Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 03/04-60

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

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2004

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2614, Saunders, Lt. Chris: Death of - Tribute, The Premier 5156
Vote - Affirmative 5157
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2615, Saunders, Lt. Chris: Death of - Tribute, Mr. D. Dexter 5157
Vote - Affirmative 5157
Res. 2616, Saunders, Lt. Chris: Death of - Tribute, Mr. L. Glavine 5157
Vote - Affirmative 5158
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2617, Health Prom. - C.B. Screaming Eagles/C.B. Dist. Health Auth.:
Init. - Congrats., Hon. Rodney MacDonald 5158
Vote - Affirmative 5159
Res. 2618, Metro Commun. Housing Assoc.: Anniv. (30th) - Congrats.,
Hon. D. Morse 5159
Vote - Affirmative 5160
Res. 2619, Dal. Univ. - The Scientist: Ranking - Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 5160
Vote - Affirmative 5161
Res. 2620, Irving Shipbuilding: ExxonMobil Award - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 5161
Vote - Affirmative 5162
Res. 2621, Agric. & Fish. - Thanksgiving: Products - MLAs Enjoy,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5162
Vote - Affirmative 5162
Res. 2622, Simmonds, Kaleb/Callahan, Brandy: Cdn. Idol Success -
Congrats., Hon. Rodney MacDonald 5162
Vote - Affirmative 5163
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 129, Pension Benefits Act, Hon. K. Morash 5163
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2623, Bonnell, Eric: Carnegie Medal - Congrats., Mr. D. Dexter 5163
Vote - Affirmative 5164
Res. 2624, Giles, Steve: Paddling Career - Congrats., Mr. K. Colwell 5164
Vote - Affirmative 5165
Res. 2625, Impaired Driving Interdiction Team (Pictou Co.): Efforts -
Salute, The Premier 5165
Vote - Affirmative 5166
Res. 2626, Gosse, Gordie: Fastball Honour - Congrats.,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5166
Vote - Affirmative 5166
Res. 2627, TPW - Fed.-Prov. Hwy. Agreement: Min. - Sign,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5167
Res. 2628, Agric. & Fish.: Chicken Farmers - Commend, Mr. M. Parent 5167
Vote - Affirmative 5168
Res. 2629, Nat'l. Gypsum - Milford Sta./Carrolls Corner: Anniv. (50th) -
Congrats., Mr. J. MacDonell 5168
Vote - Affirmative 5168
Res. 2630, Sports: Bridgetown Under 14 Tier 2A Boys Soccer -
Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5169
Vote - Affirmative 5169
Res. 2631, Ernst Fam.: CD Launch - Congrats., Hon. M. Baker 5169
Vote - Affirmative 5170
Res. 2632, Dartmouth Rotary Club - Polio Eradication: Efforts -
Commend, Ms. J. Massey 5170
Vote - Affirmative 5171
Res. 2633, Hazelton, James - Skate Canada: Participation - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 5171
Vote - Affirmative 5172
Res. 2634, LeCain, Shirley: Death of - Tribute, Mr. B. Taylor 5172
Vote - Affirmative 5172
Res. 2635, Bluenose Int'l. Marathon - Cunard Jr. High: Participation -
Congrats., Ms. M. Raymond 5172
Vote - Affirmative 5173
Res. 2636, North Preston - Graduates' Banquet: Graduates - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Colwell 5173
Vote - Affirmative 5174
Res. 2637, Dunbar, Cst. Howie: Order of Merit Medal - Congrats.,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 5174
Vote - Affirmative 5175
Res. 2638, Odd Fellow's Nursing Home: Disaster Planning - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Parker 5175
Vote - Affirmative 5175
Res. 2639, TPW - Sydney-Louisbourg Hwy.: Paving - Timetable,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5175
Res. 2640, St. Margarets Bay World Tuna Flat Rowing: Efforts -
Commend, Mr. J. Chataway 5176
Vote - Affirmative 5177
Res. 2641, North Woodside Commun. Assoc./Ctr.: Anniv. (10th) -
Congrats., Ms. M. More 5177
Vote - Affirmative 5177
Res. 2642, Cdn. Christmas Tree Growers Assoc.: Field Day - Congrats.,
(by Mr. W. Dooks), Mr. R. Chisholm 5178
Vote - Affirmative 5178
Res. 2643, Everett, Sandra - Educ.: Dedication - Commend, Mr. J. Pye 5178
Vote - Affirmative 5179
Res. 2644, Piper's Picnic (Earltown): Vols. - Congrats., Mr. W. Langille 5179
Vote - Affirmative 5180
Res. 2645, MacCormick, Dr. Ronald - C.B.: Cancer Services -
Dedication Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 5180
Vote - Affirmative 5181
Res. 2646, Prime, Rev. Scott/Congregation - North Alton Church:
Opening - Congrats., Hon. D. Morse 5181
Vote - Affirmative 5181
Res. 2647, MacFarlane, Jim - Hfx. Reg. Sch. Bd.: Dedication -
Recognize, Mr. W. Estabrooks 5181
Vote - Affirmative 5182
Res. 2648, Taylor, Wade: Hockey Can. Award - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 5182
Vote - Affirmative 5183
Res. 2649, Longaphy, Michelle: Zach Warden Award - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5183
Vote - Affirmative 5184
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 615, Health: Mental Health Patients - Funding, Mr. D. Dexter 5184
No. 616, Health: ABA Therapy - Funding,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5185
No. 617, Health: Autistic Children/Families - Commitments,
Mr. D. Dexter 5187
No. 618, Educ.: Sch. Breakfast Progs. - Gov't. Role, Mr. L. Glavine 5188
No. 619, Com. Serv. - Supported Living: Wait Times - Length Explain,
Ms. M. More 5189
No. 620, Econ. Dev.: Film Tax Credit - Extension,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 5190
No. 621, TPW - Hwy. No. 113: Proposal - Cancel, Mr. C. Parker 5192
No. 622, Nat. Res. - Birch Grove: Strip Mining - Opposition,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5193
No. 623, Econ. Dev.: Film Tax Credit - Extend/Enhance,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5194
No. 624, Agric. & Fish. - Northumberland Strait: Fisheries -
Preserve, Mr. C. Parker 5196
No. 625, Health - Middleton: Nursing Home Beds - Provide,
Mr. S. McNeil 5197
No. 626, Environ. & Lbr. - Water Quality: Maintenance/Control -
Details, Ms. M. More 5198
No. 627, Com. Serv. - Info.: Access - Response,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 5199
No. 628, Nat. Res. - Birch Grove/Port Morien: Strip Mine - Consult,
Mr. J. MacDonell 5200
No. 629, Health - Your Health Matters: Seniors - Consultation Details,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5202
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS at 1:52 P.M. 5205
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 1:54 P.M. 5205^^
CWH REPORTS 5206
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 84, Motor Vehicle Act 5206
Mr. K. Deveaux 5206
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5207
Vote - Affirmative 5208
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 90, Highway 104 Western Alignment Act 5208
Hon. R. Russell 5208
Mr. C. Parker 5208
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5209
Hon. R. Russell 5209
Vote - Affirmative 5209
No. 92, Motor Vehicle Act 5209
Hon. R. Russell 5210
Mr. C. Parker 5210
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5210
Hon. R. Russell 5211
Vote - Affirmative 5211
No. 93, Gas Distribution System Municipal Taxation Act 5211
Hon. B. Barnet 5211
Ms. M. Raymond 5212
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5212
Hon. B. Barnet 5212
Vote - Affirmative 5212
No. 98, Municipal Government Act 5212
No. 103, Regulations Act 5213
Hon. R. Russell 5213
Mr. K. Deveaux 5213
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5214
Hon. R. Russell 5214
Vote - Affirmative 5214
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 82, Halifax Regional Water Commission Act 5215
Mr. G. Hines 5215
Ms. M. Raymond 5215
Ms. D. Whalen 5215
Mr. G. Hines 5215
Vote - Affirmative 5215
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 127, Pictou Regional Development Commission Act 5216
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 125, Mandatory Testing and Disclosure Act 5216
Mr. W. Langille 5217
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5219
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5228
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5229
Mr. W. Langille 5230
Vote - Affirmative 5230
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 3:11 P.M. 5230
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:12 P.M. 5231
CWH REPORTS 5231
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
TPW - Infrastructure: Rural N.S. - Neglect:
Mr. R. MacKinnon 5232
Mr. B. Taylor 5234
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Oct. 8th at 9:00 a.m. 5236
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2650, Giffin, Whitman - Chester United Baptist Church:
Dedication - Recognize, Mr. J. Chataway 5237
Res. 2651, Wentzell, Lisa: Pumpkin/Squash Growing Contest -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5237
Res. 2652, Corkum, Matthew: Reg. Squash Weigh-Off - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5238
Res. 2653, Hebb, David: Reg. Squash Comp. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5238
Res. 2654, Wentzell, Roger: Reg. Pumpkin Weighing - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5238
Res. 2655, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Coach - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5239
Res. 2656, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Thomas Ripley - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5239
Res. 2657, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Matthew Piche - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5240
Res. 2658, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Nicholas Perrot - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5240
Res. 2659, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Tye Borden - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5241
Res. 2660, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Geoff Burke - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5241
Res. 2661, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Jeff McNeil - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5242
Res. 2662, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Gregory McOrmand - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5242
Res. 2663, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Tyler Clements - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5243
Res. 2664, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Jordan Saunders - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5243
Res. 2665, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Billy Adams - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5244
Res. 2666, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Matthew Roscoe - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5244
Res. 2667, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
David Richardson - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5245
Res. 2668, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Thane Stevenson - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5245
Res. 2669, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Garrett DeCoste - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5246
Res. 2670, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Seth Warren - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5246
Res. 2671, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Jacob Meisner - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5247
Res. 2672, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Dennis Frost - Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5247
Res. 2673, Sports - Bridgetown Boys Soccer Championship:
Darcy Gogan- Congrats., Mr. S. McNeil 5248
Res. 2674, Strait Highlands Reg. Dev. Auth.: Dev. - Commend,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 5248
Res. 2675, Henwood, Katherine: Lt.-Gov.'s Award - Congrats.,
The Speaker 5249

[Page 5155]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2004

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Cape Breton West:

Therefore be it resolved that the government is failing to address the needs of rural Nova Scotia by neglecting transportation infrastructure.

This will be debated this evening at 6:00 p.m.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

5155

[Page 5156]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. JOHN HAMM (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, before reading my resolution, I am requesting that companion resolutions could be read following my resolution.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2614

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

Whereas Lieutenant Chris Saunders, a combat engineer on HMCS Chicoutimi, tragically lost his life as a result of a major fire aboard the submarine; and

Whereas Lieutenant Saunders was a 14-year veteran of the Canadian Forces who is described as a true boatman; and

Whereas in addition to being a dedicated member of the Canadian Forces, Lieutenant Saunders was a husband and father of two young boys;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature salute the life and service of this true Canadian hero and send sincere condolences to Lieutenant Saunders' family and fellow submariners at this very difficult time, with our prayers going out to the two men in hospital and those remaining crew still waiting to have the submarine secured.

I would ask for all members to rise for a moment of silence in memory of a fallen member of our Canadian Forces.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5157]

The motion is carried.

[NOTICES OF MOTION]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2615

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

Whereas members of this Legislature share in the shock and sorrow at the news of the death of Lieutenant Chris Saunders aboard HMCS Chicoutimi; and

Whereas Nova Scotians who live by the sea understand the courage of all those whose work and public service takes them to sea; and

Whereas Nova Scotians have a long and proud history of military service and understand the risks taken by our servicemen and women;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislative Assembly offer condolences to the family of Lieutenant Chris Saunders and affirm the Legislature's respect and support for all those who serve Canada at sea and their families.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2616

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

[Page 5158]

Whereas on October 5th the crew of HMCS Chicoutimi battled an electrical fire aboard their submarine and several crew members suffered from smoke inhalation, and required further care; and

Whereas on October 6th Halifax lost one of its heroes when Lieutenant Chris Saunders, a combat systems engineer, from the HMCS Chicoutimi, died while being airlifted to hospital; and

Whereas Lieutenant Saunders will be remembered as a very dedicated family man and a true boatman;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers to Lieutenant Saunders' family and friends, and I ask that we observe a moment of silence in his memory.

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.

All members will rise for a moment of silence, in memory of Lieutenant Chris Saunders.

[One minute of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. Please be seated.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2617

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

[Page 5159]

Whereas the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles hockey team and the Cape Breton District Health Authority have joined forces to promote physical fitness and healthier lifestyles in the Cape Breton region; and

Whereas the two are working together to organize activities encouraging physical activity and healthy eating during hockey games and in Cape Breton-Victoria Regional schools; and

Whereas Cape Breton high school students are pitching in to help coordinate the promotion, setting a wonderful example for the younger students to emulate, and in turn, they will receive donations for Safe Grad programs;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the Cape Breton District Health Authority for spearheading this initiative and working to promote healthy lifestyles for Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2618

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

Whereas Metro Community Housing Association is one of Nova Scotia's largest residential service providers for mental health consumers; and

Whereas Metro Community Housing is celebrating 30 years of providing this valuable service for Nova Scotians with these disabilities; and

Whereas this organization plays an important role in ensuring mental health consumers have the opportunity to participate in their community;

[Page 5160]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join with the residents, families and friends in congratulating Metro Community Housing Association on 30 years of high-quality services and advocacy for persons with disabilities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

[12:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2619

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

Whereas this Spring, the journal "The Scientist" conducted a survey of postdoctoral fellows regarding the Best Places for Postdocs; and

Whereas under the non-U.S. institutions category, Dalhousie University was ranked number one, and was ranked fourth overall, in a competition including universities from across the U.S., Canada and western Europe; and

Whereas a principal reason cited for the high standing was Dal's emphasis on teamwork;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and congratulate Dalhousie University for the high ranking it received in The Scientist's survey regarding the positive environment offered to university research teams.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5161]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 2620

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

Whereas the oil and gas exploration and development industry in Nova Scotia is one of our province's assets in which our people are globally recognized as key players in an industry that places emphasis on safety; and

Whereas major companies, like ExxonMobil, set high and exacting standards that Irving Shipbuilding has met "in spades" during the successful completion of the South Venture Topsides Project, proving that Nova Scotians have what it takes to win contracts in the world markets; and

Whereas ExxonMobil has presented Irving Shipbuilding with an award of recognition for achieving 1.4 million person hours without a lost time incident on this project;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House sincerely thank and congratulate the management and staff of the Irving Shipbuilding team for meeting a world-class standard of excellence and productivity and on-the-job safety.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5162]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 2621

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

Whereas Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and to give thanks for all that we enjoy as Nova Scotians; and

Whereas our farmers and fishermen provide us with fresh, high-quality food; and

Whereas this Thanksgiving weekend, many of us will share dinner with family and friends;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend full of delicious products from our agriculture and fishing industries;

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 Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2622

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's phenomenal music talent was once again centre stage in the Summer hit television show, Canadian Idol, with 21-year-old Dartmouthian, Kaleb Simmonds, as well as a former Dartmouthian, Brandy Callahan, beating out thousands of fellow Canadians to make it to the top ten; and

[Page 5163]

Whereas the two followed the very successful footsteps of Gary Beals of Cherry Brook, who came second in the national competition in 2003 and has, since that time, launched his first CD; and

Whereas the incredible performances of both Kaleb and Brandy have, once again, made everyone at home in Nova Scotia very proud;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate both Brandy and Kaleb on their success and wish them luck with their future music careers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 129 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 340 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Pension Benefits Act. (Hon. Kerry Morash)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2623

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

Whereas to be awarded the U.S. Carnegie Medal for Heroism, you have to risk your life to an extreme degree to save, or attempt to save another person's life; and

[Page 5164]

Whereas Mr. Eric Bonnell of Italy Cross, Nova Scotia, is just one of three Canadians out of 100 recipients from across Canada and the United States to be awarded the medal this year; and

Whereas in May 2003, Mr. Bonnell entered the home of his neighbour, Marguerite Naugler, and battling thick smoke he managed to lead and carry her to safety, grabbing her purse from the hook on the door as part of the ceiling collapsed;

Therefore be it resolved that we commend Eric Bonnell for his bravery in saving Marguerite Naugler from her burning home and congratulate him for receiving the prestigious U.S. Carnegie Medal for Heroism.

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. 2624

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

Whereas Olympian Steve Giles, a very talented paddler from Lake Echo, Nova Scotia, has retired after an illustrious career in this sport; and

Whereas ended his paddling career with another successful showing at the 2004

Canadian Canoe-Kayak Championships; and

Whereas Steve Giles has brought pride to his community, as well to all Canadians, by demonstrating year after year his spirit, skill and dedication to the sport;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Steve Giles on his success and wish him all the best in the future.

[Page 5165]

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 Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2625

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

Whereas thanks to the efforts of members of a new task force, staffed by off-duty police officers in Pictou County, drunk drivers are at greater risk of getting caught; and

Whereas twice a month, officers from four municipal police forces and district RCMP will convene as members of the Impaired Driving Interdiction Team; and

Whereas the inaugural patrol of the task force was set up to patrol during the Festival of the Tartans in New Glasgow mid-August, with the time and place of future patrols being kept unannounced;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature salute the efforts of the Impaired Driving Interdiction Team who are working overtime so that they might stop more individuals who continue to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5166]

The motion is carried.

The honourable for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 2626

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

Whereas on Friday, September 10, 2004, at Neville Park, Whitney Pier, three long-time fastball players were honoured for their service and commitment to the game; and

Whereas Gordie Gosse, sitting here today in the House of Assembly as a member for Cape Breton Nova, was one of those honoured; and

Whereas he was honoured for his career that began with the United Mission bantam team and included winning a Nova Scotia championship as a member of the Glace Bay Alpines, capturing the Nova Scotia and Eastern Canadian Intermediate C title as a member of the Pier Aces, playing for the Cape Breton Pepsi's of the Nova Scotia Fastball League, winning a Nova Scotia Eastern Canadian Intermediate B championship as a member of the Steel City Aces, and finishing his career with the MacLean Brothers Cardinals, who are still active in fastball circles today;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Gordie Gosse on receiving his prestigious honour for his dedication to the game of fastball and for the many memories he had provided his community over the years. (Standing Ovation)

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 West.

[Page 5167]

RESOLUTION NO. 2627

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

Whereas under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, there is $30.5 million committed by Canada for highway improvements throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas today, the Province of Nova Scotia has not produced matching funds despite complaining about a $2.5 billion deficit in this province's highway infrastructure system; and

Whereas major corridors, such as Highway Nos. 104, 103 and 101 are being improved at a snail's pace;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works show leadership and match words with action by signing a new federal-provincial highway infrastructure agreement.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2628

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

Whereas 80 per cent of Nova Scotia's chicken and poultry business is done in Kings County annually, amounting to approximately 2 million chickens and a quarter of a million turkeys being produced; and

Whereas there are approximately 80 chicken producers operating in Nova Scotia producing more than 43 million kilograms of chicken annually; and

Whereas Nova Scotia chicken producers play a leading role in maintaining Canada's status as the 10th largest chicken producer in the world;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs commend all Nova Scotia chicken farmers for their tireless work while maintaining a constant food supply for Nova Scotians year-round.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5168]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2629

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

Whereas the natural resources of Nova Scotia have provided many with steady, good paying employment and rewarding careers; and

Whereas National Gypsum has operated a mine at Milford Station/Carroll's Corner for 50 years; and

Whereas on October 13, 2004, National Gypsum will celebrate by loading a rail care with the 122nd millionth ton;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the management and employees at National Gypsum for 50 years of continuous and successful operations at Milford Station/Carroll's Corner and wish them the same, well into the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

[Page 5169]

RESOLUTION NO. 2630

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

Whereas on September 4 and September 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Coach Terry Saunders and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2631

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

Whereas the Ernst Family of First Peninsula, Lunenburg County, have been singing together for three and a half years and are well-known for their singing ability; and

Whereas the Ernst Family recorded their first CD earlier this year at the Trinity United Church in Rose Bay; and

[Page 5170]

Whereas the Ernst Family were proud to launch their first CD, "For the Heart", on September 30th, at St. John's Parish Hall, Lunenburg;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Ernst Family on their recording and launching of their first CD and wish them every success in their music career.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2632

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

Whereas the number of polio cases has declined by 99 per cent in the 16 years since Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation made polio eradication their highest priority; and

Whereas with its community-based, worldwide network, Rotary is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio; and

Whereas to date, the PolioPlus program has contributed $375 million to the protection of nearly 2 billion children, and by 2005, Rotary's financial commitment will reach nearly $500 million;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend Rotary International and our own Dartmouth Rotary Club for all the work they have done and wish them continued success in their new campaign to raise additional funds for PolioPlus.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5171]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2633

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

Whereas Skate Canada International competitions will be held in Halifax between October 28th and 31st; and

Whereas James Hazelton, a young Digby figure skater, has been one of 12 Nova Scotian figure skaters chosen to retrieve flowers from the surface of the ice after the stars' performances; and

Whereas James has been figure skating for eight years and has demonstrated dedication and hard work toward the sport that he loves;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate James Hazlelton on being chosen to participate in this event and wish him all the best with his duties during the Skate Canada International Competitions.

[12:30 p.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.

[Page 5172]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2634

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

Whereas Saturday, August 21st saw the passing of a Nova Scotia female harness racing legend in Shirley Gay LeCain; and

Whereas Shirley first took up harness racing at the age of 14 and went on to become the first licensed female harness racing driver east of Boston; and

Whereas Shirley was a friend to all and had a busy life as a member of the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Association, the Truro Horse Owners Association, the United States Trotting Association, the Halifax Harness Club and a volunteer with the Goffs Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs recognize the outstanding contributions Shirley made to Nova Scotia's way of life, and also for her modesty and grace which will always be remembered.

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. 2635

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

[Page 5173]

Whereas running is an uncomplicated and readily accessible form of physical activity, requiring minimal financial investment; and

Whereas the Bluenose International Marathon, with Doctors Nova Scotia and Sport Nova Scotia have joined forces to promote running as a sport in the school system; and

Whereas the students of Cunard Junior High School in Halifax Atlantic are the first to participate in this program;

Therefore be it resolved that this House wish the young runners at Cunard Junior High a long and healthy running career, and lifelong enjoyment of the sport and its many health benefits.

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. 2636

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 25, 2004, the St. Thomas United Baptist Church of North Preston held their annual Graduates' Banquet recognizing all the members of their community who graduated this year from high school, university and college; and

Whereas in 2004 they had more graduates than any previous year; and

Whereas these graduates bring pride to their community and set the standard for all the youth that are coming behind them;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate all the graduates from North Preston and wish them every success with all their future endeavours.

[Page 5174]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2637

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

Whereas Westville Police Constable Howie Dunbar received the Order of Merit Medal from the Governor General of Canada last May; and

Whereas Constable Dunbar's national honour is being recognized by the Town of Westville; and

Whereas Constable Dunbar is the second Westville Police Officer to receive this national award of distinction, with Westville Police Chief Don Hussher having been honoured in 2003;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs recognize the significance of the award bestowed upon Westville's men in blue, as this award is one for not only police work, but, also for contributions made to work with youth, the example they set for others and the character and good conduct shown to so many.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5175]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2638

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

Whereas Nova Scotia experienced unprecedented storms recently including a hurricane, a blizzard and heavy flooding; and

Whereas the staff at Pictou's Oddfellow's Nursing Home recently participated in a workshop on preparing for emergencies and natural disasters; and

Whereas officials from the provincial Emergency Measures Organization, the Regional EMO coordinator, a paramedic supervisor from EHS as well as the RCMP participated in this preparedness workshop;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the management and staff at the Oddfellow's Nursing Home in Pictou for having the foresight in protecting their residents by planning ahead for the next natural disaster.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2639

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

[Page 5176]

Whereas Route 22, better known as the Sydney-Louisbourg highway, is the only corridor to the Fortress of Louisbourg; and

Whereas the provincial government hails tourism as a vital economic development tool for this province; and

Whereas the deplorable state of the Sydney-Louisbourg highway is causing considerable loss of tourism potential for the Louisbourg area;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works confirm a detailed timetable as to when the Sydney-Louisbourg highway will be upgraded and repaved.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 2640

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

Whereas the 10th annual World Tuna Flat Rowing Races were held once again in Hubbards Cove in July and proved to be an astounding success; and

Whereas the Hubbards Cove Business Association, under the capable direction of Grant Rust, played a significant role in the success of this major event; and

Whereas the races are an attempt to put more emphasis on the fishing heritage of the bay and to attract more tourists to benefit local businesses;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this House of Assembly commend the efforts of the newly-named St. Margaret's Bay World Tuna Flat Rowing Society, and wish them continued success with this international event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5177]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2641

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

Whereas the North Woodside Community Association is a volunteer-led, non-profit organization that exists to serve the residents of North Woodside and the surrounding community; and

Whereas the community association serves as a "catalyst to focus the energy and skills of citizens in building a stronger community in which to live, work and play"; and

Whereas the association transformed the former elementary school into a community centre that offers municipal recreation programs, a daycare, a CAP site, Canada Day celebrations and a meeting place for community groups and family events;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the board, staff and other volunteers who provide the leadership and vision driving the North Woodside Community Association and Centre on the occasion of this 10th Anniversary and thank them for their strong commitment and community spirit.

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 Eastern Shore.

[Page 5178]

RESOLUTION NO. 2642

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas more than 200 people participated in the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association Field Day held in August; and

Whereas association President, Myles MacPherson, hosted the event at his tree lot in North Riverside, Guysborough County; and

Whereas topics of the event included producing Fraser Fir Christmas trees in Nova Scotia, integrated pest management, tree improvement and vegetation management;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association on a successful event and wish them continued future success in their business ventures.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2643

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

Whereas district school boards are elected bodies that address the educational issues of parents and students and liaise with governments about the appropriate direction in education; and

[Page 5179]

Whereas the involvement of elected school board members require countless hours of selfless commitment to ensure quality education for the students of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Sandra Everett is one school board member who has served in every capacity on the board and for more than 20 years has been involved in ensuring a quality education is available not only for her local school board but for all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature commend Sandra Everett for her more than 20 years of dedication to education in Nova Scotia as an elected school board member.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2644

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

Whereas the Piper's Picnic was held in Earltown this past August as part of an annual celebration; and

Whereas the Piper's Picnic began as a gathering of descendants of the Highlanders in the MacKenzie Pioneer Cemetery in Earltown; and

Whereas descendants of the Highlanders brought food and shared an afternoon of piping and fellowship, with donations going to offset the expenses of logging and landscaping the cemetery, repairing headstones, and also to maintaining the Knox Presbyterian and Earltown Village Cemeteries;

[Page 5180]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Piper's Picnic volunteers on another successful event and wish all Highlander descendants and volunteers many more years of preservation and celebration.

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. 2645

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

Whereas Dr. Ronald MacCormick, Director of the Cape Breton Cancer Treatment Centre, was named the 2004 recipient of the RM Taylor Medal and Award, one of Canada's most prestigious honours; and

Whereas this award recognizes outstanding achievements in the cancer field; and

Whereas Dr. MacCormick has been honoured for his tireless efforts in cancer research, cancer patient care, public education and public service;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Dr. Ronald MacCormick for his dedication and commitment in bringing full cancer services to Cape Breton first by developing a medical oncology unit and, foremost, a state-of-the-art regional cancer centre that serves cancer patients from across the Island of Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5181]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2646

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

Whereas a dedicated group of parishioners from the Wesleyan Church in Kings County made the courageous decision to build a new church in North Alton; and

Whereas there were several significant obstacles overcome in making this happen; and

Whereas the faith and determination of these committed supporters resulted in a dedication ceremony this past Sunday, October 3rd, to a packed sanctuary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Rev. Scott Prime and his entire congregation on the opening of their marvellous new church.

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. 2647

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

[Page 5182]

Whereas Jim MacFarlane has shown exemplary leadership as a teacher and school administrator for his entire career; and

Whereas Mr. MacFarlane's contributions will be remembered by the students, the communities and the teachers whom he worked with; and

Whereas Jim MacFarlane has retired from the Halifax Regional School Board;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature recognize the dedication of Jim MacFarlane with best wishes for many great years of retirement from the Halifax Regional School Board.

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. 2648

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

Whereas Hockey Canada's 2004 National Award Winners were announced late last Spring; and

Whereas Wade Taylor of Bible Hill was one of the seven award winners receiving Hockey Canada's Volunteer of the Year Award; and

Whereas Wade has been an arduous worker and volunteer in minor hockey, serving on Hockey Nova Scotia's Board of Directors beginning in 1995, and also serving as chairman of finance for both the 2003 World Junior Hockey Championships and the 2004 World Women's Hockey Championship in Halifax.

[Page 5183]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank and send our congratulations to Wade Taylor on his award and for the significant impact he has had on minor hockey in Nova Scotia and for his role in the World Hockey Championships.

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.

[12:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2649

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

Whereas Michelle Longaphy of Whites Lake was presented with the first annual Zach Warden Bursary at the Halifax West High Schools graduation; and

Whereas this award is in memory of Zach and was presented by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 153; and

Whereas this award will recognize energy and commitment in memory of Zach Warden;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Michelle Longaphy as the first winner of the Zach Warden Bursary.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5184]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 12:46 p.m. and end at 1:46 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

HEALTH: MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS - FUNDING

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, this morning, on CBC Radio, we heard from a parent whose daughter has been waiting more than a year to leave the Nova Scotia Hospital. Her daughter can't leave because there aren't enough supports in the community, we also know that there are not enough hospital beds in the province and, in fact, we've lost three-quarters of the hospital beds for psychiatric patients in Nova Scotia. My question to the Minister of Health is, if there are not enough beds and supports in the community, and there are not enough hospital beds, where do you expect people with mental health needs to get help?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member indeed raises a question which is very appropriate and one which we recognize as being a priority. The issue of funding for mental health is one of the things that we, of course, identified before the First Ministers' Conference in Ottawa and funding for mental health is among the $175 million priorities that we had that needed to be addressed. Obviously, with the amount of money that we received, we have a great deal of work to do in order to adjust our priorities so that we can begin addressing problems such as the one addressed by the honourable member. I would be quite pleased to table the list of priorities which we identified prior to the First Ministers' Conference.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, instead of addressing the problem, the minister is trying to talk around it. Bed and service shortages are a problem across the province. We received the DHA self-assessment done by the Cumberland Mental Health Services through a freedom of information request, and here's some of what they had to say about how shortages affect children and youth: "When there is not enough bed capacity at Colchester or the IWK, an often lengthy process of bed-finding provincially becomes the responsibility of the already overburdened CRS clinician or the emergency room physician. Once a bed is found elsewhere, adults can be admitted within 24 hours, but it's a different story for children and youth."

[Page 5185]

They say there are no other options for children and youth, leading to unsafe or inappropriate alternatives. My question for the minister is this, given such extreme circumstances, why haven't you introduced a plan this session to deal with mental health service shortages?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is talking about an area of mental health that is extremely important, and that is the treatment of our youth. That is the area where we can achieve the greatest return, not just for society but for the children themselves because treatment capacity is available that many of our youth could in fact be treated in a manner that they could live very productive lives. That is one of the priorities that we had, and it's a priority that's included within the $20 million item that we had on our $175 million list. Obviously, we need to re-establish and revisit those priorities, and we're in the process of doing that.

MR. DEXTER: Well the reality is, Mr. Speaker, that no one really seems to be able to figure out what the priorities of the Minister of Health are. I want to let him know what the Capital Health District says. They say: "We are aware of the high-risk populations but we need resources to implement interventions."

In their assessment they identified three priorities. Number one, making mobile crisis support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across the district; number two, implementing a case management system for people with severe mental illness; and, number three, making sure there were safe, affordable, supportive housing options. The mental health advocates who spoke in this House this morning asked for the same thing. My question to the minister is, when are you going to act on these three priorities?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in my answer to the first two questions, that is very much what we are involved in with respect to what we need to do to decide how we're going to meet our priorities, given the shortfall in funding that we have received from Ottawa. The good news is that it is funding that is long-term and predictable and it does allow us to plan, it does allow us to set priorities and we're in the process of doing just that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH: ABA THERAPY - FUNDING

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Today, parents in the gallery have joined us from various parts of our province to ensure the voices of their children are being heard by this government. Unfortunately, so far they are not being listened to. Applied Behavioural Analysis or ABA therapy has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable citizens and at the same time save this government money. Two years of ABA therapy coupled with adequate

[Page 5186]

supports could save government $1 million to $1.5 million over the lifetime of an individual with autism. Since ABA therapy is an investment and not an expense, my question for the Minister of Health is, why has this government not yet made a decision with respect to funding for ABA therapy?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member would know that in a letter to one of the parents recently - I believe it was in June - I have made a commitment with respect to funding for the treatment of autism. That commitment will be the basis of recommendations that I will be making to my colleagues in Cabinet.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, one can easily understand why these parents are frustrated. Last October they were told soon. In the Spring, the minister told them that ABA therapy was a priority as soon as federal dollars were available. Now the federal funding has arrived, yet another delay tactic. On September 28th in this House, the minister commented on the federal funding and stated, "Obviously, we did not get that amount of money, and the challenge that faces us is to set the priorities to address what we can address within that list, and make the difficult decisions with respect to what will not be addressed." So, my question for the minister is, will the minister please inform these families whether or not his department has decided what priorities will be funded and which ones will not be addressed?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the honourable member is that the department is very actively examining what our priorities are. I want to remind the honourable member that I did make a commitment by way of the letter last Spring. I am not backing away from that particular commitment, Mr. Speaker, and staff, in the review that they make and the recommendations they bring forward to me, are indeed aware of the commitment that I have made.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, if the minister has made a commitment, Mr. Minister, follow through on your commitment. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. While we welcome guests to the gallery, I would ask the members in the gallery not to respond positively or negatively to what's happening on the floor of the House, please. Thank you.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, these families are spending a huge amount of money to improve the quality of life for their children. Indeed, they're saving this government money. This government has promised these families they would provide funding for ABA therapy when federal funding arrived - funding, I might add, that is provided in 11 other jurisdictions in this country. I ask the minister again, when exactly will these families receive word from your government as to the availability of funding for ABA therapy?

[Page 5187]

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member would know, we're examining the list that I have supplied. We are very much involved in establishing priorities not just in the area of ABA treatment, but, obviously, the whole area of waiting lists, whether it be orthopaedic surgery, whether it be cardiac care, whether it be cancer care, all of that is part of what we need to bring forward. Again, I want to remind the honourable member that I, in fact, have indicated that I am going to live up to the commitment that I made in the letter to the parents. Staff, in providing their recommendations, are keeping that in mind. The process will be concluded soon.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I just want to remind the honourable members to keep their questions and answers short, please. It infringes upon the time of the other members.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

HEALTH: AUTISTIC CHILDREN/FAMILIES - COMMITMENTS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Health. Families raising autistic children face an onerous task, to say the very least. These children are locked in their own world, unable to communicate with their parents. Their families face a whirlwind of emotional and financial pressures. The good news is that there is a treatment that works called applied behavioural analysis. It's offered in some form by eight of 10 provinces. Nova Scotia, unfortunately, is not one of them. So far, the minister has offered nothing but platitudes, vague promises and, might I say, contradictory promises. I want to ask this question to the Minister of Health. What commitment are you willing to make to these parents and their children today?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows that in the process of governing, that departments prepare recommendations for ministers. Ministers work with the departments, in terms of the nature of those recommendations and they're brought forward to Cabinet. We're in the midst of that process. When it is completed, I will in fact be making the decision of government known.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, let me read from a letter recently sent to the Minister of Health by Tracey Avery, the mother of twin autistic boys. "My boys cannot tell us what is wrong, what they want or how they're feeling. My son, Brandon, screams for hours on end, with no way for us to know what the problem could be. We are often sleep deprived because of ear-piercing screams that go on for hours. Our record now is seven and a half hours straight." ABA treatment could make a world of difference to families like the Averys. My question to the minister is, what commitment are you willing to make to the Averys and other families with autistic children?

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MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, again, the honourable member would know that I, in fact, did write to the family that he mentions. In that letter, I indicated the fact that not just myself but people in the Department of Health have a tremendous sympathy with the conditions that they must deal with, and their children. We want to do everything we can to ensure that we address that. That's why I made the commitment in my letter in response to them. That commitment is very much on the minds of the department personnel as they bring forward their recommendations.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the fact is the minister has made a commitment. As he says, he's committed to do everything that I can do to support the development of early intensive intervention treatment. Then, at the same time, the Province of Nova Scotia opposes, in the Auton case, before the Supreme Court of Canada, that very treatment. What the families want to know is why the minister continues to take a contradictory stand and why won't they tell the families that are here today exactly where they are on the list of priorities?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows that the legal process is quite different than the process of governing. I'm involved in developing recommendations for government, which is part of the governing process and that will address the issue of funding.

[1:00 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

EDUC.: SCH. BREAKFAST PROGS. - GOV'T. ROLE

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Good nutrition is the key element of a good education. A hungry or malnourished child cannot function to his or her potential, and if we are to give our children the best possible advantage we have to ensure they have a healthy start to their school day. Unfortunately there are families in this province who, through no fault of their own, are unable to provide their children with a nutritious breakfast. My question to the minister is, what does he believe government's role should be in the provision of school breakfast programs?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the government does not provide school breakfast programs at the present time. Fortunately, there are a number of parent groups and others who do, and certainly the government appreciates and supports the efforts of those groups and people.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, according to a study commissioned by the Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion, a national scan relating to school-based feeding programs, the Nova Scotia Government is regrettably one of only two provincial governments in this country that does not support school feeding programs. Has the minister read this report and

[Page 5189]

if so, how does he plan to respond to its negative assessment of Nova Scotia's school feeding programs?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, fortunately, the province and the Office of Health Promotion are currently working together in recognition that there are some children who do go to school and are not well fed. As I said, in the meantime, until we come to a concrete resolution, we are indeed fortunate in this province that most schools do look after children who are in that situation.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, there are few feeding programs currently in existence in Nova Scotian schools; for example, in the Halifax school district, only 39 of 135 schools offer a school breakfast program. The Liberal caucus believes that the government should set up and fund, without delay, a comprehensive school breakfast program for Nova Scotia's school children. Every school day is a tough day for 5,000 children who go to school hungry. The minister needs look no further than New Brunswick for an example of how government can set up and support a program such as this. Can the minister give us a projected time when Nova Scotia will follow the lead of other provinces and make this investment in the future of our children?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the current government has made remarkable and exceptional investments in the education of our children. As I told the honourable member in response to his last question, the Office of Health Promotion, Education, and also the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are working on the issue of how we can provide the best service to all children to ensure that they grow to be healthy adults, and also that they are - at least from a nutrition point of view - able to study in the most effective way.

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

COM. SERV. - SUPPORTED LIVING:

WAIT TIMES - LENGTH EXPLAIN

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. The Community Supports for Adults Program delivers supportive services for adults with disabilities and mental illness. A key component of this program is supportive housing that allows people to live in the community with help, but people across the province are waiting months and years to access a bed in a small options home or group home. I ask the Minister of Community Services, why the waits are so long for people to access supported living?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, the member brings up something we are trying to address through the Community Supports for Adults Renewal Initiative. This is something we've been working on with all the people involved in the delivery of these services and those receiving them. The process is well on its way to a conclusion and we look forward to

[Page 5190]

addressing some of the concerns that the member has brought up when we agree on the final Renewal Initiative Program.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, there is no funding available for clients to access beds and so they face unacceptably long waits. We heard the story in the media this morning of a young woman who has been ready to move from the Nova Scotia Hospital into the community for a year, but she is still waiting for a bed in a small options home to open up. We also know of a woman who lived in prison months beyond her parole date because she could not get access to a small options bed. My question to the minister, how can he justify allowing people to wait for months or years in institutions because of inadequate funding for this program?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure Nova Scotians that when an application comes forward, staff does assess them. They are put on a waiting list based on the urgency of their situation, but with reference to those who require less intensive interventions to assist them to live in the community, I feel that through the Renewal Initiative Program there will be more available. That was included in the budget this year and I look forward to concluding this process so that we can provide those additional services.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I remind the minister that there are currently 100 people on that waiting list in the metro area alone. Recent incidents at a rooming house in Halifax have shed even more light on the tenuous and even dangerous situations people with physical, mental and developmental challenges are living in because they cannot access appropriate supported housing. My question to the minister who is responsible for the safety of people in his care is, how many Nova Scotians with disabilities are living in unsafe, inappropriate rooming houses because this government won't step up to provide the supported living and the resources they need?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure Nova Scotians that anybody who is involved in the Community Supports for Adults Program would have a caseworker who would be quite aware of the living accommodations that are being provided to them. So I would suggest, for instance, that the example that the honourable member used in the preamble to her question would not have been one that would have been acceptable to one of our caseworkers.

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

ECON. DEV.: FILM TAX CREDIT - EXTENSION

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Economic Development. On September 17th, at the Atlantic Film Festival, the Premier announced with great fanfare the extension of the film tax credit from December of this year until April of next year. The Premier also stated that the announcement will be supported in the upcoming budget.

[Page 5191]

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, in a minority government, the Premier cannot guarantee the passage of that budget. That means he has given the film industry a meagre four-month commitment. This industry deserves better. This industry needs better provisions from this government. It requires stable and predictable funding to thrive in this province. My question to the minister, why doesn't this government believe that the Nova Scotia film industry deserves more than a four-month extension of the film tax credit?

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, in response to the honourable member's question, the honourable member certainly would know that appropriations are done each year for many programs and many positions contingent on a budget on a yearly basis. The appropriation of the film board will be addressed when the budget comes forward in the Spring.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: My problem with that, Mr. Speaker, is he can't guarantee the budget is going to pass this Spring, nor can anybody else in this House. My question again is to the Minister of Economic Development. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton South has the floor.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I think I have struck a chord. I can't foresee the future, but certainly in the future there may be some question as to where the next budget from this government goes.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is in jeopardy of falling behind other provinces in film production because this government has not kept the film industry competitive with other provinces. The Governments of Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador, both have film tax credit programs in place that are superior to Nova Scotia's. Yet this Premier announces token commitments and empty promises to the industry during one of the most important events to filmmakers in this province. My question to the minister, again, will the minister commit here today to introducing legislation that will enhance the film tax credit in both urban and rural areas of the province instead of hiding behind the passage of an unknown and unpassed budget?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, nobody can guarantee anything absolute, the passage of a budget or not. But certainly I've worked closely with the film industry. I have their suggestions and their desires on what they would like to see in upcoming budgets and I will take those requests into our budget deliberations and we'll see what's in the budget next Spring.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, there indeed are going to be interesting times ahead with regard to the next budget this government brings in next Spring. But let's deal with the here and now. The here and now is that this province has already lost

[Page 5192]

the sound stage in Cape Breton and the one in Shelburne is suffering, as other provinces can provide more competitive incentives for film production. My question to the minister is, when is this government going to realize that the film industry is vital to the economic development of this province?

MR. FAGE: Certainly this government recognizes the value of the film industry. That's why we did increase the credit and make sound investments. It is also why part of the budget allocated to the Film Corporation is part of their operating as well as other opportunities to supply financial resources and other resources to get productions produced here. The film industry is doing very well and the honourable member should recognize that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

TPW - HWY. NO. 113: PROPOSAL - CANCEL

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The proposed Highway No. 113 is going to be 10 kilometres of road and nobody really knows who wants it or even who needs it. Today's cost has been projected at around $30 million and who knows what it will be in 10 or 15 years. Highway No. 113 was a bad Liberal idea, which this government has, for some reason, claimed now as its own. Mr. Speaker, this government has cancelled ill-conceived Liberal ideas in the past, like the P3 schools, so I want to ask the minister why, after being in power for so long, has his government not cancelled this bad Liberal idea?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, this is not a P3 scheme. I realize that that honourable member opposite can't see much in the future but fortunately the government can. (Laughter) Mr. Speaker, we would be . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works has the floor.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, we would be indeed remiss as a government if we did not plan for the future. Admittedly we're not going to build that highway tomorrow but, however, perhaps, in 10 years' time that highway will be a necessity and we're doing the planning process now for the future.

MR. PARKER: If the highway is built, it will have to cross some valuable Crown land, that concerned groups have expressed concern about under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. Since the proposed highway will fall 100 metres short of the 10 kilometre criteria for more stringent class 2 environmental assessment, this government really is getting away with a Class 1 assessment and that's a disservice to such a beautiful area of our province. So, Mr. Speaker, if your government is so hell-bent on having this highway proceed, will this minister request that a class 2 assessment take place regardless of whatever length it is?

[Page 5193]

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, there are adequate protections in the legislation with regard to how we expand our highway system and we will certainly follow those rules.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, you'll know that the roads and bridges of Nova Scotia are in a very sorry state of disrepair. This $30 million for Highway No. 113, I believe, could be more wisely spent towards the $3.5 billion infrastructure deficit on our rural highway system. So why is the minister willing to spend $30 million on a highway that nobody wants here in HRM while turning his back on the needs of our rural highway system throughout the province?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the convoluted thinking that goes on across the way, it just amazes me. We're speaking about a highway we're going to build 10 or 15 years from now and the Opposition wants to spend those dollars today. It doesn't make sense.

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

NAT. RES. - BIRCH GROVE: STRIP MINING - OPPOSITION

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. When the Premier was running for his job that he has now he said in his mission statement that the mission of his Party is to form a truly responsible government, one which listens and one which consults. So my question to the Minister of Natural Resources, given that he himself says that he listens and consults with the people of Nova Scotia, before he acts, my question to the minister is, why is he and officials in his department allowing a strip mine to proceed in Birch Grove against overwhelming opposition?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, and through you to the honourable member, I must say that I do listen and I do consult, and from one end of the province to the other, as all government members do. There has been no application for any mining in the area in question.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, well it doesn't bode well when the Minister of Energy arrives at a public meeting in Port Morien doing a sales pitch on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources with representatives from the mining company that wishes to strip coal in Birch Grove, a site which has been inactive since pre-World War II. My question to the minister is, why is the government taking this cloak-and-dagger approach to allowing this company to proceed to the next level that would allow strip mining in Birch Grove?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable member opposite, to my knowledge there has been no application for mining in the area in question, but I spoke to the media yesterday and I told the media, very clearly, that I would meet with the concerned citizens, if anybody wanted to meet with me, when this House rises and I also went further in that the honourable Minister of Environment and Labour and the Minister of

[Page 5194]

Energy, would accompany me to meet with the concerned people. (Interruptions) I believe, that's consulting with the people.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, in the government's very own energy strategy, nowhere in this booklet is Birch Grove mentioned. In fact, it's absolutely silent. It's not even referenced as a future site for consideration. The people of Birch Grove and Port Morien areas will confirm, quite clearly, that the Minister of Energy came to Port Morien and did a sales pitch to have this coal mine approved and he did it in great fanfare. My question to the minister is, given that he's willing to listen and consult and abide by the wishes of the people in the community, will he announce today that he will not allow this site to proceed, which was never even included, except on the eleventh hour, unbeknownst to anybody in the Province of Nova Scotia, except for officials in his department and the minister himself?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, if I may just take you back in history a bit. On May 22, 1998, the good member for Cumberland South introduced a resolution to protect the citizens of Springhill from strip mining. That resolution was passed unanimously in this House. If I can go a little further, on November 27, 1998, the good member for Cumberland South introduced Bill No. 91, an Act to protect the strip mining in Springhill. If I may, just a little further, and it's in Hansard, the minister of the day of Natural Resources, from Victoria - and I believe the member for Cape Breton West was also a Cabinet Minister at that time - the minister of the day spoke very eloquently of mining in our province, how it's an economic generator, how we're doing reclamation mining. What it's doing in Thornhill and Westville, the people are using that land today.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

ECON. DEV.: FILM TAX CREDIT - EXTEND/ENHANCE

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development. Currently the made-for-television movie, Stone Cold, which will feature Tom Selleck, is in pre-production in Halifax. This is a relief to the large pool of top-notch technical people and talent who live here in Nova Scotia and who have endured one of the slowest Summers of film production in Nova Scotia since the creation of the Nova Scotia film tax credit. The Premier announced on September 17th that this government would continue the film tax credit, and our Party supports that idea. However, in today's marketplace, the incentives being offered to the producers in Nova Scotia are not as lucrative as they were once were. In this more competitive and international market, will the minister not only extend the film tax credit but enhance it to help grow the film-making industries here in Nova Scotia?

[Page 5195]

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member brings up very significant points. That the film industry is definitely an economic driver in this province. Secondly, this government has and will continue to support the film industry. It highlights the need for all programs to be reviewed. We are going through that process, and it's nearly completed, doing the analysis of the cost benefit for the province and the industry. When we have that analysis complete, we will take those recommendations forward on behalf of the film industry.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia film tax credit gives a 30 per cent deduction to films produced in Halifax, and a 35 per cent deduction to productions in other areas of rural Nova Scotia. This is not as competitive as Manitoba, where the film industry receives a base of 35 per cent with an added incentive of 5 per cent for work done in rural areas. There is also a benefit of 5 per cent to film companies that do three or more films in Manitoba. So the total credit in Manitoba could reach as high as 45 per cent. We can't afford to lose more productions to places like Manitoba. So I ask the minister has he or will he review the incentives being offered by other provinces to make Nova Scotia as competitive as possible?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, as I said in response to the honourable member's first question, that review is underway now.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, we look forward to a response and, hopefully, some action on that idea. We've had a strong industry in Nova Scotia, but it needs to be maintained and made stronger. There is a skilled pool of talent here in Nova Scotia, therefore, when the province is in a position to hire actors, they should be hiring local professionals. This could be the ultimate show of support, but this is not the case. Far too often the province and their contractors bring in outside talent. I ask the minister, will this government become full signatories to the actor collective agreement to show its support of their members and this industry?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, as the House well knows, this government supports the film industry strongly. Certainly, the recognition of the film industry, of that support, was evident in the trip to Los Angeles last Summer, in which we had a trade delegation down there, and in which the film industry honoured the Province of Nova Scotia, not Manitoba, not New Brunswick, not Alberta, but Nova Scotia, as the leading place in North America to produce a film.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

[Page 5196]

AGRIC. & FISH. - NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT:

FISHERIES - PRESERVE

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. Last December, as you will know, there was a 12-day government-led seismic experiment off Cheticamp. In spite of many objections from fishermen and others, this testing did go ahead. Now, scientists are telling us that the female snow crabs there have shown both short-term and long-term damage. Based on this evidence, I wonder if the minister will act now to preserve the fisheries in the Northumberland Strait and speak out against seismic testing in these very sensitive fishing grounds?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite does bring up a good issue, it's one that has been in the news as of late, where one paper is reporting it's bad and the other one is reporting it's good. It is very inconclusive at this time and we are following it very closely.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, it's true, there are many uncertainties around the dangers of seismic testing, but scientists are telling us that female snow crab in the test area showed significant damage when compared to the control group. Some of the females in the test area received damage to their liver and ovaries, so it's obvious that the future of our valuable snow crab fishery could be in jeopardy if this seismic blasting is to continue. This minister certainly has a responsibility to protect our fishery. So will this minister take the precautionary principle and just say no more seismic?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as he well knows, those reports at this point are inconclusive and the research is still being done. I do believe at some point that the oil and gas industry can coexist very well. I will be looking forward to those studies becoming conclusive.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, there has been a fishery all along the Northumberland Strait, even since the days before the arrival of the Europeans. I know fishing families today depend on the snow crab, on lobster, on rock crab, scallops, mackerel, herring and many other species to make their living. Many of those species spawn in the Cabot Strait and their larvae float along with the tides along the Northumberland Strait. Now there is compelling evidence that these fisheries may be seriously hurt by seismic blasting. When is the minister going to stand up and defend our province's fishery.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that we're watching this very closely, that we are concerned about what's going on there. The primary responsibility for all of this is under the CNSOPB and we're watching it very closely and will continue to do so.

[Page 5197]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

HEALTH - MIDDLETON: NURSING HOME BEDS - PROVIDE

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. There is a desperate need for nursing home beds across the province but especially in the community of Middleton. There are 36,000 residents in and around Middleton and yet, no nursing home. Seniors requiring nursing home care in the Middleton area are being scattered across Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, why is this minister still neglecting the needs of Middleton by not providing them with the nursing home beds?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member that I had the pleasure of meeting with a group from Middleton recently, they were in the company of a former Minister of Health, Dr. Gerry Sheehy. We, at that time, informed that group that we are involved in a province-wide consultation and indeed the Department of Health is working hand in hand with the Senior Citizens' Secretariat. In that consultation process, we need to know the long-term planning, and based on the assessment that is done, we will be able to identify clearly where we need long-term care beds in the future, and our decision will be made on the basis of that consultation.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, every study, every consultant, and even the Premier said in 1999 that the Province of Nova Scotia needed more long-term care beds to relieve the pressure on the acute care system. My question is simple, why won't you address this problem?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of addressing the problem. The honourable member would have heard the member for Kings North talk in this House about officiating at the opening of new beds in his area. There are obviously some very real pressure points that had to be addressed. We have opened beds in the metro area, that's part of addressing the pressure point with respect to emergency beds, but there are other areas in the province. We have received representation from Shelburne. Those areas will be addressed in the planning process and we will proceed with our program following that.

[1:30 p.m.]

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, when the government was in Opposition they complained about the lack of nursing home beds. The Middleton and Area Nursing Home Society will be holding a town hall meeting next Wednesday, so I ask the minister, will he be there, or somebody from his department, to tell that meeting that Middleton will finally be getting the nursing home beds they so desperately need?

[Page 5198]

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as indicated to the honourable member, the answer with respect to the request from the Middleton area or that request will be analyzed as part of the entire province-wide consultation, that process will be completed very soon and we will be able to develop our plans from that.

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

ENVIRON. & LBR. - WATER QUALITY:

MAINTENANCE/CONTROL - DETAILS

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley has the floor.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, public concerns about adequate protection of the water quality of Nova Scotia's lakes, rivers and wetlands is ahead of the provincial and municipal legislation and policies to protect the same. The government's limited focus is currently on public drinking water quality and watercourse alterations. As important as these may be, there are many other threats to water quality that must be addressed and a few examples include air pollution, erosion, storm sewers and land drainage. My question to the minister is, what is your department doing to upgrade the maintenance and control of water quality in Nova Scotia?

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for the question. It's important to realize that Nova Scotia has about 6,700 lakes and about 100 rivers to look after, and it's also important to realize that the Department of Environment and Labour is responsible for maintaining the pristine quality of those lakes and making sure that we monitor the quality of drinking water and the water in the province overall.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, the recent Paddler's Cove development agreement application process to the Halifax Regional Municipality proposed a high-density apartment building on the shores of Lake Banook. Residents were shocked to discover how inadequate the municipal and provincial legislation and policy were to protect water quality. I ask the minister, why is it taking so long to improve the standards and monitoring of Nova Scotia's waterways?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, that's something that's ongoing and improvements are made on a regular basis - something we certainly take very seriously and something that we are working towards.

[Page 5199]

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, developing healthier lakes, rivers and wetlands is an international priority, yet in Nova Scotia there seems to be a new story every week about increasingly harmful impacts on waterways - from acid rain affecting the lakes in Kejimkujik National Park to increasing mercury levels in Lake Rossignol, to sewage runoff in the Bras d'Or Lakes, or water extraction by bottling companies - there is no shortage of problems to deal with. My question to the minister is, when is your department going to take a proactive and aggressive stand on protecting our water resources of this province?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that we are progressive, aggressive, and proactive, in looking at the watercourses with regard to Nova Scotia. Water is an invaluable quantity that we know we must protect, we must maintain, and we must ensure is here for the safety of all Nova Scotians.

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

COM. SERV. - INFO.: ACCESS - RESPONSE

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community Services. Volunteers from one end of the province to the other provide a much-needed service to social agencies, and in the course of their work come into regular contact with the Department of Community Services; at times, in fact, the co-operation of the department is a key component of providing those services. Unfortunately, the department is not always as co-operative as it should be. My question for the minister is, other than cases of client confidentiality, does he agree that, social agencies, the members of the Legislature and the media, should be able to access information from his department in a full and timely manner?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I would say that volunteers are the core of our communities. They are what makes it special and we certainly enjoy working with those volunteer organizations the best we can and I hope that we can continue to do so.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my first supplementary to the minister. The decree of secrecy that exists within the Department of Community Services is troubling, whether it is a freedom of information request or a direct request by a legislative committee. The department responds as slowly as possible and with as little information as they can get away with. For example, the department response to a request by the Public Accounts Committee made on December 10th of last year, was eight months late and incomplete. My question for the minister is, will the minister direct the deputy minister to respond once again to the December 10th request of the Public Accounts Committee and this time do so in a full, detailed and timely manner?

[Page 5200]

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing that to my attention. I'd be pleased to discuss that with the deputy minister and if you feel that there is undo delay in receiving a response from the department, I would encourage you not to wait for 10 months to bring it to my attention. Just a telephone call will do the job.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I don't want him to discuss it with the deputy minister, I want him to tell the deputy minister to report the information and if he doesn't think eight months is a long time, then excuse me, we must be in the wrong place here because we would expect to get an answer in 30 days, not eight months. I can assure the minister and this House that a secrecy policy does exist within the Department of Community Services and it appears to be getting worse. My final supplementary, will he immediately lift the gag order on Department of Community Services staff and allow them to comply completely and accurately to requests from the media, social agencies and this Legislature?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I have over 1,000 dedicated employees in the department. I think they do an exemplary job. If there is something that seems to be not going as it should be within the department, I would encourage any member of this Legislature to bring it to my attention and I would address it. Thank you, very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

NAT. RES. - BIRCH GROVE/PORT MORIEN:

STRIP MINE - CONSULT

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. The people of Birch Grove and Port Morien feel that they've not been properly consulted in the process to establish a strip mine. They fear the negative environmental impacts such an industry will have on their beautiful local area and they have good reason. This area has been a very successful lobster fishery and beautiful surroundings that attract tourists to the area. The quality of life enjoyed will be severely degraded by the dirt, dust and noise that is inherent with such an industry.

Mr. Minister, your government made a commitment to listen to communities so they could decide whether they wanted such activity or not, so why aren't you acting on the concerns of the people of these communities?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I don't know if the member heard me when I answered the member for Cape Breton West. There has been no application for mining in the area in question.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, and I was listening to the minister and it would seem to me that an application or not would be in the interest of a proponent or an alleged one, but I want the minister to act in the interests of the people there. So, my question is for

[Page 5201]

the Premier. This government knows the concerns of people affected by strip mining all too well. I have a copy of a resolution presented by the Premier on April 4, 1996, talking about the health and environmental effects of living on the edge of a strip mine and asking the Liberal Government of the day to suspend Pioneer Coal's permit in Stellarton. You might remember when the PC member for Cumberland South, in 1998, brought forward a Private Member's Bill called the Springhill Strip Mining Prohibition Act. Well, my how things have changed. The people of Port Morien and Birch Grove, where a strip mine is proposed, wish those members were on their side today. My question for the Premier is, if those members were so concerned about protecting people from strip mining in 1996 and 1998, why are they not as concerned for the people of Birch Grove and Port Morien today?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I, too, have received some correspondence from residents in that area. I haven't had an opportunity to visit the area to look at the actual circumstances but, as time permits, I will eventually avail myself of that opportunity. What I can say is that in my own experience in my own community and in the adjoining community of Westville, there was a considerable amount of land that had been previously heavily mined and was, in fact, nothing other than a wasteland. Because of a mining project, a surface-mining project, in the Town of Westville, a significant acreage that formerly was not usable and would never be usable is now attractive, usable land. The same thing is happening in the Town of Stellarton. While there is a temporary disruption in the lives of those in the area, there is a long-term benefit to this kind of reclamation. I would like to put things in perspective. There are areas of the province that will benefit from this kind of reclamation.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I think the Premier said a mouthful there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if it's politically expedient when you're on this side of the House, that works, but you're not willing to act when you're on that side of the House. Once an area like this has been strip mined, it's gone, it's not beautiful. While our governments may claim it's protecting the interest of those communities, in fact there's no requirement for operations like this to carry environmental liability insurance. They are just another area like Coxheath or Digby Neck, whose concerns are being ignored by this government. To protect the people and environment of Port Morien and Birch Grove and all future communities that find themselves in similar situations I want to ask the Minister of Natural Resources will this government mandate that any company involved in strip mining will be required to carry comprehensive environmental insurance?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate what I said in my first response to this question, that this government does listen, and we have consulted with the people. I made it very clear yesterday that I would meet with those residents of the area.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 5202]

HEALTH - YOUR HEALTH MATTERS:

SENIORS - CONSULTATION DETAILS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. In a lead up to the last election, the government issued a document entitled, Your Health Matters. While that document was largely a retrospective of what they have done to the health care system, there were certain parts of the document that dealt with the future. One such section could be found on Page 34, which stated, "Beginning in spring 2003, government will consult on the options and services that must be available to seniors, how they can most effectively be delivered, and what regulations are appropriate to protect seniors." According to a freedom of information request we made, those consultations were not done. My question to the minister is, could the minister please explain why those consultations did not happen when promised?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member that those consultations are currently underway. The Senior Citizen's Secretariat has finished the preparation work and are ready to launch on those consultations. I can also tell the honourable member that the budget for the Senior Citizen's Secretariat was increased very significantly in order to allow for those consultations to occur.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, this government promised it would update the Homes for Special Care Act in 1999. Four years later they promised consultations that would lead to changes, and the minister is admitting they've yet to be completed. These consultations were to determine what services must be available to seniors in their community, how they can most effectively be delivered and what regulations are appropriate to protect seniors.

[1:45 p.m.]

It would seem logical if this government is doing nothing with respect to long-term care that they should at least be a little bit more proactive when it comes to services and programs that would enable seniors to remain in their own homes. My question for the minister is, could the minister please explain when the extensive consultations with families, home operators, home support agencies, DHAs, and other partners, are actually going to begin?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member that those consultations will begin in the very near future. As a matter of fact, they should be completed at the end of November, early December. Thank you.

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

[Page 5203]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. During Question Period, there was considerable discussion - and healthy discussion - about the government's commitment to the film industry. For the benefit of members who were not present when I made the commitment to the film industry, I did announce to senior members of the industry and many participants of the industry that it is the intention of this government to invoke a multi-year extension of the Film Development Tax Credit. I did this because it's important to the industry because many of the . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. With due respect to the Premier, this is the second time in this House this session that he has stood up on a point of order at the end of Question Period and started making a statement that would be better said during ministerial statements. I don't like the fact that the Premier thinks he can make a statement without us being able to respond to it - either respond to it as part of the question or put it under ministerial statements or revert back to the order paper. This is not the right time for him to be making a speech.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I hope the member opposite is not attempting to muzzle the government and its right to clarify issues in front of the House. This would be entirely inappropriate under ministerial statements. It's entirely appropriate for the government to clear the air.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, what the Premier's doing is muzzling the Parties on this side of the House by not allowing us to respond.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. First of all, I hadn't yet determined if in fact it was not a point of order, but there's nothing to say that once the honourable Premier is finished that I wouldn't allow a response to his comments because he's (Interruption) Order, please. Order, please.

The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what I have risen to do is to clarify the misconception that occurs in the House relative to the position of the government on an issue that came up in Question Period. What I was able to do recently was to inform members of the film industry that it is the intention of this government to initiate a multi-year extension of the Film Development Tax Credit. That will be formalized in the budget and in the Budget Address,

[Page 5204]

and there will be ample opportunity for members of both Parties to support that commitment when the votes come on those two particular issues. (Applause)

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, again, in response to the Premier. I guess this is something new in the House, but it's refreshing, I guess. I don't know, we could keep this going all afternoon, but in response to the Premier's statement, my difficulty and what I alluded to during Question Period in response to the Premier was the fact that he can't say here and now that this budget that's he's talking about next Spring is going to pass, nor can he make any comments that are going to be in place next Spring. What I'm asking the Premier to do is to enhance the film tax credit now to compete with other provinces in Canada before we lose the film industry in this province - and if we don't start competing now, we are going to lose the film industry in this province.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON: (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I too want to make a couple of comments on this. During Question Period our intent in our caucus wasn't to bring to light future contracts, it was to bring to light that the government needs to take action now to sustain this film industry in the province. Yes, the Minister of Economic Development stated that we have been praised for our past involvement with the film industry, but the likelihood of us to maintain and sustain that is growing slimmer and slimmer as time goes on without this deal and without a contract with the film industry. Manitoba has increased their tax credit and is offering a better deal than we are here in Nova Scotia. So it's important that we support the industry and that we bring information and a contract to the film industry now, not later when our industry collapses.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Energy on an introduction.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, while the discussion in the House is very lively, so too is the activity in the Strait area associated with Richmond County. I'm pleased, in your gallery, this afternoon to provide an introduction to some of the people who are part of a very exciting project and have helped steward and lead that area forward. As part of the core conference for the offshore resources and exposition we have this week, I want to introduce Randy Copp, Chairman and Vice-President of Gas Commercialization for the Bear Head LNG Project; Louis Digout, the CAO for Richmond Municipality; Alan MacDonald, Director of the Energy Office for Richmond County; as well as Councillor Richie Cotton. I want to extend a welcome to all of them and congratulate them on the great work they're doing in the province. (Applause)

[Page 5205]

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome our guests to the gallery today.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please all 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, we have Bill No. 84 on the order paper for third reading. I would ask the permission of the House to recommit that bill to the Committee of the Whole House for an amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

It is so ordered.

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

The motion is carried.

[1:52 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. James DeWolfe in the Chair.]

[1:54 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

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

[Page 5206]

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

Bill No. 84 - Motor Vehicle Act.

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

[MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a third time on a future day.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that this bill be now considered to be on the order paper for third reading as of this day.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 84.

Bill No. 84 - Motor Vehicle Act.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to speak for a couple of minutes on third reading of this bill, and I move third reading of Bill No. 84. This is a small change in the Motor Vehicle Act, as many of us know. I think right now on the order paper there must be half a dozen changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. It's like the Municipal Government Act in the sense that it's continuously being updated. Unfortunately, with regard to the Motor Vehicle Act, it could probably use a new rewrite, given some of the terms and language in the bill. It's a bill that from time to time is changed, because we reflect the changes in our society and in the changes that need to be done. I do want to note, in this particular case, that this is a clause

[Page 5207]

in the Motor Vehicle Act that will allow people, when they come up from a one-way street onto a one-way street, to turn left on a red light where it is permitted by signage.

Mr. Speaker, it's a simple change, one that has been accepted in, I think, six or seven other provinces in Canada, one that's been accepted in over 40 states in the United States. All we're doing is harmonizing our laws with those of most provinces and most of the states in the United States. It's funny, because since I introduced this bill in the last session of the House in the Spring, I've had some people who just briefly talked to me about it, and it's funny how many of them have said they're already doing it, thinking it was the law, not knowing that this isn't the law right now.

In many cases, I think all we're doing is recognizing something that for those people, maybe, who originally were trained as drivers in other provinces that have this law or trained in the United States or just maybe thought that that was the law, because they can turn right on a red light, this bill is allowing them now to recognize that fact. It isn't one that's going to affect a lot of intersections. I'm just speculating, but I can't see more than two dozen intersections in Nova Scotia where this would be at issue, where you have a one-way street onto a one-way street where you can turn left. Obviously, right around this building, there are many, but overall in this province there aren't a lot.

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss, before sitting down, of not noting that this is actually a bill that came from a gentleman by the name of Andrew Thompson in the Plymouth area, in Pictou East, just outside Stellarton. He mentioned to me that this was a bill that he just said seemed like an issue that could be brought up, an issue that should be brought to the House. I'm glad I had an opportunity to introduce it, I'm glad we've had an opportunity to both debate it here, at the Law Amendments Committee, Committee of the Whole House on Bills, and now in third reading.

It's one of those bills, like many others that come to this House, when people talk about democracy, people talk about the ability to effect change, and maybe these aren't massive changes, but it is an opportunity for Nova Scotians to recognize that when someone has an idea that's a good idea, there still is an opportunity in a democracy, when you speak to your elected representatives, when you speak to people in this House of Assembly, to actually effect change. I want to thank Andrew Thompson for recognizing this. I also want to say that this is a good piece of legislation that I think will allow the flow of traffic to flow better throughout Nova Scotia. I so move third reading.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, we, too, in the Liberal caucus support this. It's a good housekeeping measure, and I suppose much akin to, in the 1920s, when people in Nova Scotia were driving on the left side of the road. It sometimes requires a little

[Page 5208]

change in the way you think when you drive. So, it will certainly legitimize what many motorists in and around certain communities are now doing. We certainly support that.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 84. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. 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. 90.

Bill No. 90 - Highway 104 Western Alignment Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 90. It's a very simple bill that accommodates a request, or at least a recommendation, from the Auditor General that the annual report of the Western Alignment Corporation be tabled in the House each year, as we have been doing. I move third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Bill No. 90. I think it's a good time, or it's about time, perhaps, to have this come to the minister, every year. It's surprising, I guess, that it hasn't been done before this point. That was certainly was the recommendation of the Auditor General, and also that it be on the minister's desk every year. Really, it's a housekeeping bill that would allow that to happen.

[2:00 p.m.]

As I mentioned, I guess on second reading, Mr. Speaker, I hope now the minister has the report. Certainly he'll have a chance to look at it to see if there's some way to eliminate

[Page 5209]

the toll road that's up there on Highway No. 104. I think we're the only province in Canada that has a toll on our Trans Canada Highway system, and it's past time to abolish that toll. Other than that, I'm certainly supportive of the bill.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, we, in the Liberal caucus, also support this particular piece of legislation, a housekeeping measure obviously in content or in essence. Two other issues I would like to flag at the same time while dealing with this is one perhaps on a future day, it's an opportunity to raise the issue of this whole contractual agreement and the issue of profitability and the rates that keep changing and going up and also the fact that because of this particular agreement, the restrictions that have been put on the Department of Transportation and Public Works with regard to the old highway and how that impacts on the residents along that highway as well. With that, we'll certainly support this.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, just in response to the comments of the member for Pictou West, I would remind him that we are just putting into law what we have been practising. In other words, the Ministers of Transportation, over the years, and that includes back into the last Liberal Regime, annually that report has been tabled in the House by the Minister of Transportation. So I now move third reading of Bill No. 90.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 90. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 92.

Bill No. 92 - Motor Vehicle Act.

[Page 5210]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 92.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, just a few brief comments on this particular bill, too. I think it's basically a housekeeping bill, once again, and there are a variety of different things in it, common-sense type of items that I think need to be cleaned up. Certainly one measure that's mentioned there is around securing loads on commercial vehicles. We all know there are a lot of trucks on our highways these days and the idea of having them secured safely is to be commended.

There's another section in there around revoking drivers' licences or transfer of drivers' licences from other provinces where they've lost their licence for whatever offence might have occurred in other provinces. It makes sense that when they move to Nova Scotia, that their licence should continue to be revoked. I think there's another clause in there around transit buses and the right to help move people quicker into the core of cities and putting priority signals in at intersections to make transit buses go smoother or quicker. I certainly support anything that's going to allow for more vehicles off the road and more public transit in any area of the province.

I guess the main feature that I've noticed in the bill, Mr. Speaker, is around roundabouts. I guess there are several rotaries in the province at the present time, and they're going to be transferred or changed to roundabouts. The one I'm most familiar with is the Pictou Rotary. Certainly, over the years, there have been some accidents there, especially with ferry traffic coming in once an hour and just a whole number of vehicles coming in. So anything that will make the Pictou Rotary safer, I'm certainly supportive. I understand the main change is that instead of a one-on-one merging of traffic, you would have to yield coming into a roundabout. Let's hope that that works. I understand there's going to be some practise in the roundabout in Cornwallis, I believe is where it's going to be tried out to see if it works well.

So overall, Mr. Speaker, I think Bill No.92 is good. It's a hodgepodge of changes to the Motor Vehicle Act and our caucus is in support of Bill No. 92.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, we also support this bill, although I must say that I'm somewhat suspect of this issue on the roundabouts that the minister has referred to but, with cautious optimism, we will certainly give it the green light. And the other issues that have been raised, we've already spoken to those.

[Page 5211]

Also, it's an opportunity to actually compliment the minister for moving ahead on the issue of inspections with regard to the heavy vehicles - particularly for the overweight vehicles. The installation of the new electronic system at the Strait of Canso I think is very positive, given the fact that the total number of inspections seem to have been going down in recent years - for obvious reasons, it could be staffing, budgetary. It's very difficult with the increased traffic, and I understand that, So perhaps I would also take an opportunity to encourage the minister to do that at other stations across the province. It would certainly facilitate and make our highways much safer. That is a very positive initiative. It's something that has been activated with very little fanfare, and I think the people of Nova Scotia probably don't realize the extent of the success of that particular initiative. I felt it only fair to raise that in support of the minister. With that, we do support this bill.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works it will be to close debate on Bill No. 92.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the honourable members opposite. I can assure them that the Motor Vehicle Act is a live-type of an Act that's continually being amended to reflect our modern practices. With those few remarks, I move third reading of Bill No. 92.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 92. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 93.

Bill No. 93 - Gas Distribution System Municipal Taxation Act.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move Bill No. 93 for third reading.

[Page 5212]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to speak for a moment on third reading of this bill. I think it's a very important first step towards a general review of property taxation and the basis of that in Nova Scotia. I certainly commend the government for bringing this forward, and, I'm happy to see this proceed. Thank you.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, we have no problem with this moving forward - with a cautionary note that we'd be interested to see how this entire system will unfold, particularly through the regulatory process. Our intent, if the minister is correct in what he says, that this will level the playing field and ensure a fair and equitable distribution of taxation for the municipalities, with regard to the gas distribution systems throughout Nova Scotia. I would hope that in the very near future the minister would be able to provide for the Opposition Parties at least a draft copy of the regulations before the final draft is approved by the Executive Council. With that note, we'll certainly be willing to give it an opportunity to realization.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to close debate on Bill No. 93. In doing so, I just want to take a minute to thank the UNSM and our staff and the Halifax Regional Municipality, who worked collaboratively to bring this bill forward. This bill represents municipalities and the province working together to support a new industry in Nova Scotia and shows that together we can resolve issues and move forward with initiatives that will support and benefit all Nova Scotians. I close third reading of Bill No. 93.

MR. SPEAKER: The question is for third reading of Bill No. 93. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 98.

Bill No. 98 - Municipal Government Act.

[Page 5213]

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 98.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 98. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded. Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 103.

Bill No. 103 - Regulations Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, I move third reading of Bill No. 103.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, just a couple of minutes on third reading of this bill, for the record. This is a piece of legislation that will allow for the electronic version, e-version, of the regulations that will be on the computer Internet and Intranet system to be recognized as the official version. There are obviously potential challenges with this. The government has already developed a system that I have confidence will be secure. I want to ensure on the record as I said at second reading that they continue to be diligent in ensuring security of this system because in many ways, some may know or may not know this. The court system relies on judicial notices with regard to regulations and Statutes, that what is before them is the legitimate written version and that's easy to do when you make a photocopy or a judge has a version of the bill, or the regulation or the Statute in their possession or photocopies presented to them on a piece of paper where you obviously can't alter it. When it's a computer version, there is a greater possibility of altering. I have confidence, having spoken to the Department of Justice, that this is something they have considered.

[Page 5214]

I want to reiterate our caucus' desire to ensure that they remain diligent, continue to be diligent because we all know this could involve fairly serious litigation matters, or quasi- criminal matters. Computer systems change rapidly and must ensure that the security remains such as well. Having said that, we will support this bill, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, the only cautionary note that I would add is the fact that we're empowering this new registrar for regulations to be able to interpret certain words and phrases in the regulations for greater clarity and particularly when there's an intent to combine regulations under a particular Act or a number of Acts. So, I would certainly indicate that the overall intent of the bill is good, but I am quite concerned about the possibility that regulations could be drafted one day, with the general intent that Cabinet may have a feeling that the regulation is to be interpreted one way and then on a future day the individual in charge can certainly put his own interpretation on that. It may be minor but it could be rather significant in what the intent of the regulations are. So, with that having been said, I think the Government House Leader can certainly appreciate what I'm saying and perhaps it's an issue that Cabinet can deal with, since we are leaving it as the regulatory matter, so be it. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I've taken note of the remarks by the members opposite and I'll pass them on to the Attorney General and with that, I move third reading of Bill No. 103.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 103. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

[Page 5215]

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 82.

Bill No. 82 - Halifax Regional Water Commission Act.

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

MR. GARY HINES: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to move third reading of Bill No. 82.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to see this come forward as I think everybody realizes that we have significant issues with extension of water service throughout the growing municipality and this is a good way to tidy up the financial arrangements between private and municipal water systems. To the degree that this will facilitate those arrangements, I'm very pleased to see this bill go forward. Thank you.

[2:15 p.m.]

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, we would simply like to add our support to this bill and see it move forward. We think it is the right thing to do and we're satisfied with it. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank to close the debate on Bill No. 82.

MR. GARY HINES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the members opposite for their support on this bill, it's really a housecleaning bill that allows Halifax Regional Municipality to make their own arrangements regarding some payment on their water systems.

I would like to move third reading of Bill No. 82, Halifax Regional Water Commission Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 82. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 5216]

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would please call Bill No. 127.

Bill No. 127 - Pictou Regional Development Commission Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Premier.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Premier, I move second reading of Bill No. 127.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 127. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 125.

Bill No. 125 - Mandatory Testing and Disclosure Act.

[Page 5217]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester North.

MR. WILLIAM LANGILLE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to begin debate during second reading of this legislation. As you know, Bill No. 125 is an Act Respecting Mandatory Testing and Disclosure to Protect Victims of Crime, Emergency Service Workers and Other Persons.

This addresses an important health issue. Under current law an emergency service provider, police officer, firefighter, peace officer, or correctional worker has no legal way to compel an individual to be tested for a communicable disease, in a case where the worker feels he or she may have been exposed to a disease through contact with that individual. The same is true for a victim of crime.

This bill provides assistance to those who may have been exposed and to those who may have a communicable disease. The bill sets out the procedure to follow to compel such testing. For example, a police officer responding to a crime may be concerned about exposure to the bodily fluid of a person they are arresting. If that person was unwilling to provide a sample voluntarily, the officer could go to court and get an order called a testing order, compelling the person to provide a sample. To get such an order, the officer would have to bring an application and provide evidence as to the nature of the contact and the risk to which he or she may have been exposed. If a judge determines, based on evidence, that the sourced person should be tested, in order to decrease or eliminate a health risk to the officer, a judge can order a medical officer of health to take a sample, have it tested and provide test results to the officer. It would be against the law for a person to disobey the testing order issued by a judge.

Information about the tests would remain confidential. Just to repeat, the Act would only apply if the exposed individual came into contact with a bodily substance of the source individual in specified circumstances, those are: as a crime victim, or while providing such services as a police officer, correctional officer, service worker, firefighter, or peace officer. It's important to make clear that any information gathered through these procedures is to be used for the protection of an individual's health only, and not for any criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit. This legislation attempts to balance the privacy rights of individuals with the health needs of those who respond to emergency situations and victims of crime.

Mr. Speaker, when I was doing the research on this, I was looking at many cases where people did come in contact with another person's bodily fluids. Three cases I want to elaborate on involved policewomen doing police work. One policewoman in Hamilton, Ontario, was punched in the mouth by a perpetrator who had blood on his hands. Another one, which also occurred in Ontario, another policewoman, a sergeant on the Ottawa City Police Force - I met her personally last year at the Atlantic Women in Law Enforcement Conference in Truro. I listened to her story, and it was her story and a young police constable from Truro on whom I will elaborate in a minute, and it was her story and what she went

[Page 5218]

through that really gave me concern about our men and women, the police, our paramedics, our firefighters, our correctional service workers, our good Samaritans, people who come to the aid of these people, these people are exposed every day of their lives in these situations.

Her story was, while searching an individual, she was pricked by a needle.

Now, there is no mandatory regulation in Canada that required a person to give a sample of their blood. She didn't know what was involved. She didn't know what she might come in contact with or contract. So, anyway, with no legislation, her only option was to try to get him to voluntarily give a sample of his blood, and she succeeded. What she had to do, she had to go to the local coffee shop and buy him a cup of coffee. That was what he wanted in order for him to give a sample of his blood, which she did, and she obtained a sample of his blood.

Now, having said that, on a more local issue, in Truro, a young policewoman constable in Truro was pricked by a needle while searching a person. This young constable went six months. She didn't know what she came in contact with when she was pricked by this needle. She went to bed every night not knowing what she had and, anyway, it came out later on that she did contract a communicable disease. Her story was told here in this very Legislature, outside this Legislature, when I brought in the previous bill. It was very heartwarming to hear her story.

I just mention these three in passing. I want to also, Mr. Speaker, elaborate on what is occurring now across Canada. I'm going to pinpoint a city in the Maritimes, where, in one year, there have been 13 - that's right, 13 - cases of robbery by persons using a hypodermic needle with a red substance.

Mr. Speaker, years ago, during my 30 years as a police officer, working in different parts of Ontario and Nova Scotia, I never had any protective clothing, which they have today. We didn't wear bulletproof vests, we didn't have rubber gloves issued. In fact, we were very naive. Back then, AIDS and so on wasn't a problem, but as time goes on, times change, and we, as legislators, ought to change with the times. I say this in all sincerity, to me this is very important legislation. We have an obligation to protect the citizens of the Province of Nova Scotia. In this small way, by passing this legislation, we will be doing just that.

Mr. Speaker, it won't be big problem. Last year, in Ontario, which has legislation - the only province in Canada - there were only 12 times in the past 12 months that they sought an order to draw blood from a person; so having a population of well over 12 million people, and Nova Scotia having a population of less than 1 million people, we are probably looking at this appearing maybe two times, one or two times, maybe no times, but the legislation will be there. I believe it's good legislation, and I look forward to hearing the Opposition. With that, I will close, and move second reading of Bill No. 125.

[Page 5219]

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, it's a privilege for me to stand and speak in debate on a bill that affects many of my former colleagues. Not only does this bill affect the paramedics of this province and my colleagues who work in Emergency Health Services here in Nova Scotia, this bill really does affect and impact more than just those individuals.

This bill, if passed, will impact and affect all health care professionals, not only paramedics but a whole range of health care providers. This bill will also impact and affect firefighters in the province, it will affect police officers in this province. There's a whole list of individuals who make a living or volunteer in our province in the health care system or in the emergency services field, people like first responders, many of whom in this province do so with no compensation, no pay, and many of them in rural Nova Scotia and provide a great and necessary service to the residents of our province.

Mr. Speaker, not only these people will be affected and will see something change or be able to benefit from the possible passing of this bill, but the victims of crimes, too. I think this bill represents an important part of the residents of Nova Scotia. These people, not only if they find themselves as a victim of a crime, are in a terrible situation. Not only do they have to get over the fact that they were involved in an incident that may have caused them injuries, either superficial or emotional injuries, but they also have to deal with the fact that the potential is there for them to contract a disease of some sort, such as HIV, hepatitis, or many other diseases that are fatal, if gone untreated or unnoticed.

[2:30 p.m.]

The quicker you can determine what a bodily substance had in it that you were exposed to, the quicker you would start treatment, and I think it's important that we recognize that this bill really will affect many people in Nova Scotia and across the country because I think we need to set an example that I know will radiate throughout the country and radiate down through the States. There are provinces and States that have introduced bills pertaining to this bill and this aspect of obtaining a check on what's involved in bodily substance. So we're not the first ones to bring this forward, but I hope we're not the last ones who introduce such a bill to the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to also say that this bill not only will affect emergency services' workers and victims of crime, but it's also going to affect the family members of these people who deliver this service in our province. I know, personally, that with a young family at home, and a spouse, many times over the years I've been left wondering if the call I was on, or attending to, was there a possibility that I may have contracted something from that call or from that incident? It plays on you and it's hard to go home and be with your family and enjoy some time with your young kids knowing that a few hours earlier you were

[Page 5220]

in a situation that was very dangerous, with a high likelihood of something being transmitted between you and the patient. So this will affect the families of the people involved in providing and serving the people of Nova Scotia.

The other thing I want to mention, Mr. Speaker, is that I want to bring forward some of the experiences I've gone through and, hopefully, shed some light on the environment that my profession finds themselves in, and also other health care workers and emergency workers such as police officers and firefighters. These people, like myself, do this job because they enjoy the thrill of it, I guess, they enjoy being able to be counted on in a situation when really there's total chaos, we enjoy being able to help our fellow residents in the province. It's something I've enjoyed over many years as a paramedic and I do it knowing that there are dangers out there. I know many of my colleagues and many of the other health professionals, and other emergency service workers, do it because they enjoy the opportunity to help and, hopefully, alleviate some of the suffering of the patients.

Mr. Speaker, the men and women, like I say, who are involved with emergency services, and police officers, correctional officers, first responders, and actually first-aiders, they do this on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis. They are here to protect, to serve, and to treat the people of our province. I think it's important as a Legislature to introduce bills that help them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities and to protect them. I think this bill is another avenue of protecting the people who serve all the residents in this province, and if there's anything we can do, and if there's anything I can do to help this and to hopefully encourage more legislation in the future that will address safety issues, especially in the workplace, then I definitely will stand up and speak in favour of those bills and make the government more accountable and, hopefully, increase the number of bills that we see pertaining to workplace safety.

Mr. Speaker, as a paramedic, part of our training relates to the safety of our job. It's enshrined in the education system as a paramedic and it is one of the first things you learn about. Years ago, when safety precautions weren't such a big issue when it came to paramedics or EMTs or police officers, it was the old ways, the nurses did their jobs with no universal precautions - wearing no gloves or no masks or no safety visors. I'm sure, Mr. Speaker, as a former peace officer, you found yourself in situations where you may have had bodily fluids, such as blood, all over you when you attended calls. I know many of my colleagues who have been in the system for a long time, have talked to me and have spoken about the times they've gone on calls where they said they were elbow-deep with blood and other bodily substances.

It's not a nice topic to talk about, but these health care professionals and workers in the province, that's what they did, so it was great to see that universal precautions were starting to take place many years ago and that it was enshrined in the education system of these health care professionals and it did find its way into the education of emergency health workers, paramedics and firefighters.

[Page 5221]

As I said, one of the first things you learned was to take precautions. You have to deal with and consider every call you go on as a potential threat and that the patient or the victim that you were going to help has some kind of disease that could harm you if bodily fluids were transferred - blood or urine or vomit.

So, it was enshrined in my training as an EMT and a paramedic in the early days and we really take that seriously. Every call I've gone on I've ensured that I had the safety equipment and the precautions in place. Scene safety is the number one thing you look at when you arrive on any call. I'm sure it's the same with a police officer, first responder or firefighter and even as a nurse in the ER. You have to make sure the scene around you is safe and you use all precautions at all times.

I know people will look at this and think it will raise some concerns with being able to go to an individual request. Actually, if you go through the process and demand a sample of their blood, if that's the procedure or the clinical aspect of what you need to obtain from them to get the proper testing.

I know people will think it invades their personal rights. But, we have to look at it in the context of what are the rights of the workers in this province and what are the rights of the people who are providing this important service? They too need some rights. I think this bill just emphasizes that the government will be behind the workers and provide as much care and protection as we can for these workers that do this job. As I said, many times it's in a dangerous environment. The situation isn't controlled.

In our training as an EMS provider or a paramedic, we learn many skills. I've had the opportunity to increase my level of training and obtain the ability to provide advanced care to patients in Nova Scotia. One of these services that I can provide is like IV access and that is probably one of the highest incidents that you can have with something like a needle stick. What I mean by a needle stick is if you were to inject a person with an IV or with a needle and for some reason after you inject your patient, you inject yourself, then that would be a needle stick.

I've been very fortunate over my nine years as a paramedic that I've never been stuck with a dirty needle. I've been fortunate that way - not to say that I haven't come in contact with a lot of bodily fluids over the years, it certainly has been the case where I've had to clean myself after a call that I was on. Fortunately enough, I've never had that incident where I've stuck myself with a dirty needle. Many of my colleagues have had that happen to them. You feel terrible, as a fellow paramedic, when your partner or another colleague comes to you and says listen, this has just happened to me. It's a sick feeling, not only to myself when I hear this, but I can just imagine the feelings that paramedic or that health care provider is going through at that time.

[Page 5222]

Even though you don't think a small little needle, such as an 18-gauge or a 20-gauge needle, could do any harm. If you look at it, you can't see anything, but that's not the problem. One little stick from a dirty needle opens the avenue to many diseases that can transform your health, be detrimental to your health.

I do feel that this legislation can add a little bit of protection. Not to say that it's going to stop any of these needle sticks or stop any transfers of bodily substance in the future, we can't do that, it's impossible. I guess if health care workers were put into a fully-armoured suit, maybe that might solve it, but that's not something that we can look at.

Mr. Speaker, the health care providers and the emergency workers in this province will continue, today, tomorrow and in the future, to put themselves in danger when they provide the service that they do for the people of Nova Scotia. I think with the evolution of antibiotics and medications that help fight diseases and viruses across the world today, what that has done is it increases the possibility of these superbugs, as they call them, and there are more things out there now that can harm you other than just HIV. There's hepatitis, there's the SARS outbreak, there's things like MRSA that can be transported between a patient and a caregiver very easily. To try to limit those barriers would be very difficult.

I must say that the health care providers, emergency workers, and those people who are involved with taking care of people in times of violent crimes or in times of a medical emergency, transmission of these will still continue into the future, Mr. Speaker. One of the things we can do, though, is help them in deciding what type of cure or treatment these people might be able to go to after after something like this happens. I would love to say that I hope nobody in this province would ever have to find themselves in this situation where they would have to use this bill, if it's passed, because the last thing I want is a fellow colleague or a fellow Nova Scotian to have to go through that stressful time in their lives, where they would have to go through the procedures of obtaining a sample of someone else's blood, and go through the court system.

Mr. Speaker, I think by not passing this bill we leave it open for these people who give so much in our province. A lot of them are paid people but there are a lot of volunteers and there's the victims of crimes - we give them another safety net to know that after something has happened, they can go somewhere to find out if they have to worry for the next year, the next two years, the next 10 years. After an event where there is a change of bodily substance, a needle stick or a blood splash in someone's face, the possibility of things in the future is great.

If we have an avenue for these people to go and obtain a court order to have that person give a sample of their blood and get back to the individual who requested it, and under confidentiality, as the bill plainly states, hopefully it eases their mind a little bit. That's a great thing to be able to offer the people who put themselves at risk doing their jobs, just to give them the peace of mind that they can go home after the end of their shift and play with their

[Page 5223]

kids and be with their spouses and not have to worry about what may transpire, what may be transmitted to them, Mr. Speaker.

I definitely encourage all members to really have a look at this, and really go back to the communities they represent and talk to health care workers, talk to the nurses, talk to the paramedics and the firefighters and the police officers. I bet you that if every member did this, they would come back to this Legislature with stories of near misses, if you want to call them that, or stories of incidents in their profession that they had come in contact with, something that this bill could help them go through and help their families proceed to the next level of getting over what they've gone through.

[2:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, these super bugs that we have today are getting more powerful every day. We do have checks and balances now in the system. When we do have a patient who is recognized as a patient who is at high risk for some of these diseases, as a paramedic we do get indications from the hospital, or from the communications centre, that we did transport a high risk patient and we go through a large deep cleaning of our vehicle, of all the equipment we use, and so there are checks and balances and I think this can just be an added check and balance for the people who serve and protect us and treat us every day in this province.

The other thing, Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, it will give them another level of protection, if you want to call it that, not only for those workers, like I say, but for the family members, the people who are home hoping that their loved ones (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There's a lot of noise in the Chamber and I would ask the members to take their conversations outside, or less noisy, please.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So it will ease those people at home who have loved ones who are out working long hours and are responding to so many different calls and so many different dangerous situations. So that's one thing I want to bring up, too, some of the environments that I found myself in over the years that really left me wondering at the end of the shift, did I get anything from this call? Was there anything transmitted to me that I might go home and infect my children, my spouse, or my family members?

I recall one of the calls that I went on, and before I mention that, Mr. Speaker, as I was saying in the training that we get with the advanced care, stuff like IVs and intubations, which is when someone stops breathing, you can actually put a tube into their trachea, into their lungs, and breath for them. When we get trained for this, it's done under a controlled

[Page 5224]

environment. My training was over at the VG in a lab. At first, we used an IV arm made out of plastic and we practised on that to try to get the technique, and a safe technique. That's the main reason why we practise, to make sure we have safe techniques. Then we proceed on to actually our fellow colleagues in the class, my classmates. I would turn to one of my seatmates and we started practising on each other, but that's the way you get a feel for it, but it was all under a controlled environment.

Mr. Speaker, I remember after graduating and getting my license to practise in the province and I was out on the calls, on the trucks, that's when that controlled environment was taken away from us. Many times over the years I found myself in situations that were very dangerous and that's where I'll give a few examples of some of the calls I've been on that really, you know, took that control out and we were in an uncontrolled environment. I remember one call many years ago when we had to hike into the woods and up a railway track, about a kilometre in the woods, at about 3:00 a.m., and for some reason there was a patient there who had tried to cross that track and had fallen down and actually fractured their femur. So not only were we pretty far in the woods, it was the middle of the night, this patient had an injury that was life-threatening. Fracturing a femur, that's the largest bone in your body and it's surrounded by one of the largest muscles in your body. You can bleed out several litres into your thigh.

So in this environment we were at, there was no light. We were there with a couple flashlights and this patient was in dire need of some assistance. One, she needed to get out of there and into a tertiary care hospital and get to the OR, Mr. Speaker. Two, this patient was in excruciating pain. Anybody who has suffered a fracture, especially a fracture of the femur, pain management is a protocol that we follow and it's something that we can provide to try to ease the patient, to calm them down a bit and actually it also works in the fact that we can try to manipulate the leg and get them into a mode or an environment where we can transfer them out of there.

In that controlled environment I was called upon to put an IV in this patient who was one, has been there for a long period of time, who is definitely in shock, Mr. Speaker, and is in excruciating pain and that's what I want to bring attention to, is the environment that we're in and where I have to perform my job and to insert an IV catheter into this patient and deliver medication to try to help this patient and get her out of there. That's just one incident that I remember that could have been bad on my part.

Another call that is very important that the paramedics are able to get fast access, especially IV access, is where there's a diabetic emergency. I don't know if members know anybody who is a diabetic, but when their glucose levels drop to a point where they have an altered level of consciousness, they're not of sound mind. They're very aggressive and the one thing that this patient needs is some D50, some sugar, because the two things that your brain needs are sugar and oxygen and if you deplete one of those, it really throws the patient off.

[Page 5225]

I remember one of my first calls going to an elderly lady, where her levels had dropped and she was very combative and we had to somehow restrain this lady who actually had four firefighters and a paramedic trying to help her and hold her enough that I was able to try to gain access with an IV and give her the D50 she needed. So the environment in that situation is very out of control. We try to bring as much control as we can to the situation, but in that incident the likelihood of me putting an IV in this patient and it coming back and sticking in me, is very high.

So, those are just a couple of the calls and some of the environments that I found myself in over the years where the likelihood of things happening were very high. Other ones are motor vehicle accidents. Mr. Speaker, I'm sure, you, in your former profession, have attended many calls on the highway or on a rural street or even on a private road. When people are injured in motor vehicle accidents, a lot of the times there's a lot of damage, not only to their vehicle, but to themselves. There's a lot of bodily fluids, a lot of blood, tissue and these people really need advanced care, medicine and they need to be worked on quickly.

One of the reasons I want to bring this call up is because one of the things we're trained in is to recognize when you go to a call the need for a rapid transport, this patient needs to get to an emergency room. They need to get to an OR, and the faster we do it, the better their outcome is and the more likely they are to survive this accident. So, with that, a rapid transport would mean that you assess the patient quickly, ensure that they may have an airway, but we want to get them packaged, as we call it, and get them in the truck and on the road. Then we can provide other treatments.

If blood loss, or the blood volume loss is significant, we need to replace that by giving them some saline solution, giving them an IV and hopefully replenish that because if you lose enough blood, it doesn't take long for your body to go into shock and end up it being fatal. At that point when you're in the vehicle, you have to give an IV, but in a moving vehicle and it's not a controlled environment. It's pretty tricky at times, when you have a patient who has multiple fractures, is bleeding somewhere, your trying to control the bleeding, but you know you have to try get an IV access, to get some fluid back in their body so that shock doesn't progress to the point where their organs are going to start shutting down. In that case, it's very uncontrolled (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There's too much noise in the Chamber. I'll ask the honourable members to take their conversations outside, please.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so in that case it's very dangerous. The likelihood of like I said, a needle stick, increases when you have to do treatments like that in a moving vehicle.

[Page 5226]

The other treatment we do on a lot of occasions, Mr. Speaker, and it's not something you want to do, is to intubate somebody. That, like I said earlier, is the procedure of actually inserting a tube into the patient's trachea to breathe for them. We do it on many occasions for people who have had seizures, people who are in cardiac arrest, anaphylactic reactions to some things. So it's important that we do get an airway, because without an airway, your body, your brain needs the glucose and oxygen. Those cases are when you have to intubate somebody.

I don't know if the members in the Chamber today have ever witnessed somebody being intubated or have seen it on TV. It's a procedure where you're very close to the patient, the provider who is trying to intubate is within inches of the patient's mouth, you're trying to look into their mouth and look for that trachea and the vocal cords, so you can insert this intubation tube. A lot of the times the airways, because they've either had a cardiac arrest or other instances, there's a lot of bodily fluids there. There's a lot of times where things will get sprayed back on you. That's why we use goggles at all times, and really try to limit the exposure rate in that case, Mr. Speaker, but it's very difficult.

Many times I've been on calls where there have been difficult intubations, where there's a large amount of bodily fluids in their airway that you have to try to get out of there, either vomit or blood. That is where the possibility is probably the greatest, when there's a transportation of bodily fluids between the caregiver, the provider, and the patient, or the victim.

In those cases, we don't know what the patient has, but it doesn't stop health care providers from providing this service to them. I've never said that I'm not going to intubate someone because maybe we're in a lower-class area of the province or we're in a rooming house or we're in a mansion, that doesn't cross my mind or my colleagues' minds when we're there to help. All you want to do is hopefully ensure that this patient has a clear airway and you can intubate them.

Mr. Speaker, these environments that health care workers put themselves in every day are very dangerous and very uncontrolled. If this bill gives that level of comfort or gives that provider some support, knowing that because we did our job, and there was a transfer of bodily fluids, that it's safe. Today, if a paramedic or a nurse or somebody does get a needle stick, a dirty needle stick, they can go to the patient and ask them if they're willing to take a test, but they're likely to acknowledge it and say yes, no problem. Like the member for Colchester North stated about a victim, an incident where they wanted a coffee, I would buy a 100 coffees, if they wanted me to, if they were willing to take that test.

The point I want to make is that these patients that you go to, they don't need to give their permission. If they say no, then the door is closed, Mr. Speaker. The likelihood of this happening is pretty rare. There are a few cases where you might see a patient deny the

[Page 5227]

caregiver that right of giving them the extra comfort of knowing that they don't have anything that can be passed on to them.

There are cases where this happens when a patient is in the custody of a police officer or the correctional services. For some reason, we're called to a situation, either a domestic dispute or a break and enter, where the perpetrator is a victim, per se, and paramedics, the ambulance is called to attend to this person, and those people have the right to say no. I don't think, if it was an interaction between these people and just the paramedics that they would say no, but a lot of people have hostility towards police officers, and when we are called to a scene where there's a crime or a burglary or something like that, if the perpetrator is there and in custody, they're more apprehensive to even speak with anybody, let alone agree to taking a blood sample and giving some relief to the medics that are there to help them.

[3:00 p.m.]

I want to bring up this point and make it very clear that, as a paramedic when I go to a call or my colleagues go to a call, we put ourselves in this dangerous environment, we don't have a choice. As a paramedic, I do not have the choice to go to a call and say I'm not going to treat this patient - I guess I do have a choice, I could do that, but I can tell you I wouldn't be working as a paramedic in this province any longer if I were to choose not to treat a patient.

Many patients with head injuries or victims of crime or those involved in motor vehicle collisions aren't themselves - they have an altered mental status. Head injury people - I'm sure many of the members know, and the Premier knows as a physician - they act quite aggressively. I'm sure you know, too, Mr. Speaker, in the past, dealing with people with head injuries. These people aren't of a sound mind and you're there to try to help them. So, if I knew that I could go there and I would just refuse treatment, but I don't have that luxury. I wouldn't be working as a paramedic and I wouldn't keep my licence to work in this province.

So, I think by making the people and making the health care providers in this province do their jobs and not giving them an avenue to go after and hopefully find out that things are okay with what just happened, or if there was a transfer of bodily fluids that it's safe for them to go home and spend time with their kids and it's safe to spend time with your spouse or your partner.

I wanted to make that very clear - that health care providers, emergency service workers and lay people who give first-aid training or provide first aid to people on the street, they need this added protection because they're out there giving themselves to emergency health services and providing an important service to the residents of Nova Scotia.

[Page 5228]

So, as a former paramedic - I still am a paramedic - and, most importantly, as a father of two kids and a family member, I hope I can find it in the members here to actually go back to their communities and talk to their health providers. See what they think about this bill, and I think most of them - if not all - would say this is a good piece of legislation, that we deserve to have that added protection for these people.

This isn't the first time I've seen a piece of legislation like this. The professional association I belong to - the Nova Scotia College of Paramedics - has been working over the years to develop a bill like this. Not only would this bill be endorsed by the Nova Scotia College of Paramedics, it also would be endorsed by the Paramedic Association of Canada, which has tens of thousands of members across this country that have been trying to get bills like this passed throughout different Legislatures across this country. I think our Legislature can be in the forefront - there are some that are already passed, but I think we can be looked at as being a responsible government or a responsible Legislature and give that added protection for these workers - just give them the peace of mind knowing that there is an avenue that we will look after them and provide this service.

In closing, I really want to emphasize that this would also help the victims of crimes. I know a lot of the examples I give are from my profession, which I think it is important to show what I've been through and what other paramedics have been through and other health care providers, but the victims of crime, these people are put in a situation where they've had the misfortune of having something done to them - either sexually or violently, a violent occasion - and not only do they have to recuperate from their injuries, they have to mentally get over the fact they were either violated or they were involved in an act of crime.

So I think this is important to them. It would help in the healing of people who find themselves a victim of crime, and hopefully get them to a point where they can proceed with their lives. I look forward to other comments on this bill, and I want to commend the honourable member for Colchester North for bringing this bill forward. I really appreciate the efforts of the member and I think it's a good piece of legislation that we should look at getting through this House.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I want to first of all congratulate, as well, the member for Colchester North for bringing forth this piece of legislation and congratulate the member for Sackville-Cobequid on a fine speech in this Legislature although I thought it was perhaps a bit much when the sound effects and the siren were added in the background as he was talking. (Interruption) You know, at the same time, there just seems to be something about that member for Sackville-Cobequid that I identify with and something that I like about him, I'm not sure exactly what it is, but he seems to make sense anyway.

[Page 5229]

Mr. Speaker, in all seriousness, this is an important piece of legislation that is now placed before this House. I'm pleased to stand and speak on Bill No. 125. It's basically an expanded version of Bill No. 83 which, as I understand, is still on the order paper, but we'll deal with this one now because on the surface anyway it appears to be a much better idea than the previous bill that was proposed before. When you're talking about balancing the rights of individuals with the protection of other individuals, it's always quite a balancing act that you have to pull off in order to protect the rights of individuals.

So I think, at first blush anyway, Mr. Speaker, we can safely say that this is attempting to do that. A very important aspect of the bill is that it does put the requirement of an order before the courts and it allows the person who is required to give a blood sample an appeal process before the courts which is exactly where that belongs in our opinion. We know and we understand, and the member for Sackville-Cobequid gave in great detail the many dangers that police officers, or paramedics, or firefighters, or any first responders, are faced with and this legislation goes a little further to take in many more people, many more health care providers who may be affected by something like this, because again as the member stated very well, you can take as many safety precautions as you want, but things are still going to happen and you just can't be entirely protected against something like this.

Mr. Speaker, as I said, in situations where people are compelled to do something against their will, the question of their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is always in question and we would certainly be interested in hearing concerns from people on the issue of rights but, overall, this appears to be a good idea in that it protects those who are serving the public and who have the potential to be exposed to potentially life-threatening communicable diseases. For their own peace of mind, being able to know whether or not they've been exposed to a communicable disease makes it a very, very important issue.

So without extending debate any further at this point, Mr. Speaker, we in the Liberal caucus are pleased to see this come before this House and we'll be very pleased to hear more as it goes through the various stages of the Legislative Assembly and, in particular, before the Law Amendments Committee when we can hear from the many members of the general public and stakeholders who are affected by such legislation.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise for a moment and compliment the member for Colchester North in bringing forth this legislation. It's obviously a piece of legislation, as it goes through to the Law Amendments Committee, that we're looking forward to supporting in the NDP caucus.

In particular, I would like to take a moment and congratulate the member for Sackville-Cobequid. I want you to know that in my deep, dark, distant past, the member for Sackville-Cobequid was a star athlete and student of mine at Sackville High School. I wish

[Page 5230]

I could say that I taught him everything he knows, but let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, when you see this young man, who has joined us in this Legislature successfully after the last election, stand in his place today and speak on a bill of such significance, speak on a bill with knowledge and depth, and at times I want you to know that there were members present from all sides of the House who were sitting, listening, taking notes, and realizing these sorts of personal examples that he brought to our attention are significant ones. They are the sort of things that help legislation like this because of the real examples that are brought forward.

Mr. Speaker, I know that based upon your previous career and the attentiveness when all of us stand in our place, this particular piece of legislation certainly has merit. It has merit because of how it's been introduced by the member for Colchester North, how it has been supported by the member for Glace Bay, and the points that were made by the member for Sackville-Cobequid not only make this older teacher proud but it makes us, as members of the NDP, proud to say the member for Sackville-Cobequid is a member of our caucus.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable member for Colchester North it will be to close the debate on Bill No. 125.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

MR. WILLIAM LANGILLE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 125.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 125. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried. (Applause)

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

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 of Bills.

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

The motion is carried.

[3:11 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker, Mr. James DeWolfe in the Chair.]

[Page 5231]

[3:12 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott resumed the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 96 - House of Assembly Act.

Bill No. 99 - Vital Statistics Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the business for today. (Interruptions) Just a second. I think we've done all the bills, I don't believe there are any bills remaining. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet on the morrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m. The House will sit from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. The order of business will be Public Bills for Third Reading, Private and Local Bills for Third Reading, Private Members' Public Bills for Third Reading, Public Bills for Second Reading, and Committee of the Whole House on Bills. With those few words, I move the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is the House adjourn until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We have now reached the moment of interruption.

"Therefore be it resolved that the government is failing to address the needs of rural Nova Scotia by neglecting transportation infrastructure."

[Page 5232]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

TPW - INFRASTRUCTURE: RURAL N.S. - NEGLECT

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak on this particular resolution with regard to the condition of roads, particularly in rural Nova Scotia. We've heard the minister raise, on a number of occasions, the fact that we have a $2.5 billion deficit on our highway infrastructure here in Nova Scotia. Yet, in the last number of days, we've seen some evidence tabled here before the House, whereby the federal government has set aside, and still has remaining, in its Canada strategic infrastructure fund some $30.5 million for highway improvement in the Province of Nova Scotia, and is waiting for the Province of Nova Scotia to step up to the plate and match those dollars for further highway improvement.

We've heard some indication that perhaps this $30.5 million, when matched, will be able to see the further twinning of Highway No. 104 between New Glasgow and Sutherlands River; as well, some further upgrades on the Highway No. 101 twinning, as well as Highway No. 103.

[3:15 p.m.]

That's very positive I must say, but after that, what is the government going to do? We still have considerable concerns being raised within the Department of Transportation and Public Works. The fact is, what they're doing is privatizing many of the services. Since this government came to power they have more than tripled the number of pieces of equipment that have been privatized from the Department of Transportation and Public Works. We've gone from 12 to 39 pieces of equipment that have now been privatized or contracted out. I think that's sending a very dangerous signal.

The Minister of Transportation has equally stated that the RIM program is actually, in many cases, providing a better quality service than what was offered by the departmental staff and all the infrastructure that was provided in-house through the Public Service. I don't agree with that. I don't agree that the private sector can do a better job than the Public Service in this province within the Department of Transportation and Public Works. I don't agree with that. They may do as good, they may do an excellent job, but in all cases, that's not true.

[Page 5233]

I'll give you some examples. What they're doing with the RIM program, they are paving in segmented form. For example, they may pave one kilometre or two kilometres or even as many as three kilometres in a stretch, but they're just putting that asphalt on top of a roadbed which is crumbling in a somewhat deteriorated state so they really haven't stabilized the roadbed. Within two to four, maybe five years, that road is in as bad if not worse shape than it was when they first spent the money on it. So, at first glance, it looks like we're getting a good deal for our money; that's no criticism of the private contractor per se, they're only doing what they were contracted to do.

That is nothing short of lip service for rural Nova Scotia. We can see that if there's ever a deficit with regard to highway infrastructure, it's in rural Nova Scotia. If we were to take that $2.5 billion and break it down by constituency, then we'll find for the most part rural Nova Scotia is at the losing end of the equation.

Last week I tabled a petition here on behalf of the residents of Plateau in the Cheticamp area. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, who represents that area, I know is very concerned about that, the road going up Plateau up to the mountain there. (Interruption) Well, he said you couldn't do all the roads, but what money is being spent down there, I suppose most of it is going to Tory-held ridings.

If you look at what's being proposed on the next segment of the federal-provincial highway agreement, I will bet you any money that those three highway agreements that are being contemplated will go into Tory-held ridings. It's almost as if we're going back to the days of Donald Cameron all over again. Many people know what happened under that particular administration and what happened when he was Minister of Development for the Province of Nova Scotia - 78 per cent of all funding on highways and development dollars went into Tory-held ridings, because he wouldn't allow anything differently. There weren't even enough crumbs left to go around to the Opposition held ridings. I would hope that certainly we don't slip back into that after all the work that's been done to depoliticize the Department of Transportation and Public Works that was brought forth under the John Savage Administration.

Mr. Speaker, for example, in my constituency Route 22, it's an issue I raised a little earlier today, the main highway corridor, which sometimes they refer to as the Esplanade, or the Parkway going to Louisbourg, the last time that highway was upgraded was in 1969 and, yes, different administrations have held power. So they all have to accept some considered responsibility for that, but the reality is that is having a major negative impact on tourism in and around the Louisbourg area in my constituency.

Mr. Speaker, there's one section there, not too far away from Albert Bridge, what they refer to as Peck's Hill, well, if you ever wanted to be a victim of a whiplash, drive over Peck's Hill doing more that 30 miles an hour, or 50 kilometres an hour. Now, this is supposed to be the equivalent of a 100-Series Highway. You've often heard about how successful

[Page 5234]

Upper Clements Theme Park is, you know, the rollercoaster ride that they have there, well, that's what the Louisbourg highway is like. It's Cape Breton's version of the Upper Clements Theme Park. Now, that's how bad it is and you will have people who have never been in that area before who will comment that it is perhaps the worst road in all of the country, if not certainly Nova Scotia.

The Fleur-de-lis Trail, it's amazing what the government has done. They've actually started putting signs on back roads through Gabarus, through Trout Brook, down through the Big Ridge highway, areas that have absolutely nothing to do with the Fleur-de-lis Trail, but because it's the only passable route that they have, that's where they direct the traffic down through to get to the Fortress of Louisbourg. If you ever wanted to bring people back in time, have them drive on those roads because the only thing that some of those roads are good for is a horse and wagon.

Mr. Speaker, I've raised on a number of occasions the fact that the department should at least provide lawnmowers to mow the highways out along that Gabarus stretch and I don't mean for on the shoulders - I mean the centre line because the grass is literally growing up through the centre line of the road.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: No goats?

MR. MACKINNON: Goats would be a welcome addition, Mr. Speaker, because in the Fall we could at least have a barbeque and build some community spirit. I don't know if that would answer the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley's query about goats, but the deplorable state of the roads is an issue of concern.

I do acknowledge the fact that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works responded in limited measure to the terrible state of the Marion Bridge highway. There are some 16 kilometres that have to be upgraded there and the minister has responded to four kilometres. Well, at that rate, it's going to take at least four to five years to get that road completed. Well, they'll be celebrating their 50th Anniversary since that road was last upgraded. I understand my time has concluded. I would look forward to further interventions.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I welcome an opportunity to rise in my place here this afternoon to speak on the resolution that was put forward by the honourable member for Cape Breton West. I'm sure the honourable member had it read into the record, but just to reiterate:

"Therefore be it resolved that the government is failing to address the needs of rural Nova Scotia by neglecting transportation infrastructure."

[Page 5235]

The resolution, while the author is the honourable member for Cape Breton West, it seems like Yogi Berra would say, déjà vu all over again because only a short decade ago, the honourable member's colleague, now an aspiring leadership candidate for the Liberal Party and his friend, the former Public Works Minister, ripped away millions and millions of dollars from the SHIP program, the Strategic Highway Improvement Program, when, in fact, that money should have been earmarked for Highway No. 104, through Wentworth Valley. We remember the debates in this Legislature, those of us who may have been around, and perhaps those at home will recall that after public outcry and some good work by the Opposition, and then, in fact, the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP, in 1993, had rather small Opposition Parties, in numbers, in the Legislature, but very strong in their commitment and resolve that the former Minister of Transportation and Public Works put the money back into the Strategic Highway Improvement Program.

I know some of my honourable colleagues across the floor will recognize and recall the outrage that was felt by Nova Scotians about that dastardly deed. In fact, Mr. Speaker, a former Speaker from a different political Party was sitting in that Chair when I challenged him and the Liberal Party of the day to put the money back into its rightful place, so it could be cost-shared with the provincial government and do the things it was supposed to do, as per the terms of this Strategic Highway Improvement Program.

So here we are, a few short years later, mind you, a decade has passed, and I can't believe that the honourable member for Cape Breton West has the audacity and the gall, let alone the nerve to bring forward a resolution like this today. I commend the honourable member, I know he would like to see more road work take place in the beautiful Province of Nova Scotia. In fact, all members in this Chamber, on behalf of their constituents, would like to see more road work take place.

Well, I would like to talk a little bit about some of the improvements, without zeroing in on specifics, that this government has taken to address the concerns that Nova Scotians, not only the motorists of Nova Scotia, but also motorists and truckers from other provinces and other states have been concerned about for a number of years.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. In light of an incident that took place a few moments ago, I wonder if we could adjourn debate.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I move to adjourn the debate.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

[Page 5236]

The House is adjourned.

[The House rose at 3:28 p.m.]

[Page 5237]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32 (3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2650

By: Mr. John Chataway (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas Whitman Giffin has served as organist and choirmaster of the Chester United Baptist Church for more than thirty years; and

Whereas Mr. Giffin has been involved in the music field for more than 45 years, having first studied music in 1944; and

Whereas a celebration of Whitman Giffin's 45 years in music was held this Spring at the Chester United Baptist Church where Giffin has stated "Unless I am in a wheelchair, I will continue to play the church organ";

Therefore be it resolved that Whitman Giffin be recognized by the members of this House of Assembly for his dedication to his church and for his lifelong love of music.

RESOLUTION NO. 2651

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

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

Whereas Lisa Wentzell of Bridgewater has been a tough competitor in the regional pumpkin growing contest; and

Whereas Lisa won the contest last year and placed third in the 2004 regional contest with a pumpkin weighing 994 pounds, or 447 kilograms; and

Whereas Lisa entered the squash growing regional contest in 2004 with a 709 pound or 319 kilogram squash;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Lisa Wentzell for her success in both the pumpkin and squash growing contest.

[Page 5238]

RESOLUTION NO. 2652

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

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

Whereas Matthew Corkum was successful in growing a 767 pound, or 345 kilogram squash; and

Whereas growing such a large squash requires much time, energy and attention; and

Whereas the squash growing contest creates a great deal of competition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Matthew Corkum of Bridgewater for his second place finish in the regional weigh-off.

RESOLUTION NO. 2653

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

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

Whereas the squash growing contest is very competitive; and

Whereas growing huge squash takes much time and attention; and

Whereas David Hebb of Bridgewater took top honours in the regional squash category with a weigh-in of 894 pounds, or 402 kilograms;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating David Hebb for his successful entry into the regional squash competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2654

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

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

Whereas competition in the pumpkin patch has become very popular; and

[Page 5239]

Whereas growing pumpkins large enough for competition takes a lot of time and attention; and

Whereas Roger Wentzell of Bridgewater took second place in the regional competition with a pumpkin weighing 1,059 pounds, or 477 kilograms;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Roger Wentzell for producing such a huge gourd.

RESOLUTION NO. 2655

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Coach Winston Clements and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2656

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

[Page 5240]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Thomas Ripley and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2657

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys, Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Matthew Piche and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2658

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys, Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Nicholas Perrot and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5241]

RESOLUTION NO. 2659

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tye Borden and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2660

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Geoff Burke and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5242]

RESOLUTION NO. 2661

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jeff McNeil and all members of the Bridgetown team for their Provincial Championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2662

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Gregory McOrmond and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5243]

RESOLUTION NO. 2663

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tyler Clements and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2664

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jordan Saunders and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5244]

RESOLUTION NO. 2665

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Billy Adams and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2666

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Matthew Roscoe and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5245]

RESOLUTION NO. 2667

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate David Richardson and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2668

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Thane Stevenson and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5246]

RESOLUTION NO. 2669

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Garrett DeCoste and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2670

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Seth Warren and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5247]

RESOLUTION NO. 2671

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jacob Meisner and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2672

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dennis Frost and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

[Page 5248]

RESOLUTION NO. 2673

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on September 4 and 5, 2004, Bridgewater hosted the Nova Scotia Provincial Soccer Championship for Under 14 Boys Tier 2A; and

Whereas the team from Bridgetown represented their club with great team spirit, determination, skill and sportsmanship; and

Whereas the Bridgetown boys were undefeated in the provincial tournament and were victorious in their quest for the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Darcy Gogan and all members of the Bridgetown team for their provincial championship victory.

RESOLUTION NO. 2674

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism and Culture)

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

Whereas the Strait Highlands Regional Development Authority is mandated to integrate and coordinate the activities of all local development groups and/or undertake activities itself to accomplish common objectives within its region so communities may build competitiveness and capitalize on market opportunities; and

Whereas the recent success of local economic development has included the establishment of Stora Enso as a world-class paper mill, the re-opening of the gypsum wallboard plant by Federal Gypsum Company, the success of the EDS call centre and the groundbreaking for a liquified natural gas facility; and

Whereas Blaine Gillis, Francis Gillies, Veronica MacDonald, Karen Malcolm, John Oulette and Tanya Felix are always prepared and eager to assist with opportunities for increased regional prosperity;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend the Strait Highlands Regional Development Authority team for the role they have played in these and other important developments.

[Page 5249]

RESOLUTION NO. 2675

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Katherine Diane Henwood of Parrsboro was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor Award for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this award is given to students who show hard work, effort and dedication to their studies, community and family, and very few can claim being a recipient of this very prestigious award; and

Whereas Katherine received this honour at the Lieutenant Governor's Awards Ceremony on May 20, 2004, in Sydney, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Katherine Henwood on receiving this outstanding award and wish her continued success in the future.