Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 08-39

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Alfie MacLeod

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

Available on INTERNET at http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/

Second Session

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Nat. Res. - Anthony Park Wharf, Mr. J. MacDonell 4418
Com. Serv. - Poverty Reduction, Mr. T. Zinck 4419
Serv. N.S. & Mun. Relations - Timberlea/Lakeside/Beechville
Mun. Planning Strategy, Mr. W. Estabrooks 4419
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4293, Medal of Bravery: Recipients - Congrats.,
The Premier 4420
Vote - Affirmative 4420
Res. 4294, Springhill "Bump" - Remembrance,
Hon. M. Scott 4421
Vote - Affirmative 4422
Res. 4295, Gov't. (N.S.): Office Space - Promotion Support,
The Premier 4422
Vote - Affirmative 4423
Res. 4296, Immigration Advisory Coun.: Members - Thank,
Hon. L. Goucher 4423
Vote Affirmative 4424
Res. 4297, Porters Lake Fire: Heroes - Thank,
Hon. D. Morse 4424
Vote Affirmative 4424
Res. 4298, Unicef Campaign: Participants - Thank,
Hon. K. Casey 4425
Vote - Affirmative 4425
Res. 4299, Civil Servants (N.S.) - Recognize,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4425
Vote - Affirmative 4426
Res. 4300, Health Prom. & Protection: Flu Vaccine - Support,
Hon. B. Barnet 4426
Vote - Affirmative 4427
Res. 4301, Commun. Serv.: Foster Families - Commend/Encourage,
Hon. J. Streatch 4427
Vote - Affirmative 4428
Res. 4302, Shupe, Dan/Stewart, Neil - Jr. Achievement Comp.,
Hon. K. Casey 4428
Vote - Affirmative 4428
Res. 4303, PSC - Healthy Workplace Committees,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4429
Vote - Affirmative 4429
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 187, Child Pornography Reporting Act, Hon. C. Clarke 4429
No. 188, Public Service Act, Mr. S. McNeil 4430
No. 189, Miners' Memorial Day Act, Hon. M. Scott 4430
No. 190, Co-operative Associations Act, Hon. J. Muir 4430
No. 191, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. M. Scott 4430
No. 192, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 4430
No. 193, Municipal Grants Act, Hon. J. Muir 4430
No. 194, Partnership Act, Hon. J. Muir 4430
No. 195, Partnerships and Business Names Registration Act,
Hon. J. Muir 4430
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4304, Springhill Mining Disaster - Commemoration,
Mr. D. Dexter 4430
Vote - Affirmative 4431
Res. 4305, Campbell, Jack: Death of - Tribute, Mr. S. McNeil 4431
Vote - Affirmative 4432
Res. 4306, Beck, Margie - Retirement, Mr. P. Dunn 4432
Vote - Affirmative 4433
Res. 4307, Casey, Bill: Election (Federal) - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Dexter 4433
Vote - Affirmative 4434
Res. 4308, MacIvor, Daniel - Siminovitch Prize,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 4434
Vote - Affirmative 4434
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 4309, Hanam, Ralph - Snowmobile Award,
Mr. K. Bain 4435
Vote - Affirmative 4435
Res. 4310, Hfx. North Library Women's Group - Anniv. (30th),
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 4435
Vote - Affirmative 4436
Res. 4311, Benoit, J.C.: Death of - Tribute, Mr. M. Samson 4436
Vote - Affirmative 4437
Res. 4312, MacGregor, Ann: Media Idol - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 4437
Vote - Affirmative 4438
Res. 4313, Cameron, Tracy: Olympic Medal - Congrats.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 4438
Vote - Affirmative 4438
Res. 4314, Liberal Party - Advice: Gov't. (N.S.) - Seek,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4438
Res. 4315, Hussey, Curt & Judith: Home Hardware Store - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Bain 4439
Vote - Affirmative 4440
Res. 4316, Hope, Marianna - Brain Tumour Fdn. Vol.,
Mr. C. Parker 4440
Vote - Affirmative 4441
Res. 4317, Gas Reg.: Prog. - Scrap, Mr. W. Gaudet 4441
Res. 4318, Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates Jr. Hockey Team -
Best Wishes, The Premier 4442
Vote - Affirmative 4442
Res. 4319, Holocaust Wk. Prog.: Students - Congrats.,
Ms. M. Raymond 4442
Vote - Affirmative 4443
Res. 4320, Brightman, Perry & Helen/Classic Rentals - Award,
Hon. K. Casey 4443
Vote - Affirmative 4444
Res. 4321, Manchester, Keith: Shubenacadie Canal Commn. -
Contributions, Mr. P. Paris 4444
Vote - Affirmative 4445
Res. 4322, Econ. Crisis: Prem. - Plan Develop, Ms. D. Whalen 4445
Res. 4323, Kiely, Bill: St. F.X. Sports Hall of Fame - Induction,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 4445
Vote - Affirmative 4446
Res. 4324, Queens Mun.: Mayor/Councillors - Congrats.,
Ms. V. Conrad 4446
Vote - Affirmative 4447
Res. 4325, Gov't. (Can.): Autism Strategy - Implement,
Mr. L. Glavine 4447
Vote - Affirmative 4447
Res. 4326, Carleton Cons. Sch. - 25 Top Schools Award,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 4448
Vote - Affirmative 4448
Res. 4327, Sackville Dr. Bus. Assoc.: Access N.S. Office - Opening,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 4448
Vote - Affirmative 4449
Res. 4328, Gov't. (Can.) Arts Cuts: Prem. - Stance,
Mr. H. Theriault 4449
Res. 4329, Bedford Days Comm. (2008) - Efforts,
Hon. L. Goucher 4450
Vote - Affirmative 4450
Res. 4330, Crowell, Carolyn: Hist. Research - Congrats.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 4451
Vote - Affirmative 4451
Res. 4331, Gas Reg.: Prog. - Scrap, Mr. L. Glavine 4451
Res. 4332, Bay of Fundy: New Seven Wonders of Nature - Support,
Hon. M. Scott 4452
Vote - Affirmative 4453
Res. 4333, McGee, Beth: Citizen of Yr. - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 4453
Vote - Affirmative 4453
Res. 4334, Educ.: Glace Bay Jr. HS - Sod Turning,
Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 4454
Vote - Affirmative 4454
Res. 4335, Stockman, Krista - Special Olympics Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4454
Vote - Affirmative 4455
Res. 4336, Roper, Chief Jim/Pictou landing FD: Dedication - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 4455
Vote Affirmative 4456
Res. 4337, Gov't. (N.S.) Progress: Lack - Reason,
Mr. K. Colwell 4456
Res. 4338, Kiwanis Club of Ceilidh Golden K. - Recognition,
Hon. C. Clarke 4457
Vote - Affirmative 4457
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 4339, Anderson, Helen, et al: Vol. Efforts - Commend,
Ms. B. Kent 4457
Vote - Affirmative 4457
Res. 4340, Sweet, Joann - Teaching Excellence Award,
Hon. M. Parent 4458
Vote Affirmative 4459
Res. 4341, CBC Radio: C.B. Island - Commitment,
Mr. G. Gosse 4459
Vote - Affirmative 4460
Res. 4342, Somebeachsomewhere: Owners/Partners - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 4460
Vote - Affirmative 4460
Res. 4343, Fish. & Aquaculture: Cape Sable Island Causeway
Research Proj. - Fund, Mr. S. Belliveau 4461
Res. 4344, Charles Lantz Cabinetry - Lun. Co. Bus. Excellence Award,
Hon. M. Baker 4461
Vote - Affirmative 4462
Res. 4345, TIR: Prospect Bay Rd. - Upgrade/Pave,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 4462
MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT RULE 43:
Gov't. (N.S.): Economic Downturn - Effect, Mr. S. McNeil 4463
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 379, Gov't. (N.S.) - Econ./Fin. Update, Mr. D. Dexter 4464
No. 380, Gov't. (N.S.) - Updated Fin. Forecast, Mr. S. McNeil 4466
No. 381, Gov't. (N.S.)/UNSM: MOU - Details, Mr. D. Dexter 4467
No. 382, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Oil Delivery - Rebates, Mr. D. Dexter 4469
No. 383, Prem. - Nova Scotians: Priorities Reflect, Mr. S. McNeil 4471
No. 384, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Relations - Energy Rebate Prog.,
Mr. F. Corbett 4472
No. 385, Health: Dialysis - Pictou Co., Mr. C. Parker 4473
No. 386, Nat. Res.: Child-Sized ATVs - Purchase Details,^Mr. S. McNeil 4475
No. 387, Com. Serv.: Heating Progs. - Stats, Mr. T. Zinck 4476
No. 388, Fair Access To Regulated Professions Act: Passage -
Failure Explain, Mr. S. McNeil 4477
No. 389, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Mobile Home Parks - Assessments,
Ms. B. Kent 4478
No. 390, Health Prom. & Protection - Suicide Prevention Strategy,
Ms. J. Massey 4479
No. 391, Justice: Corrections Staff - Support Increase, Mr. M. Samson 4480
No. 392, TIR: Five Island Lake PCB Site - Cleanup, Mr. W. Estabrooks 4482
No. 393, Energy: Georges Bank Moratorium - Public Review,
Mr. S. Belliveau 4483
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 186, Animal Protection Act, Hon. B. Taylor 4484
Hon. B. Taylor 4484
Mr. J. MacDonell 4495
Mr. L. Glavine 4496
Mr. C. Parker 4498
Adjourned debate 4500
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 43:
Gov't. (N.S.): Economic Downturn - Effect, Mr. S. McNeil 4501
The Premier 4505
Hon. A. MacIsaac 4508
Mr. D. Dexter 4509
Mr. Manning MacDonald 4513
Hon. C. Clarke 4516
Mr. G. Steele 4521
Mr. L. Glavine 4525
Hon. B. Barnet 4527
Mr. F. Corbett 4530
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Friday at 9:00 a.m. 4532
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4346, Lun. Co. Winery - Lun. Co. Bus. Excellence Award,
Hon. M. Baker 4533
Res. 4347, H.B. Multimedia Studios - Lun. Co. Bus. Excellence
Award, Hon. M. Baker 4533
Res. 4348, A & H GMAC Real Estate: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4534
Res. 4349, All-Pro Transmission: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4534
Res. 4350, Atlantex Creative Works: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4534
Res. 4351, Atlantic Carpet Concepts: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4535
Res. 4352, Bailey's Plastic Fabrications Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4535
Res. 4353, Belle's Barber Shoppe Fam. Styling: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4536
Res. 4354, Best Burners Heating and Oil Burner Serv.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks ~ 4536
Res. 4355, Birchbark Art: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4536
Res. 4356, Bosch's Rite Shop: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4537
Res. 4357, BT Computer Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4537
Res. 4358, C Thru Us: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4538
Res. 4359, Cap Cleaning Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4538
Res. 4360, Capt Canoe: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4539
Res. 4361, Changing Tides Bed & Breakfast: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4539
Res. 4362, Chelbrea Pools: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4539
Res. 4363, Clinical Massage Therapy: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4540
Res. 4364, Peter S. Conrod Const.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4540
Res. 4365, Crowell's Excavating: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4541
Res. 4366, Commun. Rentals & Sales: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4541
Res. 4367, Conquest Travel Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4541
Res. 4368, Decane Sports: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4542
Res. 4369, Devrew Merchandising: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4542
Res. 4370, Dogs at Home: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4543
Res. 4371, Dolphine Mini Storage: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4543
Res. 4372, East. Gazette Website: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4543
Res. 4373, East Shore Electric Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4544
Res. 4374, East. Shore Self Storage: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4544
Res. 4375, Kerr, Edgar: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4545
Res. 4376, Leahy, Carl: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4545
Res. 4376, Leahy, Carl: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks
Res. 4377, Richards, Duncan: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4545
Res. 4378, LaPierre, Sid: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4546
Res. 4379, Moore, Andrew: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4546
Res. 4380, Leahy, Keith: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4547
Res. 4381, Hebb, Rob: Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4547
Res. 4382, Garry, Claude: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4548
Res. 4383, Black Sheep Gallery: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4548
Res. 4384, Redden, Jeff/Home Hardwares - Comm. Involvement,
Mr. C. Porter 4548
Res. 4385, Benedict, Cheryl - Prime Minister's Teaching Excellence
Award, Mr. C. Porter 4549
Res. 4386, Hill, Quentin: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L. Goucher 4550
Res. 4387, Kenley, Del: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L Goucher 4550
Res. 4388, Lowther, Don: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L. Goucher 4551
Res. 4389, Giffin, Dorothy: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L. Goucher 4551
Res. 4390, Smith, Les: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L. Goucher 4552
Res. 4391, Kenley, Marlene: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L. Goucher 4552
Res. 4392, Kerr, Bob: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L. Goucher 4553
Res. 4393, Kelades, Chuck: Bedford Terry Fox Run - Contribution,
Hon. L. Goucher 4553
Res. 4394, Harding, Ashley - Orienteering Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4554
Res. 4395, Peters, John - Football N.S. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4554
Res. 4396, Harding, Andrew - Badminton Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4554
Res. 4397, Patterson, Scott - Soccer Vol. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4555
Res. 4398, Lohnes, Tim - Judo Coach of Yr. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4555
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson
Res. 4399, Lohnes, Whitney - Judo N.S. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4556
Res. 4400, MacLennen, Cameron - Hebbville Acad. Male Athlete of Yr.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4556
Res. 4401, Carver, Katelynn - Hebbville Acad. Female Athlete of Yr.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4557
Res. 4402, Quigley, Emma - Hebbville Acad. Female Athlete of Yr.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4557
Res. 4403, Young, Morgan - Cameron Smith Mem. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4557
Res. 4404, Taylor, Matt - Hebbville Acad. Male Athlete of Yr.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4558
Res. 4405, Jorgenson, Maia - Athletic Achievements,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4558
Res. 4406, Martin, Jenna - Jr. Athlete of Yr., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4559
Res. 4407, LeBlanc, Anne/Angel Stitches: IWK - Contributions,
Mr. Wayne Gaudet ^ ^ 4559
Mr. Wayne Gaudet ^ ^

[Page 4415]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today on a point of privilege. I believe the government has shown contempt for the Public Accounts Committee, the Auditor General, and by extension the House of Assembly, by refusing full access to the documents requested by the Auditor General related to his full-scope audit of the Nominee Program.

On October 31, 2007, the Public Accounts Committee passed a motion requesting that the Auditor General perform a full-scope audit of the economic stream of the Nominee Program, specifically the Business Mentor Program. The Auditor General, soon after the Public Accounts Committee request, agreed to convene a full-scope audit of that troubled program. On June 11, 2008, the Auditor General released the first report related to the Nominee Program. The Auditor General reported that the government was unwilling to provide his office with total access to the full breadth of documents related to the Business Mentor Program file.

[Page 4416]

4415

In the June 11th report, the Auditor General stated, "Throughout the audit, we encountered restrictions in obtaining the information required to complete our work. We were denied a significant number of documents based on claims they were either Cabinet documents or subject to solicitor-client privilege. Further, certain program files were held back until they could be reviewed and purged of documents the Office of Immigration believed were confidential. Restricting the Auditor General's access to information constitutes poor public accountability. It is not in the public interest to do so and, further, it is in contravention of the right to information contained in the Auditor General Act."

The Auditor General Act is clear relating to the full access to information granted to the Auditor General and his office. Section 10(1) of the Act reads, "Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Act, every officer, clerk or employee of an agency of government shall provide the Auditor General with such information and explanation as the Auditor General requires and the Auditor General shall have free access, at all times, to the files, records, books of account and other documents, in whatever form, relating to the accounts of any agency of government."

The government clearly ignored their own law in refusing full and complete access to the documents requested by the Auditor General's Office. After receiving the June report, the Public Accounts Committee issued subpoenas demanding the disclosure of the requested documents to the committee and to the Auditor General. On July 15, 2008, the government decided to allow partial access to the documents requested by the Auditor General. However, the government still remained defiant and in contravention of the Auditor General Act by disallowing full and complete access to the requested documents. The government agreed to allow the Auditor General's staff the ability to view the documents at Department of Justice offices, but continued to refuse the Auditor General's Office the ability to copy or transfer documents to their office for a full and complete analysis.

By curtailing the Auditor General's ability to do his work, the government was, by extension, curtailing my ability as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, to do my work. It is clearly stated on both the Parliament of Canada's Web site as well as the Auditor General of Canada's Web site that the Auditor General is an officer of Parliament. The same is also true of the U.K. parliamentary system. The provincial Auditor General Act does not clearly state that our Auditor General is an officer of the House, but certainly a recognized convention has been established by the Upper Houses in Canada and in the United Kingdom, and the Nova Scotia Legislature takes procedural direction from both of these Upper Houses.

I believe the government has infringed on my rights and privileges as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, and as a member of the House of Assembly, by refusing the Auditor General, an officer of the House of Assembly, the full access to documents as is his statutory right. The Auditor General believed these documents were relevant to the scope of

[Page 4417]

the audit requested by myself and by the Public Accounts Committee, and full access should have been granted at his request.

Mr. Speaker, I believe I have provided sufficient evidence for you to rule that there is a prima facie case of privilege on this matter, and I would ask that you proceed in dealing with my subsequent motion of censure.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In response to the statement just read by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park, I would like to officially note to you and to all members of the House that the government does not agree with the statement made. In fact, there are several erroneous statements made in that, Mr. Speaker, and I would say that in your deliberations, as part of that context . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. CLARKE: . . . I'll be supplying to you our response, once we have the opportunity to review the full content of the statement. Again, I object to that, Mr. Speaker, and note the erroneous nature of such a claim.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise in my place with respect to the matter that has been raised here by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park, to indicate that although we did not have advance notice of the motion and certainly advance notice is not required, but it would certainly have been appreciated. It would have allowed us, I think, to offer a more fulsome opinion on the matter that is being brought here for your consideration.

Mr. Speaker, it is the case that the Public Accounts Committee were most concerned about the withholding of documents from the Auditor General. Indeed, you will be aware that subpoenas were issued by the committee to various Ministers of the Crown to produce the documents. Ultimately, the Auditor General indicated in his final report on the Nominee Program that he was satisfied with the extent to which he was given access to documents.

However, the Auditor General did indicate that he is concerned that this practice not continue into the future and that the integrity of his office be upheld and respected by the government. However, for that reason, the full committee, the Public Accounts Committee, did indeed pass a motion to rescind the subpoenas and, at that time there was, I believe, unanimous agreement at the Public Accounts Committee and no matters of privilege were raised at that time.

[Page 4418]

You may want to take that into consideration as you deal with this matter. Mr. Speaker, indeed there will be a transfer. I hear the member for Cape Breton Centre indicating that he feels that would be very . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: . . . I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker, the member for Cape Breton South, saying that it's important that you have all of the information and I know that's always been his position in this House.

So with those words, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: To all members of the House - I am going to take this matter under advisement and we will get back to the House at the earliest possible time, after reviewing some of the documentation that's been mentioned today.

The draw has taken place for the late debate tonight. It is submitted by the honourable member for Cape Breton Centre:

Therefore be it resolved that the government take the necessary action and waive right-of-way easement fees to the grid for utility companies, so that the residents in the Upper Ohio area can be provided with essential electric service.

[2:15 p.m.]

We'll now commence with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I beg leave to table a petition . . .

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

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The operative clause: We the undersigned residents of the Municipality of East Hants - District 5 and surrounding area; and including otherwise users and supporters of Anthony Park, do petition the Honourable Minister of Natural Resources to refrain from demolition of the Anthony Park wharf until such time that alternative and acceptable solutions can be devised, in conjunction with staff from his department that will result in the restoration of the wharf for continued public use."

[Page 4419]

Mr. Speaker, there are about 1,050 signatures, and I've put my signature on this petition in support.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, if I could be permitted to make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. ZINCK: I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where today we are joined by Mr. Bill Knowlton and his wife Wendy. As many of you know, over the last week Mr. Knowlton has walked well over 200 kilometres, from Bridgetown to Province House, with the assistance of his wife, Wendy, in hopes of promoting the issues of poverty and the poverty reduction strategy being implemented through the province. So I'd like to welcome them. [Applause]

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause reads "I, the undersigned, understand that poverty is at epidemic proportions in Nova Scotia, and it is time that steps were taken to eliminate such situations."

There are over 1,000 signatures affixed to this and my name is as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South -I'm sorry, Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. That's quite okay, I know you have a lot of us to keep track of.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw your attention, and the attention of the members, to your gallery where we're joined today by two guests whom I would ask to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. That's Danny Cavanagh, the President of CUPE Nova Scotia, and Leanne MacMillan who is a staff member with the Canadian Union of Public Employees. [Applause]

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition on behalf of the Beechville residents who are opposed to industrial development. The operative phrase is "The enclosed petition illustrates that the residents of Beechville Estates strongly

[Page 4420]

oppose the HRM initiated amendment to the Timberlea/ Lakeside/ Beechville Municipal Planning Strategy ..."

There are 282 names to this petition, and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 4293

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

Whereas four Nova Scotians were presented yesterday with our province's inaugural Medal of Bravery; and

Whereas the award was established in this Legislature to honour those citizens in our province who have risked their own safety to help others; and

Whereas the first medal recipients are: Jeffery Skaling of Canning; Ira Moody Barkhouse and Arnold Whynott of Mahone Bay; and A.G. McRae of Black Point;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute and thank these true Nova Scotia heroes for their courage and selflessness, and commend the esteemed members of our advisory panel, chaired by Constance Glube, for their service in choosing these deserving recipients.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4421]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, before I introduce a resolution, might I have permission for an introduction, please?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, all members of the House would know last week in Springhill we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the "bump," a very tragic coal mining industry tragedy that basically devastated the industry in Springhill. There are pins on the members' desks that we've dedicated a highway in memory of all miners in Nova Scotia. The members have pins and I'd appreciate they wear those to show support for present miners and past.

In the gallery today - and as well, after the resolution, I'd like to have the permission of the House for a moment of silence in regard to all miners who have perished in this province - Mr. Speaker, we have some very important people I want to recognize today and I would ask, as I call their names, that they would rise if they are able to, and I know one gentleman can't. The first one is Mr. Harold Brine - these are the last three surviving members of the bump who are still alive today - Mr. Harold Brine, who was trapped underground for six and one-half days; Mr. Herb Pepperdine, who was trapped underground for eight and one-half days; and Mr. Garnet Clarke, who was trapped underground for eight and one-half days. Mr. Speaker, in the true motto of miners, no man left behind, these three men were not left behind as a result of heroic efforts of so many people. (Standing Ovation)

Also with these folks is Polly Clarke, who is Mr. Garnet Clarke's wife; Jessica Herrett, who is an RN with High-Crest Nursing Home in Springhill; Mr. Doug Dobson, who is a town councillor in Springhill; and, no, that's not my daughter, that's my wife, Linda. I would ask you give them a warm welcome as well, please. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 4294

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

Whereas the Town of Springhill, Cumberland County, was changed forever at 8:06 p.m., October 23, 1958, when the most severe "bump" ever recorded in North American mining history devastated this small town and its coal industry, the "bump" resembling an earthquake that hit the No. 2 colliery with all of its fury, was felt for miles; and

[Page 4422]

Whereas as the world waited and those on the surface kept their vigil, draeger teams and bare-faced mines toiled below the surface trying to reach trapped survivors; on November 1st, the last group of survivors were found, the bodies of the remaining miners were brought to the surface and at final count, of the 174 miners in No. 2 colliery, 75 were killed; and

Whereas this year on October 23, 2008, 50 years later, we remember and mourn the 75 miners who lost their lives and we celebrate the ones who survived as we show our pride for the people of the miracle Town of Springhill who showed the true spirit of Springhillers in the face of tragedy, adversity and the many challenges this community faced as they came together with the support and help of so many to survive the "bump" while we thank the miners, doctors, nurses, police, other emergency services and the many volunteers who assisted;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature remember the 1958 "bump" in the mining community of Springhill and send our best wishes to the miners, their families and the residents of Springhill as they remember this sad occasion and celebrate the spirit of Springhill.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and a moment of silence.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

The honourable The Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 4295

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

Whereas this province has shown tremendous growth in the financial services sector attracting hundreds of new jobs for Nova Scotians; and

[Page 4423]

Whereas to ensure that we do not have to, in future, turn business away from our shores, it is paramount that we continue to further our goal of promoting development across the province; and

Whereas a focus of that work is to ensure there is sufficient office space for companies when they decide to bring their business to the capital, especially as we continue to foster our financial services' sector growth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House encourage business therefore supporting Nova Scotia families wanting to work, live and thrive here at home by supporting this government's efforts to promote the availability of prime office space to accommodate these vital business needs.

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 Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 4296

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's first Minister of Immigration Advisory Council held its first meeting September 30, 2008; and

Whereas the 13 member council is apprised of a wide spectrum of expertise and backgrounds and among the new appointees are business, municipal, labour and community leaders, many of whom have left their homelands to build highly successful and rewarding careers here in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas these respected individuals are giving graciously of their time and expertise to help our province reach its immigration goals and objectives;

[Page 4424]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend thanks to the new council and its members for their commitment to the economic and cultural growth of this 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 Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4297

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

Whereas almost five months ago the province experienced the biggest wild land/ urban interface forest fire in its history; and

Whereas Department of Natural Resources' staff led the charge of cooperation between dozens of agencies to successfully extinguish the blaze; and

Whereas their contributions to our forestry sector, to wildlife habitat, to preserving the beauty of Nova Scotia the place we live and play will go down in history;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the heroes of the Porters Lake fire for going above and beyond the call of duty and for making our province extremely proud.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4425]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, with your permission I would like to do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. CASEY: I would like to draw the attention of the members to the east gallery, John Humble is the Atlantic Regional Director for United Nations International Children's Fund and joining Mr. Humble is Cheri Cole who is the manager of Community Partnerships and Events with UNICEF. I would ask both to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House before I read the resolution. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 4298

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

Whereas Canadian children have raised more than $96 million since the UNICEF Halloween campaign was launched in 1955; and

Whereas UNICEF Atlantic works closely with schools and youth groups across Nova Scotia each year to educate our children on the importance of helping the world's students receive an education; and

Whereas this year schools in our province are taking part in the annual UNICEF campaign to help provide children with the tools they need for a proper education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate all students participating in this year's UNICEF campaign and recognize October 31st as UNICEF day 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 4426]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 4299

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 October 6th to October 12th marked provincial Public Service Week; and

Whereas more than 10,000 Civil Servants across our province provide services that keep our families safe, our businesses growing and our communities thriving; and

Whereas recognition for employees goes well beyond a single week;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognizes the hardworking, resourceful and innovative Civil Servants and the service they provide for the citizens of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister for Health Promotion and Protection.

RESOLUTION NO. 4300

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

[Page 4427]

Whereas 77 per cent of Nova Scotians aged 65 and over and 94 per cent of long-term care facility residents have received their free flu vaccine through the Health Promotion and Protection Flu Vaccination Program in 2007; and

Whereas again this year the Northwood employees offered their assistance to the Department of Health Promotion and Protection to launch our 2008-09 flu vaccination campaign at Northwood Centre earlier this month; and

[2:30 p.m.]

Whereas through the tremendous support and contribution of health care providers and our health care partners, Nova Scotians have received and continue to receive their flu shot at doctors' offices and clinics across the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the initiative by asking all Nova Scotians, including high risk individuals, health care providers and students in health care programs in their communities, to get their flu shot.

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. 4301

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

Whereas Foster Family Appreciation Week in Nova Scotia was celebrated last week from October 19th to 25th and foster care resource teams are working across the province to raise awareness about the rewards of fostering a child or youth; and

Whereas in Nova Scotia foster parents work as part of a team of professionals who ensure children and youth receive the love and support they need; and

[Page 4428]

Whereas Nova Scotia is committed to attracting and training caring families who can help children and youth and in recent years Nova Scotia has made great strides in recruiting and retraining foster parents with significant success;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Nova Scotia's existing foster families and encourage more families to open their hearts and homes to children in need.

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. 4302

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

Whereas the strong and vibrant entrepreneurial spirit is a key ingredient of a prosperous Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship and also holds an annual worldwide competition where students attempt to be the most successful at running a mock company; and

Whereas out of 238 high school and university teams from around the world, the team of Dan Shupe and Neil Stewart of Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbour became the first Nova Scotia team to reach the global finals in Colorado Springs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dan and Neil for their hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and success in this competition.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4429]

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 Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 4303

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

Whereas the month of October marks Canada's Healthy Workplace Month; and

Whereas the efforts of Healthy Workplace Committees promoted healthy living, safer and greener work environments and more supportive workplace cultures throughout the month by encouraging employees to take the Healthy Workplace Challenge; and

Whereas the Healthy Workplace Committees provide a valuable service to the health and well-being of civil servants and to the health of our organization throughout workplace initiatives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly recognize the beneficial contribution of Healthy Workplace Committees on employees' health and well-being in the workplace.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4430]

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

Bill No. 187 - Entitled an Act to Make Mandatory the Reporting of Child Pornography. (Hon. Cecil Clarke)

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

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can I do an introduction before I introduce my bill?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. MCNEIL: I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery. I'd like to introduce Bernie MacKinnon, Bill Falkenham, Gordon DeLong, David Burnet, John Cunningham, Lyle Donovan, Preston Ilsley and Mike Lockett. They are here today representing fire service across Nova Scotia. I'd like the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

Bill No. 188 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Service Act, to Establish the Office of Fire and Emergency Services. (Mr. Stephen McNeil)

Bill No. 189 - Entitled an Act Respecting a Memorial Day to Honour Miners. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 190 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 98 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Co-operative Associations Act. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 191 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Hon. Murray Scott)

Bill No. 192 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 1993. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (Mr. William Estabrooks)

[Page 4431]

Bill No. 193 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 302 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Municipal Grants Act. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 194 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 334 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Partnership Act. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 195 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 335 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Partnerships and Business Names Registration Act. (Hon. James Muir)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4304

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

Whereas the selfless courage of Nova Scotia miners and their families was viewed around the world in 1958, through television coverage of the devastating bump and the rescue effort that followed; and

Whereas the lives lost, and the miracles of survival that marked the Springhill mining disaster, were commemorated this month in the Town of Springhill; and

Whereas the remaining survivors, their descendants, and the wider community used the anniversary to remember and to honour all those whose lives were touched by the disaster;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the work done by so many residents of Springhill to very fittingly commemorate the 1958 mining disaster and to remind us all about the tremendous strength of character and bedrock values that make our province one of the best places in the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4432]

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. 4305

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

Whereas Jack Campbell, a Nova Scotia businessman and entrepreneur, passed away on Monday, October 20th at the age of 72; and

Whereas Mr. Campbell's entrepreneurial spirit led him to his beloved Peggy's Cove where he built and established several businesses, including the present-day SouWester Restaurant; and

Whereas his passion for people, politics and community was realized in his service as a municipal councillor in Windsor and his long-time involvement with the Nova Scotia Liberal Party;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the life and accomplishments of Jack Campbell, and send our most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 4306

[Page 4433]

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

Whereas New Glasgow native Margie Beck retired after 38 years with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board but didn't stop working; and

Whereas Ms. Beck is now a part-time employee with the Highland Community Residential Services and uses her skills, knowledge and community networks to assist those facing mental health challenges with residential support; and

Whereas Ms. Beck is involved with several HCRS programs such as United in Friendship, a program that recognizes the importance good friends play in a child's life and works with parents of special-needs children to develop friendships. Margie still makes time to devote to her other important interests - her grandchildren and gardening;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send best wishes to Margie Beck for her tireless commitment to her community and for proving that retirement can hold new beginnings and not endings.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:45 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 Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4307

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

Whereas the 2007 federal budget shocked Nova Scotians by breaking the offshore revenue accord that had ensured Nova Scotia would receive 100 per cent of the revenue from our offshore oil and gas developments; and

[Page 4434]

Whereas the Premier, this House and many Nova Scotians urged all Nova Scotia Members of Parliament to oppose the budget legislation that broke the offshore accord; and

Whereas the Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley provided a turning point in the effort to gain redress by voting against his own government, as requested;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Bill Casey on his overwhelming victory in the recent federal election, and thank him for his dedication to Nova Scotia's best interests.

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. (Applause)

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 4308

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

Whereas Cape Breton- born Daniel MacIvor continues to distinguish himself as one of Canada's greatest playwrights; and

Whereas Daniel MacIvor has recently received Canada's richest theatre award, the $100,000 Siminovitch prize; and

Whereas Daniel MacIvor adds this prestigious award to his 2006 Governor General's Award for Drama;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Nova Scotia Legislature, and indeed all Nova Scotians, pay tribute to this very gifted native son of Cape Breton and wish him continued success in the future.

[Page 4435]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, if I could do an introduction, please?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. BAIN: Mr. Speaker, in your gallery are two residents of Victoria-The Lakes who are here this afternoon to view the proceedings of the Legislature. I would ask that Brenda Wall and Tom Vickers stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4309

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

Whereas the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia consists of 20 member clubs, while representing 2,400 snowmobiling families; and

Whereas the Crowdis Mountain Snowmobile Club, based in Victoria County under the leadership of President Lyn Duchesney, was recognized at the end of the 2007-2008 snowmobile season for having the outstanding snowmobile groomer in the province in Ralph Hanam of Baddeck; and

Whereas Ralph is referred to as the Trail Master by his fellow club members, spending numerous hours on trail maintenance, while also finding even more additional time for repairing equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House compliment Ralph Hanam of Baddeck on his Outstanding Groomer Operator Award in 2007-2008, and wish him every

[Page 4436]

success as he enters the 2008-2009 winter season, dressed in a Stormtech 3-in-1 parka presented to him by the Snowmobile Association of Nova Scotia on winning this award last winter.

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 Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 4310

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

Whereas a group of women from the north end of Halifax have been meeting every Wednesday morning at the Halifax North Memorial Library for three decades; and

Whereas these women, under the name of the Halifax North Library Women's Group, have been involved in and supportive of many community initiatives and actions over the years; and

Whereas this group recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a celebration whose very appropriate theme was Pearls of Wisdom;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the members of the Halifax North Library Women's Group on their 30 years of commitment and activism, and express their wish that the group will continue to contribute to the community in the years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4437]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 4311

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

Whereas the untimely passing of Isle Madame resident John Claude Benoit has dealt a severe blow to his family and surrounding community; and

Whereas J.C. Benoit spent the majority of his life as an emergency responder, first as a member of the Canadian Coast Guard and then an emergency medical technician, providing emergency care to many and comfort to families in their time of loss; and

Whereas on Saturday, October 25th, many friends, family, first responders and fellow emergency medical technicians gathered at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Arichat to celebrate the life of J.C. Benoit;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly extend their deepest sympathy to J.C. Benoit's parents, Phil and Pauline Benoit, his brother Mitch, sister Laurie and daughter Ariel, while remembering J.C.'s unselfish service and dedication to the residents of Isle Madame and surrounding areas.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

[Page 4438]

RESOLUTION NO. 4312

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

Whereas Pictou County's latest idol is not even a singer; and

Whereas East Coast FM 94.1 DJ Ann MacGregor, can now claim the distinction of being Canada's Media Idol, beating out nine other media personalities from across the country; and

Whereas the New Glasgow native entered the charitable competition earlier in the year and was crowned the Atlantic Region representative in Halifax before heading to Toronto and with votes from Canada's most supportive county, MacGregor was able to make more than $2,000 in financial contributions to her favourite charity, the Pictou County SPCA;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send heartfelt congratulations to East Coast FM 94.1 Ann MacGregor after being declared Canada's Media Idol for 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 Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4313

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

Whereas participation in sports has long been recognized as an activity that brings out the best of our citizens; and

[Page 4439]

Whereas exemplary results are always the result of exemplary efforts, most often over a period of years, being the model for others to aspire to; and

Whereas such an effort resulted in a bronze medal in rowing for Tracy Cameron of Shubenacadie, during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Tracy Cameron on her exemplary athletic performance and capturing an Olympic bronze medal, in Beijing, in 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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 4314

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 Nova Scotians can now feel at ease when dining out, because of the availability of restaurant inspections online; and

Whereas the Minister of Agriculture, who previously thought there was no need for public disclosure of those reports because it could hurt business, now clearly sees the value in the Liberal bill introduced this past Spring and decided this practice should move forward; and

Whereas this is yet another example of how government can accomplish something worthwhile if they take the advice of the Liberal Party;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and all his ministers look to the Liberal Party for ideas on how to make Nova Scotia a safer, more prosperous province.

[Page 4440]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The motion is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on an introduction.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the Legislature to James MacCormack and members of the political lobbying committee of the NSGEU who are here to observe the opening of the House and the various pieces of legislation and I would ask the members to welcome them to the House. (Applause)

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4315

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

Whereas Ingonish Home Hardware Building Centre is the only Home Hardware store in Canada which also houses a physiotherapy clinic; and

Whereas the Ingonish Home Hardware Building Centre is owned by Judith and Curt Hussey, Judith might be recognizable to some for her national television commercial appearances for Home Hardware; and

Whereas upon purchasing the hardware store in 2005, Curt and Judith undertook extensive renovations and expanded the facility from 3,300 square feet to 4,500 square feet and employ 10 people, full time, year round;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Curt and Judith Hussey of Ingonish, Victoria County, for operating such a vibrant business and making everyone feel welcome upon entering their store.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4441]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4316

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

Whereas Marianna Hope of Salem, Pictou County was recently recognized by the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada as a 2008 Volunteer of Distinction; and

Whereas Marianna was instrumental in establishing the Northumberland Brain Tumour Support Group where she volunteers as a facilitator in helping others; and

Whereas the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada gave this award to Marianna for her exceptional gift of time, passion and expertise in educating and informing others;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Marianna Hope on being recognized as a Volunteer of Distinction with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and wish her continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 4317

[Page 4442]

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

Whereas Nova Scotians have become increasingly frustrated with this government's inability to admit that gas regulation has been a failure; and

Whereas recently this frustration was echoed by Valerie Payn, president of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, who remarked that, "Promises of stable gasoline prices and increased opportunities for independent gasoline retailers to make a profit, especially in the rural areas, haven't materialized."; and

Whereas by refusing to listen to the business community on this issue, the government has demonstrated just how out of touch they really are;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier listen to our valued business community and scrap this failed program immediately.

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 Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 4318

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

Whereas the Port Hawkesbury Junior Strait Pirates hockey team have been an institution for over 40 years in the Strait area; and

[Page 4443]

Whereas the Pirates are back for the 2008-09 season with new head coach, Brian Tracey, and a strong nucleus of young players such as Brandon Mullins, Graham DeCoste and Aaron Schwartz; and

Whereas the Strait Pirates' ultimate goal for the year is not only to win the league championship, but also the Don Johnson Cup, recognizing Junior B hockey supremacy in Atlantic Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend our best wishes to this year's Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates Junior hockey team and all of our young hockey hopefuls across the province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax

RESOLUTION NO. 4319

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

Whereas Wayne MacIntyre, a social studies teacher at Herring Cove Junior High School, set out last year to show his students the magnitude of the Holocaust by gathering and linking paper clips . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The chatter is getting a little loud.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: . . . to represent some of the six million lives lost because of intolerance in World War II; and

[Page 4444]

Whereas Wayne and his students last summer traveled under the auspices of the Asper Foundation to Washington, D.C. to study human rights and to visit museums; and

Whereas in recognition of Holocaust Week, Wayne and his students yesterday joined students from other Halifax area schools to string 20,000 paper clips around the base of Citadel Hill laying them along the sidewalks, amongst pedestrians and passing through construction zones.

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the students who participated in the paperclip project for Holocaust week, recognize their work as a moving piece of installation art which is not only a tribute to the lost souls of the Holocaust but a fitting reminder of the individual importance of every soul in society in this year when we celebrate democracy in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4320

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 Truro and Area Chamber of Commerce presents an award each year to a small local business less than five years old and fewer than 10 employees; and

Whereas Perry and Helen Brightman started their business, Classic Rentals, five years ago because of the need for a locally-owned company to provide rentals both large and small; and

Whereas the Brightmans developed and expanded their business and have become known for their determination to provide their customers with what they need;

[Page 4445]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Helen and Perry Brightman for having their business, Classic Rentals, named as the Truro and Area Chamber Small Business of the Year.

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 Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 4321

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

Whereas the Shubenacadie Canal Commission has been committed to overseeing and promoting the historical and environmental significant Shubie Canal system since 1986; and

Whereas Fall River resident Keith Manchester was appointed to the original Canal Commission and played a key role in that organization for over two decades; and

Whereas Keith Manchester's valuable contributions and participation in several national and international canal events has helped promote and preserve Nova Scotia's Shubie Canal;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Keith Manchester's outstanding contributions to the commission and graduate him upon his recent retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4446]

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. 4322

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

Whereas in recent months the economy has proven to be unstable, economic growth has come to a standstill and governments are on the verge of deficit; and

Whereas both BMO and Scotiabank have predicted that the worst is yet to come with a recession on the horizon; and

Whereas it is at a time like this that Nova Scotia needs strong leadership, however, our Premier has no plan;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the Premier to finally show leadership and develop a real plan in the face of economic crisis.

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 Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 4323

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

Whereas Antigonish resident Bill Kiely was recently inducted into the St. F.X. Sports Hall of Fame; and

[Page 4447]

Whereas Bill Kiely has been part of the St. F.X. athletics for 50 years, working in publicity, marketing, game announcing, sports writing and advocacy; and

Whereas Bill began as a press box volunteer in 1958, then moved on to the play-by-play position for X-men games on CJFX Radio until 1983 and now has been the voice of X-men football at Oland Stadium since 1984;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Bill Kiely on being inducted into the St. F.X. 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.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 4324

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

Whereas the region of Queens Municipality was formed in 1996 and includes the communities of Liverpool, Port Joli, Brooklyn, Mill Village, Port Medway, Caledonia, Milton and many more throughout the County of Queens; and

Whereas in October of this year the region of Queens Municipality saw 25 people put their names forth in the municipal elections; and

Whereas the new council, consisting of mayor and nine councillors, will represent the best interests of the residents of the region of Queens Municipality for the next four years;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Mayor John Leefe and Councillors Darlene Norman, Sheldon Brannon, Owen Hamlin, Bruce Inglis, Mervin

[Page 4448]

Hartlen, Randi Dickie, John Croft, Doug Adams and Peter Waterman on their election to the region of Queens Municipal Council.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4325

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

Whereas October is Autism Awareness Month and we in Nova Scotia continue to be challenged by the needs from early childhood to seniors; and

Whereas there are approximately 7,200 Nova Scotians living with some form of autism, only a small number of which have been able to secure employment; and

Whereas the most transformational support needs to take place in the early years, through the early, intensive, behavioural intervention;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House call upon the Harper Government to implement a national strategy to deal with research, intervention therapy and employment support.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4449]

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. 4326

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

Whereas the September, 2008 edition of Today's Parent magazine had a feature article entitled "The 25 Top Schools in Canada"; and

Whereas Carleton Consolidated School - the school I attended - was one of the two Nova Scotia schools to have the distinction of being named on this very special list; and

Whereas Principal Linda Gallagher, her teaching and support staff, including cook Heather Thorbahn, secretary Tena Hurlburt, custodial staff and parent volunteers, worked hard to exemplify the Tri-County School Board's motto - Students First;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud and recognize Carleton Consolidated School staff, students and volunteers for this marvelous achievement.

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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 4327

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

[Page 4450]

Whereas the community of Sackville and the surrounding areas have seen the work of the long-awaited Access Nova Scotia site break ground this month; and

Whereas the Access Nova Scotia office would positively serve both residents and business; and

Whereas the Sackville Drive Business Association, along with residents, were the main advocates for this office;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Sackville Drive Business Association and residents for their perseverance for the opening of the Access Nova Scotia office in Lower Sackville, a government service that is long overdue for the 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 Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 4328

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, it's good to see us all back in the House again.

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

Whereas the arts have always been a fundamental part of Nova Scotia's culture and heritage; and

Whereas as a former professional fiddler, the Premier knows that the funding is important and there is more to the arts than just rich galas subsidized by taxpayers, as his mentor, the Prime Minister, would suggest; and

[Page 4451]

Whereas while this government does not have the vision to reinstate the Arts Council, one would hope that they had the good sense to oppose the Prime Minister's harsh cuts to arts programs;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier tell Nova Scotians whether or not he subscribes to the Prime Minister's backward policy on the arts and what his plans are for the future of the arts here in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 4329

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

Whereas Bedford celebrated its 31st Annual Bedford Days which promotes family fun, culture, and community connectedness; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Days Committee were instrumental in achieving another Bedford Days event; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Days Committee give freely of themselves to provide the community with a week of fun-filled activities and events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by the 2008 Bedford Days Committee.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4452]

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. 4330

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

Whereas Bear Point resident Carolyn Crowell has written a book which explores the histories of businesses in the county; and

Whereas the book features research done by Carolyn, along with 156 calendars of county businesses dating back to the early 1900s; and

Whereas Carolyn has donated copies of the book to the Chapel Hill Museum, the Cape Sable Island Historical Society, the Shelburne County Museum, and both the Clark's Harbour and Barrington Visitor Information Centres;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Carolyn Crowell for putting in the time and effort to keep the histories of local businesses 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 member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4331

[Page 4453]

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

Whereas each Friday we are reminded of the failure that is gas regulation; and

Whereas despite numerous groups speaking out against gas regulation, the Progressive Conservatives and NDP still believe that regulation is working and serving its purpose; and

Whereas unless that purpose is to gouge people at the pumps during these tough economic times, the Progressive Conservatives and NDP have no foundation on which they can justify their claim;

Therefore be it resolved that the Progressive Conservatives and NDP realize that gas regulation has been a failure since day one and move to scrap this failed program immediately.

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 4332

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

Whereas the world-famous Bay of Fundy is now set to be officially recognized for what many Nova Scotians have known for a long time; and

Whereas thanks to Bay of Fundy Tourism, the site is now in the running to become one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature for its many features, including marine diversity comparable to the Amazon rainforest and biological links to the Arctic, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe; and

[Page 4454]

Whereas the on-line contest, which will determine the Canadian entry on December 31st of this year, will promote this special place and its incredible potential for tidal power and its geology, that significantly contributes to global fossil and dinosaur history while the importance of protecting our natural world makes this contest an exciting and important one, and the organizers at New 7 Wonders of Nature place the Bay alongside some already famous places like Mount Everest and the Grand Canyon;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House do their part to encourage as many Nova Scotians as possible to vote on-line at www.bayoffundytourism.com and ensure the Bay of Fundy's rightful place as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[3:15 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 member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 4333

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

Whereas Beth McGee was presented the Citizen of the Year Award at the annual Charter Night of the St. Margaret's Bay Lions Club on September 20, 2008; and

Whereas Beth is the conscience of our community, taking the lead on the protection of public land in our area; and

Whereas Beth McGee's initiative is exemplary;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Beth McGee on her selection as a St. Margaret's Bay Citizen of the Year.

[Page 4455]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 4334

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 a sod-turning ceremony recently took place in Glace Bay to mark the start of construction of a new junior high school in Glace Bay; and

Whereas the Premier, the Minister of Education, and many others, including myself, attended that ceremony; and

Whereas the day has finally come that the people of Glace Bay, and students, will finally get what they deserve;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Premier and his government for honouring their commitment, and the Minister of Education for being a woman of her word, in starting to build the new junior high school in Glace Bay.

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 4456]

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4335

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 Sport Nova Scotia's Annual IKON Awards were held in June; and

Whereas Krista Stockman of Wileville, Lunenburg County, received the Female Individual Athlete of the Year for Special Olympics Nova Scotia for swimming; and

Whereas Krista brought home two silver medals from the 2007 World Special Olympics Summer Games in China;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Krista Stockman on the receipt of this prestigious award and wish her continued 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 Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4336

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

Whereas the Pictou Landing Fire Department began operations shortly after World War II and operated unincorporated until 1976; and

Whereas the Pictou Landing Fire Department is one of the oldest rural fire departments in northeastern Nova Scotia; and

[Page 4457]

Whereas volunteers and auxiliary members give up their time to attend training, respond to fire emergencies in their own district, provide assistance to neighbouring districts, maintain equipment, and continuously fund-raise to purchase equipment;

MR. SPEAKER: The chatter is a little high.

The honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

MR. MACKINNON: Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly commend Chief Jim Roper and the volunteers of the Pictou Landing Fire Department for their dedication, and congratulate them on their ongoing service to Pictou County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 4337

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 Premier blamed Opposition Parties on CBC Radio this morning for his government's lack of progress on the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act; and

Whereas the Minister of Labour and Workplace Development corrected the Premier in the same interview by stating that the reason why the bill has never even been called for debate by the government was the government's failure to consult with stakeholders and not the fault of Opposition Parties; and

Whereas, once again, Nova Scotians are witness to this government's "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" method of governing;

[Page 4458]

Therefore be it resolved that this Premier wake up, point fingers at himself and his government for lack of progress in this House and stop blaming Opposition Parties for his inability to govern.

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 4338

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

Whereas the Kiwanis Club of Ceilidh Golden K is being recognized for their 20 years of service to the Northside communities in 2008; and

Whereas this service organization has delivered more than 105,000 Meals on Wheels; and

Whereas they have made countless financial donations and provided a wide array of support for local organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Kiwanis Club of Ceilidh Golden K for their outstanding civic and community involvement and wish them nothing but continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 4459]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 4339

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

Whereas Nova Scotians of all ages and all abilities deserve to have equal opportunities to engage in fun, healthy and active lifestyles; and

Whereas Helen Anderson of Dartmouth has given selflessly of her time and energy for the past 12 years to provide a monthly social for more than 160 persons with disabilities; and

Whereas Fred Bushor of Eastern Passage and many other parents and caregivers work hard to support Helen's efforts on behalf of their loved ones and friends;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the efforts of Helen Anderson, Fred Bushor, and all of the other volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure there is a place to hold social activities for persons with mental and physical disabilities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 4340

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

[Page 4460]

Whereas early childhood educators do far more than just meet the basic needs of young children, they teach and nurture children in their early years with an impact that will last for the rest of their lives; and

Whereas Joann Sweet of the Kingstec Campus Learning Centre in Kentville was honoured this summer with a 2008 Prime Minister's Award for teaching excellence in early childhood education for children up to 18 months; and

Whereas Joann was one of the first individuals to undergo certification as an early childhood educator and remains on the Certification Council of Nova Scotia as a mentor and facilitator;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the significant accomplishments of Mrs. Joann Sweet in earning a 2008 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood Education.

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. 4341

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

Whereas Saturday, November 1, 2008, CBC Radio will mark its 60th year on the airwaves in Cape Breton; and

Whereas a musical party will be held on this date at the Savoy Theatre to commemorate this memorable occasion; and

Whereas music and CBC Radio have established a legacy that will live on in the hearts forever and ever;

[Page 4461]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate CBC Radio for the longstanding commitment to the Island of Cape Breton.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 4342

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

Whereas Somebeachsomewhere became the fastest three-year-old in harness racing history when he captured the $134,500 Bluegrass Stakes at the Red Mile Track in Lexington, Kentucky, on September 27, 2008; and

Whereas Somebeachsomewhere, owned by Schooner Stables of Bible Hill, paced the mile in 1:46:04 and it was not only the fastest ever by a three-year-old, it also equalled the world record for the fastest standard-bred mile ever; and

Whereas Somebeachsomewhere, who has won 18 of 19 career starts and earned more than $2.9 million, will retire and stand at Hanover Shoe Farms at the end of this racing season;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate trainer/part-owner Brent MacGrath; other Schooner Stable partners Garry Pye, Jamie Bagnell, Pam Dean, Stu Rath, Reg Petitpas; and driver Paul MacDonnell on Somebeachsomewhere's outstanding career, and wish Somebeachsomewhere and Schooner Stables continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Easy for you to say.

[Page 4462]

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. 4343

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

Whereas lobster fishermen have carried out a peaceful protest near the Cape Sable Island causeway over the past summer on their concern of the potential damage, to both lobster stocks and the habitat, from scallop draggers; and

Whereas fishermen have volunteered to accompany scientists during a test fishery and plan on filming with a remote-operated underwater camera to observe and record lobsters in their moulting process; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia fishery has funded Fishermen's Science Research Society projects in the past in Shelburne County, however, fishermen have received no financial support from the provincial or federal Fisheries Departments in light of what would be valuable information while lobsters are in their moulting process;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly request the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Department to provide funding for this research project for the use of an underwater camera.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

[Page 4463]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 4344

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

Whereas the Fifth Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards were held on October 27th to recognize local businesses for their achievements and contribution to the local economy; and

Whereas seven Lunenburg County businesses have been chosen to receive these prestigious awards in various categories; and

Whereas Charles Lantz Cabinetry of Garden Lots was awarded the Lunenburg County Business Excellence Grassroots Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Charles Lantz Cabinetry on being awarded the Lunenburg County Business Excellence Grassroots Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 4345

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

[Page 4464]

Whereas the Prospect Bay Road from Whites Lake to the Village of Prospect is in need of a major upgrade and paving; and

Whereas areas residents have been extremely patient with patching jobs for far too long; and

Whereas the Prospect Bay Road is a promoted tourist route with numerous noteworthy attractions;

Therefore be it resolved that the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal make the upgrading and paving of the Prospect Bay Road a priority project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

[3:30 p.m.]

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Pursuant to a notice that I had given to you in accordance with Rule 43, I'd like to move to have the business of the House set aside at the hour of interruption for the purpose of dealing with an issue of urgent public importance.

Over the past few months, there has been a significant downturn in market activity throughout the entire world. Specifically, the Toronto Stock Exchange, once listed at 12,000 just over a month ago, had dropped by 20 per cent down to 9,500 by the close of business yesterday. The economic downturn in the United States and in Canada - specifically the sub-prime mortgage collapse, as well as the massive credit crunch - has led to uncertain times in the economic future of our countries. As reported by STATS Canada, Nova Scotia has experienced the lowest, real GDP growth out of all of provinces across our entire country since 2003. Nova Scotia experienced this slow growth while our country was in relatively good economic times. With a certain global downturn on our front step, it is frightening to think what will happen if we stay the course with our current fiscal and economic policies.

[Page 4465]

The current credit crunch has already crippled many businesses and organizations in our provinces. Just two days ago we heard news of a major company in Nova Scotia forced to fold its restructuring plans because lack of available financing due to the banking crisis in the United States. It's imperative that we immediately set aside time to discuss and debate the best way for our province to shield itself from the global economic downturn and, furthermore, discuss how we are going to position our province to grow on a sustainable path toward the future.

The next generation's economic future in this province greatly depends on how our province reacts in the days, months and years ahead. This matter requires immediate attention of the House and I would ask that all members of the House support our motion for an emergency debate on the economy.

MR. SPEAKER: I have received more than the two-hour notice of the matter required under the Rule 43(2). Under Rule 43(4), I am required to decide whether the matter is proper to be discussed. I have considered the factors set out in the Rule 43(4A), and this is a matter of grave concern to Nova Scotians and which concerns the administrative responsibility of the government and could come within the scope of ministerial action. It is not on the order paper for discussion and I have no indication that it is likely to be debated within a reasonable time by other means, so I will read the motion and ask whether the Leader of the Liberal Party has the leave of the House for the debate to take place.

The motion is that the business of the House be set aside for the purpose of dealing with an issue of urgent public importance and the subject of the issue has been described by the Leader of the Liberal Party as the best way for our province to shield itself from the global economic downturn and to position the province to grow on a sustainable path towards the future. Does the House agree to give leave for the motion to be debated?

Is it agreed.

It is agreed.

Leave having been given this debate will take place today at the moment of interruption as provided under Rule 43 (11). It replaces the late debate. It is a two-hour period of time that is allowed, with each speaker allowed for 15 minutes at a time. It will take place at 6:00 o'clock at the moment of interruption.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Whatever time the moment of interruption?

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, whatever time the moment of interruption takes place the Emergency Debate then takes place. Thank you for that clarification.

[Page 4466]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will began at 3:33 p.m. and we will go until 4:33 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

GOV'T. (N.S.) - ECON./FIN. UPDATE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be to the Premier. In August, this government's quarterly report said that volatile energy costs had the potential to cause significant uncertainties for the Nova Scotia budget. That same update said that the surplus of the government was now $165 million higher than had been predicted at about $355 million. Well since that time, the world has entered a period of great economic uncertainty. The credit crunch, the rapidly changing dollar, a crash in commodity prices are now affecting the provincial budget. So my question to the Premier is simply this, when will the House, and Nova Scotians, receive an economic and financial update showing the effect of the current crisis and the government's response?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, through you to my colleague, as is always the practice, the Department of Finance and the Minister of Finance will gather the appropriate information. Of course in any financial update it is required that we receive information from the federal government with respect to personal income taxes, corporate income taxes, a number of different elements to that financial update and, as is the case, the Minister of Finance will provide that update by the end of December.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Premier knows that the House won't be sitting at the end of December - at least I don't think it will. I guess we'll see. The heads of major Nova Scotia businesses tell us that they are up all night dealing with the financial markets and analyzing the market for their own products and services. They expect prudent and mature judgement from those in power.

In a responsible democracy, the people and the Legislature deserve to know how the government is dealing with a challenging situation and, frankly, they expect accountability. My question for the Premier is, will he tell people what steps his government has taken to assess the impact of the current crisis on its revenue and how is that going to affect plans for spending?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government began taking the steps with respect to the economy and with respect to our financial situation many years ago - this is not

[Page 4467]

something the government just decided in the last few months to take a look at. This government is responsible in the last number of years to make sure we have balanced budgets in Nova Scotia. That's why we're able to see growth in our province.

The steps we have taken and continue to take - in fact, just last week I met with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and this past week I met with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and I will soon meet with the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce, and unlike the Leader of the Opposition, they are much more optimistic about the future of business in this province - and I share their view.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it's not a matter of optimism, it's a matter of dealing with what we have directly in front of us. Six months ago, the government approved $300 million in extra spending without any public consultation, without legislative approval. The same Progressive Conservative Government then broke the Premier's word by taxing home electricity - $28 million out of the pockets of ordinary Nova Scotians. Ordinary Nova Scotians are trying to pack lunch boxes for their children, trying to pay their mortgages. These were bad choices.

It's now clear that there may be another unbudgeted surplus, so my question to the Premier is this - how will the government deal with any extraordinary revenue in this budget year?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to balanced budgets. Because of the steps of our government, and our Minister of Finance, independent agencies have given us a very high rating not only in what we're doing at the present time, but on the future outlook for this province - which separates us from other provinces across the country. In fact, in the last year, in this province, over 10,000 new jobs have been created as a result of the work of this province. If I listened to the Leader of the Opposition, this province would have been in deficit a long time ago.

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

GOV'T. (N.S.) - UPDATED FIN. FORECAST

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. We're in the midst of a global economic crisis, but the Premier would have us believe there's nothing we can do about it. While Nova Scotians are becoming concerned about their personal finances, the Premier is wasting time. It is time to act now. My question to the Premier is will he immediately disclose an updated financial forecast and be up front with Nova Scotians about the current state of our province's finances?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government will provide - as I already indicated in the previous answer - its fiscal update, as we should, by the end of December. As one can

[Page 4468]

appreciate, there's a great deal of information with respect to a financial update of that nature.

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear - I share the view of my colleagues that this is a challenging time globally; it's a challenging time for our country; and certainly a challenging time for our province. But I have confidence in the ability of business; I have confidence in our government; and I have confidence that we will be able to get through these challenging times.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, we are in tough economic times and this requires something more than business as usual. The people of this province are looking for leadership. They are looking for a strategic plan from this government on how they are going to move ourselves forward and weather this storm. So my question for the Premier is, where is your government's plan to weather the economic storm and help move this province forward?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government has already started taking steps both internally and externally. In fact, the Minister of Finance will meet with his colleagues on Monday. Two weeks ago, I met with my colleagues from across the country at the Council of the Federation, and we will have a First Ministers meeting coming up in the next couple of weeks. It is very much on the minds of the members of this government to ensure not only do we stay within our financial framework but also that we are driving the economy of this province so that we have the dollars necessary to pay for our social programs.

Now, by listening to the Opposition in recent weeks, I would hear raise corporate taxes by the NDP, Mr. Speaker, that's what I hear or by listening to the Liberal Party, I would hear carbon tax. Neither of those options would suit Nova Scotia very well.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier knows he just misled this House by suggesting that I have supported a carbon tax. He knows he has misled this House today and I expect him to retract that by the end of the day. The Premier suggests that the global economic downturn won't affect our province for six to eight months. The fact is, business confidence has reached new lows. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MCNEIL: The Premier suggests that the global economic downturn won't affect our province for six to eight months. In fact, business confidence has recently reached a new low. Since 2003, our province has experienced the lowest real growth of any province; 10 out of 10, Mr. Speaker. Last year, we experienced more bankruptcies per capita than any other province. So my question to the Premier is, where is your plan to help weather this economic storm?

[Page 4469]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, 457,000 people are employed in Nova Scotia - among the highest on record. Since September 2007, approximately 10,500 more people are working in Nova Scotia. Year over year unemployment rates decreased. Labour force increased. This government started planning a long time ago.

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

GOV'T. (N.S.)/UNSM: MOU-DETAILS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the members of the House on this side voted for tax decreases, the members on that side voted for tax increases. (Applause) But this is another matter. Several months ago the government signed the memorandum of understanding with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. It sets out the basis of an effective relationship between the province and municipalities. The guiding principles that the Premier's government endorsed include regular and ongoing consultation, respect for areas of jurisdiction and a commitment to resolve differences through direct dialogues.

So my question for the Premier is this, why did the Premier's government agree to respect municipal jurisdiction if the Premier feels that he has a personal veto over municipal decisions?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition may not think development is a good thing but I can tell you this government does. I stand by what I said. The decision that the council made I believe is the wrong decision. I say that because it sends the wrong message to developers. It sends the wrong message to investment in our capital city. It sends the wrong message in a time, as we were just talking about, that there is some uncertainty in the world. We must do everything we can to see development move forward. I'm beginning to think NDP stands for no development please. (Interruptions)

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. DEXTER: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the tax raisers, Mr. Speaker. In August, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations wrote to a resident of Halifax to say that "HRM has primary authority over land use matters and that the province's role is very limited"; I will table the letter. The minister went on to say, "The approval decision correctly remains with the municipal council." Now, I'm sure the minister does not want to see his government use a double standard when it hears complaints about municipal land use decisions. So my supplementary question, Mr. Speaker, will be to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, what advice does the minister now provide to anyone in HRM who has a complaint about a land use decision from the municipality?

[Page 4470]

MR. MUIR: One of the things that you have to understand, Mr. Speaker, is just because one has the legislated authority to make a decision does not mean that their decisions are correct.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DEXTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We, on this side of the House, are well aware of that fact. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, the Halifax Regional Municipality asked this House to enact the Halifax Charter and further legislation to enable the council to deal with the downtown plan called HRM by Design. The government left those bills on the order paper, didn't even bother to call them.

So, Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is this, will he ensure that those HRM bills are called for debate here and now, this week, with no further delay?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition wasn't supportive of what we brought forward in the Spring. (Interruption) The Opposition, the NDP, would rather see . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Opposition in this province would rather see parking lots, rather than development in the downtown. The only thing that should be parked are their ideas.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: OIL DELIVERY - REBATES

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I spent part of my career working on development - I'm not sure that the Premier has.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Premier is this, earlier this month bulk vendors of heating oil were advised, through Tax Bulletin No. 5072, that a change to eligibility status of some properties would come into effect on October 14, 2008. The changes will remove the point-of-sale rebate eligibility from any residence that does not have 100 per cent residential status. Oil delivery companies say that they were handed this mess to sort out and that it is creating problems for them and 40,000 of their customers.

[Page 4471]

My question for the Premier is, why is he creating this kind of problem for 40,000 Nova Scotians?

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I hope that the honourable Leader of the Opposition is not indicating that he thinks people who are not entitled to the rebate should get it. I will just say that because I don't think that's really what he's implying.

What happened was, when we put this program into place - and it's a very good program and even the members of the Opposition recommended it - it was not intended for people who had mixed use properties at point of sale. They were expected to apply for the rebate. For example, if you were running a business out of your home, then obviously you'd be eligible for the rebate on the residential portion but not on the commercial portion. (Interruption) Where you get the HST back anyway, thank you.

Mr. Speaker, what happened is when we put this program together which benefits so many Nova Scotians, there were two computer systems put together. Unfortunately, as the honourable member points out, there was a glitch and it was pointed out by one of the people who provide fuel, saying that we just put fuel oil into a fuel tank that clearly is not connected to any residence, is that appropriate? When we found that out, we sent the auditors in. The auditors looked at it and said yes, there are some glitches in the system, so there was remedial action taken.

In reference to that, the department has put together a list of properties that are not eligible. They have been provided to the distributors now. It's not the massive list that it was and, Mr. Speaker, we think that the distributors - and I do apologize on behalf of my department for this extra burden that is going on them, but it's not a major thing to overcome and I think probably within a week or two it will be.

MR. DEXTER: Well thank you, Mr. Speaker. I certainly appreciate the apology from the minister but I want to tell him this - he doesn't really understand how many people are affected. Yesterday I received a letter from Murray Salsman, and I will table it. Murray lives in Grafton, Nova Scotia on a ten-acre property that hasn't been used by him to make a living. Because the land is partially classified as resource property, he is forced to pay the HST when the fuel is delivered and now apply for the removal of the tax on home heating that of course every family deserves.

Mr. Salsman says there are many seniors living in small homes on large lots who cannot afford the extra 8 per cent on their fuel bill and submit a request for a refund and wait, as he says, for God knows how long to get it, if ever. My question for the Premier is this,

[Page 4472]

why is this Premier imposing this kind of red tape on so many Nova Scotia families and seniors?

MR. MUIR: I'd like to suggest that the honourable member, as I acknowledged in my previous answer - there was a glitch in the implementation of the program and it has to be straightened out so that the program indeed satisfies requirements of the Auditor General among other people. However, the rules have not changed. That property that you just described, as I would understand it - if there had been no glitch in the program - would have had to apply anyway; so for that person there is no difference.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Salsman also takes issue with what he calls the sneaky manner in which the changes were made. He states: This was done in a sneaky way and the only way I found out about it was when the oil man delivered my oil. Mr. Speaker, this is no way to run a government. Most of those people should have had the tax removed from their home energy costs as the Premier promised. My question is to the Premier, how can such an important change for as many as 40,000 Nova Scotian households be made without any advance notice to the families and seniors who are being charged more for each fuel delivery?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I would just draw to the attention of the House, this energy rebate program which we have in place is something that the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues have voted against. Standing up and voting against a program and then questioning why it's not better is a little oxymoronical.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations has the floor.

MR. MUIR: Again, for the individuals which the honourable member has cited, I do apologize on behalf of our department. The fact is, those were the rules of the game when the program was implemented. We got into a situation where we found there were some glitches. Only a good government would make sure those deficiencies were remedied and that's what happened.

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

PREM. - NOVA SCOTIANS: PRIORITIES REFLECT

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The Premier has been musing about intervening in recent decisions by HRM Council to deny a development project along the Halifax waterfront. In light of the fact that many Nova Scotians are already feeling the effects of a weakening economy and this government's history of economic mismanagement, Nova Scotians are demanding to know why the Premier was unwilling to show this leadership and prevent the Utility and Review Board

[Page 4473]

from considering a power rate increase that will negatively affect every individual and burden business across this province. My question to the Premier is, when will your priorities reflect those of Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Liberal Party speaks to the government's commitment with respect to economic development and speaks to the development project in the downtown. I want to expand on my previous answer about the importance of seeing more investment in our downtown core. We have the opportunity to see more financial service sector jobs coming to Nova Scotia and they want more class A space. That's why we need more development in the downtown.

Mr. Speaker, this impact is much more broad than simply Halifax. I ran into a trades person in the southern part of Nova Scotia, in Yarmouth, last week who unfortunately finds himself in a situation where he leaves the province to find additional work. I want to make sure that Nova Scotian has the opportunity to work on projects right here. He can join the other 10,500 people who also found work in Nova Scotia during the past year. I believe a project like this should move forward for that individual and all Nova Scotians.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, unlike the Premier, this caucus will not choose a specific project that might have a friend of his who wants to develop it. We would encourage the Premier and his government to call before this House HRM by Design, which my caucus is more than prepared to support so that Nova Scotian development can happen for all developers, not a specific developer.

Given the recent profit reports by Nova Scotia Power and its recent decline in commodity prices and the dramatic effect the power rate increases will be having in our province, my question to the Premier is, will you intervene and stop any power rate increases in the upcoming year?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable member, I can assure all Nova Scotians, we have had intervener status and we have not agreed to the increase that's proposed by Nova Scotia Power.

[4:00 p.m.]

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, time and time again, the Premier has shown absolutely no leadership on this issue - what most Nova Scotians are looking for. My final question is simple - will you join the Liberal caucus in calling that the Utility and Review Board deny this power rate increase?

[Page 4474]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in the last few months, what I've heard from the Liberal Party is to introduce a carbon tax which would mean, even when you take a look at what was presented with the income taxes, it would cost Nova Scotians about $160 million for all Nova Scotians, another $26 million directly to government - $186 million per year leaving Nova Scotia and going to Ottawa. If that's his idea of smart policy, I disagree.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. RELATIONS - ENERGY REBATE PROG.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the real tax increaser in this House. The Premier raised taxes by $28 million a year in his last budget. By raising taxes, he placed a serious burden on families just months before one of the worst economic crises to ever face this province. Now families will have to carry the burden of this $28 million tax increase through a very, very difficult winter in terms of weather and finances. My question, through you, to the Premier - can he explain to this House how raising taxes by $28 million a year will help families deal with the severe economic and winter crisis they will be facing?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I assume the honourable member was referring to the changes in the energy rebate program. That $28 million thing turned into about a $92 million program for Nova Scotians.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, the Premier and his Party clearly live in a world of make believe. I want to put some facts on the table. Here is fact one, in 2006, the now Premier promised to cut the HST on home energy. Here's another fact, last Spring the Premier raised taxes on home energy for hardworking families to the tune of $28 million. My question to the tax raiser is very simple, why should Nova Scotians believe you when it comes to tax increases after your erratic leadership on this very issue?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the package that the government has put forward - a $92 million package which is going to help Nova Scotians this winter. In fact, it not only looks at the short-term challenges that individuals face, it also looks at the long term. It looks at issues such as the Heating Assistance Rebate Program and increase up to $450. It makes sure that we deal and partner with groups like the Salvation Army to help more low-income Nova Scotians. It also includes your energy rebate - about $47 million - and it also looks at energy-efficiency ideas under the leadership of the Minister of Energy.

These are all initiatives that member and the NDP voted against. They voted against helping Nova Scotians who need it most. They voted against a rebate program to help individuals and our seniors in this province. Nova Scotians know who supported the budget.

[Page 4475]

They know who voted against the budget, who are standing up for their rights, and we'll continue to do so.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, yes, we did vote against tax increases and we're proud we did it. (Applause) When January comes and Nova Scotian families are looking at an 18 per cent increase in their utility needs, then we'll talk about tax increases. Well, let's do a reality check. The Premier broke his word and raised taxes to families by $28 million. The reality is, this Premier left families worse off on the eve of an economic crisis. Reality is, this government made a submission to the URB saying increases in power rates were a grave concern. So my question through you is very simple, Mr. Speaker, why doesn't the Premier listen to his own governments alarms and reverse this tax increase on power rates for Nova Scotian families so they can enjoy the welfare that they really need and security?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I was very proud to stand in my place in the Spring of this year and vote on the budget - a balanced budget - the 7th consecutive balanced budget in this province. Putting more dollars in the pockets of Nova Scotians and not a selected group of Nova Scotians - all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, the new Heat Smart Program touches every Nova Scotian in this province - $92 million that that member and every member of his caucus voted against in this House. That's what we did and under the leadership of Rodney MacDonald we opened a new Conserve Nova Scotia that has reached thousands of Nova Scotians, helping in educating Nova Scotians to burn less energy in their homes and making their homes be more energy efficient. That's what you call leadership.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

HEALTH: DIALYSIS - PICTOU CO.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health. George and Flo Spears are seniors who live in the Town of Pictou. George needs lifesaving dialysis three times a week. Unfortunately for George and Flo, the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital in Pictou doesn't provide the type of dialysis that he needs to stay alive. So three days a week they must drive to Antigonish. So my question through you to the minister - why, Mr. Minister, have you failed to ensure that residents of Pictou have reasonable access to adequate lifesaving dialysis?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows full well, kidney disease is one that is growing in our province and one that is very hard to predict who might be hit with it. This government has made a huge commitment in the redevelopment of the unit that is in Antigonish and, of course, expansion and replacement

[Page 4476]

of machines all across this province. As district health authorities do manage the day-to-day operations of their hospitals, I would hope that they would maybe make a request for dialysis for the residents of Pictou.

MR. PARKER: Well, Mr. Speaker, George and Flo are seniors, as I mentioned. They are on a fixed income and they cannot afford the $4,600 a year for gasoline they need to drive back and forth to Antigonish to get their dialysis treatment. Thankfully though in the Town of Pictou, the local Lions Club have stepped up, where the minister has failed; they have picked up the ball and are fundraising to help this family. So my question, why does your government force the Spears to rely on charity to access lifesaving health care?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again, this government tries to be fair to all Nova Scotians. We are trying to have the programs that are in locations that are available to the largest majority. We know that from time to time there are individuals who are not able to receive the services close to home. I'm sure that every amount of help that is available will be available to them. I would like nothing better to stand in my place and say that I would have the dialysis that they require available right there but, of course, there are dollars that are attached to that and one that we would have to consider very carefully.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, George, of course, cannot drive after having his dialysis treatment and because of vision impairment his wife, Flo, cannot drive in the dark. However, in a few months these two seniors will be forced to drive home and treatment after dark and perhaps in all kinds of weather. My question is, does the minister understand that his failure to provide an adequate dialysis service is placing a dangerous and unfair burden on the Spears family?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I first want to comment on the charitable nature of Nova Scotia and I do want to thank the individuals who are helping out this family when they do need it. We do have phenomenal individuals in this province. Mr. Speaker, the second part to my answer really fits in around the safety of dialysis services in this province. We want to make sure that we have services that are responsive to the needs of our patients and safe to the patients of our province. We cannot have all services in all places. We need to have the doctors, physicians and individuals available to offer a very safe service. I know that we have a very safe and responsive dialysis system in the province, and one that will continue to expand as need be.

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

NAT. RES: CHILD-SIZED ATVs - PURCHASE DETAILS

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Whose decision was it to purchase child-sized ATVs with taxpayers dollars?

[Page 4477]

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, to the Leader of the Liberal Party, this decision was made in the Department of Health Promotion and Protection.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, after defending the purchase of ATVs with taxpayer dollars on June 19th, the Premier left for the Middle East. Upon his return, he decided to take action and reverse the decision even though that same day the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection was defending the purchase on live TV. Mr. Speaker, this situation comes down to mismanagement, failed accountability and a lack of leadership from the Premier. If he does not know about a near $250,000 Cabinet decision, how can we expect him to lead this province? My question to the Premier is, if in fact you were kept in the dark about this program, why were you kept in the dark?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very clear that the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection is very passionate about safety training. He put together a plan with his department to make sure that those families who wish to have their children drive ATVs have that opportunity. He put it in place. It is understood that this information was not shared with his colleagues and that was his decision. The Premier has shown leadership on this and I do want to recognize though, that he was very passionate about making sure that every opportunity was made available to make sure that those children were safe when they drove the machines.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, if the Premier didn't know about it, why was he defending a program he didn't know about? It is absurd for the public to believe that the Premier didn't know about this decision. In fact, denial by the Premier was so difficult for the public to believe that hundreds of Nova Scotians flooded local papers with letters and calls to radio shows. Nova Scotians demand a Premier who not only knows what transpires at his cabinet table, but also knows to take responsibility when it is called for. My question to the Premier is, will you take full responsibility for your government's decision to wrongfully purchase these child-sized ATVs with taxpayers' dollars?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what I can assure my colleague is that the decisions of this government - of course, when it comes to leadership, at the end of the day it comes down to the Premier, whoever the Premier of the day is. I stand by each and every one of my colleagues on this side of the House who continue to do what's in the best interest of our children and the people of this province. Whether it's the Minister of Health Promotion, or the Minister of Natural Resources, or any other minister, I will stand by their side.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COM. SERV.: HEATING PROGS. - STATS

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, through a freedom of information request, my office received a historical comparison of the number of families who received emergency

[Page 4478]

oil from 2005 to present. The comparison outlines the number of cases that received assistance from the province but not the number that applied. Why is that? It's because the province doesn't track the number of people who applied. My question to the Minister of Community Services is, how can you determine whether a program is effective if you aren't tracking the number of applicants?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. On this side of the House we are absolutely committed to ensuring that those Nova Scotians who are most needy, most vulnerable, most marginalized, are aided in their time of need. Indeed, that's why we've seen continued increases; that's why we've seen our colleague bring in a $92 million Heat Smart Program. We will continue to do that, Mr. Speaker, as all programs, if there are opportunities to review programs to see if a program is working. If there are challenges, then we'll do that. The particular instance that my colleague raised, I'll ask staff to have a look at that, Mr. Speaker.

MR. ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to table a letter from the Department of Community Services dated September 29, 2008, that states, "The Employment Support Income Assistance Program does not collect data or other information at intake or on an ongoing basis on a number of inquiries relating to requests for assistance with home heating costs." My question to the Minister of Community Services is, how can you ensure that Nova Scotians are able to heat their homes when you are unable to provide analyses of how many are actually in need?

MS. STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I know that my honourable colleague across the way understands and respects the hard work that is done day in and day out by the staff at the Department of Community Services, ensuring that those who are most vulnerable are able to access all of the programs and resources that we have available.

We will continue to provide increased funding, as we have over the last number of years, to ensure that the needs are being met. The $38 million special needs budget that would allow for additional home heating assistance to be received, will continue to be offered to Nova Scotians who find themselves in need, as well as the $800,000 Needy Neighbour Program that was assisted by this government through the Salvation Army. We will continue to work with our partners, to ensure that all Nova Scotians who are in need of our services receive them.

MR. ZINCK: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That $38 million of special needs has to be paid back by those people who are actually in need, to the tune of about $45 a month. So it is helping or hurting?

Mr. Speaker, the only reason the minister wouldn't keep data on requests for assistance is that she doesn't want to know. It's easier to pretend the problem doesn't exist.

[Page 4479]

So my final question to the minister, does this minister think she is acting responsibly by refusing to keep track of the number of Nova Scotians who seek assistance for home heating?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, we, at the Department of Community Services, take very seriously our responsibilities to Nova Scotians, those who are in their most vulnerable state of need. We continue daily to assist those Nova Scotians across this province, we will continue to do that. We take that very seriously, I take it very seriously as Minister and my hard-working staff across this province who that member works with routinely, Mr. Speaker, take it very seriously.

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

FAIR ACCESS TO REGULATED PROFESSIONS ACT:

PASSAGE - FAILURE EXPLAIN

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier. During a CBC radio interview this morning, the Premier was quick to blame Opposition Parties for his failure to pass the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act. During that very same interview, the Premier's Minister of Labour and Workforce Development corrected the Premier by stating the government's lack of consultation with stakeholders was the reason why this bill wasn't even called for debate last Spring. So my question to the Premier is, why is the Premier subscribing to Harper's school of governing by blaming the Opposition Parties for his woes when it was clearly his government's lack of consultation that stalled that bill?

MR. SPEAKER: I believe that this is a bill that is before the House and - the honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I stand by my comments, the government wants to see that bill passed as quickly as possible. I don't know if we're going to debate the bill but I don't know if it's appropriate that I should be speaking about the bill.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, we were willing to debate the bill but it's his government that didn't do the consultation is why we weren't debating that bill; not this side of this House, it was that side of the House. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, this is not the only time this Premier has been offside with his ministers.

[4:15 p.m.]

While the Premier apologized to immigrants for his government's failed mentorship program, the Minister of Immigration was touting its virtues. When the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection was defending the kiddie ATV program in the news, the Premier was criticizing that same minister and the department for improperly handling the file.

[Page 4480]

So my question to the Premier is, why are you and your ministers so out of sync when it comes to important public policy decisions in this province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'm very proud to lead a government that delivered its seventh consecutive balanced budget in this province. I'm very proud of the fact that this government has been able to grow the economy of this province and, as a result of balanced budgets, and as a result of growing the economy, we are able to pay for the social programs that our communities, our seniors, our individuals and our families across the province need and should have. Because of the work of our team on this side, Mr. Speaker, a very good team, a team which has the experience, has the knowledge and the enthusiasm to move this province forward, we'll continue to do what's in the best interest of Nova Scotians.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Premier, considering the fact that you've lost the confidence of your Cabinet when you're on different pages, what makes you think the people of Nova Scotia would have confidence in your ability to govern?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in recent months what I've heard from the Leader of the Liberal Party is that he thought that the Liberal plan to have a carbon tax was the best plan for Nova Scotians. Can you imagine what that would do for the people of Nova Scotia? That would drive this province into deficit so fast.

If I listened to everything that was coming from the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, we would never, in a million years, be able to balance the books of this province. We can't be all things to all people, we have to set priorities. The Opposition, the NDP would have us do everything, the Liberals would have us do everything. We will set the priorities, Mr. Speaker, we will ensure that we live within our means and we will do so with the future of Nova Scotia in mind.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: MOBILE HOME PARKS - ASSESSMENTS

MS. BECKY KENT: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. On July 29th of this year Cabinet passed Order in Council No. 2008-389, bringing mobile home parks under the protection of the CAP on property assessments. This was done because rents have been skyrocketing to deal with increasing property assessments, creating hardships for residents. The problem is that a few mobile home park owners don't appear to be passing these savings on to the mobile park residents through their lot rents. My question, Mr. Speaker, can the minister explain to the residents why their rents continue to increase?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, we did, indeed, pass an Order in Council to do that and I'm delighted that residents in mobile home parks will be included in the CAP.

[Page 4481]

Unfortunately, this year the tax rolls had been constructed by the time that decision was made, therefore, what government did - and I think in the interest of those people - is that the CAP's value will go back to last year's value rather than this year's.

MS. KENT: Mr. Speaker, the government capped assessments for park owners back to 2000 levels but failed to make an agreement to ensure residents benefited from these measures. My question to the minister, is he aware that a few trailer park owners are not going to pass on these savings from retroactive assessment caps and not reduce the rents accordingly?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, if residents are unhappy about their rent, they can go to the Director of Residential Tenancies and explain their case.

MS. KENT: Mr. Speaker, like many things we see coming from this government, it appears these changes were drawn up on the back of a napkin, put forward and passed with little to no input or thought. My question to the minister is, what steps is this minister going to take to ensure park residents don't bear a burden for assessment hikes which no longer exist?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I think when the honourable member began her question, she certainly was saying that she did not agree with capping those properties. I guess you speak with both sides of your mouth. You either like the CAP program, which I think most Nova Scotians do, or you don't. I think the honourable member ought to make it clear to the House if she either supports the CAP program or she doesn't support the capped program.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH PROM. & PROTECTION -

SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGY

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, more than 100 people end their lives every year in Nova Scotia making suicide the third leading cause of injury, hospitalizations and the leading cause of injury-related deaths. The burden on emergency medical and psychiatric services is estimated at $100 million but the emotional toll of even one untimely death is devastating. Suicide attempts are often impulsive and 24-7 crisis teams like the one at Capital Health are there for people when they are most at risk. Mr. Speaker, my question to Minister of Health Promotion and Protection is, Capital Health has a 24-7 crisis team, why isn't this service being offered in all areas of the province?

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, we take very seriously the issue of suicide prevention. In fact Nova Scotia was the first jurisdiction in Canada to have a suicide prevention strategy. We will continue to work with that strategy as we are able to advance

[Page 4482]

programs and services around the province. It's a strategy that works and it's a system that is effective for Nova Scotians.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, I want to table a report on suicide prevention obtained from your department through freedom of information. It states that a service gap that was consistently noted as a priority was a lack of 24/7 crisis response and suicide risk assessment services right across the province. Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is what analysis has your department done to determine the impact of your failure to ensure 24/7 crisis teams across the province?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, a big part of the work we do at Health Promotion and Protection is research to help guide us in the healthy public policy decisions that we make as we progress. I want to point out to the member opposite that we continue to invest in district health authorities to provide the services so that Nova Scotians can live healthier and safer lives.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, that same report reads that leadership is the key, without it nothing will happen. There are many strategies out there, we all know that, but without a real leader championing the cause it just sits on the shelf as another strategy. Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is, does the Premier realize his unreliable leadership on mental health has left a large part of this province at risk?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out in my earlier answer, we're the first province in the country to have a suicide prevention strategy. A key component of that is research. The research that is underway right now will help us and guide us as we make healthy public policy decisions. I'm very proud of the work that we do at Health Promotion and Protection. We provide a great deal of funding to the district health authorities to help us provide that service and it's a service that Nova Scotians do need and do deserve and do receive.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

JUSTICE: CORRECTIONS STAFF - SUPPORT INCREASE

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the strength of our justice system relies on Nova Scotians having complete faith in our police, courts and our correctional system. During the past year we've seen numerous wrongful releases, double bunking of inmates and assaults at our correctional facilities. While inmate population has increased in the last few years support for correctional officers and administrative staff has remained stagnant. My question to the Minister of Justice is, can he explain why the request from corrections officers and administrative staff for additional support continues to fall on deaf ears?

[Page 4483]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question because it allows me to reiterate the fact that in this House before we said that no one would be left vulnerable in this system in terms of making sure they were protected were required. We provided that resource. Our commitment to the integrity of the system is part of the audit process that Deloitte is doing. We are obliging the Labour and Workforce Development with regard to Occupational Health and Safety concerns. We've responded as issues come forward. I do recognize we have challenges in the system, but this government continues to meet them and will continue to do so well into the future.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, we have corrections officers in the gallery today who came here today to say they fear for the safety of themselves and of their colleagues. So, the system is not fixed, Mr. Minister, and you have not addressed all of the problems or they wouldn't be here today.

It is the same Tory Government that closed jails in rural Nova Scotia and failed to prepare for the overcrowding. Nova Scotians know that double bunking should be supported by additional support staff and safety procedures. While correctional officers have forward practical recommendations at no cost to the government, they continue to be ignored by this minister. My question again to the minister is, how many more wrongful releases or assaults at the Burnside facility are required before the minister finally takes action?

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, one of the things I have said over the course of the last many months is that from time to time with the volumes we receive in the system, there are and have been inadvertent releases. That is not acceptable to the public. One of the things we did commit to is to making those situations notified to the public. In doing that, we have, as well that I'll be happy to supply - we can go back in the statistics and I will table before this House that show when the Liberals were in government, they too faced those same challenges as we see across this country.

I'll be happy to provide the honourable member with his own statistics from their time in government. I also know that we have worked with the Government of Canada on strategic infrastructure partnerships as we move forward with the Cumberland and Antigonish correctional facilities, just as much as we're moving forward with our justice facilities that are now going into completion in Yarmouth as well as in Bridgewater. We continue to do other planning. We are working to make sure we fully resource all aspects just as much as we've resourced additional policing to deal with the pressures. We're also working all the way through and beyond the courts and into corrections.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I can certainly agree with the minister that he's said a lot in this House and he's talked a lot in this House, but one thing is he's done very little to fix the justice system here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 4484]

This is the minister that has been dragging his feet on the question of taser use in our province. This is the same minister that refused to give correctional officers the necessary tools during escorts, only to be forced to allow it by his own colleague, the Minister of Labour. This was the Minister of Justice that told Nova Scotians that problems around wrongful releases this Spring were fixed, only to see yet another wrongful release just a few weeks ago. My final supplementary is to the Premier - will you commit today that the health and safety of correctional officers and administrative staff in our correctional facilities throughout Nova Scotia will finally be a priority for your government?

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I can tell you and all members of this House, this government stands firm in our commitment to be tough on crime and to ensure that we provide the resources necessary for all professionals in our system. We will treat that with balance and equity as we go forward - something that honourable member can count on because one thing we do have, Mr. Speaker, is a record of achievement and action. Thankfully, the people of Nova Scotia weren't subjected to him possibly ever being at the helm.

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

TIR: FIVE ISLAND LAKE PCB SITE - CLEANUP

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. For many years, the notorious Five Island Lake PCB site on the St. Margaret's Bay Road was a black eye on our communities during the 1980s and 1990s. The diligence of volunteers and various government departments finally resulted in a welcomed clean up of the site and a promise for final landscaping and an acceptable look to our community.

[4:30 p.m.]

However, the site is still, as I quote a local person in the community of Five Island Lake, "All gravel, all the time." The minister recently acknowledged to me in a response to a June letter that the site still has "an industrial look" and I will table that response of June 18th from the Minister of Transportation. The community is waiting and watching, Mr. Minister. My question for the minister responsible for this clean up is, what plans do you have to finish the job of the notorious clean up site of the Five Island Lake PCB site?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. The honourable member is right - I did make that commitment and also Jacques Whitford was hired to do an assessment of the area. We'll continue to monitor that and work with the community to ensure that site can be restored to its original situation.

[Page 4485]

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table, for the minister's attention, some photos of this site. These recent photos are next to the renovated Five Bridges Junior High School. It's also near to a new home. It's in the midst of the growing community of Hubley. Mr. Minister, you said in your letter, "I want to assure you that we have not forgotten about this site." I want to ask the minister, are you prepared to follow up with this promise by instructing those government officials in your department to meet with local residents, to give them a clear timeline for the work, and to make sure the PCB site in Five Island Lake is finally acceptable to the community in which I live?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, thank you again to the member opposite. If the member is requesting a meeting, I would certainly be prepared to meet with him or his constituents at any time the meeting is appropriate, to work with them, as I said earlier, to return that site to its natural beauty.

MR. ESTABROOKS: I appreciate this minister does have a reputation of a hands-on minister who deals with things in an upfront fashion. That's the sort of intervention which I expect from the minister. However, I'm looking for the officials to be involved, not that you're not welcome in the community of Hubley, not that you're not welcome to see this PCBC site, but it's important that the officials involved in your department investigate as quickly as possible. Will you give me that commitment today in the House that the officials responsible will tour that site with me and you, if you wish also, Mr. Minister, at your earliest convenience?

MR. SCOTT: Yes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

ENERGY: GEORGES BANK MORATORIUM - PUBLIC REVIEW

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. The Department of Energy is working with DFO to get a study done on the impact of offshore oil and gas on Georges Bank, and the completion date is December 31, 2009. The Minister of Energy has to decide by January 5, 2010, whether they will start a public review on an oil and gas moratorium. My question to the minister, how does he expect to be able to review, digest and make a recommendation on such an important report in less than a week?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, it's typical of the NDP Party - they do not have all the facts. The facts are that by January of 2010, the two ministers, the federal minister and the provincial Minister of Energy for the Province of Nova Scotia, have all this data. They have until June of the following year to make a decision on the go-ahead plan, and to date we are gathering that data.

[Page 4486]

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, the department has met with Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia and other fishing industry groups, in July. Their reaction to the Georges Bank issue was clear. They rebuilt the no-rigs coalition. Will the minister tell us why he is willing to ignore the opinions and the advice of most of the major fishing players in southwest Nova Scotia and continues a process that's designed to lift this Georges Bank moratorium?

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton South on a point of order.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, during Question Period, and in questioning by our leader to the Premier, on three different occasions the Premier alluded to the fact that the Liberal leader, and indeed by extension the Liberal Party, supported a carbon tax in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, that is not true and I would hope that the Premier will set the record straight on this matter because he knows different, and this Party at no time supported - our leader nor this caucus supported - never supported a carbon tax in Nova Scotia. I would like the record set straight on that.

MR. SPEAKER: I don't believe that's a point of order but thank you very much for your input.

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 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. 186.

Bill No. 186 - Animal Protection Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

[Page 4487]

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: I'm pleased to rise in my spot here this afternoon and speak on second reading of Bill No. 186, the Animal Protection Act - an Act to Protect Animals and to Aid Animals that are in Distress. Mr. Speaker, the bill is part of this government's commitment to comprehensively review animal welfare legislation in the Province of Nova Scotia. The bill does in fact provide a sound framework for the safety of domestic and farm animals and it reflects the current community values and expectations of animal welfare.

Attitudes about animals are shifting and the expectations regarding the care of animals are certainly rising. The bill before the House is an important piece of legislation. We had the opportunity to introduce Bill No. 186 during the last session of the House, and I was pleased by the initial response that we received at the Department of Agriculture from various stakeholders. Mr. Speaker, the bill does recognize the responsibilities that we all share towards animals in the Province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotians expect animals to be treated humanely, and Nova Scotians expect animals to be fed, sheltered and kept free of disease at the very least. Those are expectations that we share in this Nova Scotia Legislature. Certainly I think animal welfare crosses all partisan lines. Our challenge here in the Nova Scotia Legislature as MLAs is to make sure that this happens.

I firmly believe this new piece of legislation sets the tone for practical measures and raises the standards for the protection of animals in the Province of Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, you might know that the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act was proclaimed law in Nova Scotia some ten years ago. I think we would agree that it's legislation that needs to be examined and re-examined, and we have taken the opportunity to do that.

There have been some events that occurred throughout the province, especially over the last year, that have prompted the government to revisit the Act and look at the ways we handle the protection of animals in the Province of Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, you would know, and members in the House would know, that some of those events were quite well publicized and some of those events made some of us not feel very good about the way people have allegedly treated animals in the province.

We've examined and redrafted the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act and we have made a number of changes, a number of improvements and new clauses that address several of the inherent shortcomings in the old Act. The new Act, as I indicated earlier, is entitled the Animal Protection Act - an Act to Protect Animals and to Aid Animals that are in Distress, and it contains a number of substantive changes and it contains a number of significant improvements when held up against the previous Act. Now the new Act, of course, will repeal the existing piece of legislation, and the old Act is some ten years old, as I indicated.

I think from time to time it's incumbent upon us as MLAs and ministers, I guess on this side of the House, to look at various pieces of legislation because sometimes they do become a bit outdated and redundant and are in need of change. We've been doing that on

[Page 4488]

this side of the House with a number of legislative packages and pieces, and I do want to commend my colleagues on this side of the House for taking that initiative, and colleagues on the opposite side of the House for supporting some of the changes that we have made.

I was very pleased again during the last session of the Legislature to bring forward a piece of legislation relative to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and I had an opportunity to vet that legislation with the Liberal caucus critic and with the NDP caucus critic and various stakeholders, of course, and while that legislation isn't being debated here on the floor of the Legislature I do see a lot of similarities, and I know you do, Mr. Speaker, in affording me the latitude to expand on that piece of legislation because that co-operation and spirit of working together I think is important as we go forward with Bill No. 186, an Act to Protect Animals.

Now I would like, Mr. Speaker, to outline a number of highlights of this proposed Act, Bill No. 186; the Department of Agriculture will handle all agriculture-related cruelty complaints while the SPCA will handle complaints regarding domestic animals. Now I'm sure members in the Legislature have some domestic animals themselves and I know that some of us also have some farm animals that we care for. I'm not sure how this breaks down individually but I do know, for example, the member for Hants East is the caretaker, if you will - and his family - of some animals.

Well, I believe that my colleague, the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, the MLA for Cumberland South, who recognized the miners, the survivors today and I want to commend the minister for bringing forward not only that very positive introduction and resolution but the piece of legislation because that was an extremely important piece of business. I am digressing- I'm not sure, I think he has a cat, he told me, to be relevant. He has a cat, not a llama, but that cat's name is Lucky and he told me that the reason that cat is named Lucky is because he and his good wife Linda keep the animal. So it's very lucky to have the Scotts as its trustee. I just wanted to point that out.

But anyway, the honourable member for Hants East - I was asked a little earlier about some of the animals he may have on the farm there but I know he probably has a few sheep; I'm not sure how many. He'll try to pull the wool over our eyes a little bit later on but nonetheless, he keeps some sheep, he keeps some horses and certainly he understand, then, very much - and some geese, too, I'm told. He understands there was a profound need to revamp the old Act and come in with a new animal protection bill, to protect animals and aid animals in distress.

So, Mr. Speaker, I'd better get back to the script and the business at hand. I see you're busy up there yourself and I wouldn't want to interrupt with your flow. The Department of Agriculture will handle all of the agriculture-related cruelty complaints while the SPCA will handle complaints relative to domestic animals. The Department of Agriculture and the SPCA will each have an administrative position in place to oversee the inspections and that

[Page 4489]

is very important. The department will have a provincial inspector and the SPCA will have a chief inspector.

Now you might ask, Mr. Speaker, I'm sure it would be of interest as to what the distinction would be between the provincial inspector, when compared to the chief inspector. Well the new Act provides the chief inspector with the authority to set qualifications, to set standards for inspectors and the Department of Agriculture sets the standards for the provincial inspector. Inspectors throughout the province will report and certainly help and aid in those positions, after meeting the defined criteria. So in other words, when the qualifications and the standards are clearly met, the inspectors are going to be recommended to the Minister of Agriculture, who then recommends to the Minister of Justice their appointment to be special constables under the Police Act. Special constables are recognized by their high standards, skill and competence that they exhibit. We're very pleased that we'll have the support, I'm sure, from the Minister of Justice.

[4:45 p.m.]

The powers for inspectors have been clarified and the description of powers and authorities are outlined plainly in the bill. So in other words, Mr. Speaker, while there may be some adjustments and amendments, perhaps, to the Act as we move it through the House, to Law Amendments Committee and so on. We strongly believe that the powers and authorities that are plainly articulated in the bill for the inspectors, have received the necessary clarification - not to say that they couldn't be tweaked, but we're very pleased that that has been carried out at this point.

Now the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - the SPCA, Mr. Speaker - is a charitable, non-profit organization and one of the oldest volunteer organizations in the Province of Nova Scotia. It is supported by people, the very people that we have as our constituents who are giving of their time. Working to better the welfare of animals and they are genuinely concerned for the welfare of the animals and they are genuinely concerned for the welfare of the animals.

Now, the SPCA relies almost entirely on support from the public by way of donations, membership and bequests. Mr. Speaker, it's not easy for a volunteer organization, whether it's the SPCA or the local volunteer fire department. When I say it's not easy, it's not easy in that they give so much of their time to provide a service to their community without a whole lot of fanfare. I'd like to say it's very much related, I believe, that our volunteer fire service for example, the men and women who are serving and protecting our community, are really the heroes in our communities. Especially since 9/11 it seemed to elevate the whole issue around volunteerism. It did, as well, drive home the message that the volunteers are the backbone of our community, whether it's the SPCA or the volunteer fire services. I think we recognize and all MLAs in the House recognize that valuable service, the contribution that they make to our communities.

[Page 4490]

Mr. Speaker, it really isn't the so-called athletes and the rock-stars and recording artists that are in fact the heroes in our communities, it's our volunteers such as the SPCA. Again, let's remember that they're volunteers and they rely almost entirely on support from the public. That's very admirable and commendable.

Now, the SPCA remains an independent society, and here's how the current structure basically works. The Minister of Agriculture grants or confers the society the power to do work under the Act as it relates to non-farm animals. Under the previous legislation the conferral was very similar, but I'm pointing out here today we're talking about granting the society the power to do work under the Act as it relates to non-farm animals. Now, that's key and that's important. We have received support from our agriculture community - I'll probably get to that a little later on. I do know that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture was asked how they feel about the Department of Agriculture taking over the responsibility for farm animals, and they very much support us moving in that direction and we're pleased to be moving in that direction.

Unfortunately the current situation provides limited accountability for the SPCA under the existing Act. As you would know we do have plans to revoke the old Act, as the NDP and the Liberal caucus support this legislation, they're very busy members we understand that.(Interruption) I'm getting lots of help here, Mr. Speaker.

Under the new legislation the SPCA must submit an annual report, on their investigations, to the minister and that's under the new legislation. The minister in turn, will table the report with the Assembly. Now, if the Assembly is not sitting the report will be tabled with the Clerk of the Assembly for the public record. Mr. Speaker, that is a new element to the SPCA and the legislation . It is something that we believe, in fact, was perhaps a little bit overdue, so I won't repeat that at this particular time, but I do think it's an important component of the legislation.

Now, under the new bill, the Minister of Agriculture has the authority to step in and revoke the society's ability to enforce the Act and designate another party to fulfill the role. We hope and we trust and believe that we probably would not have to invoke such a measure, but we feel that it's prudent and important to put such a provision in the legislation.

Again, I want to emphasize that we are very, very supportive of the SPCA. We want to work hand in glove with the SPCA. We have been doing that, we'll continue to do that. But the new bill, let's be clear, we won't try to use language that isn't clear, we want to point out that the minister will have authority to step in and revoke the society's ability to enforce the Act, and if need be we would designate another party to fulfill the role. Again, I want to emphasize we don't expect that to happen, but the provision is there nonetheless, and we want to make that clear.

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Now, the bill also includes making the AGMs, the annual general meetings, of the SPCA open, transparent and available to the public. Again, we have had reports back that the situation wasn't always like that, Mr. Speaker, so we're quite pleased and very adamant that the new bill will include a provision that will see the AGMs open to the public.

Now, Mr. Speaker, veterinarians in the province will also be required to report suspected animal neglect or abuse to the SPCA. We're very blessed in this province that we have qualified veterinarians who work extremely hard. They go about their business, they travel all over this province, and they are the professionals. They have a lot of training. We respect the view of our veterinarians and we want to continue working with our veterinarians, but they're going to be required to report suspected animal neglect and abuse to the SPCA.

Another change I would like to highlight here today is the creation of the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board. You may recall, Mr. Speaker, that there have been some complaints from Nova Scotians who feel that animals may have been wrongly seized, things of that nature. They perhaps have complained that they feel they weren't treated appropriately, accordingly. Well, we're going to put together a board composed of knowledgeable members appointed by Governor in Council, and we will set up panels that will hear appeals from individuals who consider themselves aggrieved, or consider themselves wronged by, in fact, the seizure of animals. The details concerning the board and its role, again, are clearly outlined in the bill with regard to its scope and its function. So we want to be clear in the bill and we believe we have provided language to that effect.

So, Mr. Speaker, the situation with animals across this province - it doesn't matter if you're in Cape Breton, or in Clare, or in Bridgewater, or Belnan, or you happen to be down in the Annapolis Valley in Berwick, wherever, people are very, very concerned about the welfare of animals. People who have pets, whether it's dogs - and I'm thinking of my own community. Most of my neighbours, if not all my neighbours, do have dogs as pets, there are a few cats, and they receive a lot of good care and a lot of attention from my neighbours. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. We do from time to time, on a somewhat infrequent basis, hear of claims and allegations that animals are not being treated properly, and that disturbs us greatly.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the House that I am the proud product of a dairy farm in the Musquodoboit Valley and I was born and raised, actually, in a small community called Chaswood, born on a farm, raised on that farm, and have been around animals all my life. In fact, when we first started farming, just a small farm, we did most of the work with a team of horses. Anybody who knows anything about horses knows - my colleague, the Minister of Tourism knows quite a little bit about horses and I know there are other members who do as well but, you know, a horse is an animal that when given good care and attention will return the favour. A horse becomes very, very attached to its owner, much like a dog and its master.

[Page 4492]

You know, Mr. Speaker, my first cousin, who lives right across the road from me, who is an RN, took a farrier course and if you need a horse shod, or shoed, or whatever terminology you would like to use, my cousin's nursing skills come in very handy when she carries out that type of procedure and operation.

But more than that, not too long ago, one of her horses - I think it was a back leg - the hide rolled off the horse's back leg as a consequence of getting tangled up in a piece of machinery that probably shouldn't have been left in the pasture. I think my first cousin would agree with me, neither she nor I left the piece of equipment in the field, but nonetheless, the hide was rolled right back on the horse and through her nurse training and talent that she has - I was out for a walk, Mr. Speaker, if I can digress a little further because it is very much related to animals and the care of animals - I was out for a walk up the Sibley road and Roberta, my cousin, asked if I would come in and give her a hand with this horse. She was trying to put some ointment on the wound, and treat it, and wrap it up, and it's on a back leg. It's a fairly good-sized horse, you've got to be pretty careful, even though it is a riding horse, it is a good-sized horse.

Anyway, we had the help of - I have to give credit where credit is due - her boyfriend happened to be in attendance as well and he happens to be a former Liberal MLA from New Brunswick, a very fine gentleman who I have come to know pretty well, yes. His name is Greg O'Donnell. Anyway, Greg and I latched on to the horse, wanting to provide the necessary care and attention to the animal. Roberta had the antiseptic and put a little bit on the wound and wrapped it all up and by gosh, in a couple of weeks it all healed over and since then it is doing wonderfully. It's nice to see it out in the pasture when I take my walk up the Sibley road. Now I know that horse is looked after and that piece of machine, which was a bush hog, was taken out of the field and now we don't have to worry about that.

From time to time you do see wild animals in that field as well. I've noticed some deer that happened to slip through the fence. Deer are such beautiful animals, they're absolutely gorgeous. Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources has a job to do and so does his department. As we manage the deer herd in the Province of Nova Scotia, we support that very much, but just the same, you know it's nice to see the wildlife, whether it's deer, or pheasants, or just what you might have as you walk out in the country and, of course, you have a chance to become acquainted, if you will, with some of the animals, the dogs and the cats and you never know, you might even see a pot-bellied pig from time to time.

There are not too many of them. I do believe there's one in the Musquodoboit Valley, though, yes. Oh yes, they're a great pet, I understand. Actually, if I could, just down on Lower Water Street I saw one in the window the other morning. Now I don't want - no, I shouldn't go there. I was just going to say, with HRM Council, you know, I hope they don't start dealing with the little pot-bellied pig, but I don't think that will be the case at all.

[Page 4493]

Anyway, back to the bill here, Mr. Speaker, and I do apologize, but it's always good to bring in the digressions. You don't even have to follow rabbit tracks here, you can make up your own.

Mr. Speaker, in commending the bill to the House, I would like to formally place on record my thanks to members of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. This afternoon, in fact, with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, my Communications Director, Celeste Sulliman, is in the House, and Leo Muise is in the gallery as well. They're a couple of individuals who make life for the minister and his staff much easier and I just want to acknowledge their hard work in putting together this piece of legislation. I know that you two folks have worked tirelessly, have canvassed, have spoken with the SPCA, and we want to as well - and I think I did earlier - commend the Nova Scotia SPCA, the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association and the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, whose commitment, energy and advice have been instrumental in ensuring this bill could become a reality.

[5:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, as this bill moves through the House I am extremely interested in what the colleagues opposite will have to say about this piece of legislation. You know, the fact that the bill is being improved upon and having substantive changes made obviously will elicit some debate from the folks opposite. I trust that my colleagues realize that we are open to suggestion, we want to work in a collaborative fashion as the bill moves along through the House and that has always been the way. The Leader of the Opposition understands that and I'm sure that the critics have been advised accordingly that this is a piece of legislation, an animal protection bill, that does need support.

When you're talking about the welfare and safety of the animals in the province it is a significant concern to Nova Scotians. My government is working to ensure the protection and humane treatment of animals in the province is something that isn't taken lightly and the goal of the new bill is to ensure a more effective enforcement of animal cruelty violations. The new bill ensures greater public accountability on the part of the department and on the part of the SPCA. Mr. Speaker, I indicated earlier that we have spoken with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. I do want to say that they are especially pleased with the change that identifies the Department of Agriculture as being responsible for managing the investigations of suspected farm animal abuse.

Mr. Speaker, we have farms all over the country and in fact farming is the backbone of rural Nova Scotia. Now I know that I only need to take a short drive up Route 224 in the beautiful Musquodoboit Valley and you don't get very far before you see a beef farm with 50 or 60 head of cattle. You may go down Route 357 out through Murchyville and you could see some more cattle. In fact if you go out Murchyville out the Conrad Road you will see a large dairy farm. I know the Minister of Community Services is very aware of that neck of

[Page 4494]

the woods. I believe it is Route 212 that some of her kinfolk at least, reside on. Route 212, sometimes referred to as the Old Guysborough Road. There's farming along Route 212 but there's a lot of farming right in the Musquodoboit Valley.

Mr. Speaker, about 17 years ago I had the privilege of being elected to Halifax County Council as a municipal councillor and we'd like to say at that particular time and in fact, brag, that the only farming that actually took place in Halifax County was in District 12. District 12 at that particular time essentially ran from Carrolls Corner up to Dean to the Colchester County Line and I think Elderbank and Meaghers Grant was included in the old District 12. Mr. Speaker, I think that's still the case today as far as the geography goes in Halifax County or the Halifax Regional Municipality. The only farming is actually in that particular district of Halifax County.

Now my colleague from the Eastern Shore who used to represent my part of Halifax Regional Municipality for a short period of time used to say the same thing. So, although I haven't spoken to him recently about the Eastern Shore, while they may not have a lot of farm animals they would certainly have a lot of domestic animals. Hence I want to make that distinction, that the Department of Agriculture will take over the responsibility for farm animals and the SPCA the domestic animals. That's a big, significant change supported by our stakeholders. So we're pleased that we've canvassed the stakeholders necessary and again, the Federation of Agriculture is particularly pleased with that move.

Now, the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association are supportive of the new bill. These professionals have expressed their appreciation for our efforts to protect animals throughout Nova Scotia - that would be animals of all size, shape and description and name. We have met with the SPCA on a number of occasions and we continue, and will continue, to promote a climate of openness, transparency and accountability that will allow them to carry out their mandate. Again, we want to commend the volunteers at the SPCA who rely so much on donations and good will. We have every confidence in the ability of the SPCA to perform its mandate in making sure domestic animals are safe and that domestic animals are protected.

The SPCA, the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals became incorporated - Mr. Speaker, I bet you can't guess when the SPCA was incorporated. They were incorporated in 1877. It's the oldest existing society in Nova Scotia.

The new legislation will allow the SPCA to focus on the safety of domestic animals, which is their area of expertise. The situation with the whole new bill and the title - it is related. If you want, I can break it down into the various sections, I won't speak to clauses because I understand we're not permitted to do that in second reading. In the piece of legislation, Bill No. 186, the new Animal Protection Act, there are a number of changes. We did speak earlier about the standards and qualifications for SPCA inspectors, their chief inspector.

[Page 4495]

As well, we talked about the responsibilities of those inspectors. We have made some changes and you'll find those changes in Clause 12. Again, the inspectors must be recommended to the minister who recommends to the Minister of Justice that they become special constables under the Justice Act. We are taking this legislation very seriously. We, as well, have pointed out there will be two administrative positions - one at the SPCA level and one at the Department of Agriculture level - to administer these programs.

We are providing accountability for the SPCA through the annual reports to the minster on inspections undertaken. We believe that with the changes there will be a better capacity to provide for the animals, both domestic and farm, in the Province of Nova Scotia. That's our goal. We have spoken with the veterinarians and we're asking them to report suspected cruelty cases, so the bill in itself, as it was introduced during the last session, is a very comprehensive piece of legislation and we're asking the members opposite to support the legislation.

The Minister of Agriculture and the department staff are very interested in the comments that members opposite may have relative to the legislation. I guess I can take just a little peek here, it's just regarding the bill, I remember the Agriculture Critic for the NDP brought forward a concern he had and I don't know if he was being facetious or just what he was up to. But we kind of had a chuckle about it because the point he raised was that in the descriptions of farm animals, we include cattle, horses, sheep, swine, poultry, game farm animals including wild boars, bison, buffalo, llamas and foxes, chinchilla, mink raised for fur production, rabbits raised for meat production. Any animal designated as a farm animal in the regulations, but I think the honourable member opposite wondered it we had, in fact, included the honey bee, I think it was. Yes, he's nodding in an affirmative way there, Mr. Speaker.

So I did go back to the department and we brought that concern forward. I have to tell you that although the honourable member opposite, the honourable member for Hants East, and I had a chuckle over that, we also had a chuckle at the department level, too. So if the member is serious, he can bring that once again forward to the floor but I wonder where you would draw the line. I'm sure the member has, I guess, an activity that he uses if a mosquito should bug him and I'm wondering if he would want me to - or the government - to look at including mosquitos.

I don't want to get too far out in left field, I don't want to get out into left field at all but, Mr. Speaker, I do want to point out that as far as bees go, yes, there are keepers of bees. Bees are a very, very important industry in the Province of Nova Scotia.

You know, Mr. Speaker, just during the last session in the Spring, we brought forward amendments to the beekeeping Act, the Bee Industry Act, and as a consequence of doing that, we can now, as a minister, delegate different individuals, maybe the deputy, to license beekeepers and things of that nature.

[Page 4496]

I'm drawing a long bow, Mr. Speaker, I see what you're saying here. But let's go, then, perhaps, Mr. Speaker, being the representative clearly you would identify with the mink industry. The mink industry is a very, very significant industry, it's quite profitable, actually. Mink producers in the Province of Nova Scotia go about their business, they keep their heads down and they do a lot for their communities. They bring new dollars into the Province of Nova Scotia. And you know it's not just as simple, those creatures are a fairly vicious little animal and we've had the opportunity to travel the province considerably.

I believe in the community of Weymouth there's a company - I think it's Sabine's, I apologize if I'm pronouncing the name incorrectly - but I think they employ 18 to 21 employees, making cages for the mink. They bring in wood, I believe, from outside of Nova Scotia - not because they don't want to use Nova Scotia wood but there is a wood in another jurisdiction that actually withstands the mink, I suppose their claws and their teeth and whatever happens to be gnawing away at the wood. I know Mr. Muise in the gallery knows a lot about the mink industry. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure if I can attend or not but I do know that in the community of Clare there's - I'm not sure if it's the annual general meeting of the mink breeders or just what's taking place, but I have had the privilege a couple of years ago to go to - and that's a great meeting, you have a reception and then you have a meal and I think some of the fur buyers are in attendance and you know they bring a lot of new money to the Province of Nova Scotia. It's just great for the Nova Scotia economy.

The mink will, in fact, become the responsibility if, in fact, there are issues with the care and the welfare of mink, whether it's food or whether it's water or whether it's lodging, that will become the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture, and well it should, Mr. Speaker. I can't, myself, think of any cases, in fact I commend the mink industry. Do you know even in the Musquodoboit Valley, there is a mink breeder in the Musquodoboit Valley - yes, there's one that I'm aware of - and he's doing quite well, I understand.

[5:15 p.m.]

Maybe it's something that we would encourage, we should perhaps encourage farmers that are in a vocation that perhaps isn't as sustainable as the mink industry but I know I shouldn't go there as this is second reading of the Animal Protection Act but, Mr. Speaker, I don't know - I know that minks are raised in your constituency but I haven't really noticed during my travels as to whether or not rabbits are raised or if there's a production in the Clare riding, but I do know that finfish are raised in an aquaculture site for commercial purposes.

My good colleague, the Minister of Fisheries, who is responsible for aquaculture, is very supportive of the finfish and this is, well, Mr. Speaker, fin fish raised in the aquaculture site for commercial purposes do fall under the farm animal category. So it's very relevant

[Page 4497]

that we bring forward these substantive changes, you know, and I'm very pleased to have the support of the very popular MLA for Guysborough. He's worked with me on many, many occasions. (Interruption) Yes, I'll get back.

So anyway we spoke about the former Act, we spoke about peace officers, and let's talk about premises in the definition. You know animals are kept in all kinds of accommodation. Well, if they're a domestic animal, I can only speak for myself, but I would think probably you would agree that most folks keep their dogs and cats in their homes with them. Now some may not, but that's another thing that has to be considered, when allegations are made of abuse, is actually where are these animals residing and are they in the appropriate lodging. So premises including any place, building, vehicle, vessel, receptacle or thing - that refers to premises and I thought it was important to point that out.

Now there will be opportunity when this bill comes back to the House in Committee of the Whole House to further fine-tune it or go through it chapter and verse, but I felt it important here this afternoon to rise and move Bill No. 186 for second reading, the Animal Protection Act, and I'm pleased to do so, and I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for presiding over it. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to say after awhile, listening to the Minister of Agriculture speak on Bill No. 186, it makes me think that there's a need for another bill for the prevention of cruelty to members. (Applause) I wasn't sure if the minister's plan was to filibuster his own bill, but I want to say that certainly I think by and large the members here of the New Democratic Party caucus are in support of the minister in the direction he wants this legislation to go.

I have to say that there are a couple of issues, and I'll expect that as this bill moves through the House that the minister and I will chat regarding those, but I do see it as an important step to have some separation of the farm animal, livestock sector, away from the SPCA, and I think to have them to look after care regarding, the minister would say domestic animals - to me, farm animals are domestic as well, but certainly I think if we want to say companion animals, then it might be a better terminology. And I was actually not joking when I mentioned to the minister about bees - I see them as part of the agricultural sector. I certainly couldn't say that I know enough about bees neurologically to know when they're in pain or distressed, or whatever, I think probably the clearest evidence would be whether they're starving in the winter when beekeepers have to add sugar to ensure that they have enough energy to survive.

Other than that, I know that the minister's bill actually says non-human vertebrates, so that would not qualify bees, Mr. Speaker, but so be it. The bill, I guess at this stage of the game, and maybe the minister could nod, I would be interested to know whether the

[Page 4498]

regulations are written for this piece of legislation. So that is a little worrisome, I really would like to have had a chance to see those by this stage since the minister introduced the bill in the Spring and to think that the regulations haven't been written. I didn't see it in the bill, but I'm thinking the provincial inspector is a veterinarian. It would seem to me of paramount importance in this legislation - since we're talking about animal health issues - that the provincial inspector and if not the chief inspector, but someone the chief inspector should go to would be a veterinarian. It seems to me if we're talking animal health issues, we should have animal health professionals as the people who are inspecting livestock or pets or whatever. If we're going to be concerned about animal health issues, they should be animal health professionals.

I guess that's something I would have liked to have seen in the regulations. The chief inspector must meet the minimum qualifications prescribed in the regulations, so without knowing what those are, it's difficult to know. But, I'm willing to see this bill go forward and I think the parts of the bill that actually address issues of transparency around the SPCA, the annual general meeting being open to the public, that's a criticism we had heard in the past. I think the minister is right on in seeing that is in the Legislation.

The minister made a comment that vets must report suspected neglect to the chief inspector. It would seem to me that if a chief inspector isn't a veterinarian, and vets are going to report neglect to the chief inspector, the chief inspector's going to have to go to a veterinarian - or should be - to find out about the neglect. So it seems kind of odd that vets will be going to somebody who's not a veterinarian, to have that person go back to a veterinarian, to analyze a situation to determine whether there has been neglect.

The minister is right, I do keep some livestock. Yes, a registered flock of Suffolk sheep and some Canadian horses, yes. Canada's national breed. I do keep waterfowl as well. I want to tell the minister, when he was referring to his neighbour taking the farrier course, I've done that as well. I do my own shoeing and hoof trimming and have been quite lucky to be able to do that without any serious injury to me.

We see this as a good step forward in legislation. I think the minister was probably well advised to go down this road. I think what I'd like them to recognize in terms of farm animals, in particular, is that farmers try to make use of animals and the idea of making a living and to make money. It's not in their best interest at all to have animals that are in poor health or neglected. In order for a healthy industry, that requires healthy, well-kept livestock and I think that the agricultural sector, as the minister has indicated, would be supportive of this legislation.

With those few comments - I hope the minister will take a hint from that - my caucus colleagues are supportive of this legislation to this point and we'd like to see it move further through the House. I'll raise any other issues with the minister as time goes on. Thank you.

[Page 4499]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you, very much. We're kind of hemmed in here today, I need a little bit of space, so here we go. I'm pleased today to speak on Bill No. 186 and I do have some comments and also my colleague the member for Halifax Clayton Park will also have a few comments as well on this bill. This bill came out of a climate where, both on the farm and also with pets across Nova Scotia, there were a few alarming incidents. So it came out of a disturbing time and a disturbing climate for the welfare of animals.

The fact that the bill has come forward is very positive. I'm sure as it goes through the Law Amendments Committee and we hear from experts in the field, as well as those who have a genuine interest in a quality of life issue. So I'm sure we'll hear from a number of people when it does go to the Law Amendments Committee. I would encourage Nova Scotians from across the province who have an interest in both farm and their pets to come forward and perhaps there can be some strengthening of this bill. There's no question that the time had come to replace the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act. This bill, that was introduced last Spring can now be developed a little bit further but our Party supports the direction and the intent of this bill.

I think the fact that the Department of Agriculture is going to put in place a structure that will allow for the caring of farm animals and not have to rely on the volunteer SPCA organization is a real positive step. In the Annapolis Valley, we had a very disturbing situation in terms of farm animal welfare. Again, it almost exceeded the ability and the expertise and just the manpower to be able to observe and take quick responsive action. I think this is a very good step. The SPCA will concentrate on domestic animals which we know that probably, somewhere in the range of I'm told, about 75 per cent of Nova Scotians have a domestic animal, a pet which means that it's a very significant area. Bill No. 186 will definitely be a step forward in perhaps having stronger legislation therefore stronger animal care as a result of some of the changes.

The fact that the Department of Agriculture and the SPCA will each have a head inspector to oversee the regional inspectors across the province I think, splitting up some of that responsibility, because we know there are really hundreds of thousands of farm animals. When we look at the raising of chickens and turkeys- not as many hogs these days, I read a report on how few hogs there are currently, compared to just three years ago- the number of these animals being raised is, in fact, a concern. The transport of animals, as the minister knows, has also become a big concern, that we do have the best care in shipping of animals inter-provincially and sometimes, as well, into the United States. This is an area that now the Department of Agriculture can have greater control over through its inspectors.

[5:30 p.m.]

[Page 4500]

The fact that the head inspectors obviously but also other inspectors across the province have to meet a set of qualifications, a set of standards, and there will be criteria in place for them to carry out their work is, I think, one of the real strengths of this particular bill.

The minister and the Critic opposite for the NDP talked about the role of the SPCA. The SPCA, over 100 years old, a venerable organization, a volunteer organization, has a tremendous history. But we all know that , in the last couple of years, there have been some disturbing incidents where the SPCA did not seem to be able to respond in a manner that Nova Scotians had an expectation that would, in fact, occur.

In the area of the Annapolis Valley where I live, the SPCA has been going through a very difficult time. We actually have no SPCA shelter currently and a number of other organizations have come in to try and support the need for strong animal welfare in our area. It is hoped that the new shelter will, indeed, get open, with a combination of paid staff and volunteers, so that the tradition of the SPCA being a highly regarded institution in our Valley community can be re-established.

At the same time, the veterinary work by Dr. Bligh in Wolfville has been recognized in that part of Kings County as being exceptional; Safe Haven Animal Rescue, another new location run by Melissa Lee in Berwick has gained a good reputation; HART in the Aylesford area with Laurie Wheeler has started to be recognized as doing quality and capable work; as well, one of the people who started out in Annapolis County but is now in the Greenwood-Kingston area, Jill Brodeur, who has run a very successful neuter and release program. It's another kind of way of thinking about how we can best control some of the animals. Feral cats and so forth, are a serious problem, a significant problem in some areas of Nova Scotia.

So the SPCA perhaps again, through this piece of legislation, with head inspectors, will, in fact, be able to look at what's happening regionally and also what kind of new programs and extensions of the work of the SPCA that can enhance animal welfare.

The fact that they have to do an annual report, this is new and it will come before the Legislature at some point during the year, is another positive development that relates to this piece of legislation.

The fact, however, that the SPCA remains very much an autonomous group and respects its long tradition and its influence in the province. However, the minister is able to revoke the SPCA's ability to enforce the Act and designate another entity to fulfil that role if the SPCA fails to perform the duties set out in the legislation. We know other organizations are currently at work in the province and also that they are able to come in and play a rightful role under this legislation.

[Page 4501]

So I think this is a positive step. One of the areas that we know has become a huge concern to the province is the SPCA being more open, more transparent, having annual meetings that the public can come to and express their concerns as well as complement the work of the SPCA when it's carried out at the best level. I'm looking forward to hearing from the public in Nova Scotia on this piece of legislation and so with that I will take my place and look forward to it going to Law Amendments Committee.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have a few minutes here to speak on Bill No. 186, an Act to Protect Animals and to Aid Animals that are in Distress. I guess like all of us here in the House, we probably have a soft spot for animals and certainly want to see them all treated properly and with respect and not to see them in distress or to be treated cruelly in any way. I guess having grown up on a family farm in Pictou County I'm certainly aware of farm animals and I know horses, chickens, pigs, cows, sheep and a various other assortment of menagerie of animals were quite common on various mixed farms throughout the province. Of course today, we are much more specialized but still lots of animals but usually one species on most farms at this time. Like many members of this House, I'm a pet owner. I have two cats and a dog at home and we all love our animals so it's important that they be treated with the proper respect and looked after.

Of course, this bill has come out of probably some of the high profile cases of animal abuse or animal cruelty that have occurred around the province over the last year or two. Certainly dog abuse that was known in Cape Breton and cattle problems that were in other parts of the province so there's a need for this bill. It's timely and it's good to see that it's coming forward - I guess it was introduced in the House last Spring but here it is now open for debate on the first day of the Fall sitting of this Legislature. Certainly anything that's going to bring some transparency to the whole inspection system to protect our animals, whether farm animals or domestic animals, is vital and adds some credibility to the inspection system and I think is critical at this time.

Last Spring, I did bring to the attention of the minister a group in Pictou County that put a report together and actually delivered the report to the minister's office and I know that perhaps it was helpful to him or his department personnel in drawing up this particular bill. It was a thorough and detailed report that made some suggestions on how to protect our livestock and domestic animals, our pets, and I'm sure that was perhaps looked at and taken into consideration by the minister and his staff.

Earth ARC is an animal rescue group in Four Mile Brook in Pictou County with some very dedicated volunteers, people such as Betty Schneider and Wendy Grant and her husband and I know a whole lot of other people there that come out to volunteer. There's approximately 40 horses kept there on the farm at Earth ARC at all times, a number of water fowl and other animals as well, but it's a great spot for young people to come and volunteer

[Page 4502]

and to get involved with animals. For some people, it's almost like a life changing experience; they get first-hand knowledge of farm animals and they get a chance to learn some responsibilities. So there's a number of young people and not so young people that are involved with that very worthwhile organization.

One of the suggestions they had made in their report to the minister was that they, after many decades of experience, have a lot of expertise, they have a lot of knowledge, especially on horses but also on other farm animals. It was felt that if from time to time the department, I guess it's in the bill as being the authority under the chief inspector, that if officers were needed or like a peace officer or a special constable that would be needed to investigate a case of abuse. It would be worthwhile, perhaps, to call on people like them who have a lot of expertise, who can go out into the community and investigate a situation. So I would hope, Mr. Speaker - I see it's in the bill in Clause 12, the chief inspector has the power to recommend persons to the society for appointment as inspectors of the society and would be under the authority of the chief inspector. I would hope that the chief inspector perhaps would consider recognized groups that have a lot of expertise such as Earth ARC - the Earth Animal Rescue Centre in Pictou County. They have certain qualifications, they have certain criteria and I guess that would be at the discretion of the chief inspector.

So basically, Mr. Speaker, that's really all I want to say on this bill. I think it's a positive step, it seems to be good legislation and certainly as my colleague from Hants East indicated, we would be prepared to help move it forward. I certainly would be pleased to hear from others on the topic as well.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I'm going to conclude my remarks and I guess at this point in time perhaps I would like to move that we adjourn debate on this particular bill at this time.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The motion before the House is to adjourn the debate on Bill No. 186. Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The Chair now recognizes the honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. That concludes the government business for today. I move that the House do now rise, given the other business to be considered, and meet tomorrow again at the hour from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. At that time, following the daily routine, government business will include public bills for second reading, any continued debate on Bill No. 186, but Bill No. 179, Bill No. 187, 88, 89, 90 and 91.

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MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The motion for adjournment has been made. Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

The House will rise, to sit again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

We have arrived at the moment of interruption. A motion was made earlier by the Leader of the Liberal Party for an emergency to take place at the moment of interruption and was approved. The urgent debate for this evening:

"It is imperative that we immediately set aside time to discuss and debate the best way for our province to shield itself from the global economic downturn and furthermore, discuss how we are going to position our province to grow on a sustainable path towards the future."

[5:45 p.m.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 43

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

GOV'T. (N.S.): ECONOMIC DOWNTURN - EFFECT

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to first of all thank all members of the House for agreeing to have this debate tonight on what is an urgent issue for the people of Nova Scotia and Canada, Mr. Speaker. I want to especially acknowledge the member for Cape Breton Centre who gave up his late debate.

Mr. Speaker, as was talked about today earlier in Question Period and it was asked of this government, was to lay out an updated financial forecast and it was referenced by the Premier today that it traditionally happens in December. While we're all well aware of that, the circumstances that are in front of us as a province, deserve that we begin to do business, not as usual, but differently. Nova Scotians are looking at us and wanting us to get this right.

[Page 4504]

Now when you look at the fact of what has taken place over our history, when you look at 1978 when a Liberal Government that was managing the economy of Nova Scotia, brought in consecutive balanced budgets and turned it over to a Progressive Conservative Government that ran for a decade and a half of unbalanced budgets. Running and spending, quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, revenue that this Premier should have the right to spend on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia but instead, we are spending that by servicing the debt that was run up over that period of time.

In 1993, Mr. Speaker, a federal government led by Jean Chrétien, inherited a $12 billion deficit from a Progressive Conservative Government of Brian Mulroney, and left this country with a $12 billion surplus. Today, because of unfocused attention to the economy, because of unfocused public policy, we are at the federal level, in a position where we could be running a deficit budget.

Mr. Speaker, I want to speak on behalf of our caucus and I want to speak to the Premier and to his government. It is completely unacceptable for us to even consider looking at a deficit budget in the Province of Nova Scotia, and I want to be on record as saying I heard the Premier say that earlier today and earlier in the week and I fully support that position - that we can no longer pass on the decisions that we have to make to our children.

Mr. Speaker, governments have done that before. Governments have been unwilling to make tough decisions. Well I say to every member of this House, if you're unwilling to make tough decisions do not apply for a job in government, but we also have a collective responsibility to try to provide a good path forward as we move toward this Spring. I think it's time that we set aside some partisan politics, and I want to make an invitation to the Premier that I am prepared on behalf of our caucus to sit down with his government, and I hope the Leader of the New Democratic Party, to collectively put together a plan that would move our province forward as we move into what's going to be very difficult economic times for our province.

Mr. Speaker, I think because we've made short-sighted policy decisions, we are put in the situation today where we're going to have to make tough ones. If we had debated HRMbyDesign in the Spring, we would not be today worrying about whether or not a project is going to be developed; we'd begin to hear developers talking about developing a project. We need to begin to allow that to happen; that bill needs to come before this House and be debated so that the private sector can invest their money in their properties to begin to develop this city and our province. Those jobs that were talked about, the contractor in Yarmouth, the electrician in Yarmouth who wants to stay in Nova Scotia should have the right to stay in Nova Scotia, but the reason they're not in Nova Scotia today is because we failed to look ahead.

We failed to deal with that piece of legislation in the Spring and today we are faced with having that situation where the Premier is interfering in a level of government that he

[Page 4505]

shouldn't be - instead he should be focussed on the issues that are in front of us and that's making sure that we have an active economy here in Halifax. Albeit through these very successful times in our country, when you look at the growth that has happened from 1993 until a Liberal Government turned it over to the Progressive Conservative Government, we as an economy had the lowest growing economy in the country, and that is because we were unwilling to think ahead.

Now, I've laid out a plan to this government and to Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker, about the issue of energy security. I was proud that our government brought in a bill around a small business advocate that made sure that small businesses had a voice at every power rate hearing from here on in, making sure that the people that we say are the backbone of our economy - we all say it, we all say they're the backbone of our economy, and we give them lip service - we stood up and said we wanted to make sure that they had a voice at power rate hearings and today they have that voice, and I want to thank and congratulate my caucus colleagues and the other members of this House who joined us to make sure that was happening.

Last Spring, while there were some very difficult choices to make, Mr. Speaker, one that wasn't was that we stood beside those Nova Scotians who needed our help and made sure that there was a Keep the Heat program in place. We made sure that was there so that those Nova Scotians wouldn't be left behind - and it was that kind of forward thinking that anticipated what those families would be facing this coming Fall and winter.

That same kind of forward thinking has to apply to energy security in this province. We can no longer look at it as solely an issue for Nova Scotians to deal with. We need to begin to engage Atlantic Canadians and Atlantic Governments on the issue of energy security to make sure not only that our energy is secure, but that we have stable energy pricing so that businesses know what the economic environment is that they're working in. We can no longer be held hostage by volatile oil prices, or coal. We need to stand up and ask and demand to our Atlantic Canadian partners that we want to be your partner. The Province of Nova Scotia is prepared to make sure that we are not held hostage by foreign oil and coal.

Mr. Speaker, it is to the advantage of all of us. The only thing missing in this piece is looking forward - there hasn't been from Nova Scotia the political leadership to show that we need to make sure there's an energy corridor running through our province. It is not only to our advantage, it is to the advantage of Newfoundland and Labrador, and also to New Brunswick, to make sure that they have access to provide the renewable energies to the people of their provinces and ours, making sure that we get full advantage of our natural assets here, making sure that our businesses are in a stable environment when it comes to energy prices. We will stand beside any Premier or any Party who decides to do that. We welcome them to join our fight. We visited the Province of New Brunswick and articulated the case for Nova Scotia, as to why it is important to have a solid energy core running through the Province of Nova Scotia and why it benefits the people of New Brunswick.

[Page 4506]

We will do the same thing in Newfoundland because it is important for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Nova Scotians to provide that solid energy core. Just imagine, if we get the climate right, the private sector investments that will take place in our province to ensure that energy corridor is here. Imagine the jobs we're talking about being created in HRM today around the buildings that are going to be built. Imagine what happens when we build that energy corridor through our province. The only thing missing is forward thinking. We need to begin to realize the long-term benefit to our province to begin an Atlantic Canada union when it comes to energy security.

As I started out by suggesting here, it's time to set aside - Premier, I want to make this offer again - that it is incumbent on all of us to try to find a solution as we move forward. I want to extend an invitation to the Premier that I'm more than prepared to sit down with him and our caucus is prepared to sit down with him and his government. I hope the New Democratic Party is prepared to join us, to set aside Party politics for the future of Nova Scotia so that we can deal with the economic crisis that is looming for our province. We can no longer let our political differences separate dealing with this crisis that's in front of us.

A political election, whenever it may happen, a general election in the Province of Nova Scotia, we can all articulate our vision of where we want to take the province at that point. But, it is incumbent on each of us that are in this House today that we sit together, that we try to find a common solution, set aside the bickering so that we put our children's interests, the small business interests, ahead of our own political interest.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to talk about today and I want to encourage - as we did in Question Period - this Premier, this government and the Minister of Finance to put together an economic forecast now. We need to have a solid idea of where this government is when it comes to meeting its financial commitments to the people of Nova Scotia. We need to know where their budgets are in order to make that plan. We can no longer say in December, as we did last year, we're running a tight surplus and then in March, go on a spending spree. Nova Scotians lose confidence in all of us when that happens; not just in this government, but all members who sit in this House. It's why I want to extend again to the Premier an invitation to allow us to co-operate to put together a solid economic plan to move us forward to deal with some difficult decisions that are going to be facing all of us as we come into the Spring.

One of the things our Party has been fighting from day one is the regulation around gas in the Province of Nova Scotia. Well, in certain circumstances, as we wish they had done South of the border, that they regulated the banking industry a little better. In this province, it is clear that gas regulation is costing Nova Scotia consumers each and every time they fill up their car. It is costing Nova Scotia businesses, it is putting us at a disadvantage.

What's wrong with allowing our businesses to be competitive? Before they get up in the morning, this government under a failed policy supported by the New Democratic Party,

[Page 4507]

is putting them at a disadvantage. Gas regulation is costing them. They're already at an economic disadvantage, it is time to scrap this failed public policy. We will be on the verge of spending $500,000 for three independent reports, that will all come back and tell us that this policy has not achieved what the government and the New Democratic Party has told Nova Scotians it would. It has not stabilized gas prices and it has not prevented the closure of rural gas stations.

What we need to do is allow our businesses and allow them to be competitive so they can go out and do and work as we know they can. Compete, not only here, but in Atlantic Canada. What are we afraid of? Do the people in this House not believe business can be competitive? I believe they can be, but give them an even playing field so they can go out and compete in their chosen field and in their chosen profession with people not only in Atlantic Canada but across the world. It is this Party who will continue to fight so that we scrap that failed public policy which is putting our economy at a disadvantage. I also want and hope that the Premier in his remarks is going to commit to us, in this House today, that we will not be subject in the Spring to a crazy spending spree on his part or on his government's part.

Just imagine last Spring, if we had that $300 million to deal with today, to be able to use. If we'd invested that properly, if we'd invested it wisely. If we had gone out and cut the small business tax. If we had gone out and looked at the small business environment in this province and said to them, we believe in you. Not only are we going to say that you're the backbone of our economy, we're going to put money behind the words, we're going to stand beside you and make sure that you're competitive. When you look at the fact that we are one of the highest taxed jurisdictions in almost every assessment, why would anyone come to this province and set up? It's not good enough anymore to say you come here because it's a great place to live. We all know that, Canadians know that, young Nova Scotians know that as they're flying somewhere else to get a job and invest in the economies of other provinces.

We need to create an environment where those young Nova Scotians see an opportunity to stay home, to create their own jobs, to build the communities that they want to be in. To build the communities that their families built, that their parents built, that their grandparents built. They want to be here. We need to create an economic environment that makes that happen. Mr. Speaker, we have talked in this House about doubling the issue of tourism. There is not one economic lens that this government goes through when it comes to the issue of paving, not one economic lens. If you think of the fact and you look at the tourism icons in our province whether it's the Cabot Trail, Peggy's Cove or Annapolis Royal, any part of this province, there is not an economic lens this government goes through to do its paving. So instead we invite people to come and drive over some of the worse roads in our country. Why? Because we decide that we haven't put together that economic outlook on how we're going to build our province.

Mr. Speaker, I want to close by saying one more time, on behalf of our caucus, on behalf of Nova Scotians. I want to reach out to this government and I want to reach out to the

[Page 4508]

New Democratic Party to say, let's find common ground to build an economic future for this province setting aside our political differences. We can no longer wait until tomorrow, the time to act is now and I wait for the phone call.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable The Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'll be sharing some of my time with the Deputy Premier, Minister of Economic Development. It certainly is a very timely debate that we're having here tonight and I want to thank my colleague for taking it forward. It is certainly one that I know everyone in this House certainly shares interest in. The last number of months in Nova Scotia and across this country and certainly, globally, have been unusual times and very interesting at times, indeed. It's also a time the government has been planning for and the government has been planning for this time for a number of years. It's the very reason when we came in 1999 under my predecessor, we began the process of dealing with deficits.

In the 1990s and well before, under governments of both political stripes we saw deficit after deficit. When we came in, in 1999, I believe it was upwards of $700 million we faced in a deficit situation left by the then-Liberal government. Mr. Speaker, the one thing that all Nova Scotians can agree upon today is that's not a situation we want to see our province move forward into ever again. We have worked hard to make sure that we took our province back to where it should be and that's a province with balanced budgets. Mr. Speaker, it's not just about a balanced budget on paper, it's what a balanced budget means. Those on this side of the House truly believe that a balanced budget means opportunity. Opportunity to invest in our education system, in our healthcare system, to help those who need help in community services and to move this province forward.

It's why we focus not only on balanced budgets but taking a look at other issues such as our Debt Management Plan. Taking a look at issues such as our debt to GDP. By focusing on those issues as well as our foreign exposure and focusing on other issues with respect to good financial management, we have seen our debt to GDP go down from 49 per cent to 37 per cent. That means our ability to pay for the things and the investments, that we want to see going forward, is greater than it was just a few short years ago. That's what this is all about, it's about making a difference for the people of our communities.

[6:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, one of the quotes from the bond rating agencies, now, we all wear our political hats and, obviously, we have our political differences. But, when we have an independent look at what is happening in Nova Scotia, what do we hear from one of the bond rating agencies, and this is why they gave us a better rating in consecutive years, and I quote, "Its prudent and forward looking approach to fiscal management and a much improved debt structure." They recognized and that is not just taking a look at where we are today. That is taking a look at where we are taking the province and that's an independent look.

[Page 4509]

Mr. Speaker, the one thing we can't do - and I spoke to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce this week as well as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business last week. I'll be meeting with the Nova Scotia Chamber soon, and it's the first among many meeting we'll be having with business groups and others. The one thing that they agreed upon, the one thing we can't do as a province nor should we do with businesses or politicians, is panic. We must be confident in our ability, and I am confident in our ability, to deal with the situation at hand.

What we have seen in the last few weeks is a meeting of the Council of the Federation to talk about this issue, to meet with economists, and to speak amongst provinces to find out what is happening in each jurisdiction. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, when you take a look at what is happening in places like Ontario and other provinces, Nova Scotia is very well positioned. They are going to be facing some very challenging times and different times than perhaps we'll be, although we're not averse to what's happening out in the world markets. But, Mr. Speaker, because of the work we've done through balancing the books, through good fiscal management and by investing in the economy, we today in Nova Scotia are well positioned to face these challenges - 10,500 new jobs created in Nova Scotia during the past year.

Mr. Speaker, more people, 457,000 people are employed in Nova Scotia - among the highest on record in our province. Year over year unemployment rates went down, the labour force increased. That does not happen by accident. Every dollar that the Minister of Economic Development has moved forward through the industrial expansion fund has returned about $1.89 back to our province. That's a sign of good investments. That's a sign that companies are genuinely interested in coming here to our province and setting up shop and expanding. That's why Michelin Tire is here. That's why financial service companies are coming here, whether it's Marsh, Butterfield, Sitco, Olympia, and many, many others.

When we see circumstances such as the development piece in downtown Halifax not moving forward, it sends the wrong signal. It sends a wrong signal to developers. It sends a wrong signal to those companies because they want to be here and, Mr. Speaker, in fact, the Minister of Economic Development spent the past week encouraging more of these companies to come here and I believe they will. It's also why we continue to invest in our education system. The only province in the country where tuition went down is where - Nova Scotia - the only province in the country. That's an investment in our young people.

Now, my colleague mentioned the fact about some of the investments we made in the Spring. Well, in fact, one of the investments we made in the Spring was the MOU with our universities, which enabled tuition to go down this year and not up, Mr. Speaker. So if I heeded his advice, we wouldn't see the success and some of the investments we're seeing in our universities. That would make us not more competitive, it would make us less

[Page 4510]

competitive. Many of our companies are coming here because of what's happening in our education system and we need to continue to invest.

Mr. Speaker, we have had our Council of Federation meeting. We have a Finance Ministers meeting this coming Monday and we'll be interested to hear more information gathered from that meeting. I'm quite interested to hear what the federal Minister of Finance has to say and to get more clarification on some of the comments made in recent days.

Upon that meeting, Mr. Speaker, we will be outlining some more of the action items that we have moving forward. But in anticipation of that meeting, we felt that the most responsible approach, the most appropriate approach was to wait until that meeting took place. Upon completion of that meeting, we'll be able to move forward with respect to outlining some of the action items that we are taking, some of which we have already started, including the meetings as I have already indicated. In addition, Mr. Speaker, the First Ministers' meeting will come up on November 10th and we'll be dealing appropriately with the meeting at that time.

I want to leave my colleagues with this; there's no doubt that this government is committed to balanced budgets and we will not veer off that path. That may mean some tough choices, that may mean some challenging choices to make, for us. But Mr. Speaker, I've been there before when we made those tough choices. I'm not going to veer off the path when I hear the Opposition say, you have to spend $20 million on this and $30 million on this and $50 million on that, if it means going into a deficit position.

I heard the NDP talking today, they were suggesting to move forward on something which would put us in a deficit today if we followed their advice. In Question Period alone today I'm sure they spent well over $30 million.

We can't go down that path, Mr. Speaker. If we listened to the Opposition, the NDP, we would be in a deficit today. That's not the way I'm going to leave this province for my son and I don't think it's the way we should leave it for the sons and daughters of Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm very pleased to be able to follow the Premier because he has articulated very well the accomplishment of this government with respect to how we have positioned ourselves to be able to respond to challenging economic times.

I think it's also appropriate to speak about Nova Scotia's position relative to all of the challenges that are out there. We are part of a country, and the honourable Leader of the Liberal Party made reference to the contributions of former Prime Minister Paul Martin and

[Page 4511]

the balanced budgets that he brought forward. Those balanced budgets, although most of them were achieved on the backs of the provinces and that Party suffered from that when they were in government but, nevertheless, they did put us in the position of having balanced budgets.

We in this country also have a banking system that is extremely well regulated, so much so that the IMF have rated the Canadian banking system as the best in the world. So that's in the national context where we find ourselves. We're still in the position of balanced budgets in this country. We have a very strongly regulated banking system, we have a strong banking system and it is being able to withstand the challenges. There are no public bailouts of the banking system in this country, they're not necessary.

So, as a province, we find ourselves in a country within that context. I think it is very important for Nova Scotians to understand that, Mr. Speaker. Because it does provide us - we're not totally removed from the challenges, but it does provide us with a level of insulation with respect to the challenges that are out there, that will enable us to do what the Premier has referenced, to sit down with other Finance Ministers throughout the country. To sit down with the First Ministers and to look at the challenges that face the country and be able to move forward and articulate a position relative to that.

So I want to make that point, Mr. Speaker, because I think it's very important that Nova Scotians understand the context in which we are facing this challenge. We are within a country in a much better position than most countries in the world.

The Premier has done a very good job of articulating where we, as a province, find ourselves. We find ourselves having delivered seven balanced budgets. (Applause) That has enabled us to be able to address fundamental concerns of Nova Scotians. It means we have been able to provide the funding we need for health care, for community services, funding for economic development.

Mr. Speaker, when we look at what we have accomplished in economic development over the past number of years, we can look to the fact through the Industrial Expansion Fund, we created 11,000 jobs where the Premier indicated a rate of return of 1.8 on that investment. If we look at NSBI in the same time frame they created 11,500 jobs. That's 22,500 jobs through that initiative within our economic development policies. Also in the last year, Nova Scotia has added 10,500 jobs in this province according to Statistics Canada. Our employment rate is second only to the Province of Saskatchewan in terms of the gains we have made relative to job creation. That is an extremely good record and I would also point out to honourable members that that government is a very solid Conservative Government in Saskatchewan. Mr. Speaker, here are the two leading provinces in this country.

Mr. Speaker, I realize my time is running out but I want to remind Nova Scotians that we are well positioned both as a country and as a province to meet the challenges that are

[Page 4512]

coming about as a result of the changing world economic circumstances. We are not isolated but we are well positioned to face the challenge and we will face that challenge and we will do it successfully.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased this evening to join the Emergency Debate on the economy. Nova Scotians are exporters, we're traders. In fact from the earliest days of our history, it has been trade and export that has driven our economy. The state of the world economy and the economic conditions of our major trading partners are therefore an immediate and pressing concern.

One of our great economic advantages is that we are located next to the United States of America, yet look at the United States today. The U.S. economy is going through one of the most rapid contractions in a generation and many people say that it may be the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression. Just yesterday, new data showed that housing prices in the U.S. fell by 16.6 per cent in August alone. The State of California has faced severe challenges with regular bridge financing that it requires just to operate. Yesterday, the Governors of New York and New Jersey went to Washington to testify that their states urgently need federal help and these are just some of the recent examples.

Now no jurisdiction can insulate or isolate itself from a worldwide recession, however we can act wisely to understand the forces that we face and we can work together to ensure that Nova Scotians endure and emerge from this crisis in the best possible manner. I am therefore pleased to hear the Leader of the Liberal Party ask for co-operation in these matters. I look forward to having the opportunity to meet with the Premier and with the Leader of the Third Party in relation to things we could achieve constructively with respect to the economy of this province.

[6:15 p.m.]

Forestry, the fishery, our major manufacturers are affected all differently by currency fluctuations. The wild swings of the dollar create a very difficult climate for those keystone industries. Their income in Canadian dollars changes by 20 per cent or more in a month and by as much as 5 per cent in a few days. The province needs to stay in close contact with our major firms and needs to be alert to the ways the province and the federal government can stabilize the situation and most particularly be ready to identify any new opportunities that may open up and work with industry to make the most of those opportunities.

Specifically, Mr. Speaker, the government should consult directly with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the major forestry firms, the major fishery firms, the farming community, the Federation of Labour, and other significant economic players, about how Nova Scotia's interest can best be represented and advanced at the First Ministers' meeting

[Page 4513]

on November 10th. The Premier should not attend this meeting simply as a representative of a minority Party, he should literally or figuratively head a delegation that truly represents the best interests of our provincial economy.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I've listened, as you did, to the Premier and the Deputy Premier, the Minister of Economic Development, and we've heard the submissions that they have made, but there are certain realities about the economy of this province. Nova Scotia's economy has performed over the past decade below the national average. Nova Scotia was tied for last with New Brunswick for the worst performing economy in Canada in 2007. Economists say that our employment increased by 1.2 per cent, well below the national average of 1.8 per cent. Add to this the fact that Nova Scotia leads the country in out-migration of workers aged 25 to 44, and no wonder we're having this debate this evening.

Mr. Speaker, our collective government is the largest spending government in the history of this province. They ran a surplus last year, and in the last few weeks of the year spent more than $300 million, unbudgeted, unaccounted for by this Legislature. What was the answer to this surplus? The answer to the surplus was for them to come in and raise taxes and affect the lives of ordinary Nova Scotians who are struggling through this same difficult economic time.

Mr. Speaker, there's always been an affordable housing crunch in Nova Scotia and if we do not safeguard the housing industry from a cycle of business failures and a price crash, those who need affordable housing will most certainly be the ones who are squeezed out. So our Party recommends close liaison with the housing industry about the credit and market conditions they are facing and the prospect, as they see them, so that we do not lose more than necessary by letting a cycle of boom and bust wipe out too many jobs and opportunities.

In the immediate term, with businesses already closing and shrinking their office space in downtown Halifax, the province and major municipalities should consult with the development community about how much the demand for space is shrinking and the extent to which the difficult financial markets are now a barrier to needed new development.

In general, Mr. Speaker, a bank, a credit union, an insurance company or a pension fund wants to make as much money as possible and if the developer shows that they can rent a planned office space, financing will be available. Many approved office projects for the downtown are not going ahead. The province should understand why and whether it can help keep the market healthy, recognizing that it is a private market, driven by private, for-profit decisions.

The developers are competing with each other for any new tenants and I expect they also want to ensure the healthiest possible situation for their industry and keep a skilled labour force in this province.

[Page 4514]

Now, it may be too early to know whether major projects, like the development of alternative sources of energy and sources of electricity, the shift toward public transportation, the development of the Lower Churchill and of new transmission links to New Brunswick and New England, are going to be seriously affected by the world economic situation. However, it is truer than ever that this province needs to move away from its reliance on imported fossil fuels. Nova Scotia Power may not be the most popular corporation in the province, but it is among the most important. The province must work closely with Nova Scotia Power on that goal of moving away from fossil fuels.

The Department of Finance will have projections and forecasts of the likely effect on major revenues of the economic trends that are emerging. Those forecasts should be shared with Nova Scotians and the government should show people enough respect to share its own priorities for spending decisions that may be required. In particular, I would suggest it is more important than ever to make debt reduction a priority for extraordinary revenue, because debt payments still make up too much of our provincial budget.

Balanced budgets and debt reduction are not a fashion statement in Nova Scotia. They are a necessity - a necessity born from high debts created by spendthrift former governments and the massive downloading of federal responsibilities at the same time that federal operations were being shut down across Nova Scotia.

In the longer term, the NDP has outlying goals for building a stronger Nova Scotia economy and for tackling the demographic challenges our province faces. Nova Scotia lacks the skilled workers and tradespeople to meet industry demands. From forestry to high-tech, from precision machining to building contractors, companies say they cannot find the people they need. Older workers often find it difficult to get retraining programs. Women and others living at home who have been out of the job market for years are not being engaged for training, which leads to the jobs that are already available. Meanwhile, other Nova Scotians lacking training and education are either unemployed or in low-paying and dead-end jobs.

So here are some of the specific steps that the NDP has proposed. Keep our young people here by focusing on career and business opportunities in the 21st Century industries such as information and communication technologies, biotechnology and geomatics, energy production and efficiency. Step up the emphasis on learning starting with early childhood education, a much greater emphasis on long-distance education and a co-operative education plan at the high school level as we work to make this a learning province.

Support the industries that are already here, such as the 40,000 manufacturing jobs, most of them outside of HRM, if they want to expand and upgrade job opportunities. Foster an effective immigration program that won't alienate the young, capable entrepreneurs Nova Scotia so desperately needs. Expand the Buy Local program to further assist our farm

[Page 4515]

families and the communities in which they live and work with the farm community on their goal of becoming marketers of top-quality farm products.

Provide affordable, accessible and quality daycare and access to primary health care to attract and keep young families. Support sunrise industries by recognizing how innovation is a great partner with Nova Scotia's excellent workforce and natural opportunities. Build clusters of manufacturing excellence that hold communities together in prosperity and also apply that experience to the scientific and services sectors. Companies like RIM, whose location here is due in great measure to the careful work of John Hamm and the team dedicated to that project, add to the quality and depth of business leadership in our province and make it possible to develop a cluster of business excellence.

Hard-nosed business decisions will shape the Atlantic Gateway because the key decisions are going to be made by private-sector investors and business people. A winning strategy must ensure that Nova Scotia is competitive in a competitive global business. Public investments must be strategic and effective so that opportunities are not wasted.

With that in mind, I propose the establishment of a gateway council where the key partners are represented and can develop a consensus based on economic realities and how to increase our imports and exports. There will be a renewal of world trade and Nova Scotia should be ready with a strategy, not a wish list. The gateway strategy that works is the one that makes sense to railroads, to shippers, to major customers of our ports and that is the way we will get sustainable results.

Mr. Speaker, these are challenging times but I remain convinced that a constructive approach by the Parties in this House will best meet the needs and hopes of today's families in Nova Scotia. There are causes for concern, but as Franklin Roosevelt said so memorably, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. That's why I again urge the government to be open, accountable and forward-looking in its approach to this economic crisis and to the opportunities for our province. Thank you.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm going to talk for a few minutes about what I consider to be very important. Today is a very important day in our lives because it is a day of uncertainty and it has been that way for quite some time now. I also want to talk about the 15 minutes that I heard the government talk - that had to be the best 15 minutes of fiction that I've ever had the opportunity to hear. I'm going to give you some facts that are going to bear out what I've said about the government's 15 minutes of fiction from the Premier and the Deputy Premier. I'm not going to talk too much about the Official Opposition's stand on the economy; they are untried and untested in Nova Scotia and if we can help it they'll never be tested. I'm not going to dwell on that because I shudder to think

[Page 4516]

what would happen with the tax and spend policies of the NDP should they ever take government in this province.

Having said that - I caught the attention of the Leader of the Official Opposition but anyway - I'm going to relate some facts and a lot of these facts that I'm going to talk about are facts that come from the government's own Department of Finance. They are not facts that we've pulled out of a hat somewhere; they are facts that come from their own Department of Finance.

Now Mr. Speaker, over the past few months, as we all know, there has been a significant downturn in market activity throughout the world. The TSX has dropped from 12,000 a month ago to 9,500 at the close of business yesterday. That's significant and that's a problem, that's a concern that we all share. The current market volatility has reached an all-time high and the day to day uncertainty continues. Many people are concerned for their pensions, they're concerned for their savings and they are being forced to decide whether they need to hold off retirement and maybe work a few more years and wait to see if their retirement funds are going to improve.

Now Statistics Canada reported since 1993 - and this is a fact, Mr. Speaker, it's not fiction - that Nova Scotia has experienced the slowest growth out of any province in Canada. This slow growth occurred when Canada experienced relatively good economic times. In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia faces a situation where we have the storm clouds starting to come from Alberta regarding many of the people in our province that have gone out there for work. We just heard very recently that some of them are returning home because they're starting to lay off people out there in the tar sands. Now we never thought that would happen but that bubble is starting to burst. Where are these people going to find jobs when they come back to Nova Scotia? Has the government done any planning for that eventuality? I don't think so.

Another fact is that we have heard about companies - which hasn't been mentioned, we've heard the rosy side of things - but we haven't heard about companies such as Clearwater who have been forced to reconsider significant restructuring of financing because of the recent credit collapse and economic downturn. Here's a fact - in 2007, Nova Scotia had more bankruptcies per capita than any other province in Canada. I'll table this text, the figure - total bankruptcies per capita, provincial, 2007, from the Nova Scotia Department of Finance. It's not from the member for Cape Breton South or the Liberal Finance Critic, it's from the Department of Finance and it shows that we are dead last, in terms of the country. Alberta is number one and we're dead last, so I want to table that document. That is not fiction, as we heard from the government, that is a fact.

[6:30 p.m.]

[Page 4517]

Another fact, Mr. Speaker - the province actually lost jobs. The Premier was waxing eloquent about the 10,000 new jobs that we created in Nova Scotia. Well, we have some more facts here and this fact here is talking about jobs in Nova Scotia and again, it's from the Nova Scotia Department of Finance, and I'll table this as well. It shows that since we've lost jobs since 2002 and in the last year we're down from 443,000 in 2005, which is the figure I believe the Premier used earlier, to 2006, 441,000. Not that doesn't translate into a 10,000 increase, that translates into a 2,000 job loss, and I'll table that. That's from the Department of Finance, not from the member for Cape Breton South or our Finance Critic, but their own Department of Finance.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, another fact is that our province registered 700 fewer companies than we did the year before last. I have another update here, and this is from the CFIB - that's the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, of course. The small business outlook, and this is their take on this, the small business outlook has dimmed further as massive shifts in commodity prices and exchange rates tear through the economy. Optimism is now under the lowest level recorded by the CFIB, and they're talking about Nova Scotia here, and that's dated October 30th - today. This is from the CFIB. That's not consistent with the rosy picture that the Premier has, and if you look at the graph, it's going straight down, in terms of the economy. So I'll also table that document.

The Premier states that Nova Scotians will not feel the economic effects for six to eight months. Mr. Speaker, this is how out of touch we are here - we've been feeling the effects for some years now. I've got to tell you, Mr. Speaker, earlier today in Question Period our Leader asked a simple question of the Premier, if the Premier was going to get involved in trying to redirect the economy of Halifax, in terms of what he'd like to see. We don't disagree with the need for more development in Halifax; as a matter of fact, we would welcome it. But you know what? We, in the Liberal Party, feel that the Premier should be just as bullish about demanding that Nova Scotia Power not be given an increase this year, and if they do get one, cancel it.

The people will come and they will tell you that the government cannot get involved in the operations of Nova Scotia Power Inc., nor can they get involved in the URB decisions. Well, somebody should have told the government that when they changed the decision of the URB in the Chester case.

So politics is a wonderful thing; if it's politically expedient for the government to take a stand and overturn a decision or reverse a decision of the URB, they don't have any problem doing it. But when it comes to dealing with power rates that are put on the backs of Nova Scotians and are continuing to rise in this province and eventually will drive people out of their homes or drive competitive business away, they sit back and do nothing. That is not leadership from this government or this Premier.

[Page 4518]

We need to get more people back to work, Mr. Speaker. We can do that, and I refer now to those people who are still dependent on community services in this province. What we should be doing, instead of continuing to claw back from community services recipients in this province, we should be offering incentives for community services recipients to break the cycle and get out in the workplace. The way to do that is to allow them to earn so much money in the private sector or in government, wherever they're working, without a clawback from community services, for a period of time, to give them a head start. That's long overdue in this province and should be seriously considered by the Minister of Community Services.

Mr. Speaker, in Nova Scotia the census - now I'm not talking about ,again, the House Leader for the Liberal Party, our Finance Critic, our Leader, our researchers, I'm talking about the census - showed that 14 out of 18 regions in Nova Scotia had a decline in population in the past number of years. Another fact, business confidence, as tracked by the Canadian Federation of Business, is at an all-time low and that is not fiction that came from that side a little while ago, those are the facts that are out there.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we talk about energy for a moment and, you know, this is something that really has bugged me over the years. The last major project that was significant in Nova Scotia in the offshore energy business that generated a great deal of interest and a great deal of spending by international companies was the Sable Project back in 1998-99, in a John Savage/Russell MacLellan Government.

The businesses that located to Halifax in those years, we all know, Hollis Street and Barrington Street and those places were full of international companies doing business in Nova Scotia. What have we had since? We've had Newfoundland going ahead with the offshore industry. We've lost decisions in the Scotian Shelf over the past few years. We're doing nothing with major offshore except taking leases back and, therefore, helping us to balance the books on the strength of major oil companies giving up leases in this province. What a way to balance the books. We get money back from companies that don't want to do business here any more and that's what has been happening.

We need as well, Mr. Speaker, to make our local business more competitive in this province and we have to provide the environment for them to do that. What I've seen and what I've noticed is, it's a day-to-day operation of this government, there's no future planning. I don't know how long we are going to go depending on call centres to keep the numbers of employment up in this province. One of these days those call centres are going to decide there's a cheaper way to do business somewhere else and they're going to leave. They don't own anything most of them. They're here on government largesse. I welcome the jobs that they're providing, particularly in my area, but I'm also aware that all they have to do is unbolt the machinery and they're gone. That happened in the past and I hope it doesn't happen in the future but what is our contingency plan if technology changes and we lose those necessary jobs that we have in Nova Scotia? What are we going to replace them with?

[Page 4519]

Now, I want to again refer, Mr. Speaker, to the CFIB independent report, the Business Barometer for October 27th. Here's what they say- The survey results show, ". . . there is still a full range of expectations among business owners. Only four per cent expect to perform 'much stronger' in the next 12 months . . .", 19 per cent report intentions to cut back. There are also weaker readings from last week that saw 23 per cent expecting to take on full-time staff and 16 per cent looking to make cutbacks, and 8 per cent anticipate their lot in life is going to be much weaker in the coming months.

So I say, Mr. Speaker, the fiction that we've heard over there, the fiction, and we had 15 minutes of rosy projections, growth, the economy is strong, we don't have to worry about anything, we can just sit back and wait for the bubble to burst. Well, if we don't start planning here, collectively, the bubble is going to burst. I can tell you that unless we plan for the future and unless we continue to ensure that we don't slip into deficit in this province and that we do manage our economy wisely, we're certainly going to be a have-not province. It's pretty interesting that Newfoundland is moving this way and we're moving that way. At one time we used to point to poor Newfoundland and say, you know, Newfoundland is at the bottom of the barrel. Well, guess what, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is at the bottom of the barrel. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I, too, am pleased to rise in this House and address members of the Chamber and all those who are listening and will follow the deliberations of what we're doing because what has been raised by virtue of this emergency debate is a very serious matter, one that I don't believe any member of this House would try to trivialize, especially if we go with the words that have been stated about willing to work together, willing to find compromise, and prepared to look at how we can make minority government work.

While we will often get into the banter, and I know we'll debate our numbers, well, I know our numbers, Mr. Speaker, we rely on Statistics Canada and others, and people will debate back and forth, but there are some fundamentals about where we are. But to suggest for a moment that this government hasn't been steadfast and focused on the priorities and the needs of a good society based upon the fundamentals of a strong economy that is based upon, further, a knowledge that we have to diversify our economic base, look to the future, thus the plan for 2020, the vision the Premier set out, to look at how we deal with strengthening our pillars that support our society across all aspects of that.

We all know that it's just as important to have a strong social safety net with that strong economy. We know that an economy is only as strong as the education infrastructure and programs we have in place, and that's why I'm very pleased that we continue to lead the country, whether that is the work the minister has done and the agreements that were signed with our universities to make sure that we have the programs and plans in place - when

[Page 4520]

people put opportunities before this government we deal with those and seek to move forward based upon progress and growth.

When you think, as well, of what our Nova Scotia Community College has done with the training and the education of individuals in this province, that the programs from the Department of Community Services, working with Labour and Workforce Development, and the ability and the confidence of the Government of Canada transferred that responsibility to this province, so we continue to expand that. To suggest that older workers in this province have been forgotten - well, I was just at a graduation for older workers who are very proud and confident, that people reached out, brought them in and helped lift them up to greater opportunity, the working families of this province, by significant numbers.

I'm pleased of one statistic. People can say, well, what's going down? But there is one number that has gone down in this province the last number of years and that is those on income assistance, because they're out as productive members of the economy with their work, sitting at their family tables with confidence because they are valued by a government that understands we must invest holistically across all areas, and I look forward to using my time tonight to talk about that.

In looking at this emergency debate I also had an opportunity to reflect that when I came into this Legislature in 2001, and so did the member for Halifax Fairview in those by-elections, and I also recall when the government came to power in 1999 that it entered a process where tough decisions were made to deal with the fiscal challenges that were faced. I also remember that decisions were made at the federal and provincial levels in my own area that effected the closure of the mining industry in terms of Devco. I know during that very by-election in 2001 I had to deal with the closure of Sysco at that time and dealt with it day in and day out on the campaign trail. So it was either a choice I had as a candidate to blame my own Party and go down the road of the negative spin that people would have, or stand up and say it was important to get to the government table to have a voice from that region that could reach out and deal with that.

I also, at that time leading up to it, recognized the impact of a fundamental shift in an economy where people were uncertain, were fundamentally afraid of what would occur for them and their loved ones and the ability for people to be there, and I also remember when the opportunity was there communities came together, groups came together, organizations worked, business worked, the church community came together because they were not prepared to give up.

[6:45 p.m.]

What I know is this - and in politics we often say you're better off today than you were yesterday - and I know and can speak with confidence that from 2001 to 2008 great progress and strides have been made. We've worked through varying challenges, but it was

[Page 4521]

about the fundamentals. So I know if you are, as we all are, concerned about the economics globally that are impacting our country, our region and our province, but I also know that you don't run away from it, you have to deal with those realities, admit what those challenges are, but move forward with confidence and conviction that we have the fundamentals in place. I can tell you this province is positioned extremely well to deal with the challenges that the marketplace right now is putting forward.

As was indicated and evidenced by the previous speakers, by the Premier and the Deputy Premier when they talked about those with confidence to come here because of the fiscal stewardship and management in this province, we have people who look to us as that standard bearer. People who want to talk about the HRM and the challenges around development and why we'd be concerned about real estate development, I know this - with confidence we move forward to deal with the realities of the marketplace, but also recognize the people that have moved here, that have put international investment here, that have created highly-paid, high-skilled jobs for Nova Scotians to reside here, to allow immigrants an opportunity to come here to see that opportunity and leverage their experience and expertise - that's a balance we have.

We also, in Halifax, are in the capital of this province and it is in the interest of the people of this entire province that this capital be strong and solid and that this capital have the opportunities to grow and strengthen itself. While we may differ on our interpretation of the statistics and the numbers, what I can say is that I stand confidently as a member of the Progressive Conservative Government to deal with the challenges we have.

I'd like to talk about some of the things people have said that are wrong. Well, we'll all stand here and restate the obvious because I disagree with the Leader of the Official Opposition when he suggested and said that there are dead-end jobs. Well, I'd like to know his definition of who the people are in the dead-end jobs, because I know the people that have great confidence and know that the NDP (Interruptions) Well, I agree, I can hear the banter in the House, and I agree the NDP agenda is genuine because they do have a raw deal for Nova Scotia's working families. It's a raw deal because they want to talk wealth, they talked about co-operation, the member for Cape Breton South talks about waxing eloquently, holy smoke, he must have been giving good lessons, the Leader of the Official Opposition, for going on and contradicting himself.

It's just like the raw deal that the socialists have for Nova Scotians where they want to give with their words, but they'll take from the wallets of average working Nova Scotians and they'll go right to the dinner table to take it, Mr. Speaker.

I know the socialists will have their chance to talk about their vision and how, indeed, they will provide confidence - not comfy words but confidence - to the people of this province so they know where we go. They can rest assured that they have seven consecutive balanced budgets by this government, we have a debt management plan that has seen that debt decrease in this province, we're seeing the bond rating agencies continue to have

[Page 4522]

confidence to increase our ratings. But most importantly, those ratings speak about positioning this province to come out of any economic challenges as the leader in Atlantic Canada, in fact, all of eastern Canada.

They talk about unemployment statistics - I know that Nova Scotia's unemployment statistics here in this region are 23 per cent lower than Toronto and 24 per cent lower than Montreal. As a regional centre, we have the capacity - it's not about suggesting we are not going to have to make difficult decisions because it has been stated that everyone's prepared to come together to make difficult decisions important to the future of the economy of this province. But it means choices and that is what being in government and a responsible fiscal regime is all about - the balance of choices you make to go forward.

For Nova Scotians that want to look to how we deal with any of these challenges, they have to look at the choices of this government to deal with the diversification. I do note the Minister of Environment has been travelling on the green energy tour of this province talking about the future opportunities that the green economy can provide, linking them with the infrastructure we have and our utilities in our energy sector, working with the Atlantic Provinces, working with the northeastern United States, building opportunities that will see further investment and opportunities into our pipeline that we have there.

Working, whether that is in the energy areas that we have, whether that's the tidal demonstration projects that this government and this province stepped up to the plate to see the opportunity to harness the power of the Bay of Fundy. Whether it's the wind energy projects in this province, whether it's the methane gas demonstration projects they're planning in Cape Breton, whether it's about realizing alternate forms of energy, dealing with energy conservation and efficiencies that we have through Conserve Nova Scotia.

Also, when we talk about that diversification, people suggest there's a pall over the offshore. Well, I also know that there's confidence for people to move forward on Deep Panuke, that indeed from that, with the OSEA, the Offshore Strategic Energy Agreement, we have a $35 million contract recently let in Sydney for the land rigs to supply opportunities to western Canada. (Applause)

I also know, Mr. Speaker, that ExxonMobil plans to drill in our offshore, that the Minister of Energy is working to do a further exploration and the interest is there to take up - and those are just some of our offshore opportunities. We see interest in land-based drilling. We see the opportunity in our aerospace industry and where that is leading. When there were challenges in the aerospace industry, Nova Scotia didn't retreat, it reorganized and rebuilt and moved forward and that's what we see. Whether it's Composites Atlantic, whether it's Pratt & Whitney, whether we see it's our aerospace and defense industries that are growing jobs, high paid, high quality jobs in this province - that's not moving away from a challenge, it's building opportunity, and where there's adversity we've always looked at opportunity and we've dealt with the facts for what they are and to reposition ourselves.

[Page 4523]

Mr. Speaker, look at Film Nova Scotia. In this province when there is an international competitive marketplace for the film industry, and everyone knows that it fluctuates, this province has responded to the industry here to deal with the incentives and the opportunities. And what are we seeing? More productions coming to Nova Scotia at a time when they said there would be no development outside the United States because the dollar was going to do it. Well, do you know what? It's Nova Scotians who are bringing opportunities here; it's Nova Scotians who see that and don't run away from the challenges - they reorganize and readjust to make sure that we're well positioned and we're competitive.

Mr. Speaker, when you talk about information technology, and we saw it when people want to talk about RIM - well, it was a government and people who looked at the next generation of opportunity, and if anyone said that that was a bad business decision I would challenge that. We also can get up and debate - and I remember in this House that the member for Cape Breton South, we had a debate. There was a chance when people go. Governments have to make decisions, they have to make choices, but they do it in the interest - and part of it is to have an urban, rural and regional mix. That's why we have our infrastructure in place. But in the area, when Orenda did not work, I did not, at the time as Economic Development Minister, get up and criticize. I recognized that it was a sincere effort; the marketplace wasn't there and we have move on to do other things in that region.

I also want to talk about Atlantic Gateway. When people talk about the energy sector, Mr. Speaker, they have to look at also the international marketplace because there are places in this world that will be impacted, but are continuing to grow at a rate beyond ours and we are well positioned whether that's the Port of Halifax, whether that is in the Strait region, the Port of Sydney, whether it's around this province, if the opportunity is in Shelburne, in Yarmouth, we have to be part of an Atlantic Gateway solution. I'm very pleased as well that our political minister for Nova Scotia, the Honourable Peter MacKay, is now the Minister responsible for Atlantic Gateway, that we will work in partnership, that we will see our infrastructure, that the economic corridors, that the vision that our Premier put out there, he put priorities and projects and we're working with the Government of Canada and we're working as one region beyond political administration to do what's right for the economics of this region.

I'm very thankful that we have those opportunities with Canada. We're talking about other infrastructure projects that we can do collectively to see our opportunities for a highway, our economic corridors to grow, and as we work on the engines of that and we see our railway infrastructure, when we see the development and growth of our airport here, Mr. Speaker, when we look at the opportunities to make sure we have those corridors throughout this region to develop all parts of the region, I think we can stand, not as some would suggest to bluster, but on the facts of where we've been.

[Page 4524]

I will go back to where I started, Mr. Speaker. I came in during very difficult and challenging economic times and it wasn't about suggesting about what wasn't going to occur in Cape Breton North, it was rolling up our sleeves, getting to work, working with the economy, working with the community, and building an economy. That's what this government will continue to do. So if we're going to be sincere about working together, we also have to recognize it is about the balance and the choices we have to do to keep us on that stay. I'm glad the Leader of the Official Opposition said we can't go and not manage our debt management plan because that's part of the choices that he'll have, but I know where there's a will there is a way, and Nova Scotians have always led the way and I'm confident we'll continue. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. There is a global economic crisis that is upon us. It is likely to be like nothing that we have ever seen before in our lifetime. We have bank failures and insolvencies around the world; we have a credit crunch, a lack of liquidity that is going to affect every economy in every country in the world.

It's like being on a ship and a big wave is about to break over us. The problem with the debate so far tonight is, it's like three people are on the deck of that ship. The one wearing the blue shirt says, as the wave is breaking over the ship, this is the best ship we've ever seen, isn't it? The fellow on the deck with the red shirt says, no, this is the worst ship we've ever seen. Or, as one of the fellows with the red shirt said - and I don't know how he can say this in this House, Mr. Speaker - he said "Nova Scotia is at the bottom of the barrel".

So meanwhile, while the guys with the blue shirts and the red shirts are fighting over whether it's a good ship or a bad ship, the third fellow on the deck, the one in his working clothes, is looking at the wave breaking over the ship and saying, come on everybody, we have to hang together or we're all going to get washed overboard, Mr. Speaker.

Now the Liberal Party has brought this resolution forward and that's a good thing but the Liberal Leader got up and said, it's time to put partisanship and sniping aside, and yet from the next Liberal speaker we got 15 minutes of pure partisanship. Now, Mr. Speaker, that is not what the people of Nova Scotia are looking for, that is not what the people of Nova Scotia need. We need to work on this together.

We are ready to work on this problem, Mr. Speaker, and we are looking for a willingness on the part of the other Parties to work on this together. We have to distinguish between what is within the control of the provincial government and what is not. We have to say very frankly, there is a great deal about this global financial crisis that is not within the control of the provincial government. Our provincial government has no ability to affect, directly or indirectly, banking, interest rates, foreign currency, transfer payments, commodity

[Page 4525]

prices or any of a host of other factors that are part of that wave that is about to break over our economy.

However, there are a number of items that are within the control of the provincial government. What we are looking for, Mr. Speaker, and I think what the people of Nova Scotia are looking for is decisive, consultative action by the government on those issues that are within their control.

Mr. Speaker, the first item which has an impact on all the others, of course, is public finance. There are only, when you get right down to it, a few very simple elements of public finance. So far in this House we all agree on deficit spending. We cannot revert back to deficit spending. It provides an important and necessary discipline on government and once that discipline is gone, we have seen what happens. Once you run your first deficit as a government, it is very difficult to persuade yourself that the time to end deficits has come. So it is because it is essential to the discipline of government and the health of the province, that all of us in this House agree that deficit spending is not one of the options.

Now having said that, Mr. Speaker, the Government of Ontario has said they will run a deficit. Yesterday, the federal Minister of Finance has said that deficits might have to be run federally, under certain circumstances. He won't rule it out entirely as something that can never happen under any circumstances.

[7:00 p.m.]

Here in this province, Mr. Speaker, we all agree that deficits should not be run. We also all agree, Mr. Speaker, despite all the rhetoric in this House, that raising taxes is not an option for the people of Nova Scotia. That only leaves two fiscal possibilities, and one is that we will ride a wave of economic growth and that provincial revenue will grow simply because the economy is growing . Nobody seriously suggests that we are in that kind of world so there is only one possibility left and that is making difficult decisions about program spending.

Mr. Speaker, here are some of the areas that are within the provincial government's control in which we are looking for decisive consultative leadership from the government. First of all on pensions. Nova Scotians are very worried about their pensions; whether it is a public pension or a private pension, everybody is deeply concerned about what the future holds. We are looking for a clear signal from the government about what its intentions are. We would like to see the government convene a forum of pension stakeholders so that there can be a complete sharing of information about the state of pensions in Nova Scotia and a full discussion about what the options are for dealing with both public and private pensions.

We read that a number of large corporations have approached the federal government saying that they desperately need help in the funding of their pensions, the relaxation of some of the

[Page 4526]

funding rules. If that kind of thing is necessary and is being asked for in Nova Scotia it needs to happen in the open, not behind closed doors.

The second thing I said earlier, that Nova Scotia has no power over the banking system but there is a very important element of the banking system that is entirely in the province's control and that is credit unions. We would like to see the government meeting with credit union stakeholders and delivering clear, precise information to credit union members about the health of the credit union system in Nova Scotia, that is 100 per cent in the control of the provincial government.

Third, there is currently and will continue to be a problem with access to capital by municipalities, utilities and other Public Service agencies. Money is tight around the world and we would like to see the government take decisive leadership in helping municipalities and other Public Service entities, in ensuring that they continue to have access to the money they need for cash flow and also for the funding of capital projects.

Fourth, the government does have control over the nature and timing of public works projects. We have seen, for example, in British Columbia that an element of the government's plan to deal with the financial crisis is to move forward certain public works projects, the idea being that earlier spending on projects that were already planned will prime the pump of the economy. We are looking for a statement from the government of what public works projects can be considered for moving forward in time or, otherwise changing or improving in order to provide that kind of strategic and effective public spending that we are looking for.

Fifth, we are looking for the government to make a public statement about how it is going to use its economic development budget in the most strategic way possible. Because of the decisions that we all agree on in public finances and the limited options that are available once you rule out deficits, once you rule out raising taxes, the options available are very few. Because of that it is critical that the government's spending have a laser focus on what will provide the best return on investment, what is the most strategic, what will be the most effective way to leverage the public spending that there is in order to help us deal with this financial crisis that is on the verge of washing over us.

Let me say, Mr. Speaker, a good example of that is the bioscience building that the government recently announced is an excellent example of strategic public spending. We would like to see more of that or even better we would like to see where that kind of spending fits within the overall government plan.

The bioscience building is a good thing because it is an immediate public works project of a significant size. It is a strategic investment in Dalhousie University and the intellectual resources in Nova Scotia that will be leveraged into more economic development in this province.

[Page 4527]

Mr. Speaker, the insurance industry is within the control of the provincial government as well as the federal government. We must never forget that our insurance companies are large financial services companies. They have been and they will be affected by the global financial crisis. The large Dutch company, ING, as we all know, is currently facing financial turmoil and has had to seek a large bailout from the Dutch government. ING is one of the largest property and casualty insurers in Canada. It is inevitable that this financial crisis is going to have an impact on the insurance industry.

I'm sure I don't need to remind the government that it was in the wake of the bursting of the technology bubble in the year 2000 that led to the insurance hard market, that led to the turmoil in the auto insurance industry across the country and in Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, in the period 2002-03. There is no reason to think that things will be any different.

Mr. Speaker, consultation is needed now, not because it is easy but because it is difficult. Consultation with stakeholders is needed as an essential element of the government's plan moving forward, whether it is on pensions or credit unions or insurance or access to capital by municipalities or public works projects, leadership in this case means bringing people together, sharing information with them, making sure that people realize the challenges that we are facing and the limited options that are available to us.

What will not work - we can be sure of this - is the government simply announcing decisions to Nova Scotians and expecting them to accept them. We know, as the government knows, that difficult choices are going to have to be made, difficult medicine is going to have to be administered. We can do this in one of two ways: either the doctor can simply order the patient to take the medicine, even though the patient doesn't understand the reason and the rationale, or the doctor can sit down with the patient and say, this is what's going on, here's the prognosis, here's what we know, here's what we don't know, here are all the various options and you and I need to work together to decide whether this medicine or some other medicine is best in the circumstances.

That is not typically the way of this government. This government, unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, has demonstrated a rather obsessive secrecy, the idea that they and only they get to be in on the making of decisions. We are facing a kind of financial crisis that we have never faced before in our lifetime and which we may never face again. It is for that reason that we are saying to the government, you must do business differently than the way you've done it before.

We have never faced anything like this in our lives, we have never faced anything like this in this House. Business as usual, partisanship, sniping, distorting facts and figures to make it look like it's the best boat anybody ever saw or the worst boat anybody ever saw, Mr. Speaker, counts for nothing when the wave is over your head, about to break over your ship.

[Page 4528]

We are ready to work with the Liberal Party and with the government, in order to engage in this kind of consultation and collaborative decision making that is needed. We are ready and our question to the government is, is the government ready? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise in my place this evening and to acknowledge the other Parties for the opportunity to debate and to comment on a crisis that is gripping the globe, impacting on our country and that we are certainly starting to see in our province. There's no question however that government policy that has gone on over the last four or five years can be a contributing factor to even a greater decline than what some other provinces would experience and I'll speak to that a little bit as I go on.

It is interesting that the prophetic member for Digby-Annapolis talked about the coming recession last Spring, in fact he used the D word. I remember when he talked about a possible coming depression I remember how the Minister of Economic Development took a keen interest in what he was having to say. But you know it is not the experts out of Harvard or Cornell or any of the universities that I first heard about a coming recession. The member for Musquodoboit Valley would be pleased to hear that, in fact, it was a former student of mine who is now a trucker. He owns a little trucking business, two transport trucks, that he has driven across the country for the past 25 years from Ontario to the State of Washington and the State of Oregon. Last October he called me on an issue of a little development that he has locally and he said watch out, I am beginning to notice that I am dropping off less and less at the Home Depots and the lumberyards in Washington State and Oregon. He said what is about to hit us is going to be pretty significant. That was last October before we heard from any of the experts, a trucker who perceptively saw just a little change that was going on.

I'd like to speak tonight about our primary resource industries, areas where I feel policies, if they had been put in place some years ago would lessen the impact that is taking place right now. I want to reference agriculture first because in the Annapolis Valley and in Kings County where I represent one of the ridings, agriculture is still a significant employer or more importantly a significant and traditional way of life. In fact 25 per cent of all jobs are still directly and indirectly from agriculture.

This summer we heard from GPI Atlantic and the minister is well aware of this, one of the most discouraging reports on agriculture that has come our way. We've had a lead up of difficult times in the primary industries to what is now gripping us in a more severe manner. Hopefully we can put in place some things to turn the corner. In the GPI Atlantic report they talked about in Nova Scotia, when it comes to unemployment and supplementary unemployment statistics, that the average unemployment rate really is 14.3 per cent for Nova Scotia and of course we know in rural areas that is even compounding further.

[Page 4529]

To put this into raw statistics in 2001, there were 7,500 jobs in agriculture in Nova Scotia and in 2006 , 4,700 in agriculture. So the most dramatic loss of jobs in Nova Scotia's agriculture sector have actually occurred in the last few years. That's why I feel we need to be talking about farm viability plans, helping to stimulate young farmers who are entering the farming way of life, the farming sector. We haven't heard anything like that to help them bridge the gap from a small entry amount of dollars to where they could become viable.

The Kelco Report, a great piece of work that even if we did it on an experimental basis with one or two commodities, could put money back into the pockets of the farmers.

[7:15 p.m.]

The local food economy has made some progress, but we know this year it didn't get the kind of work and advertising and education that is going to change the pattern of Nova Scotians. These are ways in which we could enhance that industry.

Five years ago, in forestry, we were told by the Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia and by small woodlot owners that we had to change our practices. We couldn't put all our eggs into one or two baskets - pulp and paper and lumber for the U.S. market. We needed to diversify more, we needed to go value-added. We needed to find new markets since we are in a global economy.

Those are things we haven't done strongly enough in Nova Scotia that would help us through this downturn. There's no question that again, the same for fishery, this Fall we're hearing that some fishermen are likely to tie up their boats and not engage in one of the most lucrative industries of all and that is the lobster fishery in Southwestern Nova Scotia and around the province.

Once again, our tourism is down in Nova Scotia. In some parts of the Valley, some of the bed and breakfasts closed their doors earlier than normal this year because business and the movement of people hasn't been as strong as what they saw in other years. This is a time when I would encourage government to be looking at a Winter Works Program. If there is a way of taking some dollars from some programs to put into a Winter Works Program, it not only will employ a number of Nova Scotians in all of our 18 counties - we have 13 that have been experiencing a downturn. We only have five counties that are growing their population and therefore have good economic viability, we have 13 without. What a year to find some dollars to put into a Winter Works Program. It'll put people to work, but more importantly, it creates a psychology of optimism that we can have for people who are without work.

That's the one of the areas that I feel we can do something very strongly about. As we contend and deal with the crisis upon us, we do have a chance for all of us in this House

[Page 4530]

to collectively work on the things that we can change. I know I am hearing from more and more Nova Scotians about their fear of a nearly 10 per cent increase in electricity rates. These are break points, these are tipping points for the average Nova Scotian. All of us here, as some of my colleagues have talked about, is collectively gathering our ideas, gathering the political will to make a change in the coming months in what is a difficult time for what we call the average Nova Scotian and the majority of Nova Scotians fit into that category.

While we have a crisis, there are also opportunities to lessen the impact on many Nova Scotians. We don't want to see our welfare lines grow, our unemployment go up, but we know that is a real possibility. Small construction companies are already talking about having laid off one person and will lay off two through the Winter. Retailers are starting to see a change in their monthly incomes. Michelin, one of the first times I've ever heard, at Waterville Michelin, took a longer period of down time on Labour Day weekend and are going to have the longest Christmastime holiday ever.

Those are the things that are coming at us. I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this time.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I initially wasn't anticipating speaking to this matter although I understand it's an important issue. I'm thankful to the Leader of the Third Party for bringing this to the attention of the House today. I think it's a great opportunity for us to talk about a number of things. I might take a different course than has been taken in the debate earlier. I want to specifically talk about my constituency and the community that I live in and represent but before I do that, I want to talk about a few statistics.

Mr. Speaker, I know it has been said here today that the job growth in the Province of Nova Scotia - 457,000 people are employed in Nova Scotia - is among the highest on record. Since September 2007, approximately 10,500 more people are working in Nova Scotia. Year over year, our employment rates have decreased by 0.3 per cent and our labour force has increased by 2 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, I have had the good fortune to be at a number of government announcements where we've been there alongside business to help grow this province and I can tell you, one specific announcement was held here in Halifax. The Premier was there, the Minister of Economic Development was there, and it was an announcement to introduce a new company to Nova Scotia - Butterfield Bank International. At the time we had an opportunity to speak with some of the representatives from Butterfield Bank. One of the concerns that they raised there, speaking directly to MLAs and others, was the availability of commercial space.

Now, we know the decision that was recently made by the municipality and the five decisions in advance of that declining other applications for development but, Mr. Speaker,

[Page 4531]

Butterfield Bank, I never thought much more about them until a week or two ago, three weeks ago. I was coming down the elevator from my office and the door opened up on the floor below our offices. We're located in Summit Place and you would all know, members here would know, that less than a year ago The Daily News had their offices in Summit Place and they vacated that office with their business decision to change their business model but at the same floor where The Daily News was just months ago is now Butterfield International. The full floor is occupied.

That building is now renovating for another tenant, Mr. Speaker, and it speaks to the health of our economy here in Halifax and here in Nova Scotia. When our office went out to tender to locate enough space for our office coming together, the new Department of Health Promotion and Protection, we went through the process with Transportation and Public Works. They issued a public proposal for space and in all of the buildings and all of the so-called vacancies that exist in Halifax, only one landlord submitted a proposal. There was only one landlord in Halifax that had enough space and enough capacity to fill our need. So for members of the Opposition, for members of council, and for others to say there isn't an issue in Halifax around commercial space, I would submit they're absolutely wrong.

Mr. Speaker, I speak to a number of constituents and recently I've had the opportunity to go around talking to constituents as part of my duties as an MLA. One of the things that I do is I reach out to them to talk to them, to ask them about their concerns, and see if there's any way that I can work towards helping them. I spoke to a business owner in my constituency who operates a small real estate business and a bulk transportation business. His biggest issue is that he isn't able to take a day off and he's not able to take a day off because he isn't able to hire an employee. He has been looking for truck drivers. They come, they go, but they don't stay. They often seek out and get other jobs but, you know, there's a guy who works 80 to 90 hours a week, who has built a business from nothing, from the ground up. He bought a truck while he was employed with another company and he went from one to two and two to three and three to four, and four to five. Now he has I think six trucks, he has four or five pieces of heavy equipment, he owns several pieces of real estate, all over the past three years and he has, I don't know, probably 15 or 20 employees and his biggest concern now is his ability to hire and retain employees.

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about a personal conversation that I had with my son and I hope he doesn't mind. My son is 22 years old and he lives on his own, and he happens to work for Boston Pizza, a new business that opened in Sackville two and a half years ago. My son went to work for Boston Pizza as a kitchen helper. He wanted to work there, he liked the atmosphere, he liked the process of the store where people were interested in sport, recreation, that kind of stuff, and his friends were working there.

He went to work there as a kitchen helper and he's now the kitchen manager of the restaurant. The other day he called me, he said my concern, Dad, is that I can't get people to work. His biggest concern right now in life, a 22-year-old, is that he can't get people to work.

[Page 4532]

He's working 80 and 90 hours a week so that that restaurant has the right amount of people working to serve their community, Mr. Speaker.

It's something that concerns me, as a father. In fact, I understand his concern because I look around my own community and I see, everywhere I go, help wanted signs. It's without a doubt, one of the biggest concerns that we will face in the near future.

I had the opportunity to talk to officials with one of the larger employers in my community. Now it might surprise some, my community is predominantly bungalows and split entries, two-storey homes in subdivisions, very little industry, but we do have one industry that seems to be thriving in a suburban area and that is the forestry industry. I represent the community that is home to Cape Cod Siding, I represent the community that is home to Barrett Lumber and I also represent the community that is home to Hefler Forest Products. In addition to those companies, there are also companies within my constituency who are involved in forest harvesting and that type of industry.

I had the opportunity to speak to senior officials at Cape Cod Siding and I said to them, I said I was intrigued by the fact as I drove by your business that you had a large, 4 by 8 sign, not advertising the products that you want to sell, advertising for employees. The response was clear; he said we pay good money, we have good benefits. It's good work, it's hard work, it's honest work, and he said our challenge is getting people to fill those jobs.

Mr. Speaker, that's why our government - and I'm so proud of our government - invested over $100 million in our community college system. If any member of this House and any member of the public has taken the opportunity to go across the harbour and see the new facilities there, see the new facilities in the constituency of Stellarton and across this province where they made investments in our community college system, you will know that we've recognized this as being an issue and we have a plan in place to deal with it.

Mr. Speaker, I have only two minutes left. I want to talk about two more companies that I visited and people I have come across. One is Pratt & Whitney. I had the great opportunity to be with the Premier and with the Minister of Economic Development at Pratt & Whitney a month or two ago, just a few months ago, as Pratt & Whitney recognized the need to adjust their business model. They identified where a product was available, where they could develop to look to new markets and our government saw fit to be an investment partner in that particular project.

I will tell you that the people who work in that plant are the people who I went to school with. They live in my community and they value those jobs, they like those jobs. They are the hockey moms, they're the soccer dads, they're the people who invest back into the community through volunteers. That's why I was proud to be there that day as we made that announcement, that investment in that solid, Nova Scotia company.

[Page 4533]

Now my final point is to somebody who I consider a friend, it's about somebody who I consider a friend, his name is Michael Duck. Michael Duck is the guy who invented the machine that squirts the coffee into your cup - the cream into your cup - SureShot. He also invented a machine that puts coffee in your cup, as well, and he invented a machine that puts oil on a pizza pan and he's gone on and on. He now has a factory in my community that employs over 100 people.

Michael Duck saw some changing conditions in his marketplace, he diversified his product, he diversified his business and he made his business so that it wasn't just about one machine and one item. He went from a business of one person in the basement of his house, to a factory employing over 100 people in our community, Mr. Speaker. He is a hero in our community, he's done great jobs for the Province of Nova Scotia employing people. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, first of all I'd like to thank the Leader of the Third Party for bringing this debate forward. I've heard and agree with much of what the government has said today about some of the success stories and the entrepreneurs that have made them happen. The reality of this debate tonight is to be able to give them the economic protection to stay in business and to grow their business. What we're looking at here is not who set up business in Nova Scotia even this summer and who did a few years before that. The problem is since that time, the very great wrath of economic pitfalls that have come from the United States.

Now for a long time it was often said when the United States sneezes we catch a cold, but I think in this instance if we don't watch it we're going to get pneumonia. We're in really tough times here. When we look at these companies that the government has talked about and the ability to help them get capital to grow it - and that's really what the problem is here. It's not about who has the best imagination about who took what company to Nova Scotia or who prospered a year ago or who prospered six months ago. The reality is this financial crisis has been falling on us since late summer and continues to grow. It's not something that's peculiar to North America, it's throughout Asia, it's throughout Africa, it's throughout Europe. These financial times are coming down on us all.

A year ago if we had been talking about bringing - I guess the Premier had already talked about it, financial groups who are looking at coming to Nova Scotia. Now that's great. Imagine a year ago if he had said to us that Lehman Brothers was coming to Halifax, at that point, I think to a person we would have been, wow, this is a deeply-rooted company, it's been around over 140 years, this is the type of people we want to come here. Well you see what's happened to them. You look at Bear Stearns, same thing. This isn't even - and I hasten to use the word even - like the tech bubble when that burst. Many people were saying, well, these were companies that were a couple of years old and the reality is, are they

[Page 4534]

sustainable companies financially? Is this the real value when some of these companies were trading at $125 to $130 a share? Was this the real financial capacity of that company? Well we found out very quickly that these startups were just that, startups. The real value of these companies was probably around penny stocks but nonetheless here we are. That ripple was felt in the late 1990s, early this millennium felt through the community.

Now we're seeing the failure of huge banks and insurance companies like AIG and Wachovia. If they are not failing they are being taken over at bargain basement prices. The television show Coronation Sheet - the Duckworth family used to have a great line that they would never go in the stock market because the stock market is like bingo for the rich. Some of that is very true here because what we have are people, these experts, telling us for years that it's fine whether it's any of those large companies. Again had we been told that AIG was coming to put a head office here in Nova Scotia we would have thought a year ago, six months ago, that was a great investment, but here we are.

So we as a Party aren't here today to debate whether the financial position that the government has put us in is good or bad. What we want to debate today and I believe it was the intent of the Leader of the Third Party, is look folks, we're all in this together.

This is a huge problem. Now we can outline it from the perspective of these large financial companies but, really, when the rubber hits the road it's back in communities like mine, and Reserve and Dominion and New Waterford ,where there are people who have been displaced workers from steel plants and coal mines, and just getting by on fixed incomes. They're the last ones to benefit when the economy is good, but really they're the very first ones to feel the effects when the economy goes south on them.

They're the ones that we have to make sure that when we talk about the larger perspective, about what's happening in this financial crisis - and be sure, it is a crisis - that we know that these folks are looked after. What we're looking at here - and we've heard a lot of the words pushed around today describing the political position of Parties being socialist and whatever - but what we're talking about here is not what old-fashioned term you want to use to describe a Party or whatever you want to do, what we're talking about here are real Nova Scotians who will be feeling the effects of this economic downturn.

What should we do as a government? What is our collective responsibility, a responsibility that I know myself, and indeed the Leader and the rest of this caucus, take very seriously when we say to government and to the Liberal Party that we want to work together collaboratively on this, because all Nova Scotians will win. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, there are certain times that we have to rise above the political rhetoric. There are times we have to realize - I don't care what my political stripe is, I do care about a senior citizen who is going cold, a veteran who doesn't have enough money to put decent food on their table, the infant child who is not warm this winter and that child's mother doesn't have the wherewithal to feed and clothe that child.

[Page 4535]

No matter if you consider yourself right, left, centre, up or down, that's not what we're debating in this House today. We're debating a crisis that's facing the international financial world, and to play the game of, we attracted this person, we attracted that person, that is of no value to those people. (Applause) The real value will be whenever this passes - and it will pass - that this House is respected by Nova Scotians because collectively we did the right thing. We didn't yell and scream at each other across the way, we did not take the low road. (Interruptions)

No, no, that's fine. I'm talking specifically about this issue. I'm talking about being one of the biggest mouths in this House, but on this issue I'm ready to put that in my back pocket and work for all Nova Scotians, across the aisle. This is bigger than all of us. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, that's what I look forward to doing, and I'm sure the majority across the way looks forward to doing that. We believe there is a way out of this mess, and the way out is not apart, not about name-calling, but it's about working together. I don't care who leads that train; the Premier is the Premier for Nova Scotia, first and foremost and he should be leading us, and that's what we have to do. We have a long, tough winter coming on financially and probably weather-wise, so we should work together to make Nova Scotians proud and tell them that we're going to work our way together out of this mess so all Nova Scotians can move forward. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The time has expired for debate in tonight's emergency debate. I want, before we close, to thank all of the honourable members for having taken part in the debate.

The motion for adjournment was made earlier.

The House stands adjourned until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 7:40 p.m.]

[Page 4536]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4346

By: Hon. Michael Baker (Finance)

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

Whereas the Fifth Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards were held on October 27th, to recognize local businesses for their achievements and contribution to the local economy; and

Whereas seven Lunenburg County businesses have been chosen to receive these prestigious awards in various categories; and

Whereas the Lunenburg County Winery, of Newburne, was awarded the Lunenburg County Business Excellence Export Achievement Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Lunenburg County Winery on being awarded the Lunenburg County Business Excellence Export Achievement Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4347

By: Hon. Michael Baker (Finance)

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

Whereas the Fifth Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards were held on October 27th, to recognize local businesses for their achievements and contribution to the local economy; and

Whereas seven Lunenburg County businesses have been chosen to receive these prestigious awards in various categories; and

Whereas H.B. Multimedia Studios, of Lunenburg was awarded the Lunenburg County Business Excellence Award in the large business category;

[Page 4537]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate H.B. Multimedia Studios on being awarded the Large Business Award from the Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards.

RESOLUTION NO. 4348

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, A & H GMAC Real Estate would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like A & H GMAC Real Estate and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4349

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, All-Pro Transmission would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like All-Pro Transmission and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4350

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

[Page 4538]

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, Atlantex Creative Works would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Atlantex Creative Works and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4351

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, Atlantic Carpet Concepts would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Atlantic Carpet Concepts and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4352

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, Bailey's Plastic Fabrications Limited would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 4539]

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Bailey's Plastic Fabrications Limited an wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4353

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, Belle's Barber Shoppe Family Styling would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Belle's Barber Shoppe Family Styling and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4354

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, Best Burners Heating and Oil Burner Service would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Best Burners Heating and Oil Burner Service and wish them continued success.

[Page 4540]

RESOLUTION NO. 4355

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, Birchbark Art would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Birchbark Art and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4356

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication, Bosch's Rite Shop would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Bosch's Rite Shop and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4357

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

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

[Page 4541]

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication BT Computer Services would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like BT Computer Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4358

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication C Thru Us would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like C Thru Us and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4359

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Cap Cleaning Services would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

[Page 4542]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Cap Cleaning Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4360

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Capt Canoe would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Capt Canoe and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4361

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Changing Tides Bed and Breakfast would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Changing Tides Bed and Breakfast and wish them continued success.

[Page 4543]

RESOLUTION NO. 4362

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Chelbrea Pools would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Chelbrea Pools and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4363

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Clinical Massage Therapy would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Clinical Massage Therapy and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4364

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

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

[Page 4544]

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Peter S. Conrod Construction would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Peter S. Conrod Construction and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4365

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Crowell's Excavating would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Crowell's Excavating and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4366

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Community Rentals and Sales would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

[Page 4545]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Community Rentals and Sales and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4367

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Conquest Travel Services would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Conquest Travel Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4368

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication DaCane Sports would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like DaCane Sports and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4369

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

[Page 4546]

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Devrew Merchandising would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Devrew Merchandising and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4370

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Dogs at Home would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Dogs at Home and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4371

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Dolphine Mini Storage would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 4547]

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Dolphine Mini Storage and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4372

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Eastern Gazette Website would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Eastern Gazette Website and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4373

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Eastern Shore Electric Limited would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Eastern Shore Electric Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4374

[Page 4548]

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Eastern Shore Self Storage would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Eastern Shore Self Storage and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4375

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

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

Whereas rural fire departments like Oyster Pond Fire Department depend on people like Edgar Kerr; and

Whereas through skilled individuals volunteers like Edgar Kerr obtain the training needed to be able to serve his community; and

Whereas our volunteers give of themselves selflessly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Edgar Kerr and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4376

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

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

Whereas rural fire departments like Oyster Pond Fire Department depend on people like Carl Leahy; and

[Page 4549]

Whereas through skilled individuals volunteers like Carl Leahy obtain the training needed to be able to serve his community; and

Whereas our volunteers give of themselves selflessly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Carl Leahy and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4377

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

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

Whereas Duncan Richards is a dedicated volunteer of the Oyster Pond Fire Department; and

Whereas through training Duncan Richards is able to respond quickly and skilfully to emergency calls; and

Whereas with volunteers like Duncan Richards we can feel the strength in our community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Duncan Richards and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4378

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

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

Whereas Sid LaPierre is a dedicated volunteer of Oyster Pond Fire Department; and

Whereas through training Sid LaPierre is able to respond quickly and skilfully to emergency calls; and

Whereas with volunteers like Sid LaPierre we can feel the strength in our community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Sid LaPierre and wish him continued success.

[Page 4550]

RESOLUTION NO. 4379

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

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

Whereas Andrew Moore is a dedicated volunteer of the Oyster Pond Fire Department; and

Whereas through training Andrew Moore is able to respond quickly and skilfully to emergency calls; and

Whereas with volunteers like Andrew Moore we can feel the strength in our community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Andrew Moore and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4380

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

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

Whereas rural fire departments like Oyster Pond Fire Department depend on people like Keith Leahy; and

Whereas through skilled individuals volunteers like Keith Leahy obtain the training needed to be able to serve his community; and

Whereas our volunteers give of themselves selflessly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Keith Leahy and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4381

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

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

[Page 4551]

Whereas Lawrencetown Beach Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services is supported through volunteers like Rob Hebb; and

Whereas through skilled individuals, Rob Hebb is able to obtain the training necessary to successfully answer emergency calls; and

Whereas with volunteers like Rob Hebb, our communities can feel assured that they are in good hands;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Rob Hebb and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4382

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

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

Whereas Lawrencetown Beach Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services is supported through volunteers like Claude Garry; and

Whereas through skilled individuals, Claude Garry is able to obtain the training necessary to successfully answer emergency calls; and

Whereas with volunteers like Claude Garry, our communities can feel assured that they are in good hands;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Claude Garry and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4383

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

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of strong communities; and

[Page 4552]

Whereas without the hard work and dedication Black Sheep Gallery would not be able to provide a valuable service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas not only do they provide a service, they offer employment to other members of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of business owners like Black Sheep Gallery and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4384

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants East)

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

Whereas Windsor Home Hardware, formerly known as Wilcox Brothers and previously operated by partners Clarence Redden and Jim Wilcox, has been operating in the Town of Windsor for over 130 years; and

Whereas Home Hardware owner, Jeff Redden, who took over management of the store from his father, Clarence, in 1996 and later moved the store's location from the corner of Gerrish and Water Street in downtown Windsor to the Fort Edward Mall; and

Whereas Hardware Merchandising is Canada's leading business magazine for home improvement retailers and recently named Windsor Home Hardware as the 2008 Hardware Store of the Year for Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud Jeff Redden and his entire staff for their gracious community involvement and wish them every success with their pending expansion of the floor space at their Fort Edward Mall location.

RESOLUTION NO. 4385

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants East)

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

Whereas early childhood educators do far more than meet the basic needs of young children as parents go off to work and school, they teach and nurture children in their early years with an impact that will last for the rest of their lives; and

[Page 4553]

Whereas Sweet's Corner native, Cheryl Benedict, daughter of Morris and Ella Benedict, was presented this Summer with a 2008 Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in early childhood education; and

Whereas Cheryl was recognized for her work with three- to five-year olds and her kind, gentle touch in being able to assist children with a wide range of needs including dwarfism and Down's Syndrome as well as for her outstanding work ethic dating back to 1991 when the Wee Care Developmental Centre on Young Street was destroyed by fire and Cheryl worked tirelessly with co-workers to find a temporary facility;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cheryl Benedict for receiving the 2008 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood Education and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4386

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 Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Quentin Hill for his contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4387

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 4554]

Whereas the Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Del Kenley for his contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4388

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 Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Don Lowther for his contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4389

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 4555]

Whereas the Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Dorothy Giffin for her contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4390

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 Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Les Smith for his contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4391

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 4556]

Whereas the Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Marlene Kenley for her contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4392

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 Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Bob Kerr for his contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4393

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 4557]

Whereas the Terry Fox Run is an event to raise money for cancer research and symbolic continuation of Terry's dream to find a cure for cancer; and

Whereas the hard work of dedicated community volunteers in organizing the event ensures the success of the Terry Fox Run year after year; and

Whereas the 2008 Bedford Terry Fox Run raised over $11,000 thanks to the commitment of the volunteers and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the invaluable efforts made by all volunteers of the Terry Fox Run and thank Chuck Kelades for his contribution to the Bedford Terry Fox Run.

RESOLUTION NO. 4394

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

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

Whereas the Sport Nova Scotia's Annual IKON Awards were held in June; and

Whereas Ashley Harding of Bridgewater received the Male Individual Athlete of the Year for Orienteering; and

Whereas Ashley had a first-place finish at the Steeltown Park Orienteering Meet and is the top orienteer in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Ashley Hading of Bridgewater on the receipt of tis prestigious award and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4395

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

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

[Page 4558]

Whereas the Sport Nova Scotia's Annual IKON Awards were held in June; and

Whereas John Peters of Lunenburg County received the Football Nova Scotia Official of the Year; and

Whereas John has been officiating football for over 26 years and was the only Nova Scotian official selected for the 2007 Vanier Cup;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend best wishes to John Peters on the receipt of this prestigious award and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4396

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

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

Whereas the Sport Nova Scotia's Annual IKON Awards were held in June; and

Whereas Andrew Harding of Bridgewater received the Male Individual Athlete of the Year for Badminton; and

Whereas Andrew had two first place finishes at the 2008 Senior Atlantic Championships in men's singles and mixed doubles;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Andrew Harding of Bridgewater on the receipt of this prestigious award and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4397

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

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

Whereas the Sport Nova Scotia's Annual IKON Awards were held in June; and

Whereas Scott Patterson received the Soccer Nova Scotia Volunteer of the Year award; and

[Page 4559]

Whereas Scott has been instrumental and a driving force behind the construction of a $2.5 million dollar indoor multi-sport facility in Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend best wishes to Scott Patterson on the receipt of this prestigious award and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4398

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

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

Whereas the Sport Nova Scotia's Annual IKON Awards were held in June; and

Whereas Tim Lohnes of Lunenburg County received the Judo Nova Scotia Coach of the Year; and

Whereas Tim has been active in the sport for 18 years, is the president of Judo Nova Scotia, Assistant Coach Am-Cam International, National CF Referee status and the list goes on;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend best wishes to Tim Lohnes on the receipt of this prestigious award and wish him continues success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4399

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

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

Whereas the Sport Nova Scotia's Annual IKON Awards were held in June; and

Whereas Whitney Lohnes of Lunenburg County received the Judo Nova Scotia Official of the Year; and

Whereas Whitney is the youngest female to referee judo in Nova Scotia, currently holds a Brown Belt and has participated on the national level and continues to advance in her sport;

[Page 4560]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend best wishes to Whitney Lohnes on the receipt of this prestigious award and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4400

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 Cameron MacLennen of Hebbville Academy was selected as the Male Athlete of the Year for 2007-08; and

Whereas this award is presented to a student who has excelled at various sports during the school year; and

Whereas Cameron's dedication and team spirit were evident at Hebbville Academy and he was a positive role model for male athletes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Cameron MacLennen on being selected the Male Athlete of the Year at Hebbville Academy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4401

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 Katelynn Carver of Hebbville Academy was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year for 2007-08; and

Whereas this award is presented to a student who has excelled at various sports during the school year; and

Whereas Katelynn's dedication and team spirit were evident at Hebbville Academy and she was a positive role model for female athletes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Katelynn Carver on being selected the Female Athlete of the Year at Hebbville Academy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4402

[Page 4561]

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 Emma Quigley of Hebbville Academy was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year for 2007-08; and

Whereas this award is presented to a student who has excelled at various sports during the school year; and

Whereas Emma's dedication and team spirit were evident at Hebbville Academy and she was a positive role model for female athletes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Emma Quigley on being selected the Female Athlete of the Year at Hebbville Academy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4403

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 sportsmanship in any game is key; and

Whereas sportsmanship is best used to describe a player's attitude toward others, the ability to laugh at your own mistakes, and try your best to fix them; and

Whereas Morgan Young of Hebbville Academy was presented with the Cameron Smith Memorial Award which is given every year to a male and female who best demonstrates the qualities of positive attitude, good sportsmanship and who also competes in multiple school sports;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Morgan Young on being chosen by her coaches for the Cameron Smith Memorial Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4404

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

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

[Page 4562]

Whereas Matt Taylor of Hebbville Academy was selected Male Athlete of the Year for 2007-08; and

Whereas this award is presented to a student who has excelled at various sports during the school year; and

Whereas Matt's dedication and team spirit were evident at Hebbville Academy and he was a positive role model for male athletes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Matt Taylor on being selected the Male Athlete of the Year at Hebbville Academy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4405

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 some students like to keep their summers very busy; and

Whereas sports play a huge part of some students' lives; and

Whereas Maia Jorgenson of Lunenburg County was chosen to be a part of the Royal Canadian Legion Track and Field Championships in Quebec and she helped her Valley United Under 18 soccer team win a Provincial Title and the right to attend Nationals in Ontario;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Maia Jorgenson on her summer achievements and wish her well in her future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4406

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 Jenna Martin is an athlete known throughout Canada and the U.S.; and

Whereas the University of Kentucky All-American sprinter is the defending Athletics Canada Junior Athlete of the Year and owns over 50 provincial records; and

[Page 4563]

Whereas Jenna was awarded the Sport Nova Scotia IKON Female Individual Athlete of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate sprinter Jenna Martin for her commitment to her sport and the receipt of this prestigious award and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4407

By: Mr. Wayne Gaudet (Clare)

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

Whereas Angel Stitches is a group from Clare who create handmade quilts for the IWK Hospital; and

Whereas Anne LeBlanc of Concession coordinates Angel Stitches; and

Whereas in 2006 they created 880 quilts for the infants at the hospital for a total of 4,749;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the contributions made by Anne LeBlanc and the seamstresses of Angel Stitches to the children at the IWK Grace Hospital.