Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 03/04-46

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

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/

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

First Session

FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2004

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Bill No. 62: Clause 46 - Withdraw, Mr. R. MacKinnon 3693
Health: Enzyme Replacement Therapy - Funding, Mr. R. Chisholm 3694
TPW: O'Connell Dr. (Porters Lake) - Repair, Mr. K. Colwell 3694
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1714, Barrett, Wayne: CEC Principal - Retirement, Hon. J. Muir 3695
Vote - Affirmative 3695
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1715, Ferguson, Sonia - E. Hants Mun. Award, Mr. J. MacDonell 3696
Vote - Affirmative 3696
Res. 1716, Col.-Musq. Valley MLA: Opposition - Provision,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 3696
Res. 1717, Tri-County Women's Ctr.: Funding - Details, Hon. D. Morse 3697
Res. 1718, Topshee Mem. Fund: Contribution - Recognize,
Mr. D. Dexter 3698
Vote - Affirmative 3698
Res. 1719, Adams, Nina/Cain, Opal: Commun. Work - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Colwell 3698
Vote - Affirmative 3699
Res. 1720, Kenney & Ross Ltd. - Export Achievement Award,
Mr. C. O'Donnell 3699
Vote - Affirmative 3700
Res. 1721, Chebucto Head Light - Repairs: Participants - Congrats.,
Ms. M. Raymond 3700
Vote - Affirmative 3701
Res. 1722, C.B.-Victoria Reg. Sch. Bd.: Funding Shortage - Reasons,
Mr. L. Glavine 3701
Res. 1723, Warner, Evan - Toyota Scholarship, Mr. M. Parent 3701
Vote - Affirmative 3702
Res. 1724, RCL Branch 128 Whitney Pier: D-Day Anniv. (60th) -
Commemoration, Mr. G. Gosse 3702
Vote - Affirmative 3703
Res. 1725, IWK - Wait Lists: Growth - Reasons,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3703
Res. 1726, McGregor, Vera M. - Birthday (75th), Mr. W. Dooks 3704
Vote - Affirmative 3704
Res. 1727, Brushett, Beatrice/de Carvalho, Carlos: St. Margarets Bay Lions
- Rookie of Yr./Lion of Yr., Mr. W. Estabrooks 3704
Vote - Affirmative 3705
Res. 1728, Robinson, Karen - Mainland North Vol. Recognition Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 3705
Vote - Affirmative 3706
Res. 1729, Fielding, Ron: Truro Sport Her. Soc. - Honour Roll,
Hon. J. Muir 3706
Vote - Affirmative 3707
Res. 1730, Blois, Kathy - E. Hants Mun. Award, Mr. J. MacDonell 3707
Vote - Affirmative 3707
Res. 1731, Prem.: Briefing - Staff Allow, Mr. Manning MacDonald 3707
Res. 1732, Bridgewater HS: Hockey Championship - Hosting/Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3708
Vote - Affirmative 3709
Res. 1733, NDP - Gov. (N.S.): Support - 48-Hour Rule,
Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 3709
Res. 1734, Ridgecliff Mid. Sch. - Night of Art & Fashion,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 3710
Vote - Affirmative 3710
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 81, Heritage Property Act, Mr. G. Sampson 3711
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 49, Mi'kmaq Education Act 3711
Hon. J. Muir 3711
Mr. J. MacDonell 3712
Hon. J. Muir 3712
Vote - Affirmative 3712
No. 50, Credit Union Act 3713
Hon. R. Russell 3713
Mr. Manning MacDonald 3713
Hon. R. Russell 3713
Vote - Affirmative 3713
No. 51, Provincial Acadian Day Act 3714
Hon. C. d'Entremont 3714
Mr. W. Gaudet 3714
Mr. G. Steele 3715
Mr. M. Samson 3716
Hon. C. d'Entremont 3717
Vote - Affirmative 3718
No. 67, House of Assembly Act 3718
No. 68, International Interests in Mobile Aircraft Equipment Act 3718
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 9:53 A.M. 3718
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 10:02 A.M. 3718
CWH REPORTS 3719
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 79, Petroleum Products Pricing Act 3719
Hon. B. Barnet 3719
Mr. G. Steele 3719
Mr. M. Samson 3728
Mr. J. MacDonell 3736
Mr. W. Gaudet 3737
Mr. K. Colwell 3740
Hon. B. Barnet 3744
Vote - Affirmative 3748
No. 64, Capital Region Transportation Authority Act 3748
Mr. J. Pye 3748
Adjourned debate 3751
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., May 17th at 2:00 p.m. 3752
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1735, Palacios, Miguel Eduardo Zequeira/Los Aragoncitos -
Welcome, Mr. K. Colwell 3753
Res. 1736, Fernandez, Alexis Gonzales/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3753
Res. 1737, Alfonso, Nardeivis Aquilar/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3754
Res. 1738, Matamoros, José Carlos Hernandez/Los Aragoncitos -
Welcome, Mr. K. Colwell 3754
Res. 1739, Hernadez, José Lozano/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3755
Res. 1740, Vega, Tania Beatriz Valdez/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3755
Res. 1741, Valero, Alain Robles/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3756
Res. 1742, Noa, Luis Noel Hernandez/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3756
Res. 1743, Rodriguez, Monica Gonzales/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3757
Res. 1744, Dorticos, Michel Camilo Beltran/Los Aragoncitos -
Welcome, Mr. K. Colwell 3758
Res. 1745, Rodriguez, Laura del Carmen Morales/Los Aragoncitos -
Welcome, Mr. K. Colwell 3758
Res. 1746, Valdés, Wilfredo Milián/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3759
Res. 1747, Bauta, Ivan Garcia/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3759
Res. 1748, Bondarenko, Emilia/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3760
Res. 1749, Naranjo, Diamela Prado/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3760
Res. 1750, Menendes, Teresita/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3761
Res. 1751, Rruz, Graciela Rodriguez/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3761
Res. 1752, Garcia, Rosa Maria Vidal/Los Aragoncitos - Welcome,
Mr. K. Colwell 3762
Res. 1753, Roberts, Eugene & Beryl - Anniv. (60th), Hon. B. Barnet 3763
Res. 1754, Westville Special Olympic Curling Team: Season - Commend
Mr. J. DeWolfe 3763
Res. 1755, Thorburn Cons. Sch.: Cdn. Book Wk. - Celebration,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 3764
Res. 1756, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Exemplary Service Bars -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3764
Res. 1757, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Long Service Award (35 yrs.) -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3765
Res. 1758, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Long Serv. Awards (25 yrs.) -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3765
Res. 1759, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Serv. Medallions (40 yr.) -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3766
Res. 1760, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Long Serv. Awards (15 yr.) -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3766
Res. 1761, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Long Serv. Awards (15 yr.) -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3767
Res. 1762, Springhill Corr. Instit.: CSC Pins (10 yr.) -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3767
Res. 1763, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Retirement Certs. -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3768
Res. 1764, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Retirement Certs. -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3768
Res. 1765, Springhill Corr. Instit.: Exemplary Service Medals -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3769
Res. 1766, Springhill Corr. Instit.: CSC Pins (25 yr.) -
Recipients Congrats., The Speaker 3769

[Page 3693]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2004

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. James DeWolfe, Ms. Joan Massey, Mr. Russell MacKinnon

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table several petitions on behalf of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union with regard to the 1 per cent contribution rate increase for the Public Service Pension Plan. The operative clause being:

"Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on the Hamm government to withdraw Clause 46 of Bill 62 in favour of an extensive round of discussions with NSGEU and CUPE that will conclude by the end of 2004 about longer-term solutions to the funding problems of the Plan and the possibility of joint governance or trusteeship."

3693

[Page 3694]

I realize that the minister has made a statement on this issue, but I feel it's important to put this on the public record. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

MR. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of Arnold Cooke of Isaacs Harbour and Chris Parsons of Port Bickerton in Guysborough County, and they have been involved in a clinical study at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre for Fabry's disease.

The operative clause reads that the cost of the treatment is approximately $275,000 per person. Right now this cost is not covered by the provincial government, so they are asking that government review this and pay the cost. It also says June 30th here, Mr. Speaker, but in the last week or so the provincial government extended this until August 30th for the clinical study of this drug and are working on the cost of it.

MR. SPEAKER: And you have affixed your name?

MR. CHISHOLM: I have affixed my name to this petition, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a petition that reads as follows:

"We the residents of Porters Lake and area petition the Government of Nova Scotia to have O'Connell Drive, Porters Lake between the #7 Highway and O'Connell Drive School properly repaired and be kept in good condition at all times. This road is subjected to high volumes of traffic because of the school resulting in a large number of pot holes and at times is almost impassable."

Mr. Speaker, there are 158 signatures on this and I affix my name to the petition as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

[Page 3695]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1714

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

Whereas Wayne Barrett, Principal of Cobequid Educational Centre, which is Nova Scotia's largest high school, will retire at the end of this academic year; and

Whereas Wayne Barrett joined the CEC teaching staff in 1974, became vice-principal in 1994 and principal in 1998; and

Whereas Wayne Barrett has been a true champion of both the academic and co-curricular activities of CEC and its student body, is a faculty member who has been actively involved in some extra-curricular activities and a strong supporter of most others;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Wayne Barrett for his 30 years of exemplary contribution to CEC students and his 33 years to education in Nova Scotia, and extend to him and his wife, Nancy, best wishes for the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3696]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1715

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

Whereas volunteerism fills positions that otherwise could not exist; and

Whereas there can never be too many to help deliver health care services; and

Whereas on Volunteer Awards Night, April 21, 2004, Ms. Sonia Ferguson was honoured by the Municipality of East Hants for her work at the Rawdon Hills Health Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Sonia Ferguson for her fine example of contributing to the betterment of her 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 Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 1716

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

Whereas there was once a time when the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley tried to revolt against the Leader of the Tory Party, but he failed in his attempt; and

[Page 3697]

Whereas the member was rewarded for his actions by never being allowed a peek in the Cabinet Room; and

Whereas once again this member is not toeing the Party line with regard to gas prices;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize that the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley is providing more effective Opposition than the NDP.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1717

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

Whereas former federal Liberal Minister Robert Thibault was right there to cut the ribbon when HRDC announced project funding for the new Tri-County Women's Centre in 2002; and

Whereas the former minister was nowhere to be seen when the grant ran out and the centre was facing closure in 2003; and

Whereas the MLA for Yarmouth stepped in and advocated for provincial support from the Department of Community Services, which saved the Tri-County Women's Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that when the member for Halifax Clayton Park tried to claim credit for the federal Liberals' role in this saga yesterday, she should have acknowledged the true commitment of her federal cousins in being prepared to allow the Tri-County Women's Centre to close.

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 Leader of the Official Opposition.

[Page 3698]

RESOLUTION NO. 1718

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

Whereas the St. F.X. Extension Department will be holding its 18th Topshee Memorial Conference on May 15 and 16, 2004; and

Whereas the Topshee Conferences have been held since 1984 to honour the memory of Reverend George Topshee; and

Whereas these conferences enable individuals and community-based groups to seek solutions to common issues from a social justice perspective, carrying on the spirit of the Antigonish Movement;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the contribution made by the Topshee Memorial Fund, initiated by the Atlantic Federations of Labour, and extend best wishes to the delegates who will address this year's theme, People's Globalization: The World WE Want.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1719

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

Whereas on June 2, 2004, the YWCA will hold their Women's Recognition Luncheon to honour women who are making a difference in our community, women of vision; and

[Page 3699]

Whereas Nina Adams of East Preston is being honoured in the category of Neighbourhood Legends - Changing our Communities through Volunteering; and

Whereas Opal Cain of Dartmouth is being honoured in the category of Workplace Innovation - Changing How We Work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Nina Adams and Opal Cain, and commend them for their devoted work 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 member for Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 1720

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

Whereas Kenney and Ross Limited from Port Saxton, Shelburne County, was recognized last night at the Export Achievement Awards Dinner; and

Whereas Kenney and Ross have had tremendous success in their exporting business, and were honoured in association with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters for their contribution to Nova Scotia's economy; and

Whereas Mr. Robert Welland, Vice-President of Kenney and Ross Limited, was one of the company personnel on hand last night to accept the award;

Therefore be it resolved MLAs pay tribute to Kenney and Ross Limited of Port Saxon, Shelburne County for their outstanding work and the jobs which accompany this outstanding work in Shelburne County.

[Page 3700]

[9:15 a.m.]

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 1721

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

Whereas the Chebucto Head Light has welcomed and warned generations of mariners entering Halifax Harbour; and

Whereas the Chebucto Head Light station and keeper's house have now been abandoned by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and are being vandalized; and

Whereas the Chebucto Head Light community group has negotiated a lease to allow them to repair and to use the lighthouse as an interpretation centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dr. Annelise Chapman and the Chebucto Head Light group on this news and their efforts to increase awareness of the light station's history and the fragile coastal barrens behind them.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3701]

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. 1722

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

Whereas the member for Cape Breton Nova says he's concerned about the loss of teaching positions at the Cape Breton-Victoria board; and

Whereas this year's provincial budget contained no new money for school boards with declining enrolments like the Cape Breton-Victoria board; and

Whereas the member for Cape Breton Nova voted in favour of the budget;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Cape Breton Nova recognize that the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is short of money because of a budget that he and the NDP caucus supported, a budget which is hurting our public education system.

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 Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1723

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

Whereas a Grade 12 student in North East Kings Education Centre has received a $5,000 scholarship from Toyota to help pay for his post-secondary education; and

[Page 3702]

Whereas Evan Warner spends his summers working at Sun Ship Earth Environmental Camp in Windsor and received the scholarship for his environmental leadership; and

Whereas the Canning student will use the money to attend the film program at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Evan Warner on winning a scholarship from Toyota and wish him much success at Simon Fraser University.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 1724

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

Whereas on Sunday, June 6, 2004, at 1900 hours, Branch 128 Whitney Pier Royal Canadian Legion and Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School will commemorate the 60th Anniversary of D-Day; and

Whereas 60 candles will be lit to mark the anniversary of the Allied landing in Normandy during World War II; and

Whereas we must encourage young and old alike to remember the contributions made by members of our community to the war effort;

Therefore be it resolved that the Members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Branch 128 Whitney Pier Legion for its initiative and tireless effort in remembering those who sacrificed their lives for freedom and those who continued to fight for veterans of today.

[Page 3703]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 1725

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

Whereas yesterday, the government, in order to alleviate intolerable wait lists, announced $300,000 in funding in order to assist in the provision of rehabilitation services for children at the IWK: and

Whereas the Premier commented that his government's delay in responding to the crisis was because his government is not interested in participating in programs they can't sustain and the federal government hasn't provided enough funding; and

Whereas last year's $155 rebate cheques would have sustained the $300,000 a year funding for additional rehabilitation services for some 240 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize that it is priorities, not sustainability and lack of funding, that has allowed wait lists for rehabilitation services to grow at the IWK.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 3704]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Eastern Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 1726

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

Whereas a 75th birthday is a date that should not go unrecognized; and

Whereas Vera M. McGregor celebrated this milestone on April 8th of this year; and

Whereas Ms. McGregor makes her home in Head of Jeddore;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend their heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Vera M. McGregor on the occasion of her 75th birthday.

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. 1727

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

Whereas the St. Margaret's Bay Lions Club recently announced its awards at its annual Charter Night; and

Whereas Lions, Carlos de Carvalho and Beatrice Brushett, were named as the Lion of the Year and Rookie of the Year respectively; and

[Page 3705]

Whereas these Lions and members of the St. Margaret's Bay Lions Club continue to put into action the Lions' motto "We Serve";

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Beatrice Brushett and Carlos de Carvalho on being awarded Rookie of the Year and Lion of the Year by the St. Margaret's Bay Lions Club.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 1728

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

Whereas the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee held its first volunteer recognition May 6, 2004, to honour volunteers who have made a difference in their community; and

Whereas Karen Robinson has worked for over 10 years to ensure a safe and healthy environment in our schools as a founding member and President of Citizens for a Safe Learning Environment; and

Whereas Ms. Robinson has averaged 25 hours volunteering a week while battling a health disability, which limits her activities, and also raising her two children;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge the tremendous efforts Karen Robinson has made to make our schools a safer place and congratulate her for receiving the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Award.

[Page 3706]

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. 1729

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

Whereas Ron Fielding was named to the Honour Roll of the Truro Sport Heritage Society for excellence in hockey; and

Whereas Ron Fielding, following an outstanding career as a minor hockey player, was a member of the 1949-50 and 1950-51 Halifax Saint Mary's junior team which won the Maritime Junior title and competed in the Memorial Cup playdowns; and

Whereas Ron Fielding played senior hockey in the APC league for three years in the 1953-54 season, set a league record by scoring 43 goals, and was selected to the all-star team;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Ron Fielding for being named to the Honour Roll of the Truro Sport Heritage Society and wish him and his wife, Lois, health and happiness in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3707]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1730

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

Whereas volunteerism is the plug that fills the holes in society that otherwise would leave us all poorer in spirit and prosperity; and

Whereas volunteering to work with hospitalized children to ease their time of suffering is a mark of a generous spirit; and

Whereas on Volunteer Awards Night, April 21, 2004, Ms. Kathy Blois was honoured by the Municipality of East Hants for her work at the IWK Health Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House Of Assembly congratulate Kathy Blois for her outstanding example of selflessness and caring for those most vulnerable and most precious.

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. 1731

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

[Page 3708]

Whereas the tabling yesterday of a letter written by his Finance Minister to the federal Minister of Finance appeared to have caught the Premier by surprise, even though he had been copied on that letter and, presumably, the Minister of Finance would not have sent such a directive to Ottawa without his prior approval; and

Whereas the Premier insisted that he was in favour of getting cost-sharing dollars from Ottawa, even though he was holding in his hand a copy of the letter that said otherwise; and

Whereas it is becoming painfully clear that the Premier is not being properly briefed by his army of communications advisors;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier insist that his director of communications and his chief of staff stop screening his mail, permit him to read letters that are copied to him, and allow him to sit in on all Cabinet meetings - even the ones where issues of substance are discussed.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 1732

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 high school sports are so important to school morale; and

Whereas a large number of students are provided with the opportunity to participate in a variety of school sports; and

Whereas Bridgewater High School hosted and participated in the 2004 Division 3 Provincial Hockey Championships;

[Page 3709]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Bridgewater High School hockey players and coaching staff for not only hosting the event, but winning the silver medal at the competition.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 1733

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

Whereas the Tory Government has seen fit to allow for 48 hours' notice before there is a gasoline price increase, but not if the price goes down; and

Whereas the Leader of the NDP thought it was such a great idea he suggested that today's families could implement a 48-hour budget; and

Whereas maybe the 48-hour rule could be used in the House to notify the government of their potential demise;

Therefore be it resolved that the NDP should give 48 hours' notice before propping up a government, but no such requirement will be made if they finally agree to defeat them.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 3710]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1734

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

Whereas Ridgecliff Middle School is planning a "Night of Art and Fashion" as a fundraiser for the Fine Arts Program and the Teen Health Centre at that school; and

Whereas students from the art program will have their art work on display; and

Whereas students will also present a fashion show, modelling their own creations made from recycled materials;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend its best wishes to the organizers and students of Ridgecliff on their "Night of Art and Fashion" fundraiser.

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.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3711]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

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

Bill No. 81 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 199 of the Revised Statutes, 1989. The Heritage Property Act. (Mr. Gerald Sampson)

[9:30 a.m.]

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

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 49.

Bill No. 49 - Mi'kmaq Education Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have the opportunity to review the amendment we proposed for the Mi'kmaq Education Act. It acknowledges First Nation communities in Nova Scotia that have autonomy from the federal government to deliver their own educational programs for their learners. It also requires that these programs be comparable to those offered in Nova Scotia's public schools so that students can transfer back and forth.

The Bear River First Nation is taking the initiative to attain autonomy for education for its community, the band requested this amendment so its autonomy is recognized by the provincial government. We're pleased to accommodate this request and if there are no questions or further comments, I move third reading of this bill.

[Page 3712]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to make a few comments and I will be brief. I certainly see this as a positive step. It would obviously make sense that this band would like to have their name added to the schedule. I still want to reiterate my comments in second reading, in particular to the minister, that presently only the Education Minister in British Columbia gathers detailed evidence on Aboriginal school outcomes. I would say that there still is some work that needs to be done in this area and that the minister would be well advised to stay on top of this issue and ensure that expected outcomes are the outcomes that we're getting.

When the minister rises to close debate, I would be curious to know, when I look at the original Act, Mr. Speaker, that brought the other bands into this Act, I was curious to find power to amend the schedule, which means, as I read it, that the Governor in Council can amend the schedule and they can add the name of any band to the schedule under the existing Act. So, I was curious, when I saw that, that the minister actually brought in this bill to add the Bear River Band to this schedule. So if the minister could some brief explanation of why he did it in this way rather than by Order in Council, that's just a curiosity that I have. But I see this as a positive step and I encourage the minister to keep his attention close to the outcomes of students in schools on Reserves in the province. Those communities want the same things for their children as all communities do. Being a former educator, I see education as a way to create options for students and so to have any mechanism that opens more doors rather than close them is a good thing. So, Mr. Speaker, we're very supportive of this legislation.

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

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JAMES MUIR: I thank him for that intervention and I'm going to have to find that answer to that question for him. I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 49.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 49. Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

[Page 3713]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 50.

Bill No. 50 - Credit Union Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Labour, I move third reading of Bill No. 50.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I just want to rise for a few moments on this particular bill and say at the outset how proud I am as an individual to be a long-time member of the Sydney Credit Union, 45 years, actually, and past president of that organization. Today, one in four people in industrial Cape Breton belong to a credit union and that's significant, and a departure from the traditional role in the past of credit unions always being thought of in our community and other communities across the province, as perhaps a level below, in terms of a financial institution, than the banks.

This bill helps to remind Nova Scotians of the importance of credit unions in Nova Scotia, and the importance of the kind of role they play in the community. I, for one, want to congratulate the government for pushing this bill forward and also to the members of the House for agreeing unanimously to support this bill. It is a bill whose time has come and I believe it is one step further in this province, to telling Nova Scotians of the vital role that credit unions play. Thank you.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 50.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 50. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

[Page 3714]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 51.

Bill No. 51 - Provincial Acadian Day Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister responsible for Acadian Affairs.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in my place today and move third reading of Bill No. 51, an Act to Establish a Provincial Acadian Day, la loi instituant la Fête provinciale des Acadiens et Acadiennes.

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

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to say a few words on third reading of Bill No. 51, the Provincial Acadian Day Act.

M. le President, ça fait longtemps que les Acadiens et Acadiennes fête le 15 août. Je comprend que ça fait depuis 1881 qu'on celebre notre fête nationale.

Mr. Speaker, August 15th has been recognized since 1881 by Acadians as our national holiday and today Acadians in our province are delighted to see our provincial government recognizing August 15th as Provincial Acadian Day.

Cette année marke la 400e anniversaire de l'arriver des français en Amerique du Nord. En 1604, 400 ans passé, l'arriver Sieur de Monts et de Samuel de Champlain accompanier d'habitants francais debarkent sur les rives de la Nouvelle-Écosse.

This year marks the 400th Anniversary of the first French settlers in North America.

Aujourd'hui les Acadiens at les Acadiennes de cette province se rejouice de voir la province recontre la fête nationale des Acadiens le 15 août. La tenue de 3e Congrès Mondial ici en Nouvelle-Écosse cette été invite a rapeller la naissance d'un petit peuple, celui des Acadiens at les Acadiennes. M. le President, ce petit peuple a une histoire, a un drapeau, un hymne national, et a une fête nationale. J'encourage tous les Neo-Ecossaits de participer et associer à ce grand événement cultural acadiens cette été.

This Summer, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia will host an international gathering of the Acadians. Le Congres Mondial Acadien will be held from July 31st to August 15th and many events are planned to be held around the province. I encourage all Nova Scotians to participate in these very special celebrations of Acadian culture.

[Page 3715]

M. le President, je veux ajouter, avant de terminer, quelque mots pour raconnaître la personne responsable pour avoir fait le promotion à le government du jour que le Nouvelle-Ecosse soit hôte pour le 3e Congrès Mondial cette été. M. le President, cette personne est l'ancien directure exécutif du bureau des Affaires Acadiens, M. Paul Gaudet de la besad Marie. Je me souviens, avant la tenue du 2e Congrès des Acadiens en Louisiane en 1999, que M. Gaudet travaillait sur cette dosier et manquait jamais la chance a lobbié le government provincial de jour a appuier ses effortes pour que la tenue du 3e Congrès Mondial des Acadiens soit ici en Nouvelle-Écosse en 2004.

In closing, I want to recognize Paul Gaudet, former executive director of Acadian Affairs as the person responsible for lobbying the provincial government of the day to support his efforts that Nova Scotia should host this international gathering of the Acadians this Summer. With that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my seat.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Merci, M. le President. Je n'as jamais eu au paravant l'occasion de parler français ici dans l'Assemblé Legislative et c'est ma première fois pour parler. Je suis souvant la porte parler en langue français pour l'NPD. C'est n'a pas parce que je suis francophone; c'est n'a pas parce que je suis Acadien; mais c'est parce que je parle français mieux que tous les autes débutés dans notre comité électorale. Mais il y a parmi nous des débutés qui parle français aussi comme le débuté de Sackville-Cobiquid ou le débuté de Halifax Atlantic. Je sait que mon collegue, l'Acadien dans notre comité électorale, M. Deveaux, le membre de Cole Habour-Eastern Passage veut amèliorer son francais et redécouvrir son hértiage Acadien.

Nous sommes fièrs pour dire que nous donnons notre appuie à ce project de loi mais ils faut reconnaître que la seule chose que cette project de loi fait est de reconnaître la fête provinciale des Acadiens et des Acadiennes. C'est une étape importante pour cette Assemblé Legislative de reconnaître la fête provinciale mais, comme nous avons entendu pendant le deuxième lecture sur cette project de loi, c'est seulement la première étape. Il y a des questions très importantes au quelle nous devons faire face. Le débuté de Richmond a soulèvé des questions sur ce que nous faisons ici dans l'Assemblé Legislative. La question du drapeau Acadien, qu'on a ici sur les terrains de l'Assemblé, mais c'est quelque chose temporaire. Est-ce que ca peux être quelque chose permanent? C'est une bonne question. Il a soulèvé aussi la question de la traduction, que la tranduction soit disponible ici dans l'Assemblé pour les débutés qui veux l'exprimer en français, dans leure langue maternelle.

Notre communauté Acadienne a s'addresse au des questions surtout sur l'éducation. Nous avons le Conseil Scholar Acadien provincial mais je lu hier, M. le President, que les Acadiens, la communauté Acadienne veux s'addresse maintenant au question de pouvoir s'exprimer en français dans la système de santé. Ça c'est une question aussi difficile et c'est une bonne question aussi. Est-ce que nous sommes prêt a s'addresser ses questions? Il n'y a

[Page 3716]

aucune question que livrer des services de santè en français va couter. Ça n'a pas quelque chose qu'on peux livrer gratuitment. Est-ce que cette Assemblé Legislative est prêt a allée plus loin que des mots, que cette project de loi et accordé un budget à fin que la communauté Acadienne peux reçevoir des services de santé en français, tout comme maintenant il reçoit des services en éducation?

Alors, cette project de loi est une première étape, est une bonne première étape. Ça va recevoir l'appuie unanime de cette Assemblé, j'en suis sûre, mais il y a d'autres questions plus difficiles au quelles nous devons faire face. Merci, M. le President.

[9:45 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Merci, M. le President. Ça me faire plaisir de dire quelques mots sure le project de loi No.51 qui reconnaître la journée Acadienne ici a Nouvelle-Écosse. J'avais pas l'intention de dire quelques mots de fait que mon chef, le débuté de Clare, avait dèja presenté, mais je voulais prende cette occasion pour féliciter mon collègue de Halifax Fairview pour avoir presenter ici a cette assemblé aujourd'hui. J'ai vu qu'il n'avais pas de notes, qu'il a parlé juste lui meme de son coeur et de ses idées. La seule chose que j'enais de regrèt, c'est que aujoud'hui est sa première fois qu'il s'a pronouce. Je l'encourage de se pronoucer dans la fûtur en français parce que, comme vous avez bien vu après que son discours, les membres ont très bien aimer la façon qu'il s'a presente, les choses qu'il avait a dire at tout ça. Puis, je suis content qu'il a soulévé des pointes que j'ai dèja soulévé ici à la maison.

C'est sans question que si on avait la traduction ici à l'Assemblé que les débutés qui ne sont pas comfortable en français pouvait entendre plus de français ici et avoir la traduction pour comprende les mots, comprende qu'est-ce que c'est qu'ils veux le dire. J'ai pas de doute qu'on aurait plus de débutés qui voudrait avoir le courage de se presenter en français. Je m'en rapelle même, M. le President, que le Ministre des Services Communautaires, pas longtemps après qu'il était élu une journée s'avait presenté lui même en français. Le débuté de Kings South, je suis bien contente de l'entendre lui aussi faire ses effortes de se presenter en français et j'encourage que lui aussi fait plus dans le futur.

Si qu'on anait des services de traduction, c'est sans question que ca soit plus facile pour les debutes d'avoir confiance de se presenter en français. Une chose que je peux vous dire, c'est souvant qu'on entend des gens qui nous dit "Je ne suis pas trop comfortable de me presenter français, je pense pas que je pronounce les mots très biens, il y a des mots que je connais pas." Je peux vous dire, comme vous avez vous avec le débuté de Halifax Fairview qui a très bien presenter, la communauté Acadienne, la communauté français ici a la Nouvelle-Écosse, est toujours fièr de voirs leurs débutés veulle essaier au moins de se presenter en français, de dire quelques mots. En 2004, je pense que c'est quelque chose avec un pays qui

[Page 3717]

est bilangue que c'est toujours bon d'avoir des membres élus qui font un effort de voulour se presenter en français et les collègues français de se presenter en anglais.

Alors, comme dèja dit par des differentes débutés, ceçi va être un très grande annèe pour la communauté Acadienne, ce project de loi est une étape pour le province a reconnaître le 15 août comme la journée du peuple Acadien. J'encourage tous les débutés de faire participation, soit au reunion de famille, soit au different évenements qui vont prendre place dans des communautés où ca va prende place, soit ici au Halifax, soit au Cape-Breton, cette été. Cette une été pour celebrer la communauté Acadienne, pour celebre l'Acadie. J'encourage tous les membres de tous les coins de province de s'impliquer et de nous joindre en félicitons l'année de l'Acadie.

Une chose qui a toujours était dit de les Acadiens, c'est comment chaleureux ils sont et comment ils sont tourjours pret pour reçevoir le peuple et d'avior un bon temps. Alors je vous encourage d'en participer a ses événements et faire 2004 une annee que pas juste la communauté Acadienne peut être fière mais tout la province de Nouvelle-Écosse peut être fièr de notre heritage Acadien et du peuple Acadien et la culture qui demure très forte ici en Nouvelle-Écosse en 2004. Merci, M. le President.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. J'ai apprecie les commentaires des membres de Clare, de Richmond, et de Halifax Fairview pour le travail a faire cette échange en français. J'amerais remercier la Federation Acadienne de Nouvelle-Écosse pour approcher le government pour demander cette honour sur l'affaire du peuple Acadien et M. Stan Surrette qui a fait cette approche. J'amerais aussi remercier Mme Vaughne Madden, Ronald Bourgeois qui on fait beaucoup de travail pour faire certain que le Congrès Mondial 2004 sera ici a Nouvelle-Écosse cette année.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to invite all the members here in the House to participate in the activities of the Congres Mondial Acadien 2004. It will be travelling the province, starting off in Clare and I'm sure the member for Clare will be very busy during those few weeks. The member for Richmond will be very busy as well. It'll be moving to the middle show in Cheticamp. I forget the exact date on that one - anyway the middle of the show. Of course, on August 15th, which is now going to be the Provincial Acadian Day, for the finale here in Halifax with the mass, of course, in the afternoon in Grand Pre. I invite everybody to participate and enjoy the family reunions that will be happening.

Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 51.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 51. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 3718]

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 67.

Bill No. 67 - House of Assembly Act.

Bill No. 68 - International Interests in Mobile Aircraft Equipment Act.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that these bills be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

[MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.]

[9:53 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Joan Massey in the Chair.]

[10:02 a.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. James DeWolfe in the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, for the information of members, Bill No. 26, which is the Health Protection Act which is in committee, we will return to that Act after we have dealt with a couple of bills for second reading. We have two bills on the Order Paper. Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 79. (Interruptions) Oh, you haven't done that yet?

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

[Page 3719]

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

Bill No. 46 - Public Service Act.

Bill No. 48 - Education Act.

Bill No. 61 - Theatres and Amusements Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 79.

Bill No. 79 - Petroleum Products Pricing Act.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move Bill No. 79, the Petroleum Products Pricing Act. Before I do that, I want to take this opportunity to convey to members of the House that this piece of legislation will enable government to act and provide consumers with a level of certainty and protection with respect to fuel pricing. It will also provide us an opportunity after the select committee meets to determine the best course of action for Nova Scotians. It's something that Nova Scotians have been asking me, as minister and us as government, to do for a number of months and I'm pleased to move Bill No. 79.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to spend a few minutes, certainly not the full hour that's available to me, but a few minutes anyway addressing this bill that was introduced by the government just yesterday, Entitled an Act Respecting the Price of Petroleum Products. There are some things that need to be said today, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my caucus.

[Page 3720]

First of all, I think it's important that everybody realize that even though we're in the midst of what you might call a gasoline price crisis, this bill extends to more than just gasoline for private passenger vehicles. I won't read the definition of petroleum product here, but if I can summarize, Mr. Speaker, this bill applies to any fuel used for heat, a very important issue since Nova Scotia, unlike many other provinces, has about two-thirds of its homes heated by petroleum products. Almost two-thirds of homes heated by petroleum products. The price of heating fuel is of very fundamental importance to the people of Nova Scotia, and this bill applies to that issue.

I think it's extremely important, that before we have a crisis with home heating fuel prices next winter, that we get the problem solved now. We have a chance, we are in the middle of a gasoline price crisis, we are not in the middle of a home heating fuel crisis because we are at the end of the Winter heating season, and we have a number of months before the next home heating season is upon us, and we have a real opportunity here to do the right thing and head off the problem before it even arises. I do want to make clear to all members and to the people that we represent that this bill applies to home heating fuel as well.

Then, of course, it applies to any petroleum product used, primarily for internal combustion engines, or something - I'm not a mechanical person, Mr. Speaker, and I have to admit that there is something in the bill here, that I don't even know what it is. I'm sure I'll be enlightened over the course of the next few months - a glow-plug ignition system. The minister tells me that he can inform us what that is. It is any fuel used in an internal combustion engine and any fuel used in a glow-plug ignition system. I'm told that's simply the description of an engine that runs on diesel fuel. See how easy it was to educate myself? Apparently a number of members around me are more mechanically inclined than I am. It is any fuel used in an internal combustion engine or in a diesel engine.

The thing that I particularly wanted to underline in my remarks in second reading today, Mr. Speaker, is the enormous difference between what the government announced yesterday, and what is actually in the bill. The government news release is very different from the bill. Today the media dutifully reported what was in the government news release, but they didn't report what was in the bill. What was in the government news release is nowhere to be found in the bill. That's a bit peculiar. In fact, I was watching Peter Mansbridge on the CBC news last night, the 10:00 o'clock national news, and he went beyond misreporting the bill, what he reported to a waiting national audience was that the Nova Scotia Legislature had passed the bill already. I do think that people who are reporting on this issue need to be a little more careful about what they are actually saying.

The centrepiece of the government's announcement yesterday was 48 hours notice; 48 hours notice of a price increase, I don't know if it would surprise you to learn, that that is not in the bill that is before us today. It's not there. What this bill is, is a broadly empowering piece of legislation that gives the government the power to do all kinds of things by regulation. You go clause by clause in the bill, and it says that this may be done by

[Page 3721]

regulation, that may be done by regulation, this may be prescribed, that may be prescribed, and if it is prescribed that's what you do, but no one reading this bill would actually have any idea what the government's policy is on petroleum products pricing.

In particular, the 48 hours' notice, is not in this bill. That is something that apparently the government is proposing to do by regulation. I say apparently because as has become all too common in this Legislature, the government has tabled a skeleton piece of legislation with no regulations attached, giving themselves the power to do all kinds of things by regulation. What's going to be in the regulation? The members of this House have no idea because the government hasn't told us. Does the government know what it wants to do by regulation? The only thing that they said yesterday was "48 hours' notice".

Mr. Speaker, last night there was a commentator who I thought, used a good line, and I'm going to use it again because it was such a good line, but since Ralph Klein is getting in trouble these days for not properly attributing his quotes, I think I better properly attribute them - this came from Marilla Stephenson of The ChronicleHerald as she spoke on CBC News last night. She said - and I thought it just captured exactly what this bill is - "It is the least the government can do without doing nothing." The least the government can do without doing nothing and that's because, really, when you get right down to it, all the government announced yesterday was the 48 hours notice. Now, we'll have to wait to see if it's a good thing.

I do have to say, Mr. Speaker, that Dave Collins from Wilsons Fuel, who is just about the only person who ever speaks from the industry side on this, because he represents an independent fuel company, an extensively independent fuel company - the big players, big oil, they refuse to talk about this and so the media has one talker and one talker only and that's Dave Collins. I like Mr. Collins. He's a good person. He helps to, I think, educate the public about what's going on out there, and he's a voice of some reason and some knowledge, which we can all benefit from. But yesterday he didn't really pull out the stops. He was about as colourful as he could possibly be. He said whoever dreamed this up is living proof that there are living brain donors, which I didn't think was very kind. He said it was bizarre. I think he said - I think he used the word "stupid".

I'm not saying it's stupid, Mr. Speaker, because that would be unparliamentary - I'm simply quoting what Mr. Collins was calling a stupid, bizarre, proof of a living brain donor. So Mr. Collins clearly doesn't think that this is going to do it. Now, we have to say that we're going to have to see how this works. Let's just say that Mr. Collins is highly skeptical that it will work, but it hasn't been tried before and we have to wait and see. We have to wait and see, we can't just say right off the bat it's not going to work, it can't work, it's going to make things worse. We're going to have to wait and see, because if you're going to give the government a tiny little bit of credit for the baby step that it took yesterday, it's that this government is the first provincial government in Canada to do something, to take a step, and

[Page 3722]

that's a good thing. The government should be congratulated for that. Whether it's enough . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Would the member agree to an introduction?

MR. STEELE: Of course, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, on an introduction.

MR. GARY HINES: Mr. Speaker, I want to apologize to my group from the Holland Road Elementary School for not meeting them and greeting them when they came in, but I was at the Law Amendments Committee across the hall. For those of you here, in the east gallery we have a group of students from the Holland Road School - accompanied by Brenda Greencorn, Brad Murray, Beth Benjamin, Darlene Burgess, Elaine Johnson, Marika Lathem and Yvonne Gordon. I would like them to stand and be recognized by the Legislature for their attendance today and I thank them. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Welcome to all the members viewing the Legislature today.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I was saying, before we welcomed our guests today, the government should be congratulated for taking a step, for recognizing that sitting on the sidelines is not a good option. Whether the step they took yesterday is enough is something that we'll have to wait and see, and we'll know fairly soon I would say. We will know very soon, as soon as this legislation is passed, whether it's going to benefit Nova Scotian consumers.

I was saying that this legislation is broad, enabling legislation - leaving everything, including the 48 hours, to be filled in later. There are a lot of blanks here to be filled in, and it looks like the second piece of the government's plan, the select committee of this Legislature is the body that is going to be charged, principally, with filling in those blanks.

[10:15 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I have a lot of questions about this select committee, how it could work, how it might work. I don't want to see it set up to fail, but I worry about whether this select committee is the best method to address this kind of problem. There's no question that on some level, this is a very technical, complex problem. The members of the committee are going to have to deal with some very complicated, factual, financial, economic information, and they're going to have to be able to work with that information, digest it, understand what it means, and then be able to make choices on behalf of Nova Scotia consumers.

[Page 3723]

If this committee is going to work, it's going to need to be properly resourced, Mr. Speaker. If it is not, it will be the captive of the experts. It will be the captive of people who know the industry inside out already. This committee is going to have to have the resources to, for example, hire its own independent expert help, to help the members wade through the undoubted difficulties of this issue. This is more than just travelling around the province and listening to people complain about high gas prices.

There's going to be a lot more to the work of this select committee than that. We need members on that committee who are going to roll up their sleeves and be prepared to get to work and - Mr. Speaker, if I may use a cliche - put their partisan differences aside, put their preconceived ideas aside, about what to do, because it seems clear that no one, no one person, no one Party, no one stakeholder in the industry has the answer about what to do, because if the answer was clear, it would have already been done.

Our responsibility as members of this Legislature is to make sure that the committee is set up in such a way that if there is an answer, if there is a way to defend the interests of Nova Scotia consumers, that committee will find it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I wonder if the member would agree to yielding some of his time for still another introduction.

MR. STEELE: Of course I would, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to introduce, in the west gallery, participants in the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union Political Lobby Workshop. They're, of course, learning more about the political process and lobbying over the next couple of days. I understand that they're here this morning to meet with MLAs, and they're going to be meeting with caucus office representations this afternoon. I would especially note Ian Johnson, who is not, of course, unknown to this House, having served in our caucus office at one point and is often here on various matters of concern to the NSGEU and, of course, to the people of Nova Scotia. I would like to extend a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, welcome to the members from NSGEU. We are debating Bill No. 79 - the Petroleum Products Pricing Act today for your enjoyment.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, if our guests want to take a case study on lobbying, this would be a great issue to do it, because there's a lot of money at stake here, a lot of money flowed. In fact, Mr. Collins, who I just finished quoting, says another thing in the paper today,

[Page 3724]

which is that none of the big oil companies wants to take the risk of launching a price war here in Halifax. What's the reason that Mr. Collins offers for that? It's because they have too much money to lose.

Mr. Speaker, I've said before in the House and I'll say again that my parents don't live in Nova Scotia, they live in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is currently paying almost 20 cents a litre less than we do here. So I talk to my father regularly, and among other things we talk about gas prices. There has been a gas price war in Winnipeg for an extended period, and if you shop around enough and know what the different outlets are offering, you can get a good deal. They're ready, willing and able to undercut each other.

Around here in Halifax, it's all exactly the same price. You can go from one end of Metro to the other, from south to north, from west to east and you're going to pay exactly the same price. They say, don't interfere with us, we're a competitive industry. Mr. Speaker, is baloney parliamentary? ( Laughter) Because that's baloney, and Mr. Collins says as much in the paper today. None of them wants to really compete with one another because why - because they have too much money to lose, and whose money is it? It's our money, the consumer's money. They want to take our money, as much of it as possible and keep it, and if that means that they all kind of have a nudge-nudge, wink-wink attitude towards gas prices so that nobody will try to compete with somebody across the city, never mind down the street. Well, they'll do that.

There's a lot of money at stake here. I expect the members of the select committee to be subject to a full court press from the big oil companies to bamboozle them at the very least, to misinform them at the worst, Mr. Speaker, because there's a great deal of money at stake. One of the responsibilities of this select committee is to make sure that their process is as open and transparent as possible, so that the consumers know that whatever answers come out the other end, are done in the interests of the consumers and not in the interests of the big oil companies.

Mr. Speaker, having said that, nobody should be under any illusion that Nova Scotia can stand as an island isolated from world fuel prices. If fuel prices are going up around the world then we have to pay those prices too. Nobody, should be under any illusion that this government or any other government has the power to protect Nova Scotia consumers from a worldwide price. If it's going up, as all the analysts predict, in the long-term over the next 10 years, it's heading nowhere but up. We are all going to have to live with the consequences of that. We are all going to have to have more fuel-efficient cars. I've been fortunate enough over the course of my life to be able to travel fairly frequently, including to Europe. That's where my parents are from, so that's where all my relatives are. One of the things I noticed, even as a little boy travelling to the United Kingdom, was that their cars were so much smaller then ours. Of course with a little boy's curiosity - yes, the Austin Mini came from Britain and that's not an accident. Why, I would ask as a little boy, are their cars so different from ours? It's because their fuel prices always were and still are, double, triple what we pay here.

[Page 3725]

They've all adjusted over there. The main way that they've adjusted is by driving much smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

We're going to have to the same thing with our homes. We're going to have to find ways of making our homes more energy efficient. There are all kinds of things that we need to do. Nova Scotia consumers should not be under the illusion, with this bill or without this bill, with or without a select committee, that the price of fuel, heating fuel and motor fuel, is going to go down. What we're committing to Nova Scotia consumers today is not a low price. We can't do that. The price is what the price is. What we are committing to Nova Scotia consumers is that we will do everything in our power to get for them a fair price, so that there are not undue profits being reaped by anyone, so that Nova Scotia consumers know that they are paying what they should pay, and not one-tenth of one penny more.

This select committee is going to have to, as I said, Mr. Speaker, go into this with an open mind. We've suggested things in the past. The Liberal Party has suggested things in the past. The Progressive Conservative Party has, well, they haven't really suggested anything in the past, until recently. They've been the free-market crowd over there until the beautiful member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley sort of broke ranks and said, no, it's time to act.

AN HON. MEMBER: Beautiful member . . .

MR. STEELE: It's time to act. Do you know what, Mr. Speaker? What's worried me is that's not the only issue that member and I have agreed on in the last couple of weeks.

AN HON. MEMBER: Now this will be very shocking . . .

MR. STEELE: Now the government side (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could get a little less heckling from my own side here?

AN HON. MEMBER: Is there something we don't know . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. The member for Halifax Fairview is speaking to the beautiful member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. (Laughter)

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, the government of the Progressive Conservative caucus has come on board, acknowledging that staying on the sidelines is not an option. Now we're going to have to lay aside what we've said before. We're going to have to go into it with an open mind and it may turn out at the end of the select committee process that we were right all along, or, it may turn out we were wrong and if we are, we have to acknowledge that and so does the Liberal caucus. They have their own ideas - I don't agree with their ideas, they don't agree with ours - but if it turns out that they're right all along, then we all have to

[Page 3726]

acknowledge that at the end of this process. If it turns out they're wrong, they're going to have to acknowledge that as well.

Mr. Speaker, I know our caucus is ready to go into this select committee process with an open mind knowing that what we're trying to achieve is the fairest price possible for the people that we all serve. I know that the members from all the other caucuses will be going in with the same attitude. We do have to learn from everybody.

MR. SPEAKER: Would the member yield for an introduction?

MR. STEELE: I would certainly accede to an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity. In the Speaker's Gallery is CAO Brian Smith of Kings Municipal Council and John Fuller, a councillor from the area representing the area near Wolfville. They're here to present on Bill No. 40, they have some strong concerns about it and they'll be in the Red Room making their presentation. I hope the House will give them a very warm welcome and I ask them to stand. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, member. The honourable member for Halifax Fairview we'll attempt to allow you to finish your dissertation without interruption.

MR. STEELE: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, members will be pleased to hear that I'm almost done.

Bill No. 80 that the Leader of the Opposition introduced in the House yesterday is part of the answer. That has to do with fair dealing between branded dealers and dealers who are not part of a network. We have to make sure not only that the price at the pump is fair for Nova Scotia consumers, but also the way the big oil companies treat their dealers is fair. Every step in the production and distribution and retail process has an impact on price. We're going to have to look at every step of that. I know the select committee will look at Bill No. 80 and the proposal that's in there because it seems surely to be part of the solution.

Even though I personally don't agree with it, based on what I know now, this committee is going to have to look seriously at the Liberal Party proposal that part of the answer here is to cut the gas tax. That has implications. That has implications for the provincial budget. If you're going to give away your revenue, you have to also be prepared to stand up and say which services you want to cut, or, alternatively, where you're going to make up the revenue, which other tax you're going to increase. You can't have it both ways. You can't cut your revenue and then pretend to the people of Nova Scotia that nothing else is going to change.

[Page 3727]

But, if that's the answer, if the tax levels on gas are too high, then that's something the select committee has to look at seriously. I would note in passing that the federal Liberal Government has entirely rejected the notion that federal gas taxes should be cut. The federal Minister of Finance has said that is not one of the options on the table. I would also note in passing that cutting provincial gas taxes is something that was tried by the former Liberal Government of New Brunswick. Everybody acknowledges that it didn't work. It did not work. All that it did, in effect, was take that government revenue and put it in the pockets of the oil companies. That's what it did and we have to frankly acknowledge that. I know the member for Richmond has been quoted as saying that that adverse consequence can be avoided and I do hope that the select committee will look seriously at that proposal to see if that can, in fact, be done.

[10:30 a.m.]

I personally believe that the more fruitful thing to look at is HST because that is the tax, since it's a percentage tax, that when prices spike, the government gets a great deal extra revenue whereas the other tax is a flat per litre tax. The government doesn't get any more revenue from the flat gas tax when the price goes up. What it does get is windfall HST revenue and when I say windfall, what I mean is it's revenue for which the government did not budget.

Let's never forget, one of the major reasons why the government was able to balance its budget last year, or I should say apparently balance its budget, because the Public Accounts aren't in yet and won't be for awhile, Mr. Speaker, the only reason they were able to apparently balance their budget - no, that's not fair - let me go back to what I said, it's not the only reason, a major reason was because they reaped windfall revenue from the tax on insurance premiums. When car insurance rates went through the roof, the government happily collected the percentage tax that it imposed on insurance premiums. So there's no question that this government's bottom line benefited substantially from skyrocketing car insurance and there's also no question that the government Treasury stands to benefit substantially to the tune of many millions of dollars because of HST on fuel. If the price goes through the roof, so do government revenues and we're going to have to confront that fact and deal with it to see if that's really where we want to go.

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has made what, in my estimation, is an excellent suggestion and that is that the windfall revenue should be put aside as a fund to help with what could otherwise be the home heating fuel crisis this coming winter. That's where the money should come from, Mr. Speaker, to fund that program. It's a good suggestion, but every day that ticks by without us doing that is lost revenue and the lesser chance for a program like that working.

Now, that's where I stand today, Mr. Speaker, but I would say again, the select committee needs to look at these ideas seriously to see if that's the way to go. We need to

[Page 3728]

learn from the other regulated and unregulated jurisdictions. We hear many things about Prince Edward Island which is a regulated system - does it work has it led to higher prices, has it not led to higher prices. We do know that they're paying a lower pump price than we are now, but what the select committee is going to have to delve into with an open mind is whether that's because of regulation or despite regulation. I would suggest the committee should also look at Newfoundland and any other jurisdiction anywhere that has ideas about how to make sure that consumers get a fair price at the pump. That's what we're all after, that's what we all want, so let's see if the committee can actually do that.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, let me just say that we should be under no illusion about what this piece of legislation is or what it does. It's a blank slate, it is a blank slate, it doesn't even include the 48-hour notice provision that the minister talked about yesterday, and it's up to all of us - since we've all signed on to this select committee - to decide what will be written on that blank slate, but we must never forget our objective which is to make sure that all of us, you, Mr. Speaker, me, everybody here, everybody we represent, pays nothing but a fair price and not one-tenth of one cent more.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make a number of remarks on Bill No. 79, the Petroleum Products Pricing Act. This province has seen hikes in gas prices over the last number of years, but clearly nothing like what we are seeing currently today. Back in January it was clear that prices were, once again, on the rise and it was at that time that the Premier of the province stated that his government would be looking at taking concrete action to provide relief to Nova Scotians from these high gas prices. Since January, Nova Scotian consumers have waited patiently, or impatiently, for relief from this government that told them what they did not believe - that we were paying a fair price at the pumps and that they would be prepared to take action. So we waited. January, February, March, April, right into May. Then last week, the minister, during his estimates, and here in the House he continued to say, wait for our plan. The Premier said wait for our plan.

So it's with great anticipation that Nova Scotians watched to see what was the Tory plan to bring immediate relief to Nova Scotian consumers on gas prices, to bring immediate relief to Nova Scotia truck drivers who try to make a living and rely on fuel as part of that living. Taxi drivers, couriers, school buses, moms and dads bringing their children to after-school activities, and Nova Scotians trying to get to work. What would be the Tory plan that they've waited three months for? Then, Mr. Speaker, with great disappointment, we see Bill No. 79.

What would Bill No. 79 do to bring immediate relief to Nova Scotian consumers when prices are now 96.9 cents for self-service at the pumps, and I'm told over $1 a litre for self-serve in Cape Breton? Absolutely nothing. Even the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley said that he was disappointed to see that immediate relief would not be coming, and

[Page 3729]

I have no doubt when all Tory members go to their ridings this weekend they will be asked if this is the best you could do. I know the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, his answer will be no - even I am disappointed in what the government has done. Three months waiting for plan, which is no plan at all.

Mr. Speaker, we listened to the minister indicate that the major plank in this bill was - and it says in the press release - that this petroleum products pricing bill will require 48 hours notice of any increase in price. Once the minister finally tabled the bill in this House and I had the opportunity to go through the bill, I indicated to the minister that the press release is incorrect, because your bill does not require 48 hours notice, your bill requires a notice to be set by regulation. So we're being asked to support a bill, again, that's going to be left to government regulations.

Allow me to state right now, Mr. Speaker, that there is the first fatal flaw in this bill that must be immediately addressed, and I certainly hope that with the support of the NDP caucus we will put that in the Act, not in the regulations as per the minister's own press release to Nova Scotians. I'm sure it certainly would not have been the intent of the minister or his government to mislead Nova Scotians, but clearly if they are serious about this it must be at least placed in the Act.

Mr. Speaker, last night we all watched to see what the reaction was from consumers, what the reaction was from industry. When you hear the comments from Dave Collins - one of the only industry representatives ever willing to talk to the media in good times and bad times - when everyone else refused to speak - he would speak, and I would say that Mr. Collins has been able to educate Nova Scotians more on issues of fuel price than probably any other individual in the last number of years. He has at least given us an idea of what the market forces are, what companies are faced with, and I believe the fact that he is an independent operator gives him that much more credibility with Nova Scotians.

To believe that someone such as Dave Collins who, clearly from his reaction, would have had absolutely no input in this legislation, would not even have been called by this government to see what his suggestions would be, being he has been very clearly someone who is willing to speak out and to be able to try to inform the public on issues dealing with gas prices, and the fact that someone like that wasn't even consulted, or obviously was not even aware of what the government's plans were, I think is just incredible - to believe that the government, since January, would come forward with a plan that they hadn't even discussed, obviously, with industry representatives.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Collins even raised a legal argument, questioning the legality of the bill and saying that it would violate federal legislation dealing with competition and trying to prevent collusion amongst fuel companies, now that the provincial government wants them to post two days in advance, or we're assuming it's two days - it's not in the bill as I've said,

[Page 3730]

we can only go by the minister's own comments, but requiring them to post two days in advance what the increase will be.

Mr. Speaker, we are then told by the minister that anytime there is going to be an increase, companies will have to contact his department and justify the increase. That sounds like it's a pretty solid system. The media asked the minister, well, what criteria will you be using to determine whether it's justified? We haven't determined that yet, was the answer. Then they were asked, if you do decide that it's not justified, then what action will you take? The answer was, the Act would allow us to explore taking further action down the road. What does that do for Nova Scotia consumers today, May 14, 2004, who are looking for immediate relief? Absolutely nothing, this bill is a tremendous disappointment.

It's ironic, Mr. Speaker, when you look at the Daily News, their editorial cartoon today appears to say everything. It shows: Before Provincial Intervention, it shows gas prices, regular, plus, super. Then it says: After Provincial Intervention, it shows the gas prices with a little sign below it, "Warning! You are about to get . . ." I think those Nova Scotians who get the Daily News can see exactly what it says, but it's not a very flattering statement. It is a word used to describe an unfortunate act that will be done to Nova Scotians which at the end of the day will cost them more money.

Let us go further in the bill. It says that gas stations must post what the increase will be 48 hours before it goes through. Where are they going to post it? Are we going to see the roadside price that says today's price, and the two-days-from-now price? Is that what it is going to be? Do you have to go inside the service station to see where this is posted, because obviously many of the service stations throughout the province now you can pay with your debit or Visa right at the pump, you never have to walk into a service station? Will it be right on the pumps itself? Here's what the price will be two days from now. Where will this be posted? Will it have to be on each and every pump? Because the pumps, you can get gas from either side. Or will it be roadside advertisements that fuel stations, mostly run by independents, will have to put new road signs up to announce what it's going to be in two days.

This is not a solution. It's not even near a solution. I am going to use the same words that were used by the Finance Critic for the NDP, Marilla Stephenson, last night in saying, that this was the least the government could do without doing anything. That sums it all up, and I think the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley himself recognizes that that is the case. Truck drivers in this province are not going to see relief under this government's plan. And now to be told you have to wait for a select committee to report, I believe it has now been moved to August 31st, instead of August 1st. So you need to go another three or four months continuing to pay these exorbitant prices for gas, and this government is going to sit and not take concrete action.

[Page 3731]

That is extremely unfortunate, Mr. Speaker. More important, what's more frustrating for our caucus is, had the government said they were going to strike this select committee in January, it would be prepared to report now, and the government could take concrete action now, instead of this government spending three months to come forward and say we should have a select committee that will report in another three or four months. All along, truck drivers pay more, school bus drivers, couriers, taxi companies and Nova Scotia families. They are not going to see any relief from this.

Mr. Speaker, I must say, it was with great disappointment that I listened to the reaction from the Leader of the NDP. It's true that this is an issue that is not going to be solved overnight, it's frustrating, it takes everyone working together. Our role as an Opposition, is to be there to hold the government accountable, and to be there to tell the government when Nova Scotians are clearly telling us it's not good enough, and we expect better. How disappointing when you read in the Daily News today, the headlines, stupid, pointless, illegal. It goes on to talk about the plan, Nova Scotians' reaction was clearly not very favourable, and then to look at the end, where it says NDP Leader, Darrell Dexter, said he liked the legislation. Well, that's extremely unfortunate. It was very frustrating.

During one of the press scrums that I did yesterday with the French media, I was asked, what are you going to do about this bill, because clearly the NDP is supporting the government? It was clear from the Leader's comments that they were going to support the government, they like the legislation. Then we listen to the member for Halifax Fairview, who tore the legislation pretty much apart after his Leader said that he supported it.

[10:45 a.m.]

What we have said, Mr. Speaker, - and let me explain it - I know the member for Halifax Fairview made reference to it, and now let me explain it even better. It is clear that with higher prices through HST revenues, the government brings in more money than what the government anticipated as part of its budgetary process - that is extra revenue not anticipated by the government. He gave the example of the money the government received through rising insurance rates which it clearly hadn't anticipated, or at least no one yet has been able to prove whether they either anticipated it or felt it was going to take place, but that was extra revenue they received there.

What we have said as a Liberal caucus in an effort to try to bring immediate relief to Nova Scotians is to say, as a result of the extra revenue you're getting in HST, it's an opportunity to either freeze or rescind the two cents a litre increase imposed by this Tory Government after they told Nova Scotians in 1999, there would be no increase in taxes under the John Hamm Government; it's simple. I'm sure it's a way the Finance Department can figure how much additional revenue is coming in and use that to suspend the two cents a litre until it balances itself out, that is the way of doing it.

[Page 3732]

When I hear the member for Halifax Fairview say that the Liberal plan would result in a reduction in services, that is completely misleading and incorrect. He himself has admitted that high prices bring in a windfall of revenue to HST that the government had not anticipated. They have thrown around figures as to how much additional revenues this would bring in, which would make it even easier for the government to then say, we can suspend or cancel the two cents a litre increase because of the windfall we are getting through HST, until such time as it balances itself back out, which would give immediate relief to Nova Scotia drivers, which is what they have asked all elected members to do. I think it is a reasonable proposal and it's what we have said.

It saddens me to hear the NDP repeating the government line of what happened in New Brunswick. What happened in New Brunswick was the government withdrew an increase they had on tax and then had nothing to enforce it afterwards. What we have clearly said is that we can either freeze or suspend that two cents a litre increase, and give a role to the URB to ensure that the industry doesn't just swallow it up. There is a way of using a regulatory body already in existence in this province, to force fuel companies to justify the price they are bringing in. I tell you, Mr. Speaker, as a member of this Legislature, I have a great deal more faith in the ability of the URB to hold the fuel company's feet to the fire, than in the minister's office. Clearly the minister's office is not in a position to say whether an increase is justified or not justified, and I don't think any Nova Scotians would expect the minister's office to have that capacity and to be prepared to do that.

There is a way of doing this and we have presented a concrete idea that the government has refused to act upon, because at the end of the day, Mr. Speaker, higher prices mean higher revenues for this government. It means more of an ability to try to balance their budget at the end of the day. When we called upon the Minister of Finance to take action against higher insurance rates, they looked the other way. Why did they look the other way? Higher insurance rates meant higher revenue for the government which gave him more of an opportunity to try to claim he had a balanced budget when we all knew it was not the case. The government looked the other way. What this bill is doing is a way of the government looking the other way by doing absolutely nothing other than saying, we are going to give you two days notice of higher prices coming in, so they can say we at least tried something, but in reality as was said by Marilla Stephenson, as has been said repeatedly by the NDP Finance Critic, nothing concretely has been done to help Nova Scotians.

We are left now with a select committee. A select committee which will be left to try to determine what is the best option for Nova Scotians. It's going to be extremely difficult for this committee. I remember I sat on the Workers' Compensation Review Committee. I remember how challenging that was. Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, you were on that committee also. You remember that committee? It was an extremely difficult committee, very technical pieces of legislation, medical information that was in there, trying to put together formulae that would work, figures being thrown at you at every turn. It was extremely frustrating and it took a great deal of the time of the members of that committee, not only in the travel, the

[Page 3733]

correspondence, and the number of documents presented. I would submit to you that the members of this committee are facing a similar fate. It's going to be extremely difficult.

Mr. Speaker, I've said already to the minister that I look forward to seeing who will be chosen as the chairman of that committee, which will send a clear signal of whether the government is interested in taking action on this, seriously. I could remind you, Mr. Speaker - you'll be well aware - that in 1998, when we were in government, under a minority situation, the chairman of that select committee was the current Minister of Justice, who sat as a member of the Tory caucus, in third place. That is who chaired that committee, just as a reminder to the minister and others who may not have been here during that time. I know the Minister of Education was here, as he smiles now, recalling what the situation was there.

I think Nova Scotians would expect that the same principles that were applied in the decision of who would chair, back in 1998, for that committee, would be applied in this case, also, to make sure that the committee does its job and does report and does bring Nova Scotians solutions.

One of the unfortunate things yesterday was when the minister was asked, will you adopt the recommendations of the select committee and take action on what they have said, will you give us that guarantee, the minister, as expected, did a little song and dance all around it and completely refused to commit that he would adopt the final recommendations of this all-Party committee, which leads Nova Scotians to question if the government is sincere in appointing this committee, or is this a way to try to appease Nova Scotians, which I think they can clearly tell from today's media, and which I believe they'll see in the days and weeks ahead, has been a complete failure on their behalf.

It will not quell the anger in this province, because at the end of the day, Mr. Speaker, we can talk about big oil companies all we want, when you go to the pumps, there's that little sticker there with that little graph, that little pie chart, and that little pie chart there tells you where the price of gas is coming from. We all know where it breaks down.

Mr. Speaker, as an elected member of this Legislature, I cannot change what is done in Ottawa, but we can certainly work towards addressing what is done by this province and by this government. This government campaigned on no increase in taxes and turned around in 2002 and put a two cent a litre increase - it came out of the pockets of Nova Scotians. Now, as I've said before, two cents a litre doesn't sound like much, it really doesn't. What's two cents a litre? But when we looked at the budget books, when they came in in 2003, how much revenue did that two centres a litre - it's only two cents - how much did it bring in? It was $25 million out of the pockets of Nova Scotians - $25 million for a government that said it would not increase taxes.

So does the government say, well that $25 million has brought us where we need to be, we never intended to have that tax remain permanently, now we're going to remove it?

[Page 3734]

Not at all, Mr. Speaker. Let's go one more year, 2003-04, if I'm not mistaken, the Minister of Finance can correct me, I believe the figure is $22 or $23 million that was brought in by that two cent a litre increase - almost $50 million has left the pockets of Nova Scotians in the last two years because of that increase. And when I hear the Leader of the Official Opposition, who campaigned on a better deal for Nova Scotian families, say that Bill No. 79 is good legislation, I find it extremely disappointing.

Not only did they shock Nova Scotians in propping up this government on their budget but now to turn around and say - a Party that claims they want to put money back in the pockets of Nova Scotians - that they like Bill No. 79, when the Finance Critic for their Party has clearly said this will do nothing in the immediate or short term to help Nova Scotian families. It leaves Nova Scotians to wonder truly where the NDP is really going on this. As I've said before, for the member for Halifax Fairview to suggest that our proposal would result in a reduction in services is misleading and completely incorrect. It shows again the inability of the NDP to look outside the box and to try to come up with new proposals.

Is our idea the solution? Maybe it isn't. Maybe it isn't. Time will tell, but I can at least stand and tell Nova Scotians that our caucus is responsible enough to at least put forward a proposal. The NDP have not done one and the government clearly, who have all of the resources for the last three months to bring forward relief, have failed to do so. They know themselves it is a farce to suggest giving two days notice is going to bring relief to Nova Scotia drivers. They realize that. (Interruption)

Well, one of the NDP members says it's better than nothing. As Marilla Stephenson said, it's the least the government could do without doing anything. So if that is what we, as legislators and as Opposition members, are prepared to say to a government, I think we have failed. Nova Scotians sent us here in a minority situation saying, we want a strong Opposition that will hold the government's feet to the fire, that will tell the government when it's not good enough and that we expect more and we are going to do everything in our power to make that happen. Then to hear the Official Opposition say, it's better than nothing. It has come down to better than nothing, whether it be the budget, gas prices, more to come. Better than nothing.

Mr. Speaker, we have put forward a proposal. (Interruptions) If the member for Dartmouth North has a plan, let him present it. Let him stand on his feet and let him present it.

MR. JERRY PYE: That's why you're the Third Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Well, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to him standing and talking about his days in government and the days of his Party in government and how many solutions they brought to Nova Scotians. Certainly, we have a long time to wait and I'm sure, with the NDP's actions, we'll have much longer to wait before any of those days come. That,

[Page 3735]

I would tell you, is immediate relief to Nova Scotians - not only today but for the long term, in that reality.

But at the end of the day, it's not the Official Opposition who are government, it is not the Liberal caucus who are government, it is the Progressive Conservative Party that is government. Nova Scotians expect that they could bring forward a plan that would bring them immediate relief. As I've said, they have waited three long months of high prices and then what do they get - they get Bill No. 79. It's not good enough.

The Leader of the NDP knows it's not good enough. The member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley knows it's not good enough. As Tory members return to their ridings, whether they're attending community functions, going to an event or attending church services, they will hear from their constituents, is that the best you could do? They know themselves, as the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has clearly said, he expected more. He expected better. I have no doubt that he's sincere in saying that because he worked in an industry that relies so heavily on the price of fuel. Independent truckers, that have such a small margin of profit to start off with, a busted tire, problems with your machine and high gas prices can completely wipe out any margin you had. These are people with families, with homes, with mortgages and with many costs to incur - what does this bring to them? Absolutely nothing.

Mr. Speaker, is giving 48 hours notice - which is not even in the bill, which was a misleading statement made in the government press release, it's not in the bill - but is 48 hours notice going to help Nova Scotia consumers? Is Bill No. 79 an answer to give Nova Scotians immediate relief? It clearly isn't.

Could the government have done more? There is no doubt. Could the government be doing more now by sitting immediately with representatives of the Parties now rather than waiting for a select committee? Bring in Dave Collins, bring in industry representatives, bring in consumer groups, bring in whoever you have to as experts. We thought that was going on for the last three months. Nova Scotians thought that's what they were doing - what else would they be doing since January when the Premier said they were working on a plan. We all expected that's what was taking place. Every time someone gassed up and was saying the price is so high, but I know the Premier's made a commitment - he's got a plan that's going to address this. Yesterday, May 13, 2004 was clear proof that they did not have a plan.

[11:00 a.m.]

What we see in this bill are regulations, regulations, regulations. This government, once again, has failed to recognize this is a minority government. The days of doing legislation through regulation are over for as long as minority government lives. I know that the Finance Critic for the NDP has clearly spoken his opposition to continually having Acts governed by regulation. So, together, we can work at going through this bill if they are intent

[Page 3736]

on supporting it to make sure that as much as we can we reinforce that Act and put in everything we can to make sure that Nova Scotians can see this is being done and do not have to rely upon the government to turn around and decide, rather than 48 hours, let's make it four hours, let's make it 72 hours. Right now the bill would allow for those variances to take place. Nova Scotians should at least have an Act which says what the government indicated that the Act was intended to do.

This is an extremely frustrating situation, Mr. Speaker. It's frustrating for us because we're consumers. It's frustrating for the people we represent. It's frustrating for low-income earners who have a hard time affording a vehicle to start off with; seniors whom a vehicle is sometimes their last chance at independence, living on a fixed income, to see such an increase. Nova Scotians are accustomed to prices in the range of 60 cents, 70 cents at its highest. To now see it at 96.9 cents, that is beyond reach for many Nova Scotians. To have to tell them in this House, today, that we like the government plan that would not bring them any suggestions for solutions until August 31st, I think is a failure on our part.

That is why our caucus has said it's not good enough. We expect more. The government could have done more and I do hope that with time and upon reflection the NDP caucus and their Leader will also come to that realization, that together we should demand better from the government, that together we should force their feet to the fire, and at the end of the day we should all work for the protection of Nova Scotia consumers. That is why they sent us here and to do anything less would be a failure on all of our parts.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, it really wasn't my intention to speak to this bill, but I'm not sure if I can let the honourable member get away with everything that he had to say.

Mr. Speaker, does this bill go far enough? Absolutely not. You heard the member for Halifax Fairview, our Finance Critic, we would have liked to have seen the government move on attacking the high price based on attacking the HST. This would be really the only concrete way, and the member for Richmond keeps saying, well, what's the NDP plan? Well, if he had been listening - and paying attention to something sensible is a gift he doesn't have. (Interruption)

So I want to say that I was glad to hear him mention seniors on fixed incomes and the impact high gasoline prices has on them, but he failed to recognize that when it came to seniors going into nursing homes and supporting the budget that actually would have alleviated the taking of money, I will choose my words carefully, every last cent of seniors, that his previous government initiated, but they didn't have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and support the budget to prevent that. Yet he'll wail on about gasoline prices and the effects on seniors.

[Page 3737]

So is this good enough? No, it's not good enough. It's a start. I had a friend, and someone who has been running a gas station for 40 years, make the comment to me last night that at least with this people won't blame him and that was something that he felt, that they were always being blamed for the high prices. I think he told me it was about $40,000 or $45,000 for a tanker of gasoline that comes to his station and he felt that they were always the ones who bore the brunt of the high price, that the public attacked them, and he felt at least in this way that maybe the public would see who actually was the problem and that it wasn't them.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know if the select committee will come up with anything that will be useful. If they don't come up with any more or pay attention any more to what they come up with than the beef task force, then it's probably going to be a waste of time. If the government actually intends to do something, and I hope they'll show their good will by acting on the recommendations, whatever comes forward from their committee, but I'm not overly optimistic. I think there are ways they could attack this and I think HST would be the best way, and they know that today.

If they want to go down this road, I'm willing to give them a chance to see if they can come up with something that will work, but I want them to know that when this process is done and there are good alternatives offered by this committee and this government does not follow any good advice that they are going to hear from me on it, and they're going to hear from Nova Scotians. (Applause)

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

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words on Bill No. 79 - the Petroleum Products Pricing Act. Yesterday, when the government announced that they will give Nova Scotians a two-day notice when fuel prices are going up and appoint an all-Party select committee to look at fuel prices in Nova Scotia, I'm sure there were lots of people in this province who were extremely disappointed. This government has certainly set the stage and has created high expectations. I remember, back in January, attending a press conference that the Premier was holding. At that time, the media had asked the Premier if the government was looking at ways to address high fuel prices in Nova Scotia. Of course, the Premier indicated to them, yes, his government was in the process.

So, back in January, the government was in the process of looking at ways, looking at measures that this government would be introducing in order to address high fuel prices in Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, I welcomed the Premier's comments at the time. I was quite pleased, and I know that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations had indicated that at the very same time, that the government was in the process of looking at ways to help Nova Scotians with high fuel prices.

[Page 3738]

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in this House recalls, in the last several weeks, during Question Period when questions have been asked to the Premier, to the minister, at the same time, if the government was looking at addressing these high fuel costs. Again, we were reassured yes, the government was and that the government would be coming soon with measures to help consumers in Nova Scotia.

Maybe some of us were, probably, impatient in waiting to see what the government was going to be tabling or bringing forward, but we knew it was coming. Well, yesterday, Mr. Speaker, three or four months later, the expectations were high, not just for people from my community but for people throughout this province. People were led to believe that this government was in the process of bringing something forward that would help, in terms of taking some actions by the government to help reduce prices at the pumps or fuel prices in Nova Scotia.

Well, I looked at the minister's remarks yesterday, and I just want to quote one sentence. It says, "The first thing that this law will do is stop the surprises, Nova Scotians will have a two-day notice of a price increase at the pumps." Well, Mr. Speaker, the obvious question is how long did this take, for this government to put it together? For this government to state yesterday that they're now looking at advising consumers in this province, we'll allow you a 24-hour notice to let you know that next time you're at the gas pumps that prices will be going up again.

Nova Scotians were let down, Nova Scotians were expecting a lot more. Unfortunately, that did not happen yesterday, you know, we're going to inform consumers, give them 48 hours notice, and again I'm quite sure we haven't heard the end of this. Nova Scotians will certainly be expressing their personal views on this government's action in coming forward with 48 hours notice.

Mr. Speaker, as well, the government indicated yesterday that they will be appointing an all-Party select committee to look at fuel prices in Nova Scotia. Again, yes, I do welcome the government's announcement yesterday, but looking back four months ago, why the Premier did not indicate at that time, I don't have all the answers. Our government doesn't have all the answers, but why don't we appoint an all-Party select committee of the House and look into high fuel prices in the province? Why wait four months? So, again, why this delay, why try to make believe that this government was going to come forward, after having created high expectations with the general public, that measures would be announced shortly? Well, I think from yesterday's announcement, certainly the government came in short. I think the consumers in Nova Scotia, all the consumers in Nova Scotia, were expecting a lot more than just what was reported here.

Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that some people certainly will be providing government and the Opposition members with general feelings of how they feel on this government's announcements yesterday. A two-day warning for gas, or diesel, or home heating fuel price

[Page 3739]

increases - I'm sure a lot of people will see this as a joke, will see this as a big delay, will see this as nothing more than trying to delay the real task at hand. So you really have to wonder why more and more Nova Scotians are losing confidence in this Tory Government. So the government's announcement, yesterday, you know, I'm sure some people this morning are upset and frustrated after being led to believe that this government was seriously looking at some measures in addressing high-priced fuels in this province. So, again, I'm sure we'll be hearing from Nova Scotians with regard to the government's announcements yesterday.

Mr. Speaker, our caucus indicated earlier that the government should be considering some short-term measures. An option that our caucus suggested for the government to look at was looking at rolling back the two cent gas increase that this government introduced several years ago and, at the same time, to ask these multinational oil companies to come forward and appear, behind closed doors, in front of the Utility and Review Board so that the government can find out exactly why prices are going up, so at least the government would have an opportunity to hear from these gas companies to justify why these increases are needed.

Now, we've been criticized, you know, this is not possible, this is not possible to roll back this two cents a litre on gas. Well, Mr. Speaker, just this week we've heard that gas prices in Cape Breton were at $1 a litre. Again, we have to recognize the higher the price, the more money that the government is taking in. I know that the Finance Critic from the NDP, the member for Halifax Fairview, indicated in terms of looking at this before acting upon, this government would be losing some general revenue, it would be money taken out of programs, taken out of departments, so of course, that would not be possible. The member failed to point out to the House that when prices are as high as they are now, they're in the high 90s and in Cape Breton at $1 or over, that the provincial government takes in a lot more in revenue.

[11:15 a.m.]

Again, we have to recognize how much more is coming in and at the same time if rolling back this two cents would be a possibility. It's not a terrible idea - I think we did suggest this to the government - after looking at what the government had proposed yesterday or had rolled out yesterday, I shouldn't say proposed, they're actually in the process of now going ahead, that's why we're debating this bill here today.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to indicate to the government that I, too, was extremely disappointed in the government's response yesterday after having been led to believe for the last four months that the government was seriously considering coming forward with some measures that would certainly appease or help consumers in Nova Scotia. At the end of the day, I'm quite sure, consumers are probably more disappointed in what the government did yesterday than if they had done nothing at all.

[Page 3740]

Why was this all-Party select committee not put in place a number of months ago? Again, the Premier has to answer that question. Why give consumers 48 hours notice when prices will be going up? To me, that certainly is not good enough for this government. Looking back at the last four months, trying to understand that it took four months for this government to act, yesterday, with these two steps, it just puzzles me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one puzzled over this government's action.

Again, Mr. Speaker, in closing, I'm looking forward and I'm sure that we haven't heard the end of this with this 48 hours notice and this all-Party committee that will be travelling around the province, hearing what Nova Scotians and consumers have to say with regard to high-priced fuels. I'm sure we'll be hearing lots again.

The honourable member for Hants East, just before I had an opportunity to make a few comments on this bill, indicated that he is looking forward to the report from this all-Party select committee. I'm quite sure all members of this House are looking forward to their report, to the recommendations of this all-Party committee reporting back. I understand initially it was by August 1st, now I understand it's been delayed until the end of August, to allow this all-Party committee to travel the province to hear what the people of Nova Scotia have to say, and table the report.

With the government deciding to do absolutely nothing, then I think the government should be quite clear before this whole process starts, that the government is quite clear, that yes, they are looking forward to what this all-Party committee will be reporting and providing some possibilities, some recommendations for the government to look at. I hope that the government is serious about this all-Party committee and that yes they will be giving special attention to this committee's final recommendations.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity here this morning to say a few words on this bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, this issue over high priced gasoline and petroleum products in the province is going to have a very negative effect on our economy. I think long term it's going to be very serious for business in the manufacturing sector. More immediately, in the tourism industry, where people rely on people travelling usually by car to go to a particular destination and stay for a day or two, hopefully, and spend some money. Even if they do travel, the amount of disposable income they have is going to be drastically reduced because of the high cost of fuel.

If you look in the past when the fuel costs have risen, there's been an immediate reduction in tourism and in the process of vacations that people go through. It definitely

[Page 3741]

affects the economy and jobs in the province. To start this process off, it's very, very obvious that it's going to have a negative impact on the economy of Nova Scotia.

The economy has already been hit with the new labour laws, the Sunday shopping which had a very negative effect on businesses and then we were hit with all kinds of fees in the new budget and before the new budget that again has hit the economy. It's going to continue to hit the economy as people realize just how expensive it is to do business in Nova Scotia. That's definitely going to cause a serious problem. Tied in with a 2 cent increase in gas taxes that were put on before by this government, that has a negative impact on the whole situation.

So if you look at the long-term impact of the gas prices and the fact that taxes add on to these costs and everything else adds onto these costs, it's going to have a very, very negative impact on Nova Scotians and that's not good. Just at a time when Nova Scotia's economy is not doing too badly and hopefully will improve. The only way people can do well today is if they have a job and someone without a job really doesn't help the economy and is not able to help their family.

These sort of things are going to all add up and cause a serious problem. I have really serious problems with this bill. I believe that we have to have some kind of controls over the price of fuel in the province to at least give us some stability and know where we're at. I think it's really a joke when you say the price of home heating fuel be advised two days in advance, so everybody will call up and try to get the fuel at the old price and by the time the delivery truck could come there - even at their best efforts - it would typically be long past two days.

Really, to give 48 hours notice is just a useless exercise. It just gives the oil companies just a quicker response to raising prices and go through the thing. If you look at some of the parts in the bill, it says once you set a fixed wholesale price, no wholesale price shall be higher? That's fine - no wholesale price higher, that sounds good, that's very positive. Also it says it can't be lower. So the oil companies decide, for whatever reason, they want to reduce their cost of fuel, whatever the fuel is, they can't do it for 48 hours. Instead of being able to allow them to reduce the fuel costs or whatever it is immediately.

The issue here is the cost. The cost of getting to the consumer is the situation we have to address. It appears in this that the way the bill is worded, wholesalers can't reduce the price. Then they talk about a minimum/maximum price that's going to be used. That also raises some questions. A lot of double talk in the bill. It doesn't really address some of the very, very serious issues that go along with this.

Then, to top it all off, the worst clause in the bill that I've seen, they're going to divide the province up again. They're going to divide it up. They're going to have different prices for gasoline in different areas. The scenario that comes to mind - and this may not be correct - if you live in Yarmouth and the supply of fuel comes in from Dartmouth or comes through

[Page 3742]

New Brunswick by tanker or by ship or whatever the case may be, that would mean that the cost of doing business in Yarmouth is going to be higher because your fuel cost is going to be higher. Or in Cape Breton, the cost of fuel's going to be higher.

So, why not just set a standard rate for the whole province and everybody's on an equal footing? Give the opportunity for rural economic development to grow in this province which we desperately need so badly. This government has really done nothing to support or promote rural economic development.

The select committee on prices, well, it's always a good idea to have a select committee of the Legislature to review things and get input from the public. I think that's a very important part of our democratic process that we have here. It's a little bit too late, a whole lot too late to be exact. It really doesn't do anything today to address the serious problem.

One question I have for the minister, when he has a chance to speak on this and I'm sure he'll answer this question if he can, and if he can't answer this question, this whole bill is absolutely useless and I mean useless. In every business operation there's a formula to use to figure out whether you're going to make money or what your costs should be and it's pretty standard. Now I can guarantee you, the oil companies know right to probably a hundredth of 1 per cent what the formula is on gas pricing. So if the price of crude goes to a certain point, they know exactly what their wholesale price has to be and also know what the retail price is going to be.

That formula is what we need to know, so that if and when the government ever comes up with a reasonable bill, not this bill, something that's reasonable, that will help control the prices, we need to know that formula. Once we know that formula, you can look at the world price of crude oil and work the formula out and say this is what a reasonable price should be anywhere in Nova Scotia for fuel. I don't believe that, probably, the staff and the department or the minister even have any idea of what that formula may be. I would hope that the minister could enlighten me on that, and hopefully he has the information, and if he doesn't have it, make every effort to get it, because I think that's going to be the key to the whole thing here.

There has been some success in other areas, working through the public review process, the Utility and Review Board, in areas, and I think that is a very positive step, too. I think that's a process we should go through, as we've been promoting, even behind closed doors, that the oil companies can be protected for their confidential information, to give the information to the government so that government knows exactly where they stand. It comes back to this formula I'm talking about, the formula that they use to set the prices of fuel.

There are other issues here, too, that I don't see the government doing anything to help. If you look at the price of crude oil, it's been going up and up, and fuel costs are going

[Page 3743]

to go up, no matter what we do. We can stall them, we can delay them, we can do a lot of things, but I haven't seen the government do anything to support the municipality with transit service, that would kick some of the cars off the road during the week and make it easier for people to travel by transit. I've seen no system in place for park-and-rides, where you can take a rapid transit bus to the core of the Halifax area. In HRM, this would work very well, and the municipality is basically on its own when it comes to doing these things, except for funding that has come from the federal government, recently.

If you're going to do these things, you have to look at the broad picture, you have to look at the cost of fuel, you have to look at the cost of family. If you don't make transit a real option for transportation of people to and from work, to and from shopping, whatever the case may be, it is not going to work. It will not work. I've seen very little effort here on alternative energy sources, energy sources such as windmills, there's a few of them planned for the area, some of them coming, but not enough. Other energies, such as solar energy, there's no incentive program for people to make their homes more efficient, from the provincial government. None.

I remember in the 1970s, when the energy crisis hit, it was a big scam at that time. Everybody was going to run out of fuel, there was going to be no more fuel for anybody, we're going to be out in five years or 10 years. All of us can probably remember that. And lo and behold we didn't run out of fuel, we have lots of fuel. They just wanted a chance to put the price up on energy again. All kinds of home insulation programs were started, all kinds of alternate energy things were started, and, lo and behold, the price of fuel went down, it stabilized, we found it was just a scam being put on by who knows who, and all these alternate energy things stopped. It all stopped. There was no emphasis anymore from government to do this.

If this program had continued, we wouldn't have such a reliance on the fuel that we need today. And this has to change, it has to change. We have to have an overall package that makes sure that you don't need to use as much fuel as you do know, plus put some sensible controls, not this bill - and every time I see a bill and it's all going to be in regulation, it makes me very nervous. It means, are the people working for the people of Nova Scotia as wise as the people running the oil companies? Do they know, exactly, that the information is correct? Do they know the formula I was talking about, what the oil companies use and would have to have in order to get the retail price at the pumps that they need to make a profit? And I stress profit because they are very profitable, the oil companies. Is there any way you can tell those things? I say there isn't. This bill definitely doesn't do that.

[11:30 a.m.]

I'm very disappointed in the bill, it doesn't go far enough, it doesn't help the people in Nova Scotia with the immediate crisis they have in oil. If the government was to take the two cents off immediately, they would make it up immediately in the GST. The price of gas

[Page 3744]

has gone up so much, that they get it on there. I would like the ministers views on that too, exactly where does the GST eliminate the 2 per cent? That's a very important question to ask. I'd like the minister's answer on that. Again, I'll stress it, this is going to have a negative effect on our economy, the government has taken no other steps for alternate energy, for working with transit systems of any type to do this. It isn't even interested in going to the Utility and Review Board to see what information they can get from the oil companies to give them the information and ammunition they need to move forward. With that, Mr. Speaker, I'll conclude my comments.

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

I recognize the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to spend a few moments to capsulate some of the comments that were said earlier, as well to respond to some of the comments that were made in the media over the past 24 hours with respect to this particular piece of legislation. I want to point out that I was not surprised by the reaction of big oil with respect to this bill. However, I am extremely surprised and disappointed with the reaction of the member for Richmond, Clare and the member for Preston, at their reaction, because frankly, Nova Scotians, and their constituents, I believe, would want them to support legislation that supports them, and not oppose legislation that is seen as regressive to the oil industry, and therefore, Mr. Speaker, that explains my disappointment. I would expect the disappointment of the constituents of Richmond County, of Clare and of Preston.

I want to take a moment to again convey to the members of this House for the third or possibly fourth time, a Liberal task force report that was done by the federal Liberal caucus in 1998. It studied a number of reports, including a report that was done by the Province of New Brunswick, that clearly states, and I can't say it anymore, clearly states that a simple reduction in taxes in the Province of New Brunswick meant that oil companies consumed all that tax in their margin, the taxpayers had no benefit, and lost that revenue to big oil. Our government and our Party were not prepared to stand by and allow that to happen in Nova Scotia. I am particularly perplexed at the comments by the member for Richmond, because I recall just two days ago, in Question Period, the member for Richmond spoke about the roads in Richmond County, and the Minister of Transportation and Public Works conveyed to him about his spouse's comments that the roads there were better than at home.

What I'm saying, Mr. Speaker, is that the member for Richmond County speaks on both sides of this issue. He wants government to invest more money in the roads in Richmond County, and then he wants government to take away a tax revenue that it uses to invest in roads. He can't have it both ways. As the member for Halifax Clayton Park correctly pointed out, it's impossible to spend money twice, you can't have it both ways, you either reduce taxes and don't spend the money, or you do keep them at the level and you do spend that

[Page 3745]

money to improve the roads in Richmond County and other counties around this province. I can only imagine how disappointed the people of Richmond County are.

I'd like to make a few comments on the remarks attributed by certain gasoline company executives. This executive was supposed to have said, if gasoline wholesalers are required to give notice, then others would play the game of monkey see, money do, and raise their prices. What a strange thing to say in a market where no matter where you go in Halifax, and pretty near across this province, you will find that you will pay the exact same price for fuel in nearly every region of this province and nearly every station in this municipality. Was he suggesting that it's purely coincidental that in every station in the market, they increased their price at exactly the same time, at exactly the same hour, by exactly the same amount? That's a strange coincidence indeed.

He talks of living brain transplants? How stupid does he think Nova Scotians are? Does he think for a moment that Nova Scotians don't know about playing follow-the-leader when it comes to gas prices, does he think that's not the case? We want consumers to have information and we want them to be able to make an informed decision, that's what this bill is about.

Mr. Speaker, this bill is just the first step in the process. The select committee of this House will take on the issue in more detail very quickly. Consumers want relief now. As I said earlier, the Liberal Government in New Brunswick tried lowering their gas tax, it failed. The oil companies simply took that money and added it to their profits. I think Nova Scotians would rather have those gas taxes go to build roads and bridges than go to big oil somewhere in North America. Yes, I saw the reaction of gas companies. It did not surprise me and I can tell you that a number of people have contacted me since we tabled this legislation and what they said is you must have gotten it right because if they're reacting like this, that must mean they're concerned and if they're concerned, they're concerned about one thing, and that is their bottom line and their profit.

Mr. Speaker, our job is to be concerned about Nova Scotians and that's what we're doing with this bill. These are steps the gas companies don't like. It's pretty clear they don't want consumers to have information and that's what this bill is about. It's odd that gas company executives would call consumers having more information bizarre. It's pretty clear who's on whose side here and certainly we're on the side of consumers.

The first thing this law will do is stop surprises. Nova Scotians will have two clear days notice of price increases at the pumps and, frankly, I think Nova Scotians will thank this Legislature, and thank me as the minister, to have an opportunity to buy gas cheaper today when they may have to pay two cents, or five cents, or seven cents, or 10 cents more tomorrow. This will allow drivers time to adjust to the increase and fill up their tanks before higher prices kick in if they choose to do so. The bill defines two business days, it's not including Saturday, Sunday or holidays. For example, as I said yesterday, if an oil company

[Page 3746]

filed its notice at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, it could not take effect until 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday. It gives consumers plenty of time to make that consumer choice and to spend, if they feel it's appropriate.

Before deciding on this route, we had looked at a number of options, including the full regulation of gas prices as exists in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island and, Mr. Speaker, I want to point out, as well, that we did consult with gas companies, we did consult with retailers, we did consult with consumer groups, and we understand very clearly that we need to consult with Nova Scotians. That is the reason that we believe that the all-Party select committee will enable us to move forward in the direction that is supported, not by members of this Legislature, after all, the support we really need is by Nova Scotians, and when we hear from Nova Scotians, and when that committee reports back to this government, we will be able to make the direction and the changes that are necessary and that are recommended by Nova Scotians.

The Newfoundland and P.E.I. experience is that regulation does not necessarily result in lower prices and does not prevent prices from increasing. Their systems do, however, prepare residents for the increases. In P.E.I. residents know prices can change at the beginning of each month and in Newfoundland prices can change the first and the middle of each month. They are able to make consumer decisions based on that. We are going one step further than that. We are going to provide them with 48 hours notice of what that change is going to be. Nova Scotians realize that we cannot isolate our province from volatile global oil markets.

Mr. Speaker, if I were the minister able to wave a magic wand and say prices are going to drop by 20 per cent, it would be a wonderful thing, but I know in a real world I can't do that. I know that consumers and taxpayers have asked the federal government to intervene and they have chosen not to and they have asked and demanded the oil companies to intervene and be fair and they chose not to. This bill and that committee is our solution and our response to consumers' requests. We chose to do something about it while others chose to simply criticize and stand back and blame it on others. That's not good enough for Nova Scotians. It's not good enough for me.

Record gas prices have been the front-page news throughout North America for several weeks. We can, however, take away the sticker shock of sudden steep increases by providing consumers with timely information and that's what this bill is about. The province's retail gas and heating market is supplied by only a handful of wholesalers. These wholesalers are retail outlets owned and operated and controlled by them. They will be required to notify my department before increases in gasoline and home heating fuel prices. The member for Halifax Fairview correctly pointed out that this bill is not just about gasoline and it's not just about diesel, but it's also about home heating oil. As a government we are very concerned about the impact the rising price of crude oil and the market conditions around this supply will have on home heating oil, that's why we included that in our terms of reference in the select

[Page 3747]

committee, that's why we spoke to that in this piece of legislation, because we know government has to act, after all that's what we're here for.

They will provide the notice to our government Web site that will be established soon. The industry will also be able to lower prices without providing advance notice. Contrary to what the member for Preston has indicated, the industry will be able to lower the price without providing advance notice. Unfortunately I think the member was reading two separate bills, there are several bills on the floor of the Legislature right now dealing with gas prices and he may have been mixed up on that particular point. They will be required to file that lower notice. After all, Mr. Speaker, we want to ensure that the right thing is done for the right reason, not that we're against lower prices. We want to know why those prices come down, so that we can provide that information to the select committee so they can examine it and that will help them as a tool to be able to step forward into the next part of this process, to protect consumers, to protect Nova Scotians from skyrocketing fuel prices.

To inform the public, these wholesalers will be required to post these two-day notices of the increasing price at their stations, so the public will be aware in advance, Mr. Speaker. They'll be able to find that information at their stations, where they pump their gas. That will enable them to make that kind of decision that they need to make.

This legislation will also giver government the authority to set wholesale and retail levels for fuel prices, if, down the road, it is felt that stronger measures are needed to protect consumers, Mr. Speaker. That speaks to the select committee; when they bring forward their recommendations, this piece of legislation will enable government to act immediately if it believes the recommendations are warranted. We have also established the all-Party committee to investigate gasoline and fuel prices and supply issues, which is an important element, and the province will report its finding by August 31st. Members had mentioned about the date, August 31st, I would like to see that date sooner than later, but I understand this is a very complex issue because we have been dealing with this for quite some time. Therefore we need to give the committee the time it needs to do a thorough and thoughtful job. If it means an extra 31 days to do the right thing, I think the committee needs that 31 days, but if the committee is able to report back sooner, I would encourage them to do that. There's nothing that prevents the committee from reporting back sooner if they feel they've been able to do that.

The committee will include a chairman, an equal representation from all three Parties, Mr. Speaker. I believe that all three Parties have a part to play in the solution of this complex problem. That's why we have included them and included this committee as a key component of resolving this issue for Nova Scotians.

The terms of reference will examine why fuel prices are at the current level, the rationale for different prices in different regions of the province. I must say, I am extremely puzzled that some have said here in this room during debates that they don't think that's a big

[Page 3748]

problem. Frankly, I can tell you, as the minister responsible, I've received a number of letters from people in a variety of regions in this province about the fact that in one region they pay five cents, six cents, or seven cents more. We need to be able to justify to them and require oil companies to justify to us, why that's the case, Mr. Speaker.

All MLAs have heard from Nova Scotians about their frustrations, driving to work with one price in the gas station and driving home with a higher price. This legislation will enable them to have the information they need to be able to make a decision on the way to work, do I buy gas now or do I wait until later? I know what the price is going to be in two days, and I know what the price is right now. They can make that decision that can save them money in their pocketbooks, after all that's what we're here for.

[11:45 a.m.]

Nova Scotians do not expect us to build a gasoline price firewall around our province. It's unreasonable, it's not what they expect. They do realize that factors that determine the price of barrel oil are far beyond our ability to control and influence, but they want us to protect their interest and to ensure they're being treated fairly. That's what this piece of legislation is for; that's what it's all about. That's what the committee is for; that's what they're all about. That's what this government stands for, and that's what we intend to do.

Having said that, I'm pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 79. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No.79. Is the House ready for the question?

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

The motion is carried.

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

I recognize the Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 64, the Capital Region Transportation Authority Act.

Bill No. 64 - Capital Region Transportation Authority Act.

MR. SPEAKER: I recognize the honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, it's ironic that Bill No. 79, the Petroleum Product Pricing Act would come directly before the Capital Region Transportation Authority Act. Bill

[Page 3749]

No. 79 dealt with gas pricing and this bill will be dealing with transportation. It so affects transportation because it would assume that we have to deal with more efficient modes of transportation as a result of the pricing of gasoline.

Mr. Speaker, getting to Bill No. 64, An Act to Establish a Transportation Authority for the Capital Region, this was in the Throne Speech in 2003 when the government came back to the Legislative Assembly. I have to tell you that I was somewhat disappointed that there had been this lack of consultation prior to, with respect to the Halifax Regional Municipality. I believe that the essence of this bill is a good bill with respect to the Transportation Authority.

I want to preface my comments by saying I am not an expert with respect to transportation. Little do I know about transportation authorities other than when I had the opportunity to go to Boston once, to a Boston game, and I recognized then the modes of transportation and everything was addressed by what was called the Massachusetts Transportation Authority. While in Boston, I had the opportunity to see the modes of transportation that were provided and this was not only for the City of Boston, but it was for the entire State of Massachusetts and it dealt with all modes of transportation, be they the 100-Series Highways, be they super highways, subways, public transit, or toll highways or toll tunnels.

I remember going through the Sumner Tunnel in Boston and it was operated by the Massachusetts Transportation Authority. I remember taking the public transit in Boston and then moving from the public transit down to the subway - all of which was managed by the Massachusetts Transportation Authority.

This particular Authority narrows into what is called the capital region. I don't know if there's a defined boundary with respect to the capital region or if that means the entire Halifax Regional Municipality with respect to its defined boundary. I would assume that the minister, with his nod, is indicating that, yes, this is confined specifically to the electoral boundaries of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The other comment I might say is that I'm pleased to see that the Mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Mayor Kelly, must have had some good talk and he must have had a nice dinner, a candlelight evening, with the Minister of Transportation because there is in the media today this sort of love-in, that they have come together and that they're prepared to talk about this Transportation Authority and that, in fact, Mayor Kelly, or Petey, is onside now with Ronnie, and that they're both able to go out there and talk about this, that there is some sense of mutual agreement with respect to this Transportation Authority.

But I want to tell you that if this moves faster than the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities with respect to assessments, and that there is some comprehensive responsibility by this Transportation Authority, then we can all be very pleased, but I certainly

[Page 3750]

hope that the mayor and the provincial government don't slow down the process of bringing on this Transportation Authority.

But before that happens, Mr. Speaker, it's important to note that within this bill, we don't know the composition of what that Transportation Authority will look like, the composition of who will serve on the board, what the board structure will look like, we don't understand the mandate of the board, as well. There is no mechanism within the piece of legislation to say what the mandate of this board will be. We do know that it is generalized by saying that this is a Transportation Authority, but we need to have some meat within the legislation that it imposes a power upon the constructed body that in fact it has a mandate to deliver on transportation.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say, because there's an area which I'm extremely concerned with, and that's, what is the mandate or what will be the role of the Transportation Authority in dealing with toll highways, particularly private toll highways? We know there has been much talk with respect to a private developer building a toll highway called the Burnside Connector into Burnside. We do know it's the responsibility of municipal, provincial and federal governments to move transportation in this country, province and in their municipalities. It is not the role of the private sector to do that.

When it becomes the role of the private sector, Mr. Speaker, I, as a member, want to be involved in this, and I'll go out and purchase property where I find there are heavily-trafficked or congested areas, I'll go out and set my basket out, and give someone the authority to collect the tolls on my behalf, and go away with a bag of money off the people of Nova Scotia.

I certainly hope that if the Transportation Authority is designed, and the composition of the authority comes forward and the mandate of that authority comes forward, that one of their mandates will be with respect to toll roads. Toll roads should never exist in the Province of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, under any circumstances. We, as citizens of this province, pay for infrastructure improvement in two ways that I'm sure of, and one is through our real property taxes and we pay that to our municipality to provide streets, roads and networks. The other way is through our gasoline tax, and we pay that gasoline tax in order to have highway improvements and so on and so forth so that we can move commuters back and forth, we can move the citizens back and forth, and we can also move our goods back and forth at a reasonable price.

Those are the kinds of things that we have to make sure that as governments we keep a hold on. The very notion of a government allowing a private developer, simply because he or she has land or the developer has land within proximity to a highly-trafficked or congested area and the government's responsibility to make sure that the road was there didn't happen and just squeeze individuals into thinking that the only way to address their traffic problems is by a toll highway is absolutely wrong. There's absolutely no question about that.

[Page 3751]

Mr. Speaker, we need to know that if, in fact, that is one of the mandates of this Transportation Authority. We also need to know if it is the mandate of the Transportation Authority to look at subdivisions that have significant impact upon the road networks as well, when we develop subdivisions, what kind of roads there will be onto the 100-Series Highways, what kinds of roads there will be onto the national highway, what kind of roads there will be onto interchanges and so on. We need to know that's a mandate of the Transportation Authority, to address those particular issues.

Mr. Speaker, we need to know what the mandate is of the Transportation Authority with respect to having the authority to deal with high speed public transportation. I do know that when the Mayor, Peter Kelly, was running for municipal government in the year 2000, he had talked a lot about a high speed rail, to reduce the traffic off the Bedford highway into the centre core of the metro area. In his talk he spoke passionately about having that. That is another role, maybe, of the Capital Transportation Authority.

Mr. Speaker, I will, at this particular moment, move to adjourn debate and continue on a future day.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate of Bill No. 64.

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 Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet again on Monday at the hour of 2:00 p.m. The House will sit from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The order of business will cover several items on the order paper ranging from third reading through Committee of the Whole House on Bills and second reading.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House adjourn until 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3752]

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

The motion is carried.

The House is adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

[The House rose at 11:56 a.m.]

[Page 3753]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1735

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Miguel Eduardo Zequeira Palacios is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Miguel Eduardo Zequeira Palacios and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1736

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Alexis Gonzales Fernandez is a member of this band;

[Page 3754]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Alexis Gonzales Fernandez and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1737

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Nardeivis Aguilar Alfonso is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Nardeivis Aguilar Alfonso and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1738

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

[Page 3755]

Whereas José Carlos Hernandez Matamoros is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to José Carlos Hernandez Matamoros and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1739

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas José Lozano Hernandez is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to José Lozano Hernandez and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1740

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

[Page 3756]

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Tania Beatriz Valdez Vega is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Tania Beatriz Valdez Vega and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1741

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Alain Robles Valero is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Alain Robles Valero and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1742

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

[Page 3757]

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Luis Noel Hernandez Noa is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Luis Noel Hernandez Noa and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1743

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Monica Gonzalez Rodriguez is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Monica Gonzalez Rodriguez and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

[Page 3758]

RESOLUTION NO. 1744

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Michel Camilo Beltran Dorticos is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Michel Camilo Beltran Dorticos and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1745

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Laura del Carmen Morales Rodriguez is a member of this band;

[Page 3759]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Laura del Carmen Morales Rodriguez and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1746

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Wilfredo Milián Valdés is a member of this band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Wilfredo Milián Valdés and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1747

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

[Page 3760]

Whereas Ivan Garcia Bauta is the musical director of Los Aragoncitos;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Ivan Garcia Bauta and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1748

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Emilia Bondarenko is a chaperone with the Los Aragoncitos band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Emilia Bondarenko and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1749

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

[Page 3761]

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Diamela Prado Naranjo is a chaperone with the Los Aragoncitos band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Diamela Prado Naranjo and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1750

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Teresita Menendes is a chaperone with the Los Aragoncitos band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Teresita Menendes and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1751

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

[Page 3762]

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Graciela Rodriguez Rruz is a chaperone with the Los Aragoncitos band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Graciela Rodriguez Rruz and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1752

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas the Los Primos Society is a not-for-profit association, started by a group of Nova Scotians, that delivers band instruments to Cuban schools and sponsors trips to Canada for young Cuban musicians; and

Whereas the most recent group of musicians to be sponsored by the Los Primos Society is the Los Aragoncitos band, a group of 12 students from the Benny Moré School of Art in Cienfuegos, Cuba, which is touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from May 10th until May 30th, giving numerous concerts for local schools and for the public; and

Whereas Rosa Maria Vidal Garcia is a chaperone with the Los Aragoncitos band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Rosa Maria Vidal Garcia and all of the Los Aragoncitos musicians and chaperones and wish them every success with their musical tour, and honour the Los Primos Society for their wonderful work.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1753

By: Hon. Barry Barnet (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

Whereas on May 20, 2004, Eugene and Beryl Roberts will celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary; and

Whereas they will be celebrating this milestone this weekend with both friends and family; and

Whereas Eugene and Beryl have contributed so much of their time to their community and to each other;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Eugene and Beryl Roberts on their 60th Wedding Anniversary and wish them many more happy years of marriage.

RESOLUTION NO. 1754

By: Mr. James DeWolfe (Pictou East)

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

Whereas the Westville Curling Club had another extremely successful year in 2003-04; and

Whereas the club's Special Olympic Curling Team captured the Provincial "B" Division Curling Championship; and

Whereas while nothing has been recorded officially in history books, curlers believe this is the first time a Special Olympics Curling Banner has been hung inside a Nova Scotia curling rink;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this House of Assembly commend the Westville Special Olympic Curling Team for their outstanding season and wish them nothing but continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1755

By: Mr. James DeWolfe (Pictou East)

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

Whereas during Canadian Book Week last fall the Thorburn Consolidated School celebrated by bringing in a number of local authors; and

Whereas students at Thorburn Consolidated heard from such well-known names as Hopewell's Barb Little and Bonnie Mae Chapman from Truro; and

Whereas introducing young readers not just to books, but to the authors and illustrators who create them, the TD Canadian Children's Book Week is a national bilingual event;

Therefore be it resolved that the MLAs in this House of Assembly congratulate teachers and students at Thorburn Consolidated School for their creativity when it comes to celebrating something as important as Canadian Book Week.

RESOLUTION NO. 1756

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas the Exemplary Service Bars were awarded to John Alderson, David Coon, Terry Dobson, Gilles Fournier, James MacDonald, Wayne Millard, Gordon Milner, Stewart Murray, Timothy Phillips, Ronald (Keith) Ripley, John (Jack) Ryan and Karen Wood;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1757

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas 35-Year Long Service Awards were awarded to Robert Churchill, Douglas Hyatt, John Leadbetter and Charles Tooke;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1758

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas 25-Year Long Service Awards were awarded to Gilles Allan, Carlyle Brown, James Gerry, Vaughn Hunter, Merritt Jewett, Thomas Kavalak, Ruth Rushton and Gary Wilson;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

[Page 3766]

RESOLUTION NO. 1759

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas 40-Year Service Medallions were awarded to Robert Churchill, Josephine Gillis and Robert Wong;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1760

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas 15-Year Long Service Awards were presented to Hugh Allen, Gregory Atwell, Debbie Boudreau, Lorne Breen, Terry Crowe, Donald Greenhow, Robert Harris, Robert Jackson, Charles MacInnes and Gregory MacLeod

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

[Page 3767]

RESOLUTION NO. 1761

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas the 15-Year Long Service Awards were presented to Paula MacMillan, Karen Milner, Kathy Peters, John Tabor, Stewart Thompson, Paula Wannamaker, Robert White, Margaret White and Jim Wilson;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1762

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas CSC 10-Year Pins were awarded to Anne Bourgeois, Ericka Caissie, Patricia Hannah, Marise Leger, Ann Martin, Ian McIntyre, Shannon Oickle, Stephen Osmond, Craig Robichaud, Shaun Rushton, Drew Steeves and Chantal Theriault;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

[Page 3768]

RESOLUTION NO. 1763

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas retirement certificates were presented to Eugene Baxter, Linda Brown, Claude Casey, Alice Dionne, Robert Gabriel, Danny Gallagher, Joe Hachey, William Hayes, John Hunter, Larry Hunter, Douglas Hyatt, William Knowlton, Donald Laurie and Sandra LeBlanc;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1764

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas retirement certificates were presented to Douglas Lowther, Ronald McKay, Wayne Millard, Michelle Osmond, John Reid, Margaret Reid, Keith Ripley, Keith Rudderham, John Stone, Charles Stonehouse, Linda Thompson, Gary Wilson and Karen Wood;

[Page 3769]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1765

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

Whereas the Exemplary Service Medals were awarded to Alan Alexander, Patricia Calder, Jeffrey Earle, Georgina Funge, Ronald Grant, Laurie Hicks, David Horseman, Elizabeth Jardine, Peter Kent, Alfred Legere, Cynthia MacDonald, Nancy McPhee and Peter McEachern;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1766

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the warden and staff of Correctional Service Canada's Springhill Institution gathered on May 14, 2004 to honour special achievements and outstanding efforts by their staff; and

Whereas the Springhill Institution staff certainly deserve the recognition that they have been given for the dedication and professionalism that they deliver to inmates and to this community; and

[Page 3770]

Whereas CSC 25-Year Pins were awarded to Carlyle Brown, James Gerry, Vaughn Hunter, Merritt Jewett, Thomas Kavalak, Ruth Rushton and Gary Wilson;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these recipients on receiving these outstanding awards and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.