in the community of Eastern Passage and Cow Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly support and recognize the newly established Eastern Passage/Cow Bay Holiday Festival Committee as they help facilitate local holiday events in their community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 6023

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

[Page 6282]

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Community Spirit Award is presented to Nova Scotian communities where residents embody the true spirit of community; and

Whereas Paul-Emile LeBlanc knew immediately that Clare was the ideal community to receive this award recognizing the spirit of the culture and community as a whole; and

Whereas Clare was one of four communities across the province recognized by Her Honour Mayann Francis, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, with the 2008 Community Spirit Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the residents of Clare for winning this prestigious award, and recognize the significant contribution they have made to our 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 Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 6024

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

Whereas Ed MacDonald, co-owner of the Maritime Auto Salvage in Glenholme, Colchester North, is chairman of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada; and

Whereas Automotive Recyclers of Canada has a membership of 450 businesses committed to disposing of old vehicles in environmentally sound ways; and

Whereas the Affiliate Chapter of the Year Award is given annually by the Automotive Recyclers Association, a U.S.-based international organization representing the car recycling industry;

[Page 6283]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ed MacDonald and the Maritime Auto Salvage for receiving the Affiliate Chapter of the Year Award for showing leadership and commitment to protecting the environment.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 6025

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 lobster fishery of Districts 33 and 34 from Sambro to Digby opens today, November 24th; and

Whereas the lobster industry is recognized as the economic engine that drives coastal communities across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas stakeholders in Canada and United States understand the importance of the lobster industry while we deal with an economic downturn and many fishers are struggling to simply make their daily expenses, not to mention a living wage;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly support a deferral loan program and requests that the provincial Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture Critics meet with his federal counterpart on this issue.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6284]

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 6285]

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 6026

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

Whereas lobster fishing is a vital industry to all coastal communities throughout this province; and

Whereas the lobster fishing season begins today in Districts 33 and 34, many fishermen are wondering if they will make ends meet; and

Whereas in these times of economic downturn, it is important that the lobster fishermen know that their government and their MLAs are behind them 100 per cent;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commit to supporting lobster fishermen throughout this province as they face a very difficult season ahead.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 6027

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 many young people are willing to participate in events that challenge and test their skills and commitment; and

[Page 6286]

Whereas many of these challenges provide unique learning opportunities and in some cases life-changing experiences; and

Whereas Alyson Murray of Bridgewater has accepted the challenge of sailing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Alyson Murray of Bridgewater and wish her well in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 6028

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

Whereas president and CEO of Vidabode Group Incorporated, Wanda Arnold, held the official opening of her company's first manufacturing research and development facility in the Amherst Industrial Park on October 26, 2008, and expects to hire a workforce of over 150 within the year and are currently employing 45 and have invested in excess of $25 million in equipment, site and technology; and

Whereas Vidabode is constructing affordable, durable houses for markets in Nova Scotia and around the world using its composite concrete technology, they envision Amherst being the launch spot for the rest of the world; and

Whereas Arnold announced their contract to ship 20,000 homes to Angola as well as developing housing for First Nations communities in Alberta over the next 10 years, she remarked that Nova Scotia is home and Amherst is perfectly positioned to ports in Halifax and St. John as well as being near the highway and rail system;

[Page 6287]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Wanda Arnold and her company, Vidabode, on their official opening and much success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 6029

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

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

Whereas this award was presented to Carmen Moir, nationally recognized public administrator, educator and community leader; and

Whereas his current community involvement includes leadership roles with the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Dartmouth Historical Association, Dartmouth Seniors' Service Centre, Nova Scotia Elder Learners, First Baptist Church and many others;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Dartmouth Historical Association and Carmen Moir on the occasion of his Joseph Howe Fellowship Award presentation and thank him for his many contributions to this community and province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 6288]

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 Justice on an introduction.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Yes thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to draw the attention of all members to your gallery for some special guests visiting us in Nova Scotia this day. We're always pleased to work with our neighbours in Atlantic Canada and from the Government of Shawn Graham, we're pleased to have two of his ministers and representatives join us today. I'd like to ask them to stand as I call their names.

They're here, Mr. Speaker, in consultation with the Department of Justice on the Nova Scotia Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act and examining the procedures we have here in Nova Scotia. We're very pleased that they could come with their officials.

I would ask to stand, the Honourable John Foran, New Brunswick Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General; and the Honourable Dr. Ed Doherty, New Brunswick Minister of Supply Services. Accompanying them are Mr. Dick Isabelle, Ms. Penny Buckley and Mr. Scott Mosher. I'm sure we'll give them a very good, warm, Nova Scotia welcome to the House. (Standing Ovation)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 6030

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, my mother-in-law would be quite proud today as Mr. Foran is a neighbour of hers on Philip Street in Newcastle.

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

Whereas Leah MacNeil is a Grade 6 student at Cusack Elementary School; and

Whereas Leahs participated in Nova Scotia's schools art work program, sponsored by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation; and

Whereas's Leah's drawing, Don't be a punk, Don't drive drunk, is featured this year on one of the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission's bags;

[Page 6289]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Leah MacNeil on her noteworthy achievement of having her art featured on the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission bags, and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 6031

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

Whereas Alice Housing of Dartmouth has been providing safe housing and supportive counselling for women and children fleeing domestic abuse since 1983; and

Whereas the Donner Canadian Foundation Awards for Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services were held November 19, 2008 in Toronto; and

Whereas Alice Housing was chosen as the winner of the William H. Donner Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services and was also recognized for excellence in the provision of basic necessities among the 601 nominees from across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Executive Director Joanne Bernard, and the staff and Board of Directors of Alice Housing on receiving this prestigious award and wish them continued success as they work to offer hope for women and children beginning a new life away from violence.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 6290]

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. 6032

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

Whereas Highway No. 101 between Digby and Weymouth is an important road construction project which has never been given a start date; and

Whereas for 35 years residents of these two communities have been hoping and wishing that the start date would soon be announced; and

Whereas with Christmas fast approaching, perhaps this could be a perfect gift for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to give the people of southwestern Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly encourage the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to announce a start date for construction of Highway No. 101 between Digby and Weymouth.

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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

[Page 6291]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

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

The motion is carried.

[2:59 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[3:26 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 179 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 181 - HRM by Design.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

Further, Mr. Speaker, that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 212 - Homeowner Protection Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendments.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to seek the consent of the House to revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

[Page 6292]

It is agreed.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 238 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Hon. Murray Scott)

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr . Speaker would you please call Bill No. 201.

Bill No. 201 - Counselling Therapists Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we have a number of counselling therapists in our gallery today and I just wanted to welcome them here for, of course, third reading. Maybe I can get them to rise to receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

I know they've been here watching the proceedings very closely, especially when it pertains to their bill, through the legislative process over the last number of days.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Nova Scotia Association of Counselling Therapists for their efforts in helping the department bring this legislation forward. Nova Scotians can take comfort in knowing that they've accessed the services of a counselling therapist, that they are working with someone who has the necessary training and qualifications to practice. The bill will establish a complaints and disciplinary process to enforce the standards and requirements, and deal with concerns from the public. It also establishes the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists, which replaces the association.

[Page 6293]

Mr. Speaker, we are very happy to bring this legislation forward to help protect the public. We look forward to the next number of months as we develop, of course, the regulations and the practice guidelines that will go along with this bill, which I know will take a little bit of time. Also, I want to thank them for their input during this process once again and, of course, for the consultative process that will accompany this bill as it goes forward in the future. So I move third reading of Bill No. 201, the Counselling Therapists Act.

[3:30 p.m.]

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'll take a few moments to say a few words on Bill No. 201. This is, as I've said many times in the past, an important piece of legislation because I think any time you look at professions in our province, especially around health care - and, no question, I think counselling therapists and the work they do revolves around a healthier province, and to have access to those individuals is so important to many, many Nova Scotians.

I want to say a few words on the process that we've seen over the last number of - well, I think it has been a couple of years since the counselling therapists have pushed for this to be on the agenda and they've had many ups and downs in that period of time, Mr. Speaker. I know the ones who are present today are quite satisfied that we've reached this point, but I also want to mention the importance of the process that we just went through.

The process of which I speak is that of introducing a piece of legislation to oversee a certain body, but also the process here in these Chambers, especially through the Law Amendments Committee. That's such an important part of any piece of legislation, Mr. Speaker, as you know, and I know members are aware of any piece of legislation that comes through these Chambers, there is some controversy on them, there are organizations that feel that if a passing of that legislation will hurt their organization or hurt themselves, the Law Amendments Committee has that ability to allow those individuals to come forward with concerns.

We did have individuals, different professions involved in counselling here in Nova Scotia come to the Law Amendments Committee, and I want to make sure that those individuals know that all members sat and listened - and as I'm not a member of the Law Amendments Committee, I did take the time and I thank my colleagues for allowing me to sit in, in their place, in that process to hear all sides of the story and all sides of the concerns around this legislation.

So it's so important that we continue to recognize those who come forward even when they're against a piece of legislation, or if they're in favour of it, Mr. Speaker, that they

[Page 6294]

have a process to come to the Legislature and voice those concerns - and they have some legitimate concerns. I think many of the people who spoke against this legislation felt that with the passing of this their profession or their counselling abilities would be hindered to a certain point because of the recognition of the group that is encompassed in this legislation - referring to the master level for counselling, so that they can have that title.

Mr. Speaker, as we heard from them, I must say they've done a great job to try to ease the concerns of those individuals who oppose this. I know that one group that offers counselling, pastoral counselling or anybody involved in ministry around the province, Mr. Speaker, initially had some concerns. I received a letter from them opposing this legislation but I think it was good to see once the counselling therapists, or the Nova Scotia association recognized that, they got in contact with them. They reassured them that this piece of legislation is a title legislation, it is protecting certain titles under this regulatory body and it wouldn't affect their ability to continue to do the same work they do now in this province.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, it eased our concerns, to a certain point, that they did their homework. The association here in Nova Scotia has tried to ensure that as many groups as possible were aware of this legislation. This didn't happen overnight, this was a number of years - I'm sure they could probably yell down to me from up there. I know it's been in the works for a very long time. They did try to encourage all those organizations that had concerns to come see them. They have endorsements from many associations, like Doctors Nova Scotia, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia and so on. There's a whole list that they provided us, which is a positive thing and it helps us, as individuals, as a caucus, myself as the Health Critic, to give guidance to our caucus on what avenue or what support we can give to a piece of legislation.

As I initially said, this piece of legislation is title protection for the counselling therapists here in Nova Scotia, and I believe that nobody who appeared before the Law Amendments Committee had any problems with the fact that the titles they were going to protect infringed on their abilities to work. So they were confident that wasn't a problem in this legislation, so that encouraged me.

The other thing is, I think it's so important to recognize the importance of a regulatory body, especially when you're dealing around delivery of services, especially health services in this province. I know the Minister of Health and other members have heard me speak about this many times in the past, as a paramedic, we're still waiting for a regulatory body to oversee the paramedics in this province. I fully support health organizations and health professions to seek that regulatory body so that there's an avenue of protection for the consumer, as you say, Mr. Speaker, but in this instance for the patients of Nova Scotia. It's so important that Nova Scotians who go and seek help, if it's a counsellor or a paramedic or a doctor, that if they feel they've been mistreated or weren't treated fairly that there's an avenue for them to go and make a complaint, a valid complaint.

[Page 6295]

Currently the system, and I must say I wasn't aware of the sheer number of different counselling services that we have in this province. Just sitting through the Law Amendments Committee recognized that my Lord, there are a lot of people out there who have different training, different backgrounds, who provide service. I don't take away from any of them because I don't think if there was a need, those individuals wouldn't be in our province to provide those services.

It's important to recognize that we provide that protection for the consumer or for Nova Scotians in those cases where they need to make a valid complaint. Truly, I think by having a regulatory body, having a certain profession or organization belong to that body, there are certain rules, Mr. Speaker, you have to follow certain rules and if you don't, you go before the body which consists of laypersons in the province, other professionals in different professions, and state your case, somewhat like a trial. Then that decision is made.

So potentially an individual who may have one or two or three different complaints against them may have some restrictions placed on them, which is important in our province. I think, when Nova Scotians expect to have services delivered, they expect high-quality service. That's why this piece of legislation is important, so that Nova Scotia do have that avenue to seek, hopefully, a level of protection for counselling therapists.

So I want to encourage, even though I know some organizations, some individuals in the province will be upset with the passing of this legislation, but I encourage them to continue to work with the Nova Scotia counselling therapists because I think they're open. They showed me, as the Health Critic for our caucus, that they've been willing to make some compromises in the past. They have adjusted the legislation to try not to be offensive to any groups and be inclusive. I think even with the Law Amendments Committee procedure, we recognized one presenter from, I believe it was Yorkville University which is an on-line university that actually grants counselling degrees, master's degrees.

The counselling therapists of Nova Scotia acknowledged that they would be more than willing to accept and look at, not accept but look at and potentially accept that which would fall under this legislation, Mr. Speaker. That's why they said, I believe in the legislation it states a master's degree or equivalent. So with that I think it shows a willingness by this organization to hopefully include as many individuals as they can under what this bill would cover and I think they're willing to look at the future and, hopefully, I think add more protection to Nova Scotians here in Nova Scotia around counselling and the services that they provide.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, we are going to support this piece of legislation on third reading and I commend the counselling therapists for their many, many years of hard work to try to get to this point. I'm encouraged by the hard work and the influence that they have had in creating this piece of legislation and getting it to this point.

[Page 6296]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 6297]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to address this issue of Bill No. 201. I'm pleased to see the minister bring it forward again at this stage and I agree with my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, that indeed this piece of legislation has gone through the proper process in this Legislature as all bills do.

Mr. Speaker, it's never easy to put through good legislation. It's always challenging to put through legislation in the first place. We know that, as legislators, when we have differing opinions from different groups, we're going to find that there are some people who agree and some people who don't agree. We have to balance that, that's our job here, and in this case I think the Law Amendments Committee process has given a fair hearing to those who are opposed to this piece of legislation. We recognize that their concerns are there. We recognize and we hope that their concerns are going to be dealt with and we feel that they have been dealt with in this piece of legislation.

This is a piece of legislation that does protect, as my colleague has said, certain titles, Mr. Speaker, and we realize that. We also realize that there is protection there for the general public. There is an avenue that's going to be created to make a complaint and have that legitimate complaint dealt with in a proper manner, so that is a plus indeed. The Nova Scotia Association of Counselling Therapists has been lobbying this government and Opposition for a number of years now to finally put this legislation through.

Mr. Speaker, as we saw at the Law Amendments Committee, and again my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, made reference to a gentleman who appeared from York University who said that their university offers a correspondence master's degree that would meet the qualifications that are set out in this legislation. The Counselling Therapists Association showed their goodwill by saying: We would certainly take a look at that, we would review it. I think by opening up that process of saying everything is going to be transparent and open and we are willing to take people in, and to take other groups in, I think has convinced everyone in this instance that this is a good piece of legislation and a proper piece of legislation to put through. I won't stretch out my remarks any further other than to say that the Liberal caucus certainly will be giving its support from this stage on to this piece of legislation.

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the members of NSACT for all the hard work they have done, as well as thanking the staff at the department for the work that they did in working out a solution for the counselling therapists.

[Page 6298]

I know the member for the NDP also mentioned that there are a couple of organizations, one specifically that is offside. There are a few people who are uncertain of what this means to counselling in Nova Scotia. I can say that we have worked with them to allay those fears, that we will continue to work with the organization to allay those fears, that this is specifically for the counselling therapists. This is specifically to ensure that the services that someone received under the tutelage or under the utilization of a counselling therapist, that they're getting the best product possible for them, that they are getting quality work.

So, Mr. Speaker, again, after all the things have been done, I want to thank the members opposite for their interventions and I move third reading of Bill No. 201.

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 201. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 220.

Bill No. 220 - Judicature Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm very pleased to rise to move third reading of Bill No. 220, the Judicature Act. As we've seen this bill move forward throughout the process here at the Legislature, it is one that we've been appreciative of the interventions of our colleagues in the House, as well as the presentations to the Law Amendments Committee. As people know, this amendment ratifies and confirms the new Civil Procedure Rules, and these are the rules that regulate the court procedures of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. As was indicated, they were last revised in 1972 and for the past five years, through the Rules Revision Project, the Judges of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal have been working on the rules to update them.

With these rules, Mr. Speaker, we expect fewer delays and more satisfactory results, thereby improving access to justice for Nova Scotians. There's one point that was raised

[Page 6299]

during the Law Amendments Committee process and that was we've heard from several members of the Bar, and indeed during the Law Amendments Committee Mr. Rollie Thompson and Ms. Claire McNeil raised concerns regarding one of the rules and we agreed that the issue deserves further review.

With this in mind, I wrote to the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia to ask that the commission review this issue and provide further clarity and advice as soon as possible. It's a matter that when it was raised, I raised it with the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia and they are very aware of that, Mr. Speaker. It refers to the aspect of garnishee and, indeed, what would be there in terms of fees or penalties that would be in place.

As a result of that, I think the legislative process has identified something that was not an intentional item, that was dealing with a technical matter and one that we, subsequent to now, have referred to the Law Reform Commission. The judiciary are aware of the concern and are mindful of that in their proceedings, and hopefully we will be able to come forward with a legislative framework to make an amendment here in the House.

Thus the reason, Mr. Speaker, for bringing those rules. While they have a delegated power at the courts, the reason to bring it to the House is to provide for thoughtful consideration and any other public concerns. That's what the legislative process has done. The judiciary will recognize that and that's why the Law Reform Commission will continue their excellent work on behalf of Nova Scotians, giving thoughtful consideration to a matter that is of importance, indeed with the execution of justice in the province.

So, Mr. Speaker, without further ado, I am very pleased again to move third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As the Justice Critic for the Liberal caucus, it's a pleasure to speak briefly on third reading of Bill No. 220. I certainly want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Liberal caucus to thank everyone who has worked for the past four years in preparing these new Civil Procedure Rules.

Needless to say, the fact that it took four years shows that there was a great deal of thought and consideration that went into changing these rules. Our justice system at times can be fairly complicated but it's a continually evolving system and it's important that the rules of procedure reflect the realities of today in the introduction of technology. The use of technology is something that the courts needed to adapt to and that's certainly reflected in the new rules that have been put forward today.

As the Minister of Justice indicated, they are rules that have been put together by current judges, some who are semi-retired, but when one looks at the amount of committees

[Page 6300]

that were involved in this, there certainly were also various members of the Bar and from the Justice Department who were involved in putting together these rules as well.

We certainly want to commend them for bringing their expertise to the rules. These rules are not perfect, and time will show whether some might be challenged and whether further changes may be made as a result. The fact that it did take four years shows the extensive amount of work that was undertaken in making these changes. As the minister indicated, there were a few representations at the Law Amendments Committee requesting some changes to the rules and, as I said at the Law Amendments Committee, it's very difficult to ask us as parliamentarians to change rules that have been worked on and amended for four years by individuals who one should consider to be experts.

Yet, for us to sit here and pick one specific rule and agree to make changes to it, on that basis, I didn't think was appropriate, which is why I said I did not feel comfortable making those kinds of changes. I am pleased that the Minister of Justice did agree to refer it, the specific issue that was in question - it was an issue about repayment of debts and what kind of court orders can be put.

Previously in Nova Scotia there was a maximum of 15 per cent of your wages that could be garnisheed after your basic living expenses were taken into consideration. The new rule would remove that cap of 15 per cent and leave no cap after your basic living expenses were taken into consideration, so there was some concern that this would have a drastic impact, especially on low-income Nova Scotians, and it would be an issue that would fall back to us as parliamentarians to try to help them should they find themselves in that situation.

I believe sending it to the Law Reform Commission was the proper thing to do. I would certainly hope that the minister, recognizing the importance of the Law Reform Commission, when we see the budget come forward next Spring, there might be an acknowledgment of the important work of the Law Reform Commission, which has been doing a great service for us here in our province - and, as with every other organization, they always have financial requests. Hopefully the minister will be more than open to hearing those requests in the fact that even he has acknowledged their important work in referring such a matter to them for their consideration and possible consideration of the House in the future.

Again, I'm pleased to see these rules. I should point out that the Nova Scotia Bar is making it mandatory for all of its membership - every practising lawyer who does do civil practice, that they have to take a mandatory education course on these new rules. Not only are we passing new rules here, but the members of the Bar themselves will be expected to take the mandatory training as a result of these new rules.

[Page 6301]

So there is quite a significant package that goes along with these new rules and then making sure that Nova Scotians have a good understanding, as well, of what the new rules will be should they find themselves having to make use of our legal civil system.

With that, again congratulations to everyone who worked so hard in bringing these forward and I do look forward to the new rules - and, if I'm not mistaken, I probably will have to be taking that mandatory education myself. With that, I'm pleased to see this bill moving to third reading. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank my colleagues in the House for their comments and interventions. Again, throughout this process I believe we've served this bill well in terms of our consideration and, indeed, our collaboration with those involved with bringing these new rules forward and in showing the integrity of our system is well and strong and intact. With that, I'm very pleased to close debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 220. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I would seek the concurrence of the House to move the three bills that were reported back earlier on to third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 179.

[Page 6302]

Bill No. 179 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise before the House today to speak on Bill No. 179, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. This legislation which was introduced in the Spring, of course, is going to enable municipal council to respond to HRM's challenges and opportunities in a more timely and flexible way.

As I said earlier, a major city having its own charter is not uncommon and as the province's capital and largest city, HRM having its own charter frankly makes good sense. The HRM Charter is based on the Municipal Government Act which is the legislation under which all municipalities currently operate. However, where appropriate, the charter differs to reflect HRM's unique nature. Some examples of this include increasing the threshold for ministerial approval for long-term borrowing commitments to more accurately reflect HRM's financial realities and providing for the appointment of an HRM auditor general.

At this time I would like to speak briefly about a few amendments that have been brought forward and have been adopted; some of these changes stem from discussions at the Law Amendments Committee. First, the opportunity for citizens to be more involved in decisions affecting their community was raised and it was determined after serious consideration that the reference to district councils be removed and that has been done.

Also, Mr. Speaker, as you may recall, the Municipal Government Act was brought forward to the House during the last session and there were changes made to the Municipal Government Act which had to be incorporated into the HRM Charter. That included adding sections related to planning appeals and what it does is results in a uniform process across the province. Also, government put forward an amendment which saw the municipal bylaw authority concerning dogs was made, bringing the charter in line with the current wording of the MGA.

Another amendment was adopted which allows a six-acre portion of the Dartmouth Common to be used for a transit facility. Now, the construction of a transit facility will continue to see that particular land serve the public good and it's also important to note that if that land is no longer needed for transit purposes, it's going to revert back to the common lands.

There is no doubt that government has support for this legislation. The charter indeed is a direct result of a request from the municipality and it has received broad support across the province from various stakeholder groups, including the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Given the HRM's unique status, this charter will lay the foundation for HRM to become even more vibrant and more prosperous

[Page 6303]

and will better enable it to meet the changing needs of its citizens. Before moving third reading, I want to thank my colleagues and the members of the Opposition for support on this important legislation.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I do move third reading of Bill No. 179.

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

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to rise in support of Bill No. 179, An Act Respecting the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Mr. Speaker, I've said it before and I'll say it again and as many times as these bills come before us regarding the ability for any level of government to do their job well and responsibly, it's an important bill.

The direct impact of this bill on Halifax Regional Municipality and the ability for it to enhance their governing responsibility and their abilities to respond to their residents is what's before us. I supported the intention to request from this House a separate charter for HRM when I was on council. I stand before you today in support of it again, as is our caucus. I'm pleased, in fact, to be now a member of this House to be able to see this move along in the process that it is and become a reality for HRM.

[4:00 p.m.]

I support this and we support this for a number of reasons, but primarily one of the most important aspects is that the MGA that exists now, the primary function of it recognizes the functionality of the municipality. It recognizes the ability for the municipal units to be good governance and provide the services and facilities and other things and such that they are mandated to do. It offers the ability through the tools that are in the MGA to maintain safe, viable communities of which we all represent every day, the concerns our constituents bring forward to us. It also gives them broad authority to do the job they do within their council.

This legislation, this request from HRM for the change, recognizes the unique challenges this municipality faces. The challenges of being the economic centre of Atlantic Canada - 60 per cent of the economic activity in this province, of which we are mandated to govern and 40 per cent of the population in Nova Scotia. Those are significant numbers and with that comes significant challenges, significant fiscal restraint, significant issues and different issues than perhaps some of the other municipalities across the province face. This legislation is in recognition of that.

Factors affecting the challenges they face are population growth. The tremendous change that occurs here in the municipality, the higher density population that we have, the

[Page 6304]

25 year regional plan that was very thoughtfully - and took a couple of years to really flesh that out. Those changes, sustaining our commercial and economic growth here in this region and the capital region. The importance of the technology and the manufacturing industry that is here in this local area. The energy development, all of those are important parcels that this change will help them govern and be responsive to. Hence the need for an HRM Charter. This charter, when it was requested, the intention of it was to be as a reflection or mirror image of the Municipal Government Act. There was a request for some changes that allowed them to manage the challenges they face a little more timely and more responsibly for their constituents.

Efficiency in their ability to respond, I think is an important part of having successful government. I believe this legislation has achieved that, the goal of the legislation will allow Halifax Regional Municipality to be as successful as it can be. I think that's one of the fundamental roles we can play here is to help provide the tools and the governing policies that allow them to be successful, as we would any other municipal unit across this province.

It's important to note a couple of things, though, on this legislation. Pre-amalgamation, there were charters in this region. They worked then and they can work again and I look forward to seeing the benefits the municipality will garner out of this change. Future charter amendments will come back to this House. It's not just a blank sheet of paper that the municipality gets to go and write their own rules; it's not that in any way. They have to come back to this House for amendments as they do now. The application is just specific to their region, Halifax Regional Municipality, as opposed to the broader stroke across the province.

We do not take the information, the issues around the debates that have happened - whether in Law Amendments or in our caucus - we do not take that lightly. They are of significant importance. With the interest of all the residents of HRM and balancing that with the weight of the rest of the province is what we thought about when we were deliberating support for this.

As well, as the minister had noted, I thank the other Parties, thank caucus for taking the time to be very thoughtful in their consideration of the issues around this bill and all Parties to achieving to get to this point today, to be able to move this forward. I think I'm pleased, in fact I think it's worth noting that I'm pleased that this bill is before us. It allowed me, as a new MLA so to speak, to cut my teeth on a bill that I had some more current and timely relevant experience in.

So I'm pleased to move this, to support this bill, and I look forward to hearing many speakers. Thank you.

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

[Page 6305]

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise on third reading of Bill No. 181. This is a bill that we are very pleased to see come forward. As a former HRM Councillor, I also feel that this is a bill whose time has come. There has been a lot of debate and a lot of controversy around development in Halifax and, in fact throughout the municipality and not just the downtown. HRM by Design has been working as a committee for some time to talk to the public, to confer with people, to try and find the compromise and the balance that's needed so that HRM can move forward. That is what is really at the crux of this bill and that is to find a way that we can work and have some - excuse me, Mr. Speaker.

We believe that this enabling legislation is very important, so that development will go forward, so that the city's historic areas will be respected and identified. We believe that the status quo simply isn't good enough any more for a city that needs to adopt, I guess, innovative and new ways to grow and to welcome others into this. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, we're talking on the Charter Bill right now, so that I want to say that everything that I've said today has been very good. However, I can take a different tack if I'm talking on the Charter Bill. It's interesting, that having listened to the previous speaker, it wasn't clear to me which bill that was.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh.

MS. WHALEN: I'm sorry. Mr. Speaker, I must say that the two bills we've been discussing - Bill No. 179 and Bill No. 181 - have been very intertwined and I think that the Municipal Relations Critic for the NDP would agree with me that a lot of the discussion has been intertwined, as have the many people who have come to Law Amendments Committee and spoken to us. So with that, I do apologize for speaking more on Bill No. 181.

Bill No. 179 is our Charter Bill and that's also part of the enabling legislation to bring us to HRM by Design. Both of these bills we feel are very important and both of them provide the basis for HRM to move forward. The fact that we haven't had a charter in recent years, since the amalgamation of HRM, has really proved to be a disadvantage to our municipality and to our municipal councillors. We believe that it is right to reinstate the kind of powers they had previously, as the capital of our province. For this reason it's very important for us to adopt it.

Again, saying that we know it's a very large bill but the bill is consistent in all respects with the Municipal Government Act. It has simply adopted everything that applies to all other municipalities in the entire province, that's all 55 municipalities, and now taken all of those rules that are in place and redefine them as being specific to HRM. In so doing it's going to allow for a much faster and more efficient changes when HRM has specific needs that have to be addressed. Previously, any change, big or small, has had to go through

[Page 6306]

the process of UNSM vetting it, that is getting approval for all the other municipalities in the province, before a small change - small or large - could be introduced for HRM.

[Page 6307]

It has been difficult to do that at times because there are very different interests and competing interests sometimes, between HRM, as the largest municipality, and the many others in the province that may not want to be held to some of the costs and some of the burdens that might come with changes in the Act that HRM might be seeking. There are so many examples of that and it's much easier if we can be responsive and look at HRM as a separate entity and deal with their issues separately because certainly - as the previous member has said - HRM includes 40 per cent of the population and over 50 per cent of the economic activity of our province. For that reason it requires a special circumstance and attention.

Mr. Speaker, with that being said, I certainly wanted to acknowledge the many people who have spoken to it at the Law Amendments Committee and their additions and suggestions because they were most welcome as we went forward. With that, I am happy to support this bill.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm just going to spend a few minutes on the HRM Charter. I don't want it to go by without having an opportunity to speak on it. You know there are a number of members of the House of Assembly on all sides who started out with municipal council. I was looking at kind of where we all came from and we have members in the House who were on rural councils, members who were on HRM Council, Dartmouth City Council, the former warden of the Municipality of Barrington. We have a member who was the former mayor of Sydney and indeed two of the three Leaders of the Parties in this House came out of municipal politics.

So I think we have considerable appreciation for the work that goes on in council, the work that goes on in order to deliver services to people, and that's what the municipalities do, Mr. Speaker. I also have the distinction or the history, of having gone through the mid-1990s when the role of municipalities was in a considerable flux. At that point in time, the government was bringing forward two things. As I'm sure the Speaker remembers, they brought forward service exchange which was all about having a look at the jurisdictions of the provincial government and the jurisdictions of the municipalities. Trying to decide, you know, the appropriate areas of jurisdiction and, therefore, the appropriate financial commitments that were going to be attended on both levels of government.

I'm sure you remember, Mr. Speaker, that things like roads went into the jurisdiction of the municipalities and things like community services. I remember very well the days when we had municipal community services' organizations that were, it was kind of a two-tier community services situation where you went first on what was short-term community services and that was the responsibility of the municipality. Then, later on you would move on to the provincial community services' benefits. It was simply decided that that was not the most efficient way to use the money of government, either provincially or municipally.

[Page 6308]

It just made more sense for that to be the provincial government's responsibility. Then the province carved out a whole group of areas that made more sense to be in the jurisdiction of the municipality.

[4:15 p.m.]

Shortly after the service exchange went forward and we started to see what the financial ramifications were going to be, especially in and around metropolitan Halifax-Dartmouth, because it was going to have - service exchange meant profoundly different experiences for different councils. In Dartmouth, we actually came out better off as a result of service exchange. The county, I think, came out much worse off as I recall, as a result of that experience. The result was that the government moved forward with amalgamation. There was always I think some suspicion that one of the things that led to the creation of the Halifax Regional Municipality was a kind of levelling that was involved as a result of service exchange. It levelled out the kind of winners and losers among the various municipalities by creating a very large municipal unit.

The reality is that that municipal unit, the Halifax Regional Municipality, now represents an extremely powerful level of government that affects the lives of more than 40 per cent of the people of the province. In many ways, people see what happens at City Hall as being as important, if not more important, than what happens in the House of Assembly, in terms of the direct effect that it's going to have on their day-to-day lives. With respect to all the services, whether it's policing or fire or snow removal or recreation, all of those are now greatly bound up in the responsibilities of the Regional Municipality of Halifax.

So I think, therefore, that given the importance that we have placed on the Regional Municipality of Halifax that it's only right, as my colleague pointed out and as the member of the Liberal Party pointed out, there were charters prior to the establishment of the Regional Municipality of Halifax. The City of Dartmouth had a charter, Halifax had a charter. This amounts to a kind of customized legislation for the Municipality of Halifax, allows it to respond very specifically to the challenges that it is going to face, not just today but in the years to come.

I have to say that I don't see - I think that in a very lengthy bill there is always going to be pieces or clauses of that that are going to give you pause for concern. But generally speaking, the idea of a charter that is going to provide the framework for which the municipality is going to be run is worthy of support, Mr. Speaker. I certainly intend to support it. I think that we do have to be aware that I think there is going to be a growing competition between the Halifax Regional Municipality and the provincial government, as their areas of jurisdiction overlap. That's a very natural thing to have happen and I think we should look at the way to take the best advantage of those dynamic tensions, rather than seeing them as something that will somehow, take away either from the province or from the municipality.

[Page 6309]

I want to make this one last point with respect to it, Mr. Speaker. The whole point of putting in place this charter is to define, for the Regional Municipality of Halifax, their jurisdiction. I want to just go on record as supporting the notion that once we empower the municipalities, allowing them the freedom to make their own decisions, and sometimes the freedom to make mistakes, is an important part of having a democratic level of government like a municipality.

The members of this House are certainly not going to agree with every single decision that gets made by a municipal unit but we do, I believe, have to respect the right of the municipalities to make those decisions to find their own way on behalf of their citizens.

So, Mr. Speaker, with those thoughts on records, I'll take my place.

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

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, just rise to say a few words on Bill No. 179, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. As every speaker who has spoken before me and talked about the fact that a little over one-third of the population is here in HRM, specifically that this charter is dealing with, it absolutely only makes sense that that municipality has an opportunity to move business forward. The fact that under the present situation they would have to get consensus from all the municipalities, even to deal with things that specifically pertain to Halifax and moving our province forward.

One of the things that has been talked about in this House has been that this is about Halifax and giving them a charter, but I really think it's about Nova Scotia. When we give this municipality the opportunity to respond in a timely manner, with decisions that are affecting its constituents in Halifax, and allow them to move the greater HRM forward, and continue to grow the economy of HRM. Continue to make decisions that allow development to take place, continue to make decisions that are pertaining specifically to HRM, if they can do that in a timely fashion then that benefits all of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker.

This in no way encumbers or affects the municipalities that I deal with other than in a positive way. It allows them to see that the centre core of our province, our capital city, our capital region, has a chance to respond to the issues that affect them directly in a timely manner without having to bring forward all of the other municipalities to garner some consensus on this piece of legislation.

I think we need to bear in mind, as HRM moves forward, so does our province. We spent a lot of time in this House over the last year, around the region, talking about things being held up, things being delayed. This is about allowing the municipality of HRM to move forward. This is about allowing them to make decisions that directly affect their constituents.

[Page 6310]

I was very pleased to see that district council was taken out of this piece of legislation. The last thing we wanted to do was create a bill that really brought in more government on top of people. What this piece of legislation does, in my view, is it allows the municipality of HRM to respond in a timely fashion to the issues that face directly to their constituents and not the entire province. It is our job to manage and overlook the entire Province of Nova Scotia, working with the UNSM.

But when things pertaining directly to HRM, those councillors, the mayor should have the ability to be able to respond in a timely manner so that we can move this province forward and continue to grow. The only disappointing thing that I have in this entire piece of legislation is that we didn't pass it last Spring when it was put before us. I, on behalf of our caucus, look forward to seeing this coming for a final vote so that we can pass this through and allow the HRM to set their own charter and begin to set a course for their constituents. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: I wanted to start by amplifying a point made by our Leader in his comments. He reminded us of how many of the members of the House have actually had direct experience of sitting on municipal councils. I certainly participated in that group, I was a member of the city council for the City of Halifax, pre-amalgamation. I was a member of the Halifax Regional Municipal Council the first time it was ever elected and I enjoyed that.

I mention that because when our Leader spoke, he reminded us of a shared history here of involvement in the municipal level of politics. Of course, we have that. I would go further and say that we have here, those of us who have direct experience of it, a profound respect, not just experience, but a profound respect for the municipal level of government. It's a wonderful invention, even though it's not constitutionally sanctioned or recognized.

When one reads the original BNA Act and now the Constitution Act of Canada, it's clear that our country is constructed of two levels of government. In addition, now we have recognition of Aboriginal rights and perhaps self-government there, but essentially it was the federal and provincial governments that came together to form Canada. There is no constitutional protection that exists in Canada for the municipal level of government. Municipalities are levels of government, but they're levels of government that have been invented by provinces in order to do local matters, especially land-use planning.

That is a device that is universal across Canada and it's a very useful invention. It's a level of government for which we all have to have a lot of respect because people work hard at that level, they engage in the details of what community ought to look like. Municipal governments are about that, they're about building community at the very local level. They

[Page 6311]

engage and are expected to know the details of every street corner and every open field in their geographic district. That's what you look to municipal councils to do, to think about, in a detailed way, what are appropriate land uses within their geographic area.

I have not just participation but respect for the municipal level of government. I have respect for it arising out of my own history as a municipal councillor. I have respect for it as a citizen who has participated at the municipal level as well. Years before I became a municipal councillor, I made representations to municipal councils, indeed, when I found difficulties with some of the decisions that municipal councils had made. I participated in the appeal process and occasionally in litigation, either as a citizen or as a member of groups or in my private law practice. So I have that kind of engagement which is, in fact, very much part of the real democratic dynamic of what goes on at the municipal level.

Finally, I have both engagement and respect for the municipal level of government because of the other occupation that I have, apart from the time spent in this House, which is teaching the law of land use and land-use planning at Dalhousie Law School. I've taught that for 12 years, I've taught it to law students, and to students who are seeking their master's of planning degree. My respect for the municipal level of government only grows as I continue to learn more about it.

To go back to that constitutional reality that I mentioned at the beginning, Mr. Speaker, the hard fact for municipalities, even though they are a legitimate level of government, is that they can't write their own rules. They have to operate within a legal context that is defined for them by the provincial government, and that's our job. Our job is to look at the legal framework within which municipalities operate and we do it for every municipality around our province, including, of course, HRM, but that's our responsibility, and that's indeed what we're engaged with here.

Another way of thinking about it is to say that it's up to us to decide what is the array of legal tools, what is the array of fiscal constraints that ought to be in place with respect to municipalities? Our job is to set a framework for them that is sound. That is our function. Our function is to do that, to create the legal context. Our obligation is to give municipalities good planning tools.

Now I have to say that of course, as has already been indicated, our caucus is going to vote in favour of Bill No. 179 that is in front of us now, the new HRM Charter. I've heard a suggestion of what it is that has led to this bill coming forward; clearly, the HRM council asked for it. The rationale seems to be that as the largest municipal entity, if at some point in the future HRM wanted to have some changes to the legal framework that governs it, it would be a more efficient route if they could talk directly to the provincial government, rather than going through amendments to the Municipal Government Act, and therefore triggering the requirement for negotiation, both the political and legal requirement, I should say, for negotiation with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

[Page 6312]

It has been suggested that there might be some particular kinds of tools that might be appropriate only for HRM. That's a rationale that makes sense, I don't think it's an absolutely compelling rationale but if HRM council wants it and if the minister is prepared to carve off a special piece of legislation for HRM, it makes sense, fine with us, we'll vote for it.

You know one of the things that has been suggested to us is that essentially this bill just takes the Municipal Government Act and it replicates it and makes it apply to Halifax Regional Municipality. I've been through the bill line by line and, with the assistance of the Legislative Counsel's Office, I've been able to compare the bill that we have in front of us with the Municipal Government Act. It's unfortunately clear, Mr. Speaker, that Bill No. 179 does not, in fact, exactly replicate the Municipal Government Act, there are actually changes. I think that given there are changes, the minister should have identified them for us. Never mind his ill-fated excursion into district councils which he has backed off of. That wasn't asked for by HRM council, it was just stuck in the middle of this bill with what continues to be a murky antecedent for no clear reason. Well, you can argue the toss about district councils but the government has backed off of them.

I found a number of other changes, some of which I think, in fact, are just fine. There are additions to the list of municipal powers. I'm referring to Clause 244(4)(m) and Clause 244(5)(q) of the new charter. Here are two new powers given to the municipality, to HRM, without the minister having identified them. Now, one is to regulate the floor area ratio of buildings; the other is to give a more sophisticated tool for the municipality in its zoning in areas near airports.

[4:30 p.m.]

Do you know what? I don't think either of these is controversial. In fact, come right down to it, I think they're both good ideas. Not only are they good ideas for HRM, they would probably be good ideas for amendments to the Municipal Government Act, but there are two things I didn't hear from the minister. First, I didn't hear him identify these things which seem to have been just tucked into the bill. Furthermore, if they're good ideas for HRM, they should probably be good ideas on this general list of powers for every other municipality in the province, but I didn't hear the minister say we're going to take them to the UNSM and begin to talk to them about these things. Why not? I think he should.

There are several other small amendments that have been tucked into this bill. I don't know if the development community knows that in Clause 293(3) the definition of infrastructure charges has been amplified. It has been amplified to say that expanded solid-waste management facilities can be charged up against a new development as part of the kind of development charges that are incurred by someone who builds a new subdivision. Now, I also don't think that's a bad idea. I think it's a very good idea but I think it's not just a good

[Page 6313]

idea in HRM, it's a good idea province-wide, but I wonder if the minister consulted with the development community. Now, he may have, he may have, I don't know. We don't know because he hasn't told us, and to tuck this into a bill where we're told that it's a replication of the Municipal Government Act seems to me a little peculiar.

Now, there is also in Bill No. 179 an item that appears in two different places that really belongs in Bill No. 181. This is the expanded notion of what it is that the external appearance of buildings could involve and the power to deal with them by a different planning route than prevails in the Municipal Government Act. I want it put on the record, Mr. Speaker, that when this bill went through the Committee of the Whole House, our Critic for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations attempted to amend the two points at which this phrase appears but was voted down by the other two Parties in that respect. The attempt to amend those clauses was an attempt to clarify them so that we understood them more clearly and more narrowly than they might otherwise be applied.

All of this should really have been in Bill No. 181 but they were tucked into Bill No. 179. If they're going to be in Bill No. 179, they should have been amended to accord with what it is that, in fact, the HRM by Design process says it really has in mind. They say in their documents that what they have in mind really are materials, the colour, the pattern of the outside of buildings, the shape and size of windows, doors and certain details. They say that they don't mean that phrase to extend to the height and bulk of the building. Well, if that's what they intend, if that's what they mean, it's very unfortunate that the two other Parties refused to agree with our very sensible amendments put by our critic for municipal affairs. I think we have to, and all listeners have to, understand that that attempt to change the bill, to make it a better bill and a clearer bill, was unfortunately defeated here.

Mr. Speaker, I started my remarks by saying that I, and I know all my colleagues, have great respect for the municipal level of government. I've heard the government make remarks in which they have tried to say how much they respect and support metro - unfortunately the support that the government mostly gives to metro is the kind of support that the hanged man gets from the rope. It's not what I think we should welcome. Not only do we have a Premier who seems to want to be the mayor as well (Interruptions) but it has been easy to think of ways in which the government might, in fact, have really done something for metro.

Now it's very good of the government to respond to the request from HRM Council to ask for a municipal charter but - do you know what? - I don't think it actually does a lot for the political heft of metro to have this charter. It's a fine thing - let's vote for the charter, we'll have it - but if the Premier and his Party really respect metro, I suggested at second reading that they should think about ways to find a more proportional representation in this House that would give two more seats to metro which, in fact, if we were going closer to "one person, one vote" in this province, indeed that's exactly what the proportions would look like. (Interruptions)

[Page 6314]

We have respect for metro, and when we've spoken up in favour of it that's one of the things that would emerge (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto has the floor.

MR. EPSTEIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In fact, if the government were seriously interested in having a look at how municipal government is carried on in this province, there are probably quite a number of real changes, useful changes, to the Municipal Government Act and presumably Bill No. 179, the new charter, could in fact have incorporated into it. But the government didn't do that; they didn't take advantage of the opportunity of rethinking this bill, to have a public consultation and to think about ways in which this bill could be improved.

I want to give the government some examples of ways in which the planning process and municipal government could easily have been improved. Now there are problems, as they exist right now, in the Municipal Government Act. I was present when the original piece of legislation went through this House in 1998 and I have to tell you that one of the key features of that Act is the Schedule B provisions that list provincial policies that municipalities are asked to write their own planning policies in accord with.

Now those Schedule B policies need serious rewriting. Many of them are weak and they should certainly be expanded in order to emphasize the sustainability mission of municipal government. But that's a missed opportunity; I'm not going to try to lay out the details of changes that are needed. What I'm flagging for the government is the fact that Schedule B should be looked at because the province's obligation is to provide a context for municipalities as they do their work - and Schedule B is one of the main instruments of that context, and that Schedule B needs work.

Non-conforming use rights. Non-conforming use rights are provisions in the Municipal Government Act, and now in the new charter, that try to balance the rights of private owners with the interests of a developing municipality as it moves ahead and makes changes. Those are sections that probably need some work.

In HRM, we have a particular taxation difficulty, it has to do with supplementary education. I have to say, that's something that the government should probably work on. Let me flag one more for the government and that has to do with the rights of tenants. The rights of tenants are not recognized explicitly in this legislation. Furthermore, when we get to talk about the companion piece, or one of the companion pieces of Bill No. 179, we will find ways in which the rights of tenants are compromised. The point is, the rights of tenants need protection and this would have been a good opportunity for the government to engage in that but they did not.

[Page 6315]

Finally, let me remind the government of something that emerged very strongly in the comments of the public who came to Law Amendments Committee. Quite a number of the people who came said that, for them, amalgamation wasn't working and something has to change. Do we know what, if anything, the government thinks about this? Do we know what, if anything, the government has to say to the people who came and said, they feel remote even from their municipal government? They feel uninvolved. They feel they're not heard. They feel they don't have enough influence. They feel it's not sufficiently democratic process at city hall and they are worried.

They look back and they blame amalgamation. Again, this wasn't a series of speakers that we looked for or put up, these are speakers who simply appeared, many of them saying that they lived in the former Town of Bedford and they came and really said they were having a problem. People from other parts of the municipality said the same thing, but we don't know what the government thinks about it.

Those are suggestions. Those are observations. Those are problems, but none of them is a problem with HRM or HRM Council. All of these are problems that have to do with the failure of the government to engage properly in the law reform process that it is supposedly engaged with here. It's the failures of the government that I'm identifying because we support this bill, we'll vote for it, but I have to say that when it comes to an understanding of municipal government, when it comes to an understanding of Metro, that government is not very far advanced. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise here again and to speak to Bill No. 179. I wanted to say a few words in support of Bill No. 179. We strongly support, from this side of the House, the idea of a separate charter for the Halifax Regional Municipality. We want for the Halifax Regional Municipality what all municipal units would like - the right to self-determination, the ability to respond to local conditions and local aspirations. We want the same rights that we ourselves demanded 250 years ago - the right to a representative and responsive government. For a government to be representative and responsive, it should have the right and the tools to respond to its local populations.

The idea of a charter is not new to Halifax. Halifax has had a charter for, I believe, over 250 years. It had a charter on amalgamation, so this is nothing new. It restores a power that Halifax once had.

Halifax, as you know, and as the bill acknowledges, is the capital of Nova Scotia, it's the seat of government, it plays an important role in supporting the well-being of this province and this region. It's the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada, it's the region's

[Page 6316]

centre of business and government and it's no surprise that Halifax wants and should get its own charter.

This bill gives the local council a broad authority to pass laws respecting the right to govern the municipality in whatever way the elected council considers appropriate. So we have no problem with that bill, those aspects of the bill. Nor do we have a problem with the framework which aims to devise a more efficient and clear process, of more transparency, of more meaningful consultation, the right to be notified, the right to be heard. All of those things that come with a charter and with democratic rights.

Whether or not those rights are provided for in Bill No. 179 is not clear, Mr. Speaker. Certainly in the sections that we were looking at earlier, particularly Clause 255(3)(l), the debate that we had over the external appearance of structure, for example, to me it's not so much a question of that particular provision, but how the public has perceived that provision. It essentially says that we're not sure that this section means what it is supposed to mean. We tried to limit it so that it would be clear and that was rejected. The debate over clarity, the debate over that section, really speaks to the lack of trust that the public has in our democratic institutions, in our non-elected processes.

[4:45 p.m.]

That's not to say that there's anything wrong with the staff at HRM, that there's anything wrong with the site place planning committee that must be struck It just says that the public is not sure about the competence or the trustworthiness of the council. So even though we are giving this new agency the authority to do it, there is still that question of trust. Part of the challenge will have to be building that trust.

I hope that when the Halifax Regional Municipality tells us that this provision does not apply to mass or scale or height, that we can believe them and it will not be used as a back door to getting into these types of issues. It's not so much that we don't trust them. We also believe that in those things that are so fundamental that make significant changes to height and mass and things that the public has made it very clear that they wanted to be consulted on, that this process will not be used as a way to get around that.

So we trust the government at this stage and we trust the municipality when it says that height and mass and those fundamental things will not be affected in any significant way by this bill and that the public will have a right to be involved, that the council will have a right to be involved and perhaps even the Utility and Review Board.

One more thing, this bill, the people defending it have made great heroic claims about what this bill is going to do for Halifax. We have to be a little bit realistic, Mr. Speaker, that the problems of Halifax that the city is encountering does not lie in whether or not Halifax has its own charter. The problem lies in more fundamental problems that we are having with

[Page 6317]

demographics and with the economy. If we are to develop downtown, we are going to have to do more than pass charters and debate these clauses in terms of whether or not we trust our institutions.

With that, I just want to say again that we support wholeheartedly this idea of a charter that gives the Halifax Regional Municipality its own autonomy. We respect and we applaud the attempt to develop more transparency and accountability and the right to be heard, at least the claims that have been made about that. We respect the notion that there will, at some point, be another bill that will talk about specifics, about what it means, and when that bill comes up we'll be happy to speak some more about it. For the moment, Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to support Bill No. 179. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Before I take my seat, I'd like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of my new constituents who are away from their home base and also some of them who are at their home base, a few doors down from me on Walnut Street. I would welcome Monsieur Bourgeois and his group of students from the Université Sainte-Anne to our House. I would like them to rise and receive a warm welcome.

MR. SPEAKER: Bienvenue à nos invités. The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to say a few words on Bill No. 179, the Halifax Regional Municipal Charter. Je va aussi prendre cette occasion de remercier nos visiteurs qui sont venue nous voir içi à l'assemblée. On est couramment entrain de faire la troisième lecture sur le projet de loi qui va donner une charte à la municipalité içi à Halifax. Alors c'est ça la discussion qui prends place. Une fois j'aurai fini parlé j'espère que c'est le ministre qui va finir le débat, il y aura un vote et puis le projet de loi sera passé à ce point là. Alors c'est ça la discussion qui prends place et puis j'avais quelques remarques que je voulais faire après écouté quelques des membres de NPD.

Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to speak very briefly because I thought it interesting listening to the member for Halifax Chebucto and the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island preach a little bit to us here in this House. The member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island went on at length about the amendment proposed by the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and how it was not supported by the two other Parties, yet they both went on to say how they respected Halifax, they respected the charter. I thought it quite ironic because one would expect if you respected the charter and respected Halifax Regional Municipality, for any amendments that you would want to bring, that you'd actually get their support for it. You would say, look I have gone, I've talked to them, I've told them here is what my concern is, here is what I believe will make this bill stronger and I would like your support.

[Page 6318]

That didn't take place and yet they'll tell us on one end they all support Halifax Regional Municipality, their independence and everything else. Yet the NDP is going to tell us what's good for HRM and they're going to fix the bill without even seeking the support of the council. I think that speaks volumes and I think that speaks to the reason why it did not receive support here in this House.

The other interesting point, and it took them awhile to get there, I think deep down it takes them a little bit to admit it because when you lift the veil, you see a number of things about the NDP that aren't quite readily apparent. You finally heard it when the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island said, it's time for two more seats here in metro. So there's two options to do that, Mr. Speaker - either it means the NDP wants more members in this House which I'd be interested to see how Nova Scotians would react to that, or they're going to take seats away from other parts of Nova Scotia which I believe speaks to the NDP's true mandate here in this House. It is to take away representation from Nova Scotians outside of the city and pit one part of Nova Scotia against another part of Nova Scotia. That's not what Nova Scotians expect. In regard to where you live in this province, you should have the representation that you're owed.

The question being, Mr. Speaker, and I'm sure you have the same question - were the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island and the NDP suggesting that we abandon the protected ridings that minorities have fought for years to get in this province. Is that what they wish to abandon? Do they wish to get away from the protected status offered to African Nova Scotians, to the Preston riding? Do they wish to abandon the rights given to the Acadians in Claire, Argyle and Richmond? Is that where they're going to take the seats away to put here in HRM? That is the question to be asked, that is the answer that was not provided from the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island. That is the question that we'll certainly be bringing back to our constituents in letting them know what the true mandate of the NDP is, should they ever be given the opportunity to govern this province, and Nova Scotians have a right to know that.

Mr. Speaker, those are the brief comments that I wanted to make on this. I believe our caucus has shown our support for HRM. We believe this bill is going to make the city stronger and is going to make it quite clear as how they operate from here forward. With that, Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to see third reading of Bill No. 179.

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 just wanted to make a couple of comments before closing debate on Bill No. 179, third reading. I want to thank the members on the other side of the House for the most part for their helpful and supportive comments. I do say

[Page 6319]

I would have to join with the member for Richmond in taking a rather serious exception to some of the comments from the member for Halifax Chebucto about taking seats away from rural Nova Scotia to give them to HRM. Then on the other hand we do know that basically they're kind of an HRM Party in many ways and that they really don't get out into the rural areas with the exception of my good friend, the member for Cape Breton Centre. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, this is an important piece of legislation and it is one that, as you know, has taken two sessions to get it to this point. It is supported by the UNSM and other municipalities. It will give Halifax, we believe, some tools it needs to progress and to be the capital city that it is of Nova Scotia and indeed of Atlantic Canada. This is legislation that actually, if you look at how the three Parties worked to try to get this to the point it is - with the exception of a couple of people - you know we did work fairly well in getting this to this point. So I'm delighted to see this and I'm really delighted as well to move third reading of Bill No. 179, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, and ask you to call the question.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 179. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

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

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring the attention of the House to the west gallery. In the west gallery this evening, we have seated a gentleman by the name of Brian Tapper. Brian Tapper is a vocational counsellor with the Nova Scotia Rehab. I have known Brian since my early years at Dalhousie University and Brian is also a neighbour of mine - a season ticket holder with the Halifax Mooseheads. I would ask the House to give Brian a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 181.

Bill No. 181 - HRM by Design Act.

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

[Page 6320]

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise again to speak on Bill No. 181 which is effectively an amendment to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter; to clarify, these amendments to the Act allow the implementation of the HRM by Design Initiative.

Mr. Speaker, the HRM by Design Initiative has been underway for a couple of years and has been discussed at numerous public meetings. This initiative is designed to, and I quote from HRM: establish a clear and compelling vision of our city for the next 25 years. The HRM By Design process will provide clarity for proposed developments and provide the framework for the future. What it essentially does is ask the citizens of the municipality to determine the vision for downtown and, with assistance from professionals, the rules of what the rules for downtown development should be. HRM by Design does this by dividing the downtown into precincts. It then establishes through extensive public discussions what types of developments will be permitted in each precinct, what building heights will be allowed, and guidelines relating to what proposed buildings should look like. I believe that HRM is to be congratulated for initiating this process for wanting to provide a clear planning framework and to move away from some of the issues we've seen in the past concerning downtown development.

The province is committed to making sure that we have a vibrant, prosperous downtown that attracts and promotes development and as the capital, we can have a city all Nova Scotians can be proud of. The province has made this legislation a priority. HRM is our capital and it's economic growth affects the province as a whole. Therefore, it is of keen interest to all Nova Scotians. However, there has been some confusion of late around this legislation and I'd like to address some of the questions that have been raised.

First, HRM by Design does not automatically change the rules for downtown development. What it does is simply provide council with more planning tools to help put into place the vision that the municipality has developed and proposed. The HRM by Design process requires some changes in legislation in order to make it work. Second, we are often asked why are we changing the legislation now? Mr. Speaker, HRM Council will be holding hearings and planning matters in February through a public process. HRM has asked for these changes so that the discussions in February will be based on authority and planning tools that are already in place, instead of what might be available in the future. In essence it's really that simple. HRM needs tools to have valid discussions and to move forward.

[5:00 p.m.]

Halifax Regional Municipality is not the first jurisdiction to go through a process like this. In fact, Vancouver currently has a progressive planning initiative underway. Mr. Speaker, in order to give the members of the House a better understanding of what I mean when I speak about the planning tools included in HRM by Design, let me give you an example. Part of this legislation will enable HRM council to appoint a design review

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committee. The design committee will review aspects like architectural design and other characteristics of new development downtown.

I have brought to the House a change that has allowed the design review committee 60 days to look at the proposal instead of 30. Mr. Speaker, as you are well aware, the Committee on Law Amendments saw a number of people speak about this legislation and indeed, there were a wide range of opinions. Regardless of the point of view, all of the presenters were very passionate about the downtown core. As a result of these presentations, after discussions with the members opposite, there were additional amendments brought forward. For example, the section of legislation that applied to the Halifax Peninsula were reduced. That included sections relating to architectural controls and site plans and variances as well as bonus zoning.

In addition the legislation now requires HRM to establish sessions open for public consultations on site plans in that defined area and indeed that entire plan will be reviewed within a 10-year framework. That provision provides for additional and ongoing opportunities for public input. Indeed the amendments that were made will result in more certainty for citizens, the development industry, the heritage community and the municipal council.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all members of this House for recognizing the importance of this legislation and for giving their support. I now move third reading of Bill No. 181.

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

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased this evening - almost this evening, I guess - to be able to rise to speak to Bill No. 181. For the record perhaps I can encourage the honourable members in the Liberal caucus to make sure they pay attention to this - this is Bill No. 181, an Act to Implement HRM by Design. Perhaps you can tell your colleague when she comes in that, in fact, the information is there before us. The intent of this bill is to be enabling, enabling our Halifax Regional Municipality to do the job that they have set out to do. To facilitate the urban design study has been a goal and a strategic element offshoot from the regional plan, primarily affecting HRM's regional centre, this legislation for HRM by Design.

The downtown Halifax area of HRM is the economic, social and cultural hub of the region. What happens here affects all of Nova Scotia. What happens here is important to all of Nova Scotia. So it's important that we get this right. I don't know, I can't tell you 100 per cent if we got all elements of it right at this point, but I think it's time to move it forward and test the waters with it.

[Page 6322]

HRM by Design, once it's enacted will allow Halifax Regional Municipality to proceed with the job that they've been tasked to do. The job is just really beginning at this stage. As of this moment, Halifax Regional Municipality does not have the legislative authority to proceed, they do not. They cannot proceed with the public hearings on the rest of HRM by Design without this legislation. So that, I think, is a key focus of allowing this to go forward at this stage, recognizing that there still is work that potentially - well, I know it has to be done on these issues around development and the future of the downtown area.

A key objective of the HRM by Design was to find the right balance between new growth and development, yet protect our heritage. However, I do think it is worth noting here it's an element that is missing, Bill No. 182, that has not been brought forward. The Halifax Regional Municipality has yet again requested that this government bring that bill forward. It's a piece - they came with all three requests - it's a piece that is missing. It is a further protection for the heritage element of the downtown area and, in fact, of all the heritage properties across the province. So it's an important element, I think, that needs to be brought forward and it's missing. It's been suggested that there were other parties that held this up but clearly, the delay lies squarely with our government to bring that forward.

The process on HRM by Design has been lengthy, it's been two years. It has not been without controversy, but I don't think any good government, any good governing policies, would be the ones to go forward without really good dialogue, perhaps differing of opinions. We need that to get a really good, strong understanding of what the needs of our municipalities and of our citizens are.

After two years of public consultation - and by and large, that was successful consultation, I believe there was good-quality engagement by citizens. The public engagement strategy, though, is a complicated one and it's one that needs work, I think, in most municipal units. I remember when I was on council, one of the very first elements of consultation that I experienced was some of the short-changed elements around the Harbour Solutions Project.

While I was there we talked a number of times on council, my colleagues in the House who were on council with me at the time, we talked about the need for that to be strengthened, the need for that to be improved and I know that HRM is coming forward with more reports and consideration around what is the best route in their planning applications for consultation, whether it be a large-scale project such as Harbour Solutions, or HRM by Design or just the ones that would be at their local community councils. So I think that's an important element that will be coming forward from them.

Public support for HRM by Design by and large is out there, I believe. I think it's important to note that this bill is not an endorsement of the details of HRM by Design. Having said that, there's a lot of it that is really good but HRM needs to now step up to the plate and finalize this deal. They have another element of the work to be done and that's

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through their next stage of public hearing, through their next stage of some more public consultation, which they hope will move forward early in the year of 2009.

Of course, today, we have a role to play. This bill, this legislation is enabling legislation that is here before us and we have to make judgment on whether or not we're prepared to see this go forward.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that HRM council and staff, and all of those involved in this design strategy have a huge challenge ahead of them but our role in it is to get this right. What has been presented to us, again what came before us in the House, the first presentation I don't believe was right. We had concerns about it and so we worked hard to have dialogue with staff, have dialogue with our Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations staff, our caucus, with HRM staff, with the citizens of the community, and certainly the roughly 32 presenters at the Law Amendments Committee. They, as the minister had said, they spoke passionately. They spoke thoughtfully. They came in and shared their information and it was all information that we had to take very seriously but HRM by Design, HRM Charter, and certainly the Heritage Act, they all overlapped. Those presentations were really addressing much of the same information but specifically HRM by Design now we are here.

I have to applaud, I want to applaud and take the time to recognize the valiant efforts, I believe, of Mr. Phil Pacey and the Heritage Trust for fulfilling, really, the mandate and the goals that he, Phil, and that trust set out to do on so many occasions, they took great time, great pains, a great effort to bring their issues before us and, no doubt, before the government. We were able to bring some of the amendments and some of the changes through, not all, I wouldn't say we certainly achieved, I think we fell quite short of some of the goals that they had hoped to get through, but they worked very hard on behalf of the citizens of Halifax and I think they need to be applauded and congratulated for those efforts. (Applause)

We felt there needed to be changes from the original recommendations on this legislation and so we worked hard. One of those was around public information and the minister referenced that but, you know, we're going to take credit where credit is due, we brought that forward. We know that that's important to citizens and I thank the minister and the Liberal caucus for agreeing to having that change. As well, the realization that this bill as presented originally encapsulated the whole of the peninsula, that baffled HRM staff, that baffled council - where did that come from? The consultation, the meetings that we've spoken about over the last two years were relative to the downtown area. That's what people in our community came out to speak about. That's what the staff was recommending on. That's what council was voting on and will proceed to vote on.

Somewhere along the line the government decided to throw in the whole peninsula. So we believe that it's right and it's fair and it's just, to bring that back to the attention of the downtown area, recognizing though that HRM Council has the intention at a later date to

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look at this type of design for the entire peninsula and Dartmouth, but that's for then. This is now. This is around the downtown area and again I'm thankful to the Parties that agreed to the amendment, as we put forward, to bring it back to where it was meant to be.

Again, there are still some unresolved issues for some members of our caucus and I know that they'll speak to that. The public, however, I am prepared to, I believe, see this go forward on their behalf. Before I take my seat though, I really do have to encourage council, the representatives who have been elected into that position, to do due diligence as they go forward with this design strategy. To bring forward thoughtful consideration as they proceed through their public hearings of the issues that they're tasked to address. Again I ask them to do the true community engagement process, but I have faith in them, Mr. Speaker, I have faith in their council. I have faith in the representatives who are there and elected to do the job that they're doing and to put the interest of the public first and foremost in their consideration and decision-making time as we have in our deliberations.

I'm prepared to support Bill No. 181, An Act to Implement HRM by Design, but before I do I, as well, believe it's time to congratulate HRM Council, the staff of HRM, HRM by Design committee, the residents and stakeholders who have taken the time on a number of occasions - too numerous to mention - all of them, to come out and share what's important to them, to the decision makers who are making the decisions, exercising their democratic rights to be engaged in this process. I thank them. It's an important process - don't stop doing that. We, as decision makers cannot do a good job without their help. Again, this really is only one step - really the load is now with council if this should pass. I wish them well, and with that I'll take my seat. Thank you.

[5:15 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.

I have been following the debate around the clutch of municipal government bills that the government has offered to us, since the Spring, with great interest. One bill was Bill No. 138 that was a fairly flawed bill and had to be severely amended before it went through in the Spring session. The government then chose to defer the three other bills that it introduced - Nos. 179, 181 and 182 - which were, I note, requested by HRM Council as a package. As my colleague has just said, we have to ask ourselves - where's the third bill? Where's Bill No. 182?

At the moment, we're focused on Bill No. 181. I shall not be voting in favour of this bill, and I want to take a few minutes to explain why. In discussing Bill No. 179 a minute ago, I said one of the main obligations of any level of government is to try to build community, it's to try to promote the democratic institutions and the feel of democracy that

[Page 6325]

is out there in our communities. So by that test I look at Bill No. 181 and I ask myself - does this promote democracy or, in fact, does it inhibit democracy?

I think about the comments of Alexis de Tocqueville, who was the Frenchman who came to the United States in the 1830s and wrote a book called Democracy in America. De Tocqueville was intrigued by this young and dynamic country that had just been established through the process of revolution, similar to the French Revolution, on the North American continent and he travelled around and he looked at all communities in North America to test the idea of democracy. Here is what he said about democracy at the municipal level: he said that democracy at the municipal level is kind of like grade school compared with post-secondary education - he probably used higher levels of education, he wouldn't have said post-secondary education.

Democracy at the municipal level, he said, is where we learn democracy. Our involvement at the municipal level, as citizens, is where we learn to be good citizens and where we build the democracy at the higher level - at the state and national level in the United States, at the provincial level and national level in Canada. He said that if a democracy, if a great nation does not have the hallmarks of democracy at the local level, then its citizens won't get the opportunity to learn democracy effectively and to grow, and their communities will not grow and that will redound negatively in terms of how the nation will evolve in its entirety.

So I bear in mind that historical example when I ask myself whether Bill No. 181 does anything to build democracy. The impulse to democracy in metro is enormous. There are community groups out there that work hard; there are community groups that follow land use planning issues in the community in detail - they go to meeting after meeting after meeting. Everyone who has been involved in the detailed, "grind it through" land-use planning issues - as so many of us have in this Chamber through our direct experience as elected officials at that level - know that this can be a long process that requires a lot of attention. It's a process that's very hard on volunteer citizens who come forward and yet they keep coming forward in their numbers because they want to be involved.

You know what, the essence of land-use planning is not that it's a subject for experts and specialists. If we believe that we would just take the planners who get planning degrees and put them in a room and say you figure it out and tell us later what you've come up with. We don't do that and we don't do it because we know for exactly the reasons that deTocqueville suggested - that there's a better way.

I have come definitely to the conclusion that land-use planning decisions are always improved by going through a public process. You get information from people who live in the communities and really know it even when they're interacting and talking to the traffic experts, to the land use experts, to the demographic experts, to the elected officials. They're the ones who live in the community, they're the ones who live in the neighbourhoods and

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they always know their community and they come forward with very useful information inevitably. Those of us who have been at the municipal level and have gone through public hearings know that you always hear good stuff from the people in your community when you go to them and you say to them here's what we're thinking of doing, give us your comments. We're open to hearing what you have to say, this is a transparent process, we're genuinely interested in listening to you.

You know how democracy gets built? It's not that the decisions are better in terms of the quality; democracy gets built because even when people don't, as a result of those processes, get exactly what they want, if they feel that they have definitely been heard, honestly heard by a decision maker who is sincerely interested in listening to them, even if they decide something different, then they will go away prepared to accept the decision, they will go away prepared to integrate it and get on with their lives and continue to go on with the process. So that's another part of public hearings that's so crucial is that people want to be heard. They don't want to guarantee that the result will always be what they're asking for. In a democracy with a plurality of views everyone knows that it won't necessarily be that, but they want to know that they've been heard in an honest process. (Applause)

They want the opportunity to be heard. Let me just cut to the chase immediately and quote to you exactly what is wrong with this bill. A statement was given at the Committee on Law Amendments by Professor Jill Grant, who holds a Doctorate in Planning and who is head of the Planning School at Dalhousie University.

Here is her statement about Bill No. 181: Bill No. 181, HRM by Design, does not provide an adequate role for the public in considering applications for incentive or bonus zoning. It potentially places staff in difficult positions making private agreements on behalf of the community with little in the way of public review. Deals reached behind closed doors with no public hearing or review may lead to allegations of unfairness. Given the ability of bonus zoning to enhance the value of property, the municipality needs a transparent and open system of checks and balances to ensure that decisions are seen to be in the best interests of the community. Community groups should retain the right to appeal decisions to the URB based on the congruence of the decision with planning policy and regulations.

That's the end of the statement from Professor Jill Grant, who has not only taught the planners for years but has also published a book and many articles on the importance of public participation in the planning process.

If Jill Grant says to us Bill No. 181 does not provide an adequate role for the public, I'm inclined to believe her. I didn't need her to tell me this because it was obvious to me when I read this bill, even acknowledging that the government has made some amendments to it, that this bill doesn't in fact, build democracy. This bill in fact places barriers in the way of the effective participation of citizens at the ground level, in looking at land use decisions. The land use decisions are very important ones and too important to have this kind of interference put in place.

[Page 6327]

Again, let me remind all members and the public that when we're discussing this bill, we're not discussing the details of the HRM by Design process. We're not discussing whether buildings should be tall, or short, or in between, in the downtown of Halifax. We're not discussing where they should be placed, which blocks should be developed. We're not discussing whether downtown Halifax should be, as they use in some of the language when the planners have discussed it, pedestrian-friendly. I think that's a great idea. I don't like the heights but I think the pedestrian-friendly part is good.

We're not discussing any of that here, though. None of that is up for discussion here on the floor of this Legislature. It could be, we could decide to get engaged in that, but that's not, in fact, really what's in front of us. What's in front of us is a bill that, in fact, has to do with the legal tools that we were offering to the municipality to discuss what it wants to do about downtown Halifax.

I heard the minister say that HRM - and I think I am quoting - needs these tools to make HRM by Design work. Well that's simply not the case, it is simply not the case. In the Municipal Government Act now, and in the new Charter for HRM that we just passed a few minutes ago, and that all of us voted for, there are all the legal tools that are necessary to make the content of HRM by Design go ahead, if HRM Council ever gets to that point of deciding to go ahead with it, because it still hasn't decided that, they're still working on it.

Zoning - zoning deals with height and that zoning power is right there in the HRM Charter right now. That's a power that exists, it's there. It's not missing, we haven't taken it out by passing the new HRM Charter. The power to deal with height, it's there.

Furthermore, if HRM Council were - on any particular piece of land in the downtown - to say that they wanted to do something extraordinary that wasn't previously contemplated by the restrictions of the land use bylaw, they can do it by development agreement. That device was invented decades ago and is regularly used. A development agreement is a special contract between a landowner and the municipality. It allows the landowner, after public hearing, after thought and a vote by the council, to go ahead with the building where the design might be different, where the height might be different than normally contemplated - it's entirely possible. Furthermore, every significant development that has gone on in the downtown of Halifax, went ahead through development agreements, certainly for the last 30 years.

So what is this bill doing? If the minister's statement is not right, that HRM does not need - his word - need these tools to make HRM by Design work, then what exactly is the thrust of the bill? I'll tell you the thrust of the bill - the thrust of the bill is to say, we don't want the public, really, to be involved as much as it has been involved before. The thrust of the bill is to say, when it comes time to looking at specific sites in the downtown of Halifax, we don't want to go through the trouble of having another public hearing and we don't want

[Page 6328]

to go through the possibility of an appeal to the Utility and Review Board. That's what this bill does.

What this bill does is, it invents some extraordinary land-use planning law tools that are designed to minimize public input and to undercut, in my view, the democratic participation by all citizens. That's wrong and I won't vote for it. I think it is mistaken for the government to come and try and cloud the issue and try and say, as has been suggested, that if you don't like this bill, you don't like HRM by Design, you don't like development of the downtown, and you're anti-development. What a lot of nonsense, what a complete lot of nonsense. I reject that and I reject the members' over there saying that. I know no one, certainly not the MLAs who represent the Halifax peninsula, who doesn't want healthy economic development in the downtown of Halifax. You bet we do.

When there have been fights in the past about development and particular items, particular proposals, those fights have been about the scale of the project. Those fights have been about compatibility of the project with surrounding neighbourhoods. Those fights have been about design. Those fights have been about views from Citadel Hill. Those fights have been about the wind effects on pedestrians walking around. Do you know what, every one of those are legitimate interests for debate at the detailed level in front of municipal councils and that's the kind of thing that citizens want to be able to debate and argue about and have public hearings about, and have the rights of appeal to the Utility and Review Board about, but this bill is designed to say we don't want that any more, we're not going to be bothered.

[5:30 p.m.]

Members of the government have tried to muddy the pools by suggesting that when I speak, when others speak and they don't like this bill, they're opposed to development of the downtown; nonsense, absolute nonsense. Let me tell you something about HRM by Design though. Mr. Speaker, it has gone off the rails. If I wanted an additional reason not to like this bill, I could look at what has actually happened at the municipal level and I would have an additional reason for voting against it if, in fact, this bill really was necessary. If this bill really was necessary for HRM by Design to go forward, that would give me an extra reason to vote against it because HRM really has at the municipal level gone off the rails.

Do you remember where it came from? Several members have talked about the history of municipal planning here. Well, after amalgamation HRM Council set out to do a very sensible thing - to look at regional planning. They said all the pre-amalgamation entities had their municipal plans but they need some coordination and why don't we do some coordination. Well, that was 1996. I was there when we started off that process. It took a decade. It took a decade.

In 2006, finally a new regional plan was adopted and the new regional plan, amongst its policies, said something quite good. Here's what it said. It said, do you know what, urban

[Page 6329]

sprawl is not a good thing. We should have something of a more compact form and we should encourage more development, residential and commercial development, in the central urban area but do you know what they defined as the central urban area? It was the whole of the Halifax peninsula and it was Dartmouth inside the Circumferential Highway and they said over the next 25 years we're going to add about another 25,000 people in that central area, remembering that that's a big piece of territory.

Here's something that spun off as a myth, those 25,000 people that the regional plan talked about as being an appropriate target added population for the Halifax peninsula, the whole of it, and Dartmouth within the circumferential boundary. People started talking as if all of those 25,000 people were supposed to be in the downtown of Halifax, the Central Business District (CBD), not true. It was never true and furthermore HRM Council has never set targets for how many of those 25,000 people should be in the CBD, it hasn't gotten there yet, but that myth was spun out there and some councillors even embraced that. You saw it in print and you heard it repeated. It's just not true.

Here's the next thing that HRM by Design did that was wrong. Initially they started looking at our residential neighbourhoods because they were looking at that big area. They were looking at my residential neighbourhood. They were looking at Halifax Needham. They were looking at Dartmouth. They did a little preliminary work but then all of a sudden the process of HRM by Design wasn't about residential neighbourhoods any more, it was only about the Halifax downtown and they said, do you know what, we'll deal with neighbourhoods next year or the year after.

Do you know why that was problematic? It was problematic not because the downtown of Halifax didn't need attention, it sure does, it needs attention, but it was problematic because it left the residential neighbourhoods out there without effective policies to increase the number of families with children there. When the development community has been building, they haven't been building homes for families with children, they've been building apartments for one person, two persons, three persons.

So the school board comes along and looks at the demographics - remember this last year - the school board comes along and it says, where are the kids? We're going to start closing schools. Well, if the HRM by Design people had been doing their job, they would have found ways to increase the amount of housing for families with children so we wouldn't be looking at the threat of closure of schools that we have over the last couple of years in both Halifax and Dartmouth. That was a very bad thing and a part of that problem was that HRM by Design went off the rails in that respect. I hope the councillors at HRM are thinking about these points. They are desperately in need of close examination. Serious problems.

Another myth that's floated around HRM by Design is that the problems with actual development in the downtown of Halifax have to do with the legal tools, that they have something to do with the flawed legal process around development. But, you know what?

[Page 6330]

They don't. What they have to do with is the economics of the situation. If you look at what's been built in downtown Halifax over the last couple of decades, you'll find that a lot of hotels have been built, that residential projects have been built and you'll find that HRM Council has, in fact, authorized a whole series of residential projects for the downtown that are substantial in size, but for which not a shovel has been put in the ground.

The problem hasn't been the legal framework, the problem has been the economics of the situation. If developers really thought that there was a huge demand for office space in the downtown, as we hear from the government, Nova Scotia Business Inc., and some others, they would have built it. They would have built it or they would have asked, instead of for residential projects, they would have asked for commercial projects. They could have done that through development agreements, but they didn't.

Either they have quite a different understanding of what the office space demand is for the downtown or they understand the dollar problems of building Class A space. What they're telling us is that they think it's too expensive for them to build Class A space on some of this land and it won't be taken up because there's competition from other space. They'd only have to go back to look at how the downtown is developed with something like Scotia Square at one end and the Maritime Mall at the other end of Barrington Street to realize that those two structures built 30 years ago took up a huge amount of the future opportunity for offices to be built in the downtown and they've sat on that.

Those two buildings have sat on the possibility of other office space being built in the downtown because of their enormous size, for three decades. That's the story. That's the hard reality. The problem isn't the legal framework, that's a myth.

During the Law Amendments Committee, people referred to the one comprehensive study that's been done cross-Canada- wide, of appeals. There's always been a suggestion and we heard it from the government in the Spring when they brought forth Bill No. 138, there's always been a suggestion that somehow that planning process for the downtown takes too long. You know what? The government dealt with that in the Spring. The government came and said, everything takes too long at the Utility and Review Board. We need to introduce time limits. You know what? We passed that bill. We passed it. We've shortened up the time limits at the Utility and Review Board. If that was the problem, that's been dealt with six months ago. It's all done.

The real problem from the perspective of those who want this bill is they just don't want to be bothered with these hallmarks of democracy; they just don't want to be bothered with the opportunity to have these public hearings.

Mr. Speaker, I want to identify what I think is a particularly irritating flaw with this bill . . .

[Page 6331]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The chatter is getting a little high. The honourable member has the floor.

MR. EPSTEIN: The particularly irritating flaw with this bill is that it wishes to favour property owners over tenants. In the year in which we're celebrating 250 years of democracy, in the year in which we thought we had reminded ourselves that 200 years ago we moved beyond special status for those with property, as over against the rest of the population, we now find this reasserting itself in the middle of this bill. Make no mistake, this bill disenfranchises tenants and gives special rights to property owners. What it says is, when it comes to notification of certain kinds of developments, the notification within a very small area will go only to property owners in that area. Now imagine, even when this is confined to the downtown of Halifax, we know that there are residents there who are not property owners - lots of them are tenants.

We also know that when it comes to land-use planning, the interests of those who are tenants are not necessarily coextensive with those who are property owners. Property owners, the person who owns the apartment building, may get notice of something that's proposed in a next door lot. They might think it's just fine, the owner of that apartment building, because they might think that if a new building is built there, it will add to the value of their own piece of land. What about the tenants in this building? They're not entitled to notice under this legislation even though they may be within the same notification area. Their interest is going to be a different interest. Their interest is going to be in the quality of life in their neighbourhood and they may not like that development and they want the opportunity to say so and this bill says they wont get that opportunity. Not only won't there be a public hearing, they won't even be told of it in the first place. That's what that minister thinks promotes democracy in this province in the year D250. I don't think so.

Let me tell you something else about it. It's not just that I find this particular provision to be obnoxious, I'm going to suggest to the government that it's illegal. I'm going to suggest to the government that when they favour property owners so flagrantly over non-property owners, they're going to run into a charter challenge. I don't think they've thought about that. At some point, Section 15 of the charter is going to be used in exactly these circumstances. I've been watching litigation go on around the country in which Section 15 begins to engage with the issue of discrimination against those who have less economic means than others, and it's advancing. That litigation is advancing and it may be that this bill will be the one that will end up going to court and we'll see whether this in fact gets knocked out on that basis.

If I may, Mr. Speaker, let me issue a warning to the government. If they think that they are inventing a more expeditious process for land use development in the downtown of Halifax, they might be wrong, and here's why I say that. They're knocking out the Utility and Review Board as an appellate body. In the 10 Canadian provinces, nine of them have provincial-wide land use appellate bodies that exercise supervisory jurisdiction of some sort

[Page 6332]

over municipalities land use decisions. There's one province that does not have such a land use appellate body and that is British Columbia.

So what happens in British Columbia where citizens can go - they can still go to public hearings at their municipal council - but what happens in British Columbia when citizens find that a decision has been made that they think is inappropriate and there's no land use appellate body? Well you know what they do? They go to court. In the Province of British Columbia, there is more per capita litigation over land use development projects than there is anywhere else, precisely because there is no land use appellate body.

If the government thinks that by passing this bill that it is going to offer to the municipality a tool that would expedite the process, by cutting out the Utility and Review Board, they're going to find something very different. What they're going to find is that there's going to be increased litigation which is going to take a heck of a lot longer to sort out than appeals at the Utility and Review Board. The government had better be prepared for that and they had better be prepared to wear it. Mr. Speaker, I don't like this bill. I know the government has made some amendments to it but they are minor amendments and I won't vote in favour of it. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

[5:45 p.m.]

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise here on third reading and to speak to Bill No. 181, an Act to Implement HRM by Design. Before I speak on that, I want to talk about the HRM by Design process. It's been a lengthy process, it's gone on now for over a year and I've been intimately involved in the hearings. I participated in the debates, I've read the literature, I've spoken behind the scenes with some of the leading players in that process.

I want to pay tribute before I go too far into this to Dale Godsoe and her HRM by Design team and some of the other principals in this committee - Paul MacKinnon, Dawn Sloane, Bernard Smith, Andy Fillmore - a number of people who have been very active in this discussion and whose opinions I respect and admire. I certainly admire the energy that they have devote to this process. If there's one thing I learned, Mr. Speaker, in the HRM by Design process, it is that Haligonians care passionately about their city, about their built environment and about its future. People came out in the hundreds to participate, there were heated debates in the corridors, there were heated debates in the newspaper. In that process of talking with the principals in the HRM by Design project and following that debate, I learned a great deal.

From that debate, Mr. Speaker, there emerged a number of principles and objectives that are worth repeating. I think there was a consensus reached that Halifax downtown is the

[Page 6333]

economic, social and cultural heart of this region and must be treated as such. To be treated as such, it had to have a better environment, it had to have a population, it had to have an economy befitting a capital district.

We came to a consensus that Halifax does need more people, that we need to repopulate this heartland, if I can call it that, so that people can live near the city That the quality of life in the city for those people who live here will be enhanced, that they have to live near where they work and go to school. It means that we have to protect the integrity of our neighbourhoods and that means that we have to plan and design them.

We need a beautiful and exciting city that will revitalize our region and attract our youth, especially skilled youth. This city is a magnet for university students and other skilled professionals and people who come here because of the quality of life here, because of the water, because of the population that we have here, the welcoming atmosphere, the quality of jobs that are available. We have to design a city that will attract those people here and keep them here.

We reached a consensus that we have to do more to protect our heritage and to enhance our heritage and not just heritage buildings, but heritage spaces of our view planes, that we have to have clarity and predictability and timeliness to the development approval process, that we have to have enhanced public transit and active transportation; it's one thing we haven't seen much in this HRM by Design, but we've been promised that this will be there later.

By and large, I think on both sides of the debate, if we can characterize it as this debate having two sides, there was a consensus that the status quo is not acceptable. You know people are frustrated with the endless debate and legal wrangling, and so to the extent of this process, the HRM by Design process, not necessarily this legislation, promises to end this legal wrangling and meet those other values and objectives, I would support that. But regardless of whether I would support that or not, those values, those assets, and those debates belong properly in Halifax Regional Municipality Council and the municipality itself.

The MLAs from the Halifax peninsula in particular have participated actively in the life of HRM Council and the life of the city. We reserve the right to continue to participate as actively as possible, as actively as our citizens require us, to engage in those debates. The HRM by Design process does not preclude that. What we have in front of us does not speak to the values and assets that HRM citizens, and certainly citizens of downtown Halifax, want. That debate is going to continue. This bill will launch the beginning of that next round of debate and will have to be approved by council itself.

I dare say, Mr. Speaker, for all the planning that has gone into this process, for all the participation that has gone into the process, for all the claims that this process is going to

[Page 6334]

bring some kind of stability and unity and integration in our planning process, there are some extraordinary inconsistencies in what's happening in theory and in practice in Halifax City. For example, there's a meeting going, on as we speak, in my community at St. Mary's Elementary School. Just at the very moment that the city is saying it wants to attract 5,000 people downtown and 25,000 people onto the peninsula, it is proposing - not the city proper but the school board is proposing- to close St. Mary's School. Now, where's the consistency there, where community schools are the heart of the neighbourhood; people come, you know, families come to live around community schools, businesses establish around there, public spaces are created around there, and we say on one hand we're going to attract people into downtown and on the other hand we're saying we're going to close the school.

There's a proposal to build a third bridge across the harbour - or a tunnel - and build it right smack through the middle of the constituency, Mr. Speaker, six lanes of traffic, when the public has clearly said it wants better transit, it wants better transportation, it wants to reduce the number of cars that are coming into the downtown. So we have this inconsistency where the theory says one thing and the practice is completely different. We're saying that we want to make Halifax the cultural hub of the province and of the region and we close down places like the Bloomfield Centre and the Khyber and we cut our support to our young artists and we close down incubation spaces for them.

[Page 6335]

We say we want to protect heritage and yet we've been sitting on the Barrington Street heritage plan for years and years and nothing has happened. We have a plan to develop the Infirmary lands at Queen Street, it was a wide-spread consensus, and this urban design plan has set that process back. It has set that process back in large part because of the intransigence of the government and the inability of the provincial government to cooperate with the municipal government on these kinds of issues.

So this HRM by Design plan, Mr. Speaker - even though I applaud it in theory and I respect the process and I admire the energy that council and the HRM by Design Task Force has devoted to it, you know - has some pretty significant gaps between the rhetoric and the reality. I hope that as we engage in this debate at the council level and at the municipal level that some of these gaps will be closed and some of those gaps in communication between the provincial and the municipal government will be closed, so that the provincial government will participate in this process as a constructive partner and not just deign on high when it suits its purposes to intervene in local decisions. We're passing a bill here, Mr. Speaker, that gives local autonomy to councils, yet the practice of the government has been to intervene in the legitimately made decisions of that council.

I want to say something, Mr. Speaker, about the bill itself and what this bill does and is supposed to do. There are a number of things that I have a problem with. I agree in principle with all of those things that we've talked about but there are some clauses in there that are still a great source for confusion. I sat through the debates at the Committee on Law Amendments, I followed the public debate very carefully, and there's still a great deal of confusion about bonus zoning, for example, variances and the role of community councils and development officers.

There is a great deal of difference of opinion about what constitutes a substantive matter and a non-substantive matter. There's a great deal of debate about the external appearances of structures and what constitutes a change to the external appearance. So those are issues that need to be cleared up and they're not completely clear in this legislation. Closely related to those is the role of the public, the role of the council, the role of the design review committee, the role of the development officer, in making authoritative decisions and what kinds of appeals there will be in that process.

To me, Mr. Speaker, those are two pretty significant gaps in the legislation that need to be cleared up. To the extent that these gaps are not cleared out, we certainly need to decide whether or not we're going to consider this now in this legislation or we're going to consider this in the light of experience, whether or not these things can and should be cleared up at the council level or not. There are other gaps in this legislation that have been addressed to some extent in the amendment process. The boundaries of downtown and the capital district are clear. There was a question about whether or not this would apply to adjacent neighbourhoods and it's clear that it will not at this stage, although HRM by Design will as time goes on. There was an extension of the boundaries within which people will be notified

[Page 6336]

to 60 metres. There is a provision for additional public consultation and early warning for the public when issues relating to bonus zoning and amendments to external structures have been carried out.

So this bill, in part, has been amended significantly, Mr. Speaker. As I said earlier HRM by Design is a work in progress and as an indication that it is a work in progress we've established not a sunset clause but a review, that it will be reviewed in 10 years. Based on what I've seen from the debates over the last couple of weeks, I think we'll be reviewing it on a daily basis and the review will begin the day this bill passes.

Mr. Speaker, to me this bill has some pretty significant benefits. This bill addresses in part the need for clarity, or more clarity. It has sections dealing with site base planning. I like the idea of site base planning, I like the idea that when we plan for a site, some of those things will be fixed. Now we are assured that the height and mass of the building will be fixed in the site base planning and will not be changed through bonus or incentive zoning except to the extent that the bonus might provide for some additional height. We're told that those will be fixed. We're told that the external appearance will not be changed in any substantive way. Now we are expected to believe the government when it tells us that's what this means, but council in itself has very strongly said that it supports that interpretation, that development officers, that site base planning committee, that others will not be able to vary. those kinds of fundamental limits that are put on that.

So this debate, Mr. Speaker, these areas, or this lack of clarity will have to be cleared up in the coming process. This lack of clarity will have to be cleared up in the debate at council and I trust the judgement of council. I admire the council for taking on this issue and trying to look 25 years down the road as to what kind of a city we want to have in downtown Halifax and, by extension, the province itself . I suspect the principles that we lay down here will end up being applied further and further away from the downtown core.

[6:00 p.m.]

So the question for me then is whether or not this bill is flawed and it certainly is flawed, but it is a question of whether or not this bill is fatally flawed, whether or not it is so flawed that we have to defeat it. On reflection, Mr. Speaker, I would say that based on what I have seen from the HRM by Design consultations, the kind of passion that people have brought to this debate, the kind of energy that councillors have devoted to this, that I have faith in the members of my constituency, of the people in downtown Halifax, that they will continue to disagree passionately over what the city should look like. But I think in the end we will have to wait for experience, to see whether or not those grey areas will be cleared up.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I will support this bill, despite its flaws. Thank you.

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

[Page 6337]

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this time to speak on Bill No. 181, HRM by Design. As I said earlier, we've been looking at two large bills for HRM in this sitting of the Legislature and both of them are in many ways intertwined, but HRM by Design is something that has come to us after months and even years of consultation and work with the city. Beginning with their city council and signalling that they wanted wider consultation. Setting up a committee of citizens that is chaired by Paul MacKinnon and Dale Godsoe, who have done a very good job in extending that consultation far and wide, through a number of means - public meetings and presentations, people have made submissions. Everything has been looked at by the city and made available on the Web site. So there have been a lot of different ways for the public to have some input. There have been consultants hired who have provided quite extensive presentations during those public meetings.

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased that so much work has been done to engage the citizens of Halifax. I do want to give just one caution on the kind of consultation that HRM does because I've seen some of it in my own area and that is that they have a preference for these kind of open house formats or formats where people can't hear each other's comments. I don't like that myself, I've seen it in my own area and I know there's been some criticism of the public meetings that have been held because they are designed, to some degree, to contain opposition and to contain comment.

I was at one large meeting, though, at the World Trade Centre where there was a period of time left open for individuals to come to the mike and to speak and that's the kind of public meeting that I like to attend because I want to hear people who care enough to come to those meetings and are able to get up and share their views with others.

That being said, Mr. Speaker, I know that the comments were made public, that they were shared with others, that there was a lot of opportunity to try and hear from divergent views. Development is a tricky business, there's no question that you're always going to have divergent views, people with different opinions and it has been difficult in Halifax over the last number of years. It seems like it has been fractious and just causing a lot of difficulty in moving ahead some major developments and ideas from the Planning Board to actually take place.

As was mentioned earlier, the economy of the city is changing, we're all feeling that. This is a worldwide change in the economy and that's going to signal even more difficulty for developers or for growth in our city. We need to make sure that within the confines of our downtown that we have allowed for that growth and for the development that's needed to move us forward economically.

Just a number of years ago HRM came up with an economic plan which does require that there be new office space and that our downtown be designated for that because a lot of organizations, particularly financial institutions, prefer to be and, in fact, will only - it seems

[Page 6338]

- go into the downtown core. Much as I'd like to have them in Bayers Lake or in Bedford, they like to be in a central location.

Our downtown definitely needs to have the capacity to grow and to attract other business and I accept that. I've heard it from the time we did the economic plan and I know it's important. Our caucus supports this bill, Bill No. 181, HRM by Design, because we want to see things move forward and we feel the frustration level among residents here in Halifax has grown. I hear it every day in my own area; I've talked to a lot of people just in the last few weeks since the House has been sitting, who are very keen to see us come up with a new set of guidelines to move our city forward. I think this is the best opportunity we have to do so and I think this bill is a reasonable approach to make it happen.

That is very important to us because we want to see this change at least be enabled. One of the things I think is important about Bill No. 181 is that it does enable city council to go forward and have their own hearings about the actual detail of the changes they'll put in place. One of the concerns I had was the bill stipulating a 30-metre minimum area that would have to be notified, property owners within 30 metres, which may be perfectly alright if we're talking about a driveway or a little change in a neighbourhood which site approval plans are often used for. But, it's not the same thing if we're talking about large developments or blocks that would be developed.

That's quite a different matter if we're using the new tool of a site-plan approval rather than a development agreement which is the current way that generally these were moving forward. I have concern about that 30-metre area of notification because it's very minimal. But, what I was told, HRM Council in their deliberations with the public can set a wider area that they believe to be the standard. I think it's important that they do.

When I was a councillor, right from the very beginning I always notified a much wider area than was required because I think when people have information, when they're included and informed, then their questions can be answered, there can be good dialogue between government and the public. I think that way you run into a lot fewer problems in the long run. There's nothing to be gained by not sharing information widely and broadly with the public.

I would hope that when this comes to council, they will be doing exactly that - setting a high standard and an expansive standard for notifying the public. In speaking to HRM, they have talked about putting the advertisements in the newspaper, which I think is important. It's not enough to just put them on the Web site or just to mail them out to immediate neighbours and property owners, but that it should go much further than that. I think a notification in the newspaper of these changes is very important. Again, I think that it's fair to say that we can put some trust in the people who have just been elected to sit on city council. This is something they should realize, it's important that people have a right to know and that they will have a far better functioning government at the municipal level if

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they make it a practice - not only on a whim but that they actually enshrine in their own by-laws to ensure a wide area is notified and that it's very public.

I think that will go a long way to alleviating some of the fears that people have around some of the restrictive nature that appears to be there when you talk about a 30-metre notification. Again, the staff at Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, who are the municipal planners, said that is currently what's in place for other jurisdictions and other municipalities. So, the 30 metres wasn't as alarming as I might originally have thought since it has been the standard. But, remember, it is a minimum notification area and it certainly will not be sufficient as we go forward and are dealing with much larger projects. That was something that's very important to me and I will hope - I'm sure - that city council will be considering that and considering our comments here today.

The enabling legislation is very important. We see that the status quo has not been serving our public and although there was mention of some buildings that have been approved and not built on, I think it's important for all members of this House to understand (Interruptions) Thank you, I have the floor, right? Thank you very much, members of the Legislature. The noise was getting a little louder, but I know it's your job to say so. (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, I wouldn't usurp that, I would not. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park has the floor.

MS. WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, I think it's important that all members of the Legislature recognize that when there are delays in building, or even lengthy delays in getting approval, the funds that have been set up and available for a big project may have gone elsewhere. That's the nature of capital - people invest elsewhere when they can get it invested, get their money working for them. And what I've been told, that in some instances, certainly those developers have had other opportunities and the funds have gone to other cities, even other provinces, because we haven't been responsive enough to move on projects that ultimately have been approved . If the capital is not there later, then obviously the land sits vacant and that's a loss to all of us if that does happen.

So we need to find ways to seek compromise and seek ways of understanding each other, and that means that those who are strongly in favour of protecting Halifax are certainly right in doing so, but where's the balance? We have to make sure it's there. When I look at HRM by Design, I see that there are going to be three heritage areas - I think they call them precincts in the plan - which will be clearly delineated and will be protected, and there will be certain rules that will apply only to those areas.

I think that's very important. I want to see the heritage aspects of Halifax maintained, absolutely, and I know that all of us when we have visitors, unfortunately we don't go to Bayers Lake usually, we go downtown - we might go to Bayers Lake with our visitors to

[Page 6340]

shop, but we come downtown to experience the heritage and the character and the nature of Halifax.

It's important and something we're all proud of, and I know wherever our homes are in the province, this is a showcase, a jewel for us in Halifax or for the whole province. I know that that's important to us to have the waterfront and have the historic buildings, but at the same time, you know, we are proud of some of the new buildings that have gone in. They add to the nature of the city and to the vibrancy of the city. I've heard from many young people who want to see us, you know, maintain that as well. They love the art and culture and heritage, but they also want to see job opportunities, office space, and growth.

So we have to have a balance between them and I do feel that there has been a lot of sensitivity that has gone into the drawing up of the plans that we have for HRM by Design and the enabling legislation which is before us. That is important to me, that I see that there's goodwill and good intent to strike the balance that will be best for our city. I want to see that done and I want to see HRM Council in their role continue to enforce that and to protect that which must be protected in the city. I do believe that much of this falls under HRM Council to determine the details of, and what we're really doing here is enabling them to use the site plan approval method for a larger number of developments and changes to the city, where previously they have been using zoning and development agreements. So this does give them the power to expand that tool and use it. Again, I'm pleased to see that the government has made the amendment which leaves the power to do so strictly within the area that had been the focus of HRM by Design consultations.

Initially - and I don't know if it was just an oversight - the bill had said it would cover all the peninsula. It will now cover only the area that was properly canvassed I guess and consulted about. So that's very important to all of us. Mr. Speaker, the city has so much potential to attract more people to live downtown and to work downtown. We're very fortunate in comparison to many other cities, both in Canada and certainly in the United States, that we still have quite a few people living in our centre of the city. When evening comes, it's not abandoned by people heading out to the suburbs, and we need to continue that and to bring more people to live downtown.

I myself live in an area that has a fairly high density, probably one of the most high density districts in HRM, and I can say that it allows for a lot of services to come to your area. It supports schools - it has been talked about - when you have families and people drawn to live in the city, you're going to be able to support the public amenities, the recreation, the community centres, the schools Those are very important to have a proper neighbourhood and a proper community to live in, because the people who chose to live in the centre of the city are not disconnected in any way. They need to be connected as a neighbourhood, to where they live. I think that more people coming downtown will help to do that because it will help shore up and support the services and the facilities that we have

[Page 6341]

and perhaps attract new facilities that are needed as the population grows. I think that will be positive for all of us as the city does grow.

[Page 6342]

The geographic layout of our city makes transportation a real issue. There are only three ways to get from Mainland Halifax from Mainland South or my area of Mainland North onto the Peninsula. Those areas become real choke points because of traffic. As we get more people living downtown, that's going to help a lot. It can take away some of that traffic and we can improve our transit on those three main arteries that come in. That will make a big difference as well but we have to have a council that's looking forward to the future, that's trying to solve some of our problems, that's working more actively to do so. I think that the entire exercise of consultation and citizen engagement around HRM by Design has set the framework and some foundation for us to move forward and do just that.

[6:15 p.m.]

We feel that this is a good step, that it's necessary. As a provincial government, it's not our job to step in and try and second guess city council on individual applications or developments, but it's our job to provide enabling legislation to let them deal with development in a positive way. Again, I think the balance has been struck in these documents to provide for heritage protection. The other bill that we've been looking at here is to provide for two year protection on heritage buildings before they can be demolished. Mr. Speaker, that's very important because under the current rule only a year is required before you can demolish. That's very important for us to see that goes into place because then there is more time for the HRM by Design rules to be formalized and the historic districts to be protected. I can't stress enough that that is very important to all members, I'm sure, of the Legislature, that we do value very much the character and the history of our capital city.

Mr. Speaker, it is essentially an effort to provide predictability, clarity around the rules and yes a more timely process, as well, in terms of how we move forward with development. I believe this will be tested with time and proven to be a successful way for us to begin our move forward and also our protection of what we value most highly in the city. So I think that the balance will be struck with this legislation and again I do say a lot of the detail is going to be left to HRM Council and I hope that they will listen when the public comes to the public hearings, when the points are raised there about necessary protections for heritage, necessary protections for our view planes and several other points. We were told after the Committee on Law Amendments that there were in fact going to be certain rules that will have supremacy over some of the concerns that people had, particularly on height, that if they were previously protecting view planes they are to continue to be protected. So I want to see that specifically articulated by HRM Council so that it is in fact the way it is. That's our understanding and that was the assurance we were given. We want to make sure that is in fact honoured by city council.

I believe, to say a few words about our newly elected councillors that they as well are reasonable people who understand the values and the aspirations of the citizens of HRM and that they will reflect those when they are called upon and given that public input that's so necessary. If that is done right then this is going to be a tremendous step forward for all of

[Page 6343]

us in HRM. With that, I certainly want to signal our full support for this bill. The Liberal Party has been in favour of it, in fact has been calling for something to be done, and we will support this bill as it goes forward. Thank you.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I don't intend to take a very long time with this but I did want to get some thoughts on record and I can see I'm getting the thumbs up from the Minister of Health over there when I said I wasn't going to take very long. I know he also always appreciates to hear my entry into debate so I don't want to disappoint him.

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I had an opportunity to read this bill thoroughly before the debate started. I had been very cognizant of the process that was taking place within the regional municipality. I certainly have spoken with many people who were engaging in the process and looking forward to enhancing and building a sense of community, a better city, as it were, as a result of the engagement in this process.

I do want to point out, I think as other people have pointed out, that this bill is not actually about the process. The bill is about putting in place a framework from which council will work. It has been said that it is enabling legislation so essentially, it is giving the municipality a vessel which they are going to fill up with what they see as the best process in order to be able to achieve what they see as the best ends for the municipality.

Now I wanted to make one correction which was in the debate on Bill No. 179. I had said - I had pointed out how many people in the Chamber, were members or former members of council and I inadvertently suggested that my colleague, the member for Annapolis, was a former member of council. I thought that was the case, he tells me that is not the case, so I don't want to injure his reputation in any way by suggesting, if that's what would happen. So I'm just trying to - I don't consider my own reputation to be injured by the fact that I was on council, let me make that clear, but I just wanted to make sure that the facts were correct.

I also noted that the other thing that is not here is Bill No. 182, which is the other part of the triumvirate of bills which I read prior to the session and I must say I am disappointed to find that the government has not brought forward that heritage protection and it was part of what was requested by the municipality to be considered as a package.

Mr. Speaker, I went through the process of trying to parse the bill, look at it in its separate pieces, to see what impact it was going to have. I listened to the representations at the Law Amendments Committee, I heard the representations of those who had been participating in the planning process and for years in the community I listened to the representations of the mayor, I listened to the representations of the Greater Halifax Partnership. In short, I wanted to make sure that as I was making up my mind about this piece of legislation, that I was hearing the broad spectrum of interests that were at play. I

[Page 6344]

thought it was important for all of us, for my caucus, for the quality of debate that we're having, for my community and for my province, that I had the benefit of all that information.

Now, the conclusion that I came to was that we can have some faith, by passing this bill we can have some faith in the municipal council and the region of Halifax to look after the public interest. I believe that's a conclusion that I came to, that this put in place a structure that is going to allow the municipal council to fill out the process, to make sure that the public interest is protected, that the people of the regional municipality will have an opportunity to have their say.

I know that is not a universal view. I also know that the process, that the HRM process which this is set out to enable, isn't finished yet. There's going to be greater citizen engagement that's going to take place, there are going to be additional public meetings, the council themselves are going to have to struggle with that whole question of what this is going to mean in terms of the business district of Halifax, what is it going to mean for the community at large.

I listened very carefully to those people who were opposed to the HRM by Design bill because I wanted to satisfy myself completely that the objections they raised could be overcome by the legislation and by the council.

I listened in particularly and quite obviously to my colleague, the member for Halifax Chebucto. He has a wealth of knowledge in this particular area. As he pointed out, he's taught land-use planning for many years. He enumerated, I think quite eloquently, the case against the bill. Although I didn't come to the same conclusion that he came to, I believe that the debate in this House is of a better quality and the decision we will come to will be more thoughtful, that we will have a better decision because we have his view against which to test our assumptions. I think that makes our House a better place, it makes our decision making stronger and I hope that other members in this House will agree with me.

Frankly, I think that what we are doing is we are passing a piece of legislation, the results of which are uncertain. We don't know, in the end, exactly where this is going to lead. For all of us who decide to support this legislation, there is an element that we are taking a leap of faith with it. We are saying that we have a measure of respect, that we have a measure of faith in the people we are going to hand this legislation to that they will come to the appropriate conclusion about the balancing of those public interests.

I also have - and I must say I share this - grave concerns about what will happen around the question of the use of the courts, the use of prerogative writs in dealing with issues that people may come to the conclusion aren't fully and fairly adjudicated if the process doesn't work right. These are all things that we will discover as we go down this road together because it's clear that the onus to make sure this works is going to fall to the municipality.

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I hope - and this is my most profound wish - I have been a citizen of this municipality since its inception, I worked in the City of Dartmouth in that municipal unit as a councillor and before that I was involved in community planning. I have some history with the Downtown Dartmouth Development Corporation. I went on to chair the Waterfront Development Task Force in Dartmouth. So, planning is an issue which is very important to me. I believe that, in the end, and I guess I should say, I hope that in the end, what we are doing today is that we are creating a stronger and better community.

I think that's why we're here. I believe that everyone of us hopes that when we walk out of this Chamber at the end of the day, that what we have done is created a stronger community. I'm supporting this bill and I hope that is the conclusion that we will reach. Thank you.

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, this perhaps brings to a close something that has been ongoing for quite some period of time and not without controversy. I'm indebted to the members on the other side of the House for their comments, most of it in support of this bill.

One of the things that I was interested in - there are seven people who served on HRM Council in this House, according to my count, in addition there are another eight people who served on municipal councils, including a couple of people who have served on the old Halifax County council, rather than HRM. The fact that the majority of these people who know more, in some ways, about municipal politics than others who have not served on this thing, I'm sorry I think there are nine now because I forgot about my colleague who used to be the Warden of Yarmouth County.

So there is a lot of municipal experience in this House. The fact that so many of them are comfortable and think this is a good thing convinces me that, it may not be the final answer but it's taking us in the right direction. Mr. Speaker, I think it is a good piece of legislation, it is something that is going to make HRM much better and I quote my colleague, the member for Dartmouth Cole Harbour: We're here to build a stronger community and if this makes Halifax Regional Municipality a stronger community then it is a good thing.

[6:30 p.m.]

Just before closing debate on this I would like to recognize some people from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Brant Wishart is up there in the balcony, he has been a tower of strength in the development of the process of this bill, for example taking time and meeting with the critics so that everybody fully understood what we were doing. I would like

[Page 6346]

to say to Brant, will you stand and allow us to acknowledge your efforts. (Applause) He was joined up there quite often by one of the departmental solicitor, Andrew Weatherbee, who is not here. It was really a team thing because we did meet with the Opposition Parties to make sure that the final product was one that was going to be the best for them all. I say thank you to those on the other side of the House for your co-operation. Thank you to the people in HRM who have worked so hard, along with the staff in Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I ask you to call the question on Bill No. 181.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 181. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 212.

Bill No. 212 - Homeowner Protection Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise once again this evening and this time to speak on Bill No. 212, the Homeowner Protection Act. This bill represents the first in a series of measures the province will be taking to improve homeowner protection. This legislation has been created in response to complaints we've received relating to new home construction including, and I should say primarily, condominiums. Concerns voiced by Nova Scotians over deficient buildings are not unique to this province. Other provinces are concerned with this and are taking measures as well. In order to determine a path to address this, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations hired an independent consultant to assess and define the problem and to provide recommendations for improving homeowner protection. We are taking immediate action on one of those recommendations.

This legislation provides deposit protection to Nova Scotians who enter into new home construction agreements. Specifically Nova Scotians that purchase residential units that are in the construction phase will see that their deposit is placed in trust, therefore reducing the potential financial loss to consumers. This is the first step in developing a comprehensive approach to protecting new home buyers. I thank my colleagues and the members opposite

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for their support on this important legislation. Now, Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 212, the Homeowner Protection Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 212. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, would you please revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 129 - Trade Union Act.

Bill No. 204 - Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act.

Bill No. 225 - Provincial Sport Act.

Bill No. 227 - Provincial Horse Act.

Bill No. 233 - Apology Act.

Bill No. 234 - Privacy Review Officer Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

[Page 6348]

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 118 - Residential Tenancies Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'd now like to request the consent of the House to revert to the order of business, Committee of the Whole House on Bills, for the bills just reported.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

[6:37 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[6:42 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Alfie MacLeod, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 118 - Residential Tenancies Act.

[Page 6349]

Bill No. 129 - Trade Union Act.

Bill No. 204 - Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act.

Bill No. 225 - Provincial Sport Act.

Bill No. 227 - Provincial Horse Act.

Bill No. 233 - Apology Act.

Bill No. 234 - Privacy Review Officer Act.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I would now seek the consent of the House to consider third reading of the bills just reported back through you.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Third Reading.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 118.

Bill No. 118 - Residential Tenancies Act.

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

[6:45 p.m.]

[Page 6350]

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in my place this evening to move third reading of Bill No. 118. It gives me great pleasure - and I think I want to acknowledge and thank the minister. What this amendment does to this particular bill - I could use the words "friendly amendment" but I don't think that would be a strong enough description - is it enhances the bill. In thanking the minister - and certainly if there were any involvement by the advisory committee for the land-lease communities, I would hope the minister will relay my thanks to them as well.

This is a bill that is most welcome in the riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. This bill is extremely important to the residents in my particular riding. This is home to the largest land-lease community in Atlantic Canada. Certainly this is something the residents, the homeowners in mobile parks have been looking for since I've been elected. In giving my thanks, I also want to give my thanks to the good residents and homeowners who brought their concerns forward. I don't think they should go unacknowledged because this bill will serve them immensely. It will stop a lot of headaches and heartaches and eliminate a lot of stress in many residents' lives in the beautiful riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

I'm not going to speak long on this bill simply because I'm happy and I am pleased and I will certainly relay the information on to the individuals in my constituency and I will let them know of the generosity of the minister responsible. With that, I'll take my seat.

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

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

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, with that I close debate on Bill No. 118.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 118. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

[Page 6351]

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 204.

Bill No. 204 - Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

[Page 6352]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 204. Simply put, this piece of legislation basically allows the Halifax Regional Municipality to transfer or sell lands situated on and around the QE II Health Sciences Centre or the previous Queen Elizabeth High School.

You know, we've been constructing a $17 million emergency room at or near that site. It was our estimation from our legal counsel that it was still the property being used for the common good, therefore, it could be put there without any legislation that would allow that, but it was HRM's wish to have a piece of legislation there. Their lawyers felt it was a good idea to have that piece of legislation put in place.

This will also allow the utilization of that full corner for the use of hospital services, hospital utilization, also with the integration of green space in and around the QE II Health Sciences Centre.

I know there were a couple of questions and I know probably the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island might be bringing up this issue. It was the issue of the reversion of that property should it not be used for hospital services. Mr. Speaker, I can say that in the sale agreement there is a clause that would allow that to happen should the province not require that property into the future. We're talking maybe 100 years down the road or so, if we didn't need that piece of property, then it could revert back to the Halifax Regional Municipality, or whatever the municipality might be at that point, at fair market value so they would have the right of first refusal on that.

Mr. Speaker, I think this is a good piece of legislation, one that basically enables us to purchase land from the Halifax Regional Municipality. Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 204.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister of Health for making note of a reservation that we have about this bill. I've spoken on second reading that we support this bill in principle. It is worthwhile, we believe that we need emergency room beds and we need hospitals and we need youth mental health facilities, and this bill provides for that to a great extent so we support that bill, in large part. What we do have reservations about is the appropriation of what is common land, a land that has been held by the public and bequeathed to the public of Halifax in 1763. Our fear is now this land will be lost forever.

We wanted to introduce an amendment that said if this land was not going to be used for public purposes, if it was not going to be used for hospitals, that it would revert back to being common land. The minister says that's not possible under the arrangement that they have now but he reassures me that the municipality will have the right to first refusal on this

[Page 6353]

land, which is not exactly what we would like to see. We would like to see this land revert back to the common if it is not being used for public purposes. I believe that the minister agrees with me in the spirit, if not in terms of this agreement, and I hope that he will take every possible measure to make sure that this land remains as part of the common and that these will be implemented in the agreement that is signed between the municipality and the province. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the intervention. I look forward to this moving on. I move third reading of Bill No. 204.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 204. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 234.

Bill No. 234 - Privacy Review Officer Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to move third reading of Bill No. 234, the Privacy Review Officer Act. Very briefly the purpose of this legislation is to create a new position in Nova Scotia which would allow Nova Scotians, if they have concerns about the use of their personal information and any privacy concerns, they will now have an individual in an office to actually bring that concern to for their consideration.

The jurisdiction of the Privacy Review Officer will be the same as the jurisdiction for the Freedom of Information Review Officer, so it does apply to governments, municipalities, schools and universities. There was an issue of what about private industry. It's our understanding that private industry falls under the purview of the federal privacy commissioner. My understanding is that there will be some discussions along that line as we develop the office of the new Privacy Review Officer here in Nova Scotia to possibly be able to look at some of those matters as well.

[Page 6354]

Obviously, Mr. Speaker, I believe in this new age of technology, this is an issue which is going to rise more and more. I've seen complaints through my office as to how some of their personal information was handled by the government, was mistakenly sent to other parties, and it's important that there be now an individual where Nova Scotians can bring their case forward to for resolution and for determination. Again, I want to thank all members of the House for agreeing to move this legislation forward during this session. I'm pleased to see it go through third reading and if there are any comments, I'll certainly be prepared to address them in moving and closing third reading.

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

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Well thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It's my pleasure to close debate on third reading of Bill No. 234.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 234. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 233.

Bill No. 233 - Apology Act.

MR SPEAKER; The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again it's a pleasure to move third reading of Bill No. 233, whose short title is known as the Apology Act. This legislation, a I indicated before, was first brought to the attention of this House by my good colleague, the member for Glace Bay, who brought it forward from a health perspective, to allow health professionals the ability to be able to issue an apology without fear that it would be used as an admission of liability and would subsequently be used in any legal proceedings.

We've since expanded on that concept of allowing professionals to be able to give an apology and not have to see it be used as part of the liability process through our courts. As I indicated on second reading, studies have shown that the mere hearing of an apology for

[Page 6355]

injured parties has gone a long way in the healing process. It has gone a long way in reducing the amount of litigation and so it's an important step for us here in the province. We're not the first jurisdiction to do so, other jurisdictions have implemented such policies before and I would note that there were no representations at Law Amendments Committee in regard to this specific bill, so in light of that, I do believe it's an important step for us in Nova Scotia. Not only to allow our professionals the ability to say they're sorry, but as well for injured Nova Scotians to be able to hear those precious words as well. So with that, Mr. Speaker, I would be more than happy to address any comments there might be on this bill and I would move third reading of Bill No. 233.

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

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: I'm getting my exercise tonight. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In light of all of those comments, it is my pleasure to close debate on Bill No. 233.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 233. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 129.

Bill No. 129 - Trade Union Act.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise in my place this evening to move third reading of Bill No. 129, the Trade Union Act.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: I move Bill No. 129 for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is for third reading of Bill No. 129 . . .

[Page 6356]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: In order to close debate, I will move third reading of Bill No. 129, the Trade Union Act. I thought that's what I said in the first place.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 129. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 225.

Bill No. 225 - Provincial Sport Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise this evening to move Bill No. 225.

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

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of the honourable members on both sides who spoke to this bill. We had quite a few speakers and I'm pleased to have it moving through. With that I will close the debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 225. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 227.

Bill No.227 - Provincial Horse Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

[Page 6357]

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, I spoke at length on this bill on second reading, perhaps in some quarters people felt it was a little too long so I'll . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island has the floor.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: I thank the House for bringing this bill forward and for supporting it.

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

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, with that I will move to close debate on Bill No.2 27, the Provincial Horse Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 227. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I know that the Committee on Private and Local Bills was doing their considerations. It is my understanding that the committee has now concluded it's work and will be reporting back to the House. I wonder if we can have the agreement of the House to have a short recess until the paperwork is sent back to the House.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The House is recessed.

[7:02 p.m. The House recessed.]

[7:09 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 6358]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House I would like to revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, as the acting Chairman of the Committee on Private and Local Bills, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 213 - East Hants Sportsplex Expansion Act.

Bill No. 216 - Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

[7:10 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[7:12 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 213 - East Hants Sportsplex Extension Act.

Bill No. 216 - Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

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

[Page 6359]

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

The honourable member for Queens on an Introduction.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the House's attention to the east gallery, west gallery, I told you last week I was directionally challenged and here in the west gallery is my youngest son Nick and his girlfriend Chelsea Smith. We're pleased to have them here for a little bit this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Third Reading.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the members of the House. Would you please call Bill No. 213.

Bill No. 213 - East Hants Sportsplex Expansion Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONNELL: Mr. Speaker, I'll be brief. I want to thank the House for the progression of this bill. I think, first of all, the board of directors at East Hants Arena Association would be very pleased to see this bill progress through the House - the municipal council, who requested it, certainly would be. This would provide a benefit for the citizens - actually not just the citizens of Hants East, I indicated some other members who would be aware of their constituents using this facility. I know that all those who are usually associated with hockey would probably quake in their boots when they hear East Hants Penguins are on the ice.

[7:15 p.m.]

With those few comments, I congratulate those (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order please.

MR. MACDONELL: . . . who worked so hard to get the bill through the Legislature and for the betterment of that community. Thank you.

[Page 6360]

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

The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, yes, it's my pleasure to close debate on Bill No. 213.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 213. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 216.

Bill No. 216 - Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise and move third reading of Bill No. 216, an Act to Amend Chapter 17 of the Acts of 2003, the Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate all the interventions in the House, and with that I'll close debate on Bill No. 216.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 216. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 6361]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I would now ask for the consent of the House to revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 239 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Acts of 2007, the Democracy 250 Act. (Hon. Cecil Clarke)

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, I'd like to seek approval to consider second reading of Bill No. 239.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 239.

Bill No. 239 - Democracy 250 Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 239. For the clarity of the members of the House, this is an adjustment - the original bill had the closure date for Democracy 250 as December 31, 2008, and the request is to change that date, substituting March 31, 2010. The reason for that is for accounting and reporting purposes both for the House and for the Auditor General. (Interruption) No, it's 2010, yes, and the reason for that is just because of any of the accounts that carry forward, especially

[Page 6362]

those that have had maybe a scholarship established, that that reporting has to occur. So it's something to meet the compliance standards that we have in place. With that, I am very pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 239.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, with that I close debate on Bill No. 239.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is for second reading of Bill No. 239. 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 Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 239.

Bill No. 239 - Democracy 250 Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 239.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is for third reading of Bill No. 239. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

[Page 6363]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow from the hour of 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we will have Public Bills for Second Reading and any other business for the consideration of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is that we now adjourn and resume tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We are now adjourned until 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 7:21 p.m.]

[Page 6364]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 6033

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas the student population of 131 at Dr. Arthur Hines Elementary School in Summerville recently faced up to the challenge of their Principal Derron Moores, and canvassed and had enough money donated to the Terry Fox Run, forcing Principal Moores to have his head shaved; and

Whereas in getting Principal Moores to shave his head, each of the 131 students would have had to have collected on average $3 each as Moores had said he wanted $400 raised; and

Whereas when the students realized their goal with Principal Moores, Grade 4/5 teacher Tim Carr said he would do the same as Principal Moores, if the students could take the $400 and increase their fundraising total to $1,000;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the genuine caring and fundraising efforts of the 131 students at Dr. Arthur Hines Elementary School in Summerville, for raising a grand total of $1,978 for the Terry Fox Run 2008.

RESOLUTION NO. 6034

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas Bishop Colin MacKinnon made his inaugural visit in 1853 to confirm 150 people at an isolated location overlooking St. Lawrence Bay; and

Whereas following this confirmation and plenty of hard work, St. Margaret of Scotland Parish began five years later but it was nearly 15 years before the parish was able to erect an actual church and glebe in 1873, only to be replaced in 1923, only to see their parish burn to the ground in 1997; and

Whereas a new church was then constructed and in late August, Father Dan MacDonald, pastor for all of the North of Smokey Parishes, led a prayer service commemorating the 150th founding of the parish, while the 50th Anniversary of the St.

[Page 6365]

Margaret's Catholic Women's League was also recognized with Bertha Kanarie, the first president of the Catholic Women's League, receiving her 50-year pin;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud Father Dan MacDonald and everyone involved from the St. Margaret of Scotland Parish and the St. Margaret's Catholic Women's League for organizing such a fantastic and memorable anniversary ceremony.

RESOLUTION NO. 6035

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas the Village of Baddeck was a finalist in the small town/village category of the 2008 National Edition of Communities in Bloom, receiving a 5 Bloom rating, as well as a special mention for Bell Bay Golf Course's environmental awareness; and

Whereas the national challenge awards were announced on September 20 with the judges commenting that Baddeck is a community that cares about life beyond its economic lifeblood, the tourist industry; and

Whereas Baddeck was actually competing in the national competition for the first time with Muskoka Lakes-Port Carling, Ontario, being named the overall National Award Winner;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Baddeck Village Commission Chair Eddie Keeling and village individuals who became so actively involved in the project to put Baddeck on the national stage.

RESOLUTION NO. 6036

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing whom they could call at a time of peril or distress; and

[Page 6366]

Whereas Robert Betts of the Birch Grove volunteer Fire Department has answered numerous alarms over the past three decades;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend Birch Grove Volunteer Firefighter Robert Betts on receiving a 30-year Federal Provincial Service Award and for his passion and zeal in responding to alarms as a volunteer firefighter when required over the past two and a half decades.

RESOLUTION NO. 6037

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas a recent comment in a major North American newspaper said, When firefighters square off against a blaze, there can come a moment when the enemy gains control, when the combination of wind and flame and tinder overmatches the hoses; and

Whereas Kenneth Smith was recently honoured for his five decades of meritorious service with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas no one better than Kenneth could truly appreciate the comment contained in the newspaper article and the immeasurable forces firefighters can face at any given time;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House of Assembly offer their warmest and sincerest wishes to Kenneth Smith on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 50 years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 6038

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the backbone of hundreds of rural Nova Scotia municipalities, towns and villages; and

Whereas it is nothing to see volunteer firefighters work hard all day, then respond to an alarm and end up fighting a fire all night long before returning to work without any sleep the following day; and

[Page 6367]

Whereas when you consider that some individuals such as Sheldon Smith of the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department have been doing it for 50 years, it is an achievement both truly remarkable and incredibly courageous;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Sheldon on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 50 years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department and thank him for always being ready in a time of need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6039

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the backbone of hundreds of rural Nova Scotia municipalities, towns and villages; and

Whereas it is nothing to see volunteer firefighters work hard all day, then respond to an alarm and end up fighting a fire all night long, before returning to work without any sleep the following day; and

Whereas when you consider that some individuals such as Bruce Lambert of the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department can fully appreciate scenarios just described;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Bruce on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 30 years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department and thank him for always being ready in a time of need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6040

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighting is the act of extinguishing blazes, sometimes ones that are exceptionally destructive and tough to fight; and

Whereas firefighters face numerous risks with a key one always being smoke inhalation as the majority of people who perish in fires die from smoke inhalation and not burns; and

[Page 6368]

Whereas when you consider that some individuals such as Chelsey Snow of the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department truly understand the immeasurable forces firefighters can and do encounter;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Chelsey on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 30 years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6041

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas while it has never been confirmed 100 per cent, records through the Federal Department of Labour indicate nearly 65 years as being the longest period of time served by a volunteer firefighter in Canada; and

Whereas Murray Nicholson of the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department was recently recognized for 60 meritorious years of service in the volunteer fire service; and

Whereas no one better than Murray recognizes and truly understands the sacrifices volunteer firefighters make practically every day of the year, whether it is answering alarms, raising funds or making sure all apparatus is safe and operational;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House of Assembly warmly offer our sincerest gratitude to Murray Nicholson on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 60 outstanding years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6042

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas a half-a-century of volunteerism is remarkable in anyone's mind but 50 years as a volunteer firefighter is even extra special; and

Whereas Gerald Smith was recently honoured for his five decades of exemplary service with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department; and

[Page 6369]

Whereas no one better than Gerald could truly appreciate the immeasurable forces firefighters can witness at any given time;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House of Assembly offer our sincerest wishes to Gerald Smith on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 50 outstanding years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6043

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighting is the act of extinguishing blazes, sometimes ones that are exceptionally destructive and tough to fight; and

Whereas firefighters face numerous risks with a key one always being smoke inhalation as the majority of people who perish in fires die from smoke inhalation and not burns; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as Ralph Smith of the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department who after five decades in the volunteer fire service can truly appreciate the immeasurable forces firefighters can and do encounter;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Ralph Smith on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 50 years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6044

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the backbone of hundreds of rural Nova Scotia municipalities, towns and villages; and

Whereas it is nothing to see volunteer firefighters work hard all day and then respond to an alarm and end up fighting a fire all night long, before returning to work without any sleep the following day; and

[Page 6370]

Whereas it is firefighters such as Martin Bessette of the Albert Bridge Volunteer Fire Department who can fully appreciate scenarios just described;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Albert on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 20 years with the Albert Bridge Volunteer Fire Department and thank him for always being ready in a time of need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6045

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the backbone of hundreds of rural Nova Scotia municipalities, towns and villages; and

Whereas it is nothing to see volunteer firefighters work hard all day and then respond to an alarm and end up fighting a fire all night long, before returning to work without any sleep the following day; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as John Dillon of the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department who can fully appreciate scenarios just described;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate John Dillon on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 20 years with the Birch Grove Volunteer Fire Department and thank him for always being ready in a time of need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6046

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the backbone of hundreds of rural Nova Scotia municipalities, towns and villages; and

Whereas it is nothing to see volunteer firefighters work hard all day and then respond to an alarm and end up fighting a fire all night long, before returning to work without any sleep the following day; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as Thomas Carter of the Louisbourg Volunteer Fire Department who can fully appreciate scenarios just described;

[Page 6371]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Thomas Carter on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 20 years with the Louisbourg Volunteer Fire Department and thank him for always being ready in a time of need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6047

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighting is the act of extinguishing blazes, sometimes ones that are exceptionally destructive and tough to fight; and

Whereas firefighters face numerous risks, with a key one always being smoke inhalation, as the majority of people who perish in fires die from smoke inhalation and not burns; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as Henry Dibbon of the Louisbourg Volunteer Fire Department who truly understand the immeasurable forces firefighters can and do encounter;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Henry Dibbon on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 20 years with the Louisbourg Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6048

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighting is the act of extinguishing blazes, sometime ones that are exceptionally destructive and tough to fight; and

Whereas firefighters face numerous risks, with a key one always being smoke inhalation, as the majority of people who perish in fires die from smoke inhalation and not burns; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as Bryon Rogers of the Northside East Bay Volunteer Fire Department who truly understand the immeasurable forces firefighters can and do encounter;

[Page 6372]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Bryon Rogers on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 20 years with the Northside East Bay Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6049

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the backbone of hundreds of rural Nova Scotia municipalities, towns and villages; and

Whereas it is nothing to see volunteer firefighters work hard all day and then respond to an alarm and end up fighting a fire all night long, before returning to work without any sleep the following day; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as James Bates of the Port Morien Volunteer Fire Department who can fully appreciate scenarios just described;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate James on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 20 years with the Port Morien Volunteer Fire Department and thank him for always being ready in a time of need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6050

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighting is the act of extinguishing blazes, sometimes ones that are exceptionally destructive and tough to fight; and

Whereas firefighters face numerous risks, with a key one always being smoke inhalation, as the majority of people who perish in fires die from smoke inhalation and not burns; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as Bernard Timmons of the Port Morien Volunteer Fire Department who truly understand the immeasurable forces firefighters can and do encounter;

[Page 6373]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Bernard Timmons on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 20 years with the Port Morien Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6051

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing whom they could call at a time of peril or distress; and

Whereas Murdock MacRae of the Albert Bridge Volunteer Fire Department has answered numerous alarms over the past 30 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend Albert Bridge Volunteer Firefighter Murdock MacRae on receiving a 30 year Federal Provincial Service Award and for his passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required over the past three decades.

RESOLUTION NO. 6052

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing whom they could call at a time of peril or distress; and

Whereas Carl Oakley of the Mira Road Volunteer Fire Department has answered numerous alarms over the past 25 years;

[Page 6374]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend Mira Road Volunteer Firefighter Carl Oakley on receiving a 25 year Federal Provincial Service Award and for his passion and zeal in responding to alarms as a volunteer firefighter when required over the past two and a half decades.

RESOLUTION NO. 6053

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the backbone of hundreds of rural Nova Scotia municipalities, towns and villages; and

Whereas it is nothing to see volunteer firefighters work hard all day and then respond to an alarm and end up fighting a fire all night long, before returning to work without any sleep the following day; and

Whereas when you consider that some individuals such as Patrick Bates of the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department have been doing it for 30 years, it is an achievement both truly remarkable and incredibly courageous;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Patrick on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 30 years with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department and thank him for always being ready in a time of need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6054

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas while it has never been confirmed 100 per cent, records through the federal Department of Labour indicate nearly 65 years as being the longest period of time served by a volunteer firefighter in Canada; and

Whereas Fraser Kennedy of the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department was recently recognized for 30 meritorious years of service in the volunteer fire service; and

Whereas no one better than Fraser recognizes and truly understands the sacrifices volunteer firefighters make practically every day of the year, whether it is answering alarms, raising funds, or making sure all apparatus is safe and operational;

[Page 6375]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House of Assembly warmly offer our sincerest gratitude to Fraser Kennedy on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 30 outstanding years with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6055

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas three decades of volunteerism is remarkable in anyone's mind but 30 years as a volunteer firefighter is even extra special; and

Whereas Edgar Spencer was recently honoured for his 30 years of exemplary service with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas no one better than Edgar could truly appreciate the immeasurable forces firefighters can witness at any given time;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House of Assembly offer our sincerest wishes to Edgar Spencer on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 30 outstanding years with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6056

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighters face numerous risks with a key one always being smoke inhalation as the majority of people who perish in fires die from smoke inhalation and not burns; and

Whereas firefighting is the act of extinguishing blazes, sometimes ones that are exceptionally destructive and tough to fight; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as Peter J. Mullins of the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department who after three decades in the volunteer fire service can truly understand the immeasurable forces firefighters can and do encounter at certain times;

[Page 6376]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate Peter J. Mullins on his Federal Provincial Service Award of three decades with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6057

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighting is the act of extinguishing blazes, sometimes ones that are exceptionally destructive and tough to fight; and

Whereas firefighters face numerous risks with a key one always being smoke inhalation as the majority of people who perish in fires die from smoke inhalation and not burns; and

Whereas it is firefighters such as James Bates of the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department who truly understand the immeasurable forces firefighters can and do encounter;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House congratulate James Bates on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 30 years with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department and wish him every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 6058

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing whom they could call at a time of peril or distress; and

Whereas Sheldon Campbell of the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department has answered numerous alarms over the past three decades;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend Bateston Volunteer Firefighter Sheldon Campbell on receiving a 30-year Federal Provincial Service Award and

[Page 6377]

for his passion and zeal in responding to alarms as a volunteer firefighter when required over the past three decades.

RESOLUTION NO. 6059

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas a recent comment in a major North American newspaper said, When firefighters square off against a blaze, there can come a moment when the enemy gains control, when the combination of wind and flame and tinder overmatches the hoses; and

Whereas Harvey Sharpe was recently honoured for his three decades of meritorious service with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas no one better than Harvey could truly appreciate the comment contained in the newspaper article and the immeasurable forces firefighters can face at any given time;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House of Assembly offer their warmest and sincerest wishes to Harvey Sharpe on his Federal Provincial Service Award of 30 years with the Bateston Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 6060

By: Mr. Ernest Fage (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas the Amherst Fire Department presented a number of awards at their 2008 Annual Banquet; and

Whereas those receiving service pins were Roger Gouchie for 45 years of service, Gary Hunter and Paul Black for 30 years; and

Whereas these men are to be commended for their service not only in their call of duty but community volunteering for the Muscular Dystrophy and Kids at Christmas to name a couple;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Roger Gouchie, Gary Hunter and Paul Black for their awards.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6061

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas the 77th National 4H Members conference took place November 5th to 9th in Toronto with members from across Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States; and

Whereas for over a decade Melody Sanford of Kings County has been a leader in local 4H organizations , brought her experience and knowledge to the National Conference; and

Whereas Melody has been a strong voice for the 4H movement inspiring young Nova Scotians to become involved with 4H, especially through her public speaking initiatives;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the contribution Melody Sanford has made to Nova Scotia's 4H movement and congratulate her for her work at the national level.

RESOLUTION NO. 6062

By: Mr. Trevor Zinck (Dartmouth North)

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

Whereas Janice Borden of Dartmouth North has successfully completed her lifelong goal of graduating with her grade 12 academic certificate; and

Whereas Janice also received an Outstanding Progress Award and a Certificate of Recognition for Excellent Attendance of 90 per cent or better in her class; and

Whereas Janice, who has worked and volunteered in our community, and with this recent accomplishment continues to show leadership and commitment to her family and her community.

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Janice Borden on her success and wish her well in her lifelong journey of learning.

RESOLUTION NO. 6063

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By: Mr. Trevor Zinck (Dartmouth North)

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

Whereas on September 13th, 2008, the Dartmouth North Community Centre held its annual Community Carnival; and

Whereas this annual event allows the centre and its service providers to present to the community everything the centre has to offer; and

Whereas many volunteers and the staff of the community centre worked for many hours planning and organizing this day filled with fun and games and educating the community about the various daily activities supported by the centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the staff of the Dartmouth North Community Centre and the many volunteers who put this event together each year.

RESOLUTION NO. 6064

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas Free the Children is an organization which builds and supplies schools in impoverished countries; and

Whereas teachers and students at Charles P. Allen High School understand the need for better educational facilities for less fortunate students around the world; and

Whereas teachers and students at Charles P. Allen High School have raised more than $3,000 toward the work conducted by Free the Children;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House show appreciation to the efforts of the students and staff of Charles P. Allen High School for their contribution to this worthy cause.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6065

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas Free the Children is an organization which builds and supplies schools in impoverished countries; and

Whereas teachers and students at Charles P. Allen High School understand the need for better educational facilities for less fortunate students around the world; and

Whereas teachers and students at Charles P. Allen High School have raised more than $3,000 toward the work conducted by Free the Children;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House show appreciation to the efforts of co-organizer Heather Smith for her contribution to this worthy cause.

RESOLUTION NO. 6066

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas Free the Children is an organization which builds and supplies schools in impoverished countries; and

Whereas teachers and students at Charles P. Allen High School understand the need for better educational facilities for less fortunate students around the world; and

Whereas teachers and students at Charles P. Allen High School have raised more than $3,000 toward the work conducted by Free the Children;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House show appreciation to the efforts of co-organizer Roxanne Pereira for her contribution to this worthy cause.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6067

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas Triggerstreet Online Film Festival, created by famous actor-director Kevin Spacey, is an online site festival for writers and filmmakers to showcase their talents; and

Whereas Bedford filmmaker Paul St. Amand's film Parallels recently received top prize from the 2008 Triggerstreet Online Festival; and

Whereas this film has previously won awards at the 2007 Air Canada En Route Festival, the 2007 B.C. Student Film Festival and the 2007 Yorkton Short Film Festival;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Paul St. Amand on his latest award and wish him success on his future projects.

RESOLUTION NO. 6068

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas the Dianna H. Bleakney Guild is a group of volunteers who provide refreshments and support at the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre to cancer patients who are in stressful situations; and

Whereas the Dianna H. Bleakney Guild is celebrating its 35th anniversary of providing this comfort and care a the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre; and

Whereas the volunteers of the gild go above and beyond the call of duty to console patients and ease the stress they face;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the Dianna H. Bleakney Guild for their commitment to patients suffering with cancer.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6069

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas volunteers are people from all walks of life and all ages with a common desire to make a difference in their community, and in their own life, by giving of their time and expertise; and

Whereas Lynn Jesty, manager of Tim Horton's Mill Cove, has continually provided her leadership and fundraising abilities to help a number of worthy causes in the community; and

Whereas Lynn's volunteer efforts have raised money for Tim Horton's Kids Day Camp, Bedford Terry Fox Run and for individuals in the community who face unforeseen challenges in their lives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Lynn for her dedication and commitment to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 6070

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas Bedford Basin played an important role in World War II as a marshalling point for hundreds of convoys which were the lifelines to Europe supplying the Allied Forces in defence of our democratic values and freedoms; and

Whereas the Bedford D-250 committee placed a Merchant Naval Memorial consisting of a 5,200 pound anchor, interpretative panel and plaque to commemorate those merchant navy who served in World War II; and

Whereas this memorial will provide future generations a reminder of the sacrifices of the Merchant Navy in securing freedom for our country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by M. Sooriyakumaran for spearheading this project and thank him for the reminder of the great sacrifice made by our Merchant Navy.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6071

By: Hon. David Morse (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas the Valley Bulldogs Bantam Minor Football team were undefeated in regular season play; and

Whereas the Valley Bulldogs won the Provincial title at Huskies Stadium, Halifax, against the Halifax Chargers; and

Whereas the Valley Bulldogs were also able to secure the title of Maritime Champions in Moncton, New Brunswick, against the Fredericton Black Kats - 15 to14 in overtime - for the first time in 10 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Valley Bulldogs for securing both the Nova Scotia title and the Maritime Championship title.

RESOLUTION NO. 6072

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

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

Whereas quality children's literature plays a very important role in the education of children of all ages; and

Whereas children's literature, which provides real life lessons, can have an immense positive impact on the readers; and

Whereas the Bully series by Lunenburg County author, Nancy Wilcox-Richards, provides such excellent children's books;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate author Nancy Wilcox-Richards for her successful series of children's literature.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6073

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

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

Whereas police officers play a very important role in providing security and safety for all citizens in their community; and

Whereas police officers are recognized for their dedication and skills by receiving a higher rank within their police force; and

Whereas Sergeant John Collyer of the Bridgewater Police Department has recently been promoted to deputy chief;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Deputy Chief Collyer upon his recent promotion.

RESOLUTION NO. 6074

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate retiring Deputy Chief Bob Smith, of the Bridgewater Police Department, for 37 years of dedicated service to the town and its police force.

RESOLUTION NO. 6075

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

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Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Constable Christine Bonnell, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6076

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Deputy Chief John Collyer, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6077

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Sergeant Dean Warr, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6078

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Corporal Don Gray, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6079

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer, Constable Jay Bragg, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6080

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

[Page 6387]

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Constable Martin McKenna, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6081

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Sergeant Paul Coughlin of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6082

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Corporal Scott MacMillan, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6083

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Constable Susan Foote, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6084

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Constable Terry Vinnedge, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6085

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

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Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Corporal Wendell Murchison, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6086

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Constable Ward Beck, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6087

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate retired RCMP Staff Sergeant Steve Mills, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 15 years of dedicated service.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6088

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Chief Brent Crowhurst, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6089

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Sergeant Al Cunningham, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6090

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

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Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Constable Ron Graves, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6091

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Constable Wade Keddy, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6092

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Sergeant Richard Milbury, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6093

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Sergeant Alfie O'Quinn, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6094

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate Constable Jerome Richard, of the Bridgewater Police Department, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6095

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

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Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Staff Sergeant Mark Furey, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6096

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Sergeant Wes Kendall, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

.

RESOLUTION NO. 6097

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Corporal Derek Smith, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

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RESOLUTION NO. 6098

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate RCMP officer Corporal Gary White, of the Lunenburg County Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6099

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

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

Whereas police officers provide safe and secure communities; and

Whereas police officers demonstrate hard work and dedication; and

Whereas police officers deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and congratulate retired RCMP officer Constable Bob Cuthbertson, of the Lunenburg Detachment, who received the long-service medal for 25 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 6100

By: Mr. Pat Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas Scott MacEachern, of New Glasgow-based Stark International, recently headed to the Windy City; and

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Whereas MacEachern represented one of roughly 15 companies that took part in an ACOA Team Canada trade mission to Chicago; and

Whereas MacEachern was able to showcase Stark International to a number of businesses from across North America and the 15-year old transformer maintenance company is currently expanding, is poised to expand into the United States and hopes to increase the profile of the Stark name and services;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations to Scott MacEachern and Stark International for showcasing the best of Nova Scotia's businesses and opportunities.

RESOLUTION NO. 6101

By: Hon. Karen Casey (Education)

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

Whereas Phonse Gillis has served as Superintendent of Schools for the Strait Regional School Board since August 2004; and

Whereas Phonse Gillis is a career educator with 32 years experience in the public school system including positions as guidance counsellor, teacher, principal, as well as board administration and is also active in extracurricular activities, including roles as past chair of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation and president of the Canadian School Sport Federation; and

Whereas Phonse Gillis is stepping down as superintendent of the Strait Regional School Board and retiring in July;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend best wishes to Phonse Gillis and thank him for his long and distinguished career in Nova Scotia.