Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 08-40

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Alfie MacLeod

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

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

Second Session

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4408, Col.-Musquodoboit Valley MLA: Leg. Serv. - Anniv. (15th),
The Premier 4561
Vote - Affirmative 4562
Res. 4409, Campaign Sch. for Women/Commonwealth Women
Parliamentarians - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4562
Vote - Affirmative 4563
Res. 4410, Wentzell, Ethel/Proctor, Bernie - Foster Families Bd. Members,
Hon. J. Streatch 4563
Vote - Affirmative 4564
Res. 4411, Clean N.S. - Anniv. (20th), Hon. M. Parent 4564
Vote - Affirmative 4565
Res. 4412, Nat. Res.: Vol. Firefighters - Thank, Hon. D. Morse 4565
Vote - Affirmative 4565
Res. 4413, Dal. Univ.: Times of London - Ranking, Hon. K. Casey 4566
Vote - Affirmative 4566
Res. 4414, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Relations - Sackville Access Ctr.,
Hon. J. Muir 4566
Vote - Affirmative 4567
Res. 4415, Women, Status of: Women Leaders - Recognize,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4567
Vote - Affirmative 4568
Res. 4416, Environ.: Green Team - Student Participants,
Hon. M. Parent 4568
Vote - Affirmative 4569
Vote - Affirmative
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 196, Beneficiaries Designation Act, Hon. C. Clarke 4569
No. 197, Public Utilities Act, Mr. Graham Steele 4569
No. 198, Youth Civic Participation Act, Mr. Stephen McNeil 4569
No. 199, Enforcement of Court Orders Act, Hon. C. Clarke 4569
No. 200, Human Rights Act, Hon. C. Clarke 4569
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4417, Duckworth, Muriel - Birthday (100th), Mr. D. Dexter 4569
Vote - Affirmative 4570
Res. 4418, Prem.: Econ. - Action Plan, Mr. Manning MacDonald 4570
Res. 4419, Cdn. Blood Serv.: Donations - Encourage,
Mr. C. Porter 4571
Vote - Affirmative 4571
Res. 4420, Gov't. (Can.): Air Can. - N.S. Operations Protect,
Mr. D. Dexter 4572
Res. 4421, Lib. Gov't's: Fiscal Prudence - Recognize,
Ms. D. Whalen 4572
Res. 4422, Frith, Jeremy/Brown, Sue - Spirit N.S. Local Food Award,
Mr. K. Bain 4573
Vote - Affirmative 4574
Res. 4423, Stewart, Janine - Afghanistan Blanket Proj.,
Mr. C. Parker 4574
Vote - Affirmative 4574
Res. 4424, UNSM - Gulf of Maine Visionary Award,
Mr. H. Theriault 4575
Vote - Affirmative 4575
Res. 4425, Muirhead, Bill - Emerg. Serv. Medal, Mr. P. Dunn 4575
Vote - Affirmative 4576
Res. 4426, Leyland, Sean: N.S. Rowing Commun. - Welcome,
Ms. M. Raymond 4576
Vote - Affirmative 4577
Res. 4427, Agric.: Ind. - GPI Atl. Rept., Mr. L. Glavine 4577
Res. 4428, Bell, Alexander Graham & Mabel: Baddeck Statues Congrats.,
Mr. K. Bain 4578
Vote - Affirmative 4578
Res. 4429, Keloose Fest. Comm. - Congrats., Mr. P. Paris 4578
Vote - Affirmative 4579
Res. 4430, Lunenburg Dist. Mun.: Mayor/Councillors - Congrats.,
Ms. V. Conrad 4579
Vote - Affirmative 4580
Res. 4431, Kontuk, Archie: Commun. Work - Recognize,
Mr. P. Dunn 4580
Vote - Affirmative 4581
Res. 4432, Kays, Mark - Titans/Flames Football Supporter - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 4581
Vote - Affirmative 4581
Res. 4433, Cousins, Carmelita - Library Assoc. Award,
Hon. C. Clarke 4581
Vote - Affirmative 4582
Res. 4434, Clark's Hbr. Lady Foggies - Minor Ball Championship,
Mr. S. Belliveau 4582
Vote - Affirmative 4583
Res. 4435, Landry, Mike: Mazda Golf Championship - Hosting Applaud,
Hon. M. Parent 4583
Vote - Affirmative 4584
Res. 4436, Snell, Clint/Pictou Co. United Way - Bikes for Kids Prog.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 4584
Vote - Affirmative 4584
Res. 4437, Hilliard, Rick - Bible Hill Rep. Vol. of Yr.,
Hon. J. Muir 4584
Vote - Affirmative 4585
Res. 4438, Levy, Susan: Grievance Support Groups - Importance,
Ms. V. Conrad 4585
Vote - Affirmative 4586
Res. 4439, MacLeod, Kam - Breakfast TV NHL Prize,
Hon. K. Casey 4586
Vote - Affirmative 4587
Res. 4440, Mader, Bradley - Math Achievements,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4587
Vote - Affirmative 4587
Res. 4441, Surette, Winnie - Commun. Efforts, Hon. R. Hurlburt 4588
Vote - Affirmative 4588
Res. 4442, Boudreau, Chantelle - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
Hon. L. Goucher 4589
Vote - Affirmative 4589
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 179, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, Hon. J. Muir 4590
Hon. J. Muir 4590
Ms. B. Kent 4590
Ms. D. Whalen 4593
Hon. B. Barnet 4597
Mr. H. Epstein 4600
Mr. D. Dexter 4608
Mr. L. Preyra 4610
Hon. L. Goucher 4612
Hon. W. Dooks 4615
Adjourned debate 4623
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Nov. 3rd at 4:30 p.m. 4623
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4443, Woodman, Dean/Francis, Peter - Mazda Golf Championship,
Mr. C. Porter 4624
Res. 4444, Fahey, Josh - Hebbville Acad. Male Academic Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4624
Res. 4445, Allard, Amy - Hebbville Acad. Female Academic Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4625
Res. 4446, Quigley, Emma - Danny MacDonald Math Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4625
Res. 4447, Killiam, Tyler - Danny MacDonald Math Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4625
Res. 4448, Maia Jorgenson - Lt.-Gov's Educ. Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4626
Res. 4449, Oickle, Maggie Olivia - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4626
Res. 4450, Oickle, Lucas Mitchell - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4627
Res. 4451, Brenton, Douglas - Lt.-Gov's Educ. Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4627
Res. 4452, Knickle, Allison - Gov.-Gen.'s Academic Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4628
Res. 4453, Rand, Allison - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4628
Res. 4454, Colp, Allie - Queen Elizabeth II Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4629
Res. 4455, Baker, Alexander - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4629
Res. 4456, Connors, Erica - Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4630
Res. 4457, Connors, Gregory - Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4630
Res. 4458, Meisner, Lacey: Angel Hair for Kids - Thank,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4631
Res. 4459, Teal, Tanisha: Angel Hair for Kids - Thank,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4631
Res. 4460, Meisner, Hannah: Angel Hair for Kids - Thank,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4631
Res. 4461, Porters Lake Market Superstore: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4632
Res. 4462, U-Haul Co. Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4632
Res. 4463, U-Haul Co. - Neighbourhood Dealers: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4633
Res. 4464, Porters Lake Ultramar Can.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4633
Res. 4465, Porters Lake Tim Hortons: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4634
Res. 4466, Porters Lake Subway: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4634
Res. 4467, Siteman's Serv. Stn.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4634
Res. 4468, Jeddore Sobeys: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4635
Res. 4469, Miracle Maids: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4635
Res. 4470, Porters Lake Lawtons: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4636
Res. 4471, Musquodoboit Hbr. Lawtons: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4636
Res. 4472, Musquodoboit Hbr. Home Bldg.: Contributions - Applaud
Hon. W. Dooks 4636
Res. 4473, Porters Lake Great Cdn. Dollar Store: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4637
Res. 4474, Porters Lake First Choice Video Games: Contributions - Congrats.,
Hon. W. Dooks 4637
Res. 4475, Porters Lake Frenchy's: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4638
Res. 4476, Cameron Home Hardware Bldg. Ctr.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4638
Res. 4477, Baker's Bent Wrench Ultramar Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4638
Hon. W. Dooks

[Page 4561]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 4408

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

[Page 4562]

4561

Whereas in this, the 250th Anniversary of representative government in Nova Scotia, we celebrate our democratic heritage and all those who uphold these cherished traditions; and

Whereas one such individual is the member for the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, who takes his responsibilities as an elected representative very seriously; and

Whereas this colleague and friend is celebrating his own special anniversary - having served in this Legislature for 15 years, after his victory in a by-election on November 2, 1993;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate our colleague on his many years of enthusiastic and dedicated service to his community, province, and to the institution of public service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4409

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

Whereas the Advisory Council on the Status of Women held the fourth Nova Scotia Campaign School for Women, from October 24th to 26th, at Mount Saint Vincent University; and

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

[Page 4563]

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: Whereas the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians from across Canada attended the school and participated as critics and experts, and joined 25 participants in this unique and lauded political learning; and

Whereas this government recognizes that more women need to be elected to office, and supports the efforts of the Advisory Council to increase the numbers and diversity of women in political life, to build a more inclusive democracy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians and congratulate the graduates of the campaign school as tomorrow's women in the lead.

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. 4410

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

Whereas Foster Family Appreciation Week was celebrated the week of October 19th to 25th, when we recognized the contributions of foster families across Canada and throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas foster family volunteers are dedicated, caring individuals in roles that directly support children in need of care in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Council for the Family Award of Merit recognizes the special efforts of board members who have provided outstanding contributions to their member organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House . . .

[Page 4564]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There's a lot of chatter and it's hard to hear the member - hard to believe.

The honourable Minister of Community Services has the floor.

MS. STREATCH: Speechless, Mr. Speaker, yet again.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contribution and dedication that Ethel Wentzell and Bernie Proctor have provided to our communities' children who are in need of foster care, by serving as board members for the Federation of Foster Families.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 4411

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

Whereas the board of directors, members and staff of Clean Nova Scotia have been working for 20 years to inspire environmental change throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality; and

Whereas their hard work during Waste Reduction Week has helped create awareness of the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling; and

Whereas the programs and educational tools they offer are making a difference toward sustainable prosperity in this province;

[Page 4565]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join the people of Nova Scotia in congratulating Clean Nova Scotia for 20 years of service towards a healthy environment 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 Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4412

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

Whereas throughout the year the volunteer firefighters in our province generously give up their personal time to fight fires in our rural communities; and

Whereas on June 13th of this year, in particular, we saw an example of how forest fires impact communities such as Porters Lake-Lake Echo and Tantallon; and

Whereas these volunteer firefighters go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the citizens of this province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank these men and women for continuously giving of their time and risking their lives to save people, property, and wildlife in our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4566]

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. 4413

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has a worldwide reputation as the Canadian education province because it is home to 11 well-respected universities and colleges; and

Whereas each year the Times of London publishes a ranking of the 200 best universities in the world based on a wide range of criteria, including a survey of their academic peers; and

Whereas for the first time since the ranking began, Dalhousie University was ranked in the top 200, acknowledging the excellent teaching and research being done at Atlantic Canada's largest university;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate the administration, professors, staff and students at Dalhousie University for being named one of the 200 best universities 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.

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. 4414

[Page 4567]

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

Whereas construction has recently begun on the new access centre in Sackville to service that community and surrounding areas; and

Whereas it was the local MLA for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville who first pushed this idea while he held the portfolio of Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations; and

Whereas the Sackville Drive Business Association has recently recognized the minister in their newsletter for all his efforts in making sure this project came to fruition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the people of Sackville and surrounding communities on their success in securing a new access centre that will be a tremendous addition to their communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4415

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 is Women's History Month and it recognizes and celebrates the achievements and contributions of women of all ages to our province's and to our nation's history; and

Whereas the Advisory Council on the Status of Women is honouring women in the lead during October and November through presentations on women's elected representation,

[Page 4568]

by holding the Nova Scotia Campaign School for Women, through support from Muriel Duckworth's 100th birthday concert, and through the film series Women in the Lead: Four Films; and

Whereas the successes of the Advisory Council are due to the efforts of hundreds of dedicated individuals, in all their diversity, and partnerships with women's organizations and all levels of government;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House recognize women leaders of the past, present and future who make a difference in the communities across Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[9:15 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 4416

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

Whereas the students and staff at Shannon Park Elementary School are working together to help create a clean and green Nova Scotia; and

Whereas members of the Shannon Park Green Team are teaching their peers about the importance of environmental stewardship; and

Whereas their efforts are going a long way in helping us meet our environmental goals, while creating a bright future for the next generation of Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join the people of Nova Scotia in congratulating all the staff and students who participate in the Green Team at

[Page 4569]

Shannon Park Elementary School, for recognizing the important role they play in environmental management 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.

I'm not sure if it's because today is Hallowe'en or what, but there seems to be an excessive amount of chatter in the Chamber today. It is very hard to hear people as they are doing their job. I would ask everybody to please pay respect to the individual speakers as they are on their feet. Thank you.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 196 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 36 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Beneficiaries Designation Act. (Hon. Cecil Clarke)

Bill No. 197 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Utilities Act. (Mr. Graham Steele)

Bill No. 198 - Entitled an Act to Increase Youth Civic Participation in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Stephen McNeil)

Bill No. 199 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 40 of the Acts of 2005. The Enforcement of Court Orders Act. (Hon. Cecil Clarke)

Bill No. 200 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 214 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Human Rights Act. (Hon. Cecil Clarke)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

[Page 4570]

RESOLUTION NO. 4417

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

Whereas Muriel Duckworth is widely respected as a trail blazer who played a major role in the fight against poverty and injustice here at home and abroad; and

Whereas one of the founding members of the National Voice of Women and as a member of the Board of Directors with Oxfam Canada, Muriel Duckworth fought for the rights of children and women and worked to promote peace and bring about the necessary change to help impoverished communities become sustainable; and

Whereas Muriel Duckworth celebrates her 100th birthday today, Friday, October 31st, and on November 2nd, Oxfam Canada will host an historical musical tribute at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium to launch the Jack and Muriel Duckworth Fund for Active Global Citizenship;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend our congratulations to Muriel Duckworth on her 100th birthday and commend Oxfam Canada for organizing a star-studded musical tribute to this great fighter and leader for human rights and peace in Canada and overseas.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 4418

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

[Page 4571]

Whereas last night this Legislature held an emergency debate on the economic crisis looming in this province; and

Whereas in true form, the Premier and his deputy presented their 15 minutes of fiction, trying to make it seem as though they have been preparing for this economic downturn for years; and

Whereas this is another example that the Premier would rather provide media spin than actually deal with the economic issues that really matter;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier put aside the rhetoric and commit to developing a real action plan for getting our economy back on track.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4419

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

Whereas Canada's blood reserves have hit what is being described this week as an all-time low; and

Whereas Canadian Blood Services reported this week that being below 10,000 units is dangerously low for a country as big as Canada, as seriously injured car crash victims can require up to 50 units; and

Whereas to complicate the issue, Canada has a dedicated core of donors who are maxed out;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly encourage Nova Scotians far and wide to make an effort to donate blood beginning today as well at the Fort Edward Armoury in Windsor on November 10th, between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

[Page 4572]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4420

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

Whereas Air Canada is proceeding to close its flight attendant base in Nova Scotia, taking hundreds of jobs from the province and making air travel to and from Nova Scotia more vulnerable to disruption; and

Whereas federal legislation safeguarding the major bases of operation of Air Canada, which was built by decades of public investment, provided no protection for the important base of operations in the Halifax area; and

Whereas the Province of Manitoba has taken legal action to protect its flight attendant base using that important law;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the federal minister responsible for the Atlantic Gateway to bring forward legislation protecting Air Canada's base of operations in Nova Scotia, including its flight attendant base and urge vigorous action by the Premier to keep the flight attendant jobs 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.

[Page 4573]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 4421

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

Whereas it is common knowledge that it takes a Liberal Government to clean up a fiscal mess; and

Whereas this was the case in the early 1990s, with Liberal governments restoring fiscal prudence following the big spending governments of John Buchanan and Brian Mulroney; and

Whereas the Minister of Economic Development echoed these claims yesterday in the House by recognizing that it was Liberal governments that made today's balanced budgets possible;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier follow the lead of his minister and recognize that it was a Liberal government that put this province back on track following a decade of undisciplined spending by John Buchanan.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4422

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

[Page 4574]

Whereas an organic farm in Victoria County was the winner of the Spirit Nova Scotia Local Food Award; and

Whereas Jeremy Frith and Sue Brown of Mountain Meadow Farm won in the producer category; and

Whereas the farm produces more than 50 types of vegetables, in addition to herbs and flowers, many of which are grown at the request of local award-winning hotels and restaurants in the area, and the bulk of the produce sold at the market in Coxheath and farm gate sales have been steadily increasing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations and best wishes for the future to Jeremy Frith and Sue Brown of Mountain Meadow Farm for their contribution to the well-being of Cape Bretoners and those fortunate enough to visit the island.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4423

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

Whereas Janine Stuart of Marshville, Pictou County is spearheading a project to knit or crochet afghan blankets to send to people in war-torn Afghanistan this winter; and

Whereas Janine is supporting the work of Afghans for Afghans, a non-profit organization that sends hand-knit and crocheted blankets, hats, mittens, socks, sweaters and vests to the people of Afghanistan; and

Whereas Janine is hosting a weekly knitting bee and encouraging people at home to make six inch squares to be stitched into afghan blankets;

[Page 4575]

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Janine Stuart for her work with Afghans for Afghans and commend her for humanitarian efforts to help others in our world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[9:30 a.m.]

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 4424

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

Whereas the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award recognizes innovation, creativity, and the commitment to protecting the marine environment; and

Whereas the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities has been named one of this years recipients; and

Whereas the UNSM has been given this award in recognition of the development of a Municipal Sustainability Office that advises communities on a number of environmental matters;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of the Assembly congratulate the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities on winning the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award and commend them on their commitment to a more sustainable Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4576]

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. 4425

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

Whereas long-serving Pictou County paramedic Bill Muirhead was recently honoured for his work; and

Whereas Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis presented Mr. Muirhead with the Emergency Services Medal earlier this year; and

Whereas the award is designed to recognize the paramedics who have served 20 years in the line of duty and who have gone above and beyond what is expected, Mr. Muirhead has been helping those in emergency situations for more than 28 years and was humbled by the honour, being one of three recipients this year and the first one from Pictou County;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations and their appreciation to paramedic Bill Muirhead for being recognized by his peers for such important work in his 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 Halifax Atlantic.

[Page 4577]

RESOLUTION NO. 4426

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has a long and distinguished history in competitive rowing and the Nova Scotia Rowing Association is now a steward of this tradition, aiming to continue it with even more distinction; and

Whereas Sean Leland, Level 4 Certified Coach who has spent the last three years of his nine years' experience in Australia, has now been hired as Nova Scotia Provincial Rowing Coach; and

Whereas Sean has coached medal winning crews throughout Canada, Australia and at the world championships;

Therefore be it resolved that this House welcome Sean Leland to the Nova Scotia rowing community and wish the Nova Scotia Rowing Association all success in continuing the province's fine tradition of competitive rowing on the world stage.

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. 4427

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

Whereas over the past year, this government has pushed its Select Nova Scotia program as a knight in shining armour for the agricultural sector; and

Whereas while it is important, very important, that Nova Scotians buy locally produced food, it is crucial that government not forget the local food producers; and

[Page 4578]

Whereas the most recent GPI Atlantic report states that fewer people are entering the agricultural industry and those who are in are losing money at a frantic pace, with the average debt at $700,000;

Therefore be it resolved the Minister of Agriculture take a serious look at this grave report and develop a strategy to turn the agricultural sector around.

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 member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4428

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 Village of Baddeck proudly erected bronze statues of two of its most important citizens; and

Whereas the village unveiled statues of Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, Mabel, during Canada Day celebrations this year; and

Whereas the work was a gift from Bell Aliant and Bell Canada and was created by Halifax sculptor, Peter Bustin, and the new statue of the famous inventor and his wife overlooks the family home, Beinn Bhreagh;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Village of Baddeck, Bell Aliant and Bell Canada for coming together to honour two of history's most important figures and the Cape Breton connection.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4579]

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. 4429

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 Keloose Festival, an annual fair held by the Lakeview-Windsor Junction-Fall River communities has celebrated citizenship, community and heritage for over 35 years; and

Whereas Keloose, which means "celebration by the lake" in Mi'kmaq, attracts thousands of residents and visitors each year with its spectacular fireworks' display; and

Whereas dedicated volunteers on the Keloose Festival committee have worked diligently for the communities for over 35 years;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Keloose Festival committee for its important contributions to the Keloose Festival in the communities of Lakeview, Windsor Junction and Fall River.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

[Page 4580]

RESOLUTION NO. 4430

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 Municipality of the District of Lunenburg is the largest rural municipality in terms of total property assessment in the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas in October of this year the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg saw 25 people put their names forth in the municipal election; and

Whereas the new council, consisting of mayor and 12 councillors, will represent the best interests of the residents of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg for the next four years;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Mayor Don Downe and Councillors Basil Oickle, Don Zwicker, Frank Fawson, Milton Countway, Sandra Statton, Wade Carver, Cathy Moore, John Veinot, Arthur Young, Lee Nauss, Martin Bell and Eric Hustvedt on their election to the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg 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 Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 4431

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

Whereas since 1993 Trenton resident Archie Kontuk has been collecting millions of pop can tabs; and

[Page 4581]

Whereas Kontuk collects the tabs from all over, which he then exchanges for cash at the local bottle exchange; and

Whereas the money goes toward purchasing wheelchairs for kids and Kontuk has so far been able to buy 12, is now working on number 13, and this year a Grade 3 class in a Calgary-area school also collected tabs for Kontuk and dubbed him the Pop Can Tab Hero;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the stellar community work of Trenton's Archie Kontuk and his 15-year commitment to special children in need and for bringing Nova Scotian values to other parts of Canada.

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. 4432

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

Whereas Mark Kays is an avid supporter of football for both the Timberlea Titans and the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames; and

Whereas this football father uses his photographic skills to promote football in our community; and

Whereas Mark Kays' volunteer dedication to football is exemplary;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Mark Kays for his commitment to the Timberlea Titans and the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames football programs.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4582]

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 4433

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

Whereas Carmileta Cousins has worked with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board for the past 25 years and is now the facilitator of library support for the board; and

Whereas at a recent conference in Vancouver she was presented with the Canadian Library Association's Library Technician's Interest Group Award for outstanding contributions to the library community at the regional, provincial and national levels; and

Whereas this is the highest national award for a person in her field;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Carmelita on her well-deserved award, as well as her continued success with her career pursuits.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

[Page 4583]

RESOLUTION NO. 4434

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

Whereas the Clark's Harbour Lady Foggies won the Shelburne County Minor Ball Association's Squirt Girls Lead Championship on August 16, 2008; and

Whereas the Clark's Harbour Lady Foggies won over the Shelburne Bashers 5-4 in the championship game; and

Whereas the most valuable player of the championship game was Brianna Swim;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the Clark's Harbour Lady Foggies for winning the Shelburne County Minor Ball Association's Squirt Girls League Championship on August 16, 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 Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 4435

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

Whereas the 3rd Annual Kentville Mazda Golf Players Championship is in the books for another year; and

Whereas event organizers Kyle Selig and Mike Landry and sponsor Kentville Mazda traditionally invite 30 of the best golfers to Berwick Heights where some outstanding golf

[Page 4584]

is played, an exception this year being the tournament was held to only 18 holes because of inclement weather; and

Whereas despite the shortened tournament, Chris Evans of Ashburn won the tournament with a score of 74;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the diligence and hard work exercised by Mike Landry of Kentville Mazda in hosting the 3rd Annual Kentville Mazda Players Championship.

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. 4436

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

Whereas in 2008 the Pictou County United Way Bikes for Kids program and Pictou County Cycle have repaired and delivered 81 bicycles to children in the community; and

Whereas Pictou County Cycle, its owner Clint Snell and many volunteers have spent hundreds of hours fixing and repairing 399 bicycles since this community program began in 2003; and

Whereas Pictou County Cycle has carried on its volunteerism into developing its own race team and continues to provide a high level of commitment to the Pictou County community;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly commend Clint Snell, his staff and the Pictou County United Way for the hundreds of hours they have spent on a program which results in healthier, happier and more active children in our community.

[Page 4585]

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. 4437

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

Whereas Rick Hilliard is the Village of Bible Hill's 2008 Representative Volunteer; and

Whereas Rick Hilliard has been involved with Scouting and Beavers for the last 17 years, has participated in three national jamborees as a scout leader, and was the food service coordinator for the Beaver/Cub Provincial Camp; and

Whereas Rick Hilliard sat on the Bible Hill Parks and Recreation Committee, has been a chaperone for teen dances over the years, and has been an active member, treasurer and president of the Golden Age Auto Club which raises money through their annual Show and Shine event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Rick Hilliard on being named Bible Hill's Volunteer of the Year and thank him for his many community contributions over many years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[9:45 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4586]

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. 4438

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

Whereas Susan Levy, after the loss of her husband, was suddenly faced with grieving and having to learn to live alone; and

Whereas Susan Levy was instrumental in setting up a new chapter of Widowed in Self-Help, WISH, in Queens to support widows and widowers going through the grieving process after the loss of a loved one;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the importance of having support groups such as WISH in all of our communities, and thank Susan Levy for seeing that need for herself and so many in our communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4439

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

[Page 4587]

Whereas nine-year-old hockey fan and player Kam MacLeod from Debert, who hopes one day to become a professional hockey player, recently had a dream come true; and

Whereas Kam MacLeod was the contest winner of the Breakfast Television NHL Ultimate Fan Package, which included tickets to the National Hockey League exhibition game between Montreal and Boston here in Halifax; and

Whereas Kam dropped the puck, got to sit behind the Boston Bruins' bench, filled water bottles, was honourary stick boy, got high fives from the team members and even drove the Zamboni; and

Whereas the highlight of the prize was meeting the players and bringing home a Boston Bruins jersey, which he proudly wore to school the next day;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kam MacLeod on his dream prize and experiences this aspiring young hockey player will remember forever.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4440

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 Bridgewater Elementary School student Bradley Mader aced the Grade 6 Pythagoras math competition by answering all 50 questions correctly; and

Whereas this test is taken by 20,000 students across Canada; and

[Page 4588]

Whereas Bradley also won a gold medal at the South Shore Regional School Board science fair and won first place in mental math at the last three knowledge festivals held at Parkview Education Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bradley Mader on this amazing math achievement and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4441

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

Whereas Yarmouth resident Winnie Surette is a member of many community volunteer organizations and boards, including the Tri-County Regional School Board, Safe Grad Program, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Special Olympics, Western Regional Library Board and many others; and

Whereas in 2000, Ms. Surette received the Governor General's Award for her volunteer work and the Yarmouth Lions Citizen of the Year Award in 2003/04 but still continues to excel in her efforts to support and provide the needs of others and yearly participates in the Run for the Cure events in Yarmouth and Halifax; and

Whereas Winnie, a 42-year employee of the CIBC, this year participated in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Atlantic Region's inaugural Over 50 Event;

[Page 4589]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Winnie Surette for her efforts on behalf of others and congratulate her on her 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 Minister of Immigration.

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, if I could make a quick introduction, please. Thank you. Mr. Speaker, with us this morning is a friend from the Halifax Regional Municipality, a former colleague, Director of Legal Services, here this morning to listen to the upcoming debate on Bill No. 179, the HRM Charter - introduce Mary Ellen Donovan, Director of Legal Services for the Halifax Regional Municipality. Mary Ellen, if you'd rise and receive a warm welcome from the House. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 4442

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

Whereas Chantelle Boudreau, a resident of Bedford, was a recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Award; and

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh Award sets lofty goals for the participant to meet in the fields of community service, life skill development, physical recreation; and

Whereas Chantelle has met and exceeded those expectations and has been a positive role model in her community, school and with her peers through her involvement in this program;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Chantelle on this achievement.

[Page 4590]

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.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Please call Bill No. 179, Halifax Regional Municipal Charter.

Bill No. 179 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise this morning to begin debate on second reading of Bill No. 179, the Halifax Regional Municipal Charter. Members will remember when I introduced the bill during the Spring Session of the Legislature, that I informed them this charter legislation had been specifically requested by HRM.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I understood the minister to have commenced speech on second reading, which he characterized as the start of second reading on this bill. My recollection is that he spoke for an hour on second reading of this bill on May 27th.

[Page 4591]

MR. SPEAKER: I want to take a five minute break so I can review what is going on, please.

[9:52 a.m. The House recessed.]

[9:56 a.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. To the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto's point of order - in fact, he would be correct on that. However, it was just an error with regard to the order paper. The order paper had shown there was no adjournment of debate from the previous time, however the Clerk's records show that there had been adjournment of debate, so based upon that it was just an error. What we will do - obviously we'll go and the government will continue to elaborate on our position when the opportunity is afforded shortly.

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

MS. BECKY KENT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you as well to my colleague in caucus, the member for Halifax Chebucto, for making that note, being as attentive as he often shows here in the Legislature and thank you Mr. Speaker for addressing it.

MR. SPEAKER: He always is.

MS. KENT: Always, yes. The charter regarding HRM - I appreciate that the honourable minister has brought this bill before the House again, Bill No. 179, an Act respecting Halifax Regional Municipality. This bill is significantly important to the municipality, to all the residents in this area, to Nova Scotia of course. It's a bill that there are so many good reasons for it to get through. The municipality has laid out many, many years of this and no doubt my colleagues in the House who have spent some time on council, certainly my recent experience on council, discussed and supported the need for this type of change. This charter was evident in so many cases, so many situations.

The challenges that the Municipality of Halifax Region face are significant and they're growing. The population growth is creating extreme challenges every day. Sustaining commercial and residential development, as we all know, has its challenges but this Halifax Regional Municipality is doing a good job. They're doing a fine job taking care of the needs and the scope of which they've been mandated but they're asking for an extra bit of help in this Charter. What clearly has been demonstrated in recent weeks and days is the need to clarify powers of HRM, a need to clarify jurisdictions as some members of this government would do well to acknowledge and pay close attention in this regard.

[Page 4592]

To improve municipal government is critical to Nova Scotians, critical to residents of HRM. Governance by improving efficiency, and I think that's what this is all about - improving the efficiency of the ability for the municipality to take care of the jurisdictions that they are mandated to cover. History would note that pre-amalgamation Halifax did have its own charter, Dartmouth had its own charter and surrounding areas. It's time to go back to that in their request.

[10:00 a.m.]

What HRM is looking for is not entirely what this bill has been presented in that form. They were looking for a template, a copy of sorts, of the current MGA, they were not looking for extras, they were not looking for substantive changes. That has been clarified in ongoing meetings that we have had with staff, with elected officials and with the mayor, and we will continue to have these discussions prior to the vote coming forward in this Legislature as I assume it might very well do.

That's not what has been presented in this bill, Mr. Speaker. We will be paying close attention to some significant issues that have been brought to our attention, that we recognized back in the Spring when it was first put forward, that frankly the municipality was shocked to hear and see in this legislation they had not been consulted on some significant issues, one particular issue was the community council, the increasing of elected representatives. That was not what they were asking for, that was a shock and surprise to them. We have information that would suggest - and no doubt we'll hear about this in Law Amendments Committee as we are prepared to move forward with that - that they want that removed.

It's something that of course we have a new council, we have a new body of representatives that need the time to discuss these issues, but we all know that there have been suggestions over time, sometimes they're given some opportunity for debate in Council and sometimes they're not, but around potentially the need for some downsizing in that regard, to have legislation that would suddenly thrust upon them an increase in this type of representation, an increase of fiscal challenges, more money to be spent on more representatives to do a job that, quite frankly, the current Council has the ability to do, are doing a good job. This is about efficiency - this is not about fixing something that was broken, this is about efficiency.

No consultation is a concern for me in this one, Mr. Speaker. At a time when this government - certainly in the Spring, although not recently, we would have to acknowledge - it's often brought up in this Chamber that the government is willing to work with the municipalities, listen intently to what they have to bring to the table, look at their recommendations strongly, support UNSM, to even go so far as create a memorandum of understanding that acknowledges and respects jurisdictions and powers. Yet at a time when

[Page 4593]

a municipality is asking for a fairly simple solution to efficiency, it gets complicated. The consultation in that regard was ignored.

Again, our caucus has had many conversations, many discussions, many meetings with stakeholders. The municipality has also raised the issue regarding application processing. We'd like to bring in a legislation, and they would like a legislation that would help with efficiency, yet, what they were looking for was a 60 day timeline regarding application processing and it came back very differently than that, a shortened period of time. A time frame in this legislation that has been suggested would be almost impossible for the municipality to actually achieve. They are almost being set up for failure and that is no way for us to help them, no way to treat that level of government, to set them up for failure.

Certainly, UNSM has clearly indicated their support for a Charter for Halifax Region, but a Charter that is going to actually work for them, not cause them challenges. We've heard, as well, from other stakeholder groups, heritage groups, Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to an opportunity in the Law Amendments Committee that will offer time for these stakeholder groups, residents, mayor, council, CAO staff to come in and share with us once again what the needs are for this municipal charter.

Caucus is prepared to go forward to the Law Amendments Committee, but we would suggest that we would like to see some changes. Amendments are forthcoming in my thoughts as well, at this point, but we will wait. The democratic process, the real spirit of consultation, Mr. Speaker, is to hear what has to be put forward for our consideration. That is what our Law Amendments Committee will offer and I look forward to that today.

On that, I will take my seat and I look forward to hearing what some of the other members have to offer in this regard. I look forward to hearing from the stakeholders and look forward to seeing this go through. It was disappointing from our respect, disappointing certainly from the municipality, that this was adjourned back in the Spring, there clearly was no need for it and it's good to have it here. Thank you.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to speak in Bill No. 179, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. Certainly, we also, in the Liberal Caucus felt that this bill should have been brought forward for discussion in the Spring Session because it is very important to the municipality and certainly is tied to a number of other bills, including HRM by Design, which would clarify the development issues in Downtown Halifax, particularly in our capital district. This is a bill that certainly is important, needs to be discussed and we hope will be moved through the system with amendments, we hope, as it goes forward.

[Page 4594]

In looking at the purpose of the charter, there's no question that this is something that will be of benefit to the municipality and let's put it into context, Mr. Speaker, HRM is more than 40 per cent of the population of this province and also accounts for about 50 per cent of our economic activity. So it's very important to every person in Nova Scotia to look after the health and vitality of the capital city and this region of HRM because this is really where our prosperity helps to fund other parts of the province, providing jobs, providing impetus to improve the economy right through the municipality and across the province. Our port is important to the entire province and the goods and services that we have centred here are a draw for people not only from around Nova Scotia but also around the world and that's very important to us to maintain that vitality.

So helping HRM's council to be more responsive and to be able to frame their issues specifically in terms of what we need here to support the economy and the people who live in HRM is really important. Mr. Speaker, eight years ago I was elected to HRM Council and certainly I felt that even within the council that there are a lot of issues because of the breadth of this municipality because it covers so many rural fishing villages, agricultural land, as well as the urban core. So they really have got to have more control over the kind of powers that they have.

So if we look at the bill, in fact, the powers are laid out, that they really want to provide for more efficiency, better government, being able to provide the services and facilities that would improve the municipality. One of the issues we've seen over the years is that when HRM has a pressing need or their public is demanding certain changes, things get bogged down in going forward because they would require that all of the municipalities in the province, all 55, would agree with changes that are needed here or required and were asked for here in HRM.

Mr. Speaker, that does cause difficulty and slows things down and I know my colleague who was just speaking was talking about the efficiency of government. This is very frustrating to people in the HRM if they have issues that they would like to see advanced and probably one that comes to mind right away might have been about 10 years ago when we were looking for the right to control the use of pesticides within the HRM. Actually in that issue, we're leaders in the country in asking to do that and we were slowed down because of the need to get the approval to do it provincially and having to somehow clarify that we didn't want to take away anything from the rights of the other municipalities if they weren't interested at that time.

I might add, Mr. Speaker, I think there has been a big change of heart right across the province on that pesticide issue in the meantime and that a lot has happened in the last 10 years but at that point in time it was an issue that you could point to, to say here's something that the people in HRM, who live in subdivisions and neighbourhoods where people are close to each other and where the environmental impact of pesticides was perhaps more noticeable and they wanted to make a change which was hampered by the current structure

[Page 4595]

that we have where HRM has only a section of the Municipal Government Act sort of specifically related to their issues.

This charter would allow all of the Municipal Government Act, rules and regulations, everything that governs other municipalities, to be copied specifically for HRM and then if there was any change to be made, we could just amend the HRM Charter rather than trying to get full cooperation or understanding with all of the municipal units. So that's very important I think in terms of allowing the municipality to maximize the opportunity to help HRM residents.

It's important to note as well that the Halifax Chamber of Commerce has supported the intent of the bill as well. They think it's a good move forward and I think they've sent that comment to all members of the Legislature. So I had just reviewed that just today but certainly there is one clause - and the minister is well aware of it, Mr. Speaker - one clause that was not consulted or not really brought forth because of any consultation with HRM. The council that had proposed this - we do have some new members on the council now - were very supportive of having their own charter, but they were essentially caught off guard and the bill itself was sidetracked because of the introduction of a clause that calls for giving HRM at least the power to set up district councils. These district councils, Mr. Speaker, would allow for a further level of elected representation.

I realize that each of our districts in HRM is large. The district that I represented when I was there has since been cut into two separate districts because of the growth and the increase in population in what was District 16. It is now represented by District 10 and District 16, it was so big.

Individual councillors represent a large number of people and they do already have quite a broad spectrum of interests, but to create a third level - because this would be in addition to community councils, it's really creating a third, more local level of representation - I think would create a tremendous hardship within the municipality. When we're talking about trying to be more responsive, more agile, in terms of making changes, there's a lot of opportunity for input through community councils in the current structure.

Just for those who are not aware of how HRM operates, there are a number of community councils - I should know the exact - but certainly one represents all of Dartmouth. There is one that represents Mainland South and Mainland North with five councillors - that's Chebucto Community Council, the one that I sat on. The Bedford area has three councillors representing Sackville and Bedford on their community council. So it is a fairly small area already that would be represented.

It's already divided - the large HRM Council - into much more manageable areas that have some community of interest, some overlap of interest that they can speak from the same

[Page 4596]

song sheet, basically, for the councillors who come together there and take an interest in each other's issues.

Through the community councils there's also the opportunity for development to be controlled. The development issues and development approvals, other than the Capital District, are all dealt with at the community council level but there is not spending power at the community council level. This is where we'll run into difficulty if we were to allow a district council, another elected body to sit, we'd be adding costs to the municipality to maintain those councils, to staff and support them because all city meetings are staffed. They often have a lawyer present, if there's an issue requiring a solicitor. They always have a clerk present to take the minutes and record and take care of any communications. So it's going to add another level of administrative support that's required, additional costs, more meetings and I think, in fact, to some degree would fatigue the communities because it's just more confusion, in terms of where you have to go to have your issues heard.

Right now, as I say, I think there's ample opportunity for any councillor who wanted to, to set up some sort of advisory board to ask people to help and advise him on issues. We do have some districts that have planning advisory councils to help on planning issues. If we start to have a district council, it would be no time at all before that council would want some spending authority and that's another big concern, Mr. Speaker.

[10:15 a.m.]

Ideally, the pressure to start a district council and have more local representation has grown out of frustration around some of the spending decisions within HRM and maybe certain districts feeling that they don't have enough of a voice or not enough of the infrastructure and spending coming back to their communities. So that wouldn't take very long for that to surface as a key issue, as the councils proceed, if they were allowed to be formed.

So we have some real difficulty with the creation of district councils. The Liberal caucus agrees with the Chamber of Commerce that it is not the right way to go. I think really the government made a fairly significant error in slipping that individual clause into it because they took a bill that had some consultation, was coming forward because of support from HRM, in fact being driven by HRM's council, the request coming forward to do this. Then, by introducing this one clause, it has really sidetracked the intent of the bill and support for that bill. So I think there may be a lesson in here again around consultation and sort of taking the time to ensure that people at all levels, all of the stakeholders - and in this case the big stakeholder is HRM Council - be fully informed of what's coming forward. Any goodwill that's built up is lost pretty quickly when you slide something into a bill that's this big.

[Page 4597]

Mr. Speaker, the bill is several inches thick. It's a very heavy document because it has every clause that is in the Municipal Government Act repeated again in the HRM Charter. So it's something that you need goodwill and understanding to ensure that what is asked for is what is presented. If it has been negotiated and agreed upon, that's what should have been brought before this council and we really do feel that the government allowed the bill to be sidetracked in the Spring, which it should not have done.

We would like to be supporting this bill, and we do feel there has to be an amendment as we go forward to look at that district council because it doesn't have the support of the sponsoring stakeholder - HRM council. That's one of our big concerns with that bill at the moment, without a doubt.

I think allowing the council again, though, the opportunity to clarify their powers, to improve their administrative function, to give them the power to bring forward amendments to their own governance Act without having to spend a long time convincing other municipalities that this is the right way to go makes an awful lot of sense as we're going forward, and we certainly support that idea.

Again, the consultation that was done is really important and the government needs to be cognizant of that. We've seen a number of other bills in the last session, particularly in the Spring, where there was next to no consultation, or no consultation done. It's not good enough to just notify stakeholders a day or two before a bill is going to be introduced here in the Legislature - we don't consider that consultation. We think there has to be some genuine discussion and dialogue.

An excellent example of that is the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Bill which was brought in in the Spring, and I know that was brought in with the best intentions for labour mobility, for credential recognition for immigrants - in fact, it had the same title, almost virtually the same title as a Private Member's Bill I had brought in which was specifically aimed at credential recognition for immigrants. I think it's very important but when that same bill was brought in in Ontario, it had followed about a year's serious consultation with all of the regulated bodies. The Ontario bill covered 35 professions and there was no opposition whatsoever when Ontario introduced their credential recognition bill, their bill to make more clarity around the processes in each and every regulated profession.

Because there was consultation there was no trouble, but here in Nova Scotia the outcry was not from the Opposition benches. It was from the regulated professions and trades because they didn't have any idea how this was going to impact them, what costs were going be involved, or how they were going to manage it. So it's really important, and I can't stress enough the importance of making sure there's genuine consultation before we go forward in any of these bills.

[Page 4598]

Mr Speaker, HRM is made up of a number of previous municipalities and there were charters in the past to outline the powers of each of those municipalities; so in introducing an HRM charter, in many ways we are going back to that point. Other cities right now like Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver also have their own charters and so I do think it's time that Nova Scotia add that level of sophistication; recognize the importance of HRM both economically, culturally, as a tourist destination, as the economic hub of the province; and that it recognize the importance of Halifax as a centre for almost half of the people who live in our province - and I think that having their own bill to guide their future is very important.

So I would ask that we listen at Law Amendments, understanding that this will have an impact on other groups, and I certainly look forward to hearing what people say at Law Amendments. We will then look further to see what amendments might be necessary. With that, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Thank you. I'm pleased to rise in the House to speak during second reading and debate of Bill No. 179, the Halifax Regional Municipal Charter. Members will remember that when the bill was introduced during the Spring session of the Legislature, the minister informed then this charter legislation had been specifically requested by HRM.

It's legislation that will enable municipal council to respond to HRM's challenges and opportunities in a more timely and flexible way. It's intended to enable HRM to function more effectively and efficiently. It also demonstrates greater support for a strong, healthy capital by providing tools to assist HRM to grow and to prosper.

Over 40 per cent of the province's total population resides within HRM and, by all intentions, this number continues to grow. This population growth does not come without its own set of challenges, especially the importance of having an economy that can respond to this growth in an adaptable and timely and time sensitive way.

I think we can all agree this has never been so important. As last night's debate demonstrated, the slowing economy is a concern that all members and all Parties share. Mr. Speaker, as a major city for the province and for the Atlantic Canada region, Nova Scotia in general expects more from HRM including economic leadership. People come to the city to find work, to build a career, to be successful. They expect to find jobs and have infrastructure in place to respond to the challenging needs of their families, business, and workplace.

Mr. Speaker, as the province's capital, HRM's economic growth and development also effects municipalities province wide. It is the economic engine of the province and it's performance is linked in many ways to the health and economic performance of

[Page 4599]

municipalities across the province. There is no doubt that a strong economy in HRM will be a key factor in maintaining a strong provincial economy.

Mr. Speaker, in these economic times we should be looking at ways to ensure that our capital has the tools it needs to be successful. The charter is an important piece of this. The fact is, it will help HRM move quickly to address economic shifts and take full advantage of opportunities as they arise, both now and as the charter continues to evolve.

Mr. Speaker, a major city having it's own charter is not uncommon. Cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Winnipeg all have their own charters and Nova Scotia is the last province to urbanize. What these cities have in common is that they are all regional centres with a strong economic base, a base that helps other regions and municipalities grow as well. So it makes sense for Halifax - as the province's largest city, economic engine and capital - to have it's own charter legislation. It makes sense for HRM to be on the same footing as other large regional centres, especially in a global market where cities, and indeed countries, are all competing to attract and keep development, to expand their economy and to create employment.

The charter is based on the Municipal Government Act or MGA, which is the legislation under which all municipalities currently operate. Currently HRM has it's own special part of the MGA that recognizes it's special needs, something that no other municipality has. Of course the part of the MGA specific to Halifax will be incorporated into the charter, however, the needs of HRM have grown to the point that this is no longer the best governance approach.

In fact of late, HRM has been making most of the requests for legislative changes to the Municipal Government Act. Some of these requests do benefit all municipalities in the province and others apply only to Halifax. Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the charter will allow government to be more flexible and respond to HRM's ever expanding needs especially around growth, development and economic opportunities.

The charter takes its powers relating to municipalities in general, and HRM in particular, that are currently under the Municipal Government Act, and with some modifications, places them into a separate new act. For example, it includes changing the requirements for ministerial approval for long-term borrowing commitments from $100,000 to $500,000. This more accurately reflects HRM's financial realities and capabilities to assume larger amounts of borrowing. After all, HRM has a budget in the range of nearly $500 billion. This legislation also provides for consultation before future amendments are introduced or requested by HRM to allow for proper research and reflection on the impact of proposed changes to the charter.

Mr. Speaker, we intend to work with HRM on a process to ensure that we continue to discuss legislation issues on a regular basis. The charter also provides for the appointment

[Page 4600]

of an HRM Auditor General by April 1st, 2009. This will help ensure accountability and transparency for residents of HRM. The Office of the Municipal Auditor General will also assist council and staff in carrying out their duties. This will be accomplished by having the auditor review operations from an independent viewpoint - something that all governments find to be most helpful. They will operate like the provincial Auditor General and report to Halifax council. As the charter progresses, discussions will continue with the UNSM and will incorporate appropriate aspects of the charter into the MGA, for the benefit of all of the province's communities. I would like to note that at the appropriate time government will request a few amendments to the charter legislation from when it was first introduced last session.

First, Mr. Speaker, while we recognize the value of providing citizens the opportunity to be more involved in the discussions and decisions that affect their communities, we will request that provisions related to district councils be removed. However, we do intend to discuss with HRM how this might be accomplished through different means. We will also be amending the charter to reflect the current MGA where appropriate.

As you may recall, Mr. Speaker, the MGA was brought forward in the House during the last session. The legislation includes incorporating many of the changes made to it during the Spring session at the Law Amendments Committee. These amendments included adding sections related to planning appeals to the Utility and Review Board to align with the MGA. This will result in a uniform appeal process across the province. Government will also present an amendment to sections related to the municipal bylaw authority concerning dogs - once again, to bring the charter in line with the current wording within the MGA.

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that government has support for this legislation. The HRM Charter is the direct result of a request from that municipality. It has received broad support across the province. In fact, the president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities on behalf of the UNSM Board put in writing, support for the enactment of the Halifax Regional Municipal Charter. Last month, the UNSM as a whole passed a resolution supporting the enactment of the HRM Charter.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce representing this city's business community and its commercial interests wrote the minister just this week, giving their full support to the concept of a charter for HRM as it is now proposed.

Mr. Speaker, the province is committed to making sure that its municipalities have the necessary tools in place to meet the changing needs of their citizens. We look forward to continuing to support our municipal partners as we all work together to keep our province strong, healthy and vibrant for years to come. On a related note, I fully realize that there has been much discussion lately around development in downtown Halifax.

[10:30 a.m.]

[Page 4601]

Mr. Speaker, although this charter certainly provides some tools related to this topic, I would remind members that there is another bill - HRM by Design - that was also introduced last Spring that specifically addresses many of the aspects of downtown development. As we all realize, development is essential to a healthy HRM. The HRM by Design legislation will provide the municipalities with more planning tools. This bill will be called later and we look forward to the debate at that time.

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that this charter is the foundation that will allow HRM to grow and to continue to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities now and, as well, into the future. The young people of this province have access to some of the best education institutions in our country and I am proud to see as they enter the workforce - highly skilled and ready to apply their knowledge in a marketplace that offers a world of possibilities. It's our job to make sure that they have the best opportunities right here at home.

Far too often, Mr. Speaker, we see our young people moving away from their families because of the opportunities out West. The majority of the time when students finish school or training, they are looking to start a career. They want to settle and to put down roots. If we want them to stay here in Nova Scotia, then it's up to us to make sure we have an economic environment that can adapt and can grow.

Mr. Speaker, this charter will help HRM ensure it has the right tools as the provincial capital. It will make sure it has the right tools as the main economic driver in our province and it will make sure HRM can meet these needs and provide these valuable opportunities to benefit our young people now and for generations to come. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: About an hour ago, Mr. Speaker, I raised a point of order in which I pointed out that the honourable minister proposing to speak a second time on second reading on his Bill No. 179 would have been in violation of the Rules of the House. It seems to me that what we've seen is probably the minister adroitly passing his speech on to his companion minister and I'm interested to have heard what I assume would have been the remarks of the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations because they stand in some contrast to the speech that he gave at second reading on the 27th of May.

That speech was highly amusing, but not all that informative a speech at the time. It was, I think - it can only be characterized as a piece of free association on the part of the minister. We heard about his time as a hard rock miner, which was interesting but not actually all that germane to the bill. We heard about how, at one point, he had worked in Halifax and had to pay a poll tax, which was kind of interesting but not actually all that germane to the bill. We actually heard interesting pieces of what I have to characterize as

[Page 4602]

misinformation. I'm sorry to have to point out a couple of these, but I think it's important that we set the record straight.

I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if you recall as I do, the comment that the minister made about the founding of Halifax in 1749. In his very free-ranging comments, he was moved to remind us that the city was founded in 1749 and there was one of those interjections, which Hansard recorded, that sometimes comes from an anonymous Honourable Member, and in this case the question from an Honourable Member was, by whom? The minister responded, and I quote, "By whom? By Lord Halifax, absolutely."

Now I wonder if the minister has actually had the chance to reconsider this point. Lord Halifax - his real name was George Montague Dunk - in fact didn't found Halifax. I don't think he actually ever set foot here but he did stay in London and was the Minister of the Crown who was responsible for colonial affairs at the time, and certainly the city was named for him, but it was, of course, Edward Cornwallis who was the actual person on the ground and the founder of the City of Halifax. So I fear for those young students who, undoubtedly in their civics class, follow Hansard in detail and perhaps might have read the minister's speech from May of this year and been led slightly astray for their history or civics. I hope they get the chance to followup on this and set themselves straight.

Entirely apart from that, I think there's another small matter of interest that also jumped off the page at me and when I thought again about the minister's speech at the time, he commented as part of what I have to say is the government's futile attempt to make people in Halifax believe that they know anything about HRM, or care about HRM - it was when he was talking about our universities. Halifax, of course, is blessed, as is the whole province, by many fine universities and the minister again, in his very free-ranging remarks, was moved to say good things about the universities in Halifax, but here's another thing that the minister was moved to say. He said, and I quote, "This particular piece of legislation is going to make it easier to attract more students for the growth of universities and all these things."

So the minister seemed to think that having a charter for HRM is going to attract more students to the universities in Halifax. Well, I can just see a couple, George and Martha in Saskatchewan, saying to themselves, where shall we send our Betsy to university - oh, look, HRM has a charter, that's obviously the place we'll send our daughter to university because a city that has a charter undoubtedly has good universities.

I have to say, I was completely puzzled and, to a certain extent, amused by the comments. It's not that we don't have wonderful universities; we do. But the existence of a charter, I think, was going to do relatively little to attract young Betsy and other potential students to our wonderful universities and our wonderful city.

[Page 4603]

You will know that in our Party we have no serious objection to the idea of having a separate charter for HRM. To a certain extent, this is a matter of fashion - it might have a certain logic but I don't know that the government has actually made the case particularly strongly. We do know that pre-amalgamation, prior to 1996 and the forced amalgamation of the four municipal entities that pre-existed HRM, they all had separate pieces of legislation that called them into an existence and it was only at the time of amalgamation that there was one bill that created HRM and it had its own separate legislation at the time. It was followed by the Municipal Government Act, which essentially, in 1998 set up a framework for all the municipalities around the province.

Well, if we want to go back to the pre-amalgamation state of affairs when there's a separate piece of legislation that governs our capital, our largest entity, that's fine. The City of Vancouver has it, as the minister correctly pointed out, Winnipeg has it, Toronto has it - there's no reason why we couldn't do that, but it's not exactly momentous and it doesn't exactly accomplish a huge amount.

The question really is whether the force of that legislation, the thrust of that legislation is to give something different to that capital area that other municipalities might not have. That's where the important question is because otherwise there's some small, administrative convenience which is essentially a small gain, perhaps, but more a matter of fashion than anything else.

Before I proceed with an analysis of some of the points, I might point out something of a drafting anomaly in this proposed Statute, Bill No. 179 that's in front of us. We've been told a number of times that essentially what the bill does is it takes all the existing powers that HRM has under the Municipal Government Act and essentially repeats that legislation but in a separate Statute available for HRM only. So there are repeats of the purposes, there are repeats of the process, repeats of the powers of council, repeats of the financial aspects, repeats of the kinds of items for which the municipality may spend money. All of these, essentially, photostat and repeat word for word what is in the Municipal Government Act that covers the whole of the rest of the province.

But, for some reason, for some - I have to say - unimaginable reason, in a bill that, I think, is 120 pages long and several hundred clauses long, there are four points at which either the drafter got tired or something peculiar is going on because at that point, in four of the parts - Parts V, XVI, XVII and XVIII - all we're told is, the powers for HRM are the same as the powers in the Municipal Government Act; go look at the Municipal Government Act.

This is true for Part V, which has to do with Deed Transfer Tax, it says go look in the Municipal Government Act. In Part XVI on boundaries, go look in the Municipal Government Act. In Part XVII, for relations with Municipal Affairs, go look in the Municipal Government Act it says. For Part XVIII, which has to do with FOIPOP matters - Freedom

[Page 4604]

of Information and Protection of Privacy - go look in the Municipal Government Act, Part XX.

You know, this is very peculiar. I have to say, I understand that it lengthens the bill to include a repetition, but we're already up to 120 pages, so why is it we didn't have the extra 10 - or by the force of the same logic, if we're going to just repeat the sections from the Municipal Government Act, why did we do it with all the other sections that are there in the first place? It's a peculiarity.

I called it a drafting peculiarity, but I'm at a loss to understand exactly what the thinking of the minister's department was and perhaps he can explain it. I have yet to hear him explain this. It will be a very useful instruction to us so that we could understand what exactly they had in mind when they were doing this. Now I think that this is - I find it puzzling. Perhaps there is an explanation somewhere, a technical legal explanation or some other point that might drive us to concur with what it is the minister's done, but at the moment I think all we can do is be puzzled.

I want to turn to what I think is perhaps the main point here. The minister has come to us and said, we are really doing something for HRM - they asked for a charter and we're responding to their concerns and we're doing something to help them along. I don't think anything is really being done to help HRM along by this separate charter. If we recall, there were three bills that came forward, from the government, in the Spring, having to do with planning matters and particularly having to do with HRM. Two of them are very focused on HRM. One of them is Bill No. 179 and the other is Bill No. 181, the HRM by Design, which we have yet to debate in this House because the government chose not to call it forward and allow it to go forward for debate in the Spring session. The third of course was Bill No. 138, which made some general changes to the Municipal Government Act.

If the government were really seriously concerned about doing something for the residents of the area of the province that they keep telling us, both in the Spring and in the speeches that we heard today, contains at least 40 per cent of the population of Metro, then maybe they might want to add the two more seats in the Legislature that the population of Metro deserves to have on a appropriate reapportionment of seats. That would do something for the residents of Metro.

As the government keeps pointing out, there is a migration of population to the Metro Area, and if there were appropriate representation for this area, there would probably be two more seats in the Legislature that would be assigned to the voters who live here. The voters who live here are probably more interested in having fair proportional representation in the Legislature than they are in having their own charter. If the government really wants to do something for the Metro Area, they might think about that. Well I don't see the government moving on that, they certainly didn't do it after the time of the last Federal Census which

[Page 4605]

triggers our reconsideration of where seats ought to be, they certainly didn't come forward with such a proposal, they weren't interested in that.

[10:45 a.m.]

Well there are other things that the government might have done that would probably help HRM as an entity. Even HRM - if you think about what the municipal government itself and not what the general population is interested in doing, there's an interesting possibility when it comes to greater powers for the municipalities in the area of establishing their own electrical utilities and the ability to wield that electricity. That's something HRM Council is interested in, but there's nothing in this bill that does anything in particular to advance that.

That would be a benefit to many of the people who live here in HRM. It would be an environmental benefit, it would probably be an economic benefit, it would be many things, but the government isn't moving on that; that's not included in this bill. If the government is so interested in doing something for the people in HRM, that's something that they might have done, but it's not there. Essentially, what they said they did was with a few minor changes, they photostated the existing Municipal Government Act, and they packaged it again as Bill No. 179, and they brought it forward and called it the HRM Charter. Well there's a big difference between doing something that's effective for the people of Metro and pretending that you have a knowledge and concern for the people of metro and that's what's missing.

Here's another suggestion. The government frequently says that it's interested in sustainability matters. In the purpose section of this bill, they could have included statements about the purpose of municipal government being to pay strict attention to matters of sustainability. Other provinces have that and they have it not just for their capital cities, they have it for all their municipalities. It's part of the purpose of the Municipal Government Act in other provinces in which they say we want our municipalities to pay attention to sustainability matters and it's stated there in the purpose section right at the beginning of the Act. It's not here, it's not in Nova Scotia. It's not in Nova Scotia for any of the municipalities. It could have started off with HRM which has expressed a strong interest. Voters here have expressed a strong interest in promoting sustainability. These things should have been in this bill or the government should have taken steps to move on them separately.

Let me tell you something else that should have been in this bill when the minister sat down to think about what else they could do for the development process. The minister is very focused and I've heard him frequently comment, in rather negative terms, about the process of development in central Halifax. Frequently such proposals go forward by a device known as development agreements. Development agreements are special planning instruments that are provided for in the Municipal Government Act and were provided for in its predecessor the Planning Act. They allow owners of property to enter into what is

[Page 4606]

essentially, a kind of contractual agreement with the municipality but steps outside the normal restrictions of the zoning they would obtain otherwise.

Something that seems to be somewhat missing from the development agreement provisions in the Municipal Government Act as it stands, is a push to require the municipality to bargain hard for public benefits. That is something which although I think it's implied in the statute as it stands now is not explicit. It should be explicit. It could have been made explicit in this legislation but it was not. So for a minister who regularly, along with his Premier, says that he's so concerned about development issues in the capital area, they missed an opportunity. They sound very one-sided when they're talking about this. When they talk about developments, they say, oh, the owners of the property really want to move ahead. But there have to be public benefits that go along, quite explicit public benefits, that go along with extraordinary developments and that has been missing.

Anyone who knows the history of development and particular development projects in HRM - and on the Dartmouth side of the water, I have to say as well - will realize that development agreements have not been pursued in that way by the municipality although they should have been and the government could have forced them to do that now. They could have made this explicit. Well, that should have been in this bill but it's not. The government is not thinking about the development process in any informed way. What are other things that could have been in this bill as well?

There are problems with nonconforming use clauses in the legislation as it exists at the moment and also with respect to minor variances. These are two other land use planning tools that are important tools that exist in the Municipal Government Act that are frequently used by owners of land to make adjustments and again, go beyond the normal kinds of restrictive rules that apply to most landowners. Now, I'm not saying they're illegitimate; they should be there. There should be provisions, of course, for nonconforming uses and there should be provisions for minor variances. The trouble is that there have been a lot of problems that have come forward and some of them have been litigated in the courts and the minister should be aware of them. This was an opportunity, at least with respect to HRM where a lot of these fights are played out, to change the rules somewhat. To think about how those rules might have been changed and changed for the better.

So I hope that when the minister thinks about changes that might be made to this legislation, he turns his mind to some of these points.

I would also like to suggest that when the government comes forward with a very lengthy bill, they ought to include an index and they should probably also include a specific analysis of all component parts that differ from the original bill. That is really something that should have been tabled here along with the legislation.

[Page 4607]

It would help enormously, I think, all members of this House, including members on the government side, to understand exactly what it is that might be different in this bill. So it's one thing when a bill comes forward and it's two pages, or one page or five pages and it represents clear amendments to an existing piece of legislation, but where the government comes and says we're just repeating what exists in a pre-existing piece of legislation and there are a few changes tucked in, it doesn't help if the government fails to produce a list that is explicit as to exactly what the changes are. So I think that the minister can still do that - it's not too late. It would help people enormously.

Now I want to turn to the comments that were made by the last speaker for the government, in which he suggested that there are a number of amendments that are going to come forward with respect to this bill. Again, I want to suggest that the government should be explicit about what those amendments are today; they should list them today; and they should give out drafts of what those proposed amendments are today.

The reason they should do that now is that of course our process involves a Law Amendments Committee which hears from the public. If major amendments are going to be made to this bill at the Law Amendments Committee stage, how is it that the public is going to be able to comment on those and understand what it is that is going to come forward? They'll be commenting on the bill as it was introduced; they'll be commenting on the bill in light of some very abstract observations from the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection about what kinds of amendments might be introduced by the government - but the public will not be in a position to speak with respect to the details of what those amendments are unless they are in a position to be able to see them, and read them in advance of their appearance before Law Amendments Committee. That is not a desirable way . . .

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, in reference to the amendments the honourable member is speaking of, I am attempting to get them. A draft will be available for circulation on Monday. I will tell the honourable member that a couple of them - one deals with removing the reference to community council, which was a bit of a sticky one.

Mr. Speaker, with regard to these things, I know that the honourable member, his caucus met with the HRM people and they requested some amendments and those are the ones. There's no secret about them - he's just trying to mystify something that he knows is no mystery.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

[Page 4608]

MR. EPSTEIN: What I'm mystified by, Mr. Speaker, is whether that was a question or a point of order, or anything else that might fit into the rules - it doesn't seem to fit anywhere. But I'm happy to hear from the minister that he plans to table some texts that the public can study - and I hope he does it within good time; I hope he does it well before the public gets to make its comments at Law Amendments Committee.

Well, I think the concern about the Halifax charter is not that there is a proposal for a Halifax charter - as was said by my colleague, the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and also by myself, we'll certainly support this bill through second reading in order to look at it on a clause-by-clause basis at the Law Amendments Committee and perhaps at third reading.

The issue is really whether there are any provisions here that are problematic. Now, the one of district councils that the minister just referred to is clearly an item that is highly problematic. As the minister correctly just said in his uncategorizable interjection, the question of district councils is one that the government itself invented out of thin air, much to the consternation of many members of the public. I have to say that not only did HRM Council never ask for those district councils but many members of the public when they thought about them, realized that not only would there be awkwardness and expense involved, they worried that some community council may choose to move down to the district council level some of the powers delegated to it by the full council. This would not be an appropriate way to go and I have to say that if the minister's intention is to back off entirely from district councils this would be a very good thing. Indeed, it shows the value of the comments made by the Opposition and by the public, faced with something that was tucked into this bill which was supposed to simply be a repetition of what was already in the Municipal Government Act.

Let me draw the minister's attention to another set of potential problems and that has to do with overlap in this bill with some of the proposals that are yet to come in Bill No. 181 - Bill No. 181 has been introduced but they have yet to be debated - some of the proposals from Bill No. 181 appear to be included within the HRM charter at the moment. If that's not the case then I'd appreciate hearing about that from the minister. I'm concerned that there are provisions about site planning, which are a bit beyond what's already in the Municipal Government Act, although I want to check that by doing line-by-line analysis. If it turns out that in Bill No. 179, there are provisions that are ones that are in Bill No. 181 and therefore yet to be debated by this House, the government would have taken an inappropriate step and should have drawn our attention to that, but as I say, I want to check that detail.

[11:00 a.m.]

To sum up, in retrospect it's fair to say that there are probably some slight differences between the kind of governance that might be appropriate in HRM and the kind of

[Page 4609]

governance that might be available in other municipalities around the province. We know that there were already at least two differences- two major differences - in the Municipal Government Act when it came to the kind of governance that HRM had. One had to do with the power over pesticides, this is a well recognized item, it has been frequently debated, but it was only a slight difference. The powers that HRM had to deal with pesticides were only slightly different than the powers that most other municipalities had.

The other was the governance structure known as community councils. Community councils are a device that are available only in HRM and really, it's a device that's appropriate only where you have a geographically large municipality with a numerically large council, which is what HRM has. A community council is an entity in which some subset of the councillors exercise zoning and other related powers separate from the full council. I don't know that that was ever an entirely appropriate mechanism at all as a governance mechanism in HRM but it was one of the differences. I think the record is very mixed as to whether it has been a success, but we did have those two differences for HRM that have existed for the last decade since 1998, when the first Municipal Government Act in Nova Scotia came into effect.

Is it time now to move to a different and independent charter for HRM? We have no objection. The objection is only in the details as it plays out. The objection is also that this is yet again a missed opportunity for the government when it comes to kinds of changes that it should and could have made.

Finally, I don't want the government to think that it has escaped our notice that what the government is engaged in is an exercise in which it is really pretending that it knows something about HRM, or pretending that it knows in detail what the concerns are in metro. There are reasons that the minister's Party has been essentially unsuccessful in finding major representation here and that is because they continue not to be in touch with what it is that our voters here are interested in. I say that as a member of a Party that has representation in Cape Breton; that has representation in rural Nova Scotia; that has representation in small town Nova Scotia; and that has representation in a big way in that part of our province which has some, I believe, 43 per cent, now, of the provincial population. So we look forward to this bill going through the process of Law Amendments Committee, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for the opportunity to talk.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm not going to take a lot of the House's time this morning but I did want to stand and comment with respect to this bill. As the Speaker will know, and as many of my colleagues in the House will know, I started out my career in politics in municipal government. I served very proudly on the

[Page 4610]

Council of the City of Dartmouth prior to the amalgamation of the Regional Municipality of Halifax. In fact, Mr. Speaker, something you might not know is that I was actually elected in October, and I think it was the first of November, just after my election, when the Savage Government of the day announced the amalgamation that essentially was going to put me out of a job.

So the good news was that I found another job, but at the time, as you can imagine, it was quite a tumultuous event because all of us who were involved in municipal politics at the time, were involved in the life of our city, were concerned about what that was going to mean for our community and what it was going to mean, indeed, for the wider municipality.

I think that if you were to come to Dartmouth today, you would find that there are still kind of lingering doubts about the benefits of that amalgamation and whether or not it turned out to be all of the things that it was promoted as at the time. I remember the report, the commission, Bill Hayward chaired, you might remember - I believe that commission actually took place under the previous Progressive Conservative Government but was implemented under the Liberal Administration, which is, of course, another example of bipartisan co-operation between the Progressive Conservative Party and the Liberal Party.

All of that is just by way of background this morning. I do note that the City of Dartmouth, at that time, had its own charter and that we proceeded on the basis of the powers that were set out in the charter and in other pieces of legislation that affected the municipality, including the Planning Act. I think in those days we ran a pretty efficient little operation in Dartmouth. We had 14 councillors, we had two members for each district and it was pretty difficult, actually, to go to a community meeting without having one or the other councillor there. There was a very great access to municipal elected representation and we worked hard to try and make Dartmouth a good place to live, with a responsible and responsive municipal council and I must say I still, to this day, am very proud of the time that I spent on that council, and I note that Gloria McCluskey, who was the Mayor of Dartmouth at the time, still serves on the Regional Municipality of Halifax. So it was certainly an interesting time in my political career.

What we're here to deal with today, of course, is this bill which sets out the Halifax Charter. As my colleagues I think have all noted, we want to see this bill get on to the Law Amendments Committee. We know, as the minister has said, there are recommendations forthcoming with respect to - rather there are amendments forthcoming with respect to the bill so that it more properly reflects what it was that the Municipality of Halifax believed they were getting when this legislation was originally introduced. I think all of us were surprised to see, in the current bill, sections that amounted to a substantial deviation from what the existing rules, what the existing legislation gave to the Municipality of Halifax.

So it's difficult, of course, without having seen the amendments, to say whether we agree or disagree with them because we haven't seen them, but what we are prepared to do is to say that we recognize the desire of the Regional Municipality of Halifax to have its own

[Page 4611]

charter. We don't think it's an unreasonable request for them to bring to the House of Assembly, and we're going to do our jobs, as members of council would expect us to do, in examining the legislation and passing judgment on those things which we think are important to the council.

So I'm looking forward to seeing the amendments. I'm looking forward to seeing the debate in the Law Amendments Committee. I trust that the government is going to seek the co-operation of all of the Parties in the House to try to get this through, and if that's done in the genuine spirit of co-operation, I expect that this bill will pass. So with those comments, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my seat.

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

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise to speak to the general principles inherent here in Bill No. 179. I look forward to the charter on Sable Island at some point, an Act respecting the Halifax Regional Municipality. We welcome this legislation, you know, this discussion and debate. It has been a long time coming.

HRM, as we know, is the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada. It's the economic engine of this region. It's larger than Prince Edward Island in its economy and demographic base and it's certainly willing and able to govern itself in large measure. We also welcome the government's new-found commitment to this principle of self-government and local autonomy and recognizing the rights of local council to shape their own destiny. We believe that those who have the greatest stake in the outcome of a decision should also have the greatest say in making that decision. We believe that those who have to bear the consequences of a decision should have the greatest say in the making of that decision.

It's ironic, Mr. Speaker, that the purpose of this bill, as stated here, is to give broad authority to the council, including broad authority to pass bylaws, and respect its right to govern the municipality in whatever ways the council considers appropriate within the jurisdiction given to it. It's ironic because it claims to give the municipality its right to autonomy and self-government and local decision making at the time when the Premier himself has said that he has the right to veto decisions made by local council. He claims he has a right, and if he doesn't have a right, he will assert it and move legislation to that effect.

It's ironic, Mr. Speaker, that at a time when we're talking about a charter that would give more autonomy to a local government, the Premier sends a contradictory direction that says he will not allow them to exercise that right. He claims to have that right without consulting the local population. He claims to have that right without being present at the public discussion and the council deliberation that led to a particular discussion. I would like very much to hear from the Premier as to why he would want to subvert the democratic process in this issue and how he would reconcile his recent statements with his professed demand to give HRM local council some degree of autonomy.

[Page 4612]

It's also ironic that the government pretends to give local autonomy to the local council at the same time it's introducing elements to this bill which were not discussed and debated by local council, in fact, were repudiated and rejected by local council. I'm delighted the government now tells us they're going to withdraw those provisions that were not approved of by local council. We would like to know, as my colleague, the member for Halifax Chebucto has said, what's new in this bill, what elements are new and why the government claims a right to introduce these new elements in a bill that professes to give local council autonomy.

While HRM includes the capital district and has the seat of government, we know that HRM is the economic engine of the Atlantic economy. Halifax is also a community of communities and a community of neighbourhoods. Each of these communities is unique and has a right to make its own decisions.

In the Halifax Citadel part of my constituency, for example, we are trying to repopulate the downtown, get 25,000 new people to live and work downtown. We're debating the proper mix of residential and commercial buildings, of making housing more accessible and affordable, of finding a better way to raise municipal revenues, of sharing the burden of taxation, of reducing traffic in the downtown and strengthening our public transit and active transit, of building on the strengths of our ports and our universities and our arts and our health care facilities and assets. These are all not unique to Halifax, but that mix is unique to Halifax, and HRM needs those powers to make decisions relating to these very important assets.

We also agree that HRM, in its decision making, needs more certainty and predictability and consistency in its decision making. The decision should be made based on larger principles and objectives and not on who you know and the timeliness of information. We believe the process needs more clarity and we also believe it needs more efficiency and more timeliness.

[11:15 a.m.]

So we support these principles of giving local councils more autonomy. We support these principles of certainty and clarity and predictability. We also believe there should be more transparency in decision making, there should be more meaningful consultation, especially with the local communities, especially with neighbours who live in proximity to development. We look forward to what the government has to say about transparency and consultation in light of the Premier's recent remarks about local council.

We also look forward to what the public has to say once this bill gets to the Law Amendments Committee. In particular, we're looking to what the public and council have to say about the adequacy of provisions relating to transparency and accountability,

[Page 4613]

especially as it relates to the rights and responsibilities of elected council and the Utility and Review Board to review decisions relating to specific projects and to sight plane planning.

In summary, we welcome this discussion and this debate and we look forward to the discussion in the Law Amendments Committee and to the amendments, in particular, that the public calls for and amendments the government will bring forward. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Immigration.

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to speak on Bill No. 179. My time within municipal government started back in 1988 in the Town of Bedford where we had seven councillors and seven councillors represented about 7,500 people. We were a community very involved in the planning process. We had a municipal planning strategy that was fairly new because the Town of Bedford was formed in 1980 and we had, at that time, planning reviews in 1982 and 1988.

Mr. Speaker, when the Halifax Regional Municipality was formed in 1996 it brought with it 196 communities, all with different needs, all with different views on planning. It was critical at that point in time for the Halifax Regional Municipality to try to bring those 196 communities into somewhat of a single focus. Of those 196 communities there were 19 planning strategies with these communities that were used by the communities and by the individuals to try direct planning within those areas. As time went on HRM saw that they needed to have an overarching view of the entire municipality and they brought in the HRM regional plan.

The regional plan looked at HRM as a whole, to try to direct development into the areas that they believed would best fit and suit the planning needs with the regional municipality. HRM is also represented by 23 councillors. Now, I heard the Leader of the Official Opposition speaking of the City of Dartmouth. The City of Dartmouth, I believe, had 14 councillors at the time, roughly 65,000 people, so they represented probably 5,000 people each. I can think back to the Town of Bedford, we were seven and represented 7,500 - probably 1,000 people per councillor. These councillors now represent an average of 15,000 to 16,000, some more. I know the Town of Bedford is probably one of the only original seats left where the actual boundaries for the regional municipality, the only boundaries from the old Town of Bedford, are still intact. There are, roughly, probably 20,000 people there now, it's astronomical growth, and it's also one of the regional development centres.

Mr. Speaker, it's very obvious that the Halifax Regional Municipality, as we've stated before, with 380,000 people, probably 40 per cent of the population of this province, probably better than 50 per cent of the economic engine, is a unique animal in its own right and requires it's own charter. Through the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, I would suggest probably 80 to 90 per cent of the changes that are requested through the MGA are requested by the Halifax Regional Municipality. For that reason it's very important that the

[Page 4614]

Halifax Regional Municipality have this charter. It will facilitate - I won't say it will make it any easier, but it will facilitate changes that will be required by the Halifax Regional Municipality through this Legislature from time to time.

Mr. Speaker, Halifax in itself is a unique area, in that the old City of Halifax is a peninsula. With it being a peninsula and limited access to the peninsula by two bridges, the rotary, and the Fairview Cove area, it has unique, very different issues surrounding traffic problems. I can think of an initiative right now that is underway with the Halifax Regional Municipality and has passed the council's early stages and they have an RFP out right now for the construction of high-speed ferries.

Mr. Speaker, back in 2005 the New England high-speed ferry was brought up as a test run to see what the times, wait tests, and what the draw would be in the area for the use of this ferry. Mr. Speaker, that ferry operated for two days with full loads at all times; from the time it left Bedford to the downtown core, 13 minutes; from the downtown core from the ferry terminal out to Purcell's Cove, six and a half minutes. I also look at Eastern Passage and I notice the member there - we've talked about it many times, how critical it is to transportation needs in this area.

We talk about greening up the economy, we talk about trying to get cars off the roads, one 250-passenger ferry probably replaces - I don't think I would be exaggerating if I said 200 cars in one trip. The reason I say that, Mr. Speaker - and I'm one of the guilty ones as well, I drive in the Bedford highway many mornings by myself and I look at every other car on the road and very few cars have more than one person in them.

Mr. Speaker, we try to do the best we can to ensure that the transportation needs of this great area are met. I look, as many of us do, every morning as we drive in the Bedford highway on many of these beautiful mornings, and what do you see out on this wonderful basin, this Bedford Basin and the harbour? You see nothing. It is God's natural gift to us for a highway into the centre part of this city and we don't use it. We have to be one of the only places, either on the western seaboard or the eastern seaboard, that do not effectively use the greatest gift that we have. There's no infrastructure required other than providing the ferry terminals and providing the vessels.

So, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the day when - and I hope these vessels - the other thing I really hope, I hope they can be built here in Halifax. I hope they can be built at our shipyards here locally, and I'm confident that can happen and I'm confident that the many people who are going to be required to build them are going to be added to our workforce here. This government, as we've said before, has added over 10,000 jobs in the last year here in Nova Scotia, many of them right here in the Halifax Regional Municipality. I look forward to the day when that announcement is made and I really do hope that they are built here locally.

[Page 4615]

I look forward to the day when I see that first high-speed ferry running up the harbour to Halifax, running to the Purcell's Cove area, running to Eastern Passage. Eastern Passage is like Bedford, and I'm looking at the honourable member from the area. As you know, it is one of the high growth areas and it's just expanding so quickly. To be able to have the option of taking water transportation, if you work in Halifax, not having to take the bridge to try to get to work, to be able to jump on that ferry and be there in five or six minutes, it would be a wonderful opportunity.

So, Mr. Speaker, Halifax is a unique area, it is a wonderful area, the whole of HRM. But the core area holds many, many challenges from the standpoint of transportation, from the standpoint of development, you can go on and on. There are many of us sitting around here who have sat on Halifax Regional Council, and sat on other councils prior to amalgamation, and we know these challenges. So I stand here in support of the Charter. There have been some changes made in it and I know one of the changes that was made was the removal of the community councils. I stand here as a representative for the area that requested that.

I'm just going to speak on that for a couple of seconds because I think it's important to understand that in Bedford we're challenged, we're challenged because we do not have the infrastructure to meet those 20,000 people. We haven't got the infrastructure, from the standpoint of recreation, to meet that phenomenal growth that we've had. We have one rink. Now here we have a group of private individuals building that rink now - the concrete is being poured - the Rocky Lake Development Association. We haven't got the infrastructure needs to meet that significant growth in my community.

We have a huge tax base, we have a $1.7 billion tax base. So for those reasons, it was believed by the people in my community that the way to try to achieve and to try to expand that recreation needs to try to expand, that recreation needs to try to do things within our community, could be done through another avenue, and that would be the local community council. Obviously it was not accepted by the Halifax Regional Municipality and it wasn't accepted by many of our colleagues here in the House, and it's been removed.

I want everybody to understand here that it wasn't placed there to try to sideline this legislation. I'm standing here as the Minister of Immigration, a member of this government, but most importantly the MLA for the Bedford-Birch Cove area, and if somebody has to take responsibility for it I will. It was not placed in the legislation, by any means, to try to sideline it. It was placed there to try to do something right, to try to do something right for our community, and to try to get some of the things that we genuinely need in the Bedford area.

You know, in the Bedford area, part of our growth has been the growth in immigration. In 1988, when I first came to council in Bedford, there were 7,500, maybe 7,600 people in the community and you would have been hard-pressed to find an immigrant in our community. Here we are, 20 years later, we've grown 300 per cent roughly, and I am

[Page 4616]

proud to stand here and tell everybody in this Chamber that 30 to 35 per cent of my community is immigrant-based. They are wonderful people to have in our community and we are so glad to have them. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, HRM, along with my own community, is growing. We've got to keep it healthy, and this HRM charter does that. I believe it's needed; it's desperately needed. I am sensing I hear some consensus within the House here that what we are putting on the table here as government will proceed to the Law Amendments Committee, will be reviewed and, hopefully, will be approved.

Mr. Speaker, I will take my seat. I thank everybody for their comments. I look forward to this charter receiving approval for second reading and on to the Law Amendments Committee and, hopefully in the end, a charter at the end of this House for HRM. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

HON. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, it's nice to have the opportunity to get up this morning and share a little bit of history and to talk a little bit about the HRM and the HRM charter. There are a number of us, a few of us, that have something very common, in common here in regard to the HRM - I'll call it the members now but, then, the founding fathers of the HRM. I don't know if (Interruption)

[11:30 a.m.]

Well, no, excuse me, Mr. Speaker, I'm talking about the founding fathers. I don't believe that we have members here who were in the HRM at the time of its creation, so I would like to make that clarification. So, once again, there are a few of us, members in the House who have something in common in regard to the topic that we're discussing in that there are a few of us who could be called the founding fathers of the HRM - the member for Halifax Chebucto and also the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville and, of course, myself, then a councillor of District 1, now taken over by Councillor Streatch. He does a great job representing the people there of the Eastern Shore.

Mr. Speaker, what a wonderful opportunity; what a great thing to be able to stand here now representing the people on a provincial level, to be able to share with the folks of this House the real story about the amalgamation of the HRM. I want to go back just a little bit before that and talk a little bit about county council. As my colleague across the way expressed his feelings in regard to being in council and being a part of the Town of Bedford, I also would like to express some of my concerns about what happened to the county council.

I can remember, not unlike anyone else here, we decide to represent the people - we did not wake up one morning and decide to be a representative. Regardless of what side of

[Page 4617]

the House we sit on, there's usually a reason why someone of a certain nature decides to represent their people in government.

I can remember there was a specific issue on the Eastern Shore, and I was in a meeting one evening and I did not like the tone of the meeting, I did not like the tone of the meeting. I did not like the direction of the meeting and it would be fair to say I did not like the way the representative at that time was handling that situation. So I went home and decided that I would run for council - County Council District 10 on the Eastern Shore - which encompassed a very small area from Musquodoboit Harbour to Ship Harbour, at that time probably 6,000 people.

Mr. Speaker, the then mayor, Randy Ball, was the mayor of Halifax County and the election went on, the politics took place and, you know, election night arrived and I was successful (Interruptions)

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

MR. DOOKS: I had an opportunity to sit on the Halifax County Council with Mayor Randy Ball but before I was sworn in, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard on the radio the news that then-Minister Jolly was going to amalgamate the four units prior to us even being sworn in. So in one sense I was just elected but knew the date, within one year we had to be re-elected if we so chose, to go to the HRM.

Well, do you know what, Mr. Speaker, that was exciting news. (Interruptions) I'm not saying it was news - and I'm going to make reference to it soon, I'm going to make reference to the member across the way, he may recall as well - I was then known as the county gentleman from the Eastern Shore and the media quickly picked up on all this and they said, man, we've got some media news for some time to come. We're going to pit the county against the city and we're going to ask them questions and rightfully so because at that time there was a difference. There was a clear difference in what the people of the Eastern Shore expected the representative to do and what they expect to pay for. The rate at that time was 89 cents per $100 of assessment plus an area rate for our fire department.

The fire department had full control of what they did in the community but they had to have the will of the community. So if they wanted to buy a new truck, if they wanted to add an addition on the fire hall, or whatever they wanted to do, they actually had to go out to the community, hopefully had the support of the county councillor, and ask the community if they could increase the area rate of 1 cent or 2 cents per $100 of assessment and buy a new fire truck to protect the community. Well, you know, it didn't usually go well. There was always quite a stir in the community at that time. People would have to lobby back and forth. The councillor and the fire chief would have to stand up and do the presentation. Oh, it was always quite an exciting time in the county but the people usually agreed and the fire department people would get their truck.

[Page 4618]

I'm saying this today so you just have an understanding of how close then municipal government was to the grassroots level of government in a real sense and we have other councillors who would agree, and people who have a municipal background would agree - it was a very grassroots type of representation. So we went in and paid our 89 cents and we did get some support at that time. Our bylaw officers, our fire department, raised their own money. The dog catchers and building, you know, officers would support our community but we did not really receive a lot of services and that became the issue. The issue became if we enter into the HRM, what authority do we still have to govern our own people? Would it be then attached to a much larger scope and what would be the thought of development? What new ground will we be breaking as the Halifax Regional Municipality?

Well, member across the way, you can remember your position and I hope you can remember my position. Clearly the first interview in regard to the Halifax Regional Municipality was between the member across the way, the member for Halifax Chebucto, and the member for the Eastern Shore and I can even remember the day the question the gentleman asked us on the radio - where do you want to sit as a council? - because county council was sitting in the county building and, of course, the Halifax Council was sitting here just up the hill. So, anyway, in the spirit of compromise, right off the mark, I decided I wanted to be a player and I agreed that it wasn't where you sat that made the difference but what you did in the building. I at that time believed in representation, I believed in the people and I believed that we had a role to play in building this new HRM. (Interruptions)

AN HON. MEMBER: What did the member for Halifax Chebucto say?

MR. DOOKS: The member across the way, he did agree with the member from the HRM.

We have some folks in the media that are still hanging around here in this House, some of our media people today that are reporting provincially started out with us in county council, they started out with us in regional council and they're still here today reporting the achievement of us as representatives.

This could take hours for me to explain. I remember, and the member, Mr. Speaker, I say this respectfully, I can remember the issues started to arrive at council. There were some hot debates at that time. We were joining Halifax and Dartmouth and Bedford and also the county - four municipalities. I'm not going to speak about how the people within those areas - what their point of view was on the amalgamation but I think you know the decision of the people of Bedford, clearly understood with regard to the amalgamation. The people in Dartmouth had their position, the people in Halifax had theirs and I can tell you the people in the county had their position and they still hold that position today.

There are still some people in the county today that share the same point of view with regard to amalgamation. But once amalgamation was in place, I think it was incumbent upon

[Page 4619]

the representatives to work together collectively to make this successful. Now you look back at the identities, at those people who have fought and positioned themselves and here we are today speaking about a brand new charter.

The other night, as most of us were interested in listening to the results in the HRM and the rest of you from other areas would be interested in listening to your results throughout Nova Scotia, but what did the people and the media focus on as the results were coming in? It was clearly defined - has the amalgamated unit worked for the betterment of the people in which it was designed to do? There's the question. Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to go down that road today too far because I don't want to anger the members in this House, but has it been successful?

Later on, I will speak to the member, I'm sure, outside, for Halifax Chebucto - he will probably want to speak to me a little later on - but his point, his view, was very clear. There should be urban growth and that the people from the county, the municipality of Halifax, should move closer to the city because his position was it cost less to provide services - at that time, I believe that was his position. This angered the people in the county, it's true, and if he has any problems with what I'm saying now, I would ask him to stand up and correct me. If I am wrong, I will apologize because I don't think this is a debate we're having, I believe it's just my position and clarifying the comments of the member.

But, the then-councillor from the Eastern Shore said, what does this guy mean, move everyone from the country into the city simply because we would save dollars on services? That was the position then and I tell you, it's still the position today. People are asking now that the municipal rate is $1.09 - maybe $1.29 when you add the scenario and mechanism of fire - have the people benefited by the amalgamated unit? That's a good question - 89 cents per $100 assessment to $1.29 per $100 assessment.

But, they do now. They have lost the ability to have input on their community issues because now it was in the community council, but that's gone now. Now, it's mostly dealt with in council as a body. This is still a very real issue with the people in the amalgamated units.

Now, remember what I said, move the rural people into the urban core and the reason was to save dollars. I remember the media used to play it back and forth and he would do his interview, I would do mine, but as good gentlemen, when we would meet on the council floor we would always respect each other's position. I remember at that time, there was a mayor by the name of Walter Fitzgerald and also a councillor, David Hendsbee at that particular time. This is bringing back a lot of (Interruptions) yes, he's back and he's happy, was re-elected and I congratulate him for the hard work he does for the people of his riding. (Applause) As a matter of fact, I'll go one step further, it is an experience and I'll tell you, to have two councillors in my riding who share the same point of view - Councillor Streatch, Councillor Hendsbee and myself - we work together as a team for the people of the Eastern

[Page 4620]

Shore, that's clear. We do promote similar things, one is development and opportunities for our people. We believe in good health, we believe in education, we believe in providing jobs for the people we represent. You know, Mr. Speaker, they demand that of us and we deliver it, we do so.

I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, I was talking about something and got a little sidetracked because I'm feeling rather good today because we're going home to be with our people this weekend. You know, when we talk about the economy, when we talk about the people who we represent, regardless of what side you sit on, we share the same goal, we represent them.

At this particular time, what are some of the concerns that all Nova Scotians are sharing? They're sharing this, Mr. Speaker, they're saying, when they lay their head on the pillow at night, they are saying, is my family safe? Are my children safe? And will I have the ability to provide, in the climate that is forecast, to provide for my children and for our children? Each mom and dad, or regardless of who the caregivers are, they share the same goal. Are our children safe? Am I going to be able to provide for them in the future?

Well, Mr. Speaker, in this debate, I clearly say that it's our position that these questions they're asking get answered in a positive way.

Back to municipal politics, Mr. Speaker, and I don't want to be taken off the track a little bit. Anyway, I want to tell you I'm just speaking about the Charter of the HRM and the question that's not answered by those who live within the HRM, it is not answered clearly - and I don't mean to be negative - has that municipal unit worked for all people? That's the question I'm posing here today.

Mr. Speaker, the people know that, I don't have to go out and do a survey, although maybe the member can remember when I thought that we should be addressing that. So I launched, in the District 1, at that particular time, an opportunity then blessed by the government of the day, I can remember that the Liberal Government actually provided resources and persons to give me the information to go out an to ask the people of the District 1 area, are you satisfied with the unit? Would you want to separate, if you could?

So I launched a series of meetings in town halls or community halls, I should say, on the Eastern Shore. It was covered by the CBC. I can remember my first meeting was in a place down East called Moser River. I moved into Sheet Harbour on to Oyster Pond, the Jeddores and Musquodoboit Harbour and I asked the people the question, with the appropriate information, not taking any bias, being a representative of the people, just trying to ask the people if they were satisfied after four or five years with amalgamation, and once again had the support of the then Liberal Government. We wanted to know.

[11:45 p.m.]

[Page 4621]

Also, at that same time, when I was going through that exercise, the people of Bedford at that time, who were a township, didn't have the right to move away from the HRM, but they were watching closely. So I went out and provided the appropriate information and took a vote, member, took a vote at every hall and I said to the people, here's an opportunity for us to move away from the amalgamated unit, if you wish.

I'm going to report the findings of that. The people at that particular time said that it was their wish to remain a part of the HRM unit because they did see the benefit of certain services. I see the member, he's sitting quite patiently, because he knows I'm having a little fun with it, but he knows I'm telling the story and it's as truthful as I can recall. It's been a long time ago, probably back in 1996 or 1997 they started that exercise, but I would go to council and that member would stand up in his place and he would pound the living daylights out of me because he knew that possibly there were some legs growing under this movement. He wasn't sure if I wanted to move the people out of the HRM, or did I want to keep them in? He wasn't really understanding where I was coming from, but I'll be able to share that with him today and answer that question. I was providing a level of representation which the people of the Eastern Shore deserve. I put the question to them and they gave me, at that time, the answer and I delivered that to council.

Walter Fitzgerald, I'll never forget, Mayor Walter Fitzgerald - a political stripe a little different than mine, but I must say I enjoyed serving in his council because we all learned a lot from joining all of those municipalities together. He said - and in those days it wasn't - well, it was appropriate for the time - son, would you sit down and stop talking, he said one day. I can always remember that time (Interruptions) - I wanted to get a few of you ramped up there - but he understood the passion I had to represent the people of the Eastern Shore. Getting back to the election results of the night of the municipal election you were watching it, I'm sure some of you were celebrating, I'm sure some of you were crying. But that night the question that was on TV was, is this unit working?

Well, member for Halifax Chebucto, is it working when lately we see council divided on so many issues? Well we can tear that apart and say why is it that council is separated and why do we have a 50/50 split on a lot of issues? Why are they moving slowly? Why does it seem like development is not taking place in the downtown core? Is it true? Do we have a downtown core that's not developing? Answer the question. Do we see the downtown core moving forward? Always remember, I will stand here in my place and say what's good for Halifax is good for all of Nova Scotia. I believe most of you understand this is the capital city, you understand that the tax base is here and we receive good things. All communities add up to a wonderful province.

Getting back to the municipal unit - that particular night, the media and all of the people were asking, is this working? Why is there a division? Is it because that rural aspect is still there? Is it that people are parochial? Is it that the Halifax part still believes in things that people of a rural nature seem to weld themselves with? Is it that people from the urban

[Page 4622]

area deal with transit and other things that may be less important to other people or on a different scope? I don't know. Answer that question while I'm speaking. I'm very curious.

I can remember a lot of times in council when I started, being under attack simply because I didn't give in to the flavour of the day, simply because I didn't want to be a part of the club, simply for all of those reasons. People used to say negative things but I can tell you what - you could never ever say that I did not represent my people. That's why I'm here and that's what I'm doing here today so I can listen to the catcalls, I can listen to people who don't really have the foundation in municipal politics as the founding fathers had and I'm not scared to say that. That experience was different although many people here have contributed in their own way and have brought special things to HRM Council. But unless you were part of the founding fathers of HRM you'll never truly understand the passion all of us have. I speak as well for my colleague over there who had that urban passion, who had the spirit of those in which at that time he thought that he had the right point but I don't know if it was or not.

When we went into the regional municipality, things changed as representatives as well. I can remember being a county councillor- you know you'll have a giggle about this - we were so grassroots we actually helped get that little old lady's cat out of the tree. We were there. That's why I said I knew you would giggle about that. They're still talking about cats in the HRM, they haven't got that resolved yet - that cat's still up the tree by the way. (Laughter) The point is, I'm here to say that Bill Dooks will climb up that tree and take the cat down for any constituents within his riding that's for sure. (Applause)

The member for Halifax Chebucto remembers well, that the issues were clearly defined rural and urban. I say there are still issues that define councillors and the urban concept to position themselves in the urban way. It's very clear that there is still an issue there. How much time do I have left? I want to go into a deeper thought (Interruption) I haven't started speaking yet, brother. I want to tell you, I want to tell you, today, today it's hard to fool this old guy in regard to municipal politics. I was there, I'm a founding father, I have a special place in my heart for municipal politics. I'm just bringing out a few questions today to have them answered within the minds of my colleagues on both sides of the House. Maybe questions which sometimes we're afraid to ask but I'll stand here and I'll ask the questions because I want the answers. I want the answers.

Questions are, has the amalgamated unit, now, there will be a few people thinking that I'm taking this to heart, and I expect they should, has the amalgamated unit been as successful as first thought it would be? Have the goals of the rural area received the services as they thought they would or as they should? Is there equity, is there equality, is there fairness in the whole makeup of the HRM? I remember the-then czar had made a lot of promises. I would like to go back, member, and do some homework maybe this weekend. I was going to spend a little time with the family but maybe I'll go back and do some research and look up the promises of amalgamation in 1995-96.

[Page 4623]

I can remember the town hall meetings throughout all municipalities and the things that were promised. I don't know, I'm not saying the promises weren't kept, but I'm wondering if they have all been kept. Maybe you would like to have some input and a little later on share some of the thought process and if I have said anything incorrectly, please shine some light on that today. I would also ask the member across the way for his opinion. Does he believe that the amalgamated unit has been successful? Do you believe that the promises the czar promised us at the time have been kept? Do you believe that the people of the rural areas versus the people of the urban areas are paying a tax that pays for the services, all of those things. Do you know what, I know you know these answers as well as you know I know them, but I want to create a little energy here today because it's the appropriate time to talk about these things.

How many years has it been - almost 10 years - and we're talking about a charter for the HRM. So I think it's only appropriate to bring up a little bit of the past and to talk about the founding fathers and those who have served and worked. I might add those who (Interruptions) I have lots of ammunition but thank you, those who have served and worked so hard to bring it together. We did have certain battles we fought, you know, we had to talk about fire services. We had to talk about policing services, community services at that time, all of those things. We had to talk about what was the provincial government ( Interruption) I got it, you know, what is the provincial government responsible for?

I can remember , isn't it funny how times change, I can remember standing up there blaming the provincial government for certain things at that particular time and now I stand here (Interruptions) I don't know, well, rightfully so, rightfully so. Now there are some things, you know, that I'm thinking about that if I was on council, I would have probably made some changes or supported some votes in a different way but, anyway, that's a part about being alive. That's a part about believing in democracy. That's about being here and representing your constituency and your people who live in that constituency and believing in them. I believe in democracy. I believe in the right to come to Halifax and to share the concerns of the people I represent whether they be positive, whether they be negative to the issue. I think that this side of the House can certainly say that throughout the many years we've been here, successful years we've been here, one thing that we focused on has been the people of Nova Scotia, and I believe we've done a good job of that. There's no doubt about that.

So, anyway, as we move forward there will be more debate about the HRM. Has it been successful? Has it not been successful? I haven't shared my point of view. It's too early in the debate to do that. I'm trying to encourage other people, I'm trying to encourage you. There was an old gentleman down in my riding, his name was Jimmy Kidston, I can remember, he has passed on, now he's in glory. I want to tell you Jimmy Kidston was an amazing man. Jimmy Kidston used to go to the community halls and he would listen to all of the speakers until, at the end of the meeting, Jimmy Kidston would stand up and he would

[Page 4624]

share his point of view. I'll tell you he had the right point of view because he listened to everyone in the hall and he rationalized that.

The question is, as we address the charter, has it been the right thing for the people of the four municipalities? Have we made the right decisions? Are they satisfied? Do they have an opportunity to have input? Have they staked their position in the greatest gift to society today and that's democracy? Do they know how to stake their position in democracy? Are they informed as they should be? Do they have the decision-making powers they should have?

Municipal government is a very important level of government. As I said earlier, I have a special place in my heart for municipal politics because I still believe there's a place for municipal politics. I believe it's a level of government that's very close to the people and I believe we have a lot of good people. I believe that we have a lot of good people representing their people in the municipal level, not only in the HRM but in all of Nova Scotia, that's for sure.

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you today, this is no small thing we do.

MR. SPEAKER: I wonder if the honourable member would consider adjourning debate for today. (Applause)

MR. DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of the day, certainly I'd like to move to adjourn debate and maybe have an opportunity to address this issue, because really, I haven't really told my story about regional municipal politics yet, but thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That concludes the government's business for today and I move that we do now adjourn until Monday, when the hours will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. After the daily routine, business will be Public Bills for Second Reading, the following bills: Nos. 179, 181, 182, 186, 187, 189, 190, 191 and 193.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The motion before the House is that we now adjourn until Monday at 4:30 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 11:59 a.m.]

[Page 4625]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4443

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas the third annual Kentville Mazda Golf Players Championship is always a great time with plenty of keen competition;

Whereas this year's third annual event was shortened by only 18 holes because of inclement weather even though Avon Valley Golfers Dean Woodman and Peter Francis still had a great day, with Woodman taking second place, 2 strokes behind the eventual winner and Francis settling for 14th place with a score of 82; and

Whereas this tournament literally features 30of the best golfers in the Annapolis Valley;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dean Woodman and Peter Francis from the Avon Valley Golf and Country Club for their competitive spirit in playing in this year's 3rd Annual Kentville Mazda Players Championship.

RESOLUTION NO. 4444

[Page 4626]

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 education is key to success; and

Whereas Josh Fahey of Hebbville Academy was awarded the Male Academic Award; and

Whereas this award is given for the highest average of the year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Josh Fahey on his academic achievement at the junior high level and wish him well in his high school years.

RESOLUTION NO. 4445

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 education is key to success; and

Whereas Amy Allard of Hebbville Academy was awarded the Female Academic Award; and

Whereas she was also awarded the Danny MacDonald Math Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Amy Allard on her academic achievements at the junior high level and wish her well in her high school years.

RESOLUTION NO. 4446

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

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

[Page 4627]

Whereas education is key to success; and

Whereas Emma Quigley of Hebbville Academy was awarded the Danny MacDonald Math Award; and

Whereas this award is given for the highest math average of the year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Emma Quigley and wish her well in her high school years.

RESOLUTION NO. 4447

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

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

Whereas education is key to success; and

Whereas Tyler Killiam of Hebbville Academy was awarded the Danny MacDonald Math Award; and

Whereas this award is given for the highest math average of the year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tyler Killiam on this great achievement and wish him well in his high school years.

RESOLUTION NO. 4448

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 Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal is presented annually to two students in each school who have performed at a high academic level; and

Whereas the medal is awarded to Grade 11 students who have been nominated by their school; and

Whereas the 2008 female recipient from Park View Education Centre was Maia Jorgensen;

[Page 4628]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Maia Jorgensen for her strong community and school involvement, leadership and achieving excellent academic marks and congratulate her on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal.

RESOLUTION NO. 4449

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 Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal is presented annually to two students in each school who have performed at a high academic level; and

Whereas the medal is awarded to Grade 11 students who have been nominated by their school; and

Whereas the 2008 female recipient from New Germany Rural High School was Maggie Olivia Oickle;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Maggie Olivia Oickle for her strong community and school involvement, leadership and achieving excellent academic marks and congratulate her on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal.

RESOLUTION NO. 4450

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 Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal is presented annually to two students in each school who have performed at a high academic level; and

Whereas the medal is awarded to Grade 11 students who have been nominated by their school; and

Whereas the 2008 male recipient from New Germany Rural High School was Lucas Mitchell Oickle;

[Page 4629]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Lucas Mitchell Oickle for his strong community and school involvement, leadership and achieving excellent academic marks and congratulate him on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal.

RESOLUTION NO. 4451

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 Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal is presented annually to two students in each school who have performed at a high academic level; and

Whereas the medal is awarded to Grade 11 students who have been nominated by their school; and

Whereas the 2008 male recipient from Bridgewater High School was Douglas Brenton;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Douglas Brenton for his strong community and school involvement, leadership and achieving excellent academic marks and congratulate him on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal.

RESOLUTION NO. 4452

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

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

Whereas high school graduates are rewarded as a result of their academic performance; and

Whereas some grads are also rewarded through recognition by their peers; and

Whereas Allison Knickle of New Germany Rural High School was a Governor General's Academic Medal recipient and class Valedictorian;

[Page 4630]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Valedictorian Allison Knickle for her academic success and for the recognition she was given by her peers and teachers.

RESOLUTION NO. 4453

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 Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal is presented annually to two students in each school who have performed at a high academic level; and

Whereas the medal is awarded to Grade 11 students who have been nominated by their school; and

Whereas the 2008 female recipient from Bridgewater High School was Allison Rand;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Allison Rand for her strong community and school involvement, leadership and achieving excellent academic marks and congratulate her on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal.

RESOLUTION NO. 4454

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

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

Whereas high school graduates are rewarded as a result of their academic performance; and

Whereas some grads are also rewarded through recognition by their peers; and

Whereas Allie Colp of New Germany Rural High School was the Queen Elizabeth II Medal recipient and class Valedictorian;

[Page 4631]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Allie Colp on receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Medal recipient for academic success and wish her success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4455

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 Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal is presented annually to two students in each school who have performed at a high academic level; and

Whereas the medal is awarded to Grade 11 students who have been nominated by their school; and

Whereas the 2008 male recipient from Park View Education Centre was Alexander Baker;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Alexander Baker for his strong community and school involvement, leadership and achieving excellent academic marks and congratulate him on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal.

RESOLUTION NO. 4456

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 Duke of Edinburgh's Award is now presented in over 110 countries; and

Whereas this award is presented to self-driven, self- motivated young people between the ages of 14 to25 who have achieved a high level of excellence in community involvement and personal development; and

[Page 4632]

Whereas Erica Connors of Bridgewater was honoured with a silver Duke of Edinburgh's Award for her many hours of volunteer work to her church, fundraising, tutoring, dance and canoeing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Erica Connors on receiving the Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Award, and wish her well in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4457

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 Duke of Edinburgh's Award, also known as Young Canadian Challenge, is presented to young people between the ages of 14 to25 who have achieved a high standard in community service and self- improvement; and

Whereas this international award program is now represented in over 110 countries; and

Whereas Gregory Connors of Bridgewater was honoured with a silver Duke of Edinburgh's Award for his volunteer work at church, live bands, curling, skiing, soccer and canoeing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Gregory Connors on receiving the Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Award, and wish him well in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4458

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 recently a student from Newcombville Elementary School had her hair cut for Angel Hair for Kids; and

[Page 4633]

Whereas Angel Hair for Kids makes wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of burns or cancer treatments; and

Whereas Lacey Meisner gave unselfishly of herself so that a smile can be brought to the face of an adult or child who has gone through a very personal battle;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send a big thank you to Lacey on her precious gift to a family in need.

RESOLUTION NO. 4459

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 recently a student from Newcombville Elementary School had her hair cut for Angel Hair for Kids; and

Whereas Angel Hair for Kids makes wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of burns or cancer treatments; and

Whereas Tanisha Teal gave unselfishly of herself so that a smile can be brought to the face of an adult or child who has gone through a very personal battle;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send a big thank you to Tanisha on her precious gift to a family in need.

RESOLUTION NO. 4460

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 recently a student from Newcombville Elementary School had her hair cut for Angel Hair for Kids; and

Whereas Angel Hair for Kids makes wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of burns or cancer treatments; and

Whereas Hannah Meisner gave unselfishly of herself so that a smile can be brought to the face of an adult or child who has gone through a very personal battle;

[Page 4634]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send a big thank you to Hannah on her precious gift to a family in need.

RESOLUTION NO. 4461

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake Market Superstore has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4462

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, U-Haul Company Limited has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4463

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

[Page 4635]

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

Whereas business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, U-Haul Company-Neighbourhood Dealers has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4464

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake Ultramar Canada has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4465

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 4636]

Whereas business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake Tim Hortons has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4466

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake Subway has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4467

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Siteman's Service Station has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

[Page 4637]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4468

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Jeddore Sobeys has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4469

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Miracle Maids has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4470

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

[Page 4638]

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

Whereas business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake Lawtons has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4471

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Musquodoboit Harbour Lawtons has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4472

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Musquodoboit Harbour Home Building Centre has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 4639]

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4473

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake Great Canadian Dollar Store has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4474

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake First Choice Video Games and DVDs Limited has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4475

[Page 4640]

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Porters Lake Frenchy's has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4476

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 business strengthens all communities; and

Whereas through their skilled staff, Cameron Home Hardware Building Centre has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4477

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 business strengthens all communities; and

[Page 4641]

Whereas through their skilled staff, Baker's Bent Wrench Ultramar Service has been a valuable contributor to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas through providing employment they have helped to enable families the opportunity to remain on the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Eastern Shore businesses and wish them continued success.